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What are the key ideas of the design argument?

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Introduction

a) What are the key ideas of the design argument? (7) b) What are the strengths and weaknesses? (7) c) To what extent are these strengths more convincing than the weaknesses? (6) The design argument is a posterior, inductive argument which tries to prove the existence of G-d. There are many criticisms as well as strengths to the argument and the aim of this essay is to show that the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths. There are many key ideas to the design argument, but the most important thought is that there is 'order, purpose and regularity' in the world. Paley said this to illustrate that there are complications in the world and for these complications to exist there must have been a designer, who Paley says, is G-d. He takes this further by comparing the world to a pocket watch, which was a new invention at the time. A pocket watch is made of intricate parts which all fit together and the world is made up of complex elements which also fit together. Hume, who is a critic of the design argument said, 'the world is nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines'. ...read more.

Middle

the watch has an intelligent designer so therefore the world has an intelligent designer. Hume criticises this saying that by using these analogies, G-d appears to be more human than divine. To prove that analogy leads to a non-moral G-d, Hume lists some horrible things that occur in nature, for example earthquakes, disease and war. He questions how a just and good G-d could have designed these unpleasant things. Darwinism is another weakness for the Design argument. It is the theory that humans evolved from apes and we were not just put on the earth by G-d. Natural selection is also part of Darwinism, and both of these things rely on chance and are completely random, there are no designers or plans and therefore no G-d. The design argument is inductive, Premise 1; The world is full of designed things Premise 2; Designed objects have intelligent designers Conclusion; The world has an intelligent designer, who is G-d. Inductive arguments are weak because there is always one unsound fact within it which is not valid and they can never provide 100% proof. Kant is a critic and claimed that 'the world is in chaos and that humans interpret the world through their minds and whilst doing this, imposes order onto the world that they see.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This is saying that there is no purpose for beauty in the world and so beauty is the evidence that G-d is involved. Scientists would answer these theories by saying there is no proof for them and there is evidence of Darwinism. Just because the design argument is easy to understand does not make it convincing, it just indicates that it was written well. Again the use of analogies does not prove that G-d exists and Hume would say that analogies have problems, for example the house analogy that he made, may lead people against monotheism. As mentioned above, the argument is 'common sensual'. This is a strength as it means you do not have to be a scholar to understand it, but it does not mean that it has scientific proof. The argument is inductive which immediately indicates that it can not be proven. But some may disagree and say it is not fair to criticise an inductive argument about G-d because we do not have facts to make the premises out of. Also, if the argument was deductive then it would mean the existence of G-d had been proven. Therefore there would be no discussion about it as the conclusion would be true. Overall the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths because you cannot prove the existence of G-d by using common sense or making the argument easy to understand by using analogies. JESSICA MANN ...read more.

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