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Philosophy of Religion- Design and Being.odt

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William Seager

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Philosophy of Religion- Design and Being Aquinas's Argument from Design ◦ what is it to 'act for an end' ▪ to have an equal goal in action ▪ to have a function ▪ ex. the heart has a function of pumping blood; ipod plays music... ▪ also known as 'teleological' ◦ how bis is the realm of ends? ▪ Artifacts, organisms...? ▪ Aquinas (following Aristotle) thought the universe and the realm of ends were identical ▪ ex. falling objects are 'seeking' their natural place Aquinas's Argument ▪ some things have a function lack minds ▪ anything that has a function but lack mind, have been designed for something with mind ▪ therefor there is a 'designer' who created all such mindless things ▪ The designer is God ◦ Note Birthday Fallacy ◦ Note Aquinas's point of view: ▪ everything is teleological Structure of the Argument from Design ◦ Global versus Local Design Argument ▪ Global design relies on some general feature of the universe as a a whole • ex. the fine-tuning argument • hos of features of our world have to be almost exactly right, orelse we would not be here ◦ fine- structure constant, cosmological constant... ◦ note anthropic principle ▪ Global versus Local Arguments • rely on some particular or local feature of the world ◦ ex. bombardier beetle ◦ ex. the human eye ▪ without some specific parts, it could not funtion William Paley's Watch • ex. we find a watch on the beach, but we don’t know what it is ◦ two hypothises ▪ H1: it was a chance object created by the waves acting on the sand! ▪ H2: somebody built that thing to perform the function of keeping time ◦ the surprise element ▪ what is an argument by analogy • an analogy depends on some similarity between two things, lets call then the analog and the target • ex.bad analogy ◦ he had a handsome, rugged look of a chipmunk ◦ failure of similarity • what about this bad analogy ◦ she was as alone as someone with nor friends ◦ trivial similarity • this is a good analogy ◦ atoms are like little solar systems • and analogical argument works by extrapolation from the analog to an unknown feature of the target ◦ analog:the watch ◦ target: the universe (global design argument) ◦ target: organisms (local design argument) ◦ the analog has a property: being intellectually designed ◦ therefore the target has a that property • why does that follow ◦ things that are generally similar usually have a lot of things in common Hume's Criticism of the Design Argument • An analogy is only as good as the target
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