Philosophy 09.23.09 Argument from design ?teleological argument? -Telos (Greek): end or purpose -Teleological: Study of evidences of design in nature The fact or character attributed to nature or natural processes of being directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose Use of design or purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena -Basic version: Universe, especially living things, show a complex order & organization Most reasonable (only?) way to account for this order & organization is that it was brought about by an intelligent designer (creator) This intelligent creator/designer is god (as we described earlier) Inference to the best explanation (Paley) Argument by analogy (or induction) ? from ?the parts of the whole? or ?similarity? (Hume) Inference to the best explanation -Inference to the best explanation: accept that hypothesis among alternatives that best accounts for the evidence William Paley -1743-1805 -English, Anglican priest -Wrote ?Natural Theology: or Evidence of the Existence & Attributes?etc? -Paley?s example: how did this rock get here? Rock isn?t complex, doesn?t have order/organization. How did this watch come about? All intricate parts all put together perfectly. Watch also has purpose, rock doesn?t. Paley?s argument In case of watch, or picture the most reasonable (justified) explanation is assuming that an intelligent being (i.e. watchmaker/painter) made it. Universe exhibits intricate order & organization, even more complex than watch/painting Therefore, the most reasonable (justified) claim/explanation (although we didn?t see it happen) is that universe is due to an intelligent creator and is made by design Inference to best explanation -Question: is an intelligent creator the (only) best explanation of the complex order & organization found in the universe? Objections -Question: Unlike the watch, we have no knowledge of the maker of the natural organisms - Answer: I can directly draw the conclusion from the structure and interdependence of the parts of the watch & that it had an intelligent designer, I have no need for independent evidence of any maker. -Counter-objection: a ?universe-maker? is beyond the bounds of possible experience. Watchmaker/universe-maker disanalogy is substantial -Question: watch (universe) doesn?t work perfectly; designer isn?t evident -Answer: a complex thing doesn?t need to be perfect to show that it?s designed for a particular purpose -Counter-objection: given natural disasters & non-moral evil in the world, it would seem to indicate that the designer is not all good or not all-powerful. The problem of evil is an important consideration in the qualities of the maker -Objection: some parts of the watch (universe) have no obvious function, or do not serve the function of the whole -Answer: simply because we don?t know the function of the parts doesn?t imply that there isn?t a function. Design is evident from the rest of the watch (the universe). -Counter-objection: answer assumes that because it hasn?t been shown that its false that it has a purpose, it must have a purpose, but the fact that something has not been proved, could also show that no conclusion can be drawn. -Objection: there are other possible structures which could serve the same purpose: universe?s structure is the result of chance. -Answer: design can?t be a result of chance; no person in his senses could believe this -Counter-objection: Paley?s response is uncalled for. Its nature of the human mind to impose order on things whether or not order is present. -Objection: there?s a law or principle that disposed the watch (universe) to be in that form -Answer: existence of a law presupposes a lawgiver with the power to enforce the law. The principle cannot cause the watch (universe) to exist. -Counter-objection: Paley confuses descriptive law with prescriptive law Prescriptive law does imply a lawgiver and prescriptive laws can be broken (ex. Speed limits, rules of behavior) Descriptive laws don?t imply a lawgiver & can?t be broken (one exception disproves the law: gravity, F=MA) -Objection: order & structure merely causes our mind to think of a designer -Answer: design is evident to an impartial person -Counter-objection: again, nature of mind to see relationships & impose order -Objection: maybe it?s just made by the laws of (biological) nature -Answer: laws require an agent which acts according to them. Laws themselves are just the order according to which a force operates. (Law of gravity doesn?t make a body fall; body falls in accord with law of gravity) -Counter-objection: Paley confuses descriptive & prescriptive -Objection: you don?t know enough biology to understand -Answer: all you need to know is parts work together in order to serve a certain end ? the end of maintaining life ? to understand that living beings must have been crested by an intelligent designer -Counter-objection: again, answer assumes that because it hasn?t been shown that it?s false that it has a purpose, it must have a purpose, but the fact that something hasn?t been proved, could also show that no conclusion can be drawn
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