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Featured What is Fine Tuning in General?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by cloudyday2, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    There is another thread on fine tuning, but I have a more basic question. I am confused about the general philosophy/math/whatever of "fine tuning" and "intelligent design" arguments for God.

    Here is my understanding of the argument using an analogy. I am standing in a maze facing an obelisk. I assume that the purpose of the universe is for me to find something interesting like this obelisk. I recall all the correct choices I had to make from the time I entered this maze until I found this obelisk, and I think about the low probability of reaching this destination by random decisions. Therefore, I conclude that God was at work somehow.

    If my analogy is correct, then I think "fine tuning" and "intelligent design" make the mistake of assuming a divine purpose to our current circumstances. Maybe God's goal was to create a perfectly empty universe or something as opposed to the universe we have.
     
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  2. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    I don't think your analogy really works. But, fine tuning is merely a factual observation, not an argument in itself.
     
  3. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Doesn't the idea of tuning assume a purpose? If I am listening to music on the radio, and I notice that slight adjustment of the dial in either direction causes static, then I might say the radio is "finely tuned" to that particular station. However, maybe God likes listening to static instead of the lousy music on that station. Maybe God is frustrated that out of all the possible adjustments, the tuner found that awful radio station.
     
  4. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    Honestly I've been pondering the question trying to answer as if I were agnostic, but I can't think of anything except that tuning assumes a tuner. Which I guess has to include purpose, if nothing else but the purpose of bringing forth the effects obtained by the tuning.
     
  5. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    It seems to me that the "fine tuning" and "intelligent design" arguments boil-down to claiming that the current natural state is not "random" - it is purposeful ... and that purpose is to create the current natural state (or something with similarly "desirable" properties).
     
  6. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    That's what it looks like.
     
  7. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    An atheist might say that the current natural state is "random" and without purpose. We perceive "desirable" properties in the current natural state, because they are comfortable and familiar for us.
     
  8. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    That's just an empty assertion unless they have facts to support it.
     
  9. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    It's no worse than saying that everything has purpose - which seems to be one of the assumptions of the "fine tuning" and "intelligent design" arguments. In other words, these arguments assume the proposition that they seek to prove, so it seems to be a case of "begging the question".
     
  10. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    The answer they offer is that a fine tuned universe works and the infinite number of poorly tuned ones do not. You missed out on the randomly created universes that fizzled.

    This view assumes infinite tests, or infinite multiple universes.
     
  11. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    But when we say "the fine tuned universe works", we are assuming that the purpose of this universe matches its current properties. Maybe God prefers universes that only hold together for a split second before self destructing - more like a firecracker. Maybe our universe is a real disappointment to God, because it was a dud.
     
  12. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    The whole idea is that we appreciate what we have becasue we are here.
    We have less respect for failed realities. So ours looks impressive and
    "seems" designed. That's what "they" say against the design model.

    I thinks it's just sour grapes becasue God doesn't win superbowls in their favor.
     
  13. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    If it's no worse, then flip a coin I guess. Go with the belief that everything looks designed but isn't (don't believe your lying eyes), or the belief that everything looks designed because it is. :)
    As I see it, it's not "assuming the proposition", it's just that you can't use the metaphor to describe the observation without implying what the metaphor implies - tuning implies a Tuner.
    It's not a good answer, it's just a hand-waving. You should see the video I posted in the other tuning thread. It's short and good: Fine Tuning
     
  14. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    This is the "New Atheists," strawman circular version of the fine-tuning argument. Also called God of the gaps. It is fallacious (the strawman version).

    Fine-tuning is a feature of our universe.

    The question is which inference best describes the data we have evidence for? Chance? Necessity? Design? Some combination of those?

    "
    “Fine-tuning” with respect to nature’s fundamental constants and quantities means that small deviations from the actual values of the constants and quantities in question would render the universe life-prohibiting or, alternatively, that the range of life-permitting values is exquisitely narrow in comparison with the range of assumable values."

    So we are not to "read in" design here. There is a causal analysis to see if physical necessity (such as the location of the electron shells for any specific molecule determines a small number of possible states for electrons to be located).

    P1 - The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.

    P2 - It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

    Argument - Therefore, it is due to design.

    We could use the same argument to prove the 4 presidents on Mt Rushmore are "designed!"


    Read more: The New Atheism and Five Arguments for God | Reasonable Faith
    Fine Tuning | Reasonable Faith
    Read more: Is “Fine-Tuning” Question-Begging? | Reasonable Faith
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  15. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    No.

    Brandon Carter really did hit on something. And Antony Flew was "the" atheist of his day and was swayed by the force of the data. Remember that Flew and many that have and are perplexed by fine-tuning are or were atheists.

    World-class physicists and philosophers, not a bunch of NECs making stuff up.

    So properties of this universe fall between an incredibly small range and there is nothing in our understanding of physics that necessitates this fine-tuning.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  16. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Responding to your quote above, the flaw I see is to assume that if a Designer exists, then His/Her design goal was obviously life. In the original flood story the gods were annoyed by the noisiness of life and decided to wipe it out for that reason. Why wouldn't a Designer want to create some different kind of universe that we might consider to be a "failure" for creating life?

    That's my basic point. We humans are being very conceited to assume that human life or something equally "intelligent" was somebody's goal.
     
  17. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    Pretend you're not human and look at the numbers. The situation will look exactly the same.
     
  18. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    And while some may make this assumption, the fine-tuning argument doesn't.

    Other may assume a designer does NOT exist.

    So assumptions or presumptions used in support of an argument for the truth of those assumptions does give us a circular argument.

    Again, there is no assumption that "human life is special," in the FTP.

    We could be looking for the same question regarding beryllium and the method wouldn't change one iota.

    Fred Hoyle, a world-renowned cosmologist and outspoken atheist (when the data was first coming out about fine-tuning in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s), stated the following,

    "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."

    Fine Tuning | Reasonable Faith
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  19. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    @Chesterton and @Uber Genius , I am not saying that human life is assumed as a goal - I am saying that life is assumed as a goal. Why should life be the goal? Why wouldn't a designer seek to have a completely empty universe or some other possibility? There are all kinds of different paintings created by artists with different goals. Why wouldn't God desire a universe that dies almost as soon as it begins like a firecracker?
     
  20. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    A firecracker universe would be designed to do that then, wouldn't it? And this one would still be what it is.

    I'm not really clear what you're saying. Are you trying to make God responsible for a multiverse, so that we're still designed, but we're one design of many attempts, and ours is just an unintended design?
     
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