Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 6: Arguments for the Intelligence of the Creator

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 6: Arguments for the Intelligence of the Creator November 5, 2016

Here is my version of Geisler’s first argument in Phase 2 of his case for God:

ARGUMENT #1 OF PHASE 2

10a. Only a being with great power could create the whole universe by itself, and only a being with great power could sustain the existence of the whole universe by itself  (for even just one moment).

11a. There is a being that both (a) created the whole universe by itself (in the distant past), and that (b) sustains the existence of the whole universe by itself (right now).

THEREFORE:

12a. There is a being that created the whole universe by itself (in the distant past), and that being both (a) had great power (in the distant past) and (b) has great power (right now).


Premise
 (11a) presupposes the following two claims:

13. There is a being that created the whole universe by itself (in the distant past).

14. There is a being that sustains the existence of the whole universe by itself (right now).

Geisler believes that Argument #1 of Phase 1 proves (13) and that Argument #2 of Phase 1 proves (14), but in the previous post we saw that the inferences from the conclusions of the Phase 1 arguments to (13) and to (14) were logically invalid.  

I also noted that Geisler needed to prove that a being that caused the universe to begin to exist (in the distant past) must be the same being as a being that causes the universe to continue to exist (right now), but that Geisler provides no reason or argument supporting this critical assumption.  Thus, Geisler FAILED to provide a good reason or argument for all three assumptions supporting premise (11a).  Since premise (11a) is a controversial and questionable premise, and since we have been given no good reason to believe (11a), Geisler has FAILED to show that (12a) is true.

The conclusion of the second and third arguments in Phase 2 is implied in this sentence:

The argument from design shows us that whatever caused the universe not only had great power, but also great intelligence.  (WSA, p.26)

This sentence may appear to imply that the argument from design shows that whatever caused the universe had great power, but that is not what Geisler means.  He has just finished arguing that his cosmological arguments show that whatever caused the universe had great power, and now he is moving on to use the argument from design to show the additional claim that whatever caused the universe had great intelligence

Here is the second argument in Phase 2 of Geisler’s case for the existence of God:

ARGUMENT #2 of PHASE 2

21. “…the design of the universe is far beyond anything that man could devise.” (WSA, p.26)

22. IF the design of the universe is far beyond anything that man could devise, THEN the designer of the universe had great intelligence (when the universe was being designed).

THUS:

23. The designer of the universe had great intelligence (when the universe was being designed).

24. Whatever being caused the universe to begin to exist is also the designer of the universe.

THEREFORE:

25. Whatever being “caused the universe” to begin to exist “had great intelligence” (when the universe was being designed).  (WSA, p.26)

Here is a diagram of this argument (with the conclusion at the top, and the premises below it):

 Argument 2 of Phase 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geisler also provides another closely-related argument for the great intelligence of “God”:

ARGUMENT #3 of PHASE 2 (Geisler’s wording)

26. God “designed our brains.” (WSA, p.26)

27. IF God designed our brains, THEN “God…knows everything there is to know about the way we think…” (WSA, p.26)

THUS:

28. God knows everything there is to know about the way we think.

29. IF God knows everything there is to know about the way we think, THEN God had great intelligence.

THEREFORE:

30.  God had great intelligence.

If Geisler was using the word “God” in its ordinary sense, then premise (26) would clearly beg the question at issue, which is whether God exists.  So, Geisler is again using the word “God” in a non-standard way, and since he has failed to explain or define what he the hell he means by the word “God” in this argument, it is confusing and misleading to use the word “God” here.

Given that Geisler is attempting to make use of his argument from design, the most likely interpretation of the word “God” in this context is “the designer of the universe”. Furthermore, we need to clarify the time frames in these premises and conclusions, and it is clear that the time Geisler has in mind is the time when our brains were being designed.  

Here is my clarified version of this argument:

ARGUMENT #3 of PHASE 2 – Rev. A

26a. The designer of the universe designed our brains.

27a. IF the designer of the universe designed our brains, THEN the designer of the universe knew (when our brains were being designed) everything there is to know about the way we think.

THUS:

28a. The designer of the universe knew (when our brains were being designed) everything there is to know about the way we think.

29a. IF the designer of the universe knew (when our brains were being designed) everything there is to know about the way we think, THEN the designer of the universe had great intelligence (when our brains were being designed).

THUS:

30a. The designer of the universe had great intelligence (when our brains were being designed).

31. Whatever being caused the universe to begin to exist is also the designer of the universe.

THEREFORE:

32. Whatever being caused the universe to begin to exist had great intelligence (when our brains were being designed).


Here is a diagram of this argument (with the conclusion at the top, and the premises below it):


Argument 3 of Phase 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the next post I will begin to evaluate these two arguments from Phase 2 of Geisler’s case for the existence of God.

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