Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-54vk6 Total loading time: 0.378 Render date: 2022-08-08T13:50:58.822Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Fine-tuning arguments and biological design arguments: can the theist have both?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 July 2019

JOEL BALLIVIAN*
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, Madison, 600 North Park Street, Madison, WI53706, USA.

Abstract

There are at least two kinds of design arguments for theism: fine-tuning arguments and biological design arguments. Dougherty and Poston (2008) have argued that the success of one requires the failure of the other, and vice versa. The reason is that the success of these arguments hinges on the following crucial probability: the probability that biological life exists somewhere in the universe given that (a) our universe is finely tuned and that (b) biological development is unguided by intelligence. According to Dougherty and Poston, fine-tuning arguments require that the crucial probability is high while biological design arguments require that the crucial probability is low. As a result, at most one of these design arguments can factor into a cumulative case argument for theism. I argue that this is mistaken. Specifically, I show that fine-tuning arguments can succeed even if the crucial probability is low.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Collins, R. (2009) ‘The teleological argument: an exploration of the fine-tuning of the universe’, in Craig, William Lane & Moreland, J. P. (eds) The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (Oxford: Blackwell), 202281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dougherty, T. & Poston, T. (2008) ‘A user's guide to design arguments’, Religious Studies, 44, 99110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leslie, J. (1989) Universes (New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
McGrew, L. (2004) ‘Testability, likelihoods, and design’, Philo, 7, 521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGrew, T. (2005) ‘Toward a rational reconstruction of design inferences’, Philosophia Christi, 7, 253298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schroeder, M. (2007) Slaves of the Passions (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swinburne, R. (2004) The Existence of God, 2nd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Fine-tuning arguments and biological design arguments: can the theist have both?
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Fine-tuning arguments and biological design arguments: can the theist have both?
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Fine-tuning arguments and biological design arguments: can the theist have both?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *