philosophy and ethics notes - all topics except war and peace and causation argument

  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 17-04-13 18:38

Design/Teleological Argument

Basic Argument: The universe is so complex and shows order and purpose and therefore it must have been designed

·         A posteriori – from experience

·         Anthropic – to do with people

·         Inductive – eg. Design qua regular;

o   Universe demonstrates regular motion

o   Universal set of rules in place

o   Someone created this set of rules

·         Analogical – eg. Paley’s watch


·         Human body must be created

·         Evidence - ‘Since the world of nature is so much better than that of humanity, the creator must be greater than humans’ – true? Cathedral vs Waterfall


·         44BC

·         De Natura Decorum

·         ‘What could be more clear…when we look up at the sky…that there is some superior intelligence?’

·         Similar to design qua regularity

Thomas Aquinas

·         Fifth way

·         ‘Everything operates as to a design. This design is from God’

·         Non- rational beings act in a way that creates best result

·         These behavious patters (eg Whales migrating) rarely change and end beneficially (esp. Salmon migrating up stream- often eaten- result not best for them but for greater purpose)

·         Premises;

o   Patterns have a purposeful goal

o   Animals are non-rational

o   Beneficial order cannot be self-explanatory as the universe is not

o    Must be something directing them

·         Premises not necessary, therefore conclusion not necessary

·         Empirical – uses evidence from world to prove what is not in this world

·         Plan or just instinct developed through evolution?

William Paley

·         1700s

·         Natural Theology

·         Design qua purpose – The watch analogy- all the parts of the watch fit together perfectly for and each has a purpose – like complex mechanisms of the human body eg. The eye, evidence of higher power – cancer? Failing eye sight? Appendix has no purpose

·         Design qua regularity – used evidence from astronomy, Newton’s laws of motion and gravity – rotation of the sun in the solar system – everything adheres to the same universal laws eg Orbit due to gravity – couldn’t be chance, evidence of an external agent imposing order

·         20th Century – Arthur Brown used astronomy and ozone layer as evidence of design

Richard Swinburne

·         ‘Science explains. God explains what science explains’

·         Universe exhibits order, benefit (volcanoes?), purpose and suitability for human life

·         Humans could not exist if

o   Sun further away

o   Axis of earth fraction % different

o   Gravity stronger/weaker

o   Temp different

·         Delicacy of universe could not be chance

·         Roles of the dice theory – infinite number of planets/universes, statistically one must be perfect

·         Self-centred – humans fit for life on earth not other way around

Modern Forms

·         Improbablilityof human evolution and the…


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