Argument from the world as an interacting whole

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Argument from the world as an interacting whole was developed by Norris Clarke and popularised by Peter Kreeft. [1] It is a hybrid argument similar to the argument from design, the fine-tuning argument and Why is there something rather than nothing?

The Argument[edit]

  1. Object interact with each other in "interconnected, interlocking, dynamic", stable and reciprocal ways as part of an overall system.
  2. An object's active nature depends on the other parts for its own intelligibility and ability to act.
  3. No individual object can be self-sufficient or self-explanatory for its nature depends on the rest of the system.
  4. The system as a whole cannot be explained because it is comprises many individually unexplained parts.
  5. The system requires a "unifying efficient cause" to explain it.
  6. Neither the individual parts nor the whole is self-sufficient or self-explanatory.
  7. The system is organised based on a unifying idea.
  8. A real idea requires a real mind. The unifying idea requires a designer and the designer pre-exists or transcends the system.

Counter arguments[edit]


Imaging objects have agency. The concepts of unity and reciprocal are human inventions.

Redundant parts[edit]

What is the point of all those unused types of elementary particles? Only a few types exist normally but many redundant types have been found (in the standard model of particle physics). What is the point of other galaxies? Why all the empty space? A simpler system would have met the alleged design goals.

What is an explanation?[edit]

Brute fact?


v · d Arguments for the existence of god
Anthropic arguments   Anthropic principle · Natural-law argument
Arguments for belief   Pascal's Wager · Argument from faith · Just hit your knees
Christological arguments   Argument from scriptural miracles · Would someone die for a lie? · Liar, Lunatic or Lord
Cosmological arguments   Argument from aesthetic experience · Argument from contingency · Cosmological argument · Fine-tuning argument · Kalam · Leibniz cosmological argument · Principle of sufficient reason · Unmoved mover · Why is there something rather than nothing?
Majority arguments   Argument from admired religious scientists
Moral arguments   Argument from justice · Divine command theory
Ontological argument   Argument from degree · Argument from desire · Origin of the idea of God
Dogmatic arguments   Argument from divine sense · Argument from uniqueness
Teleological arguments   Argument from design · Banana argument · 747 Junkyard argument · Laminin argument · Argument from natural disasters
Testimonial arguments   Argument from observed miracles · Personal experience · Argument from consciousness · Emotional pleas · Efficacy of prayer
Transcendental arguments   God created numbers · Argument from the meaning of life
Scriptural arguments   Scriptural inerrancy · Scriptural scientific foreknowledge · Scriptural codes