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Consider Crittically the Arguments against the DesignArgument Deomonstrating the Existence of God and assess whether the TelelogicalArgument retains its validity in the Face of these Objections

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Consider Crittically the Arguments against the Design Argument Deomonstrating the Existence of God and assess whether the Telelogical Argument retains its validity in the Face of these Objections Edward Cohen The design argument has received criticism from philosophers and scientists ever since (and before) it was conceived. Even the analogy put forward by Paley is in question, with regard to whether the machine is being compared to the whole of the universe or parts of the universe. If it is compared to the whole universe it is highly debatable to say that the whole universe is working to an end or purpose. Many argue this requires knowledge only obtainable from being outside the universe so nothing can be completely concrete. If the machine is being compared to parts of the universe then it is possible to prove that these parts work towards an end or purpose, but it is false reasoning to argue from that that the universe as a whole works to a specific end or purpose. Hume emerged as a major opponent of the argument, highlighting many weaknesses, other philosophers such as Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins also presented their own individual challenges towards the argument. The latter believed the weaknesses were enough to allow the argument to fall. David Hume's criticisms covered several points and he worked on them for twenty-five years. The first point talks of an unsound analogy, as it is wrong to compare our world with a machine as it is composed of organic substances such as vegetables and animals. ...read more.


If this is so, then you end up with an infinite regression of causes. David Hume's fourth point is that the analogy makes God seem almost human, and not divine (anthropomorphism of God). He argued that the more you look into the analogy of a man-made machine such as a watch, the more human you have to make God. For example, infinity could not be attributed to any of the attributes of God. The cause ought to be proportional to the effect and as the effect (the universe) is not infinite, there is no reason to designate infinity to God. Similarly, perfection can't be ascribed, as it is impossible for us to tell whether the universe as a system contains any faults, (although some would argue evil, suffering and natural disasters point to many faults.) Even if it was perfect, it would still be uncertain as to whether all these perfection's can be ascribed to the designer, as there is the possibility of there being several unsuccessful worlds before this one was made. The fifth point Hume commented on fits in with the fourth point, as it assesses the faults found in the universe. Hume commented that the analogy leads to a non-moral God and listed natural disasters such as earthquakes, war and disease, and questioned how a just and good God could have planned and designed a world like this. ...read more.


Having explored the weaknesses of the design argument, I feel that it most definitely fails in proving the existence of God, but does certainly point to the universe having a design. Whether this is the work of a designer is not wholly clear. Some would look at the Epicurean Hypothesis - stating that the universe is a product of random particles coming together by chance. The weaknesses brought forward by Hume have looked in specific detail Paley's analogies, and he has managed to find many faults with comparing something as huge as the universe to something man-made such as a watch. It is clear from this that to use an analogy like that is just too simple. Hume may lead us to a probable conclusion that the world was designed but there is nothing to prove that designer was God. A huge disadvantage is also the fact it is an a posteriori argument, as it is merely based on experience and only leads to a probable conclusion so is open to several interpretations. Some of the weaknesses in the argument are due to recent scientific discovery or evidence, which many, trust further than to believe something just based on assumption and probable conclusions. In fairness to the thinkers of the design argument, they did not set out to convert atheists and make them see that they are indeed wrong and there is a designer. Instead they have aimed to reinforce the beliefs of those that already have a solid faith. ...read more.

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