One of Justin Schieber’s arguments in our recent debate was based on the size and hostility of the universe. Justin argues that the size and hostility of the universe to (human) life favors naturalism over theism because we would expect the universe to be large and hostile to life if naturalism were true but we wouldn’t expect the universe to be large and hostile to life if theism were true.
I critiqued Justin’s argument in my rebuttal. One of the key points I made is that his objection is not really directed at theism per se but rather at theism cum anthropocentrism. In other words, he is assuming that the theist is committed to the view that the universe was somehow created for human beings. But neither theism simpliciter nor even Christian theism are committed to anthropocentrism. Thus, this argument fails.
Justin then offered the following rebuttal which begins at 58:05 and ends rebuttal at 59:35. You can watch the clip and then consider my response below. Note: the clip should be advanced to the relevant point, but if it isn’t then yeah, you’ll have to do it manually.
So the heart of Justin’s response is the analogy of a house that is built for human beings but in which human beings cannot live (except in the narrow confines of the entrance). How strange it would be for an architect to have designed such a house!
Indeed, that would be strange. But, ironically enough, Justin’s rebuttal here supports my point: as with his original argument, this rebuttal-by-analogy is directed at anthropocentrism, not theism per se. The analogy functions as follows: it is surprising to find the house inhospitable to human life because the entire house was supposedly designed for human beings to live in. By analogy, it would be surprising to find the universe inhospitable to human life if the entire universe were designed for human beings to live in.
But as a theist I am not committed to the thesis that God designed the entire universe for human beings. That is the anthropocentrism thesis, and not only need a theist not accept it, but as a theist I explicitly reject it.
Thus, Justin’s rebuttal fails.