Ethics of the anthropic principle

The laws of physics are not absolute but arbitrary. The ratio between the constants is
variable. Had they been significantly different then life may never have evolved at all

I personally know that to be false, but why do you believe it to be true?

The optimum distance of Earth from the Sun was a random event and more evidence our existence was not guaranteed
The fact that liquid water can exist under ice which allowed life to develop within oceans before it could adapt to land
We can also only exist in a universe with three spatial dimensions and so anything else and we would simply not be here

That is the interpretation of the mainstream, yes. But questions about, for instance, the “anthropic principle” or about the “first cause” should not be answered by scientists, but by philosophers or theologians, because “die Wissenschaft denkt nicht” (“science does not think”), as Heidegger once said, so scientists are not really capable of answering philosophical or theological questions.

You can measure the distance between the Sun and the Earth, but this does not necessarily mean that this distance is random; and you can know how the system of the Sun and its planets has developed since its beginning (Kant has given a theory that is still valid), but that does not necessarily mean that you can answer all philosophical or theological questions. And the anthropic principle for instance is a metaphysical (thus: a philosophical or theological) issue, although or even because it is deduced from physics (thus: science). When physicists try to answer a metaphysical question like the question whether their physical constants (natural constants) are “caused by randomness” or not, then they are already metaphysicians (the more proper word is “metaphysicists”). The natural constants (physical constants) do not have to be caused by randomness, they can also be caused by a “spiritual machinist”, a creator, a God or a principle which is not random. Physicists do not know either anything about the “events before the big bang”, if there was a big bang at all, or about an existence beyond our universe, if there is one at all.

You realize that logically this necessitates that there are trillions of universes being spontaneously generated … most of which do not sustain life because the laws and constants do not permit it.

Why would the generation of trillions of random universes make more sense than one intentionally created universe?

If one looks at something like gravitational force constant … the “pull” of that force could potentially be on an enormously wide spectrum … all the way from no pull to an extremely strong pull. Most of that range is probably not conducive to life. But a randomly generated gravitational constant would be anywhere in the range. IOW, there a trillions of ways for gravity not to support life but only a relative few ways to support life. Failure is much more likely.

This propensity for randomness to produce non-life supporting situations applies to all “laws of physics” … electric charge, chemical bonds, magnetism …

Failure in any one random constant can make life impossible.

The odds of getting all the laws and constants “right” for life quickly become extremely low.

The distance was certainly not “random”. It had a cause. But the point to the anthropic principle is that if, for example, the Earth had been too close to the Sun for life to grow on it, life would instead be growing on some other planet perhaps in a different galaxy and those people would be having this (rather silly) discussion instead, asking the same questions and wondering why life on their planet just happened to “randomly” be exactly perfect for them.

When you think about it, it is kind of silly to argue with the anthropic principle. And it has nothing to do with randomness, rather quite the opposite. It is because everything has a cause (thus not random) that life can only grow in very specific places and that those places are the places where life is found.

To support the idea of randomness of life generation, one would have to find hundreds of planets that are chemically and environmentally ideal for life generation yet only one actually has life on it. Of course if everything was random, you would be finding life on planets where the environment was not ideal or even good for life generation because life would be independent of causation, ie “random”.

Even without knowing what the causes are, it is still obvious that life generation is not random.

Venus and Mars were habitable planets. But it became too hot on Venus (perhaps because of something like a “greenhouse effect”), and Mars had and still has a too weak atmosphere in order to have higher living beings.

The anthropic principle is physically or cosmologically related to our planet Earth, our Moon, our Jupiter, our Sun, our Milky Way … and so on. It means metaphysically that all this physical constants (natural constants) are as if someone has set them consciously. :wink:

Agreed. A strong argument would be that this “cosmos” literally requires life.

By the way: why ethics, Brando?

Because in some way the fine tuned universe is rooted, this root have a Price: the fight between the dark side of the force and the light side of the force (just to mention a Religion here; in other Religions analogous. ) This is favoured by a economy of the being (german: Seinsökonomie) within traditional theology. I also am motivated by the oldest System program of idealism, in which there is demanded a new physics, based on ethics. My Problem here is the gap between the physics of the anthropic principle, and ethical Claims. How is it motivated? Does it Need a God? Perhaps Sartre is favoured here, and the projection of man has a physical and a ethical side.

I would suggest that you base your “new ethical physics” on MIJOT, Maximum Integral of Joy Over Time. Such a highest priority ethic includes both the joy of living as well as the concern of longevity. Ethical social structures form based upon the calculation of MIJOT for all people involved. Such allows for an mathematical and ethical balance for what degree anyone “should” suffer relative to anyone else - a philosopher’s answer to the mathematics of ethics.

Is this utilitarism?

That depends…
… What do you call the alternative?

Logically necessitates? Why?

I can’t form any logically necessary conclusions about the numbers of cars in the world by seeing a car with the numberplate MK-GF-35. I don’t even know whether the symbols are arbitrarily or systematically allocated, nor whether it’s the only example of that numberplate registration.

That concerns the reality of signs. With Peirce I would suggest that it is ariddle to nature to be in a semiotic Fashion. That perhaps mirrors a philosophy of freedom: In so far as nature constitutes itself as sign man is free. As signs realizes a contingent signification they are bound in the constitution of language: The scope of signs provides facilities for semantic, syntactic and pragmatic Relations.

The notion of one intentionally created universe makes absolutely no sense when one considers the fact that for over 99 per
cent of its existence there were no human beings at all in the universe. And over 99 per cent of it is not conducive to human
existence any way. And it does not have to make any sense at all to human beings if trillions of random universes exist either

Because the odds of getting a universe “just right” for sustaining life on just one try, are infinitesimally small. The number of “tries” required appears to be huge given that there are so many random factors which have to align. If you simultaneously throw dice and only “get life” if all show 6, then even 1 throw of 2 dice does not guarantee life. But the odds are still better than if you are throwing a million dice.

Looking beyond this universe, the overall “system” would have to be generating universes. The universes have physical laws which are different but the laws are stable for a considerable amount of time within a universe.

The symbols on a plate are independent of the observer while the physical constants and physical laws of the universe create an environment in which an observer can exist. IOW, the laws and constants have a particular significance.

The defense for that would be that the necessary physical laws also require a vast amount of otherwise useless space. Think about how useless an oven would be if its sole purpose was to bake a single wedding cake or perhaps all of the mass required to produce a single diamond.

And if that wasn’t enough, there would also be the defense that the purpose for the rest of the universe simply hasn’t been yet discovered or perhaps become yet relevant in the development of Man.

It had other life during that time. There may have been life on other planets during that time.
And there is no requirement that an intentional universe has to be built in a short period of time (6 days?). Perhaps it takes billions of years to get to the point of human habitability.

You’re asking me to speculate on the size of the universe? If the physical laws are the same all over, then humans can potentially live on other planets in other galaxies. So in that sense, it is conducive to humans everywhere. In the sense that people can’t live on Jupiter or even underwater on Earth, then you are right.

At this point in time, humans don’t know about the fundamental roots of the universe. I’m looking at probabilities and what seems more likely. A random universe seems highly unlikely.

Do you mean that man is as free as nature is a sign and that this is because signs are bound in language?