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Thread: Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    There's two stages to the argument from fine tuning.

    The first stage is to determine if there actually is any fine tuning (laws of physics.) Is fine tuning a mirage, a trompe l'oeil in the mind of pattern-seeking observers. Or is it a fundamental, brute fact aspect of reality.

    The second step, upon determining that there is some sort of fine tuning, is to decide whether it is the product of (a) chance, (b) necessity or
    (c) design/intent.

    The red coloured font section indicates the religiously neutral aspects of this question.
    It depends on your definition of fine-tuning. Tuned so as to produce you and/or me so that we can be having this conversation? Fined tuned for human life as it appears on Earth? Some non-specific life on Earth? A universe where life could exist and/or evolve during some indeterminate time-span? Let's take the latter, broadest and most liberal view. Next, how do you define life? Sentient creatures? Intelligence? How about simply plant-life? Or just some fungal slime? In other words how special or specific do we need to be in order that the result can be considered non-arbitrary? But then we would still need some way to objectively qualify why this is in some way special. IOW without biasing our view. Why is slime on the underside of a rock more special than the rock itself or the galaxy that the rock resides in? It seems we might need to dig our hole still deeper. At the bottom we come to the question of the existence of the universe itself. Does it need to produce slime or even galaxies? Would a more random tuning produce some totally bizzare (from our standpoint) structure? Could that also evolve over untold millenia to create something that even we humans might think special? None of these possibilities even touch on quantum MWI or spawning black holes.

    Atheists can accept that the uni/multi/omni/megaverse is finely tuned, and the explanation of that fine tuning without conceding teleology.

    Where the pre-suppositional atheism-of-the-gaps bias gets in the way is when it sees the entire question of fine-tuning in terms of intelligent design.
    The question I'm left with is how do you separate the concept of intelligent design from the concept of fine-tuning when the search for fine-tuning tacitly assumes some goal or purpose?

  2. Top | #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    There's two stages to the argument from fine tuning.

    The first stage is to determine if there actually is any fine tuning (laws of physics.) Is fine tuning a mirage, a trompe l'oeil in the mind of pattern-seeking observers. Or is it a fundamental, brute fact aspect of reality.

    The second step, upon determining that there is some sort of fine tuning, is to decide whether it is the product of (a) chance, (b) necessity or
    (c) design/intent.

    The red coloured font section indicates the religiously neutral aspects of this question. Atheists can accept that the uni/multi/omni/megaverse is finely tuned, and the explanation of that fine tuning without conceding teleology.

    Where the pre-suppositional atheism-of-the-gaps bias gets in the way is when it sees the entire question of fine-tuning in terms of intelligent design.
    Fine tuned for what? The existence of life?

    The conditions of the early universe allows life to exist in small pockets during the stelliferous era. However,
    1. a vast majority of the universe is inhospitable to life, even during this era
    2. the stelliferous era is just a blink of an eye in the cosmic timescale. Once it passes, all of the universe will be inhospitable to life.

    So are you going to tell us what you believe the universe is fine tuned for, and why?

  3. Top | #33
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    If God created the universe for a purpose, the only rational conclusion which can be arrived at is that God is a big fan of super massive black holes because making those seems to be the main thing it's designed to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    If God created the universe for a purpose, the only rational conclusion which can be arrived at is that God is a big fan of super massive black holes because making those seems to be the main thing it's designed to do.
    The universe, along with everything in it, has just one purpose - to increase entropy. Life simply speeds up the process.

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    Surely the point of God's creation is to end each day truly declaring, A Good Time Was Had By All?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Surely the point of God's creation is to end each day truly declaring, A Good Time Was Had By All?
    A god is like a lot of other religious ideas. Someone had an idea and then objectified it.

    It's interesting I always thought how leaders try to connect themselves to some ancient primary lineage, trying somehow to legitimize their control. Though these folks have made themselves kings and rulers I think the idea is the same in your typical everyday follower, that I'm connected to, descended from and privileged by the fact that I came directly from heroes and heroines. It's basically an emotional, ego trip, and not necessarily bad until you begin to use it for destructive purposes.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if gods were good things and people that did gods did good things? We'd have a different world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian63 View Post
    A god that really was omnipotent/omniscient would never have to do any tweaking though.
    He wouldn't HAVE to. He may WANT to. We could be his toy.

  8. Top | #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Surely the point of God's creation is to end each day truly declaring, A Good Time Was Had By All?
    Echoes of CS Lewis' book The Problem of Pain
    Senile benevolence. Good = lets me do what I want.


    ...By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively His lovingness; and in this we may be right. And by Love, in this context, most of us mean kindness - the desire to see others than the self happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy. What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, "What does it matter so long as they are contented?" We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven - a senile benevolence who, as they say, "likes to see young people enjoying themselves," and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, "a good time was had by all."

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    Well, one can still teach through pain and not have that pain be all that big a deal.

    For instance, say I think I can jump my mountain bike across a canyon but end up saying "Whoops. I guess I made that ramp too short. This landing is going to hurt". Then I get up, dust myself off, wait a few minutes for the broken bones to heal up and then climb back up and apply my knowledge from this lesson to my next attempt. I definitely learned something and the pain of failure was an integral part of that lesson.

    Why would my dying and not being able to apply the lesson from this pain be a superior way to go about things?

  10. Top | #40
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    Hey Lion IRC

    Are you going to tell us what you think the universe is fine tuned for?

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