One of the most common arguments for the existence of a creator god is the attempt to argue that the existence of what we consider “order and complexity” in nature indicates that there must be a god – often termed an “intelligent designer” to appear less religious – which created it all. This argument may be phrased several ways.
Religious people generally argue the point like this:
“The order and complexity of the universe is tremendous evidence that there must be a god who designed it! How else could it happen?”
First, note that I do not claim to be able to explain how the universe exists. That isn’t the issue in question here, so one should avoid becoming distracted by irrelevant issues. I only claim that we have no reason to suppose a god or designer had anything to do with it.
The fact is that no one from any camp knows how there is order and complexity to begin with. So all anyone can do at this time is debate about what was necessary to achieve the universe we see today – a god or not, of course being the topic of this post. My view is that the atheist simply makes no unnecessary assumptions and therefore his general view is more likely to be correct.
I can say that for this simple reason:
Whether there is a god or not, whatever existed first must have begun with or always had the requisite capability to result in the universe we have today. So if a god existed, then that god was, from “the beginning”, already something in a state which could cause the universe we now have. But we can say the exact same thing about the natural world! So appealing to order or complexity is no basis at all to assert that any god exists.
But it is basis to assert that probably no gods exist.
That is because we know the natural world exists, but we do not know of any designer intellect being part of it or creating it. After all, that is the very thing we are debating the existence of.
And since as I have pointed out, a god has zero explanatory power in regard to this issue of order and complexity, believing that any god created the natural world adds an extra, arbitrary, completely unnecessary assumption to our view of how the natural world came to exist in this state.
Thus, according to the demonstrably valid logic of Occam’s Razor, the existence of a creator god is vastly improbable.
However, disbelieving in a creator god makes no specific assumption about how the universe exists. An atheist doesn’t have to claim to know the answer; they just don’t add unnecessary elements or steps to their concept of how the natural world exists so they are much more likely to be correct regarding this issue.
This logic applies to all issues, not just religion. It’s a principle called Occam’s Razor. For example if your computer crashes you could figure that it was maybe a heating issue, or a worn out hard drive, etc. You may not know the real answer yet so you just don’t assume anything. But then a superstitious friend comes along and tells you “You can’t explain why it crashed so there must be a demon that caused it to crash!”
Making a specific assertion about a demon simply has no basis. We have no knowledge of demons existing, the friend hasn’t explained how the demon exists, and the demon theory doesn’t actually provide any specific explanation. So it’s logical to conclude that there was no demon.