Nigel Warburton’s book Philosophy the basics was on my reading list for another module, but in his chapter God I found some really interesting quotes that made me think more about how the eye plays it’s part religion, specifically in the Design Argument.
“Supporters on the Design Argument such as William Paley (1743-1805), claim that the complexity and the efficiency of natural objects such as the eye are evidence that they must have been designed by God. How else could they have come to be as they are? Just as by looking at a watch we can tell that it was designed by a watchmaker, so, they argue, we can tell by looking at the eye that it was designed by some sort of Divine Watchmaker.” (Warburton, 2012, pg. 11).
It was this idea of a ‘Divine Watchmaker’ which really grabbed me about the Design Argument and how the eye is looked at as evidence that a God exists. When looking at the eye so close up and seeing how complex it is I can see why people would find this as evidence. However Warburton goes on the argue this concept by talking about Charles Darwin and his evolution theory and how it’s just through adaptation that we gained the ability to see as that is the eyes main function. He also points out the flaws in if something such as the eye was in fact made by an all-powerful God due to “…the universe has a number of ‘design faults’: for instance, the human eye has a tendency to short-sightedness, and to cataracts in old age- hardly the work of an all-powerful Creator wanting to create the best world possible.” (Warburton, 2012, pg. 14) I’m not a very religious person myself so I very much believe it was just due to evolution that humans are the way we are but I found it very interesting to look at the eye from this perspective.
When thinking of all the different ways in which the eye is represented if I hasn’t read further into Nigel Warburtons Philosophy the basics I would not have thought about them in this way. It is from this idea of which I decided to start experimenting with recreating the iris patterns, if I was a talented drawer I would have perhaps try to recreate this whole eye in a hyperrealistic way but as I don’t have that skill I thought I’d try and recreate it in a different way. In my work I would be representing the Divine Watchmaker and a watchmaker together, in a way tricking the viewers eye into thinking they’re just seeing the photographed eye through the mechanical eye of the camera. A mix between man made and Divinely made.