Overview:

If our planet is on balance a net good, then surely a god of infinite love would create infinite net good planets or an infinite multiverse.

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Cosmological theories are often at odds with traditional Christian or theistic views. Although the Catholic Church has accepted the Big Bang theory for the beginning of the universe, this is not a universal Christian belief, and further nuanced theorizing pertaining to our cosmology is often met with more resistance.

But one idea could show that (Christian) theists should really, rationally argue for an infinite universe, or a multiverse, or a multiverse of infinite (uni)verses.

Some starting assumptions:

  1. The God of traditional classical theism such that it is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving.
  2. This universe as we know it is of net good.

These are assumptions that I, as an atheist, do not believe. But that’s not the point. The point is that these are generally accepted positions that theists adopt. God is OmniGod, and this universe is good. Otherwise, God is less than—a poor designer—and this universe is an example of bad design with net negative outcomes.

The theist more readily accepts the former rather than the latter.

The crucial move I am suggesting is that if a God could produce more (optimal) good, then God would. If God really is infinite love, then this superfluity of love should surely pour out infinitely.

If we see God as creating something that is good, we could argue that such an OmniGod would create a given thing with optimal goodness. That is, all properties that God might see as great-making properties, or those that are necessary for him to create into a universe, even if they might operate together with problematic interaction, will produce an optimal good.

For example, so the theist says, free will is necessary for humanity (it has some overarching good that humans are required to have), but it can be misappropriated, causing collateral damage like genocides. On balance, it is given to us as there is a net good that comes of it.

But there is some optimal good here. It might not be some paradise where there is no suffering at all but also no free will, producing unadulterated goodness. But, somehow, this world is less desirable, or a lesser category of good than the one with free will: A world of nuanced net good and free will, though also a world of pain and suffering as a result of free will.

We will have to park very difficult arguments for these theists, such as the idea that heaven can exist with no suffering and free will.

We then supposedly have a world in which, though there is suffering due to the interaction of these different ultimately good properties, there is ultimately a net good.

The crucial move I am suggesting is that if a God could produce more (optimal) good, then God would. In fact “optimal” kind of entails this. If God really is infinite love, then this superfluity of love should surely pour out infinitely.

Let’s crudely quantify this idea. God could produce this single-world universe where, optimally, there is 60 units of awesomeness. This is the optimal amount given the differing competing variables. Given the need to have free will, plate tectonics (?!), evolution that produces cancer (?!) and all of these components that work with and sometimes against each other, God can max this one-human-world universe out at 60 units.

But, even given those competing variables, he could create two such worlds, giving more net good of 120 units. Then it’s just a case of multiplying this infinitely.

In other words, why have one single planet of net good when you could have infinite planets of net good? Why one stunted universe when you could have one infinite universe? And why only one infinite universe when you could have an infinite multiverse made up of an infinite number of net good planets or solar systems or galaxies in each verse?

Is the (Christian) theist not constraining God’s infinite love and benevolence by adopting some kind of Earth chauvinism, where we are the only net good, God’s-image creation? Surely there should be more.

Many more.

Infinitely more.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...