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Hi Philosophers, I have a burning question that is troubling me relating the religion versus science debate. I hope I articulate it well enough. Here goes. Mathematically, physicists are close to proving that a multiverse exists. Assuming they do prove this, and that as part of this proof it is deemed that infinity universes exist with both every conceivable and inconceivable possibility and outcome occurring throughout, then is it not fair to say that God certainly exists in at least one of these infinite possibility universes? Adversely, it is also fair to assume that God certainly does not exist in at least one of these universes? Then consider that if God certainly exists in at least one universe, and he is the all-seeing, all-knowing God that religion states he is, then how can he certainly not exist in at least one of the infinite universes? To say that God definitely exists is to, by definition of God, say that he exists everywhere and created everything, yet this notion within the multiverse...

Great question (and great response by Allen). Let me just add a tiny bit, by encouraging you to check out both Norman Malcolm's and Alvin Plantinga's work on the ontological argument. (The latter is a lot more technical and difficult, so start with the former.) From them you get something like the idea that if God exists at all, He exists necessarily (for God surely isn't a contingent being); to say that God exists necessarily is to say that He exists in every possible world. But now, if it's even possible that God exists -- i.e. the idea of God contains no contradictions -- then God would exist in at least one possible world. But if He exists at all He exists in every possible world, so if He exists in one PW He exists in every PW. Now is it possible that God exists? Does the idea of God involve any contradictions? Lots of discussion in the history of philosophical theology on that topic (lots of purported contradictions posed, then response to), but lots of people, even many ordinary atheists, think...

Greetings, I've been pissing off my scientist friends and delighting creationists with the notion that both contemporary cosmology and Christianity share a fundamental ontology - first there was nothing and then there was everything. The Big Bang is a story of miraculous creation. Therefore, both have equivalent epistemological status - either both are the Truth, or both are just good stories. I am particularly interested in arguments against. Cheers, Chris Alexander, NC

What fun! But there are disanalogies -- the Christian view doesn't quite hold there ever was nothing, for there always was God -- and also I don't think it's exactly accurate to describe the Big Bang as 'first there was nothing then there was something' (it's rather: everything in the universe can be traced backwards to a singularity/explosion but nothing can be said about what if anything preceded that moment) -- but more importantly I would take issue with your claim that they have equivalent 'epistemological status' (if you m ean that in any technical sense): for scientists believe in the Big Bang as a result of a tremendous amount of empirical evidence while religious belief in divine creation is based on no such thing. So even IF both were versions of 'first nothing, then something,' the reasons for believing in them are extremely, profoundly, and fundamentally different -- hence they differ in epistemological status. hope that's useful -- best, Andrew Pessin