Excellent analysis. As silly as the multiverse theory is, I like the fact that atheists are driven to it. I call it the "Atheists' Concession Speech."
I've had my struggles with Atheists, but I think my best punch ever was actually in my response to the suggestion of a multiverse. This is probably one of the silliest things ever to come out of Atheist reasoning.
The multi-universe cannot be proven and even proponents admit that we have no way to prove it. It's desperation that accuses us of having because we believe God is. Sounds like a swan song to me!
Atheists always ridicule Christians, claiming that they can't prove God's existence. Yet they claim the possiblity of a multiverse, which also cannot be proven. Irony!
There's nothing wrong with conjecturing a model that may lead to an actual falsifiable prediction someday. If you have some idea of how you might do that with the god hypothesis, conjecture away.The multiverse idea does not yet qualify as a scientific theory. It very well may never be testable, in which case it is as worthless as the god hypothesis, intelligent design, and the rest of pseudoscience. Physicists and cosmologists (who are mostly atheists) are the first to say so. The only honest answer to the question of fine-tuning is "I don't know." It is the theists who claim to know something that they do not. If you can find an atheist who would agree with the statement "I know the multiverse exists", then I'll give you a dollar.Your points #4 and #5 don't fit current conjectures of a multiverse. It's not that every logical possibility is realized, just every physical possibility. The last time a theist tried to explain their god to me he wasn't physical.
Okay then.1. The different multiverse hypotheses do not presuppose the non-existence of God any more than evolutionary theory does. They simply present natural alternatives to direct manual manipulation. They assume only the existence of multiple instances of a known object (universe) rather than invoking a completely unprecedented entity (god). Heck, God could have made the multiverse, if you like.There are even ancient religion-based concepts of a multiverse, such as the Hindu cosmology which predates the scientific concept by millenia. They certainly didn't presuppose atheism.2. Marcus and BlameThe1st have jumped straight from the apparent lack of evidence to the impossibility of evidence, if a multiverse "cannot be proven". The story this month about possible evidence of contact with another universe speaks against both positions. On a theoretical level, the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics is increasingly accepted by physicists, including Stephen Hawking, as the best explanation of experimental results, such as those of the double-slit experiment.3.- The multiverse, if it exists, is perfectly tangible and observed. We're part of it.- Quantum experiments such as the double slit experiment, and observation of the edges of the universe in the link above, are experiments aimed at establishing or debunking it.- You can't disprove it, but you might find a better explanation, at which point it would be discarded.- It's not faith if you only think it's possible. Since the multiverse isn't the only possible explanation besides God for the constants, laws, etc. there is no need for even a struggling atheist to simply assume it's there before it's established.- The multiverse is probably omnipresent in its own model because it is everything. However it is bound by certain laws, even though they may vary. It is not omnipotent. Furthermore the multiverse has no will, so it wouldn't know what to do with absolute power if it had it.- Containing information isn't the same as knowing something; what does a book know, or a jigsaw puzzle piece? Likewise, containing all information isn't omniscience, though it is a prerequisite for it.- The multiverse may not have created a thing if matter/energy is eternal, which is the simplest interpretation of the laws of conservation.- Only in some multiverse models is it eternal, in fact. In others, all the universes started at once and their cause, if any, is unknown.4/5. An infinite multiverse does not automatically mean everything is true or possible, as long as any laws whatsoever apply to them all. If universes are independent once they emerge, then no universe will have the power over all the others to render them impossible. If all universes are produced by other universes, one of them will not suddenly have been created by God. And if in some universes entities develop which are equivalent in power and knowledge to your God, they won't be Him.
To 1Regular1IndianPlease use a physical description to prove to me why I might prefer chocolate with almonds to regualar almonds or why I have an aversion to the number 13 or why I love someone not in my family.Signed "that anonymous troll" ;)
While I agree with the gist of the post, I have to disagree. The multiverse does not presuppose atheism. God could create a multiverse, even multiverse proponents typically have to concede the multiverse had a beginning, and multiverse theory is a deathblow to atheism and naturalism. It relies upon supernatural explanations for our universe, and practically guarantees the existence of gods and "universe creators" (See Paul Davies on this, see John Gribbin, see Martin Rees) either purposefully creating universes, simulating them, etc.The multiverse is poison to atheism. But most internet atheists are a bunch of rubes, too eager to pick up something, anything to combat common theist arguments (fine-tuning, etc) that they'll reach for rampant speculation that would utterly destroy their own position, if they think it provides a short-term answer to a popular argument.
Mariano,I do have to agree with some of what SmartLX says. Even James Sinclair in his contributions to Contending with Christianity's Critics and The Cambridge Companion to Natural Theology notes the one multiverse hypothesis (Everett) has SOME evidential VALUE. Not strictly evidence, but at least compellingly possible.However, he also notes the overwhelming evidence cosmologists have for the one, finite universe is overwhelming. And the small trend of growing MVers owes more to the fact that in the current philosophy of science, you cannot be a scientist or cosmologist without also being an atheist.We all know the MV hypothesis is really the last possible port for the atheist in the cosmological storm, but as anon above also says, it's a killer to naturalism. Of particular interest since Richard Dawkins is largely responsible for all the confusion about MV. As with Philosophy, Dawkins stuck his nose where it didn't belong, and it's made him look like an udder fool.
"udder fool". Classic!
Logic would seem to dictate that if there are physical Laws governing the Universe then there must be Laws governing the Multiverse. How do we account for them?The Multiverse like Evolution or the Hartle Hawking State & the like doesn't really solve the problem of God. It just moves the problem up a level.On a humorous note if Multiverse Theory is correct then in some Alternate Reality somewhere YOU ARE BATMAN.;-)
Firstly, Ben, if physical laws govern the entire multiverse then as I said it contradicts many of Mariano's points. Secondly, using God to explain the laws only moves the problem up another level. Nobody denies that it's a problem.The Batman thing is a nice thought, but according to many multiverse models the universe(s) where I was Batman may have ended aeons ago.
And according to others, there's an infinite number of yous. And an infinite number of Batman yous. With, perhaps, an infinite number of deities observing it all.I also like how "according to many multiverse models" is supposed to sound somewhat scientific, when it's far closer to "according to many imagined possibilities".
>Firstly, Ben, if physical laws govern the entire multiverse then as I said it contradicts many of Mariano's points. I reply: True, OTOH if we believe Physicist Stephen Barr, if physical laws govern the entire "multiverse" then technically there really isn't a mutiverse. It just a really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, large Universe of which our so called "universe" is a small part. Mario's arguments may or may not be flawed, but I would assume he is more interested in defending belief in God than any one particular argument for God & defeating arguments against God. Mario's arguments are valid if we assume the "mutiverse" is not governed by It's own universal Laws. In which Case then there is no reason why in one of the seperate "universes" a Being called the Oogee Machu couldn't have evolved with the power to breach the walls of Time & Space seperating Universes with the power to eat all Universes(move over Azathoth you punk B***h). :-)(Just a little humor)>Secondly, using God to explain the laws only moves the problem up another level. Nobody denies that it's a problem.I reply: Well only if you seek to explain teleology within the philosophical framework of Paley (who of course held to an Enlightement Machinistic philosophical view of the universe). If you recongnize Paley's view is alien & incompatible with Aquinas' Fifth Way & embrace classic Aristitilan philosophy then the problem goes away.For more information see THE LAST SUPERSTITION"A rRefutation of the New Atheism by Edawrd Feser.>The Batman thing is a nice thought, but according to many multiverse models the universe(s) where I was Batman may have ended aeons ago.I reply: Not if the Oogee Machu got him first. ;-)Cheers dude.:-)
Hi Ben....it's far closer to "according to many imagined possibilities".You undervalue imagined possibilities. All scientific hypotheses and theories are essentially imagined possibilities until they're either supported or debunked by evidence. At least you don't deny that they may be possibilities.Mariano's goal and the apologetic goal at large, it seems, is to eliminate the possibility of any alternatives to a creator god. That's why he tried to "death punch" the multiverse, killing it five ways before it hit the ground. By my extended nitpicking session I simply mean to say that it's still standing as an alternative (and not the only one) in the face of religious incredulity.What you say about the multiverse as a big universe is right, but it's all semantics really. If the universe is multi-part, then what we have is a universe without any visible signs of its ultimate beginning (if any), it having likely occurred outside of and/or pre-dated this part we call our "universe". Kalam is even harder to apply to it.You have a point about the Oogee Machu (perhaps it travels between universes using portals in parallel Machu Picchus?) The broader conclusion, when we stop making assumptions about laws, is that it's only possible that anything is possible in a multiverse. It's not certain that anything is possible in each universe and therefore definitely true in an infinite multiverse, so gods are no more guaranteed than anything else.I'd have to go looking for The Last Superstition, but I have read about Aquinas' fifth "proof" and Aristotle's teleology. How on earth do either of them establish that anything in the universe "acts toward an end" or has a formal purpose intelligently given to it by anyone other than an Earth animal? (Aren't we not meant to know God's plan?) And on what basis do they each constrain the supposed qualities of natural objects and/or processes only to the natural?Finally, Batman's survived the collapse of one multiverse already, in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. If he escaped the Anti-Monitor, he/I could probably manage the Oogee Machu.Cheers t'you too.
Sorry, Ben, it probably wasn't you who did the Anonymous post.
>Sorry, Ben, it probably wasn't you who did the Anonymous post.I reply: It wasn't but I do agree with it on some level in that militant Atheists are inconsistent in rejecting an imaginary "god" in favor of an imaginary "multiverse".I have just bought "Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos" by Michio Kaku.Kaku seems to be an agnostic physicist who is slightly more open minded toward the existence of God then close mined militants like let's say Stenger or Weinstein. Indeed he thinks there MIGHT be a God based on teleology specifically the fact the Universe seems to be reducible to an orderly mathematical equation. Of course he points out the limits to that view. OTOH the argument in general is still based bad Enlightenment Philosophy & thus anathema to Thomists. >but I have read about Aquinas' fifth "proof" and Aristotle's teleology.I reply; Technically Aristotle never argued for the existence of God based on teleology that was unique to Aquinas. Anyway I will answer you more specifically later. To wet you appetite I offer a link to the following essay critiquing ID from a Thomist perspective to lay a foundation.http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/calhoun/socratic/Tkacz_AquinasvsID.html>How on earth do either of them establish that anything in the universe "acts toward an end" or has a formal purpose intelligently given to it by anyone other than an Earth animal?I reply: Read these you have much to unlearn.http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/11/final-causality-and-aristotles-unmoved.htmlhttp://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/11/trouble-with-william-paley.htmlCheers!:-)
I don't undervalue imagination. I simply call it what it is. I don't call it "science" because some guy who teaches physics happened to feel imaginative one day, or because some physicists (and some "atheists", quotes intentional) are turning to it out of metaphysical desperation.And no, the multiverse "remains standing" - but as something that is suicidal for atheists, not to mention naturalists. It does not survive as a response to religious claims, but as yet another religious claim added to the mix.By all means, embrace it. I'm a theist who -enjoys- the multiverse, because it's poison to atheism. It will remove that minor heresy and leave only deists, new agers, and pagans. And frankly, all three tend to be more relaxed, more reasonable, and have more of a sense of humor. This is one Catholic who'd welcome the change.
>the apologetic goal at large, it seems, is to eliminate the possibility of any alternatives to a creator god......By my extended nitpicking session I simply mean to say that it's still standing as an alternative (and not the only one) in the face of religious incredulity............what we have is a universe without any visible signs of its ultimate beginning (if any), it having likely occurred outside of and/or pre-dated this part we call our "universe". Kalam is even harder to apply to itetc.I reply: Well from the viewpoint of Thomism & Aristole there can logically be only One Pure Actuality that exists(which we take to be God) & Aquinas never used a Kalam Cosmological argument(unlike St. Boniventure). Indeed Aquinas believed you couldn't philosophically prove either Time or the Universe had a begining(he believed you could only know that threw Divine Revelation). His First Cause argument was a Top down Essential Causal argument that assumed an eternal universe with an infinite past. But most Atheists, Agnostics & Skeptics are so used to arguing with ID'ers they fail to know their standard counter polemic doesn't work. The Late great Mortimor Adler believed when debating Atheists you should just grant them a Universe with an Eternal Past(so they have no fall back position) & then just make the standard Thomistic arguments. At best a sharp Atheist who is familar with Hume will counter attack with the standard Humian Arguments but Elizabeth Anscombe philosophically dismembered Hume & vindicated classic philosophy.Anyway I hope you read Feser & I might also recomend Francis BeckwithQUOTE"A common error is to mistakenly link the arguments of contemporary Intelligent Design (ID) advocates with St. Thomas Aquinas’s argument from final causes in nature.......By rejecting the mechanistic assumptions of both the Darwinian materialists and the ID advocates, Thomistic Design(TD) does not have the burden of waiting with bated breath for the latest scientific argument or discovery in order to remain confident that the universe, or at least a small sliver of it, is designed. It has something better: rigorous philosophical arguments that challenge the philosophical assumptions of both the Darwinian materialists and the ID advocates who unconsciously (though sometimes purposely) offer their assumptions as undisputed premises under the guise of “science.”Read this link for even more info.http://romereturn.blogspot.com/2009/11/thomas-aquinas-and-intelligent-design.htmlLike I said you got a lot to unlearn SmartLX.Peace be with you.Cheers.:-)
Well Ben, it's been interesting to learn about this particular religious objection to Intelligent Design from your four links. I didn't think for a moment beforehand, though, that design proponents had the full support of the anti-Darwin or the broader religious community.Aristotleans and Thomists, I gather, argue teleologically not from design but from purpose. Perhaps that's not exactly the correct word for the "end" each thing is working toward, but it'll do in a pinch. The articles you've linked don't actually present the arguments for the existence of this purpose. I do hope Thomists don't simply stop at the assertion that it's obvious or self-evident. So what's the thrust?Incidentally, in March 2009 before Dawkins' latest book came out, he toured America with a lecture entitled "The Purpose of Purpose". I'm not sure it was meant as a direct response to this kind of argument, but some of it may be relevant. I enjoyed it at the time. And it's one of the only things Dawkins has produced since The God Delusion that Mariano hasn't attempted to eviscerate.Finally, Anonymous, if the multiverse is such a suicidal position, just when is it expected to collapse, and how?
>Well Ben, it's been interesting to learn about this particular religious objection to Intelligent Design from your four links. I reply: Actually they are philosophical objections. >I didn't think for a moment beforehand, though, that design proponents had the full support of the anti-Darwin or the broader religious community.I reply: I take it you equate “design proponent” strictly with supporters of ID? Well that’s the problem now isn’t it?>Aristotleans and Thomists, I gather, argue teleologically not from design but from purpose. Perhaps that's not exactly the correct word for the "end" each thing is working toward, but it'll do in a pinch. The articles you've linked don't actually present the arguments for the existence of this purpose. I reply: For a more precise explanation I offer the following link from Feser’s blog.http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/09/four-approaches-to-teleology.htmlMaybe it will answer your questions. >I do hope Thomists don't simply stop at the assertion that it's obvious or self-evident. So what's the thrust?I reply: If you read the link above Thomists champion the moderate realism of Aristotle over & against nominalism and conceptualism.>Incidentally, in March 2009 before Dawkins' latest book came out, he toured America with a lecture entitled "The Purpose of Purpose". I'm not sure it was meant as a direct response to this kind of argument, but some of it may be relevant. I enjoyed it at the time. And it's one of the only things Dawkins has produced since The God Delusion that Mariano hasn't attempted to eviscerate.I reply: I have about as much confidence Dawkins understands Thomism & Thomistic teleology and can formulate an intelligent response to it as I have that Ray Comerford can do the same for evolution with that stupid banana. That is zero confidence. One is philosophically incompetent & the other incompetent in the area of biology & neither understands true teleology IMHO. http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/09/manzi-on-wright-coyne-dispute.htmlFor further reading I would also recommend Feser’s new book on Aquinas & his book THE PHILOSOPY OF THE MIND in which he points out both materialist monism & Cartesian dualism are wrong when compared to Hylemorphic dualism.Of course this is all for future reference. If you read THE LAST SUPERSTION I recommend you don’t just read the chapters but footnotes as well since they fill in a lot of gaps on the assumptions he makes in the book. Feser is standing on the shoulders of giants & one should read the giants whom he learned from. Feser was once an Atheist himself.
Religion is stupid. Christianity is just a false belief in something you make to be true in your mind. Just like any other religion. And everything taught is just a story told from generation to generation. It's sick. Not all atheist believe in the multiverse dumb ass. You don't have to. So there.