Introduction to the argument
- Teleological arguement- a posteriori argument (based on observation)
- AKA Design argument
- Observes the complexities of the world e.g. specific arrangments of the solar system- coments on purpose and regularity
- Inductive argument; (based on evidence)
- Uses analolgy; universe as a machine. Machine has specific purpose and works in regular ordered manner- as does the universe. Thus, universe-desgned like machines
- Many believe- solid argument for the existence of an ultimate deigner- God of Classical Theism.
- Four causes theory;
- Everything in the universe had four causes
- Material; what it's made from
- Formal; what gives it its shape
- Efficient; who made it
- Final cause; purpose
- Christian philosophers- everything in universe has a purpose- thus universe has been designed
Thomas Aquinas- The fifth way
- Developed Aristotle's ideas to for his thoeory of 'regularity of succession'
- Everything in the universe follows natural laws- whether consciously or not
- Natural laws-lead to certain results e.g. dropping glass will result in it falling to the floor and smashing
- T.A focused on unconscious/unthinking things in natural world- still follow natural laws
- Analogy of archer and arrow; arrow hits target despite not having a mind of its own- thus requires an archer (conscious being) to shoot it.
- Likened analogy to universe; universe couldn't have designed itself; unconscious so must have a designer that created it- Aquinas argued God
- Weaknesses of Aquinas.
Does everything follow a general law set down by a designer?
A. Flew suggests that Aquinas’ claim that things in nature are directed to some purpose goes against the available evidence.
Swinburne claims that Aquinas assumes that God imposes regularity and laws on the universe.
William Paley- Watch analogy
- Compares rock to watch; watch demonstrates- fitness for a purpose, parts work together/fit for a purpose and parts are ordered
- Compared universe to a watch
- If one saw a watch on floor, one would assume it has been put there by someone and that all the parts couldn't have just come together- far too ordered and complictaed
- Likened this to universe; as it also shows sign of Design qua Purpose (it was designed to fill a pupose) and Design qua Regulaity (it behaves according to some order)
- Therfore, universe being so intricate like a watch in its design; unreasonable to suggest it had just come about without the aid of a designer
- Paley used this reasoning; existence of a universe designer- God
- The complexity of nature is illustrated by the human eye or the rotation of the planets; which show purpose.
F.R. Tennant- anthropic principal
- Uses observations and ideas from evolutionary theories to reinforce his point.
- Big Bang and evolutionary process- means by which God was able to create the universe and move it to its current situaion- combining science and religion
- Main argument; infinite number of possible conditions that would've caused life to not exist
- e.g. if BB had been any bigger/smaller- big difference in how the world was formed- potentially not able to sustain life
- Fact that life does exist- indication of intelligent design and of a fine-tuned world- designed specifally to sustain human life
- Tennant; "the survival of the fittest presupposes the arrival of the fit" - without a planned and structured creatation- our life couldn't possibly exist/developed- giving further strength to design arguments demonstrating the aid of a designer.
Tenant and aesthetic argument
- References the concept of beauty
- World is full of beauty; humans appriciate
- Tennant observed- universe possess natrual beauty- humans can appreciate- but not remotely necessary for survival, natural selection or life; e.g. the beauty of art, music and literature.
- Natural beauty can't be explained by science; thus only logical reason for its presence is for humanity's enjoyment
- Tennant hypothesised- beauty put into the universe by God for benefit of humanity- universe created for humans and thus pointing to the idea of a creator/designer who created the universe and all its beauty.
- Both arguements challenge the theory of evolution; just happened coinscidence and evolved throught natural selection
Richard Swinburne and modern times
- Swinburne; scientific method should use the simplest explanation when possible; scientific methods cannot explain why there's deep and fundamental order in the first place.
- He argued D.A based on analogy is an arguement based on spatial order- complex structres e.g. plants.
- Believes developement of plants and order of such complexities- explained by science e.g. theory of natural selection
- Ockham's Razor; "if you have two theories that both explain the observed facts, then you should use the simplest until more evidence comes along" -William of Ockham
- Swinburn; choice of choosing D.A or the world created by chance- pick D.A. as it's the most simple of the two and doesn't raise as many questions
- Mordern support; propose by Christian apologists- intelligent design is a view that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not undireced and random process e.g. natural selection. Scientific communty- based on religious belief rather than scientific evidence- largely rejected this. Scientific concensus- life evolved.
- Penrose's calculations; the likelihood of our planet's position which makes it habitable for life is 10123 to 1- extreamly unlikely- yet that fact that it does questions the aid of a deigner according to Penrose.
- Teleologcial- stems from Greek 'telos' meaning 'end goal' or 'nature'.
- Kant; refers to it as the 'physico-theological' proof; the proof that moves from physical observations to theological conclusions.
- Technically strong argument; rests on emperically observable, verifible propositions
- Cicero presented an early version of the argument- from order and complexity, qua regularity as well as qua purpose; "when you see a sundial... tells the time by design and not by chance"
- Cleanthes; bases his beliefs about God's existence & nature upon a version of the teleologcal arguement, using evidence of design in the universe to argue for God's existence and resemblance to the human mind
- Philo asserts that human reason is wholly inadequate to make any assumptions about the divine
- Demea defends philosophical theism; existence of God- should be proven via a priori reasoning & our beliefs about the nature of God- based upon revelation and faith. Demea rejects Cleanthes' natural religion (faith based on inductive reasoning)
- Cleanthes, like Paley likens the universe to a man-mde machine and concludes by the principle that similar effects have similar causes- must have a designer.
Intelligent design arguments
- Irreducible complexity; suggest that evolution is an inadequate explanation for at least those organisms which exhibit it. Complex organisms evolved; must be possible to see how they would've functioned at stages before their present complexity was complete; difficault to suppose they evolved naturally.
- Specified complexity; a probablity argument- statisticians e.g. Dembski; some very complex, very specified organisms break the Probablity Bound- making it more likely they were designed than evolved by chance.
- Argument convincing- played an important part in becoming a Christian
- Lewis put forward Kant's 'Moral Argument'- doesn't attempt to prove God, but suggests that His existence is a sensible postluate to explain the existence of order and a universal, rational moral law which commands all human beings.
Wisdom's Parable of the Gardener
Illustrates the contraversy between the beliver and the sceptic; how God can be perceived as real, even if he is ullusive, invisable based on scientific evidence or simply faith.