Part One. Pick any philosophical idea in this week’s reading that interests you and post your philosophical thoughts on it, which includes your reasons. This is important: A comment is not philosophical unless it includes your reasoning. For example, when evaluating an argument, this means you need to either (a) state which specific premise you disagree with and why you disagree with the premise, or (b) you need to explain why you think the rejected argument’s reasoning is weak, invalid, or otherwise illogical.
Part Two. Respond philosophically to the post of one (or more) members of the class.
Fun Fact — Belief Bias: Cognitive psychologists have studied what they call cognitive illusions (aka: cognitive biases). These result from strong psychological tendencies that lead us to reason poorly. One common cognitive bias/illusion is called “The Belief Bias”. This occurs when we evaluate the quality of an ARGUMENT based only on whether we agree or disagree with the conclusion. This class requires that we focus on evaluating arguments. Two examples of resisting the belief bias:
o Nagel (last week’s reading) was not sympathetic to the idea of an intelligent designer, yet he recognized the strength of some design arguments.
o Many theists, on the other hand, believe that the cosmos was created by an intelligent designer, yet judge many design arguments (Paley’s for example) as flawed or weak.
Moral of the Story: If you DON’T believe in an intelligent designer, remember that not all argument for this conclusion are good. And if you DO believe in an intelligent designer, keep in mind that not all arguments for that belief are good.
This week I would like to discuss Paley’s design argument and its relationship with Darwin’s theory of evolution. From what I have learned about Paley’s design argument, “watch is to watchmaker as nature is to a designer of nature” is apparently an inductive argument. By comparing the structure of watch to that of the nature, Paley tried to prove the existence of an intelligent designer. However, I doubt the credibility of this argument because no matter how similar two items (A and B) are, something happens to item A does not mean that this something must happen to item B. Nevertheless, while I was learning about Darwin’s theory of evolution, I realized that he used “natural selection is a completely unguided process” to reject Paley’s design argument. Upon reading this, I could not help but consider if it is possible that there was an intelligent designer that created the first generation of lives in the globe, and then these lives started to evolve generation by generation through natural selection. Therefore, I would like to say that it is possible that Darwin’s theory of evolution is not completely against the design argument.