Confidence atheist PZ Myers this week on how (contra Francis Collins) he reconciles his atheist faith with the curious life-friendly values of the cosmological constants:
What about chance? There’s nothing impossible about the fact that our universe was the product of a chance event: after all, I am the product of a chance event, a randomized mixture of the genes of two people equally the product of chance. You can’t simply rule out the importance of chance events in the history of individuals or the universe, but Collins does. And what about necessity? It may be that a universe can only exist if it possesses an interlocked set of constants…that, in fact, all the parameters of the universe are co-contingent and co-dependent.
Ah, chance? Or perhaps necessity? No shit those are two possiblities. But how do these answers function as anything more than question begging? Aren’t they lame?
Isn’t the best that can be said for them—they’re not impossible—a rather weak basis for the expressions of atheist confidence that Myers is known for? What makes chance or necessity any more satisfying or complete as answers than Collins’s belief in telos? Why, in other words, is mind or purpose, a priori, an inferior and less thorough “explanation” than chance or necessity?
Why not telos?
Because atheism is a faith that exceeds the warrant of the empirical, isn’t that true?