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15. The Argument to God from Fine-Tuning


Subject Philosophy » Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Science

Place Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1600-1699

People Newton, Sir Isaac

Key-Topics fine-tuning (physics)

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189217.2010.00017.x


In this chapter I consider the data that not merely is the universe governed by laws of nature, but that these laws are fine-tuned for the evolution of human-type bodies. Human bodies are public objects which enable conscious human beings to learn about the world and to make a difference to it. Hence they need sense organs, an information processor, a memory bank, brain states causing good and bad desires influencing but not fully causing purposes which then cause brain states, and a processor to turn these latter states into limb movements. I argue that even if the universe is governed by simple laws of nature, it is most improbable that the laws and the boundary conditions of the universe would have the characteristics needed to produce such human bodies; but that if there is a God it is quite probable that they would have these characteristics. Hence “fine-tuning” increases the probability of the existence of God beyond that reached in the previous chapter. I argued in chapter 13 that an explanatory hypothesis h was rendered probable by evidence e in so far as h has great explanatory power (that is, it makes the occurrence of e probable, when it would not otherwise be probable), and h has great prior probability. When we are dealing with a very large-scale hypothesis such as theism, prior probability is primarily a matter of its intrinsic probability which is primarily ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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