Much of this website is concerned with questions: Logical or Illogical, God or no God, Creator or no Creator, Design or no Design. Normal or Abnormal, Natural or Unnatural, Good or Bad, Wise or Unwise, Progressive or Regressive, True or False, Possible or Impossible and so on, and on…
Logical thinking is to think on the basis of knowledge, what we know, and certainties, what we can prove. A Lego brick is a designed object and as soon as you look at it you realise by its structure that it is intended to be linked to other pieces similarly designed. If it is bought new from a toy shop you will get it in a box, and inside a selection of Lego parts wrapped in a clear plastic packet. On opening this you discover an instruction leaflet telling you how to put the pieces together, to make the object illustrated on the box: the truck and trailer. The instructions are the key to building the object accurately, leaving no spare pieces over.
From all that information you deduce not only that every part has been designed, but designed for a purpose. It is on display to entice a prospective customer, provide an income for the Lego corporation and pleasure to the child who receives it. We all understand these principles very well; most of us have at some time in our lives been involved at every level of this process. We apply parts of this logic in one way or another most days of our lives, even if it is as mundane as going to Costa or Starbucks to have a sit down and a cup of coffee. You can take any point in this process and work logically to prove that thought and design and purpose are always apparent. Even the young child is aware that the truck was intended to be played with. He or she might get this wrong and think a power drill was made for the same purpose, but would be correct in thinking it exists to fulfil a purpose. This intuition is increased when the instruction leaflet which makes sense of the many apparently random pieces is opened. We now know for sure that these will combine to make a three dimensional truck and trailer identical to the illustration on the box. All of that should convince even the greatest of sceptics that it was designed. Obvious? In the case of the Lego yes, but not necessarily so in all cases. Most people in the Western World have been taught to make an illogical exception to this universal rule. To think that you and I, who also came with a specified instruction code called DNA, somehow arose from a process of purposeless chance, guided by nothing more that a hit or miss process called natural selection. For all these reasons to argue that design was not a vital component of everything that exists is counter intuitive. It is difficult in nature to find a single thing which is pointless or without function.
Below is a brilliantly conceived counter argument to designed by God or gods, from Carl Sagan. It is so well done that I can both applaud it and reject it with complete peace of mind. Nonsense in the face of evidence does not become sense just because it is well wrapped, clever and beautifully delivered by an expert. It sounds good while it skims over the surface of what is known about God, science, design, morality, consciousness and nature.
There is one comment of Sagan which I totally agree with: “We have a talent for deceiving ourselves.”
There is a truth that even Sagan might have admitted. Not one of us has a greater need to deceive ourself than an atheist who has taken an intellectual punt on their being no Designer or Creator of the Universe, the Earth and You and I.