Dialogue between two believing scientists on how the universe is run

JOHN-- >Funny thought [universal government, which is Plato's universe] coming 
from a 
staunch Republican conservative govt minimizer. 
Perhaps an atheist is just someone who thinks something the size of the whole 
universe can 
operate on its own laws without a lot of direct interference?  

ROGER- According to my understanding of Leibniz and the Bible, after God had 
created the
universe in six days, he wrote a computer program called the "pre-established 
on the seventh to run the universe forever onward and rested. He's still 

In this program God allowed for free will and knew what we would do but did not 
us to do so. Luther  believed that our free will only applied to everyday 
affairs, but
in matters of salvation (good or bad) he chose for us.

Note that God is in what Leibniz called the world of necessary logic, which is 
(eternal), so that knowing before-hand is simply part of God's nature.

JOHN --->Also interesting. The universe does indeed seem to operate on some 
pretty iron-clad laws, 
and there are some who suspect that perhaps that's because the only way to have 
universe that will support/create life is to have almost exactly the laws (and 
special constants) 
that govern our universe. 

ROGER-- That would be the pre-established harmony. Nonliving entities 
move by deterministic or "efficient" causation,  but
life does not operate by such iron-clad laws, it operates by what Aristotle 
"final causation", which means it is goal-oriented and purposeful. 
It therefore has to have innate intelligence.

JOHN- Personally, although I think the idea of a personal God is important, 
I do have concerns as to why an omnipotent, universal overseer who has already 
so cleverly 
tuned the universe to such perfection would need to continually need to tweak 
things locally. 
Seems very much like we need God far more than HE needs us.  

ROGER - The "tweaking" is indeed local, but it has already been programmed into 
pre-established harmony.

JOHN - >So, in order to consider a personal God, it seems to me that the real 
reason for locality is 
more about how "HE" wants me to become more like HIS ideal, and is offering 

ROGER- No, we have free will, at least to some extent.

JOHN-- Given that HE is out of time and space, that is a pretty neat trick, and 
I find it highly unlikely 
that any of HIS creations are at all cognizant of how or why or what HIS 
purposes are. 
But, I think the Universe itself is understandable, and probably exists as one 
of the simplest 
sets of laws that can work. 

ROGER-- Out of time and space means in eternity. The world isn't all 
law-governed (deterministic), 
for both man and nature have some degree of unpredictability, but this has been 
pre-programmed into
Leibniz's pre-established harmony.

JOHN- There is really already a lot of evidence to support that idea. And 
some evidence to support the idea that our whole universe is a tiny part of 
"everything." Already, 
it is pretty clear that most people really still have no concept of the scale 
of our little visible part 
of "our" universe, either in time or space. Most never even look up to see that 
there are actually 
more stars (and star systems) than there are grains of sand on every beach in 
our entire world - 
and that our entire world is less than a dust mote, even within our solar 
much less in the real immensity of space and time.  

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