Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Evil says, "I'm possible, therefore I am."

I found the following item on Peter Woit’s blog, Not Even Wrong.

The New Scientist article has Don Page pointing out that this [the many worlds interpretation] explains the problem of evil. God likes the idea of everything possible happening all the time so much he’d rather not be bothered to stop bad things from happening:

“God has values,” he says. “He wants us to enjoy life, but he also wants to create an elegant universe.” To God the importance of elegance comes before that of suffering, which, Page infers, is why bad things happen. “God won’t collapse the wave function to cure people of cancer, or prevent earthquakes or whatever, because that would make the universe much more inelegant.”

Remarkably, this is very close to the truth. The glaring problem with it, however, is Page’s attribution of human-like qualities to God. As we saw here, God is the atemporal aspect of existence. It is a thought thinking itself. It simply is. It doesn’t like or want. In observing itself it sees one world of the many possible worlds, and it sees everything in that world that is possible, thereby creating it. This is not because it wants to create this kind of world, but simply because it is existence, the creator of everything possible. We see some things as evil and some as good, but to God everything simply is. A fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics is that if something is possible, there is a nonzero probability that it will be observed. That’s exactly what you’d expect in a universe that consists of existence observing itself.