Two Theologies Natural Revealed(a posteriori) (a priori)
Three Major CategoriesCosmological: the universe and everything in itdepends on something [God] for its existence.Teleological: the natural world appears to havebeen designed (with a purpose) by a designer[God].Ontological: existence of God is entailed by theconcept of God.
PlatoTimaeus (c 360 BCE)A benevolent demiurge(craftsman) who worked withpre-existing matter to createeverything according to aneternal model (paradigmata)consisting of ideals (forms,eidos).
AristotleMetaphysics: Four causes(explanation of how a thingcame about)
Thomas Aquinas 1224 - 1274Converted Platonicdemiurge into ChristianGod.Summa TheologicaFive proofs for theexistence of God (“TheFive Ways”)
From MotionNothing can move itself.If every object in motion hada mover, then the ﬁrst objectin motion needed a mover.This ﬁrst mover is theUnmoved Mover, called God.
From CausationThere exists things that are caused(created) by other things.Nothing can be the cause of itself(nothing can create itself.)There can not be an endless string ofobjects causing other objects to exist.Therefore, there must be an uncausedﬁrst cause called God.
The Design ArgumentTeleological argumentCommon sense tells usthat the universe works insuch a way that one canconclude that it wasdesigned by an intelligentdesigner.
The Mechanical Universe
Theism or Deism?One and only one all-powerfulGodwho created the Universeand remains immanent in Hiscreation
Mechanical PhilosophyAccount for all the phenomena of nature solely in termsof matter in motionGod acted through ﬁxed laws and this made Himgreater.Rene Descartes – argued for God based on pure reason(a priori)Baruch Spinoza – argued against Biblical miraclesPierre Gassendi – revived Pre-Socratic atomism andEpicurean thought
Physico-TheologyJohn Ray - Wisdom of God Manifested in the Worksof the Creation (1691)Richard Bentley – A Confutation of Atheism (1692)William Derham – Physico-Theology (1715)Joseph Priestly – Disquisitions Pertaining to Matterand Spirit (1777)
Newton “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator … The Supreme God is a Being eternal, inﬁnite, absolutely perfect being; but a being, however perfect, without dominion is not the Lord God.”
Newton “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”
Robert Boyle The universe “is like a rare clock … where all things are so skillfully contrived, that the engine being once set a-moving, all things proceed according to the artiﬁcers ﬁrst design, and the motions … do not require the particular interposing of the artiﬁcer, or any intelligent agent employed by him, but perform their functions upon particular occasions, by virtue of the general and primitive contrivance of the whole engine.”
John Ray “There is for a free man no occupation more worthy and delightful than to contemplate the beauteous works of nature and honour the inﬁnite wisdom and goodness of God.” (1660)
William Paley 1743–1805 The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy (1785) A View of the Evidences of Christianity (1794) Natural Theology (1802)
Cicero“When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time bydesign and not by chance. How thencan you imagine that the universe asa whole is devoid of purpose andintelligence, when it embraceseverything, including these artifactsthemselves and their artiﬁcers?”De Natura Deorum
Elliot SoberA: X is intricate and well suited to a task TW1: X is a product of intelligent designW2: X is a product of random physical forcesPaley claims that the likelihood of W1 given Aexceeds that of W2, i.e. P(A|W1) >> P(A|W2)This is an abduction to the best explanation
The Design Argument Many of the things we observe are complicated, intricate and work well together. This cannot have arisen by chance and therefore must have arisen by design. Design implies a Designer (Argument to Design) Good, perfect and benevolent design implies a good, perfect, benevolent designer God (Argument from Design)
Contrivance shows presenceof designing intelligence whoseattributes “must be adequateto the magnitude, extent, andmultiplicity of his operations”“Uniformity of plan observablein the universe” reﬂects theunity and wisdom of God.Goodness is proven bybeneﬁcial nature ofcontrivances and pleasureadded to animal sensations
“We have no reason to fear” “The hinges in the wings of an earwig and the joints of its antennae, are as highly wrought, as if the Creator had nothing else to ﬁnish. We see no signs of diminution of care by multiplicity of objects, or of distraction of thought by variety. We have no reason to fear, therefore, our being forgotten, or overlooked, or neglected.”
Evidentialism Any claim is rational if and only if there is sufﬁcient evidence to support it, and rationality is in direct proportion to the balance of evidence.David Hume
Natural Religion Treatise on Human Nature (1739-’40) Our ideas reach no farther than our experience and we can thus have no conception of divine attributes
Revealed Religion An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) It is never reasonable to believe in violations of natural law
Origin of Religion Natural History of Religion (1757) We are only left with “vulgar religion” - the religion of the masses, emotions and instincts. This religion has its origin in dread of the unknown
Watches are a product of intelligentdesignWatches and puppies are similar (to adegree)∴ Puppies are a product of intelligentdesign.(This is an argument from analogy)
Hume’s (?) conclusionDesign argument is a ﬂawed analogyLimits of our experience of the vast universeNo deﬁnitive proof of the unity, powerfulness,or presence of the creator“a total suspension of judgement is here ouronly reasonable resource.”
The Problem of EvilIs God willing to prevent evil, but not able?Then He is not omnipotent.Is He able, but not willing? Then He ismalevolent.Is He both able and willing? Then whencecometh evil?Is He neither able nor willing? Then why callHim God?
Tennyson Are God and Nature then at strife, That Nature lends such evil dreams? So careful of the type she seems, So careless of the single life; ‘So careful of the type?’ but no. From scarped cliff and quarried stone She cries, ‘A thousand types are gone: I care for nothing, all shall go.
Charles Darwin Design was apparent and did not imply a designer. Natural mechanisms were sufﬁcient to explain good (and bad) design “Evil” is a meaningless concept when considering the natural world.
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John Henry Newman “I believe in design because I believe in God; not in God because I see design.” Letter to Brownlow, April 13th 1870.