Multiverse: the Logical Choice for Atheists and Agnostics

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What constitutes "All There Is", i.e. the Cosmos?

For awowed Atheists or less committal Agnostics not believing in the existence of one or more Divinities, the logical choice is a Multiverse made of an enormous number of Parallel Universes

(Here introductions to the Science and the Philosophy of Parallel Universes)

The reasoning is straightforward. Let's say the Cosmos contains a number N of Universes. N is an integer and can be:

  1. one;
  2. a "relavitely small number"
  3. a "very large number" (for example, a googolplex, too big to be stored, or even Graham's Number, too large to be written)

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Now, if N were one or a relatively small number, that would be a strong indication that there is a God after all.

In fact, assuming there is no God or no way of knowing if there is one (or many):

(1) If there were only the Universe we live in (a widespread belief, nowadays) there would really be little or nothing left to justify its incredible circumstances;

We know for a fact that our Universe has all its basic constants and rules incredibly fine-tuned to allow our existence to happen; it even contains some "miracles". (!)

By that I mean phenomena such as the "Miracle of Mathematics", described by Nobel Prize E. P. Wigner in the 1960's paper "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences" as the peculiar occurrence where
"the mathematical formulation of the physicist's often crude experience leads in an uncanny number of cases to an amazingly accurate description of a large class of phenomena"
Finally, in a single Universe Atheist/Agnostic scientists would (and do!) find themselves uncomfortably close to the Theist position, as indicated by George Johnson in a book review on Scientific American in October 2006
"You can be a theist, believing that behind the veil of randomness lurks an active, loving, manipulative God, or you can be a materialist, for whom everything is matter and energy interacting within space and time. Whichever metaphysical club you belong to, the science comes out the same"
(2) If there were instead a relatively small number of Universes, problems would be even worse;

We would still have to ponder the extraordinary stroke of luck that allowed our Universe to exist with all of the above plus try to understand the significance of yet another fundamental cosmological number, N.

(3) The issues above disappear when we consider a very large number of Universes;

Our whole set of "incredible circumstances" become just one possibility out of many: bound to happen however unlikely its chances, like the perfect hand at a game of cards if the deck is shuffled enough times.

There is no more case for the necessity of some "Intelligent Being(s)" putting everything together in the right ways.

That is even more so if N, the number of Universes in the Cosmos is really, really big (e.g. when it so big it cannot be stored or even written). There is no meaning then in discussions on the significance of its precise value, as the situation wouldn't change if that were, say, a billion billion times bigger or smaller.

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Everything considered then, it is only when N is enormous, i.e. in a Cosmos made of a huge number of Parallel Universes, that the Atheist/Agnostic option is viable

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maurizio@morabito.name

Mr Omnology
Ecademy Profile (updated: Jul 21, 2006)

"There is no problem that does not have a solution, however sub-optimal"

Julian Bond

jbond

Multiverse: the Logical Choice for Atheists and Agnostics

It's worth reading about The Anthropic Principles at this point.

2 comments

Mark C J Posen

mposen

Multiverse: the Logical Choice for Atheists and Agnostics

Hmmm... Not sure I fully agree with you Maurizio. An atheist should also be a sceptic, and this means, of course, not accepting anything without scientific "proof", and I believe that there is nothing even close to a concensus within the scientifc community when it comes to the multiverse concept. Personally I don't think that the argument "I don't believe in god so there must be a multiverse" (which is how I interpret your argument) stands up. To me I see no personal difficulty in accepting a single universe without god. I agree that the "six numbers" happen to be well "tuned" for a life-bearing universe, but I am prepard to believe that this might just be a coincidence. The anthropic principle works for me! Regards, Mark ---- Mark C J Posen MD & Principal Consultant, RPC Telecommunications Ltd. Consulting Engineers in Satellite and Radio Communications Mark Posen's SatCom Blog - Satellite Communications news, technology and information

1 comments