Philosophy - Design Argument

Design Argument

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  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 25-05-08 11:49

Design Argument

> A Posteriori

> Inductive - based on the idea that the universe displays rules and regularity

> Aquinas' Fifth Way - God is the designer of all things

> There is beneficial order in the universe, this is too meticulous to have happened by chance

> Many objects lack the intelligence to work towards a purpse, so something must be driving them to do so

> God exists as an explanation for beneficial order

> Empirical - draws premises from experience and observence ofnature

> Could be argued order is down to chance, He is limited as His premises aren't 'necessary' premises

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Key Features

- Order: Everything behaves in a regular way + according to scientific laws

- Benefit: The universe provides everything that is necessary for life

- Purpose: Objects within the universe are geared to fulfil a function

- Suitability for human life:Order exhibitedis theideal environment for human life

- Appearance: Shows beauty which is superfluous to survival

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Paley's Argument From Analogy

~ The world is like a machine - intricate parts working towards an ultimate benefit

~ Watch used as an analogy for the world - demonstrates purpose, design, telos

~ Paley didn't suggest a perfect world, yet without seeing a watch before we can deduce it has been designed

~ Like causes presume like effects - what is true of human designers can be of God

~ Swinburne supported this; 'The analogy of animals to complex machines is correct, it's conclusion justified'

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> Proof of intelligent design is in adaptation - birds have wings to fly etc

> Similar to Paley's interpretation of proof - camera with a lens is as the eye

> Intelligence + logic in the world - similar events occur, universal fixed natural laws, more likely to be the result of a purposeful designer than chance

> Organisms 'ready made' by God, evolution compatible with teleology; 'variation amongst species may be...divinely controlled' - God controls evolution

> If it is unlikely someone will roll 6 100 times, it is unlikely the universe was chance

> Beauty is subjective but everyone can see it in our world

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F R Tennant's Argument From Aesthetics

~ 'The world is compatible with a single throw of the dice and common sense is not foolish in suspecting the dice to have been loaded'

~Humans possess the ability to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings which is unnecessary for survival

~ This suggests a personal designer concerned with His creation surpassing survival

~ Universe isn't 'chaotic' - considerable order shows design

~ Evolution is a culmination of God's plan - theism is more probable than any other attempted explanation of the universe

~ 'Beauty seems to be superfluous and to have little survival value'

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Anthropic Principle

> Asserts the cosmos is designed for human life

> Put forward by Tennant 1930, argued there are 3 types of natural evidence in the world pointing to a divine designer:

^ The world can be analysed in a rational manner

^ The inorganic world has provided basic necessities required to sustain human life

^ Progress of evolution towards the emergence of intelligent human life

> Tennant maintained a chaotic universe would be unintelligible

> Chance is impossible - intelligent design for humanity to prosper, God's handicraft

> Theists argue scientific processes alone are insufficient in explaining how evolution led to the perfectly balanced natural order

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Swinburne's Form of the Teleological Argument

: Examples of regularity in the universe - day + night, rotation of the earth etc

: 'All the regularity in nature would be due to the action of a postulated God'

: 18th century thinkers - 'regularities of co-presence' - coherent, subtle order

: Likened the universe to a machine made by rational agents, God on greater scale

: 'Regularities of succession' - simple behavioural patterns of objects; 'A universe in which regularities of succession are all pervasive'

: Argument from probability + providence; strengthen the idea of God's existence

: Based onremarkable degree of order, increased probability of design; existence, order, consciousness, human abilityto do good, miracles, religious experience

: Everything in the universe is necessary for survival yet everything can develop

: Science can explain what but not why things happen, God's existence is more probable than His non existence

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Teleology and God's Character

> Swinburne argues He never acts without reason, will only do things to create good

> There are 2 reasons why human beings produce order:

: Chaos is ugly - there is beauty in the pattern of things

: When there is order it can be channelled to achieve a purpose

> Swinburne uses the example of hitting objects which break, heating them to melt - man can discover such properties and make beneficial things

> God has good reason to make an orderly universe if any at all

> Brian Davies asserts if the universe shows order, its cause is somehow knowledegeable + conscious

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Hume's Rejection of the Design Argument

~ 'When we infer any particular cause for an effect, we must proportion one to the other'. House being built; we can see its construction unlike the universe

~ To say God is responsible for designing the universe goes beyond the evidence

~ Qualities given to God of classical theism unnecessary - timeless, self sufficient etc

~ Argument can't support asingle deity of infinite capacity with benevolent creation

~ Analogical argument compares what we know to what we know nothing of, the weaker the similarity, the argument is too. Analogy makes God seem 'more human than divine' - man made objects can't prove God's qualities

~ Analogies lead to anamoral God - more plausible

~ Draws upon Epicurean hypothesis the world is a result of chance

~ 'Design faults' e.g. natural disasters show disorder - dysteleological

~ Universe could have been the result of a blind cosmic accident

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Responses to Hume

> Hume fails to explain the considerable regularity in the universe

> The heart of Swinburne's argument is the universe behaves in predictable ways

> Natural disasters can be attributed to God's plan

> It is reasonable to account for universal order with reference to an external and intelligent cause

> Brian Davies argues there is no definitive or conclusive evidence to rule out divine activity

> Paul Davies argued that there is a reason for the organisation of the universe and that 'someone' designed it. 'Science deals with the facts of the world, religion deals with the interpretation of those facts'

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- 'Origin of the Species' 1859, challenged traditional Christian beliefs about creation

- Natural selection the mechanism of evolutionary change, adaptation and development

- Darwin provided an explanation for the world's origins without biblical reference

- Dawkins argues that the variations in the world are caused by 'random mistakes'

- He states natural selection gives the 'appearance of design', wrongly leading people to believe that there is a designer

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> Even Hume concedes 'A purpose, an intention, a design strikes everywhere the most stupid thinker'

> Hymns in accordance; 'all things wise and wonderful the Lord God made them all'

> Few could argue the world isn't orderly, beautiful etc, evidence from natural world

> Scientific explanations can be compatible as God may have caused them

> Success of science showing deep order provides possibility of a deeper cause

> Based on experience; not unreasonable to conclude that things are brought about by an intelligent and conscious designer

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