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About Me

A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Proof of God from Fine Tuning

Updated thru 12/19/2016

Consider the Sun. If it was much closer to the Earth there could be no life on Earth. It is claimed that if various other distances or physical constants such as the charge of an electron were different life could not exist. The conclusion is a Fine Tuner (God) has fine tuned the Universe for Life.

I consider this argument for God one of the least compelling and will not spill much ink discussing it. The argument may be  refuted based on theology, science, reason and logic. Professor of Physics Victor Stenger devotes an entire book The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning on this topic and his refute includes much science. The interested may read his book.

Theology 

The implication of the argument is the Universe is designed for life, in particular Humans. Rambam puts this vanity to rest.

The following two paragraphs are quotes from Rambam's book Guide to the Perplexed. My copy is  translated from the original Arabic text M. Friedlander,second edition, revised throughout.

Page 268 What we have, in truth, to consider is this : The whole mankind at present in
existence, and a fortiori, every other species of animals, form an infinitesimal
portion of the permanent universe. Comp." Man is like to vanity’(Ps.cxliv. 4) ;
" How much less man, that is a worm ; and the son of man, which is a worm "
(Job xxv. 6) ; " How much less in them who dwell in houses of clay"
(ibid. iv. 19) ; “Behold, the nations are as a drop of the bucket”(Isa. xl. 15).
There are many other passages in the books of the prophets expressing
the same idea. It is of great advantage that man should know his station,
and not erroneously imagine that the whole universe exists only for him.
We hold that the universe exists because the Creator wills it so ; that mankind
is low in rank as compared with the uppermost portion of the universe,
viz., with the spheres and the stars ; but, as regards the angels, there cannot
be any real comparison between man and angels, although man is the highest
of all beings on earth ; i.e., of all beings formed of the four elements.

Page 274 Those who hold this view, namely,
that the existence of man is the object of the whole creation, may be asked
whether God could have created man without those previous creations, or
whether man could only have come into existence after the creation of all
other things. If they answer in the affirmative, that man could have been
created even if, e.g., the heavens did not exist, they will be asked what is the
object of all these things, since they do not exist for their own sake but for
the sake of something that could exist without them ? Even if the Universe
existed for man's sake and man existed for the purpose of serving God, as has
been mentioned, the question remains, What is the end of serving God ?
He does not become more perfect if all His creatures serve Him and comprehend
Him as far as possible ; nor would He lose anything if nothing existed
beside Him. It might perhaps be replied that the service of God is not
intended for God's perfection ; it is intended for our own perfection, it
is good for us, it makes us perfect. But then the question might be repeated,
What is the object of our being perfect ? We must in continuing the inquiry
as to the purpose of the creation at last arrive at the answer, It
was the Will of God, or His Wisdom decreed it ; and this is the correct
answer.

{Rambam is one of the most respected Theologians. This is not to say all Theologians would agree with Rambam}

Logic and Reason

Does it not seem extremely inefficient  to 'create' billions of planets just so the conditions for life are appropriate on some planets ?

Why start the Universe and then wait billions of years to ‘make’ Earth and then wait billions of years more to 'make' life ?

It is not that the Universe is fine tuned for life, rather life is fine tuned to the Universe. If the Universe conditions were sufficiently different, then life as we know would not exist. Perhaps some other form of life would emerge.

In general the Universe is inhospitable to life. In the long run many Scientists write life in the Universe will end. Even on Earth the environment was hostile to life for billions of years. It is still hostile to living things.

There may be scientific reasons why certain physical constants must be what they are. Scientists tell us the laws such as conservation of energy, mass, momentums are a consequence of certain symmetries. For example there is no privileged place regarding when and where physics experiments are performed. Perhaps a principle will be discovered that will explain why the physical constants are what they are. It may be discovered some of the physical constants need to be correlated with each other, meaning they are not independent.

{ETA 12/19/2016 Page 38 Quantum Field Theory In  A Nutshell by A. Zee 2003. "So you can say that in some sense ultimately the inverse square law comes from rotational invariance !"

[The implication is the inverse square law as found in the force of repulsion or attraction of electrical charges is not given by God. It has to do with certain symmetries.]

Lets assume the unlikely premise that the Universe is fine tuned for life. Plugging God in to explain why it is Fine Tuned is known as the God of the Gaps fallacy.

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