The Six Ways of Atheism: Way the Third
Next from Geoffrey Berg’s Six Ways of Atheism we have the God Has No Explanatory Value Argument:
- God if he exists must be the ultimate being and provide the answers to all of our ultimate questions — otherwise he is not God.
- Yet even supposing as a hypothesis that God exists the questions that God was supposed to finally answer still remain (though in some cases God is substituted in the question for the Universe).
- Therefore hypothesizing is only unnecessarily adding an extra stage to such problems and has no real explanatory value.
- Therefore according to Logic (Occam’s Razor Law — ‘that entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity’) we should not postulate God’s existence and there is no adequate reason to suppose that God exists.
- Therefore we should suppose that God does not exist.
Starting with (1), I agree that God should provide the answers to all of the ultimate questions. When explaining the argument, however, Berg lists attributes of God (eternal, absolute good, purpose-giver) rather than explaining what big questions he means. He only ends up asking one: How did the universe arise?
… [T]he answer for theists is, of course, God created it. How did God arise? Well, God has always existed. But, why then, has the Universe not always existed? Thus God can be cut out as an unnecessary extra. Poor God, always being cut out as an unnecessary extra that contributes nothing to understanding except complication. God is no more than a valueless extra intermediary stage in explanation. (p. 64)
This didn’t work for Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, and it isn’t going to work for Berg now. “Who made God?” is not a valid retort. Read the rest of this entry