God totally designed flawed systems and body parts to make people think no god would be so stupid as to design things in such a fucked up way. God’s gonna get the last laugh…
That does appear to be the “argument” I’ve discovered from David Klinghoffer explaining how, once again, Dawkins and his ilk have it all wrong.
The human knee appears to be ill-suited to its task, hence the prevalence of knee pain, similar to that of back pain, and so on. I’ve had trouble from this recurrent minor soreness, brought on by running. So here’s a website devoted to cataloguing instances of apparently faulty designs like my knee that, so goes the argument, a creator would not allow in his creatures.
That is a theological argument, not a scientific one, based on the premise that Dawkins & Co. know what a God would or wouldn’t do if that God existed which he does not.
I’m including the website link to save you clicking on the original article if you don’t want to. So basically the “argument” comes down to thinking Dawkins is trying to tell the world what a real god wouldn’t do and quotes a part of Dawkins’ latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth to “prove” it:
“Any intelligent designer would have hived off the laryngeal nerve on its way down, replacing a journey of many meters by one of a few centimeters.” Atheists think they’ve discovered a devastating “Ah hah! Gotcha!” sort of a response to religious believers who, it’s assumed, never realized that nature has a certain painful lack of perfection built into it.
Yet writing in the 16th century, the Maharal finds evidence that the deficiency was not only intended and foreseen by God but is a necessary feature of creation, alluded to in the opening verses of Genesis. … One particular “deficiency” that was tinkered with and corrected is the initial solitude of Adam, the first man, depicted as lonely and single
Fuck, that’s totally not the same thing. Dawkins is asking why convoluted bodily functions exist when there could have been “better” simple designs that would achieve similar results. It’s got nothing to do with people who thought that God thought Adam needed a girlfriend. What does that have to do with evolution?
God’s creative activity produced something that was “not good.” That it was fixed later through the creation of Eve doesn’t take away from the startling admission by the Bible itself. Dawkins again: “This pattern of major design flaws, compensated for by subsequent tinkering, is exactly what we should not expect if there really were a designer at work.” The Hebrew Bible’s reply would be, “Oh really?”
Dawkins means flaws within a body, not relationship issues, dorkus.
In the context of Chanukah, with its theme of the wicked Greek kingdom’s oppression of the Jews in their land and the subsequent civil war pitting religiously loyal Jews against secularist Greek-loving Jews, the theme emerges a little differently.
In the Biblical scheme of history, four kingdoms arose and sequentially divested God’s presence in the world of some of its splendor. Each did so by depriving the Jews of sovereignty in their land, where Israel was intended to carry out her mission to the fullest extent possible. One kingdom was Greece. Another was Rome, in whose exilic shadow we still live. The Maharal finds all four alluded to in the second verse in Genesis. It was foreseen, no matter of chance, a part of the pattern that God knew full well would unfold.
Again, what does this have to do with the rather bizarre evolution of eyeballs? Dawkins is a biologist, not a biblical “scholar” who interprets the “first” book by extrapolating “historical” shit out of later ones. This is one of the stupidest arguments for design that I’ve ever seen. Good grief. It’s laughable, really. It’s not an argument at all, is it?
Woven into creation from the start was a very painful thread of “deficiency,” playing out on the historical stage. Why not, too, in nature?
It could hardly be otherwise. If a trivial example like a sore knee is “bad design” and a point scored for atheism, then any trivial lack of perfection in created reality is enough to trigger the atheist response. Any evil in nature, any suffering.
Nature isn’t evil. Nature just does what it needs to do in order to survive. So did the cougar who ate the dentist’s patient as mentioned in the article. She was hiking in cougar territory, and a cougar took exception to that. Such is the nature of things.
What people do to other people, though – that can be cruel and disgusting in ways that no human should want to contemplate, yet many humans justify cruel and disgusting behaviour by saying it’s sanctioned by a god and therefore A-OK. What the Greeks (who had a pantheon) did, what the Romans (who had a pantheon) did. What God-loving Jewish/Hebrew/Israelite tribes did to their other God-loving tribes (see Judges).
My apologies if this upsets any delicate sensibilities, but consider the alternative. A world without evil. What would that be like? It would be the perfect hamster cage or turtle terrarium, where all our needs are provided, there are no predators, no contagious disease, no confusion, no loneliness, no sin, no particular purpose, no growth, just spinning aimlessly on our exercise wheel or swimming idly in our calm, algaed paddling pool.
For Dawkins & Co., it’s either the turtle terrarium or a Godless universe. What an absurd false dilemma. For the God he doesn’t believe in, however, it’s easy to see why the turtle alternative would hold little charm, hardly enough to justify creating a world in the first place.
But isn’t that what Eden would have been had God not gotten his panties in a bunch over Adam and Eve and the fruit? No sin, no clothes, vegetarian dinners with the Tyrannosaurus family across the way? Nothing to do but lay around in the ferns all day thinking about nothing in particular because they wouldn’t know there was anything they didn’t know? Paradise.
Creatures that could never grow or change spiritually because they were unchallenged and therefore totally uninteresting? What’s the point? Once we admit that some lack, or anyway so we perceive it, in creation was inevitable if there was to be a creation, what extent of deficiency was going to be enough? Maybe a little, maybe a lot. You will have to ask God when you meet him.
I’m taking it for granted that part of His purpose in creating us was to relate to us, once humanity has matured to a point where that’s really possible. Who would want to have a relationship with a hamster?
Taking it for granted indeed. Why didn’t god make a mature humanity in the first place to save all the trouble? Oh, I suppose that’s one of god’s purposeful design plans; leaving us mentally stunted for generations. He mocks Dawkins for claiming to know what a god would do and here he is claiming to know god’s purpose? Please. Plus, I had a very nice relationship with my hamster. Fritz was awesome. I’d rather hang out with a hamster all day than chat with the writer of this piece for five minutes. Most definitely.