A Reassessment of the Cosmological and Teleological Arguments for the Existence of God

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) (which attempts to demonstrate that the universe has a First Cause) and the Teleological Argument (which attempts to demonstrate that the universe has a designer) are two of the most widely discussed arguments in contemporary scholarly discussions in philosophy of religion. This project aims to expose the weaknesses in recent assessments by their proponents and opponents, to offer a more compelling evaluation of alternative explanations, and to examine whether both arguments can be integrated in such a way that both are strengthened.

Concerning the Teleological Argument, many scientists and philosophers have argued that the fact that the existence of life in the universe is delicately dependent on various of its fundamental characteristics is evidence for a Designer. Critics object that there could be alternative hypotheses which have yet to be considered. I plan to contribute to the discussion by making the argument more rigorous in its consideration of alternative hypotheses than current versions by Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne and others. This is accomplished through devising an original deductive argument which demonstrates that the following are the only possible categories of hypotheses: (i) Chance, (ii) Regularity, (iii) Combinations of Regularity and Chance, (iv) Uncaused, and (v) Design.

I shall collate a large variety of hypotheses in the literature and classify and evaluate them in accordance with their essential characteristics within the above mentioned categories. In particular, I shall compare and evaluate the hypotheses of an uncaused universe with that of an uncaused Designer by utilizing my previous monograph on KCA, and I shall examine the objections which have been raised since the publication of my monograph on this argument. I shall assess whether KCA can be used to strengthen the Teleological Argument by answering the question ‘Who designed the Designer’ through demonstrating that there is a beginningless and hence undesigned First Cause with free will. I shall also assess whether the Teleological Argument can be used to strengthen KCA by providing considerations for thinking that the First Cause brought about the first event intelligently rather than accidentally. In addition, I shall examine the usefulness of my approach for responding to David Hume’s classic objections to the Teleological Argument, and contemporary critics’ objections concerning the range of explanatory latitude. The project aims to produce two commissioned articles, one monograph, and a proposal for external research funding, and to promote interfaith dialogue and the dialogue between philosophers and scientists.
Effective start/end date1/09/1928/02/22


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