design argument

design argument - Introduction to Philosophy / Prof....

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Introduction to Philosophy / Prof. Pruim’s Notes     The Argument from Design / p. 1 THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN I. Introduction. We observe in nature organs and organisms with intricate parts that, despite no intelligence of their own, work together in harmony to achieve some goal or end. This is taken to be evidence that they are the products of an intelligence who cleverly constructed them. The argument is empirical or aposteriori , because it is based on what we observe: goal-directed activity in organisms. (This is also known as the Teleological Argument, for “Telos” is the Greek word for “goal”.) II. Paley’s Argument by Analogy: We observe in nature a curious effect: the adaptedness and coordinated activity of organs and organisms. For example, we observe the complex arrangement of the parts of the eye to produce visual perception. Although we have not observed the cause of this effect, this effect is similar to effects whose cause we have observed. We have observed: -that the parts of a watch are the right size and fitted together in the right way to achieve regular hand-movement, -that the materials and arrangements of a telescope are suited to achieving the goal of producing a magnified image of distant objects. . (Specifically, a human’s intelligent direction of his/her body, the intelligence of the watchmaker, the plan and purpose of the telescope maker. Monkeys pounding on metal fail to produce watches not because they lack materials or strength, but because they lack intelligence.) Principle: similar effects are likely to have similar causes. __________________________________________________________________ Therefore, we should take the source of this very same property in organs and organisms to be the same: an intelligence. The adaptedness in nature which is not the product of human intelligence is the product of some other intelligence which created these.
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III. Hume’s Criticisms of Paley’s Analogy Argument. A. Hume’s first criticism: “We learn cause-effect laws only by observing examples of them. We have never observed the creation of a world or creature, so, we cannot know what is the cause of such things.” Reply: This is a poor criticism, for Hume addresses the wrong question. We wish to know, not what cause the eye to exist, but what caused it to be so remarkable goal- directed in its makeup. We have observed instances of this effect being produced: in people, in watches, etc., and its always been caused by an intelligence. B. Hume’s second criticism: “An analogy argument is weakened to the degree that all of the past observed sample cases are all alike (instead of exhibiting a representative range). However, all of the orderly artifacts whose cause (our intelligence) we know about are all the same; they are all made of non-living material and all made by human beings. This is hardly a representative sample of all the orderly things in nature. Paley is taking the human being and its
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course PHIL 110 taught by Professor Pruim during the Spring '08 term at E. Stroudsburg.

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design argument - Introduction to Philosophy / Prof....

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