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Explain the use of analogy in the Design argument. Evaluate with particular reference to Hume's criticisms.

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Explain the use of analogy in the Design argument. Evaluate with particular reference to Hume's criticisms. The design argument, also known as the teleological argument, is an a posteriori argument for the existence of God. It argues that due to the order, complexity and intricacy of the universe and the natural world it can not be a result of chance but must be a result of design. The argument concludes that the designer is God using the evidence from design which points to a designer. The argument makes assumptions that there is order and design in the universe. However, theologians argue there are many things in the universe which are evidence for the existence of design and order in the universe. For example, some might say the human eye could not have simply happened 'by chance' and must be the result of an intelligent Creator's design. The argument exists in two parts: design qua regularity and design qua purpose. Design qua regularity looks at design in relation to the order and regularity in the universe. This argues that the order and regularity seen in the universe is evidence of a designer at work. For example, the way the seasons change regularly and orderly. Design qua purpose looks at the evidence of design in relation to the way the different parts of the universe fit together for a purpose. ...read more.


Paley applied the same argument to the human eye and the way it is adapted for sight and has a purpose for seeing; therefore its complex design implies a designer. He concluded that similarly as the watch is a result of intelligent design, the universe must have been brought into existence by an intelligent designer who must be God. As with any argument there are two sides and this was clearly shown by David Hume in the 18th Century. Hume criticisms of the Design Argument were published three years after his death possibly due to the hostility regarding his views towards religion, especially Christianity. He presented his argument in the form of Dialogues using three character; Cleanthes, Hume's presentation of an a posteriori argument for the design argument; Philo, the critique of the design argument and possibly Hume's own view; and finally Demea, the source of reasoning and the a priori argument for the cosmological and ontological arguments. Hume has several reasons for opposing the design argument and in particular the use of analogy to explain them. There are two points to Hume's attack on the Design argument's analogies. Firstly, the analogy does not necessarily point to a designer. One of the main arguments for the design argument, especially Paley's analogy, is that the world is mechanical. However, Hume suggests that the world is more organical than mechanical as it grows rather than being made as it is; and that human knowledge and experience ...read more.


Another question that can be drawn from the use of analogies and the design argument is as follows, if there is a God where is he or she now? However, this question can not be answered fully either way due to lack of evidence. These analogies can not be acceptable as God must transcend human understanding, so if we are to use the analogy of a machine then we are lead to believe that like any machine, the world was made by several God rather than one. The argument also predates Christianity as it was used by Socrates and Plato who were not monotheists and therefore if there is a designer, due to this fact, there must not be one designer but many. These analogies concentrate on the Earth so do not take into account the rest of the universe. Finally, humans do not know possess all the knowledge of the universe, that this is the only universe and that life on Earth is the only life in the universe. Although there may be evidence of design in the world and this may point to a designer but we can not conclude that this designer is God or more specifically the traditional Judaeo-Christian God. More recently, these analogies have been proved to be incorrect due to new evidence of evolution. In conclusion, these analogies can not be used to fully explain the design argument as they lack evidence and fail to consider all sides of the argument. Katherine Andrew 12D ...read more.

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