Dawkins on the Existence of God

When Dawkins does finally get round to trying to disprove God in The God Delusion, it is a bit of a let
down. His arguments for the probable non-existence of God, it turns out, have
nothing to do with science at all. Instead, his defense of atheism rests on some
speculative metaphysical assumptions about the God he doesn’t believe in. In
short, he presupposes that if God exists, then He must: (A) have ‘come about’
once upon a time or have always existed within time; (B) be limited by the laws
of science, time and contingency.

Although these assumptions are never
made explicit, they underpin his entire project and allow Dawkins to argue that
God is at the wrong end of the evolutionary time scale. As he puts it: ‘any
creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into
existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution.’
Because ‘any God capable of designing a universe, carefully and foresightfully
tuned to lead to our evolution, must be a supremely complex and improbable
entity who needs an even bigger explanation than the one he is supposed to
provide’ it follows that ‘a God capable of designing a universe, or anything
else, would have to be complex and statistically improbable.’

The idea
that the Creator of time and the laws of the universe might, in fact, not be
subject to time and cause-and-effect contingency, is an idea Dawkins dismisses
with scathing polemic rather than reasoned argument. Yet this should not be such
a hard idea for Dawkins to grasp, seeing that on page 145 of his book he allows
that the laws of our universe might be merely one among a number of ‘by-laws’ in
a ‘multiverse’ containing ‘many universes, co-existing like bubbles of foam.’ He
can conceive that possibility, yet he will not allow, even hypothetically, a
reality that is not time-bound. At least, not when the subject in question is
God. However, if we are talking about the universe itself, Dawkins is more
generous. In an earlier book, Unweaving the Rainbow, Dawkins remarks
that

'further developments of the [big bang] theory, supported by all
available evidence, suggest that time itself began in this mother of all
cataclysms. You probably don’t understand, and I certainly don’t, what it can
possibly mean to say that time itself began at a particular moment. But once
again that is a limitation of our minds….'

Chapter 4 of The God Delusion is
a classic example of trying to blind people with science. It would be very easy
for unphilosophical readers to think Dawkins has proved his point when he
appeals to seemingly irrefutable scientific data. In reality, even if
all his science is correct (and specialists will know it is not) his conclusions
simply do not follow. He commits what is called a non sequitur – when
the conclusion is out of sequence with the preceding premises.

Taken from Robin Phillips' review of The God Delusion. Click HERE to read entire review.

One thought on “Dawkins on the Existence of God

  1. I think that a universe without “god” can exist, I think that the perfection of the universe its to big for a supreme to be able of create it.

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