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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Intelligent Deisgn Zaniness

Intelligent Deisgn Zaniness

Hume argues that an intelligent designer is not necessary for there to be a faultless design of the world, even if we had enough knowledge to deem the world faultless. He goes on to say that because there are many imperfections, it is possible that any such designer might also be imperfect. He explains this through two analogies: the boat maker and the architect. The boat is a magnificent creation, but has only been created via the improvement of previous work that has been copied, which does not require an all-knowledgeable being – just one smart enough to iron out imperfections in previous designs. The second analogy is that if we were shown a terribly designed building (one where nothing fit quite right, is always too cold or too hot, etc.) we would automatically blame the architect, who surely designed the building to be as such. He goes on to point out that there is misery and imperfection in the world; humans are destructive towards one another and the environment often hostile towards human happiness.

Which leads to the conclusion that there cannot be a perfect, intelligent designer because the design is not perfect. This seems reasonable because a perfect designer would be incapable of creating something imperfect – to do so would reflect fault with the designer.

The horrors of chemical warfare, environmental disasters, AIDS, crack babies, crime rates, world hunger, and homelessness amid plenty are all grievous imperfections that you can see in the world today (and are similar to those throughout history). Natural imperfections such as environmental dangers are part of the basis for humanity’s hostility towards itself. The very fact that the resources that humanity needs to exist are finite is an imperfection with the world as it has been, and still often is, the justification for warfare. The world itself also naturally creates aberrations, malformations and disease, any one of which (given the right circumstances) could possibly destroy the world. One would think that even a well designed cosmos would not be able to abort itself seemingly at random, let alone a perfectly designed cosmos.*

Because the world is imperfect, it can be justifiably said that there is no definite proof that there is design in the cosmos, just observable patterns that can be mistaken for design.**

* Holy crap… this is only vaguely coherent. That’s what I get for not smoking – brain failure.
** That, and, you know… entropy and chemical/physical order.

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