Discussing Design


#1

How does one correctly answer this line of reasoning?:

We imply that a watch has a watchmaker because we know man is capable and has indeed made watches. However, we cannot imply that a universe has a universe-maker because we know man is incapable and has indeed not made a universe. We can only imply a designer in things we ourselves, since we are men, are capable and indeed have designed. Beyond that, we cannot imply a designer. Therefore, the universe has no designer because in fact we, being men, are incapable of making a universe and indeed have not done so.

Please be kind and gentle; I’m for the Argument from Design, after all.


#2

The premise that people infer the intelligence of the designer from analogy of our own acts of intelligent design is not one that I would ever use.

A good, solid basis for intelligence in creation is the metaphysical principle that the cause of a thing must be more perfect than its effect (for example, a little red-hot pin couldn’t bring the Ocean to a boil).

Such an argument is made concisely by Teilhard de Chardin:

The Universal Energy must be a Thinking Energy if it is not to be less highly evolved than the ends animated by its actions.


#3

I don’t think that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin will go over well on this board, though I also am intrigued by his philosophy. You throw out a name like Karl Rahner or Raymond Brown and you are cast down into the fire…quoting Teilhard de Chardin will likely get you excommunicated in the eyes of the posters here.

I would say that the major slip in the argument would be the leap from “we can’t argue that the universe has a creator” (ignorance) to “therefore the universe has no creator” (a negative affirmation). That is not a valid inference. It is going from “I have never seen the Amazon river so I do not know for certain whether it exists” to “the amazon river therefore does not exist”.

I prefer Aquinas’ argument from existence and movement (potency to actuality in a metaphysical sense) which actually moves beyond the temperal infinitive line of events (Aquinas’ argument hold true even IF the universe is eternal).

Adam


#4

The quote is sort of nonsense…. true we haven’t made a universe but there was a time when we hadn’t made watches either

Would a man from 1000 years ago have dismissed the notion that it was an artifact?

By the way the “watchmaker” argument for ID was rebutted and abandoned over a century ago

One of the big problems is that it (a) assumes the watch is different from nature in that the watch is complex and ordered and then (b) that nature is too complex and ordered not to have been designed.


#5

as amarischuck said, it falls apart with, “Therefore the universe has no…”

Using their own reasoning, it is true that we do not “imply” a creator. That does not prove the wasn’t one, unless one uses as an assumption that there is no creativity outside of man.

This axiom seems pretty self-serving in addition to being illogical in this context, and would never fly if stated explicitly. Implicitly, it is required for the whole thing to work.

Therefore, the argument reduces to this: If we assume there is nobody who can create other than man, and we know man didn’t design the universe, then it had no designer. Well, duhhh.

Honestly, it’s so blatantly obvious that someone would have to be pretty stupid to buy into it. Did this line of reasoning come from someone who claims to be intelligent, or just something you heard among forum posters somewhere?

Alan


#6

[quote=amarischuk]I don’t think that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin will go over well on this board, though I also am intrigued by his philosophy. You throw out a name like Karl Rahner or Raymond Brown and you are cast down into the fire…quoting Teilhard de Chardin will likely get you excommunicated in the eyes of the posters here.
[/quote]

I took the quote I posted by Teilhard de Chardin from a book called Introduction to Christianity, which was written by a very bright fellow by the name of Ratzinger. I give you my word that Cardinal Ratzinger quoted Teilhard not to condemn him, but to flesh out a theological point he [Cardinal Ratzinger] was making.

I’m pretty sure this Ratzinger fellow is fairly solid on matters of doctrine.

I have no doubt there’s a contingent here who would condemn father Teilhard de Chardin [and many other good and decent men as well]. Someone needs to tell them we have a serious intellectual as our Pope now, and that whatever cafeteria they’ve been eating in, it’s time to finish their jello, pay their bill, and get on back home where they belong.


#7

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Honestly, it’s so blatantly obvious that someone would have to be pretty stupid to buy into it. Did this line of reasoning come from someone who claims to be intelligent, or just something you heard among forum posters somewhere?Alan
[/quote]

I heard that argument used by an evolutionist to refute a creationist in a radio show when the latter invoked the “Watchmaker” argument. The creationist said a watch implies a watchmaker and therefore a universe, because it has order and design and purpose analogous to a watch, implies a universemaker. The evolutionist then used that argument I presented above to refute the other.


#8

I agree that the “therefore…” statement is not a logical conclusion of the evidence, and is indeed illogical.

To stray slightly off-topic, one thing to think about that has helped me in the past, is to ask yourself the question, why? Why is there a universe in the first place? What would it be like if there wasn’t a universe (obviously there would be nothing), and with this in mind, why isn’t this the case? I am a physicist, and as much as I believe in the big bang theory and evolution, there is not a shred of evidence (nor will there ever be) that could possibly answer that question. Of course, this is not proof of the existence of God, but if you had proof of the existence of God, what would be the point of faith?

Sorry for going off-topic but I’m hoping it will help you anyway!


#9

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