Teleological Argument For The Existence Of God — страница 3

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problem is that Hume has no serious alternate explanation for the phenomena he discusses.” Conversely, Sober states that it is not unreasonable to think the design argument refutable without a different elucidation. For example, Sober claims, “this could happen if the hypothesis of an intelligent designer were incoherent or self-contradictory,” although he sees “no such defect in the argument.” Above all, what is being claimed by such responses is that the conclusion of an intelligent designer is strongly supported by the argument’s preceding premises, thus leading us to conclude that Paley’s argument should have been successful in its time. What proponents of such a view will claim is that the argument could only be justifiably rejected post-Darwinian theory, as

this is the first emergence of a suitably acceptable substitute hypothesis, or a better explanation. This particular view is fatally flawed. Hume’s criticisms can be used, along with other observable intuitive evidence, to formulate responses to the Dawkins and Sober view, without appealing to a natural selection theory. A way in which this might be done is to show that another explanation for the evidence of design could be even more plausible than God. We may formulate this like so: P1. There are some things, like watches, that can immediately be recognised as the work of an intelligent designer. P2. Watches are recognisable as works of an intelligent designer through nothing more than a strong intuition: one need not have any prior knowledge of watches’ existence. P3.

Nature contains complex biological systems. P4. These systems are (strongly) comparable to watches in terms of showing evidence for design. C1. (Hence) It is at least plausible to hold that the world is the product of intelligent design. P5. The best explanation there is for the apparent design in nature is to hold that the world and its creatures are the work of an intelligent designer. P6. The complex biological systems in nature are flawed: they do not operate as efficiently as even some things created by people. P7. These systems are often the cause of pain and suffering in the creatures they pertain to; eg: childbirth. Some of the systems cause pain as a part of their distinct purpose; eg: nervous systems. P8. If the world is the product of intelligent design, these systems

were intentionally created. C2. The most rational thing for us to believe given all of this, is that an intelligent designer created the world, and that designer is Satan. One would never claim to hold this argument as acceptable, but it seems at least, if not more, acceptable than Paley’s argument. Therefore, there are not only other possible explanations (if one accepts the premises, of course); there are potentially better ones. Here the obviously weak link between the premises and the conclusion has been exploited; a problem that many theological arguments suffer from – in arriving at the necessary conclusion of the Christian God’s existence. Added to this, in special response to Sober, we could easily dispute the alleged coherence of God being the intelligent designer,

by appealing to something like the problem of evil. Does the intrinsic concept of God hold a somewhat contradictory note if He was to be the designer of an obviously flawed world? We may next consider the actual feasibility of the premises. An interesting point of discussion may be to wonder about the proposed analogy between watches and biological organisms. This is to say, we might wonder at the plausibility of Premise 4, from our first formulation of the argument in inference to the best explanation terms. It does seem reasonable to accept that watches are distinctly recognisable as the work of intelligent design. However, this may very well be due to the fact watches are made up of non-living parts and that it is almost ridiculous to think that as such they could come

together into a semblance of functionality of their volition. It is not altogether clear that the intuitive explanation for watches should extend to biological entities, for the reason that the two things are very distinct from one another. The most telling blow to Paley’s premises – sociologically speaking – came from Darwin, when he proposed another explanation for the evidence of design in nature, in the form of evolutionary theory. This posed a serious problem for perhaps the most important premise in Paley’s argument, represented as Premise 6 in our first formulation. Finally, the esoteric members of Paley’s sceptics were provided with a seemingly more credible explanation. This, though, did not by any means spell the final demise of teleological arguments, as