paley's watch argument

This is what we expect from the creator of life and the universe. Because Paley is confronted with a crafted mechanical watch which nature clearly could not produce on its He also conveniently makes a false comparisons to drive home his point, but I won’t bother to go into that error because his whole case is worthless since the basis of the Teleological argument is not based on an analogy. In his work, Paley uses a teleological argument based on the watchmaker analogy. Paley’s teleological argument for the existence of God makes an analogy between a watch and the universe. Telos means end (as in “endzone” in football) or purpose or goal. Bryana_Polk2. So I’ve already answered #1 – it does not represent the argument accurately, but let me apply it to this video: The Problem of Evil Today, as in his own time (though for different reasons), Paley is a controversial figure, a lightning rod for both sides in the contemporary … So what he shows here is he’s not trying to refute Paley’s argument. Those who try to refute this argument always seem to miss that point. And what can we learn from the creation?  We learn that God is timeless, eternal, and all powerful among other things.  How do we know this?  As already stated, from an examination  of the nature of creation. What are the similarities between Paley’s watch argument and Thomas’s fifth way? William Paley’s Watch maker argument The above are not the words Paley use. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  The Watchmaker Argument: Fredrik Bendz summarizes a number of objections to Paley's argument—most relating to the fallacy of false analogy. 2.  His understanding of the use of complexity is flawed. Watch / universe is not product of impersonal principle of order, 6. “…when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e. g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day: that if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order, than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it.”, William Paley’s Intelligent Contrivance, Kestrels and Cerevisiae (blog), March 10, 2011,, 6. Paley also addressed a number of possible counterarguments: Objection: We don’t know who the watchmaker is. Basically, it was the watchmaker analogy that was used, “To support argument for the existence of God and for the intelligent design of the universe in both Christianity and Deism.” Click to see full answer. 4. likening a human being to a watch, and secondly because it regards teleology as … If he came across a mechanical watch on the ground, he would assume that its many complex parts fitted together for a … An overview of William Paley's Watch analogy for students of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Because every atheist I speak to says there’s no evidence of God. This is critical to understand because this error is the foundation of many other errors in the video. Once again he’s just showing his anti-Christian bias as he puts up another straw man argument directed at Christianity, not Paley’s argument. ( Log Out /  At most I will grant the argument does not identify the Abrahamic God – but that’s not the point of the argument. Notice that a creator who was designed, and thus began to exist is incompatible with an eternal creator outside of time. He points to an arrow consistently hitting a target. Learn. )  He should make up his mind. False Cause Fallacy   (Mistake @ 2.44) Incompetent Design (Mistake @ 7:40) 3. His argument played a prominent role in natural theology. He has in mind an old analog watch, since that is all there were in his time. Footnote 1 Darwin was influenced by Paley’s work, and some modern authors have cited it as an important example of pre-Darwinian “adaptationist” thinking (e.g., Dawkins 1986 ; Williams 1992 ; but see Gliboff 2000 ; McLaughlin 2008 ). It’s on all that has to happen to bring it about – the planning, purpose, the assembling of parts in a particular order to achieve a specific end.  All these speak to design and purpose, not merely to just complexity. 1. What makes it the case that this is a better explanation of the existence of the watch than an explanation which attributes the existence of the watch to a series of more or less random natural events? Therefore, watch / universe is product of intelligent design; it’s the best option, Outline of Hume’s Argument against Design, Nietzsche’s Madman and the Death of God, Sartre’s “Existentialism and Humanism”. And we know this from all the genetic operations studies that we have.”[7] video. In the Just as a watch, with its inteligent design and complex function must have been created by an intelligent maker: a watchmaker, the universe, with all its complexity and greatness, must have been created by an intelligent and powerful creator. William Dembski, Intelligent Design – the Bridge Between Science & Theology, Downer’s Grove, IL:IVP Academic, 1999, p.47 As noted above – the conclusion from the teleological argument is that God is eternal, and thus cannot begin to exist, and thus cannot be designed. Part 3. his assertion that Paley confuses correlation with causation, also another false assertion that is unfounded. Doesn’t Support Theism (Mistake @ 7:17) Self contradicting (mistake @ 5:54) Notice the main features of the arguments above: each instance requires: 1. forethought and planning, 2. Full video: Join George and John as they discuss and debate different Philosophical ideas. Therefore, the (probable) designer of the universe is powerful and vastly intelligent. In reference to the argument, Voltaire once commented “if a watch confirms the existence of a watchmaker, but the universe fails to demonstrate the presence of a great Architect, then I consent to be labeled a fool.” Today, the analogy is credited with William Paley who outlined the argument in his book Natural Theology(1802). 10. 2. Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box – The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, New York: Free Press, 1996, p. 39 “Darwin assumed that the increase of information comes from natural selection. )  The argument speaks to the designer of the universe. Here he states, “The watch maker argument doesn’t support theism. Traditionally – and certainly in Paley’s day –  there is only one universe, which would then imply one designer.  In these days when physicists and cosmologists claim the existence of a multi-verse (to try escape the inescapable conclusion of fine tuning in the universe) – he might want to claim many designers for a multi-verse – but that’s a separate argument. The best option is that the watch is product of intelligent design. Here he’s just spouting Evolutionary dogma while, I’ve written a number of articles on why Evolution is impossible. If the video is a “joke” then why does it seem to represent the argument accurately according to Christian presentations and others’? What is William Paley's argument for design. This undoubtedly is one of the reasons that Paley’s name is most commonly linked with the design argument even though it was by no means original to him. Back, 5.  On Paley’s use of purposeful design: William Paley The Watch and the Watchmaker [From Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature (1802), pp. Paley’s watchmaker is the most famous version; it is based on analogy between a watch and the world. The analogy is used for what analogies are typically used for, to help the reader understand a deeper point, the analogy in and of itself is NOT the argument. The 'watch analogy' from William Paley is an 'a posteriori' (based upon experience, as opposed to the use of logic) argument for the existence of God. We know evolutionists know no such thing because they can’t even figure out where the abundance of species and body types originate that are found in the Cambrian Explosion. Key Point Based on the way the world is, God logically exists. Thus examining the evidence as Paley did, one must conclude that God is eternal, and thus uncreated, and thus without beginning or end, and thus uncaused and un-designed. What evidence do we have that God is complex?  How did he examine God? Ex Nihilo  (Mistake @ 6:55) Thus they do not help in the selecting for survival. One need merely take a look at all the skeptics who try (unsuccessfully) to refute it. Although William Paley published his watchmaker argument many years after David Hume's death, his design arguments must have been going around intellectual circles for many years prior, since David Hume did address them in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, which was published after his death. The origin of life (which it can’t) and 2. Because it undercuts two arguments used to try to defeat Paley’s watchmaker argument. Order or intricacy of watch / universe is not merely our human mind imposing order on watch / universe, 7. The argument hinges upon the assumed premise that 'like causes resemble like effects'. c. Paley’s Watchmaker Argument. Here he states “The watchmaker argument acts as if a watch maker creates a watch from nothing.”  No it doesn’t.  Ex Nihilo is a matter of Christian doctrine ( Gen 1.1-2),  but the watchmaker argument has nothing to say about where the watchmaker gets materials for the watch, nor how the creator created the universe. Does the universe exhibit design, like a watch? Thanks, and yes you’re correct on both accounts – like the Pharisees who refused to see the miracle of the healing of the blind man (John 9), skeptics who don’t want to see evidence of God simply won’t. William Paley quotes Showing 1-5 of 5 “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” Michael Behe’s “irreducible complexity” is also a teleological argument. Paley talks about “contrivances” with clearly designed goals and purposes – which results in complexity. He concludes that because the universe is complex, its designer must be complex – the way a watch or the universe is complex. Thus the conclusion from the teleological argument about God is not only does God who created the universe exist, but  based on the nature of that universe, he must be eternal, immaterial, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent – just as the Bible depicts him. That concludes his flawed arguments. No amount of clear, logical reasoning will convince those who do not want to believe. 2 Paley’s initial discussion—in which he sets out and defends his argument—may be thought of as having four parts. The universe resembles, is like the watch. Hume does not 2. I. Analogical Teleological Argument : If I stumbled on a stone and asked how it came to be there, it would be difficult to show that the answer, it has lain there forever is absurd. Improbable” simply fail: “Mt Improbable and other impossible evolutionary dreams“. Paley’s Watchmaker argument – undefeated – composite by Duane Caldwell, featuring But once again, Paley’s point is not on the complexity alone. But natural selection reduces genetic information. If we came across this watch even if we didn’t Plato the Soul Man. 7. As geneticist Dr. Marciej Giertych puts it:Â, “Darwin assumed that the increase of information comes from natural selection. First, to think of God in those terms is to fall to the error of, The Universe/Creation was created out of nothing, William Paley’s Intelligent Contrivance, Kestrels and Cerevisiae, Mt Improbable and other impossible evolutionary dreams, Everyone should have one (The Watchmaker Analogy),, Distant Starlight Unlikely Solutions Part 1: Light In Transit, 15 Reasons:Why Evolution has never happened-Part 3, 15 Reasons:Why Evolution has never happened-Part 2, 15 Reasons: Why Evolution has never happened – Part 1, Knowledge of the Holy One Part 5: The Trinity, Knowledge of the Holy One Part 4: The Holy Spirit, Knowledge of the Holy One Part 3: God the Father, Knowledge of the Holy One Part 2: Jesus – The Holy One Denied, Knowledge of the Holy One Part 1: Jesus – the Holy One Revealed, Questions for Question Evolution Day 2020. An Intelligent agent to conceive of, and execute the entirety of the plan.  These components can be identified in the first three iterations of the teleological argument above, and I submit they are also implicit in Paley’s argument which include “purposeful design” and “contrivances.”  Indeed any object that requires forethought and planning to be produced is by definition an object that can only be produced by Intelligent Design. It has been hugely influential in the field of natural sciences – especially Biology – even though the majority of people have never heard of it. 2. The whole point of his little video is to prove that the watchmaker doesn’t imply a designer. Paley presented an argument which contains an analogy. Ignores Natural Selection (Mistake @ 3:52) Our ignorance about a watch / universe does not mean we can’t draw some inferences about watch / universe, B. We cannot figure out everything about the watch / universe, so we can’t infer it’s designed, 4. Paley argues that, if one was to find a watch laying on the ground and was to be aske… The point of the argument is to prove God exists – which it does.  Besides, the reason God sent Jesus was to reveal God. “Every indicator of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater and more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation. What are his (and mine) logical flaws? From Youtube bloggers to high profile atheists like Richard Dawkins, doubters repeatedly try to show the argument invalid – and fail miserably. William Paley’s book, Natural Theology, is a work of monumental importance. But Paley’s concepts of “purposeful design” [5] and “contrivances” [6] anticipate these concepts, and thus his argument is clearly a teleological one – not an argument based on analogy. Which is true – complexity in and off itself does not require a designer. So let’s formally show him where he’s wrong. How might we learn something about God? He then goes on to state that the argument says that “Complexity Requires a designer (1:18). How does Paley answer the objection that the universe could have come into order and pattern by chance? And yes tuning was omitted – corrected. William Paley (1743 - 1805) was a British philosopher whose writings on natural theology and moral/political philosophy were largely influential amongst British and American thinkers. I could take this point by point – e.g. In order for him to make that claim he must be able to state the origin of life, and demonstrate how nature did it from the beginning to end  – not with fuzzy evolutionary just-so stories, full of maybe’s and perhaps, and could be’s – but actual step by step scientific processes.  Failing that, it’s his belief, not science.  He’s just stating it’s true by fiat using the fallacy of an appeal to ignorance and hope you don’t know any better. But in doing so he concedes the existence of a designer. The analogy is NOT the argument. First:  problems in the design does not negate the fact that we can still detect design.  If a house is half burned down, we can still detect it was once a house. The Argument fails because complexity doesn’t require a designer. Perhaps the most famous variant of this argument is the William Paley’s “watch” argument. Because every atheist I speak to says there’s, So why does he think God is complex? William Paley’s Watch maker argument Spell. Created by. Again at this point, he’s not arguing against Paley, he’s arguing against the Judeo-Christian God.  At that point I need merely prove why there isn’t a multi-verse, since he’s already conceded a designer. Here’s one that deals with a topic we’ve been discussing – specified complexity – and why Neo-Darwinism – and Dawkins’ “Mt. ( Log Out /  Watch / universe are not one out of possible combinations 5. So right off the bat we see this attempt to debunk Paley’s does not represent the argument accurately according to Christian presentations as elaborated above. However, where my grandma uses zoo animals to teach this, Paley is famous for using a common watch. So the incarnation of Jesus reveals God in a way no rational argument can.  So in summary, the argument doesn’t identify God, but neither does it preclude the Abrahamic God. 1. 8. There must be an apparent reason for the complexity and a goal or purpose for the complexity.  There is clearly an apparent reason behind the complexity in a watch: its many “contrivances” allow it to keep time according to the specification of hours, minutes and seconds.  Not so with crystals.  They exhibit merely a complex ordering of matter, with no apparent goal or purpose. First we note he starts with his misunderstanding of the usage of complexity that we noted above, then states that God (the designer) must be complex: How does he know the designer is complex? What conclusion would you draw if you found a watch on the road out in the heath (countryside)? 6. The philosopher compares the creator to a watchmaker and states that the presence of design proves the existence of a designer, although some of his ideas and statements fail to pass a logical approach. 2. William Paley : This short anonymous summary of Paley's life is from the Internet Encyclopædia of Philosophy . A sequence or action to achieve the target 4. Or second, the attempted rebuttals fail because of the use of other logical fallacies. Behe explains the concept thus: “By. Back, 2. – so the creator must be omnipotent. Watch So we’ll address that here – by briefly explaining the main argument.). Once again I must wonder if he has ever read Paley’s argument or is intentionally misrepresenting it – which is at best the fallacy of suppressed evidence and at worse the fallacy of lying. That is a clear-cut true statement. Paley’s argument has both its strengths and its weaknesses. False Analogy Fallacy (Mistake @ 1:35) Paley’s argument is inductive by revealing it actually to be a deductive argu-ment. Yet the Video blogger never addresses this real argument, thus the glaring flaw, and the straw man argument. 1.. A watch found out in the heath (countryside) is a product of intelligent design (purpose). The “analogy” is to help understand the argument. But natural selection reduces genetic information. keptics routinely give these two objections to the Paley’s argument: the analogy in and of itself is NOT the argument. Let’s look a bit more closely at premise (2) in the above argument for the conclusion that the watch had an intelligent designer. I’ll point them out as we come across them. 1-6.] The universe resembles, is like the watch. I’ve written a number of articles on why Evolution is impossible. Please elaborate. So this argument falls along with the false contention of being self refuting. On Paley’s use of “contrivances” Basically, this argument says that after seeing a watch, with all its intricate parts, which work together in a precise fashion to keep time, one must deduce that this piece of machinery has a creator, since it is far too complex to have simply come into being by some other means, such as evolution. Paley’s argument can be seen to be fairly weak due to a watch being man made where as a stone is something that was created in the christian God’s 7 days of creation. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Special Pleading / Self Refuting (Mistake @ 5:00) A. Now he says it does – but adds a caveat – it implies more than 1 designer by analogy – incorrectly using his mistaken understanding of an analogy as indicated above. Presumptions God exists The world has been created by God which is created – which means the creator must be beyond or outside of time since he existed “before” he created it;  Thus the creator is eternal, Material/Matter It is also referred to as the Design Argument as it looks for evidence of God’s existence through design in creation. He’s not making an analogy between the watch and the universe.  His argument is based on the identification of design. William Paley's watchmaker analogy is basically a teleological argument. Paley’s argument can be broadly categorised as a type of teleological argument, and a distinctly modern one. Also false. In Paley’s Watch Argument, the watch is used as an analogy of the universe while the watchmaker is used as an analogy of God. Addressing specific errors in Critiques of Paley. His argument played a prominent role in natural theology. He identifies how we can infer a designer – “if the effect is both complex and specified”[2] furthermore he notes, we must rule out automatic or natural processes, so we must also establish contingency, or as he puts it, to infer design, “we must establish three things: contingency, complexity and specification. Published in 1802, it purports to give “evidences of the existence and attributes of … It does this by asserting complexity and order can only be caused by a designer” But he fails at that too. it looks to the end purpose of things. Objection 2. One of his concluding statements is rather revealing: “Though the watch maker argument is thoroughly flawed it is nevertheless what I personally consider to be one of the best arguments for a deity that has ever been.”. I was asked to defend the assessment  I made  of a critique of Paley‘s argument by YouTube channel “Rationality Rules”, in which I claimed the video was a joke because it misunderstood the argument and used straw man arguments and logical flaws.  Specifically I was asked to defend: 1.) This objection misses the point and thus fails because Paley’s argument is not an argument based on analogy. ii. Skeptics routinely give these two objections to the Paley’s argument: Objection 1. "Paley's argument is made with passionate sincerity and is informed by the best biological scholarship of the day, but it is wrong, gloriously and utterly wrong. Here he invokes the common atheist “Who designed God?” argument by trying to “apply the argument to itself.”. Though many objections are put forth, all fail spectacularly for usually the same small set of reasons: either because the skeptic doesn’t understand the argument and thus raises irrelevant objections – straw man arguments. At the end of this section he goes into the Problem of Evil – another theological problem not addressed by the Teleological Argument.  For more on the problem of evil, which is addressed by the Moral Argument (not the teleological argument), see here. To follow the example in the argument, we know the watch is complex by examination. That is the essence of the argument of Michael Ruse to Ben Stein in “Expelled no Intelligence Allowed” – that life may have developed into the needed complexity on the back of crystals (1 minute video).  What Ruse and many others skeptics miss, is that the identification of design is contingent not only on just complexity, put as Dembski put it “specified complexity” [emphasis mine] or as Paley put it “purposeful design”. Which requires an intelligence to create –  which means the creator must possess all the necessary information to create the universe and all life – so omniscient, The Universe/Creation was created out of nothing 3. Paley attempts to show that just as a watch, which is a complex device that fulfills a certain function, requires a maker, the universe, which is equally sophisticated and has complex life forms must have a designer. Winner success concept © Mbolina |  used by permission. William Paley The Watch and the Watchmaker [From Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature (1802), pp. But as the main point has already been refuted, in the interest of brevity I will not bother with every sub-mistake under his main mistake.  Â, 5. I mean that the contrivances of nature surpass the contrivances of art, in the complexity, subtilty, and curiosity of the mechanism; and still more, if possible, do they go beyond them in number and variety; yet in a multitude of cases, are not less evidently mechanical, not less evidently contrivances, not less evidently accommodated to their end, or suited to their office, than are the most perfect productions of human ingenuity (Paley 1867, 13).”, 7. Test. Back, 4. Why is this important? A target or goal in mind, 3. Terms in this set (29) Form of Argument by Analogy. [note: the author formatted this is a way that did not leave space for a page break. He identifies how we can infer a designer – “if the effect is both complex and specified”, Michael Behe’s “irreducible complexity” is also a teleological argument. In this section he also invokes a Circular Reasoning argument, claiming we have “millions of examples of nature creating complex life.” That’s his (false) conclusion.  We have no evidence of that, only evolutionary fairytales that  evolutionists tell us. By God we mean the designer of the universe (which the argument does in fact prove) who is  eternal, immaterial, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.  That’s what the creation upon examination points to and that, by the way, is the  Biblical understanding of some of the characteristics of God. Does a design imply a designer? Argument For God Through Design deny the status of such as a wonder, it would be a weak argument as even scientists today are left speechless about many natural events. The argument is based on the identification of design. He’s trying to refute the Judeo-Christian one, unique God. And now that you see all his fatal flaws in his attempts to refute it, and you see it thus remains un-refuted, we are left with: “It is what I personally consider to be one of the best arguments for a deity that has ever been.” To that, I agree. 1. The identification of design requires a designer. (Another thing it can’t do. 11. Rather  specified complexity – as Dembski put it, or “purposeful complexity”  as Paley put it which includes “contrivances” as he described, is what requires a designer.

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