Presentation on theme: "1 Time to open your mind And do some Philosophical and Critical Thinking."— Presentation transcript:
1 Time to open your mind And do some Philosophical and Critical Thinking
2 The Teleological Argument Or The Design Argument The starting point in studying the Teleological Argument is the Religious Belief: God is a purposeful creator; all of life is created by God with a definite purpose and goal. Think of some things that are man-made or mechanistic that show complexity, who designed them and why. Example Designer Purpose Phone Alexander Graham Bell Communication
3 The basis of the Teleological argument is the fact that things within the universe, particularly living things, are extremely complex. The Big Bang Theory suggests that everything that now exists is debris from the original explosion. It is argued that the only reasonable explanation for the fact that this debris is ordered and complex, and not still flying around in chaos, is that God must have put them together with a purpose in mind.
Those who believe the complexity of the world must point towards a designer, God, often use the following examples of complex natural design: The bucket orchid The bucket orchid The bucket orchid traps bees who can only escape if they take the plant’s pollen sacs with them. The Hummingbird The Hummingbird The Hummingbird can flap it’s wings 60 beats per second allowing it to hover. It also has a long beak that allows it to ‘drink’ liquid nectar. Mating danceMating dance Owl Defence SystemOwl Defence System Humans and their organs Humans and their organs The human eye is an extremely complex feature allowing humans to see. The Goldilocks Zone The Goldilocks Zone The earth is the perfect distance from the sun to sustain life. Not too hot, not too cold but just right. 4
5 Using the examples of complex, natural design you have looked at, and like the mechanistic examples, consider who was their designer and what is their purpose. Teleological comes from the Greek word ‘telos’ meaning ‘purpose’. Many people believe that the only explanation for so many examples of complexity is that God must have designed and made them. How else could debris from the explosion of the Big Bang turn itself into such a complex and ordered universe and natural world? Theists (people who believe God exists) would say that the chance of this complexity and order coming together through luck or by accident, is about the same as a tornado blowing through a junkyard and leaving behind a fully working jumbo jet!
6 Paley’s Analogy William Paley was an English theologian that lived in the 18 th century. An analogy is a comparison between two things that are similar in some way. They are often used to help explain something or make it easier to understand. Paley used a watch and the human eye in his analogy to prove the existence of God. Remember, when Paley lived, not all people owned watches the way we do now.
Paley’s Analogy If you were walking on a beach and stumbled over a rock, you would think nothing of it; you wouldn’t be surprised to see it there. However, if you were walking along a beach and came across a watch, you would wonder why it was there. It is not the usual place to find a watch. If you had never seen a watch before, you would be struck by its complexity and consider the maker of the watch to be very clever; an intelligent designer. Should the maker of the complex human eye, and the world, not also be an intelligent designer, God? 7
Paley thought if a watch was so complex it needed a designer then so should the universe and the natural world. He believed it is reasonable to compare the natural world to a watch as they clearly have design in common. Remember how you looked at how things are designed for a purpose. 8
9 Task Answer the following questions to check your understanding so far: 1.What is another name for the Teleological Argument? 2.Give 4 examples of complexity in the natural world with a brief explanation of each. 3.How would theists compare the chances of order and design coming about by chance or accident? 4.Describe Paley’s Analogy. 5.What did Paley think the watch and the human eye had in common?
10 Criticisms of the Teleological Argument One of the most famous critics of the teleological argument was David Hume. Hume was a Scottish philosopher and lived in the 18 th century. Hume made two criticism of the argument. Hume’s first criticism was about the effectiveness of using analogies. Can you remember why Paley thought comparing a watch with the human eye was a good comparison? Paley believed said they were both complex things. However Hume argued that they were not as similar as you might first think.
11 Looking back to the different examples of complex design you looked at earlier, can you think of why the watch and the human eye are different? Hume pointed out that the watch was a mechanical, man-made object, while the human eye was natural or organic. Hume said that the analogy was not strong enough to draw a definite conclusion about the existence of God. Hume believed analogies only gave the likelihood of something being true. Analogies are not based on fact. Task What are the strengths and weaknesses of comparing a lemon to a lime? With your partner, think of your own analogy and check it’s strengths and weaknesses.
12 Hume’s said that maybe the order and design did show that it had to have been designed but his second criticism was… Why did it have to have been an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God? Hume said the world was ‘…faulty and imperfect…’ it could have been A team of designers An evil force Or an inexperienced junior designer
13 When you consider the beauty and wonder of the universe and natural world, it is difficult to agree with Hume that the designer could be ‘ashamed of his lame performance’ Hume was probably referring to the suffering and evil in the world. In philosophy when we refer to ‘suffering’ we think of two types; natural and man-made. Can you think of some examples of ‘man-made’ evil? War Genocide
14 Can you think you of some examples of natural evil? Earthquakes Volcanoes
Some people would also point to apparently flawed design in the natural world. The following video clip shows apparent ‘flawed’ design. ImperfectionsImperfections in a giraffe – flawed design? Richard Dawkins, who is an outspoken critic of religion, says the flaw in the route of the laryngeal nerve shows the giraffe hadn’t been ‘designed’, otherwise the designer would have corrected his mistake. Can you think of any other ‘flawed’ design in nature? Incurable diseases Killing to survive 15
16 Hume would ask: If God created ‘order’, why do natural disasters appear to be random? If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t he stop volcanoes, war etc.? If God is all-loving, why does he let innocent people suffer? If God is all-knowing, why does there seem to be flaws in his design? Does this show there is a God but he is not as powerful, intelligent or loving as some would suggest? Or Does it prove God doesn’t exist at all? Theists would respond to this by saying that God made the world perfect and gave humans free will and that evil is a result of the wrong choices humans have made. This is a whole other philosophical argument which we don’t have time to go into here.
17 Task Answer the following questions to check your understanding so far: 1. What were David Hume's criticisms of a) Paley’s Analogy b) analogies in general. 2. In Hume’s second criticism who else did he say could have designed the world other than God? 3. Give two examples of ‘flawed’ design with an brief explanation of them. 4. What are the 4 questions that Hume poses about ‘God’ in response to what he saw as a ‘faulty and imperfect’ world. 5. Do you see the world as ‘faulty and imperfect’? Give reasons for your answer.
18 Another response to the Teleological argument that questions the existence of God is The Big Bang and Theory of Evolution Scientists believe: The Big Bang began with an explosion around 14.7 billion years ago. It was a chance happening without a cause. Natural laws, such as the law of gravity, allowed galaxies, solar systems, and planets to form. Earth was one of these planets and all life on it came about by chance.
19 Those who believe that life on earth came about by chance often refer to the Theory of Evolution. This was presented by Charles Darwin in his famous book On the Origin of the Species in 1859. Darwin gave an explanation for the order and complexity in the natural world without the need of a designer e.g. God. He believed even very complicated forms of life came about naturally. In its most basic form it goes it goes like this: Life began with simple single-celled creatures. By chance they mutated and developed into more complex life forms. Species developed and adapted to their environment. Those that were most suited to survival passed on their genes to their offspring. This is known as Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest.
20 Richard Dawkins is a supporter of the Theory of Evolution. He believes that partnerships in nature, like the one between the bucket orchid and the bee, can be fully explained by the process of evolution. He suggests that the processes of natural selection and survival of the fittest are entirely chance processes; a simple roll of the dice with no need for God.
21 So has the Teleological Argument been defeated? Many Christians would say no. While science has convincing evidence for the Big Bang and Evolution, they are still only theories. Science can be proven wrong too. Many Christians accept the Big Bang and Theory of Evolution; however they believe that they may be God’s way of designing and making the universe and natural world. The Big Bang and Theory of Evolution may be very convincing but it does not explain human consciousness; our ability to appreciate beautiful scenery, music and art; the ability to think and reason.
22 No other species that we know of has such a complex brain and for many, natural selection or survival of the fittest cannot give a reasonable explanation. Christians could argue that science cannot answer all our questions. It may be good at providing physical evidence but cannot provide evidence for spiritual aspects of life. It is for this reason Christians rely on their faith in God.
23 Task Answer the following questions to check your understanding so far: 1.Briefly describe the Big Bang. 2.Briefly describe the Theory of Evolution. 3.How does Richard Dawkins explain partnerships in nature? 4.Give 4 reasons why Christians would argue that the Teleological Argument hasn’t been defeated. 5.To what extent do you find the Teleological Argument convincing? Give between 2 and 4 reasons. You must back your answers up using examples from what you have learned in this unit.