Complexity, Causation and God
I found this list of thoughts about God, complexity and causation. I felt it was worth responding to, as there are a couple of points worth noting and it seems to be a common response.
Here are my collective thoughts:
1. It takes something complex to create a complex being.
2. God is complex.
3. Something more complex than God must have created him.
4. Something even more complex must have created that.
5. This leads to irreducible complexity.
6. Alternately, you may say God has always existed.
7. This goes against the Second Law of Thermodynamics, that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.
8. The counter-argument is either:
8a. God created the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Or:
8b. God is immune.
9. Rebuttals for these are:
9a. God could not have created the Second Law of Thermodynamics, because it negates his existence.
9b. There is no proof to show God is immune. And besides, he just twiddled his thumbs for all eternity?
Premise 1 is wrong and/or incomplete. It would have to read that 'It takes something more or equally complex to create a complex being.' in order for it to be useful.
Of course, most Intelligent Design (ID) people would argue that it requires Intelligence (not necessarily complexity) in order to create a certain level of specified complexity. So Premise 1 then requires an additional premise that intelligence requires greater complexity.
Premise 2 is an assumption, and arguable based on the definition of 'complex' being used.
Premise 3 assumes that God is created (we'll deal with this later)
Premise 5 is wrong. This leads to an infinite regress, not irreducible complexity.
Premise 7 says that the idea that God always existed contravenes the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (2LOT) which says that energy cannot be created or destroyed. This is wrong. The 1st law of thermodynamics says that energy cannot be created or destroyed. The 2LOT says that energy in a closed system always moves towards a less useful form. (I.e. Entropy always increases)
Premise 9a & 9b get really strange. The 2LOT clearly applies to the material universe, so there is clear case (not really an ad hoc addition) for saying that God, being non-material, is not bound by the laws of the material universe. Even ignoring this, it is not the case that the 2LOT negates God's existence, unless you argue that the universe and the 2LOT have existed for an infinite period of time.
The infinite regress problem (Premise 5) is where things really need to be thought about. Essentially, this problem requires that unless you have something that was uncaused at the start of the chain of causation, otherwise you get an infinite regress of causation, which is an impossibility. So something must have never been caused and thus eternal and self-existent. This uncaused, eternal thing must either be material or non-material, but the 2LOT would mean that it could not be a material thing as all useful energy would have disappeared (This is known as the low entropy past mystery by philosophers). So in order to avoid the infinite regress problem you MUST have a non-material entity as the cause of the material.
It is somewhat strange hearing these arguments from people arguing against God, as in reality, they are stronger arguments for God than against God.