The Instigator
ELDRITCH
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Peili
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

The argument "The universe is obviously designed" is flawed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Peili
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 508 times Debate No: 65732
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

ELDRITCH

Pro

All rounds are for argumentation.

I will first bring up the point that this argument is impossible, because if everything is designed, then we have no example of a non-designed object to compare anything to. The argument becomes akin to trying to paint in the fourth dimension. Utterly incoherent, comparing a thing to itself to prove the existence of itself. This is impossible.

I won't go on stating more and more refutations to this argument, I don't expect many to want to read a wall of text on the subject when it would be redundant.
Peili

Con

The argument is not that everything is designed. The argument is that the natural world shows signs of design. Specially, the natural world can be seen to be ordered, and order is a tell-tale mark of design.

We can see many examples of this in life. It is the difference between painting a portrait and kicking over a bucket of paint. It is the difference between playing a drum solo and knocking over the drum set. It is the difference between playing a game of football and various unconnected people walking in the yard.

In each case, the first example is the result of design, while the second example is the result of a lack of design. In each the first example shows a pattern of discernable order, while the second example does not.

The question is if the natural world was created by design or by chance. The existence of order in the natural world is easily seen and well documented. Here is a general overview of a small part of this evidence: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Since the natural world shows signs of order, it is reasonable to assume that it was designed. If the natural world was designed then, by definition, there must be a designer.

We could phrase the argument like this:

1. In every example where we know the cause, where there is order there is a conscious will at work.
2. In every example where we know the cause, where there is no conscious will at work there is no order.
3. The natural world shows signs of order.
Therefore,
4. The natural world is most likely the result of a conscious will at work.
Debate Round No. 1
ELDRITCH

Pro

I don't think I articulated my argument well enough. If there is a supreme designer (in the traditional triomni conception), then there is no such thing as a nondesigned thing. You cannot point to the paint spill and say that it is an example of a non-designed thing because an omnipotent being has created it and had foreknowledge of what it would be, even if we did not and were unaware of this until we were used as a sort of brush for it.

But I'll go ahead and toss out a few more arguments.

What characteristics define a designed thing? I've created some strange works of art before. What quality is it that differentiates an accidental smudge of paint from a particularly postmodern artwork? The terminology of this argument is vague and relies on sentiment rather than objectivity.

Furthermore, it can be observed that human beings ourselves have invented the concept of design. Should you dispute this, I invite you to ask a bird, or perhaps the yawning void of space what design is. Does this not bring into question the idea that design is an inherent attribute of a thing?

Then there's the human tendency to see patterns where patterns don't exist. There's a name for it, apophenia. This too should bring into question the idea that design is separate from our minds.

And even if order is inherent in nature, we can observe that there's many natural processes that lead to order. Evolution. Crystallization. Planetary formation.

And I'll raise one last question: If the human mind requires design, who designed the designer? Surely a more complex thing needs a more complex designer. Was it some sort of overgod?
Peili

Con

A spilled can of paint would show the order common to all of the natural world. However, a portrait contains a level of order not present in a paint spill. (I assume no one would disagree with this much.) When we know the cause, order is a sign of design. The less design put into something, the less order is present. Therefore in things we do not know the cause of, such as the natural world, it is most likely true that a lack of design would result in a lack of order. The presence of order is evidence of design.

Concerning the other arguments Pro tossed out:

The central characteristic that defines a designed thing is order. Postmodern order continues to display order, and when it lacks order that is an intentional choice designed to make a statement. No one with any knowledge of art would suggest that a smudge on its own is art. The order seen in art is neither vague nor does it rely on sentiment, but it is clearly objective.
Source for postmodern art: http://www.visual-arts-cork.com...

We can agree that human beings created the abstract concept of design, but not design itself. People created the concept of trees and words to talk about them. We didn"t create trees. We created the words to talk about the design of a bird"s wing, but we did not create the design itself.

Apophenia is the tendency to look for patterns where none exist. However, Pro effectively dismisses this possibility in his next paragraph.

Pro points out that we can observe natural processes that lead to order, such as evolution, crystallization, and planetary formation. Such processes are themselves evidence of design. Pro has effectively made my case for me. If there were no design to the universe such ordered processes would most likely not exist. The fact that the do exist suggests that the universe is designed.

Finally, both theists and non-theists, as well as all scientific evidence, agree that there must have been a beginning. The question is if the beginning was caused by unthinking forces or by an intelligent will. If the original cause was an intelligent will then that Cause is what we call God. Since that Cause predates time itself that Cause would have to eternal. Something which is eternal is by definition not caused by anything else. So there no reason to believe in any of "overgod."
Debate Round No. 2
ELDRITCH

Pro

ELDRITCH forfeited this round.
Peili

Con

Pro, for understandable reasons, forfeited. Thanks for a quality debate.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ELDRITCH 2 years ago
ELDRITCH
My apologies for forfeiting, I was writing the post hours before the deadline, only for unforseen circumstances to lead to me being separated from my computer for a while.
Posted by dhardage 2 years ago
dhardage
Complexity and pattern have been shown to occur without any interaction by an intelligent agency. The so-called designed universe is not a valid argument of any kind.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
ELDRITCHPeiliTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
ELDRITCHPeiliTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct to Con. Pro's arguments were non-identical, so arguments to Con. Only Con had sources.
Vote Placed by 4567TME 2 years ago
4567TME
ELDRITCHPeiliTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has a lot going for them, among which being not forfeiting any round, having longer and more thought out arguments, and used a source for one particular point.