You also put you position on a dangerous footing by insisting that the happiness of humans proves the existence and nature of the designer. It is profaneness to attempt penetratingthrough these sacred obscurities. [Philo points out that the argument from design is more suggestive of pantheism than an anthropomorphic god.]. Even if an animal is more ordered than a book, it does not mean it was more likely to be designed.]. Part 7: What Other Principles Give Rise to Order? I will not say that this is betraying the cause of a Deity:But surely, by this affected candour, you give advantages to Atheists,which they never could obtain by the mere dint of argument and reasoning. Arguably the Big Bang is unlike any event observed since and beyond any possible analogy (or at least any hypothesis that we can currently test).]. Animals are stronger evidence of design than even a self-reproducing book. [This echoes the theory of abiogenesis (the conjectured natural process of life arising from non-living matter) but in this case Hume is using a similar idea to explain order. The other parts of the book are Pamphilus's account of the three main characters' debate. Is not Venusanother earth, where we observe the same phenomenon? "We are terrified, not bribed to the continuance of our existence.". But how is it conceivable, said DEMEA, that the world can arise from anything similar to vegetation or generation? Ask anyone if they would live their last 20 years, they say : "No! The point that a disembodied voice is dissimilar to a human voice is valid, but is in agreement with Philo. The order, proportion, andarrangement of every part? Or does henot perceive, that these topics are easily retorted, and thatAnthropomorphite is an appellation as invidious, and implies as dangerousconsequences, as the epithet of Mystic, with which he has honoured us? What I had to suggest,said CLEANTHES, is only that you would not abuse terms, or make use ofpopular expressions to subvert philosophical reasonings. "It is your turn now to tug the labouring oar, and to support your philosophical subtleties against the dictates of plain reason and experience. When we read a book, we enter into the mind of the author. The first part discusses scepticism, the relationship between reason and religion, and sceptical extremism. But, allowing that we were to take the operations of one part of natureupon another, for the foundation of our judgement concerning the originof the whole, (which never can be admitted,) yet why select so minute, soweak, so bounded a principle, as the reason and design of animals isfound to be upon this planet? But the vulgar prejudice, that body and mind ought alwaysto accompany each other, ought not, one should think, to be entirelyneglected; since it is founded on vulgar experience, the only guide whichyou profess to follow in all these theological inquiries. In subjects adapted to thenarrow compass of human reason, there is commonly but one determination,which carries probability or conviction with it; and to a man of soundjudgement, all other suppositions, but that one, appear entirely absurdand chimerical. Thus the universe goes on for many ages in a continued succession ofchaos and disorder. Also, man is the greatest enemy of man. It observes that while the format of a dialogue has disadvantages, it is suitable for obscure and uncertain topics in which reasonable men may hold differing opinions. is introduced.]. The cause of the former is generationor vegetation. Pray consider, said PHILO, whom you are at present inveighing against.You are honouring with the appellation of Atheist all the sound, orthodoxdivines, almost, who have treated of this subject; and you will at lastbe, yourself, found, according to your reckoning, the only sound Theistin the world. I shall never assent to so harsh an opinion as that of a celebratedwriter [L'Arte de penser], who says, that the Sceptics are not a sect ofphilosophers: They are only a sect of liars. When itreasons and discourses; when it expostulates, argues, and enforces itsviews and topics; when it applies sometimes to the pure intellect,sometimes to the affections; when it collects, disposes, and adorns everyconsideration suited to the subject; could you persist in asserting, thatall this, at the bottom, had really no meaning; and that the firstformation of this volume in the loins of its original parent proceedednot from thought and design? Skeptics reject weak arguments but to "adhere to common sense and the plain instincts of nature". It sometimes happens, I own, that the religious arguments have not theirdue influence on an ignorant savage and barbarian; not because they areobscure and difficult, but because he never asks himself any questionwith regard to them. Worship of God lowers him to the state of mankind, who is delighted in presents and flattery. The order and arrangementof nature, the curious adjustment of final causes, the plain use andintention of every part and organ; all these bespeak in the clearestlanguage an intelligent cause or author. It is an active cause, bywhich some particular parts of nature, we find, produce alterations onother parts. But if idolaters be Atheists, as, I think, may justly beasserted, and Christian Theologians the same, what becomes of theargument, so much celebrated, derived from the universal consent ofmankind?