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Chapter

Notes simplified from textbook! (pg 46-51)


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL201H1
Professor
Brian Baigrie

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[PHL201: EXAM NOTES LECTURE 2]
1
NATURAL THEOLOGY
BY WILLIAM PALEY
CHAPTER 1
STATE OF THE ARGUMENT
1. Things that are made must have had a maker
2. That there must have existed, at sometime and at some place or other,
3. An artificer or artificers, who formed it for the purpose which we find it
actually to answer; (who comprehended its construction, and designed its use)
The Analogical Teleological Argument of Paley:
If I stumbled on a stone and asked how it came to be there, it would be difficult to
show that the answer, it has lain there forever is absurd. Yet this is not true if the stone
were to be a watch”
1. According to Paley, the interpretation from the observation of the
sophisticated design of the universe to the conclusion of a universe-maker who
constructed and designed its use would be predictable.
2. The inference is as follows:
1. Watch: watch maker = universe: universe maker
2. Just as the function and complexity of a watch implies a
watchmaker, so likewise the function and complexity of the universe implies
the existence of a universe-maker.
3. Paley thinks the following excuses (i.e., possible objections) are
inadequate to disprove the argument.
Objection 1: We never knew the artist capable of making a watch (a
universe) or we do not know how the work was accomplished.
Paley's response 1: Just because we don't know who the artist might be, it
doesn't follow that we cannot know that there is one.
………………………
Objection 2: The parts of the watch (universe) do not work perfectly; the
designer is not evident.
Paley's response 2: It is not necessary to show that something is perfect in
order to show that there is a design.
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[PHL201: EXAM NOTES LECTURE 2]
2
Objection 3: Some parts of the watch (the universe) seem to have no
function and so would seemingly not be designed.
Paley's response 3: Simply because we do not know the function of the parts
does not imply that there is no function. The design is evident from the rest of
the watch (the universe).
………………………………………..
Objection 4: The watch (universe) is only one possible form of many
possible combinations and so is a chance event.
Paley's response 4: The design cannot be a result of chance; no person in his
senses could believe this.
oCounter-objection: Paley's response is an ad hominem. It is the nature
of the human mind to impose order on things whether or not order is
actually present.
……………………………………..
Objection 5: There is a law or principle that arranged the watch (universe) to
be in that form.
Paley's response 5: The existence of a law assumes a lawmaker with the
power to enforce the law. A principle cannot cause the watch (the universe) to
exist.
oPaley also must acknowledge his "Lawgiver" does not produce miracles.
Miracles are violations of natural law and would be disconfirming
instances of regularity of design. Paley waffles on this point indicating
miracles might be part of the design:
oContemporary science, of course, does give explanations for the
development of complexity in the universe without resorting to a deus ex
machina. Charles Darwin, for example, provided a good account for how
biological processes evolved in complex interdependent forms without the
need for a Deity's creative intervention.
……………………………………………
Objection 6: The watch (the universe) is no proof of machine; only
motive persuades the mind to think that it is.
Paley's response 6: The design is evident to an unprejudiced person.
…………………………………………
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