However, the TA can begin to recover from this criticism as it can be argued that Mill’s understanding of disorder within the universe is blurred as he ignores the idea that it could be that the evil within this world is part of God’s greater plan. Many such as Aquinas agree and believe that God’s goodness is infinitely different to human goodness, and therefore it can be argued that God allows evil and suffering to exist as part of his greater plan of love. Mill’s criticism of the TA is weakened as there are alternate explanations for evil within nature other than an unloving God.
Mill also furthered his criticisms as he suggested that nature itself causes natural evil and suffering such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Mill believed that there could not be an omnibenevolent God as all evidence points towards a God who wants to inflict suffering and pain on his creation. He also argued that it does not make sense to use the world as evidence for a good God. However, many theists would argue that Mill’s criticism is weak as human’s are the primary reason for evil in the world due to the Original Sin where Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were thrown from the Garden of Eden. This helps the TA to recover as Mill fails to see human influence of natural evil amongst the world and how there could still be God, but evil is just down to humans.
Hume is also a critic of the TA and draws most of his criticisms from empirical evidence. He argues that as humans we do not have sufficient knowledge of the origins of the world to assume that there is only one designer. We only have experience of the things that we have designed and created, not natural things such as mountains or valleys. We know that houses require a designer because we have experience of many houses being built but we have never observed a universe being created. Hume also argued that the universe is not like a machine and rather more like a living thing such as a vegetable or animal, something that grows on its own rather than something made by hand. This criticism places a large blow to the TA as it cannot be argued that we have seen a universe being created by a designer, and there is no evidence pointing towards a designer.
Hume also criticises the idea of the universe being designed by one God. Hume argues that there is no reason that the universe wasn’t created by a team of God’s as in our experience, it takes more than one being to create something as intricate as a house, let alone an entire universe. He also argued that this world could be a prototype by an ‘apprentice’ God who went on to create bigger and better worlds and that is why there is evil in the world as God make mistakes on his first attempt. This criticism also causes issues for the TA as there is no evidence to suggest it wasn’t the traditional theistic God and was in fact a team of weaker Gods. Although many theists like Paley would argue that it’s only an analogy and faith is strong enough, it raises issues within the TA.
Overall, Mill’s objection to the TA is not stronger than those presented by Hume as Mill’s oppositions can be explained to recover the TA such as that there is an evil for purpose. Whereas Hume creates a strong and almost flawless argument against the TA as he uses empirical evidence and uses the Epicurean thesis to explain that there doesn’t have to be a designer at all, it could all have happened randomly. These flaws within the TA blemish the majority of the analogies such as Paley’s watch and Aquinas’s archer and arrow.