Hume and the Teleological Argument.

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In what book did Hume produce his detailed teleological argument?
Dialogues concerning natural religion (1979).
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What fictional character of Hume's discussed his views of design?
Cleanthes.
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What did Cleanthes state about design?
Every aspect of the natural world bears the marks of apparent design and fits together like a machine.
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What is the example provided by Cleanthes to show apparent design?
The human eye is perfectly suited to seeing due to the lens, cornea and retina which seem to have been thought up superior intelligence.
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Why was the human eye designed by a being with greater intelligence?
The design and construction of the eye is more skilful than anything that could have been done with human hands. The creator must have has intelligence in proportion to the magnitude and grandeur of his work.
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What is the intelligent being that designed the human eye?
The God of classical theism (omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and omnibenevolent).
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Who was the other character created by Hume to criticise Cleanthes?
Philo.
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What did Philo state in his criticisms?
To use an analogy properly the two things compared must be similar.
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Give Philo's example which explains his criticisms.
If you looked at a house you may conclude that a builder or architect designed it for a purpose and it shows evidence of design. You cannot compare this to the Universe as there are no points of comparison. We also don't have enough experience of it.
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How can the example of the house and Universe be compared to a designer?
When God is compared to a human designer we limit God to a less than perfect being (like humans are). Humans make things together and we would have to assume the Universe was made by many Gods.
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What other theory does Philo get close to suggesting?
Darwin's theory of evolution (natural selection).
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How does Philo get close to suggesting natural selection?
Animals which are not adapted to their surroundings, will simply die and therefore the apparent design in the animal kingdom exists due to the sheer need for survival.
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What is the other theory that Philo toys with?
That the Universe is actually being spun from the abdomen of a gigantic spider.
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Explain Philo's theory of the Universe being spun from the abdomen of a gigantic spider.
Apparent order and design do not necessarily point to an intelligent brain. Webs are spun with order and design but are not created with brain power, they are created by abdomen power.
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What does Philo mean with his theory of the Universe bieng spun from the abdomen of a gigantic spider?
In a world dominated by spiders, it would be just as likely that they would think of their God as spinning webs as we would of God having human-like thought.
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What is Hume's view on evil?
The existence of evil seriously undermines the likelihood of a loving God.
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How does Hume's view on evil relate to God?
The design argument doesn't point to the God of classical theism. Even if the design argument is valid, it may have been by a lesser or apprentice God.
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What did Hume think that this world might be?
This world might have been one of many failed experiments in design by such an apprentice God.
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What did Hume also have sympathies with?
The Epicurean Hypothesis.
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What does the Epicurean Hypothesis state?
Initially the Universe was chaotic but the huge amount of time that the Universe has existed has resulted in natural forces eventually calming down and ordering themselves into some kind of system giving us the illusion of design.
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Card 2

Front

What fictional character of Hume's discussed his views of design?

Back

Cleanthes.

Card 3

Front

What did Cleanthes state about design?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the example provided by Cleanthes to show apparent design?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why was the human eye designed by a being with greater intelligence?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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