The God Delusion- Part 4: Arguments for God’s Existence

The best-selling book, The God Delusion, then goes on to present what Dawkins deems as common arguments for the existence of God.  What was most interesting to me about the arguments presented were that the arguments presented were presented in a way that they would be easy for Dawkins to refute.  I felt like I was back in my Philosophy 101 class when Dawkins presented classic arguments for the existence of God such as St. Thomas Acquinas’s 5 Arguments for the Existence of God, the Ontological Argument, and Pascal’s Wager.  He then poked the exact same holes in these arguments that have been noted for years such as Guanilo’s response to St. Anselem’s Ontoglogical Argument.  Dawkins conveniently uses classical arguments which have already been refuted in a simple way.  This seems really convenient for Dawkins in proving his point, but he does not stop here but goes on to make it easier by making insanely pointless arguments for the existence of God and then refuting them.  The first “new” argument is what Dawkins claims is the argument from beauty. This argument states that since artists such as Shakespeare and Michelangelo believed in the existence of God and that God influenced their works that therefore God must exists.  This is a horrible argument in that the fact that someone believes personally that something exists does not prove that their belief is based on truth.  Dawkins’ refute of this argument is to prove that the artists he listed really did not have a belief in God or doubted their belief in God.  Even in his refute of this argument, Dawkins seems to miss the absurdity of the argument itself.  This seems to once again prove that Dawkins lack of expertise in the field of religion and philosophy leads to faulty conclusions and missing the obvious.  Another such argument presented by Dawkins is a twist on the argument from personal experience.  This argument traditionally points to individuals who have experienced a life change such as giving up cold turkey an addiction to a drug of an addictive nature.  There are many accounts of individuals having dramatically changed lives in light of experiences with God.  Dawkins, due to the fact that the traditional view of this argument is harder to refute, takes this argument and turns it into an argument of personal experience being experiences of seeing visions of religious figures or hearing voices of the devil.  He then uses psychological views on hallucinations in order to disprove these experiences.  This is once again a case of Dawkins taking the easy way out in terms of an easy refutation.  Another such argument that he makes which I will not go into is the argument from religious scientists which closely parallels the argument from beauty in both is presentation and refutation.