Archive for July 12th, 2012

July 12th, 2012

The Problem of Evil and the Multiverse

by Max Andrews

If God has a sufficient reason for permitting evil in some possible world then he has a sufficient reason in all possible worlds. Given simplicity, God is perfectly similar in every possible world we can conceive.  He never wills differently, he never acts differently, he never knows differently, and he never loves differently.  If modal realism is true and evil exists then the probability overall or on balance for justice is precisely 1.[1]  Thus, the problem of evil is an insufficient objection given whatever God’s interaction is in this world. It would be morally equivalent to his actions in other worlds with evil.  If God is absolutely similar in all possible worlds and if he has a morally sufficient reason to permit evil in some possible world then he is morally justified in permitting evil in all possible worlds (even if some worlds are more bad than good because God would be acting towards the same telos).  The following is a modified version of Alvin Plantinga’s ontological argument.[2]  In it I include the necessary entailment of a morally sufficient reason for permitting evil.

P1. The property of being maximally great is exemplified in some possible world.
P2. The property of being maximally great is equivalent, by definition, to the property of being maximally excellent in every possible world.
P3. The property of being maximally excellent entails the properties of omniscience and moral perfection.
P4. The property of moral perfection necessarily entails a morally sufficient reason for permitting states of affairs that are overall more evil than good.
P5. A universal property is one that is exemplified in every possible world or none.

July 12th, 2012

The Multiverse Directory

by Max Andrews

I have gathered together all my posts relevant to the multiverse. Since this is one of the biggest topics on the blog, I thought having all the posts gathered into one place would make finding the content much easier.

  1. Quantum Entanglement and the Many Worlds Interpretation
  2. Cosmic Darwinism: Evolving Laws of Nature?
  3. A Theological Argument for Many Worlds
  4. Fine-Tuning of the Multiverse Lecture and PPT
  5. The Multiverse and Causal Abstract Objects
  6. An Outline of Tegmark’s Four Levels of the Multiverse
  7. This History of the Multiverse and the Philosophy of Science
  8. The Theological Attraction of the Multiverse
  9. Hugh Everett and the Many Worlds Interpretation
  10. Decoherence
  11. Physical Evidence of the Multiverse
  12. The Multiverse, Fine-Tuning, and Nomic Probabilities
  13. The Exceptions to the BVG Theorem
  14. Loop Quantum Cosmology in the Cosmic Microwave Background
  15. I’m Presenting a Paper at EPS on God and the Multiverse
  16. Plantingan Modal Realism
  17. Nonlocality as Evidence for a Multiverse Cosmology
    read more »

July 12th, 2012

“It’s like Looking Back at the Face of God”

by Max Andrews

We know the universe began 13.7 billion years ago in an immensely hot dense state much smaller than a single atom.  It began to expand about a million billion billion billion billionth of a second after the big bang.  Gravity separated away from the other forces.  The universe then underwent an exponential expansion called inflation. In about the first billionth of a second or so, the Higgs field kicked in, and the quarks, the gluons, the electrons that make us up got mass.  The universe continued to expand and cool.  After about a few minutes there was hydrogen and helium in the universe.  That’s all.  The universe was about 75% hydrogen, 25% helium.  It still is today.  It continued to expand about 300 million years.  Then light was big enough to travel through the universe.  It was big enough to be transparent to light, and that’s what we see in the cosmic microwave background.  After about 400 million years, the first stars formed and that hydrogen, that helium, then began to cook into heavier elements… Stars were cooked up, exploded, and then re-collapsed into another generation of stars and planets.  And on some of those planets in that first generation of stars could fuse with hydrogen to form water, liquid water on the surface… The laws of physics, the right laws of physics, they’re beautifully balanced.  They couldn’t have been different.  If the weak force were different then carbon and oxygen wouldn’t be stable in the hearts of stars and there would be none of that in the universe. And I think that’s a wonderful and significant story. (Brian Cox, TED2008, March 2008)