Dies ist eine alte Version des Dokuments!
»In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there, I might possibly answer, that, for any thing I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to shew the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be enquired how the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that, for any thing I knew, the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answert serve for the watch, as well a sfor the stone? Why is it not as admisible in the second case, as in the first? For this reason, and for no toher, vis. that, when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e.g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that, if the several parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, on in any other order, than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use, that is now served by it. […] This mechanism being observed (it requires indeed an examination of the instrument, and perhaps some previous knowledge of the subject, to perceive and understand it; but being once, as we have said, observed and aunderstood), the inference, we think, is inevitable; that the watch must have had a maker; that there must have existed, at some time and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use. Nor would it, I apprehend, weaken the conclusion, that we had never known an artist capable of making ohne; that we were altogether incapable of executing such a piece of workmanship ourselves, or of understanding in what manner it was performed […]. Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watch sometimes went wrong, of that it seldom went exactly right. […] Nor, thirdly, would it bring any uncertainty into the argument, if there were a few parts of the watch, concerning which we could not discover, or had not yet dscovered, in what manner they condused to the general effect in any manner whatever. […] Nor, fourthly, would any man in his senses think the existence of the watch, with its various machinery, accounted for, by being told that it was one out of possivle combinations of material forms; […]« (S. 1-6)
»[…] for every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater or more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation.« (S. 19, beginning of Ch. 3)
Bei Überqueren eines Weges stößt mein Fuß an einen Stein; wenn ich mich frage, wie der Stein an diese Stelle kam, könnte ich denken, er habe schon immer da gelegen. Man stelle sich vor, stattdessen hätte ich mich an einer Uhr gestoßen, und nun fragte ich mich, wie wohl die Uhr an diese Stelle käme. Sie muss von jemandem an diese Stelle getragen worden sein, und sie muss vorher von jemandem gemacht worden sein.
Das Gedankenexperiment ist eine Variante des 'argument from design', das heute gern von Anhängern der 'Intelligent design'-These vorgebracht wird.
Die entscheidende Frage ist, ob die Welt so ist wie eine Uhr: also von erkennbarer Zweckmäßigkeit. Wenn Paley mit einem Stein vergleicht, dann hat er in der Umgebung, für die er sich die Frage nach der Auffälligkeit und Zweckmäßigkeit stellt, einen Vergleichsgegenstand. Den gibt es für die 'Schöpfung' nicht, da sie ja als das Gesamt aller Dinge zu denken ist. Außerdem bezieht sich die Zweckmäßigkeit der Uhr auf etwas außerhalb ihrer selbst — kann man die Uhr nicht darauf beziehen, ist sie auch nicht so interessant. Dass sie z.B. die Zeit anzeigt, ist eine Eigenschaft, die sich durch etwas außerhalb der Uhr konstitutiert. Auch hier ist bei der analog gedachten 'Schöpfung' nicht zu sehen, was das wohl sein könnte.