Author Topic: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument  (Read 16475 times)

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« on: November 05, 2012, 01:16:33 PM »
You've all likely heard of it: the universe is ordered and has just the right makeup and physical laws for life to exist.  Ergo, it must have been intelligently designed.

OK, let's analyze this commonly used argument, one that even Sir Isaac Newton adhered to:

1. The argument simply advocates deism, not any specific religion.  There is no conceivable justification for leaping from "the universe was intelligently designed" to "the universe was intelligently designed on X day, in Y days, by Z creator, for A purpose in B exact circumstances".

2. The argument actually leads to the conclusion that the watchmaker is imperfect and impersonal.  After all, if you came across a fabulously designed watch, you would assume that the watchmaker was highly skilled.  But if you came across a watch with serious imperfections, the rule of parsimony would dictate that the watchmaker messed up, not that the watchmaker was an omnipotent deity and that, through a ridiculous convoluted narrative, the watch broke itself due to no fault of the watchmaker.  To state otherwise would be to presuppose that the watchmaker must be omnipotent, which sounds like blatant and unjustified bias, and it is.

3. Here's the kicker: the exact same logic can be applied to the watchmaker.  If the universe is complex -> it must have been designed is a valid logical argument, then the watchmaker is complex -> the watchmaker must have been designed is just as true, if not moreso.  This leads to an infinite regression, which does nothing but make the problem more complex with every backpeddle.

If we admit that, logically, there must be a First Cause (unless if we include some sort of time-loop, which discounts God entirely), wouldn't Occam's Razor suggest that we just leave the universe, which which clearly exists, as the First Cause, rather than add in an infinitely complex variable (God) into the equation that solves nothing, and actually makes the question larger?

Offline kramarat

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 04:40:03 PM »
I've experienced both God, and pure evil, on a supernatural level. So for me it isn't theoretical conjecture. Nor is it complex.

I don't go around trying to change people or convince them that I'm right. But if anyone wants to know God, all they have to do is ask. He'll show up.

Offline Yawn

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 05:02:00 PM »
That's exactly right.  Belief in God only comes through a personal experience.  I've also come to believe that you cannot convince another human being through reason.

I could tell a non-believer some of my personal experiences that PROVE the existence of both God and the "dark side", but they simply wouldn't believe it. For me, I have NO DOUBT that we have a Creator and this is only one stage of life (or human "evolution").

I have a friend with a terminal illness.  I explained it to her like this:

Imagine you're in the womb with your twin and that "world" is all you know, but you both know that in your own time you will both have to leave your world (the womb).

One of you leaves (birth). Now, on the other side, there is no way you can communicate to your twin what the "other side" is like.  You cannot describe "light." You cannot describe the vastness of this new world you've passed on to, to your twin still stuck in the only world you both once knew (the womb).  You cannot describe these HUGE Creatures that look like you but much bigger (doctors, nurses, mom). To your twin, you're gone forever and soon, your twin believes, they'll be gone too. But once they've "passed on" to the new world, they suddenly understand how restricted their comfortable world (in the womb) was, and how "passing on" was necessary for all human beings to fully evolve.

This life is short, and preparation for the Life to come. Yeshua said, "Fear not little flock, it is My Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 06:28:51 AM »
I was expecting more logical, scientific responses.  You know, sticking with the whole "fact based" premise of the board.  Do you think "personal experience" is sufficient to convict a defendant in the court of law?  Sufficient to test and design a rocket going into outer space?  Sufficient to write a solid essay for your middle school teacher?  Nope.

Offline kramarat

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 06:45:39 AM »
I was expecting more logical, scientific responses.  You know, sticking with the whole "fact based" premise of the board.  Do you think "personal experience" is sufficient to convict a defendant in the court of law?  Sufficient to test and design a rocket going into outer space?  Sufficient to write a solid essay for your middle school teacher?  Nope.

My fact based response would be..............that you are a pain in the ass. :wink:

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 06:52:35 AM »
My fact based response would be..............that you are a pain in the ass. :wink:

That I make a logical argument and expect you to do the same, rather that appealing to your irrational "gut feeling"?

Then you are welcome.

Offline kramarat

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 06:58:29 AM »
That I make a logical argument and expect you to do the same, rather that appealing to your irrational "gut feeling"?

Then you are welcome.

I can't explain God in scientific terms. Although the big bang theory and evolution also rely on miracles. The only part they leave out is God.

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 07:02:24 AM »
I can't explain God in scientific terms.

In other words, you can't substantiate him through objective, logical observation and analysis.

Ergo, you can't support his existence.  So I'll assume that you don't expect us to enact public legislation based on something that is basically your personal opinion.

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Although the big bang theory and evolution also rely on miracles.

No, they don't.  If you actually understood the elementary principles of the theories, you would know this.  But since you don't, you really shouldn't run your mouth about them.

Offline kramarat

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 07:15:07 AM »
 
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So I'll assume that you don't expect us to enact public legislation based on something that is basically your personal opinion.

Correct. The federal government has no business legislating anything based on the existence, or believed non-existence of God.

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No, they don't.  If you actually understood the elementary principles of the theories, you would know this.  But since you don't, you really shouldn't run your mouth about them.

The entire mass of the universe was packed into an object the size of a grain of sand............all of a sudden, BOOM, the universe was born.

Then on one particular planet, (earth), a bunch of chemicals mixed together, and all of a sudden, POOF, life began with a single cell. From that single cell, every species on earth emerged. Sure sounds like magic to me.

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 07:45:09 AM »

Correct. The federal government has no business legislating anything based on the existence, or believed non-existence of God.

Good luck finding a right wing politician to back then.

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The entire mass of the universe was packed into an object the size of a grain of sand............all of a sudden, BOOM, the universe was born.

That is not a belief.  That is an extrapolation from heavy observation and advanced mathematics I don't even pretend to comprehend.  But to note, current Big Bang cosmology has the universe being originally packed into a singularity, not "an object the size of a grain of sand".  And it wasn't just the mass of the universe that expanded; it was space and time itself.  Which, arguably, makes the question of "why" meaningless, if time did not exist before the Big Bang.

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Then on one particular planet, (earth), a bunch of chemicals mixed together, and all of a sudden, POOF, life began with a single cell. From that single cell, every species on earth emerged. Sure sounds like magic to me.

Sounds like magic to you because you don't understand it.  That Earth developed life is not magic; it's simple probability.  Out of quadrillions of planets, at least one happened to undergo the unlikely set of coincidences that led to the development of intelligent life.  Do you think one person winning the lottery is magic?

-------------

You still haven't answered the million dollar question: you think that the universe is far to complex to have just appeared, how do you explain God?  He just exists for no reason, and yet is infinitely more complex than the universe.  And unlike the universe, which quite certainly exists, God is a variable you add in to explain said universe.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 07:49:23 AM by Sci Fi Fan »

Offline kramarat

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 08:58:55 AM »
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Which, arguably, makes the question of "why" meaningless, if time did not exist before the Big Bang.

Time does not exist now. It is a human construct.

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And unlike the universe, which quite certainly exists, God is a variable you add in to explain said universe.

God exists. If you want to know the whys and hows, ask God. I know all I need to.

Offline kramarat

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 09:17:07 AM »
Here's some "feel good" reading for you. Christians don't seem to have a problem with non-Christians, but boy-howdy, athiests sure do have a problem with Christians.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/06/08/are-the-ten-commandments-really-the-basis-for-our-laws/

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 10:49:25 AM »
Time does not exist now. It is a human construct.

Einstein proved you wrong several decades ago.  Get with the times, please.

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God exists. If you want to know the whys and hows, ask God. I know all I need to.

You aren't very good at formulating a logical argument, are you?

Offline kramarat

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 11:40:49 AM »
Einstein proved you wrong several decades ago.  Get with the times, please.

You aren't very good at formulating a logical argument, are you?

You are an incredibly confused individual. You got it exactly backwards.

http://physics.about.com/od/timetravel/f/doestimeexist.htm

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/in-no-time

Please do some of your own research. I don't have time to be your teacher.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/biocentrism/201111/is-death-illusion-evidence-suggests-death-isn-t-the-end

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: Problems with the so-called "watchmaker" argument
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 06:47:50 PM »
 :lol:  So you think your "research" in online websites (Psychology Today!   :rolleyes: ) counts for something?

 

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