Design Argument


Aim of the theory

~focuses on the search for meaning and purpose within the universe and uses evidence from design to prove the existence of a supreme creator
~Posteriori: starts from experience in the universe, attempts to prove God
~Analogical: based on watchmaker analogy, according to Paley and makess comparisons with the world and its parts

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Origins - Socrates

~Things in nature seem to be well designed and work very well
~Argued the adaptation of human parts to one another eg eyelids protecting eyeballs could not be down to chance and is a sign of wise planning in the universe
~This must be the result of someone thinking this design out (God)
~"With such signs of forethought in the design of living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of chance or design"
~The world has been created for the benefit of humans, the very notion we can find pleasure andhappiness in creation point out that not only was the world created BUT also the creator had a special concern for humans

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Origins - Aquinas

Teleological argument found in his fifth way:

1. All natural occurrences show evidence of design

2. This suggest that there is a being that directs all things

3. Things that lack knowledge cannot achieve anything unless directed by a thing with knowledge

4. There is therefore an intelligent being that directs everyone towards a purpose

5. For Aquinas, that being is God

"Therefore some intelligent being exists whom all natural things are directed to; and this being we call God"

Summary - everything in nature relates back to God. He refers to this a design qua regularlity - rotation of the planet

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Main Person - Paley

His example: the watch-
~Shows clear evidence of design. Something so complicated and with evidence of regularity would not be on the earth by chance
~Similar design features occur in the universe. We shouldn't assume they are down to chance but the designer must be greater

2 parts of Paleys argument:
1. Design Qua Purpose - the universe was designed to fulfil a purpose
2. Design Qua Regularity - the universe behaves according to some order

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Reformulation - FR Tennant 1/2

~Starts at a different point to previous scholars. Starts by looking at beauty in the universe "saturated with beauty"
~Beauty is held to have no survival value. The facility to appreciate beauty in all humans, is a pointer towards Gos implanted in human beings to make them indirectly aware of his presence
~"beauty seems to be superflurous and to have little survival value"
~This is also known as the aesthetic principle

Anthropic principle:
~This theory concentrates on humanities existence and our physical makeup
~Since 20th and 21st centuries discovered that the world is as it is because of a small number of physical constants, which have determined the way it has developed. If any of them were different, even by the smallest degree, the universe would not have developed as it has.
~Physical matter gathers together in galaxies, stars and planets because of gravity. The gravity bale is perfect for us to be able to survive. Therefore, the universe has been so 'finely tuned' it could not have been a matter of chance. Humans could only survive in this kind of universe.

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Reformulation - FR Tennant 2/2

Anthropic principle comes in two forms:
1. WEAK - argues that if the world was any different, we would not be here
2. STRONG - argues that the world had to be as it is in order for us to be here. There must have been some built in factor which made the development of human life inevitable. This is more similar to the traditional arguments from design.

Although Tennat didn't directly refer to the anthropic principle in his works, we can sum up his argument in 3 pieces of evidence:
1. The world in which we live in provides precisely the things that are necessary for us to live in
2. We can observe the world we live in and it allows itself to be rationally analysed so we can figure out how it works
3. Evolution has led to intelligent life, so intelligent, we can now observe that natural world in which we live in

Summary - natural evidence - evolution is true and for it to produce intelligent life it is highly probable God exists and guides it

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Modern Scholar - Swinburne 1/2

~Swinburne was a modern advocate of the DA, he believed that Aquinas version was the stronger of the arguments as it referred to temporal order by this he means laws of nature. He said nature is governed by natural laws and seem to conform some formula, which God created. A scientific explanation cannot account for this regularly.

What does he dislike about Paleys argument?
~Swinburne argued that the design argument based on analogy is an Armenian based on spatial order, by this he means the complex structures of objects like plants.
~Swinburne believed the order of such complexity can be explained by science and so does not require the introduction if God and is therefore the less comvincing of arguments.

Why does Swinburne disagree with Tennant?
~Swinbune is trying to emphasis that the anthropic principle does not explain why things are just right for us. All it does it point out how 'fine tuned' the universe is. It is still amazing and therefore demands an explanation

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Modern Scholar - Swinburne 2/2

What is Swinburnes argument of probability?
~Nature is governed by the 'regularities of succession' (or laws of nature)
~Could easily have been chaotic
~Must be a designer rather than chance
~Simplest explanation is GOD, he is "compatible with the system, (because he) lie within narrow limits"
~So "the most simplest account of this, is to refer it to s designer account"

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Strength 1 - Science - S.Hawkings

~Researcg so is reliable as research supports it
~Science shows that the anthropic principle is correct
~supports FR Tennant
~Evolution is complex it shows design of those fought so must be God

Summary - Science supports the argument

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Strength 2 - Leap of faith - Peter Vardy

~Supporrs Swinburne - high chance of the designer being God
~Allows us to make the leap of faith

Summary - if you weren't sure to believe the designer as God, you would be by this point as you're more likely to believe in God after this argument

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Strength 3 - Complexity - Michael Behe

~Behe came to believe that there was evidence at a biochemical level, that there were suet de that were "irreducibly complex"
~They must have been created by an "intelligent designer"
~They couldn't have just arisen by chance, they must have been designed for the purpose they fulfil

Summary - intelligent designer just be behind these creations as so complex

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Strength 4 - Purpose - Leibniz

~Purpose would suggest design eg the watch works to tell the time
~Shows the complexity of nature is for a reason
~"...sufficient reason"

Summary - if there's a reason behind it there must be a God behind it

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Weakness 1 - Hume

"This world, for all he knows, is very faulty and imperfect, compared to a superior standard; and was only the first rude essay of some infant deity who afterwards abandoned it" the world was just Gods draft it's not perfect

1. Knowledge
~No knowledge of the point of creation - criticises Posteriori. Limited experience to conclude God

2. Watch = poor example
~Analogy made between watch and the universe is weak
~Even if we do see order in the world it dos not enable us to leap to the divine ordered - could come from anywhere

3. God of classical theism? Omni's
~God by definition is loving
~Natural evil is the result of Gos
~Designer of evil

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Weakness 2 - Darwin

~The world started of chaotic - we adapted to be better - doesn't suggest design but suggests adaptation
~"...To improve fleetness of his greater greyhound by careful and methodical selection"

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Weakness 3 - Dawkins

~Any design maybe chance
~World has faults - natural disasters
~God is the blind watch maker
~"if it can be said to play the role of the blind watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker"

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Weakness 4 - Mill

~Do not see a perfect world when we look at the universe
~Suggested that if we look at the world and the rules which govern it then we see cutely and unnecessary violence
~ So if the world was designed by a loving creator God then why inflict cruelty on others and wgt make nature one of the biggest cruelties to be caused on others through natural disasters

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