Natural Theology

Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity

by William Paley

Natural Theology is an 1802 work by British clergyman William Paley. It is perhaps the first major work on intelligent design by a Christian author.  The book explains arguments from nature and theology, making a teleological argument for the existence of God. Paley begins his famous work with the well known watchmaker analogy.

The book contains several intelligent design arguments constructed around a set of examples including finding a watch; the similarities of an eye to a telescope; and the existence of finely designed mechanical structures in animals, such as joints which function like hinges or manmade ball and socket joints. The author reasons that these all demonstrate a super-intelligent Creator. The last chapters expand on his theological observations, arguing that the attributes of God must be as great as extent the of his operations, and that God must be morally good because observed designs seen in nature are beneficial.

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