Essay about The Inadequacy of Paley's Argument from Design

Good Essays
The Inadequacy of the Argument from Design
William Paley’s teleological argument (also known as the argument from design) is an attempt to prove the existence of god. This argument succeeds in proving that while existence was created by an aggregation of forces, to define these forces, as a conscious, rational, and ultimately godlike is dubious. Although the conclusions are valid, the argument makes several logical errors. The teleological argument relies on inductive reasoning, rendering the argument itself valid, but unsound. The argument fails to apply its own line of reasoning to itself, resulting in infinite regression. Beyond the scope of its logical flaws, the arguments content lacks accurate comparisons. The argument hinges on a
…show more content…
Although this type of argument is practical at predicting patterns of re-occurring events, they are never legitimately sound. Consider the sunrise. It has risen every day for thousands of years on end. Therefore, it will rise tomorrow. Despite the odds of this happening being very high, there is not a one hundred percent chance that it will. Furthermore, consider the existence of the universe itself. Although the odds of life being created by a random amalgamation of forces are very low, the correct combination for life to exist only has to occur once. From that point forward, evolution and a reaction to external stimuli allows life to change naturally.
The argument also indulges in an infinite regression. It assumes that a transcendent god created the entire universe. However, it fails to account for what created the god. As stated in the lecture slides, a committee of lesser beings may have created the god, but that begs the question about who created the committee. One could object to this idea and believe that god has always existed, transcending time and reality itself. Once again, however, this logic is just as applicable to the universe. The universe is as capable of existing forever as a god is.
William Paley further begs the question in stating that because of perceived complexities in an entity, it must have been designed. This perceived relation between complexity and design is an inherently
Get Access