Richard Swinburne's Teleological Argument

790 Words 4 Pages
Richard Swinburne's Teleological Argument

Although explicated on many occasions and by many different authors, the teleological argument for the existence of God provides the best springboard from which to launch contemporary convictions of faith. In the revised edition of his earlier The Existence of God, Richard Swinburne constructs a solid outline that reveals the exact structure of the teleological argument. He presents both forms of the teleological argument , holds each under the light of skeptical review and then provides insight and defense that allows for careful philosophical review.
Swinburne begins his outline of the teleological argument by identifying its two forms: 'regularities of co-presence' and 'regularities
…show more content…
By natural processes they can only come into being through generation. But we know that the world has not been going on forever, and so the great puzzle is the existence of the first animals and plants in 4004 BC or whenever exactly it was that animals and plants began to exist. Since they could not have come about by natural scientific processes, and since they are very similar to the machines, which certain rational agents, viz. men, make, it is very probable that they were made by a rational agent -- only clearly one more powerful and knowledgeable than men." According to this version of the teleological argument, that entity more powerful and knowledgeable than man is God.
The teleological argument whose version identifies regularities of co-presence is quickly dismantled with the introduction of Mr. Charles Darwin. "Complex animals and plants," Swinburne argues, "can be produced through generation by less complex animals and plants -- species are not eternally extinct; and simple animals and plants can be produced by natural processes from inorganic matter." And in this simple language the logical validity of regularities of co-presence simply ceases to exist: something of a philosophical evolution.
And like the very argument that dismantled regularities of co-presence, Swinburne's argument evolves into a more complex version identified by regularities of succession. "Regularities of succession,"
Open Document