The teleological argument (or the “argument from design”) is an argument for God’s existence based on the belief that the complexity in the universe argues for a creator. The title “teleological” comes from the Greek word telos which means “purpose” or “design.” The teleological argument goes like this: The universe and its contents evidence great complexity. Since great complexities such as the human body and the movements in our solar system cannot happen by random chance, some powerful and intelligent being must have created the universe. This divine architect is God.
One modern proponent of the teleological argument was William Paley (1743-1805) who used the analogy of a watch to promote the view that God created the world. According to Paley, just as a watch implies the existence of a watchmaker, the function and complexity of the universe implies that there is a universe-maker.
Some believe that David Hume seriously damaged the validity of the teleological argument when he challenged traditional views concerning cause and effect. There have been three traditional responses to the teleological argument. First, some say the teleological argument is guilty of a “weak analogy” because it assumes a significant resemblance between natural objects (ex. rocks, trees) and objects we know have been designed (ex. watches, skyscrapers). Second, some say that the theories of the big bang and evolution better explain the complexities in the universe. Third, some say that even if the teleological argument is true, it does not prove the existence of the Christian God.
Nevertheless, the teleological argument has many proponents and is still considered to be one of the strong natural evidences for the existence of God.