Religious Studies 40:499-502 (2004)
Due to his laborious efforts, there are two strands of contemporary philosophical literature with which John Leslie is closely identified. The first concerns cosmic fine-tuning, the design argument, and the anthropic principle ; the second, the so-called ‘Doomsday Argument ’ to the effect that we have good grounds for expecting the human race soon to perish. In this book – just released in paperback – Leslie concentrates on ideas he first began pursuing over thirty years ago, most notably in Value and Existence. According to Leslie, the best explanation (an explanation he thinks is only a bit more likely than not to be true) for the existence and nature of the world is that it is good that there exists a world with that nature. Indeed, every good world – every world worth thinking about – exists, insofar as some infinite divine mind has a complete complex of eternal thoughts that are that world. Leslie thinks that his pantheistic explanation has better resources than theism does for addressing a variety of problems for religious belief, including the problem of evil, the nature of immortality, and divine passibility. Furthermore, it is more in tune with two ideas that feature in contemporary physics: the holism of quantum mechanics and the fourdimensionalism that Einstein thought the theory of relativity suggested about the nature of time.
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