Monday, February 14, 2011

For Wed., we will move on to the next chapter on Cosmological Arguments. Friday, we will likely get to Ontological arguments, so the writing assignment for Monday is those two chapters.

Here is an encyclopedia article on Design arguments:

Design Arguments for the Existence of God

Design arguments are empirical arguments for the existence of God. These arguments typically, though not always, proceed by attempting to identify various empirical features of the world that constitute evidence of intelligent design and inferring God’s existence as the best explanation for these features. Since the concepts of design and purpose are closely related, design arguments are also known as “teleological arguments,” which incorporates “telos,” the Greek word for “goal” or “purpose.”

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 explanation for the fact that the material universe exhibits F is that there exists an intelligent designer who intentionally brought it about that the material universe exists and exhibits F.

There are a number of classic and contemporary versions of the argument from design. This article will cover seven different ones. Among the classical versions are: (1) the “Fifth Way” of St. Thomas Aquinas; (2) the argument from simple analogy; (3) Paley’s watchmaker argument; and (4) the argument from guided evolution. The more contemporary versions include: (5) the argument from irreducible biochemical complexity; (6) the argument from biological information; and (7) the fine-tuning argument.

Table of Contents

  1. The Classical Versions of the Design Argument
    1. Scriptural Roots and Aquinas’s Fifth Way
    2. The Argument from Simple Analogy
    3. Paley’s Watchmaker Argument
    4. Guided Evolution
  2. Contemporary Versions of the Design Argument
    1. The Argument from Irreducible Biochemical Complexity
    2. The Argument from Biological Information
    3. The Fine-Tuning Arguments
      1. The Argument from Suspicious Improbability
      2. The Confirmatory Argument
  3. The Scientifically Legitimate Uses of Design Inferences
  4. References and Further Reading

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