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TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS Teleological arguments begin with the observation that the natural universe contains things that have an apparent purpose or design (or telos). Teleological arguments end with the conclusion that God exists PALEY’S TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT William Paley (1743-1805) His version of the teleological argument, advanced in his book Natural Theology, is one of the most famous and compelling arguments for the existence of God. Also known for his ardent political beliefs—he supported the American Revolution and opposed the slave trade. PALEY’S WATCHMAKER THOUGHT EXPERIMENT Imagine coming upon a stone versus a watch. The stone doesn’t seem designed, but the watch does. It seems reasonable to conclude that the watch was created by a watchmaker. Its arrangment is highly complex.It clearly serves a certain purpose. It clearly has a certain function. In these respects, things in the natural universe are strikingly similar to the watch. PALEY’S TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (1) The natural universe resembles a human artifact (2) It is likely that similar effects have similar causes (3) Thus, it is likely that the cause of the natural universe is similar to the cause of a human artifact (4) The cause of a human artifact is an intelligent designer (5) Thus, the cause of the natural universe is an intelligent designer. HUMEAN CRITICISMS David Hume (1711-1776)One of the greatest philosophers to write in the English language. Influenced economists such as Adam Smith and physicists such as Albert Einstein. Famously
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