Note: I am loosely following Nicholas Rescher (Axiogenesis) here, by qualifying "the existence of this world" as "the existence of this specific world," where, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" is supplemented or even outright replaced by, "Why are there the kinds of things that there are, and not things of some other kind?"

Let there be some function f(x) such that there are E such that if f(E) = exactly 1, then our world's existence is specifically explained. Differentiate between f-types such that more precisely there are an h(x) (for "how") and a y(x) (for "why"). There's probably a lot of better ways to try to technically picture the idea but hopefully this does the trick for now.

Letting D and M be deities and multiverses respectively:

  1. Take h(D). The concept of divine creation does not represent the existence of this world as a solution to h, however. If a deity creates a world, It doesn't do so by processing yet another separate variable, and as a being equipped with divine simplicity, It's not like It's solving for something "inside" of Itself, either. In this sense, D is an empty solution to h (roughly, h(D) = 0 in that assuming a divine being means not believing in how-explanations in this context).
  2. Take h(M). In this case, since every possible world is a solution to the problem on a more general level, the offered local solution is trivial. So to say, h(M) = n, for any nonzero n (or some other triviality-indicating value).
  3. Take y(D). If there is an all-encompassing intent, an ultimate, "Why?", in the form of some D, then there is a trivial explanation why for anything and everything (the existence of a deity is compatible with every possible intention as such).
  4. Take y(M). In this case, since it is automatic that all sufficiently possible worlds exist, then there is no real why-explanation for any world on this level. So we say y(M) = 0.

Then we have a sort of nice symmetry:

  1. h(D) = 0 = y(M).
  2. y(D) = n = h(M).

Are there deep structural similarities between the concept of deities and the concept of multiverses, such that they (the concepts) play reciprocal roles in universal explanations of different (basic) sorts?

  • 2
    Indeed, anything that can be "explained" by a designer can be explained by a statistical ensemble with sufficiently many realizations, and vice versa. And neither is a good explanation without further evidence that one or the other is at work.
    – Conifold
    May 26, 2023 at 0:59
  • Are you sure about the conclusion (the symmetry)? Don't get me wrong, it makes a whole lotta sense, but something's off about it.
    – Hudjefa
    May 26, 2023 at 1:32
  • @AgentSmith I'm not very confident in using the equals sign, here. I almost tried using the element/set symbol, and I thought about using arrows. Actually, if I used arrows, there might be a way to reformulate the "equivalences" as some kind of commutative diagram (or some similar category-theoretic picture). May 26, 2023 at 1:53
  • @KristianBerry, I see you're putting yer education ta good use. It's a fresh look at the issue and I can see that you're positing certain relationships. From what I can gather, it's beautiful & intuitively on the mark (many scientists would agree, although not necessarily and ... therein lies the rub?). I can also see you were relucant to say y(D) = ZERO = h(M).
    – Hudjefa
    May 26, 2023 at 3:00
  • @AgentSmith I don't know if it's so new, I mean "the multiverse trivially explains the existence of any world" is something I got from a Niel deGrasse Tyson video I watched earlier today :P other than that, I was trying to balance the concepts of efficient/final causality on the one hand, and on the other the concepts of forwards/backwards causation. May 26, 2023 at 3:02


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