Fine-tuning arguments

2017-02-28T00:04:45Z (GMT) by Saward, Mark
Our universe appears to be fine-tuned. That is, it seems that of all the many ways we think universes could possibly be, very few of those ways are life-permitting. Some have supposed that this gives reason to think that God exists, and have, as a result, formulated arguments to that effect. By argument, I mean that they have offered a collection of premises that entail the conclusion that God exists or that God's existence is more probable given the evidence of fine-tuning. It is my contention that the current fine-tuning arguments fail to be persuasive, and that we should be advancing this discussion in terms of how well particular hypotheses explain fine-tuning. This thesis is therefore divided into two parts. In the first part I examine some extant arguments, in the sense of collections of premises and a conclusion, and show where they go wrong. In the second part I examine the role of explanations, and offer examples of theistic and atheistic hypotheses that purport to explain fine-tuning, and some of the challenges they face. I then tentatively suggest that in discussions about God's existence, fine-tuning is better explained by theism. <div><br></div><div>Awards: Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Masters Thesis Excellence in [2014].</div>