Does God Exist: Part 2 (The Teleological Argument)

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

The Teleological Argument

This is the Network’s Foundation Series: Part 2 of 3

Paley’s Watchmaker Argument[1] is one that indirectly shows that there is a spiritual realm and directly shows that there is a designer of the universe. However, there are still inefficiencies within it. So, below is a transformed version of Paley's argument that will make it easier to defend against said inefficiencies:

  1. If complex, orderly, and functional things exist, then it exists because a personal being caused it to exist.

Side Note: A personal being is capable of reason and able to make free choices.

  1. Complex, orderly, and functional things do exist.

  2. Therefore, a personal being caused them to exist.

  3. The universe[2] is complex, orderly, and functional.

  4. Therefore, a personal being caused the universe into existence.

There is one seemingly defeating flaw to the above argument. That “flaw” being: if everything (meaning the universe) is complex, orderly, and functional, then how can one distinguish between the non-complex, the non-orderly, and the non-functional? For example, to assume something to be good, one also assumes the existence of evil; or else, everything is good and therefore nothing is good—in the sense that “good” would be a useless term. So, to assume something to be complex, one must also understand something to be simple. However, the argument states that the universe is complex, orderly, and functional, meaning one has to be implying, indirectly or not, that there is some other realm that one can obtain this other knowledge from. For if this universe/realm cannot supply the means in which to gain said needed knowledge, then perhaps another could. One may be asking, “why need the means in which to gain the needed knowledge and not just the knowledge itself?” to that point, a further argument must be made.


“An Argument for Reason”

How does one make an argument for reason? Meaning, how does one prove the validity of using reason? Would not one first have to use reason in order to, essentially, prove reasoning? Is not reason an essential part of a valid argument? If that is the case, why would one argue if there is no basis for why one should use reason to begin with? Would not that be unreasonable? Yet, then, if one understands arguments to be reasonable and arguments to be unreasonable, would that not require some kind of basis for knowing? Where would this knowledge come from if there is no other realm in which a standard or axiom for reason can come from? As Professor Haldane said: “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”[3]


If there is only the physical realm, then it is unreasonable to assume that reason is reasonable, and no truth could be found because reason is a tool in which one can find and understand “hidden” axioms—nor could there be axioms because axioms are for, and can only apply to, personal beings—who, as a requirement, need to have reason in order to be a personal being in the first place. There has to be truth for one to distinguish, at the very least, between the reasonable and the unreasonable. So, the very fact of knowing what is reasonable and what is unreasonable is proof that the validity of reason is an axiom. Axioms are not of this realm for non-personal beings cannot possess it and therefore “give” it; and physical personal beings, who have to conform to this realm of physicality, cannot set a standard for reason, for it would take reason to distinguish between the reasonable and the unreasonable and the value of reason would never be known because what value could a formation of finite matter (the brain) ever bring by itself? If it takes a personal being to possess reason and reason is an axiom, then who set that standard and how is that possible? There would have to be a personal being that is supreme and creator of the physical realm and through this personal being—all things are known. This personal being, due to “its” supremacy, defines all personable things through “its” very nature. Meaning, this personal being is an axiom unto “itself” and to all other personal beings that were created in “its” personable image. The knowledge of reason and its validity must come from this personal being or else reason would be non-existent. So, this other “realm” is this personal being—from which one obtains this knowledge of reason. Luckily, all it takes is reason to show why Paley’s argument is, shall it be said, reasonable.


Side Note: The argument could be ended here, for the point of the original argument is to show that there is a God and the above argument has done so in a very indirect way; however, to finish the argument in its intended direct form, one just has to apply the above (epistemological) argument to the rest of the teleological argument.


A Reasonable Solution

A physical personal being, who is in mind begotten from the superior being (meaning their mind—the tool of knowing and reasoning—images the mind of the superior being) but in body—of the physical realm, are able to interact with the supposed complex, orderly, and functional universe. Meaning that one can, using reasoning—which is of the superior being, make complex things in the universe—simple, orderly things—random, and functional things—broken.


How can one understand simplicity in a complex universe? One can understand simplicity by comparing—which takes a mind capable of reason. So, for example, one could compare the biology of a human with that of a single-cell organism and determine that the biology of a human is complex and that of the single cell organism—simple. This means that complexity and simplicity can be viewed on a scale—in which, that scale is changed based on what is being compared.


How can one understand randomness in a universe of order? The easiest way to explain this is by using humans, who, arguably speaking, are personal beings—capable of reason. Humans can, therefore, in a way, transcend the objects within the universe, because humans can interact in purposeful and reasonable ways within the universe. So, these personal beings can move orderly things out of order—thereby gaining the concept of randomness. One last thing, animals can move orderly things out of order as well, but, without reason, animals can never comprehend what just happened. Therefore, this knowledge is only a thing for reasonable beings—with a higher sense of reality (knowing the source, or validity, of reasoning).


Lastly, how can the concept of brokenness be conceived of in a functional universe? Here is a direct explanation: Moving code around in a program or changing it at random and without purpose would make the program dysfunctional or, in other words, broken; so also can a personal being interact within the world, therefore, such agents can move “pieces” around or even change the “piece” itself; and, for the sake of argument, these agents did this at random and without purpose—rendering these pieces dysfunctional/broken.


Now, to get back on track, why is it that complex, orderly, and functional things necessitate a personal being, capable of reason, to bring it into reality? This is because, only a personal being can bring about such an intentionally complex, orderly, and functional universe.


Intentional/Intelligent Design

To show that the universe is complex, orderly, and functional, one can look at the following three, of twenty-six, fundamental constants that keep this universe from falling into oblivion.[4]


If the force of gravity changes by 1 in 10^60 parts, then the universe would have expanded too rapidly that no stars would form, or it would have collapsed in on itself with the same result.[5]


If the expansion rate, specifically the cosmological constant, changes by 1 in 10^120 parts, then the universe would not expand at the needed speed that allows for life to live.[6]


If the electromagnetic force, relative to gravity, changes by 1 in 10^40 parts, then the chemical bonding of elements would be disrupted and therefore—no life.[7]


In order to put these numbers in perspective, there are, liberally speaking, 10^18 stars in the Milky Way and, from the observable universe, 10^24 galaxies in existence.[8] There are 10^14 cells in the average human body.[9] Lastly, there are about 8*10^9 people in the world as of 2019.[10] The universe is complex, orderly, and functional.


For the sake of argument, let it be assumed that the universe, despite the obvious impossibility of it, came into existence on its own.


One of the ways that this “impossibility argument” can be refuted, is by further showing its logical impossibility in that a complex, orderly, and functional universe can only be brought about by a personal being.


It would be impossible for all 26 fundamental constants to all be “finely tuned” and for all of them to exist at the same time—which allowed the universe to be in the first place. If the universe is to stay in balance, all 26 finely tuned fundamental constants must exist. One constant alone is complex unto itself, but it is neither orderly nor functional because what is order in the realm of singularities (order needs more than one), and one constant without the others does not perform a function. All 26 constants are complex and orderly in the sense that they are arranged together in this universe. However, what are 26 constants without a universe? Nothing. Only with the universe are they functional because function necessitates a purpose. Look at the following example that will help clear this idea up:


Complex: jajkdjoeioiandii (this came about by chance and means nothing)


Complex and orderly: abcdefghijkl (this has a 26^11 chance of happening, but means nothing)


Complex, orderly, and functional: i like chocolate (this has a 27^14 chance of happening and means something)


When considering the probability of all 26 fundamental constants, or more accurately—fundamental forces, coming into existence by chance (assuming there is something for the constants to come into), which are all finely tuned, one must be dealing with infinities. Unless, one were to assume there is a limit to how many numbers/possibilities there are, which then one would be assuming there is an end to the universe—for are not numbers limited by what can be measured or what can be possibly conceived of in the human mind? So, theoretically speaking, there could be many equations to choose from, making the equation for the possibility of a finely tuned universe as ∞^26 (yes, infinities are a mathematical impossibility). After seeing that equation, it does seem "reasonable" to say that the universe came about by random chance…


Conclusion

Anyways, it is reasonable to say that a personal being created the universe because of how complex, orderly, and functional it, as a whole, is. It is also reasonable to assume that physical personal beings can make sense of this universe by tapping into the inherent personal knowledge (knowledge engraved into oneself by a superior being) within them.

The epistemological argument, “An Argument for Reason,” supported Paley’s watchmaker argument by explaining how one could know what is not of this realm thereby shielding it from the accusation that it is a false analogy. However, supposing one already understood that, by using reason, one could explain away the false analogy accusation but had trouble understanding why the universe needed a being capable of reason to create it. Then, a further but, arguably, unnecessary argument was made to show how only a personal being could have brought the universe into existence. Now, the last part of the Network’s Foundation Series will ask and solve the remaining question: who is this personal being?

Bibliography

"WMAP- Expansion Of The Universe". 2019. Map.Gsfc.Nasa.Gov. Accessed November 14,

2019. https://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_expansion.html.

"World Population Clock: 7.8 Billion People (2019) – Worldometers." Worldometers.Info,

December 21, 2019. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/.

C. S. Lewis. C. S. Lewis Signature Classics. HarperCollins Publishers, 2002.

Deem, Rich. "The Universe: Evidence For Its Fine Tuning." Godandscience.Org, May 17, 2011.

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html.

drcraigvideos. "The Fine-Tuning of the Universe." Youtube.Com, June 8, 2016.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0.

Hicks, Stephens. "The Watch And Watchmaker Analogy For The Existence Of A God."

Stephenhicks.Org, October 1, 2016. http://www.stephenhicks.org/2016/10/01/the-watch-

and-watchmaker-analogy-for-the-existence-of-a-god/.

Howell, Elizabeth. "How Many Stars Are In The Universe?". Space.Com, May 18, 2017.

https://www.space.com/26078-how-many-stars-are-there.html.

Siegel, Ethan. "It Takes 26 Fundamental Constants To Give Us Our Universe, But They Still

Don't Give Everything." Forbes.Com, 2017.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ethansiegel/2015/08/22/it-takes-26-fundamental-constants-

to-give-us-our-universe-but-they-still-dont-give-everything/#5d9179994b86.

[1] See: Stephens Hicks, "The Watch And Watchmaker Analogy For The Existence Of A God," (Stephenhicks.Org, October 1, 2016), http://www.stephenhicks.org/2016/10/01/the-watch-and-watchmaker-analogy-for-the-existence-of-a-god/. [2] When talking about the universe, it is in the sense as the universe as a whole, not individual identities within the universe. [3] Haldane, J.B.S., Possible Worlds, (Chatto & Windus 1927), 209, quoted in C. S. Lewis, C. S. Lewis Signature Classics, (HarperCollins Publishers, 2002), 314.

[4] Ethan Siegel, "It Takes 26 Fundamental Constants To Give Us Our Universe, But They Still Don't Give Everything," (Forbes.Com, 2017), https://www.forbes.com/sites/ethansiegel/2015/08/22/it-takes-26-fundamental-constants-to-give-us-our-universe-but-they-still-dont-give-everything/#5d9179994b86.

[5] Drcraigvideos, "The Fine-Tuning of the Universe," (Youtube.Com, June 8, 2016), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0, 1:05.

[6] Drcraigvideos, "The Fine-Tuning of the Universe," (Youtube.Com, June 8, 2016), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0, 1:05.

[7] Rich Deem, "The Universe: Evidence For Its Fine Tuning," (Godandscience.Org, May 17, 2011), http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html.

[8] Elizabeth Howell, "How Many Stars Are In The Universe?," (Space.Com, May 18, 2017), https://www.space.com/26078-how-many-stars-are-there.html.

[9] Drcraigvideos, "The Fine-Tuning of the Universe," (Youtube.Com, June 8, 2016), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0, 1:05.

[10] "World Population Clock: 7.8 Billion People (2019) – Worldometers," (Worldometers.Info, December 21, 2019), https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/.

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