X-Message-Number: 16462
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 10:37:21 -0700
From: Max More <>
Subject: God as That-Which-Is

I must be crazy to step into this one given my current schedule...

Louis Epstein wrote:

>I just consider that there has to be a reason
>for That-Which-Is,that this reason is by definition
>"God",and that "it just is" is no explanation,but
>a refusal to explain.(The correct answer to "Why?"
>is "God",not "because!").

>(Pay close attention to that word "Infinitely"
>above...it completely negates the tired old
>then-who-created-God riposte).

This ontological argument for the existence of God has been thoroughly 
discredited. For example, read the chapters on The Ontological Argument and 
The Cosmological Argument in J.L. Mackie's The Miracle of Theism.

Unlike you, I do not pretend to know why the universe exists. I aim to live 
long enough to find out. Perhaps there is a creator, though that raises 
further questions, since simply adding "Infinitely" to God does not explain 
anything, it just *sounds* like it settles the issue. We non-theists can 
just as well say the universe is infinite and so needs no further 
explanation. That would be preferable by Occam's Razor.

Furthermore, *if* there are rock-bottom fundamental laws, there could be no 
answer to "why do those laws exist" since there would be nothing left to 
explain them in terms of. Another possibility is that only one set of basic 
physical laws is possible for some undiscovered reason. Or our universe may 
be just one in an infinite multiverse with diverse physical laws. The 
infinite multiverse, if it exists, may have no further explanation. Adding 
God to "explain" it and then saying God is Infinite (presumably that means 
God "necessarily exists" or "God's essence includes existence" -- each 
version of this has been demolished) accomplishes nothing.

>But there has to be an answer to
>"why are there laws of physics?" that
>isn't just a ducking of the question.

As above, no, there does not *have* to be an answer to that question. I 
think we would do best to assume there is an answer and keep looking for 
it, but it's possible that there are fundamental laws that cannot be 
further explained.

>I call that answer God.

That's not an answer. It's the avoidance of looking for the answer.

Now some words from our sponsors:

It's time to stop worshipping gods and aim at becoming gods.
-- Markoff Chaney

It is a matter of course with me, from instinct. I am too inquisitive, too 
questionable, too exuberant to stand for any gross answer. God is a gross 
answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers  at bottom a gross prohibition 
for us: you shall not think!
          Ecce Homo II 1; cf. On the Geneaology of Morals III 27

Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding: If forced to describe 
myself negatively, I call myself an atheist since I lack theistic belief 
(a-theism). If we are talking specifically about the traditional theistic 
God, then I can give reasons for not only lacking belief, but denying such 
a belief. Deism claims less, and so to a deist I would say that I lack 
belief in their God, but would not say that I can argue strongly against 
the possibility. (A deist god who does not intervene, and whose morals 
differ greatly from ours may be compatible with what I observe on this 
planet and in the universe, though I would question even that God's design 

A further clarification, since people tend to assume all my personal views 
reflect extropian principles: The Extropian Principles say nothing against 
belief in God or gods. They do include Rational Thinking which, in my view, 
tends to lead to lack of theistic belief, but that's not an inevitable 
result. While they are unusual, there is more than one theistic extropian.

Louis, I have no doubt that these comments will not satisfy you. But I'm 
unlikely to reply until after Extro-5. If so, please don't interpret that 
as lack of interest.



Max More, Ph.D.
Futurist, Speaker, Consultant.
President, Extropy Institute. http://www.extropy.org
Chair, 06.15.01, Extro-5: Shaping Things to Come, 
Senior Content Architect, ManyWorlds Inc.: http://www.manyworlds.com
"The Premier Business Strategy Source"


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