The Multiverse Instead of God?: Four Philosophical Problems
by Luke Nix
A few weeks ago a skeptic asked me about my concerns with the multiverse as an explanation for the beginning and fine-tuning of the universe. He stated that he did not want a scientific critique, though, because he believes that the multiverse is outside the ability of science to test. He was more interested in my philosophical concerns. Four issues come to mind. None of them remove the possibility of a multiverse in a theistic world; however, two make the multiverse unpalatable in a naturalistic world, and the other two do remove it from possibility in a naturalistic world.
I will start by showing the power of the multiverse as an explanation, and at the same time I will show how two of the issues make a naturalistic multiverse impossible as a naturalistic explanation (but do not necessarily rule it out). I will then describe the two issues that make the naturalistic multiverse even less desirable as an explanation. Finally, I will conclude by demonstrating how all these issues are consistently and comfortably resolved by a theistic worldview (with or without a multiverse).
Current inflationary models and theories of quantum mechanics seem to support the idea that our universe is not the only one that exists. Some theories allow for numerous and even an infinite number of universes. This ensemble is often called the “multiverse.” As mentioned in the introduction, with the apologetic arguments for God’s existence from the beginning of the universe and the fine-tuning of the universe for life, such an alternative explanation seems to hold promise to unseat God from His throne as being the only explanation of the scientific evidence of a beginning and design of the universe.
Many skeptics claim that concluding “God exists” from the apparent design and beginning of the universe is merely a “God-of-the-gaps” argument. The process of elimination is a valid way to argue for a conclusion, but only if all other options have been logically removed. Since the multiverse is now on the table as a possible explanation for the beginning and apparent design of the universe, all alternatives to God have not been removed. Unless the theist logically removes the multiverse from the list of options, the claim that they are employing a “God-of-the-gaps” argument is legitimate. If we can logically eliminate the multiverse from the options, then God is left as the conclusion, and no “God-of-the-gaps” reasoning has taken place.
The first issue that I have regards fine-tuning. The skeptic requested that I stick with philosophical arguments, so I will not introduce anything observable regarding the multiverse, rather I will only appeal to what has been observed in this universe. The current evidence in cosmology and biochemistry show that the universe’s physical laws are extremely fine-tuned for advanced life’s existence and that a statistically impossible series of events took place to result in the origin of life…
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