David hume a critique of the teleological argument thesis

His father was a master harness maker, and his mother was the daughter of a harness maker, though she was better educated than most women of her social class. Pietism was an evangelical Lutheran movement that emphasized conversion, reliance on divine grace, the experience of religious emotions, and personal devotion involving regular Bible study, prayer, and introspection. Leibniz — was then very influential in German universities.

David hume a critique of the teleological argument thesis

David hume a critique of the teleological argument thesis

We have experience of only one W i. We have no experience of any Zs at all. There is, however, a vast difference between these effects.

It follows that there is little or no basis for assuming that Z resembles something like Xs i. Cleanthes responds to this set of objections with a counter-example that is meant to discredit these criticisms and doubts. Suppose we heard an articulate voice coming from the clouds and the words uttered contain a message instructing us in a way that is worthy of a great, superior being.

It is not possible, Cleanthes argues, that we would hesitate for a moment to ascribe some design and purpose to this voice and conclude that it bears some resemblance to the intelligent source of a human voice D, 3. According to Cleanthes, it is similarly perverse and unnatural to deny that the various parts of the body and the way in which they are suited to our environment e.

Does it have successive, distinct thoughts?

David hume a critique of the teleological argument thesis

Why should we not assume that God has other human features such as passions and sentiments, or physical features such as a mouth or eyes D, 3. In all cases that we have experience of, human intelligence is embodied, so why not also assume that God has a body D, 6. What this plainly manifests is that the anthropomorphic conception of God, as defended by Cleanthes, reflects an egocentric outlook and delusions about the significance of human life in the universe.

Any experimental reasoning of the kind that the argument from design employs must ensure that the cause is proportioned to the effect. If we follow this principle, however, we are no longer in a position to assign several fundamental attributes to God. We cannot, for example, attribute any thing infinite to God based on our observation and experience of finite effects.

Nor can we attribute unity to the original cause of the universe on the basis of any analogy to human artifacts such as houses; as they are often built by a number of people working together.

Perhaps, therefore, there is more than one God involved in the creation of the universe? More importantly, we are in no position to attribute perfection to God unless we observe perfection in his creation. You find certain phenomena in nature.

You seek a cause or author. You imagine that you have found him.

David Hume - Wikipedia

You afterwards become so enamored of this offspring of your brain, that you imagine it impossible, but he must produce something greater and more perfect than the present scene of things, which is so full of ill and disorder.

You forget, that this superlative intelligence and benevolence are entirely imaginary, or, at least, without any foundation in reason; and that you have no ground to ascribe to him any qualities, but what you see he has actually exerted and displayed in his productions.

What we cannot do, Hume argues, is explain away all evidence of this kind by way of assuming that this world is the perfect creation of a perfect being.

It is this assumption that needs to be established, so we must not assume it in our reasoning. Plainly, however, it is neither. It follows from this that many other hypotheses and conjectures, consistent with the evidence presented, may be considered as no less plausible.

Philo puts this point to Cleanthes: In a word, Cleanthes, a man who follows your hypothesis is able, perhaps, to assert, or conjecture, that the universe, sometime, arose from something like design: But beyond that position he cannot ascertain one single circumstance, and is left afterwards to fix every point of his theology, by the utmost license of fancy and hypothesis.

On the one hand, theists such as Cleanthes want to insist that the analogy between this world and human productions is not so slight and maintains, on this basis, that God in some significant degree resembles human intelligence D, 3. Immediately after this, however, Philo proceeds to reverse his reversal i.

In an especially important passage, which was inserted into the Dialogues shortly before Hume died, Philo elaborates on his view. In other words, the atheist can concede that there is some remote analogy between the first principle of the universe and several other parts of nature—only one of which is human thought and mind D, These other analogies do not suggest that the cause of this world is something like mind or human intelligence.

Clearly, then, the atheist may concede that there is some remote analogy between God and human minds and still insist that there remain other analogies and hypotheses that are no less plausible.

Hume never retreats from the view stated in the first Enquiry that God i. No argument considered so far aims to prove that God does not or cannot exist.David Hume's critique of the teleological argument -presented through the course of a conversation between three fictional characters -philo the skeptic denies the relevant similarities between human machines and nature then claims that the design argument does not give us anything like the Judaeo-Christian God.

Religious Epistemology. Belief in God, or some form of transcendent Real, has been assumed in virtually every culture throughout human history. The issue of the reasonableness or rationality of belief in God or particular beliefs about God typically arises when a religion is confronted with religious competitors or the rise of atheism or agnosticism..

In the West, belief in God was assumed in. Immanuel Kant (–) is the central figure in modern philosophy. He synthesized early modern rationalism and empiricism, set the terms for much of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, and continues to exercise a significant influence today in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and other fields.

Recommended Reading: Alfred Tarski, Introduction to Logic and to the Methodology of Deductive Sciences, tr. by Olaf Helmer (Dover, ) and Alfred Tarski and the Vienna Circle: Austro--Polish Connections in Logical Empiricism, ed.

Typology of Cosmological Arguments

by Jan Wolenski and Eckhart Kohler (Kluwer, ). David Hume: The Design Argument: Short descriptions of five ojbections in Hume's classic criticism of the design argument from the Wikipedia encyclopedia. Design Argument: This entry in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas is historical summary of the argument from design by Frederick Ferré.

English Deism Table of Contents. Lord Herbert of Cherbury; Hobbes and Others; Charles Blount; John Locke; Toland, Collins, and Others; Matthew Tindal; Morgan, Annet.

The Teleological Argument