Richard Dawkins has a view that the thousands of creatures who suffer and die every minute of every day is an indication that the universe is ungoverned – ie: there cannot be any god because of all the pain.
Dawkins has reached an existential conclusion by biological means. It’s the same conclusion that Bertrand Russell reached: “The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible….” and I think it’s equally flawed. My observation tells me that despite all the pain and the suffering there is almost an infinite amount more joy, excitement and raw pleasure than there is pain and suffering. Think for a moment how many sunsets one gets to see, think of the pleasure of someone scratching your back… even scratching your own back; an imagined fantasy; a favourite and exquisite taste… the list is almost endless. And then think of how much simple pure pleasure the average creature experiences, the ratio of pleasure against pain is massive, surely it doesn’t take much observation to see that. If that were not enough pleasure is also good in a more superior way than pain is bad; pleasure is actually beyond comparison with pain – the hedonists could at least tell us that. “It is better to have lived and to have lost than not to have lived at all,” the saying goes. If I were to live only to taste caramel once that would be better than not to live at all, would it not? If I were only to experience an orgasm once in my life would it not still have been worth living? What about becoming a parent. falling in love… Oh the list is really endless.
You see what I think Dawkins is trying to sell us is the delusion of chaos in the midst of order. Granted it’s a wild order, dangerous and natural, “Nature is raw in tooth and claw,” as David Hume put it. But order none the less, and not just order but sensually rich and overwhelmingly pleasant order. Is that not the case? I think Dawkins let’s the cat out of the bag with this observation of his. He drew his conclusion about God a long time ago and is now thoroughly engrossed in the pursuit of any observation that will support his conclusion. There are none so blind, it seems, as them that will not see.
Now the truth of this observation may lead you to conclude that the universe is under poor management… and that would be another discussion… but that conclusion is a far cry from the erroneous conclusion that it is under no management at all!