• Akanthinos
    1k
    1) Explaining human existence as the result of God's Design is no different than explaining human existence by Natural Evolution. Both explanations are based upon faith that such forces exist.Rich

    Both are belief, theories, expressed in a set of propositions. Stating this does not help anyone. The reason one is prefered is not that it is not constituted by beliefs, but because of the reasonnings one goes through in justifying those beliefs.

    2) In so far as the evolution of the human body and mind is concerned, it is no different than anything else, it is the result of a process of creative experimentation. In other words, just like art, it is a continuous process of learning and change.Rich

    Evolution is not art. Nature is not art. Art, as artefact, is opposed to Nature, and as creativity it is opposed to science. Art is a form of pursuit of knowledge, even if it is a knowledge in its purest form, and a pursuit without designs.

    I don't think arguments from design are valid.Cuthbert

    Do you mean 'valid', or 'true'? Because I don't readily see why all arguments from design would be a priori invalid. It could be the case that something such as an intelligence had a hand in our creation. It's just that it seem like little evidence could ever be brought forward to support this.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Both are belief, theories, expressed in a set of propositions. Stating this does not help anyone. The reason one is prefered is not that it is not constituted by beliefs, but because of the reasonnings one goes through in justifying those beliefs.Akanthinos

    There is always goal oriented reasoning whether it be God-based or Natural Evolution based. They are equivalent. One can interchange the phrases without loss. Of course, one will always maintain their reasoning is superior to the other. That is the nature of the conversation.

    Evolution is not art.Akanthinos

    Actually it is. It is the creative expression of mind that is exploring. It's pretty interesting what we are coming up with.
  • Wayfarer
    6.8k
    1) Explaining human existence as the result of God's Design is no different than explaining human existence by Natural Evolution. Both explanations are based upon faith that such forces exist.Rich

    It is completely different, in that there is abundant evidence for evolution by natural selection - fossils, DNA studies, geological data - and zero evidence for 'God's design', beyond inference that it is 'what must have happened'.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    There is always goal oriented reasoning whether it be God-based or Natural Evolution based. They are equivalent.Rich

    Equivalence of goal isn't equivalence of proof isn't equivalence of belief.

    take :

    1) I want to eat. I know there is food in my fridge because I put it there and have no reason to think someone else might have taken it. I hold the belief that the food that I believe to be in the fridge will satisfy my goal of wanting to eat.

    2) I want to eat. I know that food is something that happens from time to time in the world (i.e. I hold the belief that food is). I hold the belief that if I remain immobile and do nothing, I will likely obtain food, because I believe that food is just a statistical occurence of the world, and that this food will satisfy my goal of wanting to eat.

    I, in both 1) and 2), expresses the same goal. The whole object of both these reasonnings is to arrive to the point where I have formulated what is necessary for me to formulate in trying to satisfy my goal of eating. But it is however evident that 2), even tho it might be tangentially a valid reasonning, does not share the same a priori plausibility in formulating what is necessary to arrive to our goal. See H. Putnam for the necessity to thematize a priori plausibility in the comparison of the worth of theories, Philosophy of Logic, p. 56-69
  • Cuthbert
    216


    I don't think arguments from design are valid.
    — Cuthbert

    Do you mean 'valid', or 'true'? Because I don't readily see why all arguments from design would be a priori invalid. It could be the case that something such as an intelligence had a hand in our creation. It's just that it seem like little evidence could ever be brought forward to support this. - Akaninthos

    I meant 'valid'. I was referring to the false dichotomy referred to near the start of the thread, i.e. the dichotomy between 'random' and 'designed'. Something might be neither random nor designed, e.g. a beaver's dam. To avoid that (false) dichotomy any argument for the existence of a designer-God needs to show that the universe is designed. Showing that it has form and and is non-random is not enough.

    As it happens, I think there is a designer God and that, as you say, an intelligence had a hand in our creation. But that's a matter of religious faith. It does not follow in any way from the fact that the universe is ordered. It's the other way round. The ordered universe results from God's creation. And you can grant there is an ordered, non-random universe without believing in a designer God at all. The two propositions are logically distinct.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    It is completely different, in that there is abundant evidence for evolution by natural selection - fossils, DNA studies, geological data - and zero evidence for 'God's design', beyond inference that it is 'what must have happened'.Wayfarer

    There is an abundance of evidence that things change. There is zero evidence for some external super-Natural force that governs change whether it be named God its synonym Natural Evolution. But then again, depending upon the tastes of the adherent (purely a matter of nomenclature) one will prefer one naming device over another.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Equivalence of goal isn't equivalence of proof isn't equivalence of belief.Akanthinos

    No difference between a belief in Natural Evolution as the Almighty Force or God. As for me, I don't believe in either.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    No difference between a belief in Natural Evolution as the Almighty Force or God.Rich

    That's a statement of position, not an argument. Do you not see that between 1) and 2) there is a world of difference in validity as an hypothesis? That's about the world of difference that exist beween an explanation in terms of evolution and one in terms of intelligent design. If you do not, you are more than welcome to argue for it. Stating your position once again does not help anyone.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    You cannot argue over similarities, only over differences. I already explained that both are used in exactly the same manner to explain the same thing.

    It would be like arguing over the differences between H2O and water. Which word do you prefer? The more "scientific" or the more colloquial? Is there something to argue about?

    Quite simply, scientists don't like using the word god so they made up another term Natural Evolution.
  • AngleWyrm
    66
    Watching from the sidelines while people quarrel over things like the origin of humans has often left me shaking or scratching my head.

    A big head scratch-er is the concept of design in that aforementioned quarrel. Maybe it is just a figure of speech. Maybe neither side of the quarrel uses "design" in the conventional sense like in the work of an architect, engineer, etc. If they are using "design" in that conventional sense, that is strange.

    I find it very awkward and counter-intuitive to say "I was designed..."
    WISDOMfromPO-MO

    Design, as you've deftly pointed out is not used in the traditional sense, but as a somewhat more poetic passive culling-the-herd design rather than active design. Snowflakes are all about the same size, because water. Deer are brown because the ones that weren't got eaten.

    A point not often made is that evolution is a relationship to the current environment, a spread of slightly different around a norm. It's not the norm that survives best, it's the best match to the current environment.
  • ff0
    120
    Being designed, in a loose sense, means that you were created for some purpose, or at the very least you are not an accident. Most theology would tell you that purpose is to worship/serve god.ProbablyTrue

    This is fascinating. Perhaps thinkers who deny or ignore god are worshipping and serving god as they understand god. Perhaps 'god' is a word for what is highest in human experience.

    Let's say one think one is just here accidentally. Even in this situation he or she can (and does?) reach toward what is high and good. The complications arise (in my view) because people can associate opposed concepts with the highest. For some the worship of god has involved hurting strangers. For the others the saving of strangers. For still others a movement away from the social into solitary ecstasies. In short, 'to serve/worship god' can be interpreted as a description of the god-chasing human. To be clear, this 'god-chasing' may include the attempt to articulate a perfect atheism, etc. 'God' is just the 'eerie' or specifically human object of desire, wrapped in thousands of different concepts (the hair on the core), some not yet invented.
  • ProbablyTrue
    188
    This is fascinating. Perhaps thinkers who deny or ignore god are worshipping and serving god as they understand god. Perhaps 'god' is a word for what is highest in human experience.ff0

    This brand of teleology is not uncommon in my experience. I have listened to sermons where it is explained that the central drive of people is worship; all things that humans pursue are in essence an act of worship. If this worship is not of god, it is a perversion of our built-in nature. This claim has the same quality to it as saying all things are hedonistic in that it is unfalsifiable.
  • ff0
    120
    This brand of teleology is not uncommon in my experience. I have listened to sermons where it is explained that the central drive of people is worship; all things that humans pursue are in essence an act of worship. If this worship is not of god, it is a perversion of our built-in nature. This claim has the same quality to it as saying all things are hedonistic in that it is unfalsifiable.ProbablyTrue

    You're right that it smells unfalsifiable. But I'm really more interested in describing. I look around and talk to people and they all hold something 'sacred' in a peculiar sense. They put energy into goals that are 'merely' symbolic. A 'failed' painter whom no one pays might obsess over a canvas that he knows no one will ever see. He chases something there. A writer for the right word searches. Participants on philosophy forums have a directedness, a momentum.The political person has a notion of the way things should be. I suppose I was using 'god' as a word for the common core of this less animal object of interest.

    The desire to worship reminds me of the desire to love. One might say that the desire to worship is the desire to be in love, the desire to find something in the world so true and beautiful that cognitive dissonance is obliterated. The dizzy compass needle is glad for the strong magnetic field. No doubt there is danger here, too.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    It would be like arguing over the differences between H2O and water. Which word do you prefer? The more "scientific" or the more colloquial? Is there something to argue about?Rich

    Can you learn the same thing from understanding why water is represented physically as H2O as you can by learning that linguistically it is called water? No. "H" stands for something else and something more in H2O than "wa-" stands for in 'water'. That is because the first one is a model, and not a name, while the second is a name and not a model.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    I was speaking him holistically, since taking things appear always creates something new. In this regard, God and Natural Evolution are equivalent in that they are both used by their adherents as an appeal to some supernatural force guiding the universe, while the individual letters making up each if these words are not.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    I was speaking him holistically, since taking things appear always creates something new. In this regard, God and Natural Evolution are equivalent in that they are both used by their adherents as an appeal to some supernatural force guiding the universe, while the individual letters making up each if these words are not.Rich

    I do not understand what you mean. Could you rephrase?
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