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The Teleological Proof for God

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by ARC150, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. ARC150

    ARC150 anodyne

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    This is a well-worn topic, I think - but one I am inclined to revisit in light of certain, recent threads. As the below does not really follow those threads, I present it as a separate topic.

    Of all the arguments (categorically speaking) for the exitence of God, Paley's Teleological Proof is the one I find most compelling and, as such, interesting. In his book Natural Theology: Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature, Paley asserts the classic Watchmaker Theory:

    Suppose that you come across a watch, having no prior knowledge of anything related to how such a thing could exist...

    ". . . when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive. . . that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose...The inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker - that there must have existed...an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer, who comprehended its construction and designed its use. "

    In short, the fact that a watch has such a specific construction indicates that there must be a designer/creator responsible for its construction. Likewise, if the all the elements of the universe mesh as well together as (for instance) the gears of a watch, should it not be concluded that said universe must have been the product of a designer/creator as well...

    ***

    For the record, I embrace an atheist view of the universe and find this particular teleology flawed - but unlike many popular (or lacking popularity, well known) theories on the "logical necessity" of God (e.g. various Cosmological and Ontological theories), I think this one speaks to an Objective Realism that most peolple (myself included) employ consistently in their apprehension of existence.

    Do you agree with this concept?
    If not, how is it faulty?
     
  2. AsModEe

    AsModEe also known as ass-mode

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    that's what we've been taught in philosophy classes in college... I'll think before posting a definite answer
     
  3. Misseriah

    Misseriah Mothernature is a MILF

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    You sound like a Comp Exam

    Our availiability to freely communicate with each other so coherently and presicely can often warrant endless discussion, or in fact, a love of discussions. The theory presented is heresay, like most other scientific/intellectual nonsense. At some point, when no answer can be reached, you have to ask yourself "Am I a propellant of pseudo-intellectual bullshit?" When discussing the unknown, it is basically "My bullshit vs. Your bullshit" To combat this, one could always pick up a book, whether it be literature or documented history. Other people enjoy building things, making music, cooking, writing, photography, etc. Or you could go a step further and join the scientific field, become a doctor of whatever and flaunt an education so the population will automatically believe your bullshit. What is and always will be is an intangent existence of uncontrollable energy. I hope you are not still reading this, because I am just typing now. Typing is amazing. It's so amazing how you can order your fingers to tap a particular letter at the appropriate time. In order to make words, you must type, then space, then type again. You need to keep your spelling in mind. I myself am a terrible speller. When I was in school I made perfect grades in everything but spelling. I passed math, science, social studies and reading with ease. All the while, in spelling, I was terrible. You figure I would at least memorize what letters the words are made up of, but no. What I can tell you is, Jesus was black.
     
  4. proglodite

    proglodite Member

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    ...
     
  5. Misseriah

    Misseriah Mothernature is a MILF

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    consider me jaded
     
  6. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

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    I vaguely recall learning this in undergrad philosophy classes :)

    Nonetheless, it is probably one the most interesting popular arguments.

    I'd say it's faulty and appeal to evolution. I stand by Dawkins in his The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design and argue that the complexity of life does not point to a designer but to millions of years of evolution.

    Oh, and Hume also points out in his dialogues that the analogy of universe/watch is ultimately falicious.

    On that grounds, I dismiss Paley like I did many years ago when first presented with him :)
     
  7. Alwin

    Alwin problem solver

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    some observations:

    1. we do not find any watch, but we are locked inside a watch (i.e. the universe) and the watch is inside of us (i.e. the DNA, cells, etc) and we do not know of anything existing independently of the watch, which makes the idea of a watchmaker less obvious
    2. the structure of the watch changes over time (i.e. the process of evolution) and it is not clear yet whether these changes could have led to the complicated structures we see in the watch today, or if some structure must have existed from which the current watch has evolved
     
  8. LORD_RED_DRAGON

    LORD_RED_DRAGON New Metal Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LORD_RED_DRAGON
    here's a web article that proves your point go to www.normalbobsmith.com/hatemail251.html scroll down to about 2/3rds of the way to the bottom of the page and read the text on the left that's written in the blood red letters

    i still stand by this^^^ because i still believe that Judeo-Christianity is in reality nothing more than a crutch that is neccassary for those idiots that are to feeble-minded to deal with the reality of the crappiness of the way real world actually is...
    ...the real world sucks, get over it

    Originally Posted by Vital Remains


    this is the most hillarious thing i've ever seen and what makes it so fucking great is that it's, well, a totallyacurate warning label. the people that don't realize that it's fiction really can become dangerously psychotic which can be seen when you look at the Crusades, the inquisition, Hitler, Christian "ethics" severely slowing down stem-cell research (and to a lesser extent all other medical reasearch) which was parodied by a psychotically Christian female cartoon chacter saying "Don't worry Jesus, I'll put a stop to this blasphemy before it saves the lives of countless millions" which was so hilariously contradictory to what i believe that i put it in my sig

    btw
    sorry about the gramatically incorrect paragraphical structure

    here's my take on this

    if you said that you could prove "inteligent design", i'd be willing to listen to you

    but

    if you said you could prove that the "design-er" was the Christian's "God" then i'd have to say "bullshit"
     
  9. Norsemaiden

    Norsemaiden barbarian

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    Like Final_Product I stand by Dawkins also. What about this: you put your cake mixture in the oven at the required temperature and after the required time (according to recipe) go back and THERE IS A READY MADE CAKE!

    God must have taken away the mixture and replaced it with the cake he created!

    But why did he bother? He could have just left the mixture in the oven and it would have turned into a cake anyway!!!

    Same with evolution. Life was going to evolve as it has anyway, because all the circumstances were right for this to occur. Was God simply impatient?

    Dawkins: "The fundamental original units that we need to postulate, in order to understand the coming into existence of everything, either consist of literally nothing (according to some pysycists), or (according to other physicists) they are units of the utmost simplicity, far too simple to need anything so grand as deliberate Creation." From "The Blind Watchmaker".

    You may be amused to know that I nearly mistyped that as "The Bling Watchmaker"!
     
  10. LORD_RED_DRAGON

    LORD_RED_DRAGON New Metal Member

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    very well put
    the only questions i have are such that they should be asked in an astrophisics thread, not here
     
  11. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    there are so many flaws in that logic, NorseMaiden. Who made the cake-mix? If you did, where did you get the materials? If you found them somewhere, how did they get there? How did the plants or animals get there to produce said materials for cake mix? etc in an endless spiral to the question "suppose the big bang is real, where did all this material come from if matter cannot be created or destroyed?" was it spontaneously converted from energy? Where did that energy come from? Did it come from a previous universe? Where did THAT one come from? The only plausible solution is that the "system" in which we live was initiated by an external force. What you believe this force to be is up to you, but it is laughable to argue as you do.

    And go ahead and try to prove that "things would have happened anyway" without any possible hope of proving that the past sequence of history would be the same with or without a highly-disputed deity for which even existance is in question.
     
  12. LORD_RED_DRAGON

    LORD_RED_DRAGON New Metal Member

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    this is stuff that should be in an astrophisics thread, not here
     
  13. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    right, cause it actually might change people's minds. :Smug: see yas.
     
  14. speed

    speed Member

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    LRD, why are you complaining? This is as philosophical a discussion as one can get. Please stop before I start deleting these whiny posts of yours.
     
  15. LORD_RED_DRAGON

    LORD_RED_DRAGON New Metal Member

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    i wasn't trying to sound like i was complaining
    i was suggesting that someone should start an astrophisics thread or post on one of the already existing ones

    also
    deleting individual posts would be a hell of a lot better than closing down threads
     
  16. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Clearly then you don't grasp that every single philosophical debate beyond pure mathematical logic proofs (and even these arguably) is based on the framework of beliefs and perspectives. if you tell me I should not debate astrophysics when astrophysics provides a counter-argument, then you are merely afraid I am right.
     
  17. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

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    The inherent problem here is that folks always have bias.

    I, and many others, are drawn towards explanations that exclude god, while kenneth, among others, are drawn towards those that include the notion.

    Although, I agree with Kenneth is what he has said above.
     
  18. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    I haven't read Hume's criticism of the argument since like 3 years ago but here's what I think is wrong with the analogy. We infer that certain things are designed because we've learned from past experience that these things are in fact designed, e.g. I know that the order I observe in a watch, for instance, is the product of design simply because it's common knowledge that watches are things that are designed. Simple enough. This kind of observation doesn't hold in the case of the universe. Our position as an epistemic community is vastly different in this case. I haven't, and I presume nobody else has, observed or learned from past experience, be it testimony or actual observation, that this universe or any other universes were designed. The confusion lies in conflating order with design. Suppose one didn't even have any notion of design at all and they came across a watch. They would very easily observe order of the highest degree in the watch but would they suppose that it was designed? I think these kinds of analogies are absolute shit and uninformative. What's irks me even more is when people argue in the following manner: "Design presupposes a designer and when we look at the structure of things we see such complexity and design." First of all, of course design presupposes a designer. That's not even insightful. Second of all, the very thing in question is whether the universe was in fact designed. Claims like the one in quotes only beg the question.
     
  19. Norsemaiden

    Norsemaiden barbarian

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    And then there is the question of who designed the designer? Who designed God? Anything as complex as God must have had a designer, by Kenneth R's own logic should it not?
     
  20. LORD_RED_DRAGON

    LORD_RED_DRAGON New Metal Member

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    the text here^^^ would make a really great initial thread-starting post for a comepletely seperate thread
    i really can't think of any other way to say this
     

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