On Plato’s Forms and the Watchmaker Argument (On Beauty and Meaning)

So Plato and his Forms have me thinking. He makes a claim that the Forms (the pure essence of something, more or less) of Beauty, Goodness, etc. exist separately. But do they? There’s no real proof for it. There’s no reason to believe it or, especially, know it.

Perhaps I’m stretching this too far, but the idea of the Form of Beauty reminded me, of all things, the (in)famous Watchmaker Argument. (For those who have no idea what it is, it’s basically, “The world is so complex and intricate that it must have been designed.) Why am I relating two seemingly unrelated concepts?

They both search for meaning. The Forms give us these goals to strive for (to know the pure essence of the Form), and the Watchmaker argument is most commonly used to defend Christianity. 

Again, I don’t believe in the Forms; I don’t believe that a separate Form of Beauty exists. And I don’t think that beauty and complexity imply design. The way I see it, it’s our search for meaning that creates both beauty and our creator. We want things to mean something, instead of living in a harsh world where little makes sense. So we created our gods, at first by personifying and then praying to forces of nature, and we created art, which often has great meaning to the artist.

I’ll say it again: our search for meaning created our creator, and if all we have to go on is faith, than perhaps we should redirect or search elsewhere. As always, comments are welcome! (Come on, make my day and comment.)

(P.S. I apologize if this is scattered, it’s still far too early at 10 AM to be coherent.)



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