Best-selling author Stephen King is a striking example of the effectiveness of the Argument from Design.
Born in 1947, King is famous for horror novels and stories of the supernatural: Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, Under the Dome, The Dead Zone, Cujo.
Having never read any of King’s books, I cannot attest to their contents, but reviewers say a number of his books contain profanity, sexuality, and gore. Nevertheless he is an extremely popular, well-known author.
Publisher’s Weekly lists 34 of King’s books in the top 15 best-selling books the year they were published. His newest novel, Doctor Sleep, will be released in September 2013.
King’s many gripping novels mark him as a brilliant writer armed with a razor-sharp mind. It is noteworthy that Stephen King finds the Argument from Design compelling evidence for the existence of God.
What Does Stephen King Think of the Argument from Design?
In an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s FRESH AIR program on May 28, 2013, King explained how Design influences his belief in God. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
GROSS: I remember you telling me the last time we spoke that you always believed in God, and it’s a choice that you made, and you just, you choose to believe it.
KING: I choose to believe it, yeah. I think that – I think that that’s – I mean there’s no downside to that, and the downside – if you say, well, OK, I don’t believe in God, there’s no evidence of God, then you’re missing the stars in the sky, and you’re missing the sunrises and sunsets, and you’re missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together at the same time.
Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design. But at the same time there’s a lot of things in life where you say to yourself, well, if this is God’s plan, it’s very peculiar. And you have to wonder about that guy’s personality, the big guy’s personality. The thing is, like, I may have told you last time that I believe in God. What I’m saying now is I choose to believe in God, but I have serious doubts.
(See Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God, And Getting Scared for a transcript of the interview. Or Listen to the Stephen King NPR interview.)
Commentary on Stephen King’s Thinking
King says twice that he has simply made a choice to believe in God. He based his choice on his observation of design in the universe. In King’s opinion, one who proclaims, “There is no evidence of God,” ignores that everything seems to have been intelligently designed to marvelously work together.
King is using the Argument from Design to reach the conclusion that there is a God. He admits that there are major puzzling issues, but nevertheless the evidence of design is sufficient for him to choose to believe in God.
Clearly there are crucial moral and volitional components to belief in God. Yet Stephen King sees clear evidence of design. What may be in question for him is the moral rectitude of what God does. But whether God is “good” or “reasonable” according to King’s standards is a separate issue from whether God exists.
King is an example of the persuasive force of the Argument from Design. King finds the design evidence for God compelling, despite having questions about God’s nature. He felt bound to conclude that there is a God. He questions aspects of God’s character, but the Argument from Design remains intact.
Questions to Ponder
- Do you agree with Stephen King’s assessment that design evidence points to an Intelligent Designer? Why or why not?
- Is evidence of design a totally separate issue from the identity and character of the Designer?
- What concerns about the character of the Designer make it difficult for you to believe a Designer exists?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the tenth article in the Evidence for God series that discusses the question,
“Is There Evidence for God?”
Read the prequels:
1. Evidence for God – Can You Answer a 6th-Grader?
2. Evidence for God – Design
3. Evidence for God – Experience
4. Evidence for God – Can You Prove God Exists?
5. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Simple
6. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Logical
7. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Biblical
8. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Old Testament
9. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – New Testament
Read the sequel:
11. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday August 21, 2013 A.D.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)