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Thread: Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

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    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
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    Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

    Both the Fine-Tuning Argument (FTA) and the Argument from Miracles (AFM) are unsound arguments by themselves, but I am still confused about the relationship between the two---whether their premises and conclusions are consistent with each other, whether they contradict each other, if one renders the other obsolete, or something else.

    The FTA essentially states that if the various physical features and natural laws of the universe were even slightly different from what they currently are, then we humans would not exist. Since we do exist, then the universe is fine-tuned to have those features and laws, and the best explanation for that fine-tuning is a divine or supernatural sentient being. God.

    The AFM states that the natural laws of the universe are incapable of producing certain effects which have been observed (Jesus’s resurrection, Donald Trump getting elected as president of the U.S, someone getting over a really bad cold, etc.). For those events to occur, it must have required a divine and supernatural force to interfere with the natural laws of the universe, i.e. a "miracle."

    So I am confused about whether God could, with his infinite power and knowledge, fine-tune the natural laws so that they could produce any outcome he wanted and he happened to want us---or whether the natural laws are incapable of producing us and so God had to override the natural laws to create us. In place of the FTA, the argument from intelligent design (ID) would probably serve the same role on a narrower scale, to just biological characteristics. Did God intelligently design life using natural processes he created, or did he override those natural processes by performing supernatural miracles?

    Can anyone lend a helping hand here? Thanks.

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    I don't see any real difference between fine tuning and miracles since God is claimed to have created the universe and be able to change anything about it at any time.

    Sure, for us to exist the universe needs to exist within certain parameters, unless and until God decides to poof us into existence and set those parameters (if even just for a moment or until he changes his mind).

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian63 View Post
    So I am confused about whether God could, with his infinite power and knowledge, fine-tune the natural laws so that they could produce any outcome he wanted and he happened to want us---
    No, no, no, wrong outlook.
    See, to ME, if the laws of the universe were slightly different, life might have evolved slightly different, and that's okay.

    On another forum, we mentioned that the design of the octopus' eye was superior to human's. No blind spot. A creationist responded with, "But if your wife had these 'perfect' eyes, you'd be looking into an octpus' eyes at night, you want that?!?!"

    Hey, if that's what we evolved to have, sure. I'd be okay with it. But 'they' can't make that leap. The people flogging the AFM and the FTA all assume that we, as we are, MUST be the entire purpose of creation. Variation neither desired nor required nor tolerated. We are in God's image, so we are as He intended, as we MUST be.

    So, the two views dovetail nicely, because God purpose-built the universe to achieve US (fine-tuned), and tweaked the situation as necessary during installation to keep it on track (miracles). in the Old Earth Creation, the tweaks might have been small ones, with time multipliers. In Young Earth Creationism, the tweaks would have come more rapidly and been much more flashy.

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    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
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    Sorry, I am just not comprehending this. I think the sticking point is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    ...God purpose-built the universe to achieve US (fine-tuned), and tweaked the situation as necessary during installation to keep it on track (miracles).
    A god that really was omnipotent/omniscient would never have to do any tweaking though. You tweak and adjust things because unknown factors and surprises come into play. That would not be an issue for God though, being omnicrap. He could just get it right, right from the start.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian63 View Post
    Sorry, I am just not comprehending this. I think the sticking point is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    ...God purpose-built the universe to achieve US (fine-tuned), and tweaked the situation as necessary during installation to keep it on track (miracles).
    A god that really was omnipotent/omniscient would never have to do any tweaking though. You tweak and adjust things because unknown factors and surprises come into play. That would not be an issue for God though, being omnicrap. He could just get it right, right from the start.
    But you have to remember that people are involved. less perfect, and out sin somehow changes how the world works. People vote liberal and we get gay marriage, earthquakes, abortions, and hurricanes.
    I mean, look at genesis. Everything was perfect, as perfectly created by perfect God, then Woman fucked it all up. Now God has to station an angel at the garden, spiders now eat flies, lions eat lambs, and sharks eat anything. Tweaks are emergent necessities after God looks away, for just an INSTANT.
    Anyone with a 4-year-old will understand.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    ...
    Anyone with a 4-year-old will understand.
    I think we need to give 4-year-olds the vote. Sufferage to the little children.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    ...
    Anyone with a 4-year-old will understand.
    I think we need to give 4-year-olds the vote. Sufferage to the little children.
    president Barney?
    There may be no meaning to this world, but that does not mean that what I do is meaningless.
    -Mark Lawrence

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    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Tweaks are emergent necessities after God looks away, for just an INSTANT.
    God is aware of everything though, nothing gets by without him knowing about it, even in advance. Maybe that is the point where we differ---I believe God would be aware of every event to ever occur in the future. Nothing will ever surprise him. "Looking away" is a human behavior, but not an omni-deity behavior. It sounds like you hold the view that we could surprise god and that there are things that he is unaware of, is that right?

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    From chapter 6 of his weird book: When the Lord God saw how great was the wickedness of man on earth, and how the hearts of men turned always toward evil, he regretted that he had ever made them.
    (So....when he created them in the first place....he didn't know what it would lead to?) (Not that the whole story isn't crazy and not that Genesis 6 and 7 are examples of morality that you'd want to teach to children.)

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    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
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    Yeah, the Christian spin on it also confuses more than it clarifies. Sometimes people point to the FTA or the AFM, as a response to us atheists, to prove that *some* deity must exist, even before they get into identifying it as the Christian god. The FTA and AFM work off contradictory premises, it seems to me. Either God is unlimited in power and knowledge and can create natural laws to accomplish any task, or God is limited and constrained in what he can make the natural laws be, so sometimes he has to veto and overrule his own natural laws to get the job done.

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