Why God Almost Certainly DOES Exist!
Regis NicollRegis Nicoll's weblog
- 2015 Oct 06
Admitting, ever so modestly, that he can't disprove the existence of God, atheist popularizer Richard Dawkins explains why God almost certainly does not exist. His argument, presented in chapter 4 of The God Delusion (2008), is intended to expose the fallacy of intelligent design. It goes something like this:
• The more complex a thing is, the more improbable it is (absent a designer).
• God must be more complex than anything he created.
• Therefore, God is more improbable than anything in the universe.
The argument (and entire chapter) can be reduced to the "zinger" fashionable among budding atheists testing their forensic chops: "Who created God?" Fancied a debate-winning retort by Dawkins and his acolytes, the go-to comeback kicks off a line of reasoning that sends the discussion headlong down a black hole of infinite regression. For if "God" demands an explanation, so does any ultimate cause (material, immaterial, intelligent, or otherwise).
In cheekier fashion, Dawkins has said he disbelieves all sorts of things that cannot be disproved: the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, Flying Spaghetti Monster (his own rhetorical creation), and other childish myths and imaginary figures; God is just one more thing he adds to the list.
On another occasion, when asked what defense he would summon if, after dying, he came face-to-face with God, Dawkins replied, "Not enough evidence, God. Not enough evidence."1
Riddled with Errors
These arguments, which play well to folks inclined to disbelief, share some fundamental errors.
First is the error of category. Unlike God, the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, and Flying Spaghetti Monster are not necessary beings. That is to say, the universe, life, and the fulfillment of man's transcendent yearnings are not contingent upon their existence. Simple and great thinkers alike have been entertained by the exploits of Odysseus and Peter Pan, but they have been transformed by the story of God.
Next is question-begging. By insisting that anything presumed to exist, including a necessary cause, demands an explanation, the argument presupposes naturalism, the very premise under question.
Then there's confirmation bias. By criticizing theism for its lack of empirical evidence, while ignoring the unproven and/or unprovable devices of naturalism (for starters, the multiverse, cosmic inflation, and macro-evolution), which collectively defy Occam's razor and which individually, at least in some cases, defy known physical processes, the argument betrays a blinkered consideration of the facts.
And that brings up the fourth error. Contrary to the claims of Dawkins and his ilk, there is evidence, sufficient evidence, for the existence of God... Read on.