14 August 2008

Dawkins Is Not Omniscient

I actually finished The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, the pope of contemporary Militant Atheists. I agree with other Atheists that his logic in the book is embarrassing regarding the disbelief in God. If anything, the tone and rhetoric of the book will charge up Atheists to form into a political force and turn ungrounded Theists away from Theism.

I think I’ll continue wading through the book and commenting on some points that Dawkins made. However, I won’t write a post about each chapter like I have done before. Instead, I’ll break it up into small, perhaps arbitrary, book-chronological chunks.

In Chapter three, in very few pages (pp. 77-79), some of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ proofs of God’s existence are addressed. He said that God couldn’t be both omniscient and omnipotent; they are “mutually incompatible”. Why not both? Why couldn’t God act or not act (omnipotence) because He is omniscient? Why shouldn’t God know best when and when not to act, even if we think He should or shouldn’t. Who are Dawkins or myself to say that the omnipotent actions by God are not directed by his omniscience?

“To return to the infinite regress and the futility of invoking God to terminate it, it is more parsimonious to conjure up, say, a ‘big bang singularity’, or some other physical concept as yet unknown. Calling it God is at best unhelpful and at worst perniciously misleading.” (p. 78) He then goes on to say the smallest piece of gold is an atom of gold.

This goes back to my Modified Toddler Theory that is really just a philosophical infinite regress instead of a positivist infinite regress. Dawkins insists that we talk physical and that only physical explanations are able to satisfy him. Without physical proof, nothing would seem to satisfy him. To this end, what would going back to the ‘big bang singularity’ prove to him? Even if it were physically explained, which is really and truly impossible without traveling back in time, one would have to explain from where the singularity originated and so on.

In order to escape from the trap of positivist infinite regress, one must invoke the less physically provable philosophical infinite regress that posits that the physicality of the universe was derived from the non-physical reality of what is called God. Nothing made God because He is not physical. He is existence itself. This existence has a persona that created physicality – in whatever way – as an act of His will.

Of course the question arrives about the current state of His being. Just because physicality is now a reality does not mean that the non-physical reality does not exist. In fact, without the non-physical reality, God, the physical reality that exists as you are reading couldn’t exist.

What about the gold atom? Looking deeper and deeper into it, the term “gold” it too cumbersome. The term “gold” describes, when observing at a near infinitesimal level, a structure that is too general to be relevant at the infinitely small scale. At the limit of the terminal regress, one can only speak of the non-physical derivation of the structure. In fact, all matter has this non-physical derivation. Therefore, God, who is existence itself, created all physical matter.

Since God has a hand in maintaining all physical reality, God is at work with all physical reality. God knows what should become reality since he created all matter in all time.

Dawkins’ problem is that he insists that a physical phenomenon, including natural selection, must explain a question. If we take his approach, we will, in reality, get nowhere. In fact, I will later posit that even using non-physical explanations will get us nowhere unless there is some kind of revelation from the non-physical reality, or there is a revelation from God.

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