RE: MWH -- a different theological deduction

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Sat Sep 06 2003 - 13:20:24 EDT

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    Hi Blake,
    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Dr. Blake Nelson []
    >Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 1:43 PM
    >To: D. F. Siemens, Jr.
    >Subject: Re: MWH -- a different theological deduction
    >Well, when you introduce the term willy-nilly, you
    >have introduced an assumption about the process that
    >it is simply random, or maximally determininistic, and
    >therefore meaningless. That is the same mistake as
    >saying that evolution is contrary to a christian
    >conception of God because it is willy nilly.
    >As I have said before, I see nothing about the MWH
    >that is any different from any numerous issues that
    >have historically been inherent in examing the mystery
    >of salvation and lots of issues that inhere around it
    >such as freewill, etc. My point was to underscore
    >that there is no reason to presume that salvation
    >means nothing if some version of me does not know God
    >-- which is entirely different than being *damned*.

    I don't think you really understand fully the na ture of the multiverse
    ideas out there in the literature today. First, inflation theory, which is
    fully consistent with observational data from particle physics, leads to
    the conclusion that universe after universe is being created constantly.

    "Even with only a single episode of inflation, essentially all evidence of
    what came before inflation is erased. But if inflation has been happening
    for an arbitrarily long time, and our universe is not the first but perhaps
    the 10^1000th pocket universe to be created, then any hope of learning about
    how it all began by observing our universe seems totally futile.." Alan
    Guth, The Inflationary Universe, (Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1997),

    Secondly, our own universe, under inflation ideas is at least, I repeat, at
    least 10^23 times larger than what we observe.

            "Implicit in Figure 10.6 is a remarkable prediction of the inflationary
    theory. Due to the enormous expansion during the inflationary period, the
    size of the observed universe before inflation was absurdly small. There is
    no reason, however, to suppose that the size of the entire universe was this
    small. While the inflationary theory allows a wide variety of assumptions
    concerning the state of the universe before inflation, it seems very
    plausible that the size of the universe was about equal to the speed of
    light times its age, or perhaps even larger. If the universe were smaller
    than this, then it almost certainly would have already collapsed into a
    crunch. Applying this reasoning to the sample numbers shown on Figure 10.6,
    we find that the entire universe is expected to be at least 1023 times
    larger than the observed universe!" Alan Guth, The Inflationary Universe,
    (Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1997), p. 185-186

    Thirdly, inflation is the best hope for getting God out of the universe:

    "Inflation, therefore, is seen by some as a new hope for a universe without
    a beginning. Is it possible that there was never a first patch of false
    vacuum, but instead false vacuum has existed forever, creating pocket
    universes indefinitely far into the past?
            "The debate on this question is probably not over, but it is pretty clear
    which side is winning. At the beginning of 1994, Arvind Borde of the
    Brookhaven National Laboratory and Alexander Vilenkin proved that if a
    certain set of technical hypotheses is accepted, then the universe cannot
    avoid having a beginning, even if the universe is eternal into the future.
    The set of hypotheses includes the assumption that the universe is open, so
    if the universe is closed then the question remains unresolved." Alan Guth,
    The Inflationary Universe, (Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1997), p. 249

    Fourth, you tack on the Everett version of the multiverse(which isn't
    inconsistent with Inflation, and you get an infinitude upon infinitude of

    Theologically, MWH calls even more into question the concept of the
    centrality of mankind in God's plans. Like the Copernican revioultion, the
    discovery of galaxies and other planetary systems, the specialness of our
    existence becomes less special with each passing discovery.

    In the infinitudes of universes, why would God send his son to this planet?
    What does salvation mean? Is there really a creator? All these issues
    become more problematical than they currently are under the MWH.

    >Does anything about MWH say anything about the
    >eschatology of any person vis-a-vis damnation and
    >salvation? I think the answer is clearly no.

    To me, it does say something about the eschatology of particular persons. It
    seems to me that one must throw out the 2nd coming if the MWH is true.
    Would he come just to our pocket universe? And I still contend that MWH
    makes a mockery of salvation because nothing Jesus did actually saved me.
    All possibilities are realised and I am a christian only because that is
    what I must be in this particular universe.

    >What basis does MWH have for saying that a God who
    >fits the christian understanding damns those versions
    >of people who are not christian versus saving those
    >versions of people who are? Many (most) christian
    >denominations don't even make that claim about the
    >people on this planet in this universe -- the
    >underlying claim of christianity vis-a-vis salvation
    >that I think all christians agree upon is that
    >salvation occurs through the second person of the
    >trinity, however that may take place. I do not see
    >how MWH has any effect on this or any other issue of
    >salvation, unless the person making that assertion
    >claims to know how God doles out salvation and
    >damnation. I would pause seriously before I claimed
    >to know how God comprehensively doles out salvation
    >and damnation.

    >Does anyone see the point I am trying to make?
    >Glenn's assertions about the consequences of MWH are
    >metaphysical and theological and MWH does not warrant
    >either of those leaps to metaphysical and theological
    >assertions, including, inter alia, the non-sequitir
    >conclusion that that the atheist Glenn is damned. I
    >don't *know* that any particular atheist in my home
    >town will be damned, much less one postulating
    >infinite universes with infinite versions of me
    >atheistic, hindu, etc.

    If that is your view, why be a Christian? If no one is damned for either
    atheism, disbelief, believing in other Gods, does God just willy-nilly pick
    certain people to go to hell, kind of a cosmic lottery? Under Christian
    theology, I see no way for atheists to be saved, assuming they are athiests
    upon their death. If they are to be saved, then great, no one has anything
    to fear from the Christian God. Believe what you want.

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