Recently, I’ve been devoting the Weekly Link Roundups to rebut common theistic arguments. Since many excellent rebuttals already exist and I don’t want to re-invent the wheel, I thought gathering these rebuttals all in one place would be great. It’s mostly for my personal benefit, but perhaps yours too.
This one will target the Fine-Tuning Argument, which argues that because certain cosmological constants could have been off by a little bit and rendered the universe uninhabitable, only a God could have created the “just right” universe we live in. It typically flows as follows:
P1: The universe is finely-tuned for life.
P2: if the universe is finely-tuned, the fine-tuning could only occur by necessity, chance, or design.
P3: The fine-tuning did not occur by necessity or chance.
C4: Therefore the universe is designed.
P5: Only God can design the universe.
C6: Therefore God exists.
Here are the links:
- Wikipedia on the Fine-Tuning Argument: “The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is presently understood. The existence and extent of fine-tuning in the Universe is a matter of dispute in the scientific community. The proposition is also discussed among philosophers, theologians, creationists, and intelligent design proponents.”
- The Fine Tuning Argument Debunked [YouTube]: “Debunking the fine tuned universe argument of William Lane Craig, Adam Deen, Hamza Tzortzis and many other theists.”
- Why “The Universe Is Perfectly Set Up For Life” Is A Terrible Argument For God: “Yes, the existence of humanity is unlikely. But so is my personal existence, and the existence of the Messier 87 galaxy, and the roll of a die in the sequence 3241154645. That doesn’t mean these things were designed to happen. We are a puddle that evolved to fit in a convenient hole. There is no reason to think that the hole was created for us. And there is every reason to think that it was not.”
- The Fine-Tuning Argument Revisited: “Advocates of FTA sometimes trot out about forty or fifty of these counterfactual conditional propositions. Although I have my doubts about several of them, I am willing to grant that some, at least, receive good support from science. Such support obviously needs to be indirect, since there can be no direct support for a counterfactual conditional. It is up to physicists to hash out the truth of (P5). I myself am inclined to just bypass that premise and attack the argument elsewhere. In the end, it will be seen that FTA has many weaknesses. I turn now to a critique of its five other premises.”
- Response to James Hannam’s “In Defense of the Fine Tuning Design Argument”: “However, Hannam correctly dismisses a great many theistic fallacies that our other essays have also refuted in more detail, and thus his position is more sound than most, and worthy of careful attention. But rather than pick on more specific examples like the Stenger case above, this essay will focus on some of the general, sweeping problems that Hannam’s essay does not resolve.”
- Fine Tuning Supports Naturalism: “Garren’s comments on the previous post got me thinking more about fine tuning. There are lots of reasons to dislike fine tuning arguments for God, but it occurred to me that we can turn the fine tuning argument around and show how it actually supports naturalism, not theism. Let me explain.”
- Assumptions, Assumptions: “Now, this is exactly the sort of thing I was complaining about in my Purple Pachyderm post, and that Carl Sagan was complaining about in his Dragon in the Garage, and so on. For any argument against the existence of God, the theist simply introduces an arbitrary and unfounded assumption in answer.”
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