Argument from design

From Issuepedia

Overview

Argument from design is any argument which states that a given thing is too complex, beautiful, etc. to have merely happened by chance, and that therefore it must have been deliberately designed by an intelligent entity.

This reasoning is most commonly used to argue for the existence of God; this particular form of the argument from design is called a teleological argument.

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Refutations

  • If God is capable of creating the universe, surely God is also pretty complicated. If God is also complicated, then wouldn't the same reasoning apply to Him, i.e. He must have been designed as well. Who did that?
    • If there is some reasoning whereby God does not need a Designer, then why can't that same reasoning be applied to the universe itself, without having to invoke the existence of an additional entity?
  • Fractal mappings are not consciously designed; most of them arise from fairly simple equations, and yet they are (literally) infinitely complex and often quite beautiful.

Counterproposals

  • "God must be pretty complicated too": Perhaps God is actually quite simple – simple enough that He could have been created by some natural process. While this theory removes the need for yet another Designer, it remains flawed:
    • It still doesn't explain anything any better than existing scientific creation theories (which are based on the available evidence) do, nor does it suggest any tests to try or evidence to look for, much less base itself on any existing evidence
    • It still introduces an unnecessary element, i.e. God; if something simple can create something complex, why does that entity have to be conscious or have any of the other usual definitional attributes of God?
    • A simple God may not be compatible with the beliefs of most religions, and hence would be ruled off-limits by believers.