NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 55:
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 35:
[In the unreal reflection called the “Universe”, a product of an unreal Mind, even there, Infinite Intelligence is evident and inspiring.]
A similar sort of response can be given to the claim that fine-tuning is not improbable because it might be logically necessary for the constants of physics to have life-permitting values. That is, according to this claim, the constants of physics must have life-permitting values in the same way 2 + 2 must equal 4, or the interior angles of a triangle must add up to 180 degrees in Euclidian geometry. Like the “more fundamental law” proposal above, however, this postulate simply transfers the epistemic improbability up one level: of all the laws and constants of physics that conceivably could have been logically necessary, it seems highly epistemically improbable that it would be those that are life-permitting, at least apart from some sort of axiarchic principle.
Other Life-Permitting Laws Objection
According to what I call the “Other Life-Permitting Laws Objection,” there could be other life-permitting sets of laws that we know nothing about. This objection is directly answered by the way in which I have formulated the fine-tuning argument. As I formulated it, the fine-tuning argument does not assume that ours is the only possible set of life-permitting laws. Rather, it only assumes that the region of life-permitting laws (or constants or initial conditions) is very small compared to the region for which we can determine whether the laws, constants, or initial conditions are life-permitting – that is, what I called the epistemically illuminated (EI) region. In the case of the constants of nature, it assumed only that given our current laws of nature, the life-permitting range for the values of the constants of physics (such as gravity) is small compared to the surrounding EI range for which we can determine whether or not a value is life-permitting.
Other Forms of Life Objection
As raised against the Fine-Tuning argument based on the constants of Physics, this objection claims that as far as we know, other forms of non-carbon based life could exist even if the constants of physics were different. So, it is claimed, the Fine-Tuning argument ends up presupposing that all forms of embodied, conscious life must be carbon-based. Besides the extreme difficulty of conceiving of how non-carbon based material systems could achieve the sort of self-reproducing material complexity to support embodied moral agents, another problem with this objection is that many cases of fine-tuning do not presuppose that all life must be carbon based. Consider, for instance, the cosmological constant. If the cosmological constant were much larger than it is, matter would disperse so rapidly that no planets and indeed no stars could exist. Without stars, however, there would be no stable energy sources for complex material systems of any sort to evolve. So, all the fine-tuning argument presupposes in this case is that the evolution of embodied moral agents in our universe require some stable energy source. This is certainly a very reasonable assumption.
Weak Anthropic Principle Objection
According to the weak version of so-called anthropic principle, if the laws of nature were not fine-tuned, we should not be here to comment on the fact. Some have argued, therefore, that LPU is not really improbable or surprising at all under NSU, but simply follows from the fact that we exist. The response to this objection is simply to restate the argument in terms of our existence: our existence as embodied moral agents is extremely unlikely under NSU, but not improbable under theism. As explained in section 4.3, this requires that we treat LPU and our existence as “old evidence,” which we subtract from our background information. This allows us to obtain an appropriate background information k¢ that does not entail LPU. The other approach was to use the method of probabilistic tension, which avoided the issue entirely.
There are arguments for the existence of conditional epistemic probabilities for P(A|B &k’) even when A implies our own existence. These provide the formal underpinnings in support of the intuitions underlying the “firing-squad” analogy offered by John Leslie and others in response to this objection. As Leslie points out, if 50 sharp shooters all miss me, the response “if they had not missed me I wouldn’t be here to consider the fact” is inadequate. Instead, I would naturally conclude that there was some reason why they all missed, such as that they never really intended to kill me. Why would I conclude this ? Because, conditioned on background information k′ that does not include my continued existence – such as the background information of a third-party observer watching the execution – my continued existence would be very improbable under the hypothesis that they intended to kill me, but not improbable under the hypothesis that they did not intend to kill me.
Some more selected verses from the Ramana Maharshi disciple Master Nome:
In the Waking State, one experiences the Interior & the Exterior, what is sensed & what is thought. In the Dream State, the situation is the same. Both what is sensed & what is thought in both States are not the Self & are unreal. The contents of both what is sensed & what is thought in both Waking & Dream states should not be regarded as defining the Self. When what is sensed & what is thought are falsely associated with the Self, this is superimposition. No activity of the Exterior & the Interior yields Liberation. The activity of an unreal superimposition cannot yield eternal, real Liberation from that unreality.
Liberation is by Knowledge alone & Knowledge is neither sensory nor conceptual in nature. The Self that is realized by such Knowledge has neither Inner nor Outer, but is ever-existent, omnipresent, indivisible, & ineffable.
The true nature of the individual self is actually Brahman. There is only one Self, whether imagined to be individualized, or else realized as it truly is. If one inquires into this apparently individualized self, all that one finds is the Self, which is Brahman. All that is thought to make oneself different from the Self can be relinquished by the Self-Inquiry that negates mis-identification, which is the questioning “Who am I ?” For this reason the Upanshads instruct neti, neti “not this, not this”.
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:
[But from now on, they will be different & still usually daily.]
“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/