• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"The design argument is challenged far more by science than by philosophy." Discuss with specific reference to the work of Darwin and Hume.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

R.S Essay "The design argument is challenged far more by science than by philosophy." Discuss with specific reference to the work of Darwin and Hume. For many years, theologians, philosophers and scientists have been desperately trying to give evidence and prove whether or not the existence of God is accurate. Plato gave the first full articulation, in combination, of the various elements in the design argument. The synthesis was distinctly his, and the argument he offered follows directly from central themes within his own philosophical position. Ever since that moment people in the world have been developing the idea and trying every year to extract new information on the subject which will solve the mystery. According to Hume, there could never be sufficiently strong evidence to establish the existence of something that is contrary to the laws of nature. However, is Hume right? Many people think Hume, nearly three-quarters of a century before Darwin theory on 'Evolution', buried the design argument in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. And it is true that he offers remarkably ingenious criticism of the argument. But there are three problems that have gotten less attention than they deserve. The first is that some of his criticisms are of the design argument as support for the traditional God, loaded down with "omni-" attributes. ...read more.

Middle

Why is there so much beauty in the world? On the other side you ask yourself the question why is there so much evil as well. All in all the good and evil probably balance each other out. The fact remains that there are scientific problems with Darwinism that are quite independent of what anybody thinks of in the Bible. In addition, the doctrine of Darwinism can be shown to be a philosophical assumption not proved by scientific observation. Intelligent design includes a belief in God, Darwinism includes a belief in materialism. Both are "religious" or philosophical worldviews. Materialism did not found modern science, Theism (the belief in God) did (Pascal, Newton, Farraday, etc) There is a difference between origin science (a type of forensic science which looks into evidence for past events) and operation science (which is observation of current events). Hume was correct in that people do demand more evidence to back up claims to have witness an extraordinary event than for an ordinary one. According to Hume, there could never be sufficiently strong evidence to establish the existence of something that is contrary to the laws of nature. But, is he right? To use Hume's words 'lead cannot, of itself, remain suspended in the air' because we have repeated observed that it falls to the ground when we drop it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Or perhaps the world was perfect at the start like the Garden of Eden but has fallen from the grace of His initial design. Hume criticises the conclusion to the argument being God of Christianity or Islam but why shouldn't there be a team of Gods? However, on the other hand, the idea of one God having made the whole world is integral to the Bible and Christian tradition whereas the idea of a team of Gods has no philosophical framework or support. The Anthropic principle (the fact that the universe has been set up to produce us) seems to support the Design argument as well. You could say that the Design Argument is philosophically flawed as a proof but is still very good as a probability argument (Tennant). Hume shows that the argument isn't proof. It was never going to convince an atheist for the existence of God but, as part of all the cumulative evidence, it makes God's existence a lot more probable. In conclusion, which is actually the bigger challenge science or philosophy? Darwin can't explain the goal of evolution so he doesn't get rid of the idea of the designer. So, in effect Darwin's theory can work in tandem with the Design argument. On the other hand, some say that Hume destroys the Design argument whereas others say that it is just there as evidence for people who already believe. However, should you need proof? All in all, science provides evidence against the argument whereas philosophy only provides ideas and arguments. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Compare and contrast arguments for and against belief in life after death.

    With only psychological pattern remaining it would be impossible to determine if one person is the rebirth of another since, unless they displayed identical characteristics, all we could say is that reincarnated people are 'similar' to those who went before.

  2. Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is an unfair system of ethics which could not work in the ...

    A second difficulty is found in measuring pleasure. The balancing process brought about using the seven criteria of the hedonic calculus appears straightforward, but can different pleasures and different pains be so easily qualified? Is it possible to compare the pleasure of watching a child grow into adults with the pleasure of watching T.V?

  1. How, and with what success, does Hume deal with the apparent anomaly of the ...

    It is implicitly embedded in the counter example that the subject of this example must be well acquainted with all the colours, such that one can make up colours in one's mind, much like how only musicians of a certain skill level can sight read music.

  2. The idea of miracles is a major obstacle to faith in the modern world ...

    The third claimed the majority of reported miracle occurrences happen among 'ignorant and barbarous nations', implying that ignorance is a trait of the miracle-believer. Lastly Hume made the point that different religions are mutually exclusive so the miracle claims of each with the intention of supporting it, cancel each other out.

  1. Synoptic Study, Satre, Engels and Marx

    As well, and in a similar sense to Sartre, Marx and Engels state that it is only through labor and action that man is able to create and develop himself. Marx and Engels refer to labor as being a vibrant, creative process of shaping the world and ourselves not the

  2. Critically assess the design argument

    Criticisms of Aquinas' arguments come from Richard Swinburne, he states that each individual argument is weak and only appears strong when they are put together. However, it could be argued that it is difficult to understand what Aquinas meant as it is surely dependent upon the context that an individual

  1. Proof and Probability in Arguing for God's Existence.

    Therefore the arguments are valid. Testing the 'goodness' of deductive arguments You may feel indignant at my claim to have a valid argument stating that euthanasia is wrong. You may want to come back at me, and argue that euthanasia is not murder, and so accuse me of begging the question.

  2. Philosophers Views on Miracles Essay

    The witnesses of these events were unreliable and from barbarous nations. Peter Vardy questioned miracles on terms of moral grounds and he argued that a God who intervened at Lourdes to cure an old man of cancer but does not save the starving millions in Ethiopia needs to be questioned on moral grounds.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work