Monday, June 04, 2007

The Value of Possible Universes

I wanted to see if anybody else had any thoughts about this topic. I did my paper for Phil of Religion on this and it's something I've always wondered about ever since I was little. It's from page 237 and 263 of Quentin and Craig's book Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology. I copied this directly from my paper...

For a brief moment during the debate as to whether God’s omni-benevolence constrains It to create animate universes over inanimate universes, both Smith and Craig appeal to differing intuitions regarding the value of animate vs. inanimate universes. Thus, while Smith claims that ‘we must take into account not only that an inanimate universe is better than no universe but also that an animate universe is better than an inanimate universe,’ Craig disagrees with this claim when he states that ‘we can imagine innumerable many worlds of the former [inanimate] type which would exceed in goodness worlds of the latter [animate] type (for example, inanimate worlds of great beauty compared with animate worlds filled with unredeemed and gratuitous evil).’

I defended two theses in the paper, the first was that
the worst possible existence or universe is better than non-existence or no universe, and the second was that the worst possible animate existence or universe is better than the best possible inanimate existence or universe. So I disagreed with Craig on the value of possible universes, but I did agree with him that God is not constrained to create animate over inanimate universes, even though I think that animate universes are a better kind of universe than inanimate ones, but that is a blog post for another time. I just want to know what you guys think about my two theses, about the value of these possible universes or non-universe against each other. I am more than intrigued to hear any and all responses!