Critiques of the Design Argument

Critiques of the Design Argument - Critiques of the Design...

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Critiques of the Design Argument: Mackie Mackie's Summary of Hume's Objections In Chapter 8 of The Miracle of Theism , Oxford philosopher J. L. Mackie summarizes the objections raised by Hume to the design argument in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion . Mackie finds five objections there: 1. The analogy between the natural order and human artefacts is weak. 2. There are alternative hypotheses to theism that are as well-supported by such analogies. 3. The divine mind that theism postulates would be in as much need of explanation as the order of the world. 4. The moral component of theism is refuted, or at least disconfirmed, by the existence of various forms of evil. 5. The theistic hypothesis, insofar as it is based on the design argument alone, is useless in religion: we cannot infer from it anything about rewards and punishments, answers to prayer, an afterlife, etc. As we have seen, the first two objections depend on casting the design argument as an argument "by analogy", that is, one based on a supposed overall similarity between the universe and
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