The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God

Dr. William Lane Craig is one of my favorite Christian Apologists (defender of the Christian faith). His ministry for this is Reasonable Faith, and he has authored a book of the same title which I mentioned in My Top 5 Books of 2016. Reasonable Faith has put out a few animated videos as quick references for arguments for the existence of God. The first one I would like to share is the Fine-Tuning Argument.

The Fine-Tuning Argument is part of the Teleological Argument, or Argument from Design, for the existence of God. Teleological comes from the Greek telos which means “end”, “purpose”, or “goal”. This argument argues that since life and the cosmos exist in such intricate ways it all must have been created by a designer. William Paley presented his version of the “Watchmaker Analogy” for the Teleological Argument to argue for a designer in his Natural Theology (1802) stating:

[S]uppose I found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think … that, for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for [a] stone [that happened to be lying on the ground]?… For this reason, and for no other; namely, that, if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, if a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any order than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it (Paley, Natural Theology pg 1).

He is essentially saying that because a watch has intricate parts that allow it to function for a specific purpose, it follows that it has a creator, a watchmaker. If we assume this for a machine, then why would we not assume it for life? The human body has intricate systems for specific purposes that allow it to function and survive. Would it not follow that we have a creator that designed us just as a watchmaker designed and created a watch?

Reasonable Faith’s video looks at the argument on a cosmic scale. More specifically, it looks at the fine-tuning of the universe to argue for the existence of God as its designer. The argument can be formulated as such:

1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.

2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

3. Therefore, it is due to design. (Reasonable Faith, pg 161)

All fine-tuning means is that if the constants found in the universe were to change, then life as we know it would cease to exist. Premise 1 is not a controversial statement because fine-tuning is a “neutral expression that has to do with the constant and quantities’ being just right for the existence of intelligent life” (Reasonable Faith, pg 161). What we have to answer is the question of why this fine-tuning exists.

If you haven’t already, then watch the video. If you’re interested in knowing more, then go check out Dr. Craig’s Reasonable Faith ministry. Be on the lookout as I share more of his videos and these arguments over the next few weeks.

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One thought on “The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God

  1. Pingback: Conclusion of Arguments for the Existence of God | Thomas Hoch

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