Does the designer need a designer? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I’m not a proponent of Intelligent Design, but sometimes in this discussion, a claim comes up that if the universe needs a designer, well surely the designer must be so much more complex. If so, does He not need a designer? Many Christians get stumped by this line of argumentation that seems convincing, but it really isn’t.
For one thing, why would an atheist want to make this argument? If you want to say complex things need designers, then the theist can say “There you go. Then a designer is needed for the world we see around us.” It doesn’t help that they usually ask “Who made God?” rather than “What made God?”
But if you want to bypass that as an atheist and say that complex things don’t need designers instead, then you have an argument that says God is a complex thing that needs a designer and complex things don’t need designers. Take one option in this argument and you damage your position. Take the other and you destroy the very argument you’re making.
But it gets worse for this argument. It is still often assumed that God is a complex thing, which is understandable since most Christians today don’t study philosophy at all. Most of what we know about God then comes from Scripture, personal experience, and what we hear in church, not that those are all bad, but many times we read Scripture through our own bad philosophical lenses and the information from the other two isn’t often the best.
One of the ideas about God that has been held for centuries is that God is a simple being. Some of you reading that will be stunned. After all, you cannot really comprehend God. How can a being like that be simple? Simple doesn’t mean easy to understand. It means just not composed of parts. It’s easy to understand this in material terms.
For instance, I am writing this on a computer. You can take apart my computer bit by bit and if you’re really skilled, put it back together. If you went through a junkyard of computers, you could hypothetically take some material you find there and build your own computer.
That works with material realities, including you and I, but how do we apply this to things that are immaterial. Humans might be composed of several materials, but what is something like an angel composed of since it is immaterial? In this case, an angel has its own nature and its own existence. Those are two things. The nature exists first in the mind of God and then it is granted existence by God.
Then you get to God. God is no combination whatsoever. What it means to exist, to be, is what God is. He has no limitations on Him. Asking what made Him is like asking what created existence. It’s a nonsense question.
Note also that this is not an argument for the existence of God at this point. It’s just an explanation of the nature of God. Being an atheist doesn’t mean you have to believe it, but you should stop trying to use a bad argument.