Is this the best of all possible worlds


As Leibniz would have us believe?

Many theists have argued, in defence of their god, that this world is fine tuned for life. They tell us if any one constant was altered, the world as we know it would disintegrate.

If we consider the above, does it make this world the best of all possible worlds or the worst, if changing any constant would lead to its collapse not into a worse world or a better world but total collapse?

In my opinion, if it was the best of all possible worlds, the changing of a constant would lead to the formation of a worse world.

What say you?

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

40 thoughts on “Is this the best of all possible worlds

  1. “Many enlightened people have argued, in defense of science and reason, that this world is fine-tuned for life. They tell us if any critical constant was significantly altered (e.g. climate), the biological world as we know it would disintegrate.” – Robert A. Vella, April 4, 2016.

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  2. This world is fine tuned for life and the best of all possible worlds? Really? How can that claim be made? There are over 200 billion stars in our galaxy; each with planets going around them. There are 3 or 400 billion galaxies in the universe. Some of those have trillions of stars in them; each, most likely, with planets circling it. How the f*ck can we, on this planet, possibly know that this tiny, infinitesimally unimportant world is a.) The only one with life on it; b.) The only one with intelligent life on it, and c.) The best of ALL possible worlds from among the hundreds and hundreds of trillions that exist? Perhaps there are entire galaxies that formed in such a way as to be teaming with life. Perhaps there are planets that have trillions more life forms living on them because THEY are FAR more suited to life than our earth. The arrogance of such statements offends the intellect, and insults reason. Until we’ve traversed the stars to see what’s there, we must accept the fact that our knowledge of what is there is limited to where we are now. And where we are now is like being a tiny speck of meaningless sand on a planet covered in it. This world is the most important thing in the universe to us because it is, right now, the only one we have. So, rather than worrying about the existence of invisible guys and how important we are to them, we should focus and taking care of the planet we are on right now. Now is all we truly have.

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    • Yes, we truly are “a tiny speck of meaningless sand on a planet covered in it.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Right. To say this is THE best of such worlds is to imply you know about all the other possibilities out there. We don’t and most likely never will. If we spend energy on taking care of what is just because it’s all we have, I’d be happier. Whether it’s the best or not is irrelevant when it’s all we have access to.

        Liked by 2 people

        • john zande says:

          Inspired, when a philosopher uses the word “world” they mean the universe. I know, using “universe” would be a tad wiser.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yeah. I know. But my comment still stands. You can only comment on what you know, the world you know. Making enormous claims about what the WHOLE universe is like based only on a speck of sand is foolishness and arrogant. We’re here. THIS particular world, and our perception of it, is all we know, and it is, to say the least, very limited. Until we’ve zipped around the universe, and perhaps others in the multiverse, and taken a peak at what’s going on there, speculating on how it’s the “best” is rather a waste of breath. Let’s make what’s here the best it can be so that we can hopefully survive long enough to see if, indeed, this “universe” is best suited to life (read OUR lives).

            Liked by 3 people

          • john zande says:

            πŸ™‚ Totally agree. Without another universe to compare ours to, no statement can be made about this one.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Other than the fact it’s nice that we get to live in it at the moment. I likes that! πŸ™‚ Oh, and pizza. We’ve got pizza here in this world. I likes that, too.

            Liked by 1 person

          • You don’t have those down there? Yikes! Best damn genetically altered “chicken” in the universe. The universe is finely tuned just to make KFC taste so good.

            Liked by 1 person

          • john zande says:

            They failed here. There is one in Sao Paulo, but I’m not going to drive 120kms to get it. Well, I would, gladly, except it’s in Guarulhos, and Guarulhos is the ninth sphere of hell when it comes to traffic.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            I think I have visited one once. No plans to return

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          • john zande says:

            The trick is to not eat it hot. Buy it, throw it in the fridge, have it cold.

            A friend brought some up from Sao Paulo last year and I was giddy with excitement until i saw the size of the breasts. As Inspired alluded to, not natural. Far, far from it.

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          • “I was giddy with excitement until i saw the size of the breasts.” That’s what she said.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            I thought they were better hot πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  3. We obviously aren’t in the best possible world because tea and coffee do not grow in my backyard, magically transporting itself to my cup whenever I desire it. I’d even settle for being able to plant a tea bag in the ground to grow a tea plant. That doesn’t even work.

    I don’t know what drugs Leibniz was on, but he’s a jerk for not sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. nannus says:

    Many people felt that Leibnitz’ theory of philosophical optimism somehow collapsed after the erthquake of Lisabon in 1755. Voltair made fun of him in his book “Candide”, where a carricature of Leibnitz appears under the name of “Pangloss”.
    The German philosopher Odo Marquard pointed out that this breakdown of one flavour of theodizee lead to rhe rise of a stream of thought of philosophy of history, which shifted the blame of the bad to humans and lead to utopist dreams of progress and the possibility of fixing the world in the future. Philosophies of history pop up just after that earthquake, starting with Voltaire himself just in 1756. Some of these theories became quasi-religious. Where such theories started claiming to be truth, they lead to different forms of totalitarism, and in the end, to wars, concentation camps, the GULAG and the like.
    I like Marquard’s conclusion that earth is not hell on earth and not heaven on earth, but earth on earth, and we must say farwell to holy principles, let them be religious or non-religious, and life life in its complexity and life with a pluralism of theories and beliefs.
    The world is not the best of all possible worlds, it is just the world it is.

    Liked by 3 people

    • nannus says:

      The essay by Odo Marquard I am referring to here is called “Die Krise des Optimismus und die Geburt der Geschichtsphilosophie” (“The crisis of optimism and the birth of the philosophy of history”). It was published in the book “Skepsis in der Moderne” Reclam, 2007, ISBN 978-3-15-018524-7. I don’t know if it has been translated to English already, but I hope somebody will do that or has done that because he provides some really interesting insights into the dynamism of this chapter in the history of philosophy. I don’t agree with Marquard in some points (he is too conservative for my taste) but he sometimes has interesting insights (and a quite easy to read, humorous and witty kind of expressing them).

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    • makagutu says:

      the world just is, neither good nor bad.
      I will see if I can get a translation of Marquard

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  5. john zande says:

    Logical. Although it must be stressed, this particular is better designed for the production holes, not life-bearing planets.

    “Black holes: our universe is full of them – trillions and trillions of them. It seems like the very purpose of the universe is to produce black holes (not life). There are more black holes than life bearing planets (a lot more). A lot more material in the universe is devoted to creating black holes (a lot more). The universe is almost entirely a vacuum, in which black holes, not life, thrive. We barely struggle along, having a very difficult time surviving, in brutal competition for resources on a microscopic island of life that will be melted by the sun in some time. If we’re not wiped out by meteors or interstellar radiation before then. Life has a hard time starting and is very easy to get rid of. Black holes, on the other hand, are inevitable consequences of this universe. And then it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. Black holes are right at home in this universe.”

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2013/130504.html

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Swarn Gill says:

    It doesn’t seem overly possible to know all the combinations that could create life so I’m not certain that enough evidence can be made to make such a claim.

    In terms of those numbers all sort of working for our physical laws, I often wonder that if tweaking a number might cause our universe to disintegrate because our physical laws would fail, but another universe with different physical laws could exist. Like is one number is tweaked the others adjust to stabilize the universe, but that universe is different. Maybe in that universe every action doesn’t have an equal and opposite reaction, or gasses expand in proportion to the square root of temperature. I don’t know. It’s interesting to think about.

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  7. it takes a certain lack o imagination, and a lot of sycophancy, to think this is the best of all possible worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mystro says:

    When I opened my desk drawer this morning, there was no chocolate in it. This is obviously not the best possible world. Suck it, Leibniz.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Scottie says:

    For me it is this. The world and universe were not “fine tuned” for us to exist, but we developed and grew in the conditions that were here. So if any fine tuning was done it was us fine tuning to our environment, not the other way around. I hate when I hear god people say the planet was created “just for us” as it makes no sense at all. We grew, evolved, became life on this planet and so we would be the life this planet could support. Until we kill off our own kind that is. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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