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Explain what Paley meant by describing the world as designed.
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| Words: 500 | Submitted: 06-Jun-2010
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DescriptionExplain what Paley meant by describing the world as designed.
William Paley’s design argument was based on experience, this means that it came from inductive reasoning (A posteriori); he looked at several objects (or parts of objects) on earth and noticed the complexity of them. This lead him to believe that this hadn’t come down to chance and instead, there must be a designer of all this!
Paley wrote a famous book called ‘Natural theology’, which inside, included his well known watch analogy. He explained that if you were to be walking through a wilderness and stumbled across a rock you would not question why it was there, but if you were to stumble across a watch you would wonder why or who had placed it there, this is because of its complexity. A watch has a number of leavers and mechanisms which have to be arranged correctly to make the watch work efficiently. Also, the way in which the watch performs a function that an intelligent being would class as valuable, shows that the watch must have an intelligent designer. Paley compares this to objects that make up the earth; he uses fish’s gills, birds’ wings, the human eye and the way in which the solar system works efficiently to show that the universe must also have an intelligent designer. He says that these objects are so complex that they cannot have come down to chance; he believes that there is a designer who created the universe who is intelligent. This we believe to be God.
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