Thursday, April 19, 2012

IDHEF - Chapter 4 Addendum: The Probability of God

This is part of my breakdown of the book "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist." Related posts can be found by clicking here.

   One thing I forgot to address in my breakdown of Chapter 4 was the probability of God. In that chapter, the authors spoke much of probabilities. The idea is that the probability of things in the universe turning out as they did is so improbable (because it is so complex, they claim) that some sort of intelligence (God) had to behind it! Even if we ignore the other problems with their probabilities, we still have a problem that they are not bothering to ask about the probability of God. Think about it. If there is something that has the ability to assemble the universe with precision (their claim, not mine), doesn't that thing have to be more complex than the universe? And if it is more complex, shouldn't that make it even more improbable than the universe? If not, I'd still like them to tell me what they think that probability is. (I wonder how many would tell me that's a stupid question or give me a probability of 100%.)

   Even as an engineer who works in the aviation industry (more broadly known as the aerospace industry) where I help to build airplanes, I find it takes more complexity than an airplane to build one. That is because it takes thousands of humans to build an airplane. It takes the physicists to figure out the basic science behind it, it takes material engineers to design the body, it takes lots of other engineers and mechanical operators just to build the machines that are needed to build an airplane, and then, of course, there are all the mechanical, electrical, and software engineers (such as myself) that build the components for inside the airplane. Let's not forget the pilots that then have to learn how to fly the things. As complex as airplanes can be, it takes a large network of human beings to pull off building such things. Is this network really more complex than the airplane itself? Yeah, I'd say so!

   So if you're going to claim that a god must be behind the universe because it is so complex, then I'd suspect that god would be more complex and improbable than the configuration of the universe. And if you're going to claim that the configuration of the universe is so improbable as to be virtually impossible, then the same goes for your god claim. Of course, we know the universe is not impossible because we are here. The same cannot be said for the god claim.

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