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Analogical reasoning is a method of processing information that compares the similarities between new & understood thoughts, and then uses those similarities to gain understanding of the new concept. It is the unique in this aspect for the reason that it is considered reasoning from the particular to the particular. It is considered a form of inductive reasoning because it strives to provide understanding of what is likely to be true, rather than deductively proving something as fact. Analogical reasoning can be used by both children and adults as a way to learn new information or comparative information. It is similar to matrix reasoning, because they both deal with the analogies and comparisons. Analogical logic is viewed as a form of inductive reasoning, since the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion.
The reasoning process begins by a person determining the target domain, or the new idea to be learned or explained. It is then compared to a general matching domain, or an idea that is already well-understood. It commonly used by many Psychologist and Scientist studying new and uncertain fields to get a grasp on an unknown ambiguous uncertain topic. In my opinion it is the least reliable when concluding an argument of reason with certainty in a conclusion. Furthermore, I would say this is the least efficient reasoning, but probably the most common among people in conversation and debates.
The Analogical argument for reasoning is most common when used in the proposition of an intelligent designer or an intelligent creator. The most famous analogical logic is the teleological argument for creation & design. Teleological arguments are design arguments that presume that given this premise, the existence of a designer can be substantiated and typically presented as a Benevolent God. It is the argument for design of the universe, and the designer, -the Sovereign God who created it.
A complex universe/object that is designed must have a designer. And the designer of that complex universe/object must be powerful and knowledgeable enough to design such an object.
The Watchmaker Analogy is the most commonly associated analogical argument of reasoning. It is most commonly used when it comes to the reasoning of God, the Universe, and Creation. In simplistic terms it’s fashioned as:
Another lesser famous form of the analogical arguments of reasoning is David Hume’s Analogical Design Argument.
However, the majority of atheist find this analogy of intelligent design and it analogical reasoning insufficient. So much so that prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has written a book and has a YouTube series titled the blind watchmaker.
Former Professor of Philosophy and Religion Robert Hambourger defends the teleological argument of analogical reasoning in his well elaborated paper, “THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN.” In it he defends the argument of design, and rebuttals the more well-known fine objections to Intelligent Design/Creationism.
Here is a breakdown of his lengthy article in his own words,“In Part I, I shall present a number of objections to the argument that, for the most part, are quite well-known and, I think, quite weighty. Most are descendants of objections to be found in the writings of David Hume. Then, in Part II, I shall present the specific version of the argument I wish to offer here and, finally, in Part III, try to show that it does not succumb to the objections raised at the start.”