God vs The Multiverse

Click here for God vs The Multiverse: a rational argument for the Existence of One God who intelligently designed one universe.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Table of Contents)

Below is the table of contents for God vs The Multiverse: a rational argument for the Existence of One God who intelligently designed one universe.  The argument does not rely on any religious beliefs, but is rather based entirely on modern science and rational philosophy.  We have assumed that the reader has no background in physics or mathematics, above a basic high school education.  However, we have also assumed that the reader compensates for this with a genuine motivation to understand the argument, and is willing to spend the requisite time and energy that is necessary for acquiring first hand knowledge of God's Existence.  (Click here for a PDF compilation of all the posts.)

Stage One - Evidence for an Intelligent Designer

Stage 1a - The fine tuning of the constants of nature and the initial conditions of the Big Bang

Stage 1b - Elaboration and clarification of the two pillars of support

Stage Two - The Multiverse

Stage 2a - Major flaws with multiverse theory

Stage 2b - Breakdown of the three pillars of support for multiverse theory

Stage 2c - Absurdities of multiverse theory

Stage 3 - One God

Stage 3a - One Simple Necessary Existence

Stage 3b - God's complex actions

God vs The Multiverse (Part 27: Summary of Stage Three)

Since this is the final post of the proof, we are going to quickly summarize the first two stages of the proof and present a more elaborate summary of the third stage.

In Stage One, we established that the constants of nature and the initial conditions of the big bang were fine tuned for the purpose of producing an ordered universe, with a hierarchy of complex structures on all orders of magnitude.  This is based upon the fact (that is accepted by almost every physicist and cosmologist) that if the constants or initial conditions were significantly different from their known values, our entire universe would be an unstructured, chaotic soup of elementary particles instead of the interesting complex universe that we exist in.

In Post 17, we showed that although the fine tuning naturally points to an Intelligent Designer, there are three, and only three, possible alternative explanations for this fact.  Throughout Stage One we explained why almost all scientists reject two of the alternatives: the Master Mathematical Equation, and the possibility that the constants and initial conditions are themselves Necessary Existences.  The remaining alternative explanation for the fine tuning was random chance with infinite tries (the multiverse).

In Stage Two, we exposed major problems with the multiverse, and undermined the 'supports' of multiverse theory.  Even though multiverse theory is embraced by most scientists (rather than an Intelligent Designer), it is a fundamentally flawed theory that upon deeper investigation, fails as an explanation.  We summarized most of these difficulties and failed supports in Post 17.

It remained for us to show how it was possible to formulate the explanation of an Intelligent Designer, in a way that did not suffer from the critical flaws that scientists lodge against God.  We want to stress again that we are not simply accepting an Intelligent Designer as the explanation for the fine tuning because it is the only viable possibility remaining.  Rather, in addition to being the only possible explanation left, the fine tuning in Stage One directly points to Intelligence as its natural explanation.

We began Stage Three by presenting (in Post 18) the God of Abraham, which we formulated as One Simple Necessary Existence.  We showed how this ancient concept of God is free from the many questions that atheistic scientists raise against God, and is the proper explanation for the fine tuning.

Specifically, in Post 19, we answered:
  • 1) Who caused God?  
  • 2) If God has no cause, then why does He even exist?

In Post 20we answered:
  • 3) Who designed the complex intelligent designer?
  • 4) Why is God this way rather than some other way?
  • 5) How do you know there aren't two or more Gods?

In Post 21we answered:
  • 6) What does the word 'God' even mean?  It merely signifies an empty mysterious Being, which does not explain how order, complexity, and fine tuning come from this Being!
  • 7) How could the God of Abraham (One Simple Necessary Existence) possibly be the Intelligent Designer of the universe?  Doesn't saying that God is Intelligent, necessarily imply complexity in His Absolutely Simple Essence?

In Post 22, we explained how the God of Abraham is an intellectually satisfying idea, even though it does not cater to a person's primitive desires for gods that he can identify with.  However, for an emotionally mature person, the God of Abraham is an emotionally satisfying idea.

The main idea throughout Stage Three was to differentiate between God's Essence and His actions.   The separation between the Absolutely Simple Existence and the universe He created, is the critical philosophical concept from which everything else follows.

God's Essence is Absolutely Simple, and therefore, intrinsically does not lend itself to being understood in terms of anything simpler.  The idea of a fundamental principle is something integral to modern science, as well as any system that follows from first principles.  By definition, something fundamental can not be understood in terms of something simpler.  We illustrated this key point with analogies from the fundamental particles and the fundamental interactions of modern physics (in Post 18 and 21).

The only possible knowledge about the Essence of One Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence is negative knowledge.  This means that we can know that He is not two; His Essence has no complexity; there is no other cause for His Existence; He Exists in Reality, and is not a figment of the imagination.

However, we can have positive knowledge about God's complex actions.  We developed this idea in the second part of Stage Three.  We can study the laws of nature and the universe that results from those laws, and see God's infinite intelligence manifest throughout His creations.  We can see the infinite power of the God of the Universe, when we realize that He created everything from absolute nothing.

We observe that the King of the Universe's actions result in order and stability, and we therefore say He acts harmoniously and justly.  As humans are also a small part of the design, this recognition obligates us to act in line with our design and purpose.  This does not mean that the laws of nature exists solely for the purpose of making human beings.  On the contrary, the true anthropic principle that a person should believe is that a human being is just a small part of the vast cosmic design for the universe as a whole.  Nevertheless, we are a part of the whole, and as such, we should act accordingly.

Throughout the proof, we have emphasized that we as human beings have the freedom to ascertain what we believe to be true and real. This can not be denied without skeptically denying the truth-discerning ability of the mind itself.  We have the internal perception that we are free to choose to live according to the dictates of our minds, and we are also free to reject our minds and live according to our emotions and desires. This proof, as well as any other proof of anything, rests upon this assumption.

One final point.  We are not missionaries, and we have no desire to intellectually or emotionally bully anyone into believing something they do not truly accept.  The question of God vs the multiverse, is something that you can not rely upon authorities to decide for you.  You can only rely on your own mind and choose freely for yourself.  We hope that this proof has helped to give you the knowledge that is a prerequisite for an informed free choice.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 26: Blind Faith)

We would like to conclude the proof with a slightly humorous story which helps explain one of the most disturbing things about "multiverse science."  Besides for the fact that multiverse theory itself is intrinsically untestable, it also renders the correct alternative explanation for the fine tuning of the universe, the action of an Intelligent Agent, impossible to prove.  Any proof for God, becomes a proof for the multiverse.  (It's cheating.)

To illustrate this point, consider the following fictitious story.  At the international physics conference Multiverse 2020, an amazing event takes place.  An immense voice, apparently coming from the heavens (or some other universe in the multiverse), declares the following: 
"I am the God of the Universe.  I designed the laws of nature, carefully chose exact values for the constants, and precisely arranged the initial conditions of the universe in order to bring about the structured, beautiful universe that you are fortunate to live in.  In specific, I made the fine structure constant equal to  0.08542455 because if it were any larger, then... and if it were any smaller, then... Similarly, I set the cosmological constant... (continues thus for all known constants).
I only created one universe.  There is no multiverse.  All multiverse theories are false unfounded speculations which were posited to avoid the manifest indications of My Existence. As I will not appear to every generation of physicists, make sure to tell your descendants this important message and prevent them from wasting their time and energy pursuing a nonexistent multiverse."
At first, the physicists are awed, impressed, and stunned. After a few minutes, one multiverse theorist begins to stir.  He starts scribbling some calculations.  Suddenly, he leaps to his feat and exclaims:
"How did that happen?  That was one highly improbable random fluctuation!  In fact, I estimate that the probability of such a sound wave occurring by chance alone is about 1 part in 10500.  Since we all know and have agreed that God cannot possibly exist, how can we explain the occurrence of such an unlikely event? 
The necessary conclusion is that this is yet another confirmation of the existence of the multiverse.  There has to be at least one universe (actually an infinite number of universes) in the great big infinite set of universes in the multiverse, in which the constants are fine tuned, the initial conditions are properly set, and the laws of nature are perfectly constructed, for the emergence of an ordered structured universe AND for that immense voice to be produced by chance.
By the weak anthropic principle, it is obvious that the intelligent observers who hear this voice and wonder what caused it, will be in this improbable universe.  It is no evidence for the existence of God, as then we are left with the question of what caused Him?  How would it help to posit God anyway, as we wouldn't know anything about Him? 
Rather, it is the ultimate pillar of support for our well-grounded theory that we are living in just one universe out of infinitely many universes.  There are probably other universes where similar voices appeared at biology conferences, or at a Rolling Stones concert, or in the desert on Mount Sinai.  None of this should be a surprise, given the infinite number of universes that truly exist.
Wait a minute...In fact, multiverse theory predicts that there are an infinite number of multiverses that have these apparent revelations!  Finally, we have empirical confirmation for predictions of our theory.  A mass revelation in favor of the multiverse!  It is something impossible to be faked.  We could never have dreamed of better evidence.  The ultimate pillar of support!  We must diligently pass on this empirical confirmation of multiverse theory to all future generations, as we will probably never have any other observational evidence to support the multiverse."
A multiverse theorist might claim that we are attacking a straw man; fine tuned constants are a necessary precondition for intelligent observers, but mass revelations are not.  We will quickly review their argument from the weak anthropic principle (post 5) to explain how they would try to distinguish between the two cases.

In order for us as intelligent observers to ask about the constants, the constants must already be fine tuned in our universe.  Since that is the case, of course we happen to be in a universe in which they are fine tuned, as there aren't any intelligent observers in the infinity of other universes to ask the question.  Someone had to "win the lottery" and we happen to have "the lucky ticket".

In fact, their argument goes further than just explaining how the constants seem so fine tuned.  Since an Intelligent Designer cannot possibly exist, the only possible explanation for us having these special values is that we are part of an infinite multiverse.  This then becomes one of the three pillars of support that allegedly prove that the multiverse really exists.

However, a multiverse theorist will argue, it is certainly possible to have a universe with intelligent observers, but without a mass revelation. Thus, if they were to actually witness such a revelation, they claim that they would accept the existence of an Intelligent Designer.  They therefore state that the multiverse is falsifiable.  (See the Weinberg video from post 20.) 

Although we agree with this distinction between the constants and a mass revelation, we think that it is irrelevant in terms of the falsifiability of multiverse theory.  According to multiverse theory, there are infinitely many universes of every type: some with fine tuned constants, some with constants that are not fine tuned; some with fine tuned constants and revelations, some with fine tuned constants and no revelations.

In a minority of fine tuned multiverses in the infinite multiverse, there are some universes with apparent revelations that occur through random fluctuations.  Despite this, we would not predict observing such a revelation in advance. Since most universes do not have revelations, we would assume that we are in the most common universe that is consistent with all our prior observations.  

However, once we observe a revelation, it becomes clear that we are in one of the "lucky" universes which do have apparent revelations.  Someone has to be in them, just like someone has to win the lottery and someone has to have fine tuned constants.  In fact, since an Intelligent Designer cannot possibly exist, the only possible explanation for this apparent revelation is that we exist as part of an infinite multiverse.

The reasoning in the two cases is nearly identical.  The fact that the existence of an intelligent observer is not contingent upon a revelation is irrelevant to the discussion.  An honest multiverse theorist has faith that there are an infinite number of fine tuned multiverses with intelligent observers who do witness revelations. Thus, a witness of such a revelation should conclude that he is in the subset of multiverses that is still consistent with all his prior observations (that now include an apparent revelation).

The concept of this fictitious story presents a serious problem for a multiverse theorist.  If he would be moved by such a revelation and accept an Intelligent Designer, he would be contradicting the very line of reasoning which led him to believe that the incredible fine tuning found in our universe is actually a pillar of support for the multiverse.  If on the other hand, he would deny God and actually respond in a similar manner as is parodied above, he is guilty of assuming his conclusion.  He may as well say that God does not exist because he has faith that God does not exist.  There is absolutely nothing that could ever convince him otherwise.  The greater the miracle, the greater the pillar of support for the multiverse.  This is a excellent example of the fallacy we called multiverse of the gaps.

There is no logical justification for assuming a priori that the ultimate cause of the universe is unintelligent randomness as opposed to an Intelligent Agent.  Rather, the question is logically one of an a posteriori nature; it demands observation of the universe in order to be determined.  It is hard not to draw the conclusion from some of the statements multiverse scientists make (throughout the articles and videos we have linked to in these posts) that they have already made up their minds about God, irrespective of the actual evidence.  They have decided as a group that God does not exist, and they have shut down their minds to honest inquiry.

Blind faith that God does not exist, has no more rational justification than the blind faith that He does exist.  It behooves you to use your own mind, and not rely on expert physicists and cosmologists to teach you philosophical truths, especially when you know how much emotional baggage is tied up with the idea of God.  You need to investigate the Ultimate Cause of the universe, so that you can decide for yourself what is true.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 25: Fine Tuner)

This post is predicated upon a person knowing and accepting the historical argument that God gave the Torah at Mount Sinai, or having some other foundation for accepting the event at Sinai.  We have stated many times that we are not going to prove Divine Providence, and hence we are not going to prove Sinai.  We have only included this post because we have many readers who do know and accept the veracity of the Torah, and they can thereby benefit from this post.  If you do not accept the Torah as true, please skip this post, as it is not for you, and we are not trying to convince you about it.  The proof of God that this series establishes is in no way contingent on this post.

The different names that God is called, teach important ideas about God.  The names are not mystical lucky charms.  They convey concepts about God that human beings can rationally understand.  One of the names of God which is found in the Torah is  ש-די.  The Talmud in Chagiga 12a (written about 1600 years ago) explains that ש-די is a contraction of  ש (that) and די (enough).

The Talmud expounds upon the introductory verse where God comes to Abraham to seal an eternal covenant that He will forever be identified to Abraham's offspring as the God of Abraham.  In that verse, God identifies Himself to Abraham by saying "I am the God, ש-די".  The Talmud explains that the concept of the name is "I am the One who said to the universe 'enough'."  This is used to explain a particular aspect of God's creation of the world.  Specifically, the sea covered the entire world until God told the sea to reduce itself to a precise lower level that would allow life to develop on land.

The Talmud sees the name ש-די as expressing that God is responsible for the specific quantities in nature, such as the sea level.  The name ש-די is, of course, a reference to the One Existence which sets the proper limit for all the quantities in the universe, not just the sea level.  It refers to the One Simple Necessary Existence who fine tuned the exact numbers for the constants of nature.  ש-די means Fine Tuner.  God appeared to Abraham with the name Fine Tuner.

The great philosopher King David wrote:

כִּי אֶרְאֶה שָׁמֶיךָ,  מַעֲשֵׂה אֶצְבְּעֹתֶיךָ
יָרֵחַ וְכוֹכָבִים,  אֲשֶׁר כּוֹנָנְתָּה

  מָה אֱנוֹשׁ כִּי-תִזְכְּרֶנּוּ;  וּבֶן-אָדָם, כִּי תִפְקְדֶנּוּ

When I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers;
The moon and the stars that You gave structure to.
(I say) What is man that You should remember him; a human that Your providence should relate to him.

Notice how David calls the universe the work of God's fingers, not His hands.  Fine motor skills are performed by fingers, not hands.  David's reaction to seeing the fine tuning in the works of  ש-די is wonder and astonishment that the King of the Universe relates to man at all.  David does not conclude that the universe was made only for man.  Rather, he is amazed that a human even registers as something significant enough to be remembered before the King of the Universe.

Maimonides begins the first chapter of Laws of the Fundamentals of the Torah, by establishing the Reality of One Simple Necessary Existence.  He begins the second chapter by defining the path to loving and fearing God:
What is the path to loving God and having an awe of Him?  When a person contemplates God's great actions and wondrous creations, and sees from them God's incomparable and infinite intelligence, he immediately loves, praises, glorifies, and is passionately drawn to know the Great Name, as David said "My soul thirsts for the Living God".
Simultaneously, as he contemplates these very same great actions and wondrous creations, he is overcome with a sense of awe and fear at the recognition that he is a tiny lowly creature, standing with a puny little intelligence before a Perfect Intelligence.  As David said "When I see the heavens, the work of Your fingerWhat is man that You should remember him?"
The true anthropic principle that the Torah advocates is awe and fear of God.  While we are amazed by the awesome wisdom manifest throughout the creation, we should be even more astounded that God relates to us.  Abraham said before the King of the Universe, "I am dust and ashes".  Before the God of Modern Science we should say, "We are electrons and quarks".

It boggles the human mind that the King of the Universe, ש-די who fine tuned the universe with infinite intelligence, with great kindness gave the Torah at Mount Sinai to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob .  Approximately 3300 years ago, amid the loud blasts of a shofar with millions of their offspring as eye witnesses, God spoke these words:
אָנֹכִי יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים.  לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱ־לֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל פָּנָי
"I, One Simple Necessary Existence, am your God who took you out of Egypt from the house of slavery.   You should not have faith in any other gods except for Me."
These two fundamental principles of the Torah, the recognition of One Real God and the denial of all false gods, are in fact two sides of one coin, and form the cornerstone of the entire Torah.  The Wise Men of Israel encapsulated the essence of this concept when they said: "Anyone who attributes reality to false gods, denies the entire Torah and everything the prophets ever prophesied.  And anyone who denies false gods, acknowledges the truth of the entire Torah."

When primitive man was still bowing down to idols, the Real God's prophets continuously reinforced this foundation of the Torah.  They warned against making any physical form or image of God, as that ultimately leads man to incorrectly conceive of God as a complex existence.  While even modern man has difficulty rejecting any complexity associated with God, the Torah has always insisted that man relate to the idea of God only as One Simple Necessary Existence.  God's Torah is the book that He gave us which instructs man how to lead a true and real life.  To this day, it is not only current, but remains far ahead of its time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 24: King of the Universe)

Abraham was the first person to call God by the name 'Master'.  It is on account of the idea behind this name that we call the God of Abraham the 'King of the Universe'.  (See first comment for some sources that elaborate on this idea and other ideas in this post.)  We would like to explain, to the best of our abilities, the idea behind the term 'King of the Universe', and discuss some of its consequences.

The key concept in this post is that the idea of King of the Universe is not dependent upon God's Providence (as is normally assumed, and which we are not proving in these posts), but naturally emerges from a proper idea of the God of Abraham.  In order to develop this point, we will analogously consider the good human king (or any other form of government) and his role towards his nation.

The king takes many separate individuals, who would otherwise live in a state of social chaos (as barbarians), and unifies them into one ordered society which is capable of developing a hierarchy of complex social structures (i.e., cities, nation-states,  multinational-states, etc).  To accomplish this goal, the king designs just laws and enforces these laws to ensure that they are not regularly violated.

If an individual who lives in the king's society were to ask why he can not violate these laws, we would tell him that the very fact that he has a good life in a safe society is because of the existence and force of these just laws.  To violate the laws which are the basis of one's state of existence is a contradictory position, as it undermines the very premise of one's own existence.

In fact, in order for the society of individuals to continue to exist, the king must punish those individuals or groups who rebel against his just laws.  When these acts of justice are properly executed (that of legislating just laws and enforcing them), they result in every individual obeying the king's laws, and thereby bring about the good for society as a whole.  Hence, the king's acts of justice produce order and peace throughout his kingdom.

It is in this sense that we say that the God of Abraham is the King of the Universe.  As we have seen in the previous posts, all that exists in the universe is contingent upon His Necessary Existence. He fine tuned the universe in a way which gives it complex structure and order, as opposed to chaos and disorder.  His good laws of nature, which strictly govern all physical space-time events, are what produce the magnificent cosmic evolution of an ordered and stable universe.

Since this order and stability is based upon His actions alone, it is appropriate to describe Him as King of the Universe.  We are not speaking about God's justice to human beings in particular, but are only drawing an analogy with regards to the general laws of nature and the universe as a whole.  We analogously describe God's actions as just and harmonious because they result in an ordered and stable universe.  It is only an analogy for the following reason: since nature has no free will, it perfectly obeys the laws and thereby produces perfect order and stability; on the other hand, a human king rules over human beings who have free will, and therefore the human king's acts of justice only result in imperfect order and harmony.

The King of the Universe provides order and structure to our universe through the good laws which He designed.  Our existence is premised upon all of His creations acting in line with their nature within this design; electrons act as they were designed, stars act as they were designed, plants act as they were designed, etc.  Of course, this is something we have always observed to be the case in the past, and we firmly believe will continue to be true in the future.  Nature always obeys the King of the Universe's laws.  The natural world appears to us to be a very faithful subject to the King.

Human beings have the internal subjective perception (which we accept as being true) of having free choice in how to live our lives, and are therefore naturally presented with the question of "How should we live?"  If we could know man's design (i.e., his place in God's design of the universe), then we should live in line with it.  Why?  Man's existence in this universe is dependent upon all the creations acting as designed by the King of the Universe.  To rebel against the King of the Universe would undermine the very premise of one's own existence.  Man has no rational justification for arbitrarily selecting himself out as the one special creature which does not obey its design.

The question then becomes if and how we can determine man's place in God's design and thereby decide how man should live.  For starters, we must question the premise.  Does man have any place in the design?  Who said that man is important?  Our answer for this is that we do not need to show that man is the essence of God's design.  All we need to know is that man is at least a small part of God's design in the universe; that man is not entirely an accidental byproduct in God's plan to design an ordered, structured, complex universe.

Although we can not prove that this is definitely the case, it would seem to us that the burden of proof would be on someone claiming that man is a mere byproduct.  Man is certainly a uniquely complex creation. As far as we are aware, he is the only intelligent being which is capable of perceiving, even on a small scale, the awesome intelligent design manifest throughout the universe.  As far as we know, he is the only self-aware being capable of the abstract self-reflection that it is a creation of the God of the Universe.

It would therefore seem intuitively reasonable that man is at least a small part in God's grand design for the complex universe.  This does not mean that man has special cosmic importance and significance.  Far from it.  Rather, it means that man is a small part of a significant whole, and as such, has no less significance than any other part of the universe that we currently know about.  Each component of the universe must faithfully fulfill its part, in order for the grand design of the universe as a whole to emerge.

If so, how can we determine what man was designed for and thereby how man should live?  It would seem that the basic approach to answering this question (short of God revealing it to us) is to study man's nature and define what a human being is.  Upon a little reflection, it seems that a human being is an intelligent form of life.  On the one hand, a human body's morphology is clearly part of the animal kingdom like all other animals on earth.  On the other hand, man has a unique intelligence that enables him to perceive a rational world of abstract ideas and live according to them.

It would therefore seem that for man to live in line with the way he was designed, he should live an intelligent life.  Although this does not immediately indicate any particular actions, it opens up the door for developing a well-grounded moral philosophy which is built upon a rational foundation.

Another related consequence of the recognition of the King of the Universe is that a rational person should accept upon himself God's authority to rule.  What does this mean?  It means that if God were to give him a command, he would follow it.  Again, the basis for this is the argument given above.  Man's very existence is only possible in the framework of God's cosmic design and order.  To benefit from the order provided by God's laws of the universe, and then exclude one's self from following God's decrees is self-contradictory.  It is the same logical problem as in the case of the rebel against the human king.

Even if a person is not currently aware whether God has or has not commanded anything, his attitude should be one of already accepting the authority of the King, if the King would give him a command. Additionally,  it would seem to be a very worthwhile pursuit to seek out evidence related to the significant question of whether God has done so.  This is the proper attitude for a subject whose existence is dependent upon the laws of the King.

A higher ordered, social consequence of all rational individuals accepting the reign of One King, stems from the realization that He is One King over the entire universe, and specifically over all humans.  He is not merely the King over one particular group or nation.  To relegate His sovereignty to one chosen people is preposterous in the face of His reign over the entire universe.

It seems to us, that complete worldwide acknowledgement of the King of the Universe would be beneficial for all of humanity.  In fact, the acceptance of the reign of the King of the Universe can be a uniting and harmonizing force for all of mankind.  It is a force that can organize human society into higher levels of complex structures, through providing a common universal ideal and purpose.  Just like a city only exists when there is a mayor (or any city government), and a state only exists when there is a king (or any state government), so too the nations of the world can only be justly and harmoniously united into a greater social entity when there is One King over them all.

It is not possible for us to fully work through all the implications of these deep philosophical concepts.  We hope these ideas can serve as a starting point for each reader to further develop the consequences that follow from the recognition of the King of the Universe.  A person who has a love of humanity and a desire to share the good and truth with others, would naturally share his knowledge of the King of the Universe, insofar as he believes it will bring good to others.  He would teach others this idea, much like Abraham spent his life doing, rather than live as if he has a special claim to the God of Abraham.  The God of Abraham is the King over all humanity, and the recognition of the King is for the good of all mankind.

May there come a day when the One Simple Necessary Existence will be recognized by all people as the One King over the entire Earth.  On that day, humanity will be truly united in peace and justice under the sovereignty of the King of the Universe.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 23: The God of Modern Science)

The greatest scientists throughout the ages have been amazed and humbled by the great wisdom manifest in the universe.  They sensed that as much knowledge of the universe as we attain through our scientific endeavors, we are only scratching the surface of the great wisdom inherent in God's universe.  This deep appreciation is only possible insofar as a person has scientific knowledge, and can thereby appreciate its magnificence.  The appreciation is proportional to one's knowledge.

Despite the fact that we are not great scientists, we feel that through the ideas developed in these posts, we can all have an appreciation at our own level of the great wisdom manifest in God's universe.  We think it is worthwhile to pause and reflect upon God's awesome intelligence (in the sense of post 21) which has been revealed through modern science's discovery of incredible fine tuning in the universe.  We use the term 'The God of Modern Science' to refer to the God of Abraham from the perspective of the insight which modern science provides about the wisdom manifest in His Creation. 

In discussing the God of Modern Science, we will explain how the concepts of infinite power and infinite intelligence can be applied to God as describing His actions, not His Essence. The One Simple God of Abraham is not infinite.  To call the Essence of the One Simple Necessary Existence infinite, seems to us to be a contradiction in terms.  Infinite implies a limitless extension or complexity, which is exactly contrary to the very Essence of the God of Abraham.  One Simple Existence is not infinite.  

It is possible that someone could mean by the term 'infinite' as predicated of God's Essence, that God's Existence is separate, removed, and qualitatively different from the finite physical universe of space-time and matter.  We have no objection to infinite being used in this sense (and we most certainly agree with the concept), so long as it is clear that it is only being used in this sense.  However, it seems to us that calling God's Essence 'infinite' often times conveys a serious misunderstanding about the God of Abraham, and it is for that reason that we do not use it.

However, we think there is a sense to describing the God of Abraham's creative actions as manifesting infinite power and infinite intelligence.  We are using the term 'infinite' in a negative sense of without limit, not in a positive sense of an actual infinity.

We can see God's infinite power from fact that He caused the big bang.  In that first moment of creation, the God of Modern Science created all the space, time, and energy in the universe from absolute nothing.  If God can create something from nothing, there is no limitation on how much He can create.

There is an even deeper concept which emerges from the more abstract realization that God created something from nothing. This realization helps a person see the infinite creative intelligence manifest in the creation.  In order to explain what we mean by 'infinite intelligence', we first need a clear understanding of how we're using the word 'intelligence'.

The word 'intelligent' derives its meaning from the Latin verb 'inter-legere' which means to "pick out", and it is in this sense of the term that we are analogously referring when we say the 'intelligence' of the God of Modern Science. The fundamental laws of nature, general relativity and quantum mechanics, had to be "picked" by God.  The constants of nature also had to be "picked" by God.  Finally, the initial conditions of the big bang had to be "picked" by God.  These three things were all created in a highly unique way, by the God of Modern Science, for the purpose of producing the special universe we have discussed throughout the proof.

A person should be astounded when they ponder the intellectual feat of creating simple, symmetrical, elegant laws that result in the beautifully complex and diverse universe only in conjunction with very special constants and only when applied to highly ordered initial conditions.  How can God "know" that these laws are even capable of yielding an ordered universe, without already knowing the right constants and initial conditions!?  And certainly, the idea of selecting numbers and initial conditions before choosing laws is impossible to fathom!

There is a very subtle point here about the phenomenon of the God of Modern Science creating 'something from nothing.'  It is not merely creating physical energy (matter) from nothing, but also the laws, constants, and initial conditions from total nothingness.  A deep astonishment arises from the recognition that there was no conceptual framework or constraints to guide the selection of either the laws or the constants or the initial conditions; coupled with the recognition that only the right combination of all three yields a meaningful universe.

At the risk of repetition, let us clarify this amazing point.  Many scientists are enamored by the beauty and simplicity found in the fundamental laws of nature. However, if one would consider these qualitative laws without the very specially chosen quantitative constants or without the very special initial conditions, the laws would be totally sterile.  They would produce total chaos.  What makes these simple laws meaningful in the first place is the highly fine tuned constants and the specially ordered initial conditions. What makes the initial conditions capable of yielding our universe is the specially chosen laws and constants.  God "picked" the perfect combination of laws, constants and initial conditions which all only produce something meaningful in combination with one another.

Given this sense of the term 'intelligence' applied to God, we can explain why we describe it as 'infinite intelligence'. There is a fundamental difference between the finite intelligence of a human being who selects specific possibilities to give rise to his ordered creations, and the infinite intelligence revealed by the God of Modern Science's selection of the laws, constants, and initial conditions.  Man's creative intelligence is limited to choosing from a prior existing framework of possibilities that guide and constrain his choices. This framework is defined by the very laws of nature, constants, and low entropy universe that man exists within.  As such, man's creativity is limited to creating something from something, and can thereby be described as finite.

When we say that the God of Modern Science selected laws and constants, it is in a totally different manner.  God did not select from a prior set of possibilities, but rather created from absolutely nothing. The God of Modern Science had conceptually nothing to work with, nothing to constrain and direct His choice.  Out of the infinite and undefined sea of possibilities (we have no better way of describing absolute nothingness), God freely picked these equations, freely picked out the constants, and freely created the energy in an incredibly organized way.

In virtue of this distinction we analogously call God's actions 'infinitely intelligent', in contrast to the finite intelligence of human beings.  Infinite power, infinite intelligence, and infinite creativity are manifest in the process of going from absolute nothing to the final result of our one beautiful universe.  Truly awesome!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

God vs the multiverse (Part 22: Reality vs the fantasy)

We now come to the following question that may be bothering you: Is the idea of Abraham's God satisfying to a person?  The basic answer is yes and no. On an intellectual level, yes. On an emotional level, no.

If someone were to posit a complex god with parts, and then defend the idea by saying, "You are not allowed to ask questions; you just can't understand god.", we would be right to object that there is no rational justification for this taboo of thought.  If something is complex, then its essence is susceptible to being comprehended through a deeper understanding of its simpler parts.  This thought taboo is obviously an evasive maneuver that attempts to avoid the fact that a complex model of god is fatally flawed in an intellectually unsatisfying manner.

We think it is clear why this criticism does not apply to the God of Abraham.  The fact that you can not understand God on a deeper level, is due to the fact that He is Absolutely Simple and therefore irreducible.  You can know that He Exists and you can study what results from His actions, but you cannot know Him like you know complex entities.  This is not a thought taboo because you can comprehend why you can not understand the Essence of an Absolutely Simple Existence through anything simpler.

However, on an emotional level the God of Abraham is not the god that people desire. Throughout history, people have craved gods and invented gods to satisfy their primitive fantasies and quell their primal fears.  A person looks for meaning and protection in this scary world.  A person yearns for the love and security that his parents provided him as a youth.  When primitive man sees that reality does not adequately provide him with these needs, he creates imaginary gods in an attempt to satisfy these infantile longings.

What kinds of gods does primitive man create?  gods of his fantasy.  Many gods.  Physical gods.  gods he can see.  gods he can identify with.  gods that have parts.  gods that are complex.  gods with big brains.  gods he can understand like he understands ordinary objects.  In short, gods that are only real to his emotions, because these are the gods that satisfy his infantile wishes.

What kind of God is primitive man not interested in?  The God of Reality.  One God.  A Simple God. A nonphysical God.  A God which he can not visualize.  A God with no parts.  A God which he can not reduce to anything simpler.  One Simple Necessary Existence.  The God of Abraham does not correspond to the god of primitive man's infantile fantasies.  However, it should be clear that this is not a rational reason for rejecting the God of Abraham.

We can study the awesome intelligence manifest in the universe, and determine that it has an Intelligent Designer.  When we logically develop a satisfactory idea for this Designer, we arrive at the God of Abraham.  While there is no doubt that the idea of God is unsatisfying to someone's base emotions, a person is able to rise above their primitive fantasies and freely choose to believe in a true idea of God; an idea of God which is supported by the mind.  A Real God.

While the faith in false gods temporarily satisfies a person's emotions, it ultimately leads to a conflicted life that is founded on contradictions and falsehoods.  A person can not shut out their mind's voice that screams "this is absurd".  In contrast, the life of one who has conviction in the True God is real and harmonious.  A person has to use their rational mind to freely evaluate what is true, in order to lead a real life.  Our answer to scientists' question of post 15 "Are We Real?" is:  We are real because our God, the God of Abraham, is Real.

We agree with atheistic scientists that all other ideas of gods are false and imaginary, and should be abandoned as wishful thinking.  However, in their war against gods of fantasy, they have failed to realize that there is a one real idea of God which is supported by a real investigation into the one real universe.  They have failed to realize that all the questions which they ask against the gods of fantasy do not apply to the God of Reality. (See the first comment for an expansion on this theme.)

We do not mean to imply that the God of Abraham is emotionally unsatisfying to an emotionally mature individual.  The opposite is true.  The genuine recognition of the God of Abraham can have powerful and beneficial emotional consequences.  The recognition of the One Source for all the great wisdom and ordered complexity in the universe is awe-inspiring.  It creates a strong emotional pull that motivates one to try to understand as much as humanly possible about the Creator of the universe and His actions.  We will try to develop a deeper understanding of His complex actions in the next few posts.For a mature individual, this emotional experience can only be described as a powerful love for God.

We are presented with a free choice between the truth as presented by our minds, and the lies that our emotions desire.  We are presented with a free choice between the God of Reality and the gods of fantasy.  Choose well.