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What is the argument from design?


Question asked by: knowitall

This is a notorious 'proof' for the existence of God. Essentially the argument follows this sort of logical form:
- there is enormous complexity in nature
- anything we see with enormous complexity has a creator
- therefore the world has a creator (God)

In the classic version put forward by William Paley, he uses the analogy of a watch as being a complex object displaying order which we know has been designed, and hence says in a similar way the world must too have a designer - God.

Initially this argument can seem compelling and powerful, but few now accept it and most argue complexity is not good evidence of creation.

It has been pointed out that even if valid, the argument merely proves that the world has a designer, or group of designers, and says nothing about who that designer is. Also, is it a valid analogy? This seems very unclear - we know a lot about the creation of watches, but nothing about the creation of worlds. In what sense is the world like a watch?

If you see a rock, do you think it must have a designer? Yet that rock is incredibly complex and the crystalline patterns that may be inside it are breath-taking. On what grounds can we reasonably make a leap from the origins of a watch to the origins of the whole universe?

By: Unknown
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design  argument  

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