Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Essay on God’s Existence

Essay on God’s Existence

The teleological argument- William Paley
William Paley (1743-1805) has presented his theory about the God’s existence using the watchmaker analogy in 1802. Watchmaker analogy is a teleological argument which claims that every design requires a designer. The analogy presents the facts which show the similarity of any natural phenomenon, animals and human beings in particular, to a watch. It is based on the assumption that a complex device as a watch needs an intelligent designer. The analogy implies that the above stated argument can be applied to all the creations and, therefore, lead to a logical conclusion that the world has a creator.

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In his original work Paley gives an explanation of his theory through exploring the watch, which is lying on the ground. Through giving a detailed description of a watch’s structure he explains that it is impossible to create such mechanism without a previous examination and knowledge. In order to further explain the watchmaker analogy Paley gives a detailed description of the structure of different animal species in his book. He claims that the designs of such complexity and perfection could not be created without previous knowledge and examination and, therefore, must have a powerful and intelligent creator.

According to Paley, God has created every object on the planet, even the smallest and least significant, in a careful and thought-out way. He also claims that every God’s design represents his own nature. Paley concludes with the statement that God cares about his creations considering the thorough and perfect way in which they were designed.


Critique of an intelligent design - David Hume
’Why Does God Let People Suffer?’ is David Hume’s (1711-1776) book, where he has presented the arguments, which contradicted the Paley’s watchmaker analogy. He claimed that a planet is similar to a plant, which reproduces itself. According to this argument, there is no creator, who designs the animals and human beings in the unique way, but a nature is created and constantly being renewed by itself.

Hume supports his claim by questioning the perfection of the creations, which are supposedly designed by God. In his work he mentions the existence of evil, pain and uncertainty, which exist in the world. He claims that an involvement of God in the creation of the world and its creatures would result in their absolute perfection. However, he assumes that since all living creatures experience sicknesses, natural disasters, and accidents it proves that there is no intellect, which has the knowledge about the future occurrences and, therefore, the power to stop them.

Hume claims that if there was a ‘being’, which could stop the course of nature and prevent the negative events from happening, this could change the planet and remove all the evil from it. He argues that the ‘being’ would not let its creatures suffer from all the unexpected destructive events or would provide them with the additional features, which would prevent those events from harming them.

Further, Hume claims that many natural phenomena are imperfect in their structure and in the way they function. For example, rain is crucial for the plants and animals; however, in some parts of the world it is a very rare occurrence, and its absence brings massive destructions. The same imperfections can be found in people, animals, etc. According to Hume this proves that there is no force, which can control and influence the course of nature and improve its functioning.

Rebellion - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky in his work ‘Rebellion’ brings up the same question about suffering that David Hume did in ‘Why Does God Let People Suffer’. However, Dostoevsky narrows down the topic and discusses the suffering of the children. According to the author, children are innocent creatures and do not deserve the pain, which they sometimes happen to experience.

Dostoevsky does not deny the existence of God; however, he explains that there are certain aspects that he cannot agree with and to accept them in accordance with the ‘laws’ of God. He argues that it is incorrect for a mother of a tortured child to forgive the person, who is responsible for it. Even though, it is commonly accepted that many things are done in the way that cannot be understood by the human beings unless they reach a certain level, Dostoevsky argues that it is unacceptable for the people to forgive and let go the pain caused by someone, who has brought the suffering to their beloved ones. He does not blame God for this injustice, but refuses to accept it.
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