What is the teological argument for the existence of God?

Two major philosophical arguments from nature are proposed as proofs for the existence of God, the cosmological argument and the teleological argument. The teleological argument is probably the easiest of the major philosophical arguments. It seeks to show that because the world has the appearance of being designed, there must be a designer.

Many observers see the appearance of design in the universe. The orderliness and complexity of the universe is analogous to the complex orderliness of man made objects. As a result the universe has the hallmarks of being designed. If the universe has been designed, then there must exist a Designer great enough and powerful enough to produce all that exists.

Probably the most familiar expression of this argument is the watchmaker analogy. If a person walking through an empty field were to suddenly find a watch laying upon the ground, he would conclude the watch was designed by a watchmaker. He would not assume the watch formed by natural, unguided processes. Because the universe is vastly more complicated than a watch it is logical to conclude the universe was designed by a Creator of vast intelligence.

One common proof offered for the argument from design is irreducible complexity. The evolutionary hypothesis explains the growth of life by a gradual, step by step process. The premise of irreducible complexity is some things found in nature cannot be explained by a step by step process of adding onepiece of information at a time. For example, a mousetrap is a device that cannot function if only one small part is removed. Some examples of irreducible complexity in the natural world are the eye, the bombadier beetle and the cell. These things cannot have arisen naturally by gradually adding information. Without all the parts present the organism would not function.

This argument has some Biblical foundation because the Bible uses the argument from design in at least two places, Psalm 19 and Romans 1. An argument similar to the teleological argument can also be found in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel to show God is Creator of all and consequently is greater than all idols. However, the Bible never uses the obvious reality of a Creator to prove the existence of God. The Old Testament argues from creation to show the greatness of God and the folly of worshiping other gods. In Romans 1 the teleological argument is used as an indictment against those who have rejected God. Instead of worshiping God as they ought, unbelieving men have rejected nature’s obvious declaration of God’s existence and power. Unbelieving men replace God with gods of their devising and are under the judgment of God. God is the only creator of all. He has made His power and Deity evident through the handiwork of His creation. He must be worshiped.

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