2. During the Enlightenment, thinkers were concerned with proofs which purported to
reveal God’s existence and nature. In this regard, discuss fully Philo’s key objection to
Cleanthes’Argument from Design.
Philo agrees that God’s existence is beyond doubt and also agrees that God’s nature cannot
be known. He provides arguments for both of these claims.
Cleanthes’argument from design is an argument from analogy, essentially has to do with an
argument on the basis of resemblances and similarities.
For example, begin with an object (Object X) that you have no more than one of, for which
you can make observations about certain empirical elements/qualities (such as a leather
jacket, black, sold by Old Navy, and is the most expensive). Then you find a similar jacket
(object Y), which has the same features/qualities, but you note that object X lasted for 5
years. One can say ‘probably’Jacket Y will last 5 years, as Jacket X did but you cannot
guaranteed this – this is known as an analogical argument.
Cleanthes introduces the ‘rules of analogy’; which consist of 4 rules. First, Cleanthes says the
greater number of objects withA, B, C and D, the stronger the conclusion – if everyone knew you
had this experience, the conclusion will be greater. Second, the greater the number of similarities
(similaritiesA, B & C) between object X and object Y (old jacket and new jacket), the stronger
the conclusion. The third rule is, as dissimilarities between X and Y increase, the conclusion is
weakened (such as stitching, materials, etc). However, not all dissimilarities are relevant, such as
colour. Lastly, most importantly, argument by analogy seeks to link the features cited in the
premises with those features cited in the conclusion. It turns out there is a range of connectivity,
which is called relevance; it interprets the level of relativity.
Three areas of relevance are examined by Cleanthes, first is the chance of a coincidence. If
the features are incidental to each other, there is no real connection. The leather jacket
lasting 5 years may have nothing to do with elementsA, B or C. Second is correlation, trying
to establish a correlation between features in premises and conclusion. Lastly, a causal
argument is an argument in which you would state the features in the premises caused the
features in the conclusion.
Through the utilization of the rules of analogy, a compari