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Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for GodThe Plantinga Project$
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Jerry L. Walls and Trent Dougherty

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190842215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190842215.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

The Naïve Teleological Argument

The Naïve Teleological Argument

An Argument from Design for Ordinary People

(F) The Naïve Teleological Argument
Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God

C. Stephen Evans

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers an argument from design, meant for those without a technical scientific background, and based on Thomas Reid’s concept of natural signs. For Reid, sensations function as natural signs in perception when some object in the world causes sensations, on the basis of which one is disposed to form beliefs and concepts about those objects. This establishes direct, non-inferential knowledge of what we perceive. If God exists, it is plausible that He would make himself known by means of natural signs. One kind of natural sign would be the perceived design in nature. According to both externalist and internalist accounts of knowledge, natural signs of God offer justification for a person to believe in God. The justification could be non-inferential but the sign could also be the basis of an argument of the type explained in this chapter. The chapter ends by responding to an objection from evolution against apparent design.

Keywords:   argument from design, Thomas Reid, evolution, perception, natural signs, justification

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