Non-deductive Inference The design argument is the simplest, most straightforward argument for the existence of God. Unlike the cosmological argument, the design argument can be stated in a few, easy-to-understand steps. In a nutshell, the design argument claims that the fact that everything in nature seems to be put together in just the right manner suggests that an intelligent designer was responsible for its creation. Immanuel Kant —a strident critic of the design argument—recognized both its simplicity and its importance.
History[ edit ] While the concept of an intelligence behind the natural order is ancient, a rational argument that concludes that we can know that the natural world has a designer, or a creating intelligence which has human-like purposes, appears to have begun with classical philosophy.
Later, variants on the argument from design were produced in Western philosophy and by Christian fundamentalism. Anaxagoras is the first person who is definitely known to have explained such a concept using the word " nous " which is the original Greek term that leads to modern English "intelligence" via its Latin and French translations.
Aristotle reports an earlier philosopher from Clazomenae named Hermotimus who had taken a similar position. For example Empedocleslike Hesiod much earlier, described cosmic order and living things as caused by a cosmic version of love and Pythagoras and Heraclitus attributed the cosmos with " reason " logos.
Perhaps they are right. Socrates complained that Anaxagoras restricted the work of the cosmic nous to the beginning, as if it were uninterested and all events since then just happened because of causes like air and water.
In this desire to go beyond Anaxagoras and make the cosmic nous a more active manager, Socrates was apparently preceded by Diogenes of Apollonia. The story does not propose creation ex nihilo ; rather, the demiurge made order from the chaos of the cosmos, imitating the eternal Forms.
This debate was to persist throughout the ancient world. Atomistic mechanism got a shot in the arm from Epicurus The choice seems simple: He was very influential in the future development of classical creationism, but was not a straightforward "creationist" because he required no creation interventions in nature, meaning he "insulated god from any requirement to intervene in nature, either as creator or as administrator".
For example birds use wings for the purpose of flight. As pointed out by Sedley, "Aristotle is happy to say Physics II 8, ab4 without the slightest fear of blasphemy, crafts make occasional mistakes; therefore, by analogy, so can nature".
He explicitly compared this to human technology: If then what comes from art is for the sake of something, it is clear that what come from nature is too [ Martha Nussbaum for example has argued that in his biology this approach was practical and meant to show nature only being analogous to human art, explanations of an organ being greatly informed by knowledge of its essential function.
In any case, Aristotle was not understood this way by his followers in the Middle Ages, who saw him as consistent with monotheistic religion and a teleological understanding of all nature.
Consistent with the medieval interpretation, in his Metaphysics and other works Aristotle clearly argued a case for their being one highest god or " prime mover " which was the ultimate cause, though specifically not the material cause, of the eternal forms or natures which cause the natural order, including all living things.
And he clearly refers to this entity having an intellect that humans somehow share in, which helps humans see the true natures or forms of things without relying purely on sense perception of physical things, including living species.
The idea of fixed species remained dominant in biology until Darwin, and a focus upon biology is still common today in teleological criticisms of modern science.
He has one of the characters in the dialogue say: When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time by design and not by chance.
How then can you imagine that the universe as a whole is devoid of purpose and intelligence, when it embraces everything, including these artifacts themselves and their artificers?
He was not a Stoic, but like them he looked back to the Socratics and was constantly engaged in arguing against atomists such as the Epicureans.
In works such as his On the Usefulness of Parts he explained evidence for it in the complexity of animal construction. His work shows "early signs of contact and contrast between the pagan and the Judaeo-Christian tradition of creation", criticizing the account found in the Bible.
Galen shared with Xenophon a scepticism of the value of books about most speculative philosophy, except for inquiries such as whether there is "something in the world superior in power and wisdom to man".
This he saw as having an everyday importance, a usefulness for living well. He also asserted that Xenophon was the author who reported the real position of Socrates, including his aloofness from many types of speculative science and philosophy.
Medieval philosophy and theology[ edit ] Late classical Christian writers[ edit ] As an appeal to general revelationPaul the Apostle AD 5—67argues in Romans 1: The argument from design was also seen as an unconvincing sophism by the early Islamic philosopher Al-Farabiwho instead took the "emanationist" approach of the Neoplatonists such as Plotinus, whereby nature is rationally ordered, but God is not like a craftsman who literally manages the world.
Later, Avicenna was also convinced of this, and proposed instead a cosmological argument for the existence of God. Both of them however accepted the argument because they believed it is explicitly mentioned in the Quran.
Whether Averroes was an "emanationist" like his predecessors has been a subject of disagreement and uncertainty. But it is generally agreed that what he adapted from those traditions, agreed with them about the fact that God does not create in the same way as a craftsman.
Later Jewish and Christian philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas were aware of this debate, and generally took a position closer to Avicenna.
Jewish philosophy[ edit ] An example of the teleological argument in Jewish philosophy appears when the medieval Aristotelian philosopher Maimonides cites the passage in Isaiah He asserts that "Generally, in the biblical texts the existence of God is taken for granted.
Abraham says "Is it conceivable that the world is without a guide? When told by a philosopher that he did not believe that the world was created by God, the rabbi produced a beautiful poem that he claimed had come into being when a cat accidentally knocked over a pot of ink, "spilling ink all over the document.
This poem was the result. There must be a scribe. There must be an Author.Design arguments typically consist of (1) a premise that asserts that the material universe exhibits some empirical property F; (2) a premise (or sub-argument) that asserts (or concludes) that F is persuasive evidence of intelligent design or purpose; and (3) a premise (or sub-argument) that asserts (or concludes) that the best or most probable.
The Case Against The Design Argument Thomas Ash. Particularly relevant to this essay is my other response to the arguments put forward for God's existence, It's the reason for believing in God many ordinary religious people today find persuasive, though I personally think it's the weakest argument.
The design argument is the simplest, most straightforward argument for the existence of God. Unlike the cosmological argument, the design argument can be stated in a few, easy-to-understand steps.
In a nutshell, the design argument claims that the fact that everything in nature seems to be put together in just the right manner suggests that an intelligent designer was responsible for its creation.
Design arguments typically consist of (1) a premise that asserts that the material universe exhibits some empirical property F; (2) a premise (or sub-argument) that asserts (or concludes) that F is persuasive evidence of intelligent design or purpose; and (3) a premise (or sub-argument) that asserts (or concludes) that the best or most probable.
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic "How persuasive are the design arguments" with a personal 20% discount. GRAB THE BEST PAPER Extract of sample How persuasive are the design arguments. Which of Thomas Aquinas arguments are most persuasive, cosmological, teological, or moral?
Update Cancel. Aquinas gives one major design (teleological) argument in the Summa Theologia, I do not find this argument as persuasive and while many Thomists throughout history and in the present day do find it convincing, they place much less.