Mike Licona just published his most recent ‘Musings’ video on YouTube. In this video he reflects on life, death, God, self, and others. This is the fifth in his series, and I think it’s certainly the most profound and my favorite of them all thus far.
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. 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. 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.
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.
- Quantum Entanglement and the Many Worlds Interpretation
- Cosmic Darwinism: Evolving Laws of Nature?
- A Theological Argument for Many Worlds
- Fine-Tuning of the Multiverse Lecture and PPT
- The Multiverse and Causal Abstract Objects
- An Outline of Tegmark’s Four Levels of the Multiverse
- This History of the Multiverse and the Philosophy of Science
- The Theological Attraction of the Multiverse
- Hugh Everett and the Many Worlds Interpretation
- Physical Evidence of the Multiverse
- The Multiverse, Fine-Tuning, and Nomic Probabilities
- The Exceptions to the BVG Theorem
- Loop Quantum Cosmology in the Cosmic Microwave Background
- I’m Presenting a Paper at EPS on God and the Multiverse
- Plantingan Modal Realism
- Nonlocality as Evidence for a Multiverse Cosmology
read more »
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)
With the recent discovery of a new boson, which is likely to be the elusive Higgs boson, the standard model for particle physics would not be complete. Keep in mind that this only confirms the model that has been used for a long time now. This explains the early moments after the big bang where there was the electroweak force which separated and became the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces (there’s also the strong nuclear force). This doesn’t unify the theory of gravity. Physicists must still develop a theory of quantum gravity.
Definition: A loss of coherence between the angles of components in a superposition and a loss of information due to environment, which gives the appearance of a wave function collapse.
More about the term: A wave function collapse occurs when the outcome of a quantum state is determined by an observer. An observer can be a concious observer or even the interaction of particles. Instead of a determinate state, decoherence is akin to pulling one string out from an entire knot of strings. Decoherence is a major talking point and factor in multiverse scenarios.
In 1956 Hugh Everett III published his Ph.D. dissertation titled “The Theory of the Universal Wave Function.” In this paper Everett argued for the relative state formulation of quantum theory and a quantum philosophy, which denied wave collapse. Initially, this interpretation was highly criticized by the physics community and when Everett visited Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in 1959 Bohr was unimpressed with Everett’s most recent development.
Reblogged from Alexander Pruss.
A stranger is drowning. You know nothing about the stranger other than that the stranger is drowning. You can press a button, and the stranger will be saved, at no cost to yourself or anybody else. What should you do?
Of course you ought to press the button. That’s simply obvious.
But it wouldn’t be obvious if at least on average a human life weren’t good, weren’t worth living. If on average, a human life were bad, were not worth living, you would have to seriously worry about the likely bad future that you would be enabling by saving the stranger. It still might well be right to pull out the stranger, but it wouldn’t be obvious. And if on average a human life were neutral, it wouldn’t be obvious that it’s a duty.
So our judgment that obviously a random stranger should be saved commits us to judging that at least on average a human life is good (or at least will be good).
Now suppose we get exactly one of the following pieces of information:
- The stranger is a member of a downtrodden minority.
- The stranger is currently a hospital patient (and is drowning in the bathtub of the hospital room).
- The stranger’s mother did not want him or her to be conceived.
- The stranger is economically in the bottom 10% of society.
None of these pieces of information makes it less obvious that we should save the stranger’s life. This judgment, then, commits us to judging that on average the life of a member of a downtrodden minority, or of a hospital patient or of someone whose mother did not want him or her to be conceived, or of someone economically in the bottom decile is at least on average good.
The Enlightenment restricted knowledge to experience and the phenomenal. Post-Enlightenment thought sought to progress in knowledge while considering the advances the Enlightenment had made. The Christian faith attempted to develop a new relationship between transcendence and immanence. Transcendence has to do with God’s being self-sufficient and beyond or above the universe. Immanence corresponds with God being present and active in creation, intimately involved in human history. Newtonian physics did not permit God to be immanent in the universe. This was brought into light by the unmistakable success of science.
Inductive logic, generally speaking, takes elements of a set and applies this subset of elements to a broader set. More specifically, the principle of mathematical induction states that if zero has a property, P, and if whenever a number has the property its successor also has the property, then all numbers have the property:
Induction works by enumeration: as support for the conclusion that all p’s are q’s, one could list many examples of p’s that are q’s. It also includes ampliative argument in which the premises, while not entailing the truth of the conclusion, nevertheless purports good reason for accepting it.
Inductive probability in the sciences has been generally successful in the past. It has been used by Galileo, Kepler, and has even resulted in the discovery of Neptune. The English astronomer John Michell exemplified this discuss in a discussion of ‘probable parallax and magnitude of the fixed stars’ published by the Royal Society in 1767. Michell found that the incidence of apparently close pairings of stars was too great for them all to be effects of line of sight, and that next to a certainty such observed pairs of stars must actually be very close together, perhaps moving under mutual gravitation. Michell’s conclusion was not corroborated for forty years until William Herschel’s confirmatory observations.