Using the Fine-Tuning Argument to disprove God

atomicdogg34
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Using the Fine-Tuning Argument to disprove God

i came up with an argument against the fine-tuning argument for the existence of God, well not so much an argument against as much as turning it on its head and using it, as it is, as an argument against God

i would like some constructive criticisms of the argument and to know what you think

here it is (copied and pasted from my FB blog):

 

I’ve been thinking alot lately about the fine-tuning argument for the existence of God.  It’s perhaps the best argument the theist has in his arsenal.  I must add that “best” is very subjective in this case since it isn’t a very good argument at all, but it’s the probably the best they have. 

I’ve come up with what I think (hope) is an original argument against fine-tuning (if you’ve heard/read it before I’d love to have the source as to properly credit it).

The argument doesn’t take the same form as others, where I try and show the inaccuracies and falsities of the argument for fine-tuning.  Here, I’m willing to grant them all, to take the argument at face value as true and to try and show that even if I do so it’s an argument against God (and by god I mean the Judeo-Christian God that most people believe in, admittedly you could postulate a god that could still work, but it wouldn’t be the God of Judaism and Christianity, which most people believe in).

To begin we must go over what exactly the fine-tuning argument is.  It’s framed usually as follows:

The fundamental constants of the universe appear to be fine-tuned for life.  We know this because if they were altered by even the slightest of margins we wouldn’t have a universe in which life would have come about.  The constants necessarily had to be what they are in order to have a universe in which we have life.  To explain why the constants are what they are and not something else we need a fine-tuner or God.

This is a simplified version, but you get the idea.  People who go for this argument may try and complicate it with jargon and fancy language but the premise is the same.  The constants have to be what they are because if they weren’t we would have a universe in which life could not have arose, and to get these constants we must have a fine-tuner.

Now, if we take this all at face value as true what are the implications?

Sadly, they are not what the theist would hope they are.  Firstly, it has to be pointed out that for an omnipotent God the fundamental constants would be irrelevant.  An omnipotent God could have created us in a universe with any set of constants had he chose to.  But this is not the line of thinking the theist takes.  The constants had to be what they are because, as they claim, if they were different we would have no life. 

This is where they make their fatal mistake in their line of reasoning for the implications of it are devastating to their case.  If the constants necessarily had to be what they are than that implies that there is some set of governing rules that even God must follow, that supercede his power.  If God HAD to fine-tune the universe to these particular set of constants because not doing so would not have allowed him to bring life into existence (and as they claim in their argument, a different set and theres no life) than God is indeed NOT omnipotent.

And if God is not omnipotent, than he is not God.

So the fallout from this is two-fold:  either the theist must abondon this argument because God is omnipotent and the fundamental constants are irrelevant or, if they insist, they destroy the very concept of the God they are trying to defend.

Pick your poison.

 


star_stuff
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better arguments

I think, as you said, that your argument is more just turning the theist's argument upside down and exposing its flaws. There are, however, two good arguments against the fine-tuned argument:

The Anthropic Principle - states that the laws of the universe must be compatible for life otherwise we would not be here to make the observation to begin with. In other words, it is no coincidence or chance that we happen to live in a universe that allows us to live in it (duh!).

The Second Law of Thermodynaics - states that in a closed system entropy (chaos) must increase. Therefore, at the moment of the big bang (which many theists today finally recognize) the universe was at maximal entropy and thus had to expand to make room for more entropy. Since then, it continues to expand and create local order (galaxies, stars, planets, life, etc) but also increases its entropy. How is this an argument against fine-tuning? Simply that if a creator fine-tuned the universe then he would have had to have inserted the laws at the moment of creation. There was no such order at the moment of the big bang, and the second law of thermodynamics requires that the universe have entropy otherwise it can't expand.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that miraculous order was imposed from the outside. The laws of nature look exactly as they should look in a closed universe that appeared on its own without the influence of a creator.

It is simply logical that the universe was not fine-tuned

But, that said, I like your idea that if God had to follow the cosmological constants than he must not be omnipotent and therefore cannot be God. That is kind of a faint allusion to the anthropic principle; looking at it under a different light.

I am unsure if your argument has been made before, I am sure it has. But kudos to you for thinking it up yourself.


atomicdogg34
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star_stuff wrote:I think, as

star_stuff wrote:

I think, as you said, that your argument is more just turning the theist's argument upside down and exposing its flaws. There are, however, two good arguments against the fine-tuned argument:

The Anthropic Principle - states that the laws of the universe must be compatible for life otherwise we would not be here to make the observation to begin with. In other words, it is no coincidence or chance that we happen to live in a universe that allows us to live in it (duh!).

The Second Law of Thermodynaics - states that in a closed system entropy (chaos) must increase. Therefore, at the moment of the big bang (which many theists today finally recognize) the universe was at maximal entropy and thus had to expand to make room for more entropy. Since then, it continues to expand and create local order (galaxies, stars, planets, life, etc) but also increases its entropy. How is this an argument against fine-tuning? Simply that if a creator fine-tuned the universe then he would have had to have inserted the laws at the moment of creation. There was no such order at the moment of the big bang, and the second law of thermodynamics requires that the universe have entropy otherwise it can't expand.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that miraculous order was imposed from the outside. The laws of nature look exactly as they should look in a closed universe that appeared on its own without the influence of a creator.

It is simply logical that the universe was not fine-tuned

 

agreed

i was looking at it as sort of co-opting the argument for our side instead of pointing out the scientific fallacies and downright falsehoods in it

i was willing to except the premise and show that in doing so the theist still doesnt get the desired result, a sort if "if this were true" type thing


atomicdogg34
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i guess my main goal with

i guess my main goal with this was too cut off this argument entirely from a theist's use

to debate the science of it you have to sort of get down into the weeds a bit, which can be hard for the average person to grasp, and i think it sort of, unintentionally, lends credence that this is a scientific argument and your arguing over particulars, which isnt the case

so i want to make this argument unusable by the theist without ever having to get into the particulars of the science where the theist can always mislead and confuse (or just flatly lie)


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I've used variations of the

I've used variations of the argument itself before, but I've never seen it applied in this particular context before. I like it. Smiling

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I'd not thought of this Atomic

Nice work. That's a fatal flaw in the perfect for life argument. We could after all, breath pure hydrogen if god wanted us to.

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I don't think fine-tuning

I don't think fine-tuning ever was an argument for God. Most it ever was is an intelectual bullshit exercise - fun and games for people who don't really believe at all. Kierkegaard would reject that kind of an argument in an instant and he was a thoroughly faithful Christian.

In fact, the moment you can step into a "rational discussion" with arguments about God with a "believer" who uses rational arguments, you can cite Kierkegaard and assert that the person you are discussing with is an atheist, no matter what he thinks he is.

The logic is really simple and intuitive: The moment you start discussing rational justification for belief, the belief has no longer anything to do with your discussion. You are talking rational recognition, and rational recognition is far from belief. If the "believer" you are discussing with is not aware of this, he is as blasphemic as you are yourself.

This does not stop all discussion, of course. You and I can discuss earthly effects of such belief with rational arguments and you can do the same with an actual theist. The theist will maybe be able to tell you why he belies in God, but will be completely disinterested in providing a rational background for his belief - because there simply is none and he is just fine with that.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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They can use the "fine

They can use the "fine tuning" argument but that says a lot about how fucked up claiming "all powerful" as a claim is.

If you are a Donnald Trump and you own a factory, your goal is to maximize output, not to put 99% energy into production only to produce 1% product. If one is "all powerful" then the production rate should be 100% input with 100% output.

So if these idiots want to claim "fine tuning" that would make God the worst manufacturer of all.

WHAT WE DO HAVE are human beings making up super heros. That is rational. If one can accept another's "all powerful" being claim as flawed and absurd, what they fail to see is that the concept itself, by any name, is absurd.

What explains why people hold these absurd propositions is that they allow their sense of awe "seeing the good" to equate to magical super heros in where gaps are in human knowledge. What the atheist sees is BOTH the pretty in nature AND the fare more amount of natural destruction accepting that BOTH are not a result of Superman vs Lex Luthor.

There have been billions before this generation of humans who have lived, and billions now living. Think about one sperm load from one man. Think about the fact that they have emissions throughout their lives and for each emission the millions of sperm die, and, only one, after multiple attempts, only one sperm will make it to the egg. That would mean throughout human evolution, trillions of googols of sperm DO NOTHING! That is a shitload of waste if one is claiming a perfect god.

 

Same with acorns off of trees. The majority rot and do not become trees.

What that says to me is that there is no god, and life is merely LUCKY! It also says to me that people merely project human qualities on the world around them because a placebo god is more comforting and lazy a tactic than actually looking for real answers;.

I don't think believers understand that humanity IS NOT at the apex of evolution. BACTERIA and cockroaches outnumber humans. Eagles have better eyesight than humans. Our species IS NOT special to evolution and either by our own hand, or by environment or the cosmos, our species will go extinct too. That is not fatalistic or magically Satanism. It is merely an acceptance of reality without superstition or myth.

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To paraphrase P.Z. Myers,

To paraphrase P.Z. Myers, "I'd be more amazed if we lived in a universe that wasn't suitable for life."

Really, the cosmological argument has one other major flaw: it's based on a false premise. The universe is "fine-tuned" the same way that bees aren't supposed to be able to fly. One back-of-the-napkin exercise that is flawed to begin with.

Computer models indicate that there's an infinite number of combinations of cosmological constants. These wouldn't necessarily turn out to be universes exactly like ours, of course, but they would be workable systems in which stable matter would form. So really, there's no "fine-tuning." It's just that our universe is one of an infinite number of possible stable universes.

Secondly, it ignores the probability that the cosmological constants are stable by necessity. By that I mean, just as 1+1=2, there is a balance. That '=' means quite a bit in an equation. It means not just that they are equivalent, but that they are effectively the same. Now consider the case where paired particles pop in and out of existence all the time. These "virtual particles" are perfectly balanced, not because of some fine tuning, but because of necessity. The conservation of energy (matter is energy) demands that virtual particles be of exactly the same magnitude, but opposite signs.

It might very well be that we find ourselves in a stable, interesting universe because there is no other kind. The very nature of the universe might account for this "fine-tuning."

Anyway, that's an interesting twist. I doubt it's going to curtail any theists who employ the cosmological argument, but it is an interesting twist.

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If there were anything I

If there were anything I would call a god, it would be the human ability to make shit up. The good thing is that even imagination cannot be a god, because it can readily be blown away by the scrutiny of replication and falsification.

Until something can be compared to something else, it is a naked assertion. Newton was a smart guy, but his alchemy was bullshit. Gene Rodenbury had no way of knowing that cell phones would become a reality, But no sane person would claim that Klingons are real because of a "guess" he made that happened to play into a plausible reality.

The grandest self inflicted mind scam humans fall for is the idea that a magical invisible super brain, with no brain, no body and no neurons, is floating out there, everywhere and nowhere at the same time, meddling in human affairs. The cure to absurdity is the sunlight of scrutiny without fear.

I can no more swallow this absurd claim of a super hero than sane people should go around claiming the earth is flat. It is way past time for humanity to discard their childish invisible friends in the sky. Deity belief is nothing but Peter Pan for adults.

 

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Which came first? The chicken or the fine tuning?

It is a modern variation on the old "best of all possible worlds" nonsense. The world is designed to permit human life. If it were not who would be here to observe that it is not? E.T. obviously but besides him who?

So get together some believers who have with great difficulty can understand some of what The Science Guy is trying to say, have them memorize some scientific terms which they have no hope of ever understanding, and let them mavel they are alive to have fancy terms to memorize. It does impart of general feeling of superiority to know scientific terms.

For them it is no different from Star Trek technobabble but that does not appear to bother them.

To have some devilish fun, should one of them actually speak it to you personally, pick one of the terms and ask them to explain what is means. OTOH ask how the fine structure constant differs from the gross structure constant. Odds on they will try to pretend to know what the gross structure constant is. It is good for a laugh.

 

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