ESGS Logical Fallacies

Argument from Desgin


This fallacy asserts that since something looks ordered, beautiful, etc., there must be an intelligent designer (God, aliens, etc.).


The argument from design is one of the "proofs" for the existence of God. In its basic form, this argument infers from the intelligent order and created beauty of the universe that there is an intelligent Designer and Creator of the universe. The argument has been criticized for begging the question: it assumes the universe is designed in order to prove that it is the work of a designer. The argument also suppresses evidence: for all its beauty and grandeur, the universe is also full of, well, to be delicate, let us say that the universe is also full of nasties. I suppose I should be more specific, but I think the reader knows the kind of thing I mean: babies born without brains, good people suffering monstrous tortures such as neurofibromatosis, evil people basking in the sun and enjoying power, reputation, etc. Volcanoes erupting, earthquakes rattling the planet, hurricanes and tornadoes blindly wiping out thousands of lives a day. Is it unfair to call these things the nasties, what is blithely referred to by theists as non-moral evil or physical evil? To say, as many defenders of Design do, that these nasties only seem nasty to us but we are ignorant of God's plan and vision and cannot know how good these nasties really are, is self-refuting. If we can't know what's good and what's not, we can't know whether the design, if any, is good or bad.




© ESGS, 2002.