Ideas from 'Natural Theology' by William Paley [1802], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Existence of God' (ed/tr Hick,John) [Macmillan 1964,0-02-085450-1]].

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28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / b. Teleological Proof
Unlike a stone, the parts of a watch are obviously assembled in order to show the time
                        Full Idea: When we come to inspect a watch we perceive (what we could not discover in a stone) that its several parts are put together for a purpose, to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day.
                        From: William Paley (Natural Theology [1802], Ch 1)
                        A reaction: Microscopic examination of the stone would have surprised Paley. Should we infer a geometer because the sun is spherical? Crytals look designed, but are explained by deeper chemistry.
From the obvious purpose and structure of a watch we must infer that it was designed
                        Full Idea: The inference is inevitable that the watch had a maker; that there must have existed, at some time, an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer, who designed its use.
                        From: William Paley (Natural Theology [1802], Ch 1)
                        A reaction: It rather begs the question to refer to an ordered structure as a 'design'. Why do we think it is absurd to think the the 'purpose' of the sun is to benefit mankind? Suppose we found a freakish natural sundial in the woods.
Even an imperfect machine can exhibit obvious design
                        Full Idea: It is not necessary that a machine be perfect, in order to show with what design it was made.
                        From: William Paley (Natural Theology [1802], Ch 1)
                        A reaction: This encounters Hume's point that you will then have to infer that the designer contains similar imperfections. If you look at plagues, famines and mothers dying in childbirth (see Mill), you might wish the designer had never started.
All the signs of design found in a watch are also found in nature
                        Full Idea: Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature.
                        From: William Paley (Natural Theology [1802], Ch.3)
                        A reaction: This is far from obvious. It was crucial to the watch analogy that we immediately see its one self-evident purpose. No one looks at nature and says 'Aha, I know what this is all for'.
No organ shows purpose more obviously than the eyelid
                        Full Idea: The eyelid defends the eye; it wipes it; it closes it in sleep. Are there, in any work of art whatever, purposes more evident than those which this organ fulfils?
                        From: William Paley (Natural Theology [1802], p.24), quoted by Armand Marie LeRoi - The Lagoon: how Aristotle invented science 031
                        A reaction: Nice to have another example, in addition to the watch. He is not wholly wrong, because it is impossible to give an evolutionary account of the development of the eyelid without referring to some sort of teleological aspect. The eyelid has a function.