By John Hick
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Extra resources for Arguments for the Existence of God
We know that sentences are normally expressions of human 24 intelligence (even though words may occasionally fall into the form of a sentence by pure chance) because we ourselves so use them. But we have no parallel reason to believe that our sense organs are products of an intelligent purpose. On the contrary, the biologists tell us a detailed and convincing story about the way in which the sense organs of the different animal species have been developed through the natural processes of evolution.
This is of course possible, but also immensely implausible. (20) There are two points here. The first is that our human cognitive powers exceed what we should need merely for purposes of survival. Taylor is evidently now speaking, not of our sense organs, but of the higher capacities of the mind for reasoning and speculation, as in the formation of scientific hypotheses and the creation of metaphysical systems. But his design argument was based upon our reliance on our sense organs as sources of information; and the counter-argument that these have come about by natural evolution is not met 25 by claiming that our higher intellectual powers have not come about in this way.
The basic reason for this restriction is that^grobability is a relational concept, this being equally true whether we thirnT oTthe probability of events or of the probabiUty^of the truth of a proposition. That a possible event will occur is probable in virtue of its relation to other events. But if the event in question — in this case the occurrence of the universe — is so defined that there can be no other events, then the notion of probability cannot be brought to bear upon it. More specifically, the concept of probability used in the physical and behavioural sciences is based on frequency within a plurality of instances^ so that if there is only a single case the concept fails to apply.