NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 54:
Prior to excerpting the Ramana Maharshi disciple, Master Nome in the text below we continue the series: Fine-Tuned Universe , the premise that a small change in several of the dimensionless fundamental physical constants would make the Universe incapable of Life.
Fine-Tuned Universe 34:
[In the unreal reflection called the “Universe”, a product of an unreal Mind, even there, Infinite Intelligence is evident and inspiring.]
Apart from rejecting the claim that the justification for the existence of God is based on some sort of inference to the best explanation, however, one can also object to the atheist’s key assumption that the “designer of an artifact must be at least as complex as the artifact itself.” This assumption is not even clearly true in the human case, since it is at least conceivable that one could produce a computer that is more complicated than oneself, which is a common theme of science fiction. In the case of God, however, we have even less reason to believe it. If the theist were hypothesizing an anthropomorphic god, with a brain and a body, then this objection would be much stronger: one would then be tempted to ask, isn’t that god’s brain and body as much in need of explanation as the universe itself? Thus, this objection might seem to have significant bite against such a conception of God. Within traditional theism, however, God has always been claimed to lack any sort of significant internal complexity. In fact, most of the Western medieval tradition claimed that God was absolutely simple in every way – God did not even have complexity with regard to God’s properties.
Aquinas, for instance, claimed that all of God’s properties (such as God’s omnipotence and perfect goodness) were absolutely identical; these were in turn identical with God’s essence and existence. Although I do not think that this view of God as being absolutely simple is coherent, the point here is that the “who designed God” objection begs the question against traditional theism, by assuming a type of God which traditional theists would all disavow. Even the heirs to traditional theism who deny absolute divine simplicity, claim that God’s overall being is extraordinarily simple. Thus, what these atheists really need to show is that the God of all varieties of traditional theism is logically incoherent insofar as those versions of theism hold on to some form of divine simplicity. This, however, is a very different objection – and a much harder task – than simply raising the “who designed God?” objection and then claiming that one has eliminated the theistic explanation in a single stroke.
More Fundamental Law Objection
One criticism of the Fine-Tuning argument is that, as far as we know, there could be a more fundamental law that entails both the current laws of Physics and the values of the constants of physics. Thus, given such a law, it is not improbable that the laws and constants of physics fall within the life-permitting range. Besides being entirely speculative, three problems confront such a hypothesis. First, although many physicists had hoped that superstring theory would entail all the current laws and constants of physics, that hope has almost completely faded as string theorists have come to recognize that superstring theory (and its proposed successor, M-theory) has many, many solutions, estimated at 10500 or more. Consequently, the prospects of discovering such a fundamental law are much dimmer than they once were. Second, such a fundamental law would not explain the fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. Finally, hypothesizing such a law merely moves the epistemic improbability of the fine-tuning of the laws and constants up one level, to that of the postulated fundamental law itself. Even if such a law existed, it would still be a huge coincidence that the fundamental law implied just those laws and values of the constants of physics that are life‑permitting, instead of some other values.
As astrophysicists Bernard Carr and Martin Rees note “even if all apparently anthropic coincidences could be explained [in terms of some fundamental law], it would still be remarkable that the relationships dictated by physical theory happened also to be those propitious for life” . It is very unlikely, therefore, that the fine‑tuning of the universe would lose its significance even if such a law were verified.
To illustrate the last response, consider the following analogy. Suppose that super-determinism is true: that is, everything about the universe, including its initial conditions, is determined by some set of laws, though we do not know the details of those laws. Now consider a flip of a coin and let Lh and Lt denote the claims that the laws are such as to determine the coin to come up heads and tails, respectively. We would have equal reason to believe that Lh as that Lt. Hence, since Lh entails that the coin will come up heads, and Lt that the coin will come up tails, the epistemic probability of heads remains 50%, and likewise for tails. This would be true even though each of their physical probabilities would be one or zero.
The fact that the laws of nature determine the initial conditions, instead of the initial conditions’ not being determined by any law, has no influence on the epistemic probability. This can be seen also by the fact that when Laplacian determinism was thought to be true, everyone nonetheless gave a fair coin a 50% chance of coming up heads.
Some more selected verses from the Ramana Maharshi disciple Master Nome:
All beings are, by nature, pure Consciousness. Apparent difference from this Consciousness is only illusory appearance due to Ignorance. The illusory difference is removed by comprehending the Knowledge that one is solely Being. Such Knowledge alone is the means to realize immortality, for Being never ceases to be. Nothing else can yield this Realization, for Consciousness is identical with Being. Knowledge is of the nature of Consciousness itself, & there really exists nothing but Being, which is Knowledge or Consciousness.
In relation to all, the Self is the Witness, & being such is attributeless. The Witness is That which never changes, but which knows all the changes – thoughts, modes, & states – of all Minds. The Witness knows all the functions of the Mind in Waking & Dream. In the absence of the Mind’s functions, that is without those 2 states of Waking & Dream, what remains of the Witness is pure Consciousness, which is omnipresent & immutable. This the Self, the true “I” which is free from Ignorance & has no attributeness, no functions, & no qualities, & which is transcendent of all 3 States (waking, dream, deep dreamless sleep). Space-like & never tainted by any of the defects or limitations of the beings that Consciousness indwells, Consciousness alone is the Self.
The Self is free from all notions, forms, & actions. The Self is always 1 – without – a – 2nd. Adi Shankara proclaims that, as long as there is no Self-Knowledge, the identification with the Body & such, & the belief in the authenticity of Sense-Perceptions continue, just as Dreams appear to be true as long as one does not wake up. To spiritually wake up, one must know the Self truly. The Reality of the Self is pure Consciousness with no Duality & with nothing else existing whatsoever. One cannot have simultaneously the Knowledge of the Self along with the idea of oneself as the performer of activity, or an experiencer. For steady unalloyed Knowledge, one should cease such mis-identification.
[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through:
or with Caps-sensitive:
Duplicates (but with graphics) have been available on:
http://www.blogger.com as “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:
“There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.” – the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com/