God, The Series

Sorry for the long hiatus, School has kept me quite busy, I’ll get right back into it though. Check below the fold.

Religion in general seems to be about this god fellow. An apparently invisible superforce who willy-nilly screws around with life on our particular blue marble.

Fundies think he’s male, hates gays and anyone who disagrees with them, and is locked in near-endless battle with the forces of evil.

Some people think that there are lots of these toddlers gallavanting around in the cosmos, harrassing each other, messing with peoples lives, and generally frakking things up pretty good for the rest of us.

But what is god? I am a firm believer in the following three facts. Let me start by stating the following: logic is infallible within it’s realm. This is a big statement for someone like me. Especially since it may seem that I believe in the same things I condemn, that is, in complete infallibility. However, look closer, I didn’t say that logic was completely infallible, only that it was so within it’s realm. Pure logic cannot address every question, for to do so it would have to be what’s known as a “complete” system, and a mathematician named Kurt Godel showed that it was impossible to have a system which was both complete and infallible, in the mathematical world, we call this infallibility “consistence.” Godel’s proof boils down to the first fundamental fact I believe in.

There cannot exist a logical system that is both complete and consistent simultaneously.

I believe this because it is a proven result of consistent logic[1], so it’s not really a matter of belief or disbelief, it’s a matter of acceptance. Which leads me to the following fact:

When we prove a fact true in consistent logic, it is unequivocably true. That is, If proposition A implies proposition B, it will do so today, tomorrow, and forever. Mathematical Truths are immutable.

Another bold statment, but really, it’s just a restatement of the idea of consistent logic, and it’s a tradeoff, that axiom says, fundamentally, that we cannot address every question, that there will always be things we simply cannot talk about using our logic, but it does guarentee that everything we say, assuming we’ve not broken any logical rules, will be true.

Finally, I believe the following:

Everything that exists, materially or otherwise, must follow the rules of logic. Further, anything that interacts with us materially, must be bound by the laws and rules of material physics. In short, you cannot cheat, you must play by the set of rules for whatever “game” you play.

This is the only axiom I am really accepting here, the first two ideas were definitions or theorems, this is an assumption I make about reality, that everything, including god, if such a thing exists, is bound to play by the rules of logic. Not Science, Science cannot address god, science is a study of the material world, the supernatural is outside it’s purview. However, everything must be logical, and that is the truly fundamental assumption I make. The second clause gives what I feel is really a corollary to the first clause, that is, it would be illogical for a creature to not be affected by gravity without some kind of physical adaptation or apparatus preventing gravity from acting upon it. Effectively, I am assuming that there is no such thing as magic. There is no way for me to do something that is inherently without reason, I can’t just stop obeying the laws of gravity, I have to have a reason.

So, whats this all about? Why should you care about this? Well, God is an interesting character, many different groups of people believe he can do many different things. Some believe he is omniscient, some believe he is omnipotent, others, omnipresent. My question is this, Under the assumption a god did exist, what would he look like? What supposed attributes hold up under logical scrutiny. I don’t kid myself, true believers who think their particular god is omnipotent or omniscient won’t stop just because a silly thing like logic or proof get in the way. Really this is an exercise in philosophy, something which I enjoy, and I think people like me might enjoy. It is interesting to think about a god, whether or not he exists. It’s a thought experiment about whether or not we can prove or disprove the existence of god[2], and if we can prove, or at the least cannot disprove, the existence of god, what kind of god would he be?

I intend to do a few of these posts, try to reason through some of the big attributes, many of them will be structured as informal proofs. Many of them will also be conditional, that is, it may be possible for god to have attribute A, but having A might preclude him from having attributes B or C, etc. I look forward to working on these a bit.




[1] Godel proved, using consistent logic, that any logic of sufficient expressive power could not be complete. This implies that any complete logic cannot also be consistent. So there is no circular reasoning problem, proving things about logic with logic is done quite often, and it does work, I promise, and I can prove it. 🙂

[2] It is my opinion that this is an, unfortunately, impossible feat of logic. For reasons to be explained in a later post.


~ by jfredett on April 18, 2008.

2 Responses to “God, The Series”

  1. Did you consider that God looks like us, or I sould I say we look like Him? Would that not be logical thought? Also can not God make a Law or Plan and then stick with it. I think so, for the fact that God could have come up with a plan that can not fail? Some say his is all knowing or Omniscient, and I beleive it. Could God know the risks, but continued onward for that fact he know we should be given a chance, a test if you will, and if we do what has been asked and not give up or give in we could become like him? I feel that shows God’s wisdom, what some say (like Taoism) is better then just knowledge alone.

  2. What a god “looks like” is irrelevant. I’m not really sure what you’re saying here, I’ve replied to your other post as well, mentioning I’ve actually moved to a new site, humbuggery.net, but if you care to explain this position further, please do so over there.

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