At left is my Son, Marcus, working on a “dot to dot” puzzle. For those unfamiliar with “dot to dots”, these appear as randomly scattered groups of dots on a page, with a number beside each dot. When lines are drawn between the dots in numeric order a picture “magically” appears. Some “dot to dots” are quite ingenious. It’s obvious that because these puzzles have intelligent designers, there is a “right” way to do them. That is, though we may connect the dots we anyway we like, there is only one way in which to connect them and have the designer’s picture appear. Furthermore, there is only one valid connection between the image we end up with and the interpretation we assign to it. For instance, the puzzle Marcus is working on turned out to be a desktop telephone once all the connections between the dots were made. It would be therefore incorrect to interpret the finished puzzle as anything but a telephone, even though all the connections between the dots were made correctly. Therefore, not only must the dots be connected correctly, but the finished product must be connected to the correct interpretation as well.
Now consider a hypothetical situation in which a cat jumps onto a table and knocks over a bottle of ink. Suppose some of the ink splashed onto a nearby piece of paper, creating a random scatter of dots on the page. Is there a “right” way to connect these dots? Is there a “right” way to interpret the image we’ve made once we’ve connected them? It’s difficult to see how there could be. Without an intelligent designer behind their arrangement who intends for the dots to be arranged, connected, and interpreted in a particular way, one is free to connect and interpret these dots in any manner they wish. Any connections and interpretations we make are just as correct as any other.
Consider now the universe in which we live. The Christian believes that God created the universe with a plan and a purpose, thus every fact is a God fact. That is to say, every thing that exists factors meaningfully into God’s plan for His creation. On this view, there is a correct way in which to connect and interpret the facts of the universe, just as there is a correct way to connect and interpret the dots in a puzzle, and for the same reason. Both have intelligent designers who intend for their “dots” to be connected and interpreted in a particular way. In both cases, connections and interpretations made which depart from the designer’s intention are invalid and incorrect.
Many claim that atheism is the logical conclusion to draw once the available facts of the universe have been considered. These folks apparently fail to grasp that in an atheist universe, which is wholly without any plan or purpose, connections between facts and their interpretations can be made any way we please. The moment the atheist tells us that one argument is better than another, he is admitting that there is indeed a correct way to connect and interpret the facts of the universe. But this seems to entail that the universe does indeed have a designer who intends that his creatures draw correct connections between the facts. Furthermore, it seems to entail that this designer intends that we connect our finished “puzzle” to the correct interpretation as well. Just as it would be wrong to look at Marcus’ finished puzzle and conclude the image was something other than a telephone, it would be wrong to look at the universe and conclude that it was the product of irrational causes (or no cause at all). The argument may be summarized thus:
- If God does not exist, there is no objectively correct way in which to connect and interpret the various facts of the inverse.
- There is an objectively correct way in which to connect and interpret the various facts of the universe.
- God exists.
By John Feakes