Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the ordered nature of the cosmos convinces him of the existence of God.
Mr Rudd, a regularly practising Anglican, was on Friday asked on Fairfax Radio in Brisbane to give his single biggest argument in favour of the existence of God.
“As you know I’m a believer and I’ve never pretended not to be and I respect those who have no religious belief – it’s a free country,” Mr Rudd said.
“For me, it’s ultimately the order of the cosmos or what I describe as the creation.
“You can’t simply have, in my own judgment, creation simply being a random event because it is so inherently ordered, and the fact that the natural environment is being ordered where it can properly coexist over time. [Emphasis added]
“If you were simply reducing that to mathematically probabilities I’ve got to say it probably wouldn’t have happened.
“So I think there is an intelligent mind at work.”
Mr Rudd said in his entire political life he had never been asked in a media interview to prove the existence of God.
“You … have a world first,” Mr Rudd said.
Rudd’s position towards non-believers is a refreshing reminder that Australia is still not as deep in the mire of religious lunacy as the US, and he deserves kudos for being vocal about it. He also deserves praise, I think, for at least attempting to justify his theism in a public forum, rather than the “Look at me I haz teh jeezus” rubbish we would usually expect from god-soaked politicians.
And to be fair, the wording I chose for the title of this post was more a blatant grab for your attention than anything else. His argument for theism—a reiteration of the cosmological argument from design—is his argument, the reason (or one reason) he personally is a theist. Still, it must be said—as you can see from the section in boldface—it is an argument which suffers from a circularity so obvious that you could float a Collins-class sub through it. How can “creation be a random event”? By using the term “creation” he’s assuming precisely that which he is seeking to establish: that the universe had a “creator.” (The physicist and skeptic Victor Stenger’s response to the appeal to improbability is worth noting also: “If we properly compute, based on our actual knowledge rather than speculation, the probability for the universe’s existing with human life, the result is unity! We have only one datum, our universe, and it has human life.”) I don’t know if it bodes well that someone of Rudd’s intelligence can make such a basic error of reasoning, but then he can’t be a clear thinker on every topic.
But this is a man whose faith is central to his political philosophy, or so he tells us. And what he’s given us here is a very mediocre and pat defence of his faith.