There's something that has been bothering me for a while about people's beliefs in God the Creator.
Clearly, the single most common argument that theists use when defending their claim that a god exists is any of a series of cosmological arguments. This is fine, as long as getting us from existence of the Universe to existence of a First Cause goes (subject to some difficulties with disproving infinite regression). It's the next step that brings on difficulties; the claim that the First Cause must be intelligent and sentient. There have been many attempts, each meeting with its string of rebuttals. What I wanted to raise here is the "complexity/fine-tuning" claim.
Essentially all these complexity/fine-tuning claims (William Lane Craig's ridiculous "a mind or an abstract number did it" fallacy aside) rely on some aspects of the Universe that appear to be designed in a complex manner, all the way down to the "very, very improbable" set of universal constants, "designed to give rise to life (or sometimes it's said to be *intelligent life*) and/or to sustain it".
There are many problems with this argument. For instance, the argument is circular, it's anthropocentric, it appeals to special pleading and it proposes an entity that is necessarily more complex and fine-tuned than the Universe itself. But that's not what bothers me in this case. Rather, my problem here is Omniscience. It seems to me that an omniscient god is a useless deadbeat who can't have designed the Universe. Here's why.
A. God in all states of affairs knows everything about all states affairs (omniscience).
B. God in all states of affairs knows everything about Himself in all states of affairs (omniscience).
C. God is uncaused (axiomatic).
D. Since God in all states of affairs possess all knowledge and God is uncaused, God's knowledge is uncaused (A-C).
E. Any ideas, plans or designs that are derived from God are uncaused (from D).
F. If the design of the Universe is derived from God then the design of the Universe is uncaused (From E).
G. From F, if the design of the Universe is derived from God then God's intelligence or sentience is irrelevant to the generation of the Universe's design.
H. Hence, for the purposes of the existence of a complex/fine-tuned Universe, God's sentience or intelligence are redundant (from G).
I. (OPTIONAL) Therefore, God is a deadbeat conveyer of uncaused ideas.
Long version follows.
What is Omniscience?
Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/omniscient) defines the term (or its derivative pronoun in this case) as follows:
: having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight
: possessed of universal or complete knowledge
What about theists? What, to them, is omniscience?
While the dictionary definition is clear enough, what should matter more here is what omniscience means in theology. Let's start with the Bible. What are God's claimed attributes when it comes to the issue of knowledge? Here are some examples.
a) No thought can be withholden from thee. (Job 42:2)
b) For He knoweth the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:21)
c) For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
(1 John 3:20)
The Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06612a.htm ) says the following about God's omniscience:
"That God is omniscient or possesses the most perfect knowledge of all things, follows from His infinite perfection. In the first place He knows and comprehends Himself fully and adequately, and in the next place He knows all created objects and comprehends their finite and contingent mode of being. Hence He knows them individually or singularly in their finite multiplicity, knows everything possible as well as actual; knows what is bad as well as what is good."
God's knoweldge is perfect. God "knows and comprehends Himself fully and adequately". This must mean that God knows at all times all the decisions he's ever made and all the decisions he ever will make. One might here argue that God is "timeless" and therefore the term "will make" is not applicable to God. That's fine but it makes no difference to my argument. Whatever being "timeless" means, the fact of the matter is that God in all states of affairs knows everything about all states of affairs.
If God is omniscient, God can't design the Universe
Since God possesses all knowledge of all things (including Himself) in all states of affairs, this means that God must in all states of affairs know all the decisions He will make, makes or has made in all states of affairs. God possesses complete and uncaused knowledge. This knowledge includes a complete and uncaused knowledge about how the Universe is to be created (or is created or was created) and what properties the Universe is to possess (or possesses or has possessed). Indeed, the entire design of the Universe (along with whatever process God used to design it) is uncaused. It exists in the mind of god without a cause.
When I say 'without a cause' I'm actually including God Himself. God did not (could not) cause the plan of the Universe's design. That's because this plan is part of God's knowledge and God's knowledge by its very nature includes knowledge of all things. God has at all points in all states of affairs known what that design is. There is not and has never been and will never be such a state of affairs where God exists but does not possess the complete knowledge of the Universe's design. A human analogy would be a man who is born with the knowledge of how to design the world's most sophisticated aircraft. Every detail of this design was present in the man's mind since he was born. Clearly, then, the man did not need to even think about the design. He did not have to change its plan from any state to any other state. The plan was complete ever since the man was born and the man's intelligence (in terms of reasoning) did not contribute at all to this design.
But here's the problem: if the design itself exists uncaused (in all states of affairs in the memory bank of God) then the existence of a sentient and intelligent entity does not explain the existence of the design. God's intelligence (or sentience) had no contribution to the existence of the design. Therefore, they are redundant as attributes of God the Creator.
What this means is that, on the most common theist understanding of God's nature (omniscient), God fails to answer the question of the Universe's complexity or its apparent fine-tuning to sustain life. If God is omniscient then God's intelligence and sentience are redundant to the creation of the Universe's design. God is as good an explanation as any First Cause who uncausedly has in it the entire plan of the entire Universe which (just as good as random) just happens to uncausedly exist within the nature of the First Cause.
Occam's Razor and the alternative
A more economically effiicient solution (let's have a shave with Occam) would therefore be a First Cause in whose nature it uncausedly is to create the Universe (with the very same properties) and to do nothing else and who is neither intelligent nor sentient. Yes, of course, we don't know anything about what type of First Cause this might be. But that's ok because we have no idea what type of First Cause a god is either.
An omniscient God is no explanation of the Universe's design. If God is omniscient then the Universe's design is uncaused and God is an intellectual deadbeat.