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Philosophy essay: The Design Argument (How were we made?)

Updated on February 25, 2014

In this hub I will discuss the Ideas of the design argument. This is an essay that I wrote for A level Philosophy that achieved a B grade.


This is a question that has strained man time since the beginning of religion. How was the world made, was it designed by a higher being?? In this essay I will explain and evaluate both sides of the argument on whether the earth was designed or not.

One important philosopher that supported the design argument was the 19th century British Philosopher William Paley. He supported the teleological argument which states that since intelligent design seems present in the universe outside of human control then god must have designed it that way. He created the watch analogy to support this, the analogy is that if we look at a watch it is complicated and we think that it must have a designer, it can't just have come about by chance. Now look at the world as a whole, it is complex so therefore it must also have a designer. This analogy was very popular during the 1800's as it described the universe as a machine and because this was during the industrial revolution because people were just becoming familiar with the idea of machines. Also at this time the argument against religion was weak and the teleological argument meant people could still believe what they currently did, and therefore was met with very little resistance and even today this analogy is still commonly used because it has very little flaws that can it can be argued against on.

One modern argument that has arose since then is the idea of chance. With billions, possibly infinite planets then the chance that there is at least one planet with intelligent life (us?), the chance of life coming about is very small indeed, however due to the number of opportunities that have been given then it is more likely that the criteria for life could have been met. (Think of this like throwing one dice to get a six has less chance then throwing 2 dice and seeing if either give a six.)

The world today to us looks like it has been designed for us. A reason argued for this apart from the existence of god is, because of the theory of survival of the fittest. Out of the many creatures that have existed over time. The ones that are best adapted to our environment have survived. So therefore what we have arrived with the optimum creatures that could exist on the earth, and obviously because of that the world looks designed to them. In the same way that in the pacific ocean it looks like the world was designed for whales. This argument is supported by the philosopher and critic of god Richard Dawkins.

In conclusion the assumption that because the world looks designed means god exists in my opinion is missguided. The design arguement does give a good reason how a god may exist, however there is also opposition to creationsist arguments which are also convincing. Both sides are equally strong in my opinion, and this is a question that may never be answered by science, so a true answer may never be accepted by everyone due to it being a matter of belief

Hope you have enjoyed reading this essay and found it interesting. Please click on my profile and read some of my other philosophy articles.



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