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Don Page: Relationship Between the Universe and God?

Don Page: Relationship Between the Universe and God?

The following questions are motivated by and an expansion of questions posed by Professor Sir Colin John Humphreys of the University of Cambridge.

Could the universe exist without God?  How might the answer depend on what “could” is taken to mean?  What are meanings of “necessity”?  Are there any unambiguous meanings of “necessity” between what is actual and what is logically possible?  Are there any meaningful so-called “synthetic necessities” or so-called “metaphysical necessities” that might be claimed to be in between?

Can space and time spontaneously appear from a quantum vacuum?  Is a quantum vacuum nothing? Is a universe from nothing compatible with an incredibly hot, dense, big bang origin?  Is how our universe started a purely scientific question? Is there any input from the Bible?

Does the universe depend upon God but only partially?  Does it have a certain degree of autonomy?  Are the results of quantum randomness not determined by God?  Are some or all human free will decisions actually libertarian free will choices that are not determined by God?  Are there other things not determined by God, such as libertarian free will choices of Satan and/or other angels?  If the universe is partially determined by God as the main Uncaused Cause and partially by other uncaused causes, how do these different causes fit together? Is this consistent with the concept of creation from nothing?  Is creation from nothing a valid doctrine?  What does it mean?

Does the universe depend totally upon God?  What does this imply about quantum randomness?  What does this imply about human free will?  If God creates everything from nothing, does that mean He creates sin? What does this imply about the existence of evil and the problem of evil?  Is total determination by God consistent with the view of God as being totally good?

How does the nature of the universe relate to the nature of God?  Is there any way to understand why God has the nature He does have (e.g., in what He prefers, such as either libertarian free will for other beings or total determination, say of a mathematically elegant universe)?  Or is God’s nature one of the inexplicable brute facts about the world?

Is all the information about the universe already in its initial conditions and dynamical laws (so that a sufficiently intelligent being who knew that could deduce the entire history of the universe), or did God and/or quantum randomness and/or human libertarian free will choices and/or angelic libertarian free will choices inject new information into the universe at later stages?  How do miracles fit in?

Did God create a single universe or a multiverse?  Is there a single form of intelligent life made in the image of God?  Is our universe fine-tuned for intelligent life?  Are there a unique set of physical laws that govern the evolution of our universe into producing intelligent life? Is the fine-tuning of our universe evidence for God?