Creation of the Universe - A Personal View

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I’m not a theist and not an atheist; I’m a deist:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

I think this is the most logical of the three positions; it fits best with the facts. Here is my justification for deism, in the form a creation story for the universe:

Why is there Something rather than Nothing

The default, expected position should be nothing. Nothing is simpler; Occam’s Razor applies. Nothing requires no explanation.

The fact that there IS something rather than nothing is truly remarkable. How can this have occurred? We need some sort of magic to have occurred just for us to exist. Is this evidence for a creator?

From Nothing comes Nothing (ex nihilo nihil fit)

Its impossible for something to come from nothing, so base reality must of always existed.

By base reality, I mean spacial dimensions with matter/energy. Nothing would be zero dimensions, matter and energy.

So we have a permeant base reality that has always existed.

The Impossibility of the Actually Infinite

Before tackling time, need to address infinity.

Aristotle used the language ‘potentially infinity’ to refer to repeated, iterative processes like counting and walking; they can potentially go on for ever but do not actually go on for ever. Then ‘actual infinity’ refers to the result of carrying on the iterative process for ever. Aristotle felt the actually infinite was impossible. The actually infinite does not occur in the material world. It is not constructable mathematically. It is easy to prove it is not a quantity: there is no number X such that X< all other numbers because X-1<X. More detail here:

https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4183/do-you-believe-there-can-be-an-actual-infinite/p1

So Actual Infinity is impossible.

Base Reality is Eternal outside Time

Eternal-in-time means infinite existence within time. Its impossible; existence has no start so cannot be. It also requires Actual Infinity which is impossible.

So base reality exists outside of time.

Our Time and Space Created

Within this timeless base reality, space and time were created via the Big Bang. The Big Bang marks the start of time.

How could space-time be created in this timeless environment? Time and change are not the same thing; photons are timeless yet their wavelength and position changes. Change is possible without time.

Indeed change is required without time; given that eternal-in-time is impossible (actually infinite), time must have a start, so must of been created in a timeless environment .

A First Cause

The universe exhibits strong signs of fine-tuning for life; evidence for a creator. There are strong cosmological arguments for a creator. The big bang is evidence for a creator. The fact that there is something rather than nothing is evidence for a creator.

So I conclude that the creator orchestrated the Big Bang and hence our universe.

Permanent Existence

The universe is a 4D space-time static block existing within base reality. It has permanent existence. All our past, presents and futures are real and permanent. Imagine it like a static brick with time on the Z axis and space on the X/Y axis; it just exists permanently and contains time within it.

Circular Topology

Nature abhors macro-discontinuity so the shape of our universe may well be circular (a torus) with the time dimension running around the body and the space dimensions being within the circular cross sections. In this model, all the matter is neatly brought back together at the big crunch.

The big bang immediately follows the big crunch. They are the same big bang and big crunch each time (same time co-ordinates). As Nietzsche foretold, we all live the same live over and over again:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_return

Why Time is not Emergent

Time is a fundamental part of the universe. The speed of light (speed=distance/time) limit effects every particle in the universe; all are bound by time. Time does not emerge from anything.

Discrete Space and Time

Imagine 1 light-year of cubic space. Then imagine 1cm of cubic space. Continuous space implies both are graduated equally finely. This implies the information content of 1 light year of space is the same as 1cm of space. But this is a logical contradiction; so space must be discrete. The same argument can be used for time.
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There's something because nothingness can't have a meaning if nothing exists. Logic, facts, sense, meaning just can't exist if nothing exists.

I think the % of our brain capacity is actually how precise and detailed we can think.
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Nature abhors macro-discontinuity so the shape of our universe may well be circular (a torus) with the time dimension running around the body and the space dimensions being within the circular cross sections.

...or a 4-dimensional sphere, or an infinite universe.

Michael Ossipoff
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...or a 4-dimensional sphere, or an infinite universe.

A 4D sphere is certainly possible, but not an infinite universe; infinite things do not have a start so cannot exist.
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It is not constructable mathematically.
Of course it is. What you mean is it's never realized in or as an artifact. Part of the mistake, I think, lies in confusing infinite with unbounded.

I have a suggestion. Your OP is full of ideas. If you're professing belief based on faith, no argument. But inasmuch as you present it as an argument, then the suggestion is to start with one idea and make it rigorous.

It's impossible for something to come from nothing
Well, you need to define "something" and "nothing." Absent rigor, these, and the argument based on them, is just a flight of fancy, or as you say, a creation story. Further, without defining them yourself, you leave it open for everyone else to attach their own definitions, which in turn means that the resultant discussion is necessarily nonsense, until and unless there's an accident of sense.
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"It is not constructable mathematically.
— Devans99
Of course it is.

Would you call this a construction of Actual Infinity?

lim 1/n
n->0

I would not. It never reaches actual infinity because n is always finite (no matter how small it gets)... How would you mathematically construct actual infinity?

Well, you need to define "something" and "nothing."

Yes sorry:

- Nothing: no matter/energy or dimensions
- Something: at least some matter/energy and spacial dimensions

So with this definition, going from nothing to something is not feasible.
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Would you call this a construction of Actual Infinity?
Your problem is not whether this or that construction defines or implies a transfinite number, but instead that no such construction is possible.

You keep mentioning "actual" infinity. But you trip over the word "actual." No one sensibly disagrees with the notion that there cannot (actually) be an infinite number of marshmallows. But the concept of infinity is on firm ground. You appear to group this - these - concepts with your actual infinities, and that's a mistake.

- Nothing: no matter/energy or dimensions
- Something: at least some matter/energy and spacial dimensions
So with this definition, going from nothing to something is not feasible.
Fair definitions, in my opinion. Let someone else take them on. But the conclusion doesn't follow - unless your nothing is the philosopher's nothing, which is a mere concept, an idea. The physicist's "nothing" is an altogether different animal and the two ought not be confused.

More than that, your conclusion follows a logic of your understanding of the concept. But there is nothing in this to grounds an argument based on whatever the truth of the matter is, and that we ain't got.
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A 4D sphere is certainly possible, but not an infinite universe; infinite things do not have a start so cannot exist.

Cosmologists don't agree with you.

Maybe this universe had a start, with the Big-Bang. (...and might or might not be spatially-infinite).

For this universe to be spatially-infinite doesn't require that its duration of existence is infinite. Cosmologists regard it to be one possibility that this universe came into being with the Big Bang, some specific number of billions of years ago, and is spatially-infinite.

Or maybe our Big-Bang Universe (BBU) part of an infinite eternal physically-inter-related multiverse of some kind.

Either way, cosmologists don't rule out the possibility that this universe is infinite.

There have been articles reporting that, so far, the evidence seems to be piling up in favor of this universe being infinite.

...not that it makes any difference to us.

Michael Ossipoff
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Cosmologists don't agree with you

Some Cosmologists do, for example:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2015/02/20/infinity-ruining-physics/#.W8ONzy-ZPOQ

There have been articles reporting that, so far, the evidence seems to be piling up in favor of this universe being infinite

Just because the universe is very big, does not mean thats its infinite. Big we can deal with. Infinite is another matter; its a magical concept and it blows materialism completely out of the water. Its more a spiritual than scientific concept.

An Actual infinite universe is impossible; it implies the universe is at once 100x greater than everything else and at the same time 1000x, 10000x bigger etc...

Also consider the universe is expanding. It cannot expand if it infinite because there would be nowhere to expand to. So the universe is not infinite.
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Then explain that to the PhD physicists and cosmologists who say that the universe might be infinite.

As for myself, not being a cosmologist, or even a physicist, I'm willing to leave such matters to those who are qualified for them.

Michael Ossipoff
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Then explain that to the PhD physicists and cosmologists who say that the universe might be infinite

They have over complicated matters. The link I gave you was written by the most sensible cosmologist out there; some of the others are just on cloud nine. Its really simple:

THINGS WITHOUT A START DON'T EXIST

So infinity does not have a start; it does not exist.

If the universe did not have a start, it would not exist. Same goes for time and matter/energy.
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Also consider the universe is expanding. It cannot expand if it infinite because there would be nowhere to expand to. So the universe is not infinite.

No one's saying that the universe is expanding into pre-existing space.

Galaxies distant from eachother are evidently receding from eachother.

You have a point when you say that it isn't so meaningful to speak of changing the size of something that doesn't have a particular size.

An Actual infinite universe is impossible; it implies the universe is at once 100x greater than everything else and at the same time 1000x, 10000x bigger etc...

No, it doesn't imply any of those sizes. It refers to a size that is greater than any of those sizes, or any other specifiable size.

The east-west scale on a cylindrical map projection of the Earth, in standard equatorial-aspect (or of any line-pole projection in that aspect) increases without bound as the poles are approached.

In an infinite universe, your distance traveled would increase without bound as you travel out.

The former is undeniably known. The latter isn't known yet, because, at least for one thing, cosmology isn't that far advanced (and of course it might be un-determinable)..

But there'd be no philosophically-impossible "infinite distance" traveled. You'd never reach that. Your traveled-distance would merely increase without bound, while always having a finite value.

Michael Ossipoff
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No, it doesn't imply any of those sizes. It refers to a size that is greater than any of those sizes, or any other specifiable size.

There is no such size:

1. Assume X is a size that is 'greater than any other size'
2. But X+1>X
3. So there is no size that is 'greater than any other size'

The east-west scale on a cylindrical map projection of the Earth, in standard equatorial-aspect (or of any line-pole projection in that aspect) increases without bound as the poles are approached.

This is an example of Potential Infinity rather than Actual infinity. The east-west scale remains finite at all times until it becomes undefined at the pole. I agree that Potential Infinity exists and is useful.

Your traveled-distance would merely increase without bound, while always having a finite value.

Potential Infinity rather than Actual infinity again.

The universe is not spacially infinite; its expanded from the point of the Big Bang starting 14 billion years ago; so it can only have a finite radius.
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No, it doesn't imply any of those sizes. It refers to a size that is greater than any of those sizes, or any other specifiable size. — Michael Ossipoff

There is no such size:

Of course no specific size is being referred to. Only the property of being bigger than any specifiable size. No one's claiming otherwise.

But remember that there's no observable or measurable infinite size. Any travel, observation or measure would merely show a size that increases without bound with continuing travel or increasingly distance-capable observations or measurements.

Hence none of the philosophical impossibility that you speak of.

Your traveled-distance would merely increase without bound, while always having a finite value. — Michael Ossipoff

Potential Infinity rather than Actual infinity again.

Exactly. And therefore no philosophical paradox or impossibility such as you speak of.

Michael Ossipoff
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"The fact that there IS something rather than nothing is truly remarkable. How can this have occurred? We need some sort of magic to have occurred just for us to exist. Is this evidence for a creator?"
Why should we expect nothing rather than something?

Occam's razor is a epistemological rule requiring that we have evidence for our beliefs. Occam’s injunction is not an ontological truth avowing that the world has a simple constitution (paraphrasing Grunbaum). But if we treat it as such, then we must answer: why is there a god rather than not? The shows the theistic position is self contradictory.
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Its impossible for something to come from nothing, so base reality must of always existed.

I must ask: how do we know this? Yeah, it applies to ordinary affairs, and it has an intuitive appeal. But I find it just a little bit iffy as a foundation/premise.

Can I really make sense of the idea of something that was always here? It stretches my imagination. But the idea of something popping out of nothing is also a stretch. I'd un-originally speculate that our minds were just not evolved to compute this kind of thing. So some metaphysical ideas are like QM, except QM is constrained by having to make predictions and tools that can be evaluated from within typical human experience.
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I used Occam's razor in a hypothetical sort of way; the question of what we should expect; 'what should be?'; by way of reality, I answered with the simplest model possible: nothing.

The universe is very complex with all this mater/energy time/space; it needs a lot of explanation so 'something' is a less natural explanation to the question 'what should be?' hence a roundabout appeal to Occam's Razor.

Nothing is much more natural: We start with nothing and end with nothing and nothing needs explanation; we have a completely logically consistent description of a (very dull) system/universe with no unanswered questions.

With something we have this huge mystery as to why there is something and we have no way of explaining it (accept by a rather weak appeal to the Anthropic principle).

So 'nothing' would of been logically consistent; 'something' leaves us a logical puzzle.
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Nothing is much more natural: We start with nothing and end with nothing and nothing needs explanation; we have a completely logically consistent description of a (very dull) system/universe with no unanswered questions.

I can see where you are coming from, but there is always already something if anyone is there to look for logical explanations of what is there.

I do think our presence is pretty mysterious when we aren't too busy to think about it.
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I must ask: how do we know this? Yeah, it applies to ordinary affairs, and it has an intuitive appeal. But I find it just a little bit iffy as a foundation/premise

The argument is a common sense one: First you define nothing as no dimensions, matter or energy. Then its pretty clear that nothing can come from it; hence something (dimensions, matter or energy) must of always existed.

If you think about the universe in the 4D space time way, it might look like a brick in space, spacial dimensions on the short side, time dimension on the long side. So time is built into it and it just exists timelessly, permanently...
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Occam's Razor exhorts us not to multiply entities beyond necessity. But unless there is necessary being, there would be no being at all; this is another way of saying that it is impossible for something to come from absolutely nothing. Therefore, Occam's Razor does not apply to necessary being; i.e., God. After all, Occam himself was a devout Christian theist.
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Occam's Razor does not apply to necessary being; i.e., God

You could say though, if you regard God as a necessary being, that Occam might favour the simplest solution to 'what should be at the start?' which is nothing + God.
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First you define nothing as no dimensions, matter or energy. Then its pretty clear that nothing can come from it; hence something (dimensions, matter or energy) must of always existed.

I guess for me the problem with this is that is already understands nothingness in terms of a physical framework. It's (for me) an uncomfortable blend of physics and metaphysics. If it's physics, how can we set up an experiment? Can we find a piece of nothingness and see if anything develops? Even if we could, we'd have to make the leap from particular instances of nothing developing in finite spans of time to the impossibility of something springing from nothing. As I understand physics, we increase our confidence in various patterns, but we never get metaphysical certainty.
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Its a common sense principle that has been around for a long while:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_comes_from_nothing

Ideas about the pre-Big Bang universe do tend to suffer from difficulties collecting empirical evidence. Its probably axiomatic; like parallel lines never meet; we can not ever proof that, but we take it for granted. I think 'something can't come from nothing' is of the same ilk.
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"
I used Occam's razor in a hypothetical sort of way; the question of what we should expect; 'what should be?'; by way of reality, I answered with the simplest model possible: nothing. "

We should have no specific expectations, including the expectation that there would be "nothing".

Imagine all the metaphysically possible worlds, only one of which obtains by chance. There are very simple worlds, and extremely complex ones. There is a minimum complexity (e.g. one object, but ni maximum. Each level of complexity is low probability, but one of those obtains. The actual world is at the low end of the possibilities.
"
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Imagine all the metaphysically possible worlds, only one of which obtains by chance. There are very simple worlds, and extremely complex ones

But all such worlds bar one suffer from the same problem; they are logically inconsistent because there is, unaccountably, stuff in the world. There is no first cause for this stuff. Hence it seems these worlds are logically impossible.

The only world the hangs together logically/does not need magic is the one with nothing in it. All the others present a logical conundrum.
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"The only world the hangs together logically/does not need magic is the one with nothing in it. All the others present a logical conundrum. "
Show that this worlds depends on magic:
A world with an absolute beginning of space-time, and therefore cannot have been caused - because causes temporally precede effects and there is no time before the beginning of time.
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A world with an absolute beginning of space-time, and therefore cannot have been caused - because causes temporally precede effects and there is no time before the beginning of time.

Our universe seems to have a absolute beginning of space-time, so that means causality must extend beyond time. Thats possible, photons are timeless yet they change. There must be a timeless realm in which our universe was created:

1. Something can’t come from nothing
2. So base reality must have always existed
3. If base reality is permanent it must be timeless (to avoid an actual infinity of time)
4. Also something without a start cannot exist so time must have a start
5. Time was created and exists within this permanent, timeless, base reality

Do you have an argument against steps 1->3 ? Because steps 1->3 seem to necessitate creation of time in a timeless environment...
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ut all such worlds bar one suffer from the same problem; they are logically inconsistent because there is, unaccountably, stuff in the world. There is no first cause for this stuff. Hence it seems these worlds are logically impossible.

The only world the hangs together logically/does not need magic is the one with nothing in it. All the others present a logical conundrum.

What if there isn't really "stuff"? Physicist Michael Faraday suggested that there isn't. He suggested that this physical universe consists entirely mathematical and logical relational structure.

Stuff is unaccountable? Yes. So maybe there isn't really any.

Yes, the only describable world that makes sense is one with nothing in it...except for abstract facts. In particular, abstract implications (if...then facts).

There's no physics experiment that can establish, prove, suggest or imply that there's anything more to this physical world than the mathematical and logical structural relation that Faraday referred to.

Could there have not been abstracts? No.

If there were no fact, then it would be a fact that there are no facts.

Someone suggested that there could have been a fact that there are no other facts...no facts other than that one fact that there are no other facts.

But that would be a brute-fact.

Aside from that, it assumes that there's some continuum within which one abstract fact can have jurisdiction or authority about other abstract facts. I suggest that abstract facts don't need any context in which to obtain, other than their own. Likewise, complex systems of inter-referring facts don't need to exist or be real (whatever that would mean) in any context other than their own inter-referring context.

..and don't need any external permission that could be denied by a supposed fact that there are no other facts.

And, unlike Materialism, this metaphysics doesn't have or need any assumption(s) or brute-fact.

This metaphysics could be called (using already-existing terms) Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism.

It isn't inconsistent with Theism. Just as the physical world follows its own laws, and the formation of the galaxies and the Earth, and the evolution of humans didn't contravene physical laws, so likewise the metaphysical world of what describably is, is self-explanatory. If God created it, he needn't have done so in a way that made it look like a brute fact that can only be explained with recourse to a higher level. The describable metaphysical world makes sense in its own terms, as does the physical world, and that isn't inconsistent with Theism.

Anyway, did you know that the Gnostics say that God didn't create this physical world?

They have a good point. I answer the Atheists' argument-from-evil by pointing out that a life (or even a long finite sequence of very many lives) is temporary. A blip in timelessness. So, though things can be extremely bad in some lives, that's just one life, and life itself is temporary.

I suggest that, overall, what-is is good, and that there's good intent behind what is.

Overall.

But it could still be said that those extremely bad lives, or lives that end with, or otherwise contain, really bad experiences--Those aren't something that Benevolence would choose to create. Benevolence wouldn't be the reason why there's a state of affairs (such as the infinity of abstract implications, and the life experience stories consisting of them) that even sometimes, even for a while, includes genuinely horrible experiences.

I say that we're in a life because we're the protagonist of a life-experience possibility-story. And, in that sense, we're in a life because of ourselves. But that's because there's that infinity of abstract implications, including a complex system of them that's your hypothetical life-experience-story. Considering the really horrible experience that are included in some lives, the fact that there are partly-very-bad life-experience stories, Benevolence wouldn't make there be that. That isn't part of Benevolence.

So it's quite reasonable to disagree with a notion that Benevolence made there be that.

Well, if anyone says that God is necessarily perfectly omnipotent, then ask them if they think that God could make there be a square circle or a true and false proposition.

Michael Ossipoff
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Considering the really horrible experience that are included in some lives

These are compatible with a benevolent Creator God who is powerful but not omnipotent. There is more good than evil in the world and this ratio improves with time. We are still at a very early stage of development by cosmological standards; our society should improve towards near perfection given time.

So God was fully justified in creating the universe; it was a 'good' act; he could not make the omelette without breaking a few eggs unfortunately; he's not omnipotent so its best endeavours only.
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"Considering the really horrible experience that are included in some lives" — Michael Ossipoff
These are compatible with a benevolent Creator God who is powerful but not omnipotent.

Exactly. Quite so.

There is more good than evil in the world and this ratio improves with time.

Defnitely. As I said, this life is temporary, as is a finite sequence of a vary great many temporary lives. Life is a blip in timelessness.

So yes, any bad parts are short in comparison to what-is for us overall.

We are still at a very early stage of development by cosmological standards; our society should improve towards near perfection given time.

That doesn't help at all. It doesn't help all the victims of this societal world so far.

So God was fully justified in creating the universe; it was a 'good' act; he could not make the omelette without breaking a few eggs unfortunately; he's not omnipotent so its best endeavours only.

You're right about God, complete Benevolence, not being responsible for the bad parts, and about the overall goodness of what-is being more important But, still, would Benevolence make there be a situation (such as the infinity of abstract facts and systems of inter-referring abstract implications) that inevitably means that there will be lives that end horribly, with great suffering?

The fact that it's good overall (That's where I disagree with Schope) doesn't mean that it's better than it would be if there weren't the lives. I agree with Schope on that.

I mean, as Schope admits, even the worst lives (or a finite sequences of lives that balances out the bad) end with final quiet and peaceful rest. But if that approach to Nothing is the good end of every life (or finite sequence of them), then are you sure that it serves a good purpose for our lives to start in the first place? Again, Schope has a point about that.

Why would Benevolence make it be like that...with these lives starting?

The Gnostic allegory says that a demiturge created this physical world. I say it was inevitable abstract implications, the structural basis of experience, which is a matter of "If...".

"I'd have experiences if..." ...and away it goes...

Which is better?: To contact a dog-breeder and order a dog bred for you--making a need for whatever you'll provide, or to rescue an already-existing dog at the animal-shelter?

I suggest that God adopted us, rather than creating us. That's probably similar to the Gnostics' suggestion.

There's good intent behind what-is, overall. What is, overall, is distinctly good, in spite of the inevitable finite bad times that aren't part of Benevolence, and which inevitably result from the inevitable infinite describable world of abstract implications and systems of them. ...and which can't be explained from Benevolence.

Michael Ossipoff
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The Gnostic allegory says that a demiturge created

A demiurge I view as a distinct possibility. Its helpful to refer to the top level of reality as base reality and the top level God as base reality God. Then there could be a number of nested simulations each with their own demiurge; subordinate to base reality god, but the creators of universes none the less.

I suggest that God adopted us, rather than creating us

I think God is playing a giant game of Conway's Game of Life.
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