Flashcards in The teleological (Design) argument Deck (42)
What are the anthropic constants?
1. The universe expands at a very precise rate from the BIG BANG
2. Atomic forces are fixed very precisely e.g. the two lightest gases
3. GRAVITY fixed very precisely to RAW materials `
How do you explain the anthropic constants?
Peter Atkins- there's other universes, different compositions
Alan Guth- law of physics can be explained by natural law
Nancy Murphy- deliberately planned with life in mind. Strong anthropic argument
Bertrand Russell- universe is the ultimate brute fact 'just is'
What is the Design argument?
Premise 1: The universe has order, purpose & regularity
Premise 2: The complexity of the universe shows evidence of design
Premise 3: Such design implies a designer
Conclusion: The designer of the universe is God
What type of proof does the teleological argument rely on?
A posterior- inductive proof
Difference between a priori and a posteriori
Prior is prior to experience ( logical/rational). Whilst a posteriori is dependent on experience (inductive proof)
What does Design Qua purpose mean (William Paley)?
- The fact that the universe seems to be designed and fits together for a purpose
- Example: instincts of animals that aid for survival
Paley's Watch Analogy
If you were to find an old fashioned watch on a heath you would note the complicated mechanism, cogs and wheels etc such complicated design suggests an intelligent designer who clearly has a purpose in mind for the object
What does the watch display?
What is the watch compared to?
A stone which it's purpose is not so apparent and is due to chance or natural forces
Paley's examples of things he thought were designed for a purpose:
- The human eye
- Birds wings for flight
The complex design of the eye is not due to chance but is evidence of an intelligent designer God
Key problems with the Watch Analogy
1. Unsound analogy- comparing the universe to something natural e.g. carrot (Hume)
2. Human knowledge is limited- never observed the universe being made so don't know the designer
3. Is evil and suffering part of the work of a designer?
4. The design could only be apparent- mind imposed not God
5. Naturalistic (scientific) explanation for design
What does Design qua regularity mean (William Paley)?
- Not the result of chance but of an intelligent agent
- E.g. rotation of the planets and natural laws
- Design in relation to the order and regularity in the universe
Why does Paley think that the universe could not have come about by chance or probability?
- Paley used evidence from astronomy and Newton's laws of motion and gravity to prove that there is design in the universe
- Not the result of chance, but an intelligent agent (God)
What examples of design qua regularity did Paley give?
Rotation of the planets in the solar system obeying law of nature like Newton's laws of motions and gravity
What is Aquinas' teleological argument?
- Fifth of his Five Ways to prove God's existence ' from the governance of things'
- The way natural bodies act in a regular fashion to achieve their end (telos) is evidence of an intelligent agent or designer God
- He is arguing from Design qua Regularity
What is Aquinas Archer analogy?
- Aquinas argues that just an arrow is directed by to an end goal (telos) by an archer, so too, an intelligent being exists (God) who directs all natural things to their end goal (telos)
- Aquinas argues that the universe displays order, purpose and regularity, which is not the result of chance but an intelligent agent (God)
- Aquinas sees that nature points to the idea of order in that things seem to have innate senses of purpose
- E.g. an archer shooting an arrow at a target- thus everything in nature id directed to its goal by God
- Inanimate objects e.g. planets could have not been ordered by themselves, being not ' endowed with knowledge and intelligence and so have been ordered by a Being with intelligence who could namely God
Problems with Aquinas' argument
- How do you know what your telos is?
- Haven't observed nature- unsound analogy
- Too absurd
- Does evil and suffering have a purpose?
- Design could be the result of chance
- Assuming that there is a designer is it the God of Classical Theism?
What is F. R. Tennant argument?
- F.R Tennant claims in his book Philosophy Theology (1930) that the cosmos is constructed for the development of intelligent life. They are not due to coincidence but are the result of an intelligent agent. The anthropic argument has often been seen as the 'design' argument
- Tennant argues that the evidence for design can be found in nature namely:
1. That the world can be analysed in a rational manner
2. That the inorganic world provide the basic necessities to help sustain life
3. Evolutionary progress has allowed intelligent human life to develop- seen by Tennant as a culmination of God's plan or at least part of his plan
What is Swinburne's support for the design argument?
Swinburne argues that given the sheer complexity of the universe it is more probable the universe has been designed by God rather that it being just the result of chance
What is F.R. Tennant's Aesthetic argument for God existence?
- Aesthetic: appreciation of beauty
- Tennant argued that beauty is superflouous and is not needed for human survival nor is the result of natural selection
- Science cannot explain away beauty and in Tennant's view this is evidence of a designer
How might Swinburne's and Tennant argument be challenged?
- Which God designed the universe?
- Any apparent order can be explained by Darwin's evolutionary theory
- Some argue that energy is chaotic
- Order, purpose & regularity are mind imposed
- Science will one day explain the anthropic constants
Any problems with Tennant's argument from beauty
- Beauty can help with survival because of health
- Beauty is subjective @Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'
- Beauty is a due to evolution not by design
What is evolution?
One species is descended from another species that is different from itself. For example, humans descended from a species similar to the apes
What is natural selection?
Natural selection is the mechanism of evolutionary change. In this way, species evolve and change. A gradual transformation in the appearance and behaviour of any species
How Darwin's theory of evolution pose a serious challenge to the design argument?
- Beliefs concerning the origin of the universe:
1. Each species created separately
2. One species could not develop out of another
3. World less than 6000 years old
- Disputes uniqueness of human life and contradicts literal beliefs in Genesis
- God's redundant as explanation for species change. No PURPOSE IN SURVIVAL
- Some creationists refer to the literal approach
Why do you think that F.R. Tennant was able to accept Darwin's theory of evolution?
Claims evolution is part of God's plan for the development of intelligent life
What are the 3 central aspects of Darwin's theory?
1. Random genetic change
2. Natural selections
3. Self- replication
What is Richard Dawkins support of the Darwinism?
- Natural selection is 'blind', no long term goal
- We are survival machines; robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish moelcules known as genes
- Climbing Mount Improbable
Explain Climbing Mount Improbable?
- Charles Darwin theory of evolution helps us climb Mount Improbable
- Blind chance or design is out of the question and would be equal to leaping a sheer cliff face in a single leap
- Ultimate complexity i.e. man today /other species have taken 2.56 billion years to evolve