Arguments from Order to Design

Herman Philipse

in God in the Age of Science?

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697533
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738470 | DOI:
Arguments from Order to Design

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According to Swinburne’s Bayesian argument from temporal order, the fact that our universe is ordered by relatively simple laws of nature is more probable if God exists than if he does not. If God does not exist, a completely chaotic universe allegedly is a priori more probable than a universe ordered by simple laws. However, this design argument from temporal order cannot be considered in isolation from the cosmological argument. With regard to each of three possible cosmological scenarios it can be shown that the argument from temporal order is unconvincing. Concerning design arguments from spatial order, Swinburne acknowledges that arguments on the basis of the functionality of organisms should be abandoned. Instead, he focuses on fine-tuning arguments. But neither the fine-tuning argument from logically possible universes nor the fine-tuning argument from complexity are convincing C-inductive arguments, which avoid the risk of God-of-the-gaps, even if they are supported by the argument from beauty.

Keywords: Design arguments; Theism; Argument from temporal order; Simple laws of nature; Chaotic universe; Multiverse hypothesis; Weak anthropic principle; Simplicity; David Lewis; David Armstrong; Universals; Pointlike Big Bang singularity; Argument from spatial order; Functionality of organisms; Local design arguments; Theory of evolution; Argument by analogy; Likelihood argument; Argument from fine-tuning; Logically possible universes; Argument from beauty

Chapter.  13937 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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