Criticisms of the analogical argument.
The design argument is the simplest, most straightforward argument for the existence of God. The design argument in a nutshell is that the fact that everything in nature seems to be put together in just the right manner suggests that an intelligent designer was responsible for its creation, Kant a critic of the design argument recognized both its simplicity and its importance. He wrote, "This proof always deserves to be mentioned with respect. It is the oldest, the clearest, and the most accordant with the common reason of mankind".
The most famous criticisms of the analogical version of the design argument appear in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. A friend of Hume reportedly said“Hume’s destructive criticism of the argument was final and complete.” his thoughts are shared by many. As we will see, however, defenders of the design argument claim that Hume’s criticisms apply only to the some of the arguments points. most of Hume’s criticisms center the traditional design argument. The problem, according to Hume, is that the analogy in question is not as strong as it needs to be in order to succeed. The more the universe diversitises, the stronger the argument will be, but the less the universe acts like an artifact, the weaker it will be.
Hume also argues that there are analogies that are the opposite to the belief in a designer. He thinks the analogical design argument correctly says that we generally infer properties about a manufacturer from properties we observe in their products. But he claims the argument ignores important facts about our world. For example, from the very expensive Rolex watch, one can infer that the manufacturer has the highest commitment to quality. When one is faced with a cheaper product, we think it isn't as designed as well. If faced with an inferior watch i would make bad assumptions about the designer.
Furthermore, there are many faults with our world that we live in. AIDS, heart disease, famines, plagues, floods, and countless other tragedies. If God is a Divine Watchmaker, as Paley claimed, the world looks to be more like a cheap watch, maybe made by Mr Rattray than a Rolex. In other words, if we are going to infer by analogical characteristics of the Creator from characteristics of its creatin, it doesn’t seem we can say that the Creator had to be perfect because the world is anything but perfect. Hume suggests that maybe the universe was created by a junior deity who is just learning the ropes of universe creation and didn’t get things quite right this time.
One of my main criticisms with the analogical argument is that it takes such a huge leap forward rather suddenly. It goes from indentifiying a rock as not being as complex as a watch, to saying the watch was obviously designed, then straight away it goes to the conclusion that the whole word was created by a divine theistic God. In my opinion there is simply not enough evidence to make such a large assumption. Also Paley made this assumption in his 1802 book (Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity). In 1802 they made very little idea of the universe and it's wonders. Paley made this assumption purely on the world he saw around him, He didn't have any idea of all the millions of barron planets with no purpose or meaning to them. He refused to believe everything happened by chance simply because his