Presentation on theme: "Swinburne and Tennant Understand the anthropic principle. Have knowledge of the replies."— Presentation transcript:
Swinburne and Tennant Understand the anthropic principle. Have knowledge of the replies.
So Hume… Write a summary of 3 of Hume’s objections. There is something wrong with that analogy… What if it wasn’t just one God… But what about Anthropomorphism? Is there not a small evil problem? But things have to work to survive?
In between…. Darwin Spider diagram about Darwin. Darwin’s theory of Evolution
Think Pair Share Why does Darwin cause a problem for the Teleological argument. Which criticism prior to Darwin now takes on more of a precedence? How?
Criticisms Charles Darwin (‘The Origin of Species’ 1853) The argument rests on the idea that chance cannot explain design – Darwin uncovers that it can. Species do not arise according to a divine plan: they arise step by step through the mutation of genes The guiding principle in life is not a set of blue prints but the process of the natural selection of genes which benefit a species. This directly contradicts the Aristotelian basis of Aquinas’ ‘Fifth Way’ (the idea that all living objects are goal-directed)
Where do theists go now? Abandon the argument Reject theism Base theism on Something else Personal faith Revealed theology Different theistic arguments Re-state the argument Reject / reply to Hume & Darwinian criticisms Reformulate the argument on a different basis Beauty Anthropic principle Argue for non-classical theology
Tennant Anthropic Vs Aesthetic Principle. Best evidence of life is in the way the universe supports design. Aesthetic principle. Why do you like art? Beautiful paintings? Joy and beauty given to us by God.
F.R. Tennant and the anthropic principle Cambridge academic and clergyman “Nature is meaningless and valueless without God behind it and Man in front.” (Philosophical Theology, 1930) Tennant is arguing that humanity is at the forefront of creation, because the circumstances of the universe uniquely and surprisingly enable human life to emerge. Tennant was the first theist philosopher to use the fundamental characteristics of the universe as life- nurturing to offer a new form of teleological argument; many have since followed this path.
Anthropic reasoning From the Greek ‘anthropos’ (human/man); anthropic reasoning argues from the human perspective. Write down a list of the factors necessary for your existence. Reflect: are humans fortunate in having the conditions of life met? Is it surprising that the world is set up for life?
The ‘anthropic principle’ Used as response to theory of evolution provided by Darwin The world contains human beings The conditions necessary to bring this about were extremely slim (1/100,000,000, !) Such conditions cannot be rationally attributed to chance These conditions must have been designed This designer was God ‘Nature is meaningless and valueless without God behind it and Man in front.’ (Tennant, Philosophical Theology, 1930)
Weak and strong principles ‘Weak anthropic principle’ The circumstances in our universe are such that the emergence of life is possible. This could fit in with theism (God has enabled life), but does not so clearly suggest the idea of creation. ‘Strong anthropic principle’ The circumstances in our universe are such that the emergence of life is inevitable Theists could use this to argue teleologically, that God has intended a human life producing universe.
Anthropic teleological argument 1.The emergence of human life in our universe depends on numerous factors: planetary conditions, fundamental laws of physics, etc. 2.Human life has emerged in our universe. 3.A life-friendly universe such as ours is highly improbable; almost any other set of circumstances we can think of would have been life-hostile. 4.A designer or intelligent Creator would make sense of our improbable universe. CONCLUSION: God exists Rate my argument Convincing Unconvincing
A new design argument? Keith Ward “The argument in its seventeenth-century form … may have been superseded by Darwin. But the design argument still lives, as an argument that the precise structure of laws and constants that seem uniquely fitted to produce life by a process of evolution is highly improbable. The existence of a designer or creator God makes this much less improbable. That is the new Design Argument, and it is very effective.” But can you criticise Ward’s ‘new’ argument? Your criticisms:
F.R. Tennant 20 th c. The ‘aesthetic argument’ Used as response to Darwin’s explanation of design through chance Beauty exists in the world Beauty cannot be derived through natural selection – it provides no survival benefit to species Beauty therefore requires a designer This designer is God “Beauty is the lost thought of theology” (David Ford 20 th c.)
Richard Swinburne One of the most eminent modern philosophers of religion is Richard Swinburne, Professor of Philosophy at Oxford (retired). Swinburne is the chief exponent of what Ward calls the “new design argument” – an argument which takes a different path from the pre- Darwinian argument of Paley. His argument is set out in The Existence of God. Swinburne begins by distinguishing between spatial and temporal order. ‘Spatial order’ is the subject of Paley’s argument – how parts are fitted together in an orderly way by a designer. Swinburne regards this argument as defeated by Darwinism.
Swinburne continued I pass on to consider a form of teleological argument which seems to me a much stronger one-the teleological argument from the temporal order of the world. The temporal order of the universe is, to the man who bothers to give it a moment's thought, an overwhelmingly striking fact about it. Regularities of succession are all pervasive. For simple laws govern almost all successions of events. In books of physics, chemistry, and biology we can learn how almost everything in the world behaves. The laws of their behaviour can be set out by relatively simple formulae which men can understand and by means of which they can successfully predict the future. The orderliness of the universe to which I draw attention here is its conformity to formula, to simple, formutable, scientific laws. The orderliness of the universe in this respect is a very striking fact about it. The universe might so naturally have been chaotic, but it is not-it is very orderly.
The God conclusion Given the striking pervasiveness of orderly laws of nature, Swinburne asks, how are we to explain the universe as we find it? Swinburne claims that scientists are able to define laws, say how they work, and discover new ones. However, what scientists may never do is find a basis for the most fundamental laws in the first place. In other words, the scientific method cannot explain why there is deep and fundamental order in the first place. If there is no possible scientific explanation for this, then we are required to look for another simple and elegant explanation – the most likely answer, he claims, is God.
Objections to modern design arguments Multiverse theory – there may be and may have been many universes, most of which are chaotic and do not sustain life. If there are many universes, the chance of an orderly universe emerging are not remote. Humans over-state their importance – famously put forward by the American poet Mark Twain. The world was not created as an amazing habitat for man; man exists because of the world, not the other way around. Rate Swinburne’s argument Convincing Unconvincing
Intelligent Design the basics “Certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” Centre for Science and Culture. Contemporary arguments try to avoid citing God as the intelligent designer but instead just refer to a designer.
The current state of life in the universe has come about through the actions of an intelligent designer. This is because; Some things contain complexity that is best explained as a result of an intelligent cause. Some aspects of the universe show positive evidence of having been designed by some form of intelligence.
ID Continued. This designer need not be God but most proponents of intelligent design seem to have God in mind This theory has been accused of being creationism in disguise Although a few scientists have supported intelligent design, the majority of those working in the field regard the theory as false and unscientific
“Examine the main strengths and weaknesses of the design argument for the existence of God.”