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Posted by Harvey on January 18, 2002 20:04:38 UTC

Hi Mario,

***H: What do undefined terms of the axioms refer to? M: Not exactly sure what you mean by this, I really should take Mathematical Theory eventually.***

For example, Hilbert's foundation to geometry has axioms that refer to lines and points. We know what a line and point is because of our experience. However, if the first principle of the universe is that there are axioms, then it is troubling that these axioms that 'exist' and 'causes' the whole mathematical order are based on terms that hold no meaning. This is true for all axioms or logical statements since every such statement eventually must refer to something (otherwise it holds no meaning). The way I resolve this dilemma is by saying that world is undefined at the start. This is the traditional argument that God is a Mystery and that all that exists originates from this Mystery. If you don't allow for this Mystery, then how does your axioms hold any meaning?

***H: I don't think I'm off base by saying that the margin for error is quite small to have a universe with large structures ...... Obviously you can't have life if there aren't large scale structures in the universe. M: Yes, this is true. However I don't see the need to apply any purpose to any of this. For example, the margin of error is quite small for an oyster to produce a good pearl. But does that mean that main reason for the oyster's existence is to produce pearls? "Reason" and "purpose" are both entirely human things.***

The important issue to this remark is that we agree that your question "(a)re you totally sure that if a few details were tweaked than life could never have happened?" is answered with this paper that I posted. If you agree to at least focus on the SAP (strong anthropic principle) and no the WAP (weak anthropic principle) then we can advance our discussion accordingly.

***And assuming the divine order is intelligent, and assuming our universe has a purpose, why would it be us? You still haven't totally answered that question. Does God just want company, or what? Someone to pass the time with?***

We don't have to necessarily know 'why' in order to establish a better ontological theory. We don't even need to accept that intelligence is the focus to accept a divine order where some kind of 'intelligence' is at work in the universe. We need simply to ask which view makes more sense, which view has a higher explanatory power, and which view is actually simpler. This is my argument for divine order. It is, at heart, a very simple and coherent explanation that very much matches with our scientific observations.

***H: If a final state is the reason for the universe (i.e., an Omega point), then evolution of intelligence appears to give the best prospect for further growth. M: Why? It would seem to me that God could program the final result (which is what, by the way?) to any specification he wanted, independent of life. You give us too much credit.***

By offering final state as an alternative I don't mean to diminish process entirely, and by offering process as another alternative I don't mean to diminish state altogether.

What I mean by final state is that there is a transformation process whereby the initial state (that starts with God) converts to some final state. If the initial state was the final state, then there would be no transformation at all. If no transformations were needed, then I don't suspect that there would ever be a universe.

A transformation process could be rather quick by going directly to final state by passing a great deal of natural evolution, however this is not the divine order scheme that I am proposing. The divine order scheme that I am proposing is a natural scheme where God is like an 'axiom' to the world and the order that flows from that 'axiom' is necessitated order. This necessitated order takes the form of a transformation. At no point is there a real 'now'. The whole existence is simply a picture on the wall where the axiom, transformation, and final state are just 'there'. Inside the picture we see the flow of time and the natural transformations that occur gradually over time.

If this is the case, then I don't see many processes in the universe that haven't already repeated themselves. For example, stars have been born and died, blackholes have probably been born and probably have died, etc. One dramatic area of 'new frontier' for the universe appears to be the evolution of new structures that are capable of creating entirely new structures and entirely new storylines for the universe. If there is a final state, it is one of the possibilities. There are other possibilities (e.g., the universe expands for 30 billion years and then stops, etc), however I personally do not see any merit to trivial goals. On the other hand, a universe that studies and knows itself, seems to be a very promising reason for the universe if this view is correct.

***H: If there is no reason for an ensemble universe, then why advocate an ensemble universe. Just say that there is no reason for the fine-tuned qualities of our universe and leave it at that. M: I'm just playing devil's advocate. I don't believe one way or the other on this one (universe/multiverse) I'm just offering up alternatives.***

It's fine offering alternatives, but some alternatives are better than others. I'm saying that a divine order is better than an ensemble universe that exists for no reason. If you think my argument cannot make that justification, then please tell me.

***H: My opinion is that when humans exercise a 'lower good' at the sake of a 'higher good', then we would be in direct conflict with God's overall will (which is driven by the higher good). M: This is pretty questionable. If God had the whole thing planned out from square one (anthropomorphically speaking, of course) then any action is within his will (which you seemed to admit) but also will have immediate and unchangeable effects on the universe. If something happens that has an effect on the Universe contrary to God's will, it can never be fixed.***

But, that's my point. Nothing can happen that is contrary to God's will. That is, the timeline structure is already fixed. What is to happen, has already happened in terms of the overall structure of the timeline. We just haven't gotten to that point on the timeline where we have experienced what is to happen.

***If the WTC towers were never meant to fall over, if that is in direct conflict with the will of God, doesn't that screw up a lot of plans?***

No, if the WTC towers falling were against the necessitated will of God, then they wouldn't have fallen. It would be impossibility.

***A million years from now, a lot of evolution/world changes probably would have been wrought by the offspring of the deceased. A small change compounds itself all the time. If this divine order exists, I would say that NOTHING can happen outside of the plan, nothing can defy the will of the universe, because we're a part of it ourselves, governed by the same natural laws that govern everything else.***

Right, nothing can happen outside the necessitated will (i.e., the structural soundness of the world which includes God's final state for the universe). However, I believe we can be in conflict with God's overall will for how organisms should behave. For example, if quark were conscious entities with some form of free will and arbitrary decided to behave unquark like, this would be in contradiction to God's overall will for how quarks should behave. It doesn't, however, mean that this would somehow conflict with the necessitated will of God. If the quarks after 5 billion years of being 'good quarks' decided to stop being quarklike, God could replace the function that quarks provide and therefore the quarks are without any function.

Of course, quarks aren't conscious entities and they aren't able to change their intrinsic properties. But, there are perhaps entities in the world that can change their properties. If those properties are 'undesireable' for the final state of the world, then this could initiate another process which sets the direction according to the path that it should flow.

Warm regards, Harv

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