Design Argument

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  • Created by: Zay_
  • Created on: 27-04-16 16:21

Design Argument

  • Universe has order, purpose and reason
  • Complexity of the universe shows evidence of design
  • Such design implies a designer
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Aquinas - Design qua regularity

  • Look at the natural world, can see that everything in it follows natural laws even if things are not conscious
  • If things follow natural law, they tend to do well and have an end goal/purpose (telos)
  • If a thing cannot think for itself, it does not have an end goal/purpose unless it is directed by something that thinks
  • Take a bow and arrow for example, it an only be directed to its goal and used for its purpose by someone - an archer.
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Paley - Design qua purpose

P1 - there are objects in the natural world which are complicated

P2 - from our experience, complicated things need a designer e.g. a watch

C1 - therefore, it seems that natural things which are complex need a designer, could not have occurred natutally.

C2 - this designer must be outside of the complexity of the universe (God)

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Tennant - Anthropic Principle

  • The world appears to be built with humans in mind 

1) The world seems to have given humans precisely what we need to exist e.g. crops for food, day and night.

2) Seems to be designed with us in mind

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Tennant - Aesthetic Principle

  • The natural beauty in the world is so gratuitous in some instances, that it is more than is needed for basic human survival
  • Conditions for the Big Bang could have been brought about by God. These fundamental conditions e.g. gravity seem to be designed with humans in mind.
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  • The very success of science in showing us how deeply orderly the natural world is, provides strong grounds for believeing that there is an even deeper cause of that order.
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Cressy Morrison

  • The world is too unlikely to be how it is today
  • It is not probable that the world just came about how it is
  • It is more probable that there is someone behind it all
  • 10 pennies.
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1) Unsound analogy - you cannot compare nature and man-made objects, they are very parallel

2) Cause must be proportional to effect - what is made must reflect the maker - a limited and impoerfect world leads to a limited and imperfect designer

3) If there wasnt some kind of design, we wouldn't have anything to look at - the only time you can see design is if you are in the situation

4) Well if humans need a designer ... - it equally implies that God, or natures designer as well by the same argument. this creates an infinite regression of designers.

5) There are no sound analogies - you cannot use analogical arguments to talk about the universe because nothing compares with it. it isn't 'like' anything else. 

6) Other possible explanations - logical to say it was luck - you do not know if intelligent being exists however we know luck exists.

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AJ Ayer

  • It is ridiculous to talk of an ordered universe because a universe can only exist if it is ordered
  • Is there any point to this argument?
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  • Evolution seems to show that the world has 'design' in a way, but not the way Paley describes in his watch analogy
  • If we can show that apparent design comes from a natural random process, we do not need to jump to the supernatural ('God did it')
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  • Natural processes create complicated entities, that look as if they were designed. However, they are just part of a process that makes all living things constantly change to survive.
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  • Little things do not need design, it is only the fundamental laws that need design e.g. gravity
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