The teleological argument/ The design argument

Jason Edwards-Suarez
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Jason Edwards-Suarez
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The teleological argument/ The design argument
  1. Simply put, The Universe is so complex that it must have been designed. That designer is God
    1. Socrates "With such signs of forethought in the design of living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of design?"
      1. Cicero "What could be more obvious when we look up to contemplate the heavens, that there is some divinity or inteligence?"
        1. Psalm 19 "The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands"
          1. Richard Dawkins "One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the complex improbable appearance of design in the Universe arises
          2. Criticisms
            1. David Hume
              1. The possibility that the Universe was designed does not mean that the Universe was designed by God. This world is imperfect and full of misery which doesn't point towards and all loving and all powerful God (problem of evil)
                1. No evidence to disprove that the Universe could be the work of pure chance
                  1. A machine requires a designer whereas a plant doesn't. The Universe is not like a machine thus doesn't require a designer.
                    1. More comparable to the rock than the watch
                  2. John Stuart Mill "Nearly all the things which men are hanged or imprisoned for doing to one another are nature's everyday performances. “Even the love of 'order' which is thought to be a following of the ways of nature is in fact a contradiction of them. All which people are accustomed to deprecate as 'disorder' and its consequences is precisely a counterpart of nature's ways. He believed that the existence of so much suffering in the world could mean one of two things: Either God is not Good Or God is limited in some way (i.e. God is not omnipotent)
                    1. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution states that over the course of millions of years life adapts to its environment by process of random mutation. This we can tell by the tests done of the Galapagos islands by Darwin himself. This theory defeats the teleological argument as it suggests that rather than a designer making everything the way it is, everything came to be by chance. The Universe may be a complete mess however after billions of years plants and animals have adapted and evolved to the world they live in resulting in the world we see today.
                      1. Supported by Richard Dawkins in his writing, The Blind Watchmaker, Genetic mutation takes place when damage occurs to genetic information stored in DNA molecules. Where this mutation promotes the chances of survival, the carrier is able to pass on the mutation to its offspring. Where the mutation is not beneficial, the carrier has less chance to pass it on. These changes are entirely random and not designed.
                        1. Swinburne begins by distinguishing between spatial and temporal order. ‘Spatial order’ is the subject of Paley’s argument – how parts are fitted together in an orderly way by a designer. Swinburne regards this argument as defeated by Darwinism.
                          1. Swinburne claims that scientists are able to define laws, say how they work, and discover new ones. However, what scientists may never do is find a basis for the most fundamental laws in the first place.
                        2. Epicurus- Order can come from Chaos so while it may seem at the moment that the Universe is ordered it may not always have been that way. Does a chaotic universe point to a designer?
                          1. Ockham's razor
                            1. Simplest answer is often correct
                              1. Researchers should avoid 'stacking' information to prove a theory if a simpler explanation fits the observations. Occam's razor is the process of paring down information to make finding the truth easier.
                                1. Why should we believe in God when it is simpler to assume the Universe "popped into existence"
                              2. William Paley
                                1. The analogy of the watch on the heath
                                  1. Paley asks us to imagine that we are walking on a heath, where we trip on a rock. Next to the rock we can see a watch lying on the floor. When we look at the rock we can see that it serves no purpose and has no complexity to it, thus it could have occurred by chance. The watch however is made up of an assortment of different parts which are each made of different materials. The watch is a complex object so we know it has a designer and cannot have occurred naturally by random chance.
                                    1. From the watch Paley then moves onto to compare it to a human eye saying that the eye is also a complex object and thus has a designer. Paley then goes further to say that the Universe is a complex thing and thus it too has a designer.
                                      1. Some people would argue that making the jump from an eye to the Universe it too big and thus can't really be used as a definitive argument
                                        1. Premise 1: The watch could not have come about by accident (unlike a rock or stone)
                                          1. Premise 2:The existence of the watch is proof of a watchmaker
                                            1. Premise 3: The universe is intricate in its design (e.g. molecular structure of ice, the position of the Earth from the Sun…etc.)
                                              1. Premise 5: The universe could not come about by accident
                                                1. Conclusion: The universe itself is proof of an intelligent designer
                                                  1. God
                                        2. William Paley defined a complex thing as something which fits 5 criteria
                                          1. Specific materials
                                            1. The materials used cannot be changed in order to function properly. For example a watch needs to made of metal or the cogs wouldnt work effectively with the battery and the glass pane needs to be glass or you wouldnt be able to see the time while protecting the machinery of the watch.
                                            2. Several parts
                                              1. Cannot just be one thing e.g. a rock. Must be made of a number of parts to become one thing. For example a watch has cogs, hands and a strap of some sort.
                                              2. Works for a purpose or goal
                                                1. Does it have a purpose which it aims to achieve. For example a watch's purpose is to tell the time.
                                                2. Regular motion
                                                  1. Is it constantly fulfilling its purpose. For example a watch is constantly turning and telling the time.
                                                  2. Indispensable parts
                                                    1. If any of the parts of the object were different the object would not fit its purpose. For example if you replaced the cogs of a watch with a shoe it wouldnt work because, well its a shoe.
                                              3. Design qua Regularity
                                                1. The argument that the Universe appears to behave according to some order or rule e.g. Newton’s laws of motion, Keplar’s three laws of planetary motion – points to a mechanical universe.
                                                2. "The marks of a designer are too strong. Design must have a designer and that designer must be God"
                                                3. The Anthropic Principle
                                                  1. Cosmic fine-tuning
                                                    1. Stephen Hawkins "the remarkable fact is that the Universe seems to be very finely adjusted for our existence"
                                                    2. Fred Tennant
                                                      1. The Goldilocks enigma
                                                        1. Paul Davies
                                                          1. If the big bang had been stronger/weaker by one part in 10 to the power 60 then the result would be an unhinhabitable universe or no universe at all.
                                                            1. The probability of the Universe developing as it is by chance is 1 times 10 to the power -60, or 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 (60 zeros)
                                                              1. Then the probability of the Universe happening not by chance is 0.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 (60 nines)
                                                                1. If the only alternative to the Universe occurring by chance is the Universe occurring by design, then there is a 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% chance that the Universe was created by design
                                                                  1. "The Universe is just right for life"
                                                                    1. Whilst this may seem like almost definitive proof that the Universe was created by design the popular multiverse theory defeats this argument. The multiverse theory states that there is an infinite number of Universes so whilst the probability of the Universe occurring as it has may seem extremely low, when you account for the infinite number of Universes that probability suddenly becomes nearlly inevitable.
                                                            2. St Thomas Aquinas
                                                              1. "The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that they achieve their end, not fortuitously, but designedly. Now whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is directed by the archer. Therefore, some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God." —St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica: Article 3,
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