The Argument from Beauty Debunked



The Argument from Beauty is, in my opinion, the worst teleological argument of them all. Truth be told, I’d go so far as to say that it’s one of the most ignorant and pathetic arguments of all time… period. But alas, I’ll save my rants for later – for now, let’s respectfully present the argument.

Syllogistically, it goes as follows:

• Beauty can only be created by a very specific god;
• Beauty exists;
• Therefore, a very specific god exists.

Seems completely absurd right? In fact, let’s be honest, it seems like I’ve deliberately misrepresented the argument in order to easily ridicule it, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s because I kind of have… because unlike most theological arguments, Arguments from Beauty are very rarely presented syllogistically. Rather, they’re asserted through a question that reeks of ignorance, such as, “How can you look at a tree’s beauty and not see deliberate design?” or, “How can you look into your baby’s perfect eyes and not see the hand of god?”

Throughout the video I pint-point several flaws and fallacies that those who use the Argument from Beauty tend to commit, but for a very brief summery (extremely brief), they are as follows:

1 – 3. Argument from Ignorance or Argument from Personal Incredulity:

To go straight for the jugular, Arguments from Beauty are, at their core, either Arguments from Ignorance or Arguments from Personal Incredulity. Beneath their appeal to emotion (which is a fallacy in and of itself), they’re asserting that because we can’t explain why beauty exists, their very specific god must’ve intended for it to exist; which is just as absurd as asserting that, because we can’t explain why war exists, Ares, the god of war, must’ve intended for it to exist…

4. Ignores Inconvenient Facts:

A fourth flaw to raise, and one that is outrageously obvious, is that Arguments from Beauty entirely Ignore Inconvenient Facts. That is, they ignore the fact that world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows; but rather, it is, in the words of Rocky Balboa, “A very mean and nasty place”.

Whether we like it or not, the fact of the matter is that in the state of nature, life is solitary, poor, brutish and short; it’s an ugly place, and one that only a sick and twisted maniac would deliberate create.

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As always, thanks you kindly for the view, and I hope that this video will help you defeat those who would use an Argument from Beauty against you.

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42 thoughts on “The Argument from Beauty Debunked”

  1. So to refute the argument from beauty, you argue the world is ugly? I am not agreeing with the argument from beauty, I am just pointing out that saying the world is ugly so no god exists is the same as saying the world is beautiful so god exists.

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  2. I completely agree but isn't calling it ignorant and pathetic a communication barrier? Either way great video as usual.

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  3. I shall defend the argument from beauty. Here is my syllogism

    1. Beauty is Objective
    2. The best explanation for objective beauty is that a God whether active in the world or not enacted it as so
    C: God exists.

    Beauty is Objective because two or more contradicting ideas cannot all be true at the same time. The existence of ugliness disproves pantheistic explanations for Beauty's objective existence. Naturalistic explanations for beauty aren't actually explanations for beauty but instead epistemological theories explaining how we came to know and interact with the concept of Beauty. Naturalism has no claim on the ontology of Beauty and it's metaphysical nature. This leaves Deism and Theism as the only remaining explanations. Alone the best explanation is deism as the argument suggests a creator and nothing more. If combined with other arguments Theism would become more plausible. The point. Either way, God exists. I am half writing this at night, so if this seems choppy that is why. Respond as you will and I will come back and refute objections and elaborate as needed.

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  4. Atheism commits the fallacy of mass fallacy. Beauty points to the existence of God. The shallow, sexist definition of beauty where atheists focus on cleavage and women (like shown in your video) is your standard Darwinist chauvinistic sexist anti-progressive, anti-liberal definition of beauty. So narrow and minuscule compared to what beauty really is. This is just atheistic men thinking with their phallus (i.e. nothing "rational" about this). Sexism is rampant in the atheistic community, as has been well documented and further propagated by this irrational nonsense.

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  5. The worst argument? Really? I think the ontological argument is much worse! At least the argument from beauty has something to point at!

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  6. We are all evolved differently according to our region. So, when we see someone of opposite sex who has different features we find them beautiful.Cold region people evolved white because there is less need of melanin as sun is not hot there, while in tropical region people evolve with darker skin with more melanin.

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  7. Before I became an atheist, I actually found the argument from beauty rather convincing…in the person of Belinda Carlisle.

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  8. You don't understand the purpose of the physical universe and consciousness and hence you don't understand Beauty.

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  9. I would love to add that Beauty simply is your brains telling you that that thing is made well and healthy for example we love symmetry the reason why we do is "symmetric stuff tend to be healthy and not broken in anyway" and you can find most of the things we see beautiful are beautiful for a evolutionary reason.

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  10. The 5 essential reasons for God are:
    (1) Personal Faith(Holy Spirit)
    (2) Historical evidence
    (3) Morality
    (4) Order
    (5) Origins
    All 5 are riddled with Fallacies and flaws

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  11. Is the thumbnail an extension of accelerated social evolution fueled by the Cambrian explosion of YouTube ?
    Unknown Unconscious Self- One chose such sexual beauty immediately, without my permission, but the inner feeling I know as "me" was gleefully along for the ride.

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  12. This misrepresents the argument from beauty. The argument is similar to the moral argument. It asserts that aesthetic realism is true (objective beauty), and this is can only be substantiated by the thomistic conception of God.

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  13. For some reason most religious people say that everything good in the world is because of God and everything bad is because of us (original sin). It makes me sick to think that I believed this too.

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  14. Minor suggestion on your video to improve others well being. I'm requesting we stop using the crazy redheaded feminist as the feminist icon. She's received a lot of harassment and I'd like it if we didn't contribute to that shit in any small way anymore. Just my 2 cents.

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  15. "Seems completely absurd, right?" Actually this sounds like you're committing a strawman fallacy, I actually checked it and…yea…it really is that dumb.

    Also, as a consequence of checking this out, I found this gem(I use that word loosely…atrocity would be more accurate) http://www.atsjats.org/publication/view/15 It has several of the usual arguments, though I couldn't bring myself to read it all since I started to feel my brain decompose. Still, you might be able to find some dumb shit in there that might be fun to…well, poke fun at.

    Edit: You actually acknowledged the strawman bit yourself, I just paused too early. Well played sir, well played.

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  16. Beauty is assigned, just as are design and purpose. We do it. We do it all the time. Only we do it. No gods necessary.

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  17. 3 people stare at a well formed intricate autumn leaf. A scientist, a philosipher, and a devout Christian. They all think the leaf is beautiful. They know nothing of it's origin

    Scientist: that leaf is intricate, I wonder how it formed with such complexity. I must investigate thus.

    Philosipher:I care not for how it formed, but I do wonder why it is we as humans can find beauty in the most trivial of objects. I must spend time thinking about this.

    Christian: you 2 are both fools. This is unquestionably the work of almighty God. I will now spend the rest of my day in prayer to glorify them.

    One of the many reasons religion and reason don't mix well. One is built on asking questions, the other is not.

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  18. this whole video is based on a strawman. The argument from beauty postulates that in order for beauty to exist, it must reflect some kind of divine perfection, such as a platonic form. The very definition that he presents is entirely incorrect, and therefore very easy to pillory and mock… Pretty intellectually lazy

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  19. There is a study called "Toward A Brain Based Theory of Beauty" that basically suggests that beauty is comprised of what we subjectivelly find valuable. Everybody's perceptions and neural patterns were different except for one part which then makes the feeling of beauty itself, and that part has also been shown to respond to subjective values.

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  20. I've seen no evidence that points to the god in the Bible but I see and hear evidence for Zeus quite often (thunder and lightning) therefore Zeus is the only true god! All hail Zeus!

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  21. Great video!

    But I have to say that some people like me find the whole complexity of the universe extremely beautiful(usually physicists and mathematicians). When I see bacteria spreading, I see the mathematical structure of exponential growth behind it and i find it beautiful how it all works. I.e. some people find the whole thing beautiful, no matter if it is good or bad, it is a powerful attitude I use to deal with the hardships of my own life, I find it beautiful how complex and interesting it is. Maybe I get to be an applied mathematician and develop more accurate models for brains or society, who knows, but mathematical/theoretical physics is still way to go for me 🙂

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