There was a period of time where I could best describe myself as a deist, and it was in a rather grey area of time between my being a theist, specifically a Jehovah’s Witness, and the atheist I currently am. I want to share the idea I had that tried to make sense of the existence of God and the multiverse theory. I’ll go over the problem of evil as well, since it was the pivotal argument that started this thought of reasoning. For the remainder of this piece I’ll consider myself a deist to make explaining it easier for me, after all this idea of mine isn’t difficult to simply return to and readopt. And I apologize beforehand for referring to God as a male; that’s the most popular understanding of God.
A deist in traditional sense is one who believes that God doesn’t intervene in humanity’s affairs, or won’t. This isn’t to say God never did, it’s a formal way of saying “Yeah, but he just doesn’t care, or he gave up, or he’s busy somewhere else, not prioritizing us.” This belief was my answer to the Problem of Evil, a logical argument against the existence of God, which goes as follows:A deist in traditional sense is one who believes that God doesn’t intervene in humanity’s affairs, or won’t. This isn’t to say God never did, it’s a formal way of saying “Yeah, but he just doesn’t care, or he gave up, or he’s busy somewhere else, not prioritizing us.” This belief was my answer to the Problem of Evil, a logical argument against the existence of God, which goes as follows:
1. God exists.
2. God is all-powerful.
3. God is all-knowing.
4. God is all-loving.
5. Evil exists.
Before I continue, if you know of the problem of evil and all the responses to the argument than by all means skip ahead to the phrase I’m done with the problem of evil. I will go over it all as I have understood it. To start I say we should define evil, and my definition of evil is unjustified suffering. There are inexplicable reasons why given people had to suffer, like when people are randomly murdered or raped or taken by some natural disaster, where it doesn’t appear they really “deserved” it.
Evil can not possibly exist with the given accepted qualities of God in premises 2-4. If God were all-powerful, he’d have the power to remove evil from the world. If God were all-knowing, there’s obviously no way he couldn’t have known a particular evil act was happening on someone, and if he were all-loving, he would want what’s best for us and would desire us to no suffer unjustly. But evil remains, where a God has no excuse not to act to save a baby from a burning building; this is a famous example. Because how can we make sense that the baby deserved to die in the fire, when there is someone there who can possibly help it. God certainly can, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t interfere with what happens to us.
Now, some might say the problem of evil is too simple of a problem to even begin to deal with; it’s too reductionist of what it means for there to be a God in the world as we know it. It still raises a question though about the nature of a god who possesses these qualities given there are helpless newborns in hospitals dying when an earthquake hits.
We “solve” this problem by simply removing a premise, by rejecting the truth of a given premise. If we reject the first premise, then the problem is solved the easiest way: If God doesn’t exist than we don’t need to wonder about his qualities and can accept that evil simply is a part of this world. But that’s almost too simple an answer, too satisfying in the short term.
If we remove out any of the 2nd to 4th premises, we have a big issue; most religions understand God to have these qualities of God, it’s absurd to think of God as a not-all-powerful or not-all-knowing or not-all-loving entity, because then you’ve separated yourself from the majority of theists. But let’s say you do remove any of these given premises. To reject the idea God is all-powerful is to mean that God can’t help all of us always, not to the extent he would wish. This leaves room for evils to go by unstopped. To reject the idea God is all knowing is to mean that God simply doesn’t know some things are happening in places he isn’t at. This leaves room for evil. To reject the idea that God is all-loving is to mean he doesn’t care. This is something many theists will not play with, because these qualities can not be taken out for the major religions, otherwise we’d need new sets of churches to cater to these fundamental changes.
The 5th premise may be rejected instead though, and we would have a world in which evil doesn’t exist, at least my definition of it, there being unjustified suffering. We can’t deny suffering exists, but the justification can be played with: One can say we have free-will to account for the suffering of otherwise innocent people. But free-will only takes into account the things people do onto others; it does not factor in the newborns being taken by the earthquake. And if we say God is “
working in mysterious ways,” to show us the way to him, well why didn’t he give the newborns an equal chance to know him?
I removed the fourth premise to explain the existence of evil and God. He just isn’t interfering with us, or he doesn’t care. But maybe he does…
I’m done with the problem of evil.
Now to combine the multiverse theory; the idea that we are in one of an infinite amount of universes. This is a difficult theory to prove, since as of yet we can not remove ourselves from the universe we are in to prove it, but proving God exists and is the ultimate way would require just as much faith, so why not we infuse both ideas?
Let’s say God made our universe, and let’s say our universe is one kettle in a bag of popcorn. Some of the popcorn is rich in flavor and texture and puffness and whatever else we consider the ideal popcorn, and this is the case for a fraction of the popcorn. Another amount didn’t even pop, or popped poorly, not in the ideal sense. Well those poorly popped popcorns would represent the universes in which we can not possibly exist, and if you look into the fine-tuning argument (a fine argument), the conditions to have a universe like ours are very rare, The perfectly popped popcorn. And given that there are an infinite amount of universes coming into fruition, it might be possible a universe exists where I did not use the popcorn analogy, given how poorly puffed it is (I’m coming up with it on the fly, or .. POP!)., and everything else could be the same, I can be just as terrible at everything else and there will be an infinite amount of worlds where you and I are slightly better or worse in any given quality, or a slightly different or very much different action had changed even the smallest of decisions. You get it by now, lot of popcorns are fine enough though.
God is making popcorn. He’s throwing bags into his microwave and making popcorn. He finds a world that fits our description, where we can live, and proceeds to restart our world as we know it. His goal is to reconcile a world where evil does not exist. Once he finds what he’s looking for than he might do something with those who believed in him or something.. I never thought too hard on that part. But deism makes sense here because the lore would go that he failed in our universe, in this attempt, and he’s somewhere else, outside our dimension, working on it. We know god works in mysterious ways, if I’ve brought that up yet, so this is still worth experimenting with. That was my proposal. But of course this has its many flaws. How can we have evil not exist and yet have free-will and all the problems that rose from looking at the problem of evil?
I have not dealt with free-will, and frankly I won’t, because I don’t know anything about the debate. I understand free-will as “the ability to do otherwise,” but I do not have the will power to get into determinism here. I think that coming to understand the idea will help me further my little model of understanding a world with god, as I live my life without.
Sorry for any grammatical mistakes, and the word ‘popcorns.’ I’ll fix mistakes as I catch them.