This is part two of a four part series of articles on the ‘evidences’ of the existence of God. They aren’t intended to help you win an argument with an unbeliever about the existence of our God, rather they are intended to describe what is considered the ‘basic views’ which point to the existence of a god. Unless you start with the point of view of belief in the God of the Bible, you will never lead someone to an understanding that includes Him, you will simply lead them to deism.
What is teleology?
Often times, when trying to explain more complex concepts, I find myself struggling to start the article. I’ll type a few lines, realize that they have the coherency of a two month old, delete everything, and start over – it’s taken me more than an hour before just to get a paragraph written with even a modicum of readability. In all of this starting and stopping, writing and rewriting, though, I’m shaping the thoughts in my mind, forming them toward their purpose – their end is to become an article that explains a concept, and they will eventually arrive at that point… and that’s almost a decent explanation of teleology.
Telos, the greek word that’s at the root of teleology, means “end, purpose.” In teleology, it is argued, since the universe seems to have some purpose, some design, then it must have been created, for to have a purpose, requires one to give it purpose; something can’t be designed without also having a designer. The argument as a whole is somewhat of an extension of the cosmological argument, in that it relies heavily on the observation of “existence, therefore God,” however, it extends it somewhat to include the idea that, due to the apparent evidence of intelligent design, it must have been designed. Without some form of design, we would be left with chaos, and since we do not live in an environment that is full of chaos, the universe, at the very least, must have been designed by someone.
Teleology forms much of the basis of certain aspects of deism; that God created the universe, stepped back, and watched, or that He simply set things in motion, and then left to move on to other things that interested Him more. In more evangelical and reformed circles, however, it’s seen as simply another aspect of the universe that points back to God.
Do you take issue with this argument? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below! Next, we will be looking into the ontological argument for the existence of God.