Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who Made God?

(Stand to Reason) by Melinda Penner

Who Made God?

From Edgar Andrews’ Who Made God?: Searching for a Theory of Everything.  Andrews is Emeritus Professor of Materials at the University of London and an international expert on large molecules.  His book is insightful, engaging, and light-hearted for a deep subject.  It's scientifically and philosophically astute.  Andrews' has no fear of the atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, who attempt to wield science as a weapon against theism.

…There is one answer to the question that atheists are happy to accept – the answer “We made God.”
…For the moment let me point out three small problems with the “We made God” hypothesis.  First, it falls into the very same trap that the atheist cunningly sets when he asks, “If God made everything, who made God?”  Because when he confidently declares that we made God it must then be asked, “If we made God, who made us?”  Since the answer “God made us” is obviously excluded ab initio, the question “Who made us?” is no more answerable than “Who made God?”  Just to replay, “Evolution made us” simply will not do.  As Scott Adams has observed, “Evolution isn’t a cause of anything; it’s an observation, a way of putting things in categories.  Evolution says nothing about causes.”  Or to put it more simply, if evolution made us, who made evolution?

The atheist will no doubt replay that evolution is simply the way nature works; it is just part of the “everything” that theists wrongly attribute to God.  But the logic of this contention leads us in an unexpected direction – that I’ve written a diminutive one-act play to prove it.
[On stage three people:  “theist,” “first atheist” and “second atheist” engaged in an argument.  Enter left “enquirer” wearing a duffle coast and a puzzled expression.]
Enquirer: Excuse me interrupting, but can you tell me who made everything?
Theist: Yes; God made everything.
First atheist: Oh? So who made God?
Second atheist: We made God.
Theist: Then who made us?
First atheist: Evolution made us.
Theist: Who made evolution?
Second atheist: It’s part of everything; “everything” made evolution.
Enquirer: Excuse me interrupting…but who made everything?  Oh, never mind.
[Enquirer exits left (the way he came in) wearing an even more puzzled expression.]

…A philosophical argument that ends up where it started is even more pointless – and such, as out little drama indicates, is the claim that “We made God.”

The second problem with this contention is that it is devoid of any evidential basis, as we shall see in due course.  It is not, in fact, an explanation at all.  It doesn’t explain religious concepts, religious experience or the almost universal religious instinct of mankind, ancient or modern.  Rather, it is a smokescreen concealing ignorance, a speculative shrug of the shoulders concerning the substantial phenomenon of religious belief.  Like many atheistic arguments, it is at heart a tautology.  Beginning with the hidden premise that God does not exist objectively, it looks for (and finds) an alternative explanation of religious faith and experience entirely within ourselves.  It then reasons as follows:  since God definitely exists in the minds of those who believe, and since God does not exist otherwise, then God must exist only in the minds of those who believe.  Bingo!  We made God.

Thirdly, whenever A makes B (and whatever A and B might represent) it is reasonable to assume that A (the creator) is greater than B (the creation).  Beethoven was greater than any of his compositions and Rembrandt, Turner or Picasso greater than any of their pictures.  When my wife makes a cake, however well it turns out, it is soon gone – a thing of transience and insignificance in comparison with the once who made it.  But if man fashions a transcendent and all-powerful God out of his own imagination, the creation is greater than the creator – which, while not proving the existence of God, takes a lot f explaining.  I accept that my reasoning here is ontological in character but it remains valid, I thin, as a refutation of the “Who made God” hypothesis.  After all, Richard Dawkins argues strenuously that a God who made the hugely complex universe must be even more complex than his creation….  I assume I’m allowed to say the same thing when it’s a case of man allegedly creating God.

No comments: