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Why does David Hume compare the universe to a vegetable?

Hi guys,

I'm a little confused on a criticism of the teleological argument made by the philosopher David Hume.

He says that the analogies made between the way the universe works and the way machines work are unsound. He then goes on to say that the world is more like a vegetable or inert animal; something that grows of its own accord, rather than something made by hand.

How does he come to this conclusion? Is it because we can see that the world is slowly developing and changing over time (for example, through climate change) similar to a vegetable, whereas a man-made machine remains the same?

Thanks in advance.
He finds the design argument absurd to compare an organic entity (the earth) to a man made machine. He says, being quite witty but still holding a valid point, that a universe is better compared to a vegetable, as they are both organic. Its not really because the universe is like a carrot, but its more similar than paleys example of a watch.
Reply 2
Original post by Yipyipee
He finds the design argument absurd to compare an organic entity (the earth) to a man made machine. He says, being quite witty but still holding a valid point, that a universe is better compared to a vegetable, as they are both organic. Its not really because the universe is like a carrot, but its more similar than paleys example of a watch.


Oh. Clearly I've been looking WAY too much into the idea of the universe being similar to a vegetable, haha.
Original post by chuckymeg
Oh. Clearly I've been looking WAY too much into the idea of the universe being similar to a vegetable, haha.


ahaha, nothing in RS makes sense, we all get confused :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by Yipyipee
ahaha, nothing in RS makes sense, we all get confused :smile:


Thanks for your help. :smile:
ahahaha lol