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Paley

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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William Paley uses the analogy of finding a watch vs. finding a stone in nature, and the complexities of the watch that are not similarly found in something like a stone, to prove that we, as complex beings that can reproduce, must also have a supreme designer the same way a complex watch has a designer. Paley goes through some of the parts of a watch and explains each specific purpose they serve in the mechanism and the great deal of care each piece was placed with. Given the complexities of the watch, it is clear that the watch in question must have had a creator, a designer who made everything as it was for a reason. Even though we may not know a watchmaker personally, or have not seen a watch being made, ancient art being created, etc. we understand that there was someone who created these things at some point in time and these creations served a specific purpose. It is absurd to think that something with a design did not have a designer.
Paley then asks us to consider the possibility that the watch in question contained a specific set of parts that would allow it to create another watch like itself. If someone found this watch and then later discovered it could reproduce, the person who found the watch would no doubt see it in a new light and see this as a new reason to believe that a designer put a great deal of thought into this creation. He also uses an analogy of water powered corn grinder to show that although water is unintelligent, the manner in which it is used in a specific design creates an specific effect. If we assume that the watch with reproductive properties was reproduced by another watch before it, we are left with an infinite number of watches of which we must find the creator of, in order to find out where the first watch originated. However, regardless of if this number of previous watches is finite or infinite, we will still be left with the question of who made the first watch? We observe a design, but cannot always identify a designer.
Paley concludes with the belief that his proofs have made the existence of a supreme designer quite obvious. If his argument and explanation has not made you admire the complexity of “the watch” and a supreme designer, and instead see an opposing point of view, then you are practicing atheism.…...

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