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Lesson 5 teleological argument – william paley


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Lesson 5 teleological argument – william paley

  1. 1. Teleological Argument – William Paley By the end of this lesson you will: * Be able to explain the term ‘design qua purpose’. * Understand William Paley’s teleological argument for the existence of God. * Have assessed how strong Paley’s argument is in proving the existence of God.
  2. 2. Starter – Quick Fire• Q. Why did Aquinas believe it was necessary to suggest a guiding intelligence behind the natural workings of the universe?• Q. List 2 of Aquinas’ assumptions• Q. How did Antony Flew argue against Aquinas’ teleological argument?
  3. 3. Think, Pair, Share • If you found these objects on the floor which would you say was suited to a particular PURPOSE? Why? • If you’d never seen any of these objects before, would there be any way of deciding whether the objects occurred ‘just like that’ or whether they were ‘designed’?
  4. 4. William Paley• What can you remember about William Paley from your G.C.S.E course?• 1743 - 1805• Archdeacon of Carlisle• Fascinated by discoveries being made about the natural world in his time.• Wrote Natural Theology (published 1802)
  5. 5. William Paley - Context• Which scientific discoveries do you think were being made in the 18th Century?
  6. 6. William Paley - Context• Which scientific discoveries do you think were being made in the 18th Century?
  7. 7. William Paley - Context• Which scientific discoveries do you think were being made in the 18th Century?
  8. 8. Paley’s Natural Theology• The full title of Paley’s book is Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity collected from the Appearances of NatureWhat does this book title tell us about the intentions ofPaleys book and what he might argue in it?
  9. 9. Design Qua Purpose• Can you remember what Design qua regularity means?• Paley’s argument is instead ‘Design qua purpose’ – what do you think this means?• How then, are Paley’s and Aquinas’ arguments already different?• Design qua purpose = design by virtue of purpose.
  10. 10. Design Qua Purpose• Read the section • fulfilling Design Qua Purpose • designer (x2) from your worksheet and fill in the correct • purpose missing words from • random the list opposite: • God • natural • function
  11. 11. Key Quotes• Read your key quote in pairs and be prepared to explain them back to the class.
  12. 12. Paley’s Analogy• Read Paley’s analogy and use two different colours to highlight /underline:1. The key lines of his argument.2. Anything you don’t understand or could challenge or question.
  13. 13. Paley’s Analogy• Examining the moving parts of the watch would demonstrate:• The watch has a PURPOSE: telling the time.• The parts WORK TOGETHER or are FIT for purpose.• The parts are ORDERED and put together in such a way to make the watch function.• If the parts are ARRANGED in a different way the watch does not work, i.e. it does not fulfil its purpose.
  14. 14. Paley’s Analogy• ... the inference, we think, is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker: that there must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction and designed its use.• (Paley, Natural Theology, 1802)
  15. 15. Paley’s Final Conclusion• Complex watch needs a watchmaker to explain how it came into being.• Using evidence from the natural world and how things fit together for a purpose, it is clear that the universe, like the watch, is complex and must also have a designer.• The complexity of nature is far greater than any machine human beings can make.• Thus the whole of nature requires a grand designer. That designer is God!
  16. 16. Paley’s Final Conclusion• He details other examples in nature that seem to point to the same conclusion.• The instincts of birds ensures that they sit on their eggs whilst the young are growing inside them, thereby providing the perfect incubating environment.• AFRICA – 20mins
  17. 17. Paley’s Design qua regularity• Evidence from astronomy and Newton’s laws of motion and gravity prove that there is design in the universe.• E.g. the rotation of the planets in the solar system obey the same universal laws, and hold their orbits because of gravity.• Some eternal agent must have imposed order on the universe as a whole, and on it’s many parts, and that this agent must be God.