[asa] The argument against the argument against design

From: wjp <wjp@swcp.com>
Date: Wed May 27 2009 - 09:11:04 EDT

Terry et al. have presented an argument, or perhaps I might say
a scenario, which purports to cohere a world designed by God
and yet ruled by chance and necessity.

I here use this scenario to offer an argument against what I
will call the argument against design.
It is an argument much like Plantinga's Free Will Defense.

Consider the argument against design as going something like
this:

1) Necessarily if a world W is designed, W will have property P.
2) Property P does not obtain in this world.
3) Therefore, This world is not designed.

To defeat this argument all we need show is that it is possible
that a world W could be designed and not possess property P.
In order to defeat this argument against design,
we need not argue that world W obtains, nor that W is the
actual world (this world).

1) Suppose there is an all powerful designer D with perfect foreknowledge F
and free will.
2) By premise (2) above, there is a world W in which P does not obtain.
3) Because of F the designer D can foresee all the events and properties
of world W.
4) Because D is all powerful and free, D can freely choose to realize
any possible world.
5) To design something is to be able to freely choose to bring something
into being.
6) To freely bring something into being entails that it would be possible
for the agent to not bring it into being.
7) The designer D freely decides to realize world W
knowing it does not possess property P,
even though D could have realized a world where property P obtains.
8) Therefore, world W is designed.
9) Hence, it is possible for a world W with property P to be designed.
10) Hence, there is no property P such that if that world were designed
that it would have to have property P.
11) Hence, any possible world could have been designed.

Note, that this argument defeats also the argument that if
a world W is designed, then necessarily W has property P.

It does not, however, affect an argument from design that might
argue that necessarily if P obtains, then W is designed.

bill

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Received on Wed May 27 09:11:28 2009

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