Dawkin's Chapter 4 argument for improbability of God

I've read this chapter 4 argument a couple times, and I still don't get it.   The following is my understanding: 


Straw Man:  So, it's pretty much impossible for human beings to just come together by chance.  Therefore God exists. 

Richard Dawkins.  Actually, there's this thing called evolution.  I know quite a bit about evolution.  Evolution is great. Oh, yeah, the thing about evolution is that the existence of a species like ours is completely possible and even expected by evolution.  Furthermore, while evolution explains the existence of people, it does not explain God. For a God to have evolved out of thin air would be pretty damn near impossible.  

Straw Man:  Hmm.   Ok.   But, God just, like, exists,  like the universe just sort of exists. I'm not trying to explain him.

Richard Dawkins:   God just exists? Who created God?

Straw Man: What? You can't explain the existence of God - 

Richard Dawkins: Technical Fault!  Retreat to epistimological safe zone! I win! I win! 


Am I missing something?   It seems the argument just puts us back to square one.  RD can explain human kind assuming the universe exists, and the Theists just says that God exists.    

I was disappointed, because when he promised an argument from improbability,  I thought that the argument would be a series of reductions so that we could say the probability of God is roughly the probability of some other event which we have more of grasp on.  

Maybe I'm missing something.  If I am please straighten me out.  

Views: 143

Comment by William C. Walker on January 30, 2012 at 10:47pm

Your thought is also a valid one.

Comment by Scott H on January 30, 2012 at 11:13pm

My understanding is that the problem lies in the Straw Man trying to "explain" humans' existence with God, but then not explaining the existence of God and being satisfied despite the lack of an explanation.  In that case, why bother with God at all?  If the Straw Man is comfortable with God and the universe "just existing" with out being explainable, then why not switch that to satisfaction with humans "just existing" without being explainable?  Why demand a reason for humans' existence, but NOT demand a reason for the existence of what created them?

Comment by Wayne W on January 31, 2012 at 8:46am

I agree with you, Scott.  Dawkins shows the paucity of the Straw Man's argument.  However, at least to me, he falls short of his claim that God is improbable.  He only shows God is improbable, given the assumption that He doesn't already exist.  

Comment by Ed on February 1, 2012 at 10:27pm

I don't think Dawkins addresses the origin of God in that chapter. It concentrates on evolution, irreducible  complexity, and the cosmological idea that our planet is one of those friendly to the advancement of evolution. Page 155 might be worth rereading. 


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