Does the Teleological Argument Prove the Existence of God?
No, quite frankly it doesn’t. Now don’t close your mind quite yet. Read me through. Let’s start with the definition of teleological so as to know exactly what I am attacking. The meaning of the teleological argument comes from telos, which means ‘purpose’, ‘end’, or ‘goal.’ The notion behind it presupposes a ‘purposer’ to have purpose, fulfill an end or attain a goal. Where we see things envisioned for a purpose, we can reasonably access that those things were made for a reason or purpose. We intuitively make these associations all the time of the material world. For example, when we are walking down the street and find a pocket watch, we do not assume that time and random chance formed the watch. Because it has the hallmark of design; it must have a purpose, after all, it expresses information and it is definitely complex. The problem arises when the teleological argument applies the principle to the entire visible Universe, consequently, arriving at a Creator. In other words, a design implies a designer and in the case of our Universe it must have been designed by God. [Not sure which or what kind of God though.]
In this paper I will attempt to present evidence and argue against the teleological argument for the Universe. The argument will rests on five main points. (1) Thought experiment (2) Paley’s Argument from Design-a critique (3) Argument from Analogy (4) Argument for a Perfect Designer by the Abrahamic Tradition and finally (5) Arguing from Evolution-Simplicity to Complexity.
1. A Simple Thought Experiment
Suppose I am a second generation human inhabitant of earth. I find what someone else, perhaps you, call a watch. I didn’t call it a watch; I don’t even know what it is for or what its function is. It serves no purpose for me. It simply is and that is all I know. Also, I have never seen anything resembling it before and must less made before. Consequently, I have no frame of reference to make any comparison for its utility. I don’t even know where it came from; it was just lying next to this rock which I don’t know where it came from either. I certainly don’t know how to use it; however, I do know how to use a stone or rock. After a while, I meet a friend who ask me what I have in my hand. I replied; “I have no idea.” I show him and I asked; “Do you know what this is?” He replied; “No, I have no idea.” After talking about it with my friend we both conclude that we don’t know what it is, we don’t know how to use it and finally, we conclude we have no idea where it came from. It is curious though but serves us no purpose or function that we know of. So what’s the point; I don’t want to carry around a pointless thing so I threw it away. I can see the functionality of the stone but the ‘watch’, I saw no utility. Why should I conclude it is something designed and worthwhile when, in fact, I have been unable to form any idea at all about it? It just doesn’t seem to merit saying it was designed because of all the intricacies it possesses. I have seen beautiful intricacies in rock formations, but to me they just are the way they are. I have never imagined and even much seen a rock formation maker. Anyway, with the wind approaching, the sand starts flying in our face. My friend sees a sand dune and says let get in it and out of this storm. We were lucky to find this sand dune because the storm got worse and it served as a real secure protection. I asked my friend who he thought had made and left this sand dune for us to use. He said no one; the swirling wind formed it. At that point I simply could not resist myself and I said; “thank god.”
In any case, we don't of necessity need to assume that a watchmaker made the watch. The fact that the watch is so complex is no evidence that it was made by someone any more than I thought the sand dune that protected us from the wind had a make or designer. It just demonstrates that we