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General Discussion => Choose Your Own Topic => Topic started by: Aaron Csicseri on August 30, 2012, 03:37:27 pm

Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Aaron Csicseri on August 30, 2012, 03:37:27 pm

I've often find myself questioning the atheist who says that they need some sort of absolute miracle in order to succumb to a belief in God. For example, Krauss says that he would be convinced of Gods existence if God made the stars in such a way that they spelled out "made by God".

But I contend that if this were the case, the atheist could then say that we live in a multi-verse where anything (and everything) can (and will) happen... and by chance, we just happen to live in a universe were the stars naturally form the words "made by God". They would they use astronomy to map out the velocity and life-cycle of those stars to show that the stars are only in that arrangement because physics (gravity) has dictated they do so, and thus prove (to themselves) that no intelligent agent was involved. I have a reason to believe they would make this extreme claim since they do the same with fine-tuning...and I think the fine-tuning of the universal constants is much more inexplicably complicated then the stars spelling out  "made by God".

I know there are other reasons to believe in some form (level) of a multi-verse, but it seems like the whole metaphysical idea of the multi-verse could actually tolerate any number of inexplicable events without having to admit to a God.

Is this a valid criticism?

Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: ragnarok297 on August 30, 2012, 06:50:18 pm

To put it in the simplest way possible, if those constants weren't "fine tuned", we wouldn't be here. If those stars weren't in that arrangement, we would still be here. So I do not think that's a valid criticism. I think you are misunderstanding the anthropic principle.

Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Aaron Csicseri on August 30, 2012, 09:35:12 pm
Isn't the fine tuning just as inexplicable, regardless of whethor or not it produced us.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Snoochies on August 30, 2012, 09:38:20 pm
So if the multiverse does exist, wouldn't there be a universe where it is possible that the stars spell out "made by God?"

Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Aaron Csicseri on August 30, 2012, 09:57:35 pm
I believe it is called "multiplying your probabilistic resources". In the case of a level 3 multiverse anything inexplicable thing can and will happen...not sure how the anthropic principle makes a difference in this matter.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: ragnarok297 on August 31, 2012, 12:12:21 am
Say there are a thousand universes in this hypothetical multiverse. Say that exactly 1 in every thousand universes has the constants required to produce life. Would you conclude that its extremely unlikely the one were living in just happens to be the 1 in the thousand that produces life? If we weren't that 1 universe, we wouldn't be here thinking about it. But there would be another universe out there with people thinking about it and some of them would also be fallaciously thinking how it was so unlikely that their universe happened to be the 1 in the thousand.

It's the same as your birth. You came from 1 of the millions of sperm, the one that happened to reach the egg; the fastest one. Do you consider your birth extremely unlikely as it was a 1 in a million chance that yours was going to be the fastest?

Your sperm being the fastest is a requirement for you being here right now. Your sperm having a weird mark on it that spells "made by god", has  no correlation to you being here right now. That is why one is considered extremely unlikely, while the other isn't, considering the fact that your here right now.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Rostos on August 31, 2012, 01:13:07 am
ChristianTheist wrote:

I've often find myself questioning the atheist who says that they need some sort of absolute miracle in order to succumb to a belief in God. For example, Krauss says that he would be convinced of Gods existence if God made the stars in such a way that they spelled out "made by God".

What good is that to a blind person? does God discriminate against the blind?

But I contend that if this were the case, the atheist could then say that we live in a multi-verse where anything (and everything) can (and will) happen... and by chance, we just happen to live in a universe were the stars naturally form the words "made by God". They would they use astronomy to map out the velocity and life-cycle of those stars to show that the stars are only in that arrangement because physics (gravity) has dictated they do so, and thus prove (to themselves) that no intelligent agent was involved. I have a reason to believe they would make this extreme claim since they do the same with fine-tuning...and I think the fine-tuning of the universal constants is much more inexplicably complicated then the stars spelling out  "made by God".

Yes, but again, when an Atheist is asking for proof, they dont realise that they are creating a God that discriminates.

I know there are other reasons to believe in some form (level) of a multi-verse, but it seems like the whole metaphysical idea of the multi-verse could actually tolerate any number of inexplicable events without having to admit to a God.

Is this a valid criticism?

Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Aaron Csicseri on August 31, 2012, 10:06:24 am
ragnarok297 wrote: Say there are a thousand universes in this hypothetical multiverse. Say that exactly 1 in every thousand universes has the constants required to produce life. Would you conclude that its extremely unlikely the one were living in just happens to be the 1 in the thousand that produces life? If we weren't that 1 universe, we wouldn't be here thinking about it. But there would be another universe out there with people thinking about it and some of them would also be fallaciously thinking how it was so unlikely that their universe happened to be the 1 in the thousand.

It's the same as your birth. You came from 1 of the millions of sperm, the one that happened to reach the egg; the fastest one. Do you consider your birth extremely unlikely as it was a 1 in a million chance that yours was going to be the fastest?

Your sperm being the fastest is a requirement for you being here right now. Your sperm having a weird mark on it that spells "made by god", has  no correlation to you being here right now. That is why one is considered extremely unlikely, while the other isn't, considering the fact that your here right now.


First of all, I feel like the the anthropic principle is a red herring in this context. All I'm speaking about is the fact that the multiverse (if true) is compatible with almost any inexplicable phenomena, and thus its proponents have a lot more wiggle room then they claim when it comes to observing miracles in the real world. I'm asking if there is some nuance to the theroy that I'm not aware of that effectively bars inexplicable events from occurring.  

Anyway, I don't buy your use of the anthropic principle here. I'll use the famous firing squad example, where I am set to be executed by a 20 man fire squad. When the time comes to shoot, every single soldier on the firing squad line misses me (and there's a perfect outline of my body made of bullet holes in the wall behind me). Under your application of the anthropic principle, I shouldn't be surprised by the fact that I'm alive, simply because I can't observe that I'm dead. I reject that out right because I have every rational right to an explanation for why each and every person in the firing line missed me. Under your philosophy, I should just go on my merry way and not be at all amazed by the inexplicable events that transpired before me.

A proponent of the multiverse could explain this away by saying that there are a billion other me's out there in the multiverse and in almost every other universe where I'm set in front of a firing squad, I'm killed. This sounds fishy to me, especally when you expand the metaphor to make it equal to the odds of the fine tuned universe. In that case, there would have to be 10120 (Cosmological Constant) firing squad members and each of them would have to inexplicably miss at the same time. Under those circumstances, any rational person is warranted in thinking that the firing squad is colluding and missing on purpose.

To put it again, the fact that we can't observe our non existence, does not remove the need for an explanation of a seemingly inexplicable phenomena (i.e., the creation of a finely-tuned universe out of nothing.) You know this intuitively, which is why you are interested in explaining the fine tuning in some other way besides God. Because your rational mind is crying out for an explanation.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Geneticist on August 31, 2012, 10:11:52 am
Then there is also a Universe where Krauss believes in God.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Aaron Csicseri on August 31, 2012, 10:21:11 am
Geneticist wrote: Then there is also a Universe where Krauss believes in God.

Not only this, but if there is a multiverse, then there is a universe where a maximally great being exists (so long as it possible/coherent)... and if a maximally great being exists in one of the universes, it must also exist over all the others (or else it's not maximally great). But I digress.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Lawlessone777 on August 31, 2012, 10:33:43 am
If that did happen you are correct, Krauss could just appeal to an infinite probability and multiverse scenario to explain it away. Richard Carrier would likely simply declare that he was hallucinating. Sam Harris would likely declare that God still did not exist, but that the arrangement of the stars would simply have to be accepted as an unknown axiom. Richard Dawkins would probably just start yelling angrily at the sky.

I've never been too much a fan of multiverse theories which predicate their answer to fine tuning questions on the idea that anything is possible if you multiply your probabilistic resources infinitely. If it is designed specifically to do away with fine tuning, then you're conjuring up an infinite set to answer a single question, ignoring the infinite questions that would arise in a multiverse scenario.

For example in a multiverse scenario there would be a universe in which a maximally great being exists that exists in all possible worlds. There would be one universe in which water flows uphill and hamburgers eat people. There would be a universe that was nothing but persistent song and dance numbers ala classic broadway plays. Heck, when I play Dungeons and Dragons there would very well be a universe in which all of the events that transpired in it synced up perfectly with everything I did in my imaginary game, hence, when I tell my friends they need to slay a troll boss they're quite literally doing so in another universe. Finally there would be a universe in which the universe that was created destroyed all universes.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Rostos on August 31, 2012, 10:37:29 am

lol

Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Aaron Csicseri on August 31, 2012, 10:41:18 am
I must add that (I'm told) that there are quantum mathematical reasons to believe in a multiverse (i.e., the book, Who's Afraid of the Multiverse), but I certainly don't understand them...yet
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: ragnarok297 on August 31, 2012, 12:57:21 pm
ChristianTheist wrote:
First of all, I feel like the the anthropic principle is a red herring in this context. All I'm speaking about is the fact that the multiverse (if true) is compatible with almost any inexplicable phenomena, and thus its proponents have a lot more wiggle room then they claim when it comes to observing miracles in the real world. I'm asking if there is some nuance to the theroy that I'm not aware of that effectively bars inexplicable events from occurring.  

Anyway, I don't buy your use of the anthropic principle here. I'll use the famous firing squad example, where I am set to be executed by a 20 man fire squad. When the time comes to shoot, every single soldier on the firing squad line misses me (and there's a perfect outline of my body made of bullet holes in the wall behind me). Under your application of the anthropic principle, I shouldn't be surprised by the fact that I'm alive, simply because I can't observe that I'm dead. I reject that out right because I have every rational right to an explanation for why each and every person in the firing line missed me. Under your philosophy, I should just go on my merry way and not be at all amazed by the inexplicable events that transpired before me.

A proponent of the multiverse could explain this away by saying that there are a billion other me's out there in the multiverse and in almost every other universe where I'm set in front of a firing squad, I'm killed. This sounds fishy to me, especally when you expand the metaphor to make it equal to the odds of the fine tuned universe. In that case, there would have to be 10120 (Cosmological Constant) firing squad members and each of them would have to inexplicably miss at the same time. Under those circumstances, any rational person is warranted in thinking that the firing squad is colluding and missing on purpose.

To put it again, the fact that we can't observe our non existence, does not remove the need for an explanation of a seemingly inexplicable phenomena (i.e., the creation of a finely-tuned universe out of nothing.) You know this intuitively, which is why you are interested in explaining the fine tuning in some other way besides God. Because your rational mind is crying out for an explanation.

Ok, if your asking this, then the answer is no, there is nothing. But that is not what your were asking in your original comment. You were asking about what atheists would do, and atheists would accept A to be 'covered' by the anthropic principle, while B would not be. Maybe you needed to reword it to "atheists who only believe in the multiverse and nothing else". If your claiming nothing is covered by the anthropic principle, great, but I don't see how that is relevant. You were implying that atheists are hypocrites in your first comment, I'm just pointing out that their entirely consistant considering what they believe. If you believe they have no reason to believe the stuff they do or their just plain stupid, that doesn't make them hypocrites.

Also, your firing squad doesn't seem to be a proper analogy. And you just can't brush off closer analogies without addressing them, in favor of others that seem to prove your point. Anyways, you need to add further details to your analogy for it to apply. You need to specifically  have the firing squad kill much over 1/n people where n is the probability that they will all miss. Next you have to be unconscious until your fired at from the firing squad. Maybe when your 20 years old your shown an old video of where you were fired upon as a baby, just like every other baby that gets born. If these details were added in the scenario, I would not be amazed at the fact that the bullets missed me when I was born and hit the million other babies. If you would be amazed at that, then I guess we just have to agree to disagree.

Also, on another side note, the 10^120 figure is not a probability. It is a range. Seems like you think it's a probability based on your trying to apply it to the analogy in that fashion.
Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: Geneticist on August 31, 2012, 01:26:40 pm
ragnarok297 wrote: Also, on another side note, the 10^120 figure is not a probability. It is a range. Seems like you think it's a probability based on your trying to apply it to the analogy in that fashion.

If that is a range of possible values then the probability of having one specific value is 1 in 10^120.


Title: Evidence for Theism in a multiverse
Post by: ragnarok297 on August 31, 2012, 01:41:32 pm
Geneticist wrote:
Quote from: ragnarok297
Also, on another side note, the 10^120 figure is not a probability. It is a range. Seems like you think it's a probability based on your trying to apply it to the analogy in that fashion.

If that is a range of possible values then the probability of having one specific value is 1 in 10^120.



Well it's the range of life permitting values. It is not the range of possible values. You need to divide one range by another to get a probability. By the logic you used you can end up with a probability over 100%, which makes no sense.