Paley Vs. Hume This Is A Inductive Argument About The Origin And Nature Of God, Religion, And The Universe.

1025 words - 4 pages

Paley vs. HumeI read William Paley's, "The Argument from Design", and David Hume's, "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion." What I established after reading these two arguments is that it is extraordinarily difficult to come to any conclusion about the origin of the universe and the world. Both are inductive arguments about the origin and nature of God, religion, and the universe; things that can never be proven true and absolute.In Paley's argument for the existence of God, "The Argument from Design", Paley attempts to prove with his arguments that God is the Sole designer and creator of the universe. He compares the universe to a watch, and God to the watchmaker. In this argument, Paley asserts that the universe is so intricate and orderly that only a being of extreme immense intelligence could have designed and created it.Paley makes the argument that everything that exhibits design can be inferred that it was in fact the product of intelligent design. If you take a look at a watch, for example, one could determine that it was designed in one of two ways. If the person examining the watch has had prior experience with watches, then they would be able to state that it had indeed been designed. If the watch exhibited marks of intelligent design such as smooth surfaces or uniquely intricate parts, then they could again infer that some intelligent being made the watch. Since humanity, Earth, and the universe as a whole are so orderly and uniquely intricate, Paley infers that the universe had to have been created from some immensely intelligent being.Paley then makes the argument that the universe exhibits design. By just merely existing for a given period of time, one can gather from experience that the universe has characteristics of being designed. Planets move in orbits that do not crash into each other, the sun rises and sets each morning, and human beings exist on Earth. Looking at this proof from another perspective, one can conclude that nothing is ever brought about without a creator.A person couldn't toss all of the contents of a watch into the air and expect them to fall back to the ground as a watch. Nothing happens without clashing from some intelligence, and Paley states that the universe came about from the clashing of the divine intelligence of God.From these arguments, he then concludes that the universe was designed. This gives a somewhat convincing view that God was the sole designer and creator of the universe. However, in "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion," David Hume easily finds fault within the argument that Paley puts forth. Hume examines both sides of the argument and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. Hume says that the weaker the analogy the weaker the conclusion, and the analogy between the universe and other things that exhibit design is too weak to support the conclusion. A watch has far fewer parts than the universe. The watch also has a much higher chance of randomly failing to...

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