The Design Argument

The Design/Teleological Argument in the forms of an analogical argument and anthropic principle, as well as criticisms from: Charles Darwin, John Stuart Mill, David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and also counter criticisms.

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  • The Design Argument
    • Anthropic Principle
      • Doesn't present God in an anthropomorphic light.
      • Scientific chances of life developing on earth were millions to one.
      • Human intelligibility must reflect the intelligibility of our creator.
      • Tennant supports: "Nature is meaningless and valueless without God behind it."
      • At the start of the Big Bang, fluctuations occurred, forming stars and galaxies. These fluctuations were the fine tuning of potential happenings.
        • This shows a cumulative nature of design.
        • Although the universe was billions of years old before life appeared on it, it was 'pregnant with possibility from the beginning.'
      • The universe is not too flexible, or too fixed, allowing for evolution to occur.
    • Analogical Argument
      • The formation of a watch or the universe is too intricate for either not to have a designer.
      • Both have order, purpose and regularity, They have been 'formed and adjusted' to create motion.
        • On the other hand, a 'stone on a heath' does not.
      • The universe has order - it is impossible to have order without design.
      • Although we may not be able to comprehend the design process of a watch, or the universe, this does not deny a creator.
    • Darwin's criticism
      • He agreed with Paley that the universe has order, but disagreed that this automatically also assumes design.
      • Evolution has caused animals and plants to develop over years through Natural Selection.
        • This means that at the beginning of species' existence, animals and plants had simple molecular forms that have evolved over time to their now complex states.
      • COUNTER CRITICISM: Tennant argues that evolution is consistent with design arguments as even evolution has a purpose: survival of the fittest.
    • Mill's criticism
      • Accuses nature of criminality. Nature's 'crimes' rule out order.
        • Therefore, design must also be ruled out.
      • There is more suffering than good in the world, so the creator must have wanted to inflict misery.
        • God cannot be omnibenevolent and therefore cannot be the classical concept of God.
      • COUNTER CRITICISM: It is ridiculous to accuse nature of crime.
        • COUNTER CRITICISM:  It is debatable whether there is more suffering than good, especially when we cannot define what 'good' means.
    • Hume's criticism
      • Although design arguments convincingly suggest a designer, this does not mean that the creator was God.
      • Just because there are examples of order in the universe, this does not mean that the whole universe is ordered.
      • If there is a designer, then who designed the designer? Could there be multiple designers?
      • The Epicurean Hypothesis supports.
        • The universe is made up of particles that move in random motion, only natural forces can order these particles.
          • Chance is more likely than a designer.
    • Kant's criticism
      • Order of the universe does not have to be independent of the human mind
      • Humans may have created order as a mindset to order experiences, creating a clearer understanding of the world.
      • COUNTER CRITICISM: We cannot compare how we perceive order to  a reality that we have no experience of.
      • COUNTER CRITICISM: Stating that there is no order is actually inflicting order.
      • COUNTER CRITICISM: We don't give items order, we discover order e.g. "A cell has a nucleus."


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