Faith, the Final Frontier

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6 Responses

  1. micha berger says:

    Not only isn’t there evidence for the multiverse, there cannot be direct evidence of the idea. By definition. If we did interact with this other region, it would be part of this universe and those interactions part of our physics, and not another universe at all. All that could be found, such as in Hawking’s last paper (edited a week before his death), is evidence that our universe did or didn’t start in a state consistent with a multiverse theory. It can only show consistency or inconsistency between two theories — one about cosmogony (Big Bang and Inflation) and one about what kind of multiverse we’re in.

    So, bottom line, the multiverse is theology — it is the positing of an infinity whose existence could never be proven (rather than indicated, suggested, consistent with data…). The only difference is that belief in the multiverse makes no moral demands. This willingness to not only embrace one theology but consider it scientific speaks volumes about Rav Elchanan Wasserman zt”l Hy”d’s position that if we were able to think without emotional bias, belief in Hashem would be the default position for humans. But we’re not able to. On big questions like religion, the mind serves to justify conclusions the heard already reached.

  2. Joel Rich says:

    So is the implication that we each “believe” in whatever gets us through the night?
    Kol Tuv

    • micha berger says:

      Was that question to my comment, or Brian Keating’s essay? If the former…

      I am just saying that making an assessment of non-trivial logic gives much room for a person’s unconscious biases (negi’os) to wiggle in. And despite my mention of R Elachanan Wasserman, I don’t only mean our wanting license for physical or other improper desires. (אמר רב יהודה אמר רב: יודעין היו ישראל בעבודת כוכבים שאין בה ממש, ולא עבדו עבודת כוכבים אלא להתיר להם עריות בפרהסיא – סנהדרין סג ע”ב) That also includes our need to feel that we weren’t wasting the time and effort already invested in a cause. And loftiest of all: Man’s search for meaning. We have biases toward believing that which makes us feel like we’re living meaningfully no less than those that allow us to satisfy our more animalistic or egoistic desires without guilt.

      When we assess an argument, how do we decide whether or not the postulates it works from are self-evident or questionable? Whether the logic is elegant or flawed? Whether an unanswered question is an interesting puzzle or an argument shattering disproof? Our reason ends up flotsam in a turbulence of motives.

  3. Raymond says:

    Too many decades ago when I was still in high school (and an Orthodox Jewish one at that), I remember posing the idea of multiverses in response to my Rabbi teacher presenting his evidence for G-d’s Existence. So the Rabbi said that there is no point in supposing such a thing, when there is no evidence for it. So you see, exchanges like the above are not necessarily anything new. King Solomon was so right when he observed that there is nothing new under the sun.

    The other day, I came across a quote by Aldous Huxley that managed to catch my attention. He basically said that people often make the mistake of thinking that atheists somehow have pure motives, that they come to their conclusions through rational discourse as they arrive at their conclusions in a totally objective way. But this would be so much at variance with the real truth. Apparently, said Huxley, some people wish to deny G-d’s Existence, because then they can engage on unbridled sexual escapades without having to answer to a Higher Power. And that may ultimately be why the world resents us Jews so much. By bringing G-d to our world, we also brought moral conscience to our world, and if there is one thing that almost all people wish to avoid, it is being held morally accountable.

  4. Steve Brizel says:

    Science can explain physical phenomena. Science cannot explain metaphysical issues and beliefs except by engaging in scientism which denies the existence of the metaphysical

  5. Bob Miller says:

    Wrong dogmatic assumptions can lead to needlessly complex explanations:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferent_and_epicycle

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