I’ve heard the fine-tuning argument for God many times. I’ve yet to be convinced. I’ve heard objections, but none of them really work for me either (however passionately or confidently expressed by atheists). I think I have finally figured out why I find the argument hard to accept.
It’s that the argument, by itself, offers clear indication of God’s activity only once in the history of the cosmos. I feel that if God really did create the universe, we’d see evidence of God’s work not only in the initial conditions, constants, and laws of nature, but throughout the history of the cosmos. But, it seems, everything else could be explained by blind forces. Once a complex universe is in place (it is for this complexity that fine-tuning is required), with billions upon billions of planets, it seems a matter of course that at least one would evolve life like ours, and all that follows from life like ours. And once the initial conditions, constants, and laws of nature are in place, we will have that complexity. So all that we have God doing is fine-tuning those initial 3 things. Then life will occur, by chance, if you will, somewhere in the universe, just as once the lottery is set up, someone will probably win at some point, even if the odds of any one person winning are extremely low.
This objection remains even if the multiverse alternative isn’t used. With one universe only, the fine-tuning is uncanny, but unique. It provides, at best, an argument for deism, not theism. The multiverse, if it really does exist, multiplies the problem. For the usual reply to the multiverse objection, that the multiverse “generator” itself would have to be fine-tuned, would, again, leave God to be a very lazy god, only acting once in all the histories of all the universes.
Add to this the observation/common objection that life is either unique to Earth, or very extremely rare in the universe (something we’d expect with blind forces, but not so much with God), then we have a rather tenuous case for God with the fine-tuning argument.
Maybe my problem is with deism. It seems less likely, inherently, than theism. Why fine-tune a universe at all if God doesn’t plan to interact with it? The fine-tuning argument is only interesting to me if it’s an argument for theism, not deism.
It is here that some of the usual objections gain a bit more force. One is this: the science behind the fine-tuning-argument is legitimate, but immature. The future might find more convincing explanations of fine-tuning than “God did it.” A deistic explanation is just not as worthy of defending against this and other objections. It would be better to wait for a natural explanation, even indefinitely, than accept deism. We gain nothing from accepting deism. At least theism has the comforts of religion as a possibility.
For me, right now, clear, post-big-bang, evidence for God would be needed to supplement this argument. It cannot stand on its own.