Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Does the Universe Exist?

Here is a discussion of this most basic question - why does anything exist? Why not nothing? Why THIS universe, and not something else?
To read "Why Does the Universe Exist," by Derek Parfit, click HERE. Then tell me if it's worth finishing (I'm too busy right now!)

Here is the opening of the article:

WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE EXIST? THERE ARE here two questions: (1) Why does the Universe exist at all? That is, why is there anything rather than nothing? (2) Why is the Universe as it is?
Some dismiss these questions, thinking them idle. Some even think they make no sense. I believe they are both good questions. which could at least have partial answers.

The Universe could have been, in countless ways, different. Even if its features were in no way special, it would be puzzling why, out of all possible Universes, this is the one that exists. This fact would seem arbitrary.

Moreover, the Universe does seem to be special. For example, physicists now believe that if things had been very slightly different, in a whole range of ways, life would have been impossible. Can this be merely a coincidence? Theists answer No. On their view, God created the Universe with these
special features. It would not be surprising that God should have wanted life to be possible. But we could still ask why, among the possible life-containing Universes, God chose this one to be actual. If this was the best possible Universe, or was at least very good, this question would be answered. But, to defend this answer, we would have to solve the problem of evil.

If we could solve that problem, and could assume that God exists, question (2) would be answered. And question (1) might be less puzzling. This question would become, 'Why does God exist?' We partially explain some phenomenon if we show it be simpler, and less arbitrary. Compared with the
existence of a highly complicated and specific Universe, God's existence may be claimed to have these features.

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