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Satisfactory Essays
In “God, Design, and Fine-Tuning”, Robin Collins argues for the Intelligent Design of the universe from the Fine-Tuning Argument. Collins’ argument is probabilistic in nature; however, it fails due to its misuse of probability theory. Aided by the work of both Bradley Monton and Mark Colyvan, I will show why Collins’ argument fails. It can be shown that this line of reasoning concludes that the existence of a life permitting universe is zero. Essentially, Collins’ argument does not prove what he claims it does and is too strong to account for the existence of a life permitting universe because it not only misuses probability, but is rendered useless due to the paradoxes inherent in probability theory.
Collins’ representation of the Fine-Tuning Argument is as follows:
1) Fine-Tuning is not improbable under theism.
2) Fine-Tuning is very improbable under the Atheistic Single Universe Hypothesis.
3) Prime Principle of Confirmation: When considering two competing hypotheses, an observation counts as evidence in favor of the hypothesis under which the observation has the highest probability (or is the least improbable) (Collins 8).
4) / From premises 1 and 2 and the Prime Principle of Confirmation, it follows that the existence of Fine-Tuning provides “strong evidence” for the design hypothesis over the Atheistic Single Universe Hypothesis (Collins 2003).
Collins claims that Fine-Tuning is likely under Theism because a deity (such as the God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) would be very interested in creating and very likely to create a fine-tuned, life permitting universe. Although the Intelligent Design Hypothesis relies upon the existence of God, Collins does not claim to have any direct evidence of the nature or existenc...

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...at the value of k is non-zero (Colyvan 329). However, such a range cannot be picked in a non-arbitrary was. It seems that no natural sense of possibility (e.g. logical possibility or physical possibility) seems likely to produce a range that fits the requirements of the Fine-Tuning Argument through any sort of non-arbitrary means.
If fine-tuning is to provide evidence for the intelligent design of the universe, it seems that arguments based in probabilistic reasoning are not the most tenable due to the many objections raised throughout this essay. While fine-tuning may very well serve as evidence for intelligent design, the proponents of such a view must either form a novel argument that does not rely on probability theory as the current Fine-Tuning Argument has or find a way to resolve the probabilistic paradoxes that the current argument has been plagued with.
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