THE GOD DELUSION CHAPTER 4

(Why there is almost certainly no god)

okay so the thing is that I am finding now that I don’t disagree with the book much at all any more. BUT I started off being heavily critical so in the interests of continuing: Dawkins seems to put a lot of emphasis on god being simple or complex. He says that if god designed the universe he would have to be very complex (fair enough), and such a being isn’t just going to spring out of nowhere. I think this is a big flaw because it’s worse than speculation to start asserting how exactly complexity may manifest itself when you detach it from our physical laws.

I personally feel a stronger argument is to just say when somebody asserts that god did this or that that “you can’t possibly know that and there’s no evidence for it”. It doesn’t totally disprove them, which seems to be Dawkins’s aim, but there are so many possibilities that the chance of them having the right one, especially as it involves creating a magic man in the sky who’s immune to and entirely outside of all known science and reason, is statistically negligible.

Personally I think the multiverse hypothesis makes a lot of sense: we already know that one universe may exist, unless you invoke god as the only way to create a universe and define that he only wanted one then the idea that there may be others seems very plausible. Supposedly this particular one is very well tweaked to support life but I don’t think this is a complete analysis: the vast vast VAAAAST majority of the universe is empty space. Even just looking at the parts that aren’t, anything that supports life as we know it are insanely rare. The only reason they exist at all is because the universe is so damn big; if it was ‘only’ a lightyear cubed then we probably wouldn’t have any habitable locations at all.

This universe seems consistent with a multiverse hypothesis that has some mechanism to spit out a lot of basically randomly made up universes (at least pseudorandom as far as support of life goes): this universe’s support of life is neither too perfect to make the idea that it came from a random unintelligent process statistically implausible, nor is it so hostile that the fact that life has come about necessitates some kind of overseer to overcome the improbability. Much like the wonders brought by evolution, it’s there, it does the job and to a naive observer it may look designed, but look at the situation a bit more fairly and you see it’s far from perfect and more likely an irrelevant consequence of something else.

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