Alternative Universes

These are the results of the alternate universe designs by skeptics. You will find that the answers form a rather diverse spectrum of possible gods and universes. All suffer from one or more unacceptable attributes.

Alternative Universe My Comments
From: Dan Mullin <dmullin81@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed Sep 5 20:01:11 2001.

If I were God my universe would have the following features: The creatures I create would obviously be less powerful than myself. I would grant them free will but would also create them in such away that they would always make morally good choices. This is not a contradiction. Freedom can be understood in two senses: 1) libertarian or contra causal freedom (causal factors do not determine or influence the decision in a significant way), or 2) compatibalistic freedom which states that freedom is compatible with pre-determining factors which decisively incline the will in one direction or another. I would opt for the second type of freedom. I could thus make these beings perfectly good and orchestrate the world in such a way that they always necessarily choose the good but still act freely. J.L. Mackie uses this argument against the free will defence to the problem of evil. To assert that compatibalism is not genuine freedom is to beg the question in favour of the libertarian view. Compatibalism is at least possible and therefore God could have actualized it. If I were G These suggestions would at least avoid moral evil. As for natural evil, I can only speculate how to resolve that problem. However, even within the present laws of physics I can think of ways that God could prevent a lot of suffering arising from natural disasters. In my universe, I would give my creatures vast intellects that would enable them to accurately predict natural disasters and avoid them. I could also make my creatures less vulnerable to pain and immune from disease. These are but a few ways suffering could be drastically reduced and it is within the power of God to create such conditions.

P.S. I am a Christian, but I have yet to see a theodicy that succeeds in answering such philosophical problems. It is my opinion that all such attempts to explain why God allows so much apparently gratuitous evil ultimately fail. God's reasons for creating this particular world will, it seems, remain hidden.

Religious Beliefs: Christian

I found Dan's answer interesting, but not defined enough to evaluate completely. I disagree that allowing the creatures to only do "morally good choices" is any kind of freedom at all. How could a moral being be programmed to make only "good" choices? It sounds as if Dan's god would be completely controlling all individuals. Another problem is his definition of "morally good." The God of the Bible does not want just "morally good" choices, but wants us to be morally perfect. In order to be morally perfect, you must select the exact will of God in every circumstance. Would Dan's beings always do the exact will of God? If so, I would propose that those beings were completely programmed robots and have no free will. If not, it would seem that they would have rebelled against the will of God, which is, by definition, sin.

What Dan has described in your new universe design is, in fact, the nature of human beings in heaven. We will be prevented from sinning and, therefore, will always make morally good choices. The difference is that we now (in this universe) have the complete free will to make the moral choice to follow or reject God. Dan's beings would have NO freedom to follow or reject God, but would be forced to follow God. Is this really free will?

From: Anonymous <einstein3_14@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu Aug  9 03:41:04 2001.

Well, ok.
As for the power of my beings I would make them less powerful than me for obvious reasons.

As for there free will, I would allow them total free will within the laws of physics and such applied to this universe.

I would not prevent them from harming each other or the other creation, and how would they be able to harm me, I would not be present in the dimensions in which they lived.

And as for what I would do to those who broke my rules, I have to replay "what rules?" and you cannot say that they would then do things without fear of punishment for they undoubtable as intelligent beings come up with some form of morale, as did we as a species, for you cannot say we have the morals we do because god gave them to us, because civilizations with out our bible and our god came up with morals and such of there own, even if they differed or appeared crude by our standards, take the Romans, with public killings, and the Mayans, and Aztecs, both had there own set of rules, and what was right and wrong, so the inhabitants of my universe would come up with rules of there own, and punish those who broke them in there own way, whether or not there thoughts were the same as mine would not make a difference.

please look over my ideal universe, and reply with your criticism, but please keep in mind, I did not think about this as heavily as I would wish to.

 Religious Beliefs: Agnostic

Anonymous has made a god who does not care about his creation or the people he has created. This is the uninvolved god who creates the universe and steps back to allow his creatures to do whatever they want and make their own rules.

This is not a loving god, since he lets the creatures do whatever they want. I can't imagine what this world would be like. Given the track record of nations who turned their back on God (Germany under Hitler, Russia under Stalin, Cambodia under Pol Pot, China under Mao Tse-tung), killing over 100 million people, I would dread living in a world that is not restrained to some extent by the presence of the Holy Spirit of God.

Numerous books tell of the moral state of tribal peoples who know nothing about God. These groups are in constant warfare and often practice morally detestable things such as cannibalism and human sacrifice.

From: Eric Pool <stpfreak22@hotmail.com
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2001 12:22 AM

I would create beings of less power than me, Mainly because I want to be worshiped and want to feel powerful. (seems selfish but that is exactly what god is doing for his own ego). I would allow my beings to have unlimited free will, such as they can choose to not go through the battle and the hardships of life at all. Of course they can't hurt me because I am god, but they can hurt each other (with free will you are going to encounter that). The thing that would make me or any of many millions of people a great god is that I wouldn't leave doubt that I exist! I would talk personally with all my subjects and tell them all the wishes I have for them and there life.  I would have contact with them all just like god had with adam! I would not hide behind "in my own time I will heal you." I would either heal them, or tell them that it isn't my will! The punishment for people who break my rules is that you would die and not exist anymore! (surely since I am god I can do whatever I want) God isn't bad.

Religious Beliefs: Other

Eric must be commended for his understanding of the problem of free will and the presence of evil. However, there are some problems in this universe. The god of this universe would walk with his subjects and personally talk with them, as God did with Adam. Unlike our God, however, this god would exterminate anybody who broke his rules. Indeed, it would be a very sparsely populated universe! Applying these rules to our universe would have resulted in the ending of the human race at the first couple. The idea that there would be no grace for those who broke the rules does not seem good to me!
From: Albert <albert@galaxy.nsc.com>
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2001 3:05 PM

I would create something out of My free will as God, something beyond what can be comprehended by you humans, something arbitrary.  The result might or might not be the same as the existing world as you now know it. I would impose no "rules", and would let the "rules" develop as nature unfolds its course. I am God, I am all Powerful and all Free (seen from human perspective), bound by nothing.  I would leave you humans to judge what is good and what is bad.  My way is the God Way, I don't have to follow rules, "good" or "bad" means nothing to Me. Actually, that's the world it turned out to be, you are now in it.

Religious Beliefs: Not stated

Albert appears to believe either that there is no God or that God just creates universes and does not get involved following their creation. The idea that the God who created the universe would "impose no rules" does not fit with the available data on the nature of the Creator God and His preference for rules. In fact, the universe follows rules (the physical laws) to the extreme. The rules are so precise that we can calculate the alignment of planets millions of years into the past and the formation of the universe 13.8 billion years in the past. Albert seems to believe that a God who values physical rules to this degree would have a complete disregard for moral laws. These don't seem to be the same God to me!
From: Smoke Some Grass <xcetacous@yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2001 10:41 PM

Ok, I'd make the beings less powerful than me.
Give them total free will.
Make it impossible for them to hurt each other or to destroy anything (although they can change things around, leaving the original characteristics intact).
It would not be possible to break rules in my universe.

Religious Beliefs: Agnostic

It is good that the creatures would be less powerful than the creator. Otherwise, it would be very difficult to enforce any rules.

Although Smoke Some Grass says that the creatures will have "total free will", they will be prevented from breaking any rules or hurting each other. How much free will do they really have? None! They are forced to submit to Smoke Some Grass, whatever his rules are.

If you can do better, submit your own ideas.

http://godandscience.org/apologetics/altuniverse.html
Last Modified April 19, 2006

 

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