Last night, I heard a talk by Andy Saville about “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. Now, I will admit up-front that I haven’t actually read “The God Delusion”… I have, however, read through a couple of articles on the subject as well as listening to Andy’s talk. I don’t think you necessarily need to read the book in order to understand the arguments presented in it, although of course please correct me if I am misrepresenting Dawkins at any point!
The main argument of the book seems to be based around the ‘Who made God?’ argument. If what I have been reading is correct, the argument goes something like this:
1. Everything complex starts from something simple
2. Only evolution can create complexity from simplicity
3. If there is a God he would be more complex than his creation
4. A complex God must have evolved
And, just to prove that I’m not completely pulling this out of nowhere, see this quote:
any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God… is a delusion.
In the above line of reasoning, points (1) and (4) are assumed rather than argued. God, by very definition, surely, cannot have evolved. How can a being who exists outside of time, who created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing), have evolved? It just doesn’t make sense!
Dawkins also puts forward a few supporting arguments as well. For example, he says that Darwinian evolution disproves the God hypothesis. Well… forgive me, but I don’t think it does! The argument goes something like this:
1. The design argument is the main argument for God;
2. Evolution explains the illusion of design;
3. Therefore God is unnecessary, and probably non-existent.
This seems to me to boil down to the whole “Science vs Religion” argument, which has been thoroughly debunked by many scientists and theologians. For example, try “Rebuilding the Matrix” by Denis Alexander, or “Dawkins’ God” by Alister McGrath (I’ve mentioned it here before).
There are a few other arguments but, to be honest, those have all been covered elsewhere (as have the ones which I have mentioned) so there’s no need to go into it too much.
The only other thing I’d like to mention is one thing that Dawkins says, on Jesus: ‘there is no good evidence that he ever thought he was divine.’ Really? Searching for “was jesus divine” turned this up as the first result.
Aaaaanyway. I’ve rambled on for long enough now. I think the best thing, if you’re interested, is to have a read of one of the following books, they have a far more detailed critique of Dawkins than I could ever give!
“The Dawkins Letters” by David Robertson
“The Dawkins Delusion” by Alister McGrath (to whom I apologise for shamelessly nicking the title for the title of this blog post)
Also “Dawkins’ God” by McGrath is good, although it was written before “The God Delusion” and deals with Dawkins’ earlier books.