Argument from Design II (Philo’s version, 10)
● Chunks of matter do not naturally form themselves into objects useful for human beings,
such as knives or watches
● Thus, the order and purposeful adjustment of means to end in an artifact is caused by the
intelligent mind of its maker, not by the matter of which it is made.
● Experience thus shows us that order and purpose are characteristics of mind, not matter.
● From similar effects we can infer similar causes.
● Nature has superb order and purposeful adjustment of means to ends, just like an artifact.
● Conclusion: the cause of natural order and purposeful adjustment of means to ends must
be a god with a superhumanly intelligent and purposeful mind.
Two Objections to the Argument from Design
● The analogy is still weak. The argument from design requires us to take the example of
human artifact making as a model for the origin of nature. But human beings are only one
very tiny part of nature. Why should we think the way this tiny part of nature works at all
is analogous to the way the whole of nature works?
● The analogy is not actually supported by experience. What we call an argument from
experience is an argument based on the observation of numerous cases, so that we can
reasonably infer to new cases. For example, if on many occasions we have observed fire
in conjunction with smoke, we can then infer there is fire on subsequent occasions where
we only observe the smoke. Similarly, we have regularly observed that where there is an
artifact there is an intelligent human maker. So on occasions where we only observe the
artifact, we can infer an intelligent maker. But there is only one nature. We haven’t
observed numerous cases where a nature is regularly conjoined with an intelligent maker.
So our experience does not allow us to infer that one nature of which we do not have
experience has an intelligent maker.
The Divine Mind is Incomprehensible to Us: Part I (Demea, 15)
● The content of the human mind comes either from the external senses (sight, hearing,
etc.) or fro