Journal Article

God, Fine-Tuning, and the Problem of Old Evidence

Bradley Monton

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 57, issue 2, pages 405-424
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online May 2006 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axl008
God, Fine-Tuning, and the Problem of Old Evidence

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The fundamental constants that are involved in the laws of physics which describe our universe are finely tuned for life, in the sense that if some of the constants had slightly different values life could not exist. Some people hold that this provides evidence for the existence of God. I will present a probabilistic version of this fine-tuning argument which is stronger than all other versions in the literature. Nevertheless, I will show that one can have reasonable opinions such that the fine-tuning argument doesn't lead to an increase in one's probability for the existence of God.

The fine-tuning argument

Objective versus subjective probability

Observational selection effects

The problem of old evidence

Against the fine-tuning argument

Many universes

Journal Article.  8541 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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