The Good God
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All possible brute facts are as inexplicable for the naturalist as the existence of the universe. The naturalist, when faced with the fact that anything at all exists, must immediately surrender before an unfathomable mystery. The success of science, the existence of natural laws, every fundamental property of the natural world—are all in principle inexplicable:. In particular, he considers the fine-tuning of the universe for life. Small changes to the fundamental constants of nature can have dramatic consequences: atoms disintegrate; the periodic table disappears; galaxies, stars, and planets are erased; there is no chance for life.
If this is so, then Naturalism is vulnerable to two objections. Consider a crime scene. Security cameras show the burglar opening the safe on the first attempt, using the twelve-digit code. Detective Alphonse suggests that the burglar guessed the code. This theory is non-informative.
A clueless burglar could have guessed anything. Detective Bertrand suggests that the robbery was an inside job. This is informative. Only an informed burglar would have been likely to enter the correct code. This is an important distinction. Non-informative theories are at the mercy of the relevant set of possibilities.
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We might entertain the probability of guessing a three-digit code. But as we add digits, the set of possible codes grows, and the likelihood of guessing the correct code drops. By contrast, extra digits will not affect the performance of the informed burglar. Postulating that the world evolves lawfully does not tell us what those laws are. If the world and its laws are brute facts, there cannot be any reason to expect any particular set of possible laws. The predictions of science are not the predictions of naturalism. Mindful of this objection, Carroll presents the multiverse as a solution to fine-tuning.
Perhaps our universe is one among many possible universes. Our existence as observers explains why we observe the conditions required to have observers. Some possible observers do not need the paraphernalia of fine-tuning, because they form by means of freak stochastic fluctuations. Even in universes that could not support life, Boltzmann brains can form and observe their surroundings for a short time.
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These kinds of theories predict that typical observers will conclude that they are Boltzmann brains, alone in a dead universe. If small regions of order are more likely than large regions, then Boltzmann brains are vastly more common than observers in large, low entropy universes like ours. If only very special multiverses avoid this problem, then the multiverse itself is fine-tuned. Should we expect a vast universe on naturalistic grounds? Even if theism gives no reason to expect a universe of any particular size, it is no worse than naturalism.
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The size of the universe is irrelevant. For millennia, the immensity and magnificence of the universe has inspired humanity to reach out for the good, the beautiful and the true. We can conclude that the CD player in my car was designed to play music without assuming that the entire car exists solely to play music, even if we do not know what a car is for, or why it makes such a racket when I turn the key.
The fine-tuning argument need not assume that our existence is the sole purpose of the universe. It seems highly unlikely. We do not know the sufficient conditions for life. But fine-tuning is concerned with its necessary conditions.
The rapid expansion of the universe, for example, precludes the formation of any structure at all. Although physical theories are expressed mathematically, they can fit into both the theistic and naturalistic worldviews.
This is surely no proof against vagueness. It makes sense to say of God that he forces electrons to behave in any way that he pleases.
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But on a pattern view, one cannot say that the laws of nature are one way and the actual behavior of natural things another. Not registered? Sign up. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search my Subject Specializations: Select Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Walls Abstract This book defends an interconnected set of moral arguments for God's existence by arguing that classical theism better explains moral duty, freedom, and responsibility than naturalism does. More This book defends an interconnected set of moral arguments for God's existence by arguing that classical theism better explains moral duty, freedom, and responsibility than naturalism does.
Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication. Print Save Cite Email Share. Show Summary Details. This wonderful little book only around pages long transformed my admittedly at the time rather minimal understanding of the Trinity. No wonder the ancient Church Fathers fought so long and hard to understand and teach this doctrine.
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It motivates all that He does — creating, redeeming, sustaining and ultimately glorifying this world. Being Triune means that He is a God Who has given everything to save you and me. In fact, we will see that the triune nature of this God affects everything from how we listen to music to how we pray: it makes for happier marriages, warmer dealings with others, better church life; it gives Christians assurance, shapes holiness, and transforms the very way we look at the world around us. No exaggeration: the knowledge of this God turns lives around.
Only after reading this book did I understand how utterly essential the doctrine of the Trinity is. Read this book, enjoy it, and delight in God more fully through the truths that Michael Reeves unlocks for us.