A multiverse is highly problematic

I have an argument, that I’m thinking about for quite a while in my mind. And I haven’t seen anyone talking about it somewhere else, yet. So right now, I’m putting it out there to refine and test it and to hear objections.

So the core idea is that, if you use a multiverse hypothesis as an alternative explanation to design to explain any kind of fine-tuning, you are doing it by inflating the number of existent universes to a degree, that a universe that allows acting agents could “randomly” exist. That is the core idea of using a multiverse hypothesis against a Teleological argument.

I see a big problem with this strategy that I call “illusory order”. By inflating the amount of universes you make it also more likely that universes exist, that are completely chaotic, but are expierenced as orderly. If I can show then, that the number of possible universes with “illusory order” is greater than the amount of possible universes with “actual order”, this would destroy any rationality and the basis for science.

This is because it would always be more likely that things won’t happen as science or reason would predict, than the other way around. So holding onto reason and science and an undesigned multiverse would be inconsistent. You should give up either science and reason or the undesigned multiverse.

This was just an overview of the argument. My actual argument goes like this:

First some definitions:

Order = “state of affairs that make acting possible”
Act = “conscious, willful behavior”
Chaos = “state of affairs that makes acting impossible”
illusory order = “state of affairs that allows a ‘pseudo consciousness’ to expierience an illusion of order”

The syllogism:

P1: There is a multiverse
P2: The multiverse can be undesinged
P3: If something is undesigned, it is ultimately arbitrary
C1 From P2+P3: The multiverse is ultimately arbitrary

P4: A universe can only be chaotic or orderly
P5: A chaotic universe can have illusory order.
P6: There are infinitely more universes possible, that have illusory order, than universes that are possible and actually orderly.
P7: We live in a universe of the multiverse.
C2 From P3+P6+P7: If the multiverse is undesigned, chances we live in orderly universe go against zero

C3 From C2+P3: If one thinks in an universe of an undesigned multiuniverse, that science and reason does work, he is most likely mistaken.

P9: If Science and rationality does work, it is highly unlikely that we live in an undesigned multiverse
P10: Science and rationality does work.
P11: The multiverse is almost certainly designed.

That was just the syllogism (which might not be perfectly fleshed out, yet. Feedback is welcome). But I still have to elaborate what I mean with all these terms and premesis.

Now let me give a further clarification what I mean by order. As I defined above it is a state of affairs, that allows acting. Acting requires predictability. An act always tries to achieve a goal and for that to be possible, the states of affairs needs to be predictable to some degree and the world needs to be understandable to some degree.

I give to main examples to explain what illusory order is, why it is infitly more likely than actual order in an undesigned multiverse.

  1. The Laws of Nature.
    Think of any state of affairs the universe could have right now. And then think of all states of affairs the universe could have in the future in oder to be just somewhat predictable. These possible states of affairs are infinitely small compared to all other possible states of affairs.

  2. Memory.
    Think of your memories of the past and how the past actually could have been. The amount of possible pasts that were so contradictory to your memory, that you could not know oder understand anything of the world at all, is infinitely larger than the narrow amount of pasts that at are at least somewhat comparable with your memories.

These two example show that illusory order is from the aspect of possible universes infinitley more likely than actual order.

I have a few comments on this part.

  • The cosmological multiverse is an extension of some models of inflation, particularly models of eternal inflation. There is empirical evidence for some kind of inflation event, but not for eternal inflation as of yet.
  • There is no physical model to describe the values of the physical constants. The large number of universes comes from the string theory landscape. There is some debate as to whether or not our universe is part of the traditional string theory landscape (with a slightly positive cosmological constant), but string theory is one of the most promising physical models for the values of the physical constants. However, it presently has no experimental evidence in support of it. We would need an adequate model to begin evaluating any probabilities of anything (which we don’t have).
  • It makes little sense to hold both the string theory landscape and the eternal inflation cosmological universe in any kind of tight grasp, so I think that pushing back against those that use it as an argument against fine-tuning is warranted.

However, this being said, I personally have a problem with defining specifically how God should have made the universe. I’ve seen Christians and non-Christians argue for all kinds of ways that God would or wouldn’t have created the universe. What I’ve found is that humans tend to argue for their perspective on God from whatever their understanding of the natural world is. For example, we can have atheists talking about the vast uninhabitableness of the universe, or the massive size of the universe and it is a huge waste of space - surely a God wouldn’t have made such a poor universe. But the exact same thing can be used as evidence of the grandness and precision of God as he fine-tuned the total mass density of the universe (or something like that). And hence, why I don’t think the multiverse or fine-tuning are very good scientific or logical arguments for anything. I’ll just go with:


Me personally the idea of a multiverse just simply moves the argument back. How did the multiverse , or first universe or whatever occurred. It does not change anything but move the argument back. It would be like ( this is a metaphor and not a argument for ID) finding a robot that made another robot. Everyone says this robot did it and then they find out well maybe that robot was made and so you work backwards and find out the robot was made in a factory that made the other robots. It does not change the actual argument or data just pushes it back. I feel the same about universes vs multiverse.

The multiverse is simple, uniformitarian common sense - immutable - God or no God.

Going against that for some non-disinterested agenda is even more problematic.

That does not matter concerning my argument. My argument is directed towards the usage of the multiverse as alternative explanation to teleology.

What teleology? Apart from if God is the ground of being. The rational multiverse doesn’t affect that. A lone finite universe is completely irrational and doesn’t argue for a rational teleology.

Unlike @pevaquark (if I understand you correctly), I do not believe in a being that created the entire cosmos. But I entirely agree that arguments based on overly specific assumptions regarding the cosmos are highly speculative. Such arguments are incapable of convincing anyone who isn’t already motivated to be convinced.

I wonder why you, @tiefer_forschen, think you see teleological intention (design) behind some of the features of the cosmos which are more surely known. While it is possible to imagine different cosmic ‘settings’ which would not make possible small oases of conditions favorable to life such as we enjoy here, I see no reason to infer the helpful hand of a cosmic nursemaid setting them at a life-possible position. But to even speak of ‘cosmic settings’ as something capable of being adjusted already assumes a lot.

The multiverse is not problematic in really any way whatsoever. It’s problematic to those who believe in God due to solely the kalam argument or fine tuning argument, but if your faith is grounded in classical theism and personal experience, a multiverse has quite literally zero bearing on anything. If it bothers you, there are some authors such as Don Page (who was linked above) and Jeffrey Zweerink, an astrophysicist out in California, who have written on why a multiverse is not “problematic” for Christian faith.

Of course, classical theism would negate all of this anyway, since Aristotellian, Leibnizian, Plotinus, and other philosophical argumentation for God under classical theism assumed an eternal universe (apart from the Kalam).

There is some good literature on classical theism in general I would recommend if you are still concerned. Feser’s 5 proofs is a good start, as is Does God Exist by Fradd/Delfino which is a bit more simple.

For the more scientifically minded folks on the forum, What is Physics? by Dr. Nigel Cundy, a quantum physicist at Oxford in the UK (http://www.quantum-thomist.co.uk/index.html) is a great resource because he pretty aptly shows how classical theism very much lines up with modern quantum physics. He also is able to (in my opinion) speak the language of those who are very skeptical of philosophical arguments to those who are very scientifically educated.

Sorry I didn’t mean to just join the site and post a million links, I just want to help people see that if they are interested in philosophy there is more than WLC saying that the universe had a beginning and that is God.


Aging pleb that I am, I’ve only just discovered the other name not on your list, Philo.

I’m most suspicious of old Thom, redeemed by his repudiation of his own oeuvre as chaff, and this guy is good on Feser.

So, he’s really not “good” on Feser, or “Good” at anything philosophical. Carrier is not a philosopher, and to be frank has zero clue what he’s talking about. His article is so rife with strawmen and inaccuracies that anyone with some slight knowledge of these arguments know these are complete nonsense. Feser responded to such complaints here, you can see below if you’re interested. Of course, the funniest part to me is that Feser actually shows that Carrier made an argument for pantheism instead of atheism in his response to the divine attributes Feser makes reference to.

If you want to see a real atheist philosopher who knows what he’s talking about and doesn’t just shoot at strawmen, you can watch this video instead of Feser having a civil discussion with Graham Oppy, who I believe is the most articulate and intelligent atheist philosopher of religion out there in modern academia. I would also add that Oppy, being actually trained and educated on these arguments, does not make any reference whatsoever to ANY of these arguments or responses which you claim Carrier is “good” at. Carrier, even in his own field of ancient history is considered an outcast. Bart Ehrman, who is obviously not a Christian and denies the resurrection, won’t even deal with Carrier. That should tell you something.

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Looking forward to it. Told you I was a pleb. Too little, too late!

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All love my man, haha.

Graham and Paul Draper. No doubt

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