Our latest Dawkins thread began with an atheist worrying about Dawkins’ tone distracting religious readers away from his arguments. It does exactly that. But even if someone rewrote the book in a polite manner, the arguments would still be extremely weak. I’ve discussed many examples in many threads. Dawkins fans can rationalize them all away sure, but Glenn Beck’s fans can do the same for their man. Having a fan club willing to defend anything you say doesn’t make you right. More moderate Dawkins defenders take a second line of defense. They say (paraphrased) “Yes, Dawkins is wrong about a lot of stuff, put religious people only point out that stuff because they’re unable to refute his argument against the existence of God.” In fact , Dawkins’ argument against the existence of God has been refuted thousands if not millions of times, and most of those refutations were written centuries or millenia ago. But some people apparently missed it.
Here’s Dawkins’ argument against the existence of God:
That sentence, like “Colorless green words sleep furiously”, is grammatically correct, but it’s nonsense. Probability is a mathematical concept that describes events, not objects, as can be verified from the nearest math textbook. (The probability of an event is the number of outcomes in the event divided by the total possible numer of outcomes.) So you can find the probability that a cow will go moo, but you can’t find the probability of a cow. And of course Dawkins knows this, so he tries to elide over the fact that he’s really talking about the probability of God coming into existence, not about the probability of God. He claims that the probability of God coming into existence is very small. As usual, he offers no reasons. No reason why God must be complex, no reason why that complexity should make the probability of God coming into existence small. But most of all, no reason why God had to come into existence in order to exist.
The best refutation to this argument is written in Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth”. In other words, God existed before the opening event; God has always existed. Hence trying to insist that God can’t exist because He couldn’t start existing is an inane category mistake, like saying that cars can’t exist because there’s no way for a care to hatch from an egg. In his only attempt to deal with this, Dawkins claims that the statement of God being eternal is “vague” and “pseudo-philosophical”. It is neither.
So in short, the best argument against the existence of God is an extremely bad argument that was knocked down millenia ago, and even the more intelligent atheists would probably be embarrassed to be caught making it. If that’s the best argument against God’s existence, then it bolsters my confidence in God’s existence quite a bit, because apparently there aren’t any good arguments against God’s existence. But besides that, Dawkins offers this claim: “The argument from improbability is easily today’s most popular argument in favor of the existence of God”. This is perhaps the most ludicrous statement in a book that contains mostly ludicrous statements. I know that God exists because I have experience of God, just as I know my mother exists because I have experience of her. Some ignorant yahoo offering a pitiful argument for the non-existence of God would be treated the same as a similar argument concerning my mother.