John Stuart Mill on Intelligent Creator

Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see

JOHN STUART MILL (1806-1873), English philosopher and economist, the major exponent of Utilitarianism

1. Concerning the existence of an Intelligent Creator, Mill wrote this:

“Whatever ground there is to believe in an Author of nature is derived from the appearances of the universe. The argument from design is grounded wholly on our experience of the appearances of the universe. It is, therefore, a far more important argument for theism than any other.

The order of nature exhibits certain qualities that are found to be characteristic of such things as are made by an intelligent mind for a purpose. We are entitled from this great similarity in the effects to infer similarity in the cause, and to believe that things which it is beyond the power of man to make, but which resemble the works of man in all but power, must also have been made by Intelligence armed with a power greater than human.” (Mill, as cited in Castell 1988, 181-182).

2. “Viewing the matter impartially, it does appear that there is a preponderance of evidence that the Creator desired the pleasure of His creatures. This is indicated by the fact, which cannot itself be denied, that pleasure of one description or another, is afforded by almost all of the powers, mental and physical, possessed by the creature.” (Mill, as cited in Castell 1988, 186).

3. Mill maintained that the structure of the eye proves a designing Mind or Intelligent Creator:

“The parts of which the eye is composed, and the arrangement of these parts, resemble one another in this very remarkable respect, that they all conduce to enabling the animal to see. These parts and their arrangement being as they are, the animal sees.

Now sight, being a fact which follows the putting together of the parts of the eye, can only be connected with the production of the eye as a final cause, not an efficient cause; since all efficient causes precede their effects. But a final cause is a purpose, and at once marks the origin of the eye as proceeding from an Intelligent Will.” (Mill, as cited in Castell 1988, 182).

4. “Among the facts of the universe to be accounted for, it may be said, is mind; and it is self evident that nothing can have produced mind but Mind.” (Mill 1969, 439).