The Dawkins Delusion:
It’s an age-old question of origins. Who created the creator? Does God have parents? It’s merely a brain-teaser of sorts, but for some naive authors, *cough* like Richard Dawkins *cough*, it’s their central argument. An excerpt from this not-to-be-named author’s book, The God Delusion:
“1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has
been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe
2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of
design to actual design itself.
3. The temptation is a false one because
the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed
4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian
evolution by natural selection.
5. We don’t have an equivalent
explanation for physics.
6. We should not give up the hope of a better
explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for
Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.”
Now, you don’t need to be a Oxford philosopher to understand that his premises for the argument do not lead to the odd conclusion that “God almost certainly does not exist”. Why? Because he’s saying that we can’t infer a designer to things that appear to be designed. To Dawkins’ dismay, however, there are plenty of arguments for God that have nothing to do with the appearance of design in the universe. His reasoning is thus logically invalid because the argument is just another non sequitur. But, for the sake of the discussion, we’ll let it slide. Mr. Dawkins’ main point is that we have no right to infer an intelligent designer for the universe because a new problem arises: who designed the designer?
1. As many philosophers have already pointed out, you don’t need an explanation of an explanation to conclude if it’s valid or not. It’s really that simple. As an analogy, pretend I head off to England. Assume I find Stonehenge. I examine it and determine that it was developed by an intelligence. Now, is my inferring intelligence less correct because (1) I don’t have any clue who made it and (2) I don’t know who the ancestors of the people that made Stonehenge? Obviously not. If I was wrong in doing this, it would put us in a vacuum of knowledge in which we would always have to explain the explanation ad infinitum to decide whether to believe something or not (i.e. an infinite regress).
Who made Stonehenge?
Who made them?
Well, you forgot to explain them too!
And so on….
2. Asking the very question “who created God” is nonsensical. God being the very first cause, this would be like asking “who created the uncreatable?”. It’s just a bunch of pseudoquestions because it forces us to conceive created gods, instead of who we’re really talking about – God.
You’re not required to explain God in order to recognize that He is the best explanation. It’s quite odd that Dawkins uses this argument as his “central” one. It was his knockout argument — or so he thought.