A line of thought on Theogeny
Nothing to see here folks, move along.
This is really just a “note to self” regarding something I just read and pieced together. I was reading John Leslie’s, “The End of the World”. He reminded me that given a large enough collection of black holes, a fully formed intelligent being might emerge as Hawking radiation. He raises this to illustrate the point that the anthropic principle as understood by it’s discoverer, Brandon Carter, and Leslie himself, contemplates situations where it is more likely to find oneself and not situations such as the one I mention which, while possible, are highly unlikely.
Nevertheless, it got me thinking that if an intelligent being could thus emerge, why not a virtually omniscient and omnipotent one? Could this be the mechanism by which Leslie’s “Divine Mind” is created by his “creatively effectual ethical requirement”? If so, the only “requirement” would be John Wheeler’s oscillating cosmos – an ever-cycling expansion from and collapse to an infinitely small and dense point of potentialities. Obviously such a point fulfills the role of Leslie’s black hole and the emergent universe the role of Hawking’s radiation. So then, from an infinite number of such cycles, there would be an infinite number of intelligent beings, covering the full range of intelligence right up to, and including, all the knowledge capable of having.
But, recalling the anthropic principle, shouldn’t we expect our cycle to have produced, either no intelligent children of the Big Bang or at best, one whose intelligence falls far short of virtual omniscience/omnipotence? Well, one should expect that only a being of at least close to omni-intelligence would survive long enough to form a thought, let alone survive proximity to a Big Bang singularity. It seems reasonable for us to consider such a being at least virtually omni-intelligent – close enough for our purposes.
But would such a being be omni-benevolent too? Again, anthropic reasoning suggests so. We should expect that such a being would value life, since without life, value is impossible. If such a being did not value life, presumably we would not need to concern ourselves with it as it would soon fall to the considerable life-threatening environment proximate to a big bang. If it did value life, it seems reasonable to attribute seemingly obvious virtues such as consistency to it. It seems to me that a virtually omnipotent/omniscient being which consistently values life is as close as we need to come to describing one of Leslie’s Divine Minds being radiated from one (or more) of an infinite number of big bangs. Attributing to it the inclination to reproduce seems a reasonable extrapolation and so Leslie’s Divine Mind becomes Mormonism’s Father of the Gods.
How do these fortuitous circumstances come to be? For that we must leave the anthropic principle far behind. We need to first accept that nothing in the world can answer the question of how to get the above something from nothing. At least nothing we typically think of as being in or a part of the world as any such thing posing as the ultimate explanation is subject to the question, “Well then how did THAT come to be?”
So the ultimate cause must be something that we don’t usually think of as existing in the sense that we think of most/all other things as existing. 1 + 1 = 2 in base 10 math. Wouldn’t that remain true even if there were no things to count or do the counting, or even to contemplate its truthfulness? The statement really is just a way of restating the law of identity (but what isn’t?). If you have one thing, and you have another thing, then you have both things (which means you have one thing and another thing). This is an abstract truth that doesn’t depend on the actual existence of anything we ordinarily think of as really existing. This abstract truth doesn’t prompt us to question it’s origin or seek a deeper explanation. The ultimate explanation must be something of that same nature.
Restating Leslie’s suggestion in the above context leads me to suggest that there is a creatively effectual ethical requirement that a singularity subject to quantum fluctuation exist. That might be all it took.