I was presented with an argument for the existence of a creator this past week. Upon reflection, it's lead me down an interesting train of thought that I've decided to commit to paper. The argument is:
The universe is so complex, it must have been designed!
It is easy to perceive the universe as being carefully balanced to support the existence of life, almost as if it were designed to support life by one or more intelligent beings.
So let's start with the assumption that our universe was designed by an intelligent being.
First, let's assume that an intelligent being capable of designing our universe would be equally or more complex than our own universe. We find that we haven't actually explained away the complexity of our universe, we've only shifted it around and placed it into a complex intelligent being! At this point, we are confronted with the question: where did the intelligent being come from?
Following the same argument used for necessitating the intelligent being's existence, that it naturally follows from the complexity of what it created, we must conclude that the intelligent being itself was designed! After all, how else could something so complex exist without being designed? This is a cyclic train of thought, where the intelligent being itself requires an intelligent being to create it. To put that another way, every creator must itself have a creator. The only way to break this train of thought is to assert that the intelligent being doesn't need to be created. But if a complex intelligent being doesn't need to be created in order to exist, then why does our universe?
Next, let's assume that the intelligent being which created our universe is less complex than our universe. Now we are confronted with the question: what level of complexity is acceptable for something to justify its own existence? To put that another way, if the complexity of our universe warrants an explanation, how simple does a creator have to be in order for it to exist without needing an explanation?
If the acceptable level of complexity is zero, we are saying that the creator has no complexity. This is essentially saying the creator is nothing; that the universe was created from nothing, which is what this argument set out to avoid in the first place! If that level of complexity is greater than zero, we are back to the previous conundrum where a creator of non-zero complexity requires no justification, but our universe's complexity does.
The complexity of the universe does not necessitate a creator, as that creator's own complexity would itself require a creator.