The Teleological Argument
Ok, well, I said I’d refute an argument a week. And, well, it’s been a week. So, in order to maintain my reputation as an honest fellow, I’m going to discuss the Teleological Argument, also know as the argument from design. This argument differs from Pascal’s Wager in that Pascal was trying to convince us that it is logical to believe in God, regardless of whether or not you think God exists. The Teleological Argument is an attempt by theists to convince us that it is logical to believe that God exists
This argument can be traced all the way back to Plato. A God is necessary for the city he creates in The Republic to be a just city. Aristotle also agreed that the universe needs a creator. It was actually one of the few things that Plato and Aristotle agreed upon. But anyways, on to the argument.
The basic argument is this.
1) There are items in the Universe, that are extremely complex, for example, the human eye.
2) In fact, the eye is so complex that it is irrational to believe that it could have occurred randomly.
3) Therefore, the eye must have been created by a powerful being.
4) This Supreme Being is God.
Therefore: God exists.
So, let’s get on to making to disassembling this argument.
Refuting the Teleological Argument
1) This doesn’t prove the existence of God! Even if we accept the argument, and accept that the Universe was created, this in no way proves the existence of God. This only proves that the Universe was created. It might have been created by a mortal being, which died shortly after creating it. It might have been created by multiple gods! The Greek gods. Zeus created the universe! There is no reason to believe from this argument that your God was the creator. However, we don’t have to accept the argument at all because…
2) Just because it is complex, does not mean that it was designed! There are many examples in nature where we can see how simple physical processes create extremely complex objects. For example, snowflakes. I don’t think anyone would argue that each snowflake is individually crafted by God, and in fact, we know exactly how snowflake come into being. (See http://www.pa.msu.edu/sciencet/ask_st/100897.html)
3) The universe doesn’t need a creator! Many theists claim that the universe could not have come out of nothing, so it must have been created by God. But if something can’t come from nothing, then where did this God figure come from? He can’t have always been there, because something can’t come from nothing, right? And if we state that something can just be there, and that there was never nothingness, then we don’t need God. The universe could just be here. God is just an extra unnecessary step. So either way, whether some can come from nothing (or there was never nothing), or something can not come from nothing, God just isn’t needed in the picture.
Well, that’s all for now. Till next week boys and girls.