a new proof for the existence of God ...

... from assumptions about many worlds.

I believe the following proof is a variation of Plantinga's ontological argument and continues my theological studies. But I think this new argument is sufficiently different from those previous attempts and therefore should be interesting to the reader.

1) We assume the existence of a multiverse M, which contains all possible worlds. [*]

2) M contains our world Wo.

3) It is possible that there is a world Wg created by the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God.

3b) Therefore M contains the world Wg which was evidently created by God.

4) If M = { Wo, W1, W2, ... Wg ... } contains one world created by God then
we must assume God created all worlds in M (otherwise God would not be omnipresent).

5) Therefore, if we assume the existence of many worlds as above, it follows that our world Wo was created by God.

6) While the above conclusion is already sufficient, we can go one step further to clarify the
meaning of 5):

The existence and creation of our world is independent of other worlds (see first footnote),
therefore God created our world regardless of assumption 1). [**]

[*] M is not necessarily the multiverse of string cosmology or related to the many worlds of quantum theory; We only assume that M contains all possible worlds independently and independent of specific theories.

As you will notice, the infinite character of M does not really play a role
in the proof, so one need not worry about antinomies related to the set of all possible sets etc.

[**] Consider the sentence s = "If it rains in Australia, then my dog barks here in Vienna."
We know that the fact of a dog barking in Europe is independent of rain falling in Australia.
Therefore, if we know that s is indeed true, then we know that the dog barks (regardless of what happens in Australia).

added later: It seems that some have a problem with 3) which implies the *possibility* that God exists. I would recommend to re-read this previous blog post, in particular paragraph 2 and 3 and footnote [2], for an explanation why such atheistic doubt is not rational.


Jonathan Livengood said...

I assume that this proof shares the same fate as Plantinga's, namely that if (3) turns out to be false -- if it is not possible that there is a world Wg that God obviously created -- then God turns out to be necessarily non-existent. Is that right?

Also, I'm not sure about the independence claim. Could you say a bit more about how it works?

wolfgang said...

Yes, this sort of proof demonstrates the existence of God from his possible existence.

One twist of this proof is that it does not directly emphasize the existence of God but rather the existence of a world created by God (to circumvent some of the usual counterarguments).

wolfgang said...

In order to better explain the independence assumption of 6) consider MM a meta-multiverse, which contains all possible multiverses.

MM contains Mg , a multiverse as considered in the proof Mg = { Wo, ... Wg ...} but also a simple multiverse Mo = {Wo} which contains only our world.

We know that Mg was created by God and therefore Mo has to be created by God too (using the same reasoning as used in the proof).

Therefore, the answer to the question if our world Wo was created by God does not depend on the number or existence of other worlds in the multiverse.

Ponder Stibbons said...

Doesn't the possible existence of a world created by God imply the possible existence of God? If so, I don't see how it circumvents the "usual counterarguments".

wolfgang said...

The proof uses "created by" as the key predicate instead of "exists" and I hope
this circumvents e.g. the argument made by Kant that existence is not a predicate.

Also, some argue that the "existence of God" is already problematic, because he is so different from any other being that he cannot exist in the same sense as other beings.

But you are right. The proof assumes that it is *possible* that God exists and that he created our world.

Jonathan Livengood said...

Okay, thinking about it a bit more, I am really worried about how you are using "omnipresence" in your proof.

Counter-proof: (3*) It is possible that there is a world W~g that was not created by the (an? -- I'm not sure how we get uniqueness) triple-O God.

Therefore, (3b*) M contains a world W~g that was evidently not created by God.

(4*) But if M contains one world not created by God, then God is not omnipresent.

Hence, (5*) the Triple-O God does not exist.

I don't find either proof persuasive, because I don't think "omnipresent" means "present in all possible worlds." Rather, I take "omnipresent" to mean something more like "present everywhere in the actual world."

Treating "omnipresence" the way you do seems to me to presuppose (at the very least) a very strong form of modal realism.

And incidentally, how do you go from "present at Wx" to "created Wx"? Couldn't the God characterized in your proof exist at all of the worlds but only have created a few of them? Maybe God created lesser gods that then actualized some possible worlds on the condition that God would be able to fill them?

wolfgang said...

>> M contains a world W~g that was evidently not created by God.

I thought about that and I think you found a spot in this proof that needs more clarification.

My answer (for now) is the following:

If G created Wg then there can be
evidence about G in Wg.

But if G does not exist and/or did
not create W~g then W~g cannot contain evidence about G.

Therefore "M contains a world W~g that was *evidently* not created by God." contains a contradiction imho.

wolfgang said...

>> I take "omnipresent" to mean

I understand omnipresence like the omnipresence of a mathematical statement.

If Fermat's last theorem is true in Vienna, then it is also true in Australia, in the Andromeda galaxy and in all other worlds.

wolfgang said...

After more thought, I think that the proof could be modified as follows:

it is possible that our world Wo was created by God

we include in M only worlds which were possibly created by God

M contains a world Wg which was evidently created by God

the proof then proceeds ...

But as long as I am convinced that W~g cannot exist such a modification is not necessary imho.

Anonymous said...

as soon as you assume omnipotence you can proof whatever you want.

wolfgang said...

I did not really use omnipotence except as the ability to create worlds (as long as they are possible).

But perhaps you will find this blog post interesting which I wrote much earlier. Long term readers may still remember it 8-)

Anonymous said...

If this sentence is true, then Santa Claus exists...

If... then... statements............

John said...

Hi, I am from Melbourne.

All descriptions of "God" are essentially autobiographical statements or projections of the person who makes them.

Projections of their unresolved mommy-daddy issues and of the culture in which they live (in which they are completely and unconsciously embedded or entangled)

Please check out a unique Illuminated Understanding of Truth & Reality via these references.



wolfgang said...

>> All descriptions of "God" are >> essentially autobiographical
>> statements

I guess this is true if you assume we are all part of the higher being (like Spinoza's God) 8-)