Beware of analogies used to show the existence of a god

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Parent debateThis argument is used in the debate Does God exist?.
Argument againstThis argument is an objection to God gives an account of the world's master plan.
Keywords: Teleological argument, God, Analogy[ edit ].



“However suggestive, Voltaire's analogy [with the watch] is not without its weaknesses. First of all, it's only an analogy (the universe is obviously not made of springs and gears). Secondly, and I'll come back to this later, it pays little heed to the innumerable disorders, horrors and dysfunctions. A cancerous tumor is also a kind of timer (as in a time bomb); an earthquake, if we want to use the clockwork metaphor, is like a planetary buzzer or vibrator. How does this prove that tumors or cataclysms are part of an intelligent, benevolent design? Last but not least, Voltaire's or Rousseau's analogy is outdated: because it is based on a mechanical model (such was 18th-century physics), whereas nature, as described by our scientists, is based on dynamics (being is energy), indeterminism (Nature plays dice: that's why it's not God) and general entropy (what would we say about a clock tending towards maximum disorder?).”

André Comte-Sponville, The spirit of atheism, Albin Michel, 2006.



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