Atheistic Dissatisfaction With Arguments From Design

Just a quote for you today from Ravi Zacharias’ Recapture the Wonder. Many atheists are unconvinced by the arguments from design used to defend the existence of God. Ravi says:

“Something troubling emerges from this realization that greater learning diminishes wonder, that the greater the knowledge the more certain the absence of any transcending wonder. Is the conclusion that life is not enchanting the reason that aesthetic arguments for God’s existence are not taken seriously by atheistic philosophers? Denying the objective existence of beauty and design takes away the necessity of explaining the source of my attraction to beauty and the search for a designer, does it not? Why, then, do I feel dissatisfied or cheated and what is it that I am pursuing?”

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One Response to Atheistic Dissatisfaction With Arguments From Design

  1. John Cowan says:

    The first bit of this quotation is just simply false. When I didn’t know how the rainbow appeared, I wondered at it. Now that I know exactly how it is formed in the millions of tiny raindrops, each one serving as a prism, my wonder at it is all the greater. Knowledge does not cast out wonder; what casts it out is the tyranny of the dull(ed) mind.

    The reason sensible atheists and agnostics (I am one of the latter: I don’t know whether or not there is a God, and I don’t believe you do either) reject the argument from design is that it’s no good. Beauty doesn’t just *exist* out there in the world, it’s in my head, which the head of an ape who has learned to tell himself a story about himself and his world. (I say that with the utmost respect for apes; my infant grandson, who I am watching grow up, is an ape who’s becoming a person bit by bit.) If we all share much the same sense of beauty, it’s because we are all close relatives and our minds work much alike.

    Fundamentally, all *arguments* for God are misconceived. The Christ did not come to say “God is our Father, and I can prove it.” He said “God is our Father; can’t you see it?” I have the utmost respect, as he did, for people who can believe though they have not seen, like Martin Gardner and Winston Churchill — two well-known fideists, though not well-known for their fideism.

    Here’s a little song for you. You probably know the tune. The author probably wrote it as a mockery of Christianity, but I don’t offer it in that spirit, but in the spirit of overcoming premature teleology (the answer to *every* question that it is so because Providence, in its inscrutable wisdom, made it so):

    Tell me why the stars do shine,
    Tell me why the ivy twines,
    Tell me why the sky’s so blue,
    Tell me, oh tell me, just why I love you.

    Nuclear fusion makes stars to shine,
    Tropisms make the ivy twine,
    Scattering makes the sky so blue,
    Gonadal hormones are why I love you.

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