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The fine tuning argument posits a designer because if certain parameters were changed a bit, life would not exist. The chance of this is considered to be very small so a designer is posited. I’m not sure how this calculation comes about since as far as I’m aware, I don’t think these constants were produced as part of some lottery process, but let’s just assume the “chance”, whatever it means, is very low.

My question is this: Suppose, for instance, this set of particular fundamental constants occupied another set of values, a set of values not conducive to life.

The probability of this set of values would be just as low as the set of values that is conducive to life (assuming a uniform distribution of course). Why can’t one then use this fact to posit a God that simply wanted these particular constants to come about?

In other words, why is a God that wanted this set of particular constants to come about any less likely to exist than a God that wanted a set of particular constants that are conducive to life? Sure, we can imagine a God who cares more about life more easily than one who would care about some other arbitrary set of constants, but I fail to see how this makes a difference as to how likely it is for these kinds of gods to exist.

Given that we have no verifiable evidence of God prior to learning about these fundamental constants, how can one justify this difference in likelihood? If this cannot be justified, then doesn’t this mean any set of constants would be equivalent evidence for a particular god, hence removing the power behind the fine tuning argument?

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  • In other words, are you asking: "Why god wants life on Earth?" ? May 18 at 8:58
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    Agreed: we want that god exists. We want that god loves us. May 18 at 9:24
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    "Suppose, for instance, this set of particular fundamental constants occupied another set of values, a set of values not conducive to life... Why can’t one then use this fact to posit a God that simply wanted these particular constants to come about?" Because there wouldn't be anyone alive to use this fact for anything.
    – Conifold
    May 18 at 9:29
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    I don't think so, no! I'm just happy that someone's trimmed the tree - I was beginning ta worry about humanity's place in the ... cosmos? 🙂 May 18 at 10:59
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    The chance considered to be very small is not for the specific choice of the constants we encounter, but for the set of choices that allow life. The probability of the complementary set is not "just as low", it is much larger, which is why not being in it is called "fine-tuning".
    – Conifold
    May 18 at 12:40

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Yes, the chances of any other specific set of universal constants might be the same as the chance of the set associated with our universe, so you could say that the chance of any type of universe arising is equally likely. However, that is not the point of the fine-tuning argument. The point of that argument is that out of all the possible ways in which the universe might have come about, the likelihood of it coming about in a way that supports life is lower than the chance of it not supporting life.

To make the point more clearly, suppose you role a dice, and if it comes up one then conditions in the universe will support life, whereas if it comes up another number conditions will not support life. The probability of rolling any number is the same as the probability of rolling any other, ie 1/6. However, the probability of the Universe not supporting life is 5/6, which is greater than the probability of it supporting life- ie, you have to take into account that there are five ways not to support life and only one way to support it.

For the avoidance of doubt, I should stress that I consider the fine-tuning argument to be empty nonsense.

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  • Why does that categorization matter though? If you roll a dice, I could also categorize the outcomes as “2” or “not 2” after the fact. The probability of the latter is much higher. Does this mean that it was designed to be rolled 2? You will likely say no, presumably because it’s not important. But why would importance matter? It seems to only matter, again, if a God who wants to produce life or roll a “1” is more likely to EXIST than a God who wants a “2” to roll even if it doesn’t support life. But why make that assumption given our complete lack of experience with gods? May 18 at 15:52
  • @thinkingman agreed, hence the last sentence of my answer. It's all bilge. May 18 at 16:23
  • @thinkingman no one would be around after the fact to do any categorizing if it came up 2. We know that for sure. As to God, yes, we have no bananas.
    – Scott Rowe
    May 18 at 16:23

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