Paley, William


(July 1743 - 25 May 1805) British philosopher who sought to present a rational basis for the Christian faith. He is best remembered for his last book, Natural Theology; or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, which was published in 1802. This work argues that God's design of the world is proven by the general happiness and well-being evident in the physical and social order of the world. He developed the now infamous "watchmaker analogy," in which he argues that just as one can infer the existence of a watchmaker from a watch, one can infer the existence of a creator from the existence of the world.

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