Is God Rational?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Bowser, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    I thought it was clear. As a category, God exists as the greatest holder of power. If you want to introduce the notion of God's relationship with something greater than Himself (aka the heavy rock) you automatically begin discussing a different category. Much like the moment you start discussing corners in a circle, you are discussing a different category of shape. The value of logic is that it enables one to discern what is plausible despite not having direct access to the value in question (whether it be the omnimax capacity of God or the perfection of a circle).

    If you want to exclusively discuss the influence of Fideism on historical and contemporary christianity (Augustine -> C. S. Lewis) that may warrant a different thread with a specific eurocentric focus.

    To the degree that they can problematize synthetic geometry (which, while a tall order, is certainly child's play in comparison to denoting everything of this world to mathematics)


    On the contrary, I doubt you feel more empowered by being called an "it". Of course since our ideas of gender tend to popularly arise from the language of a fallen world, perhaps, given consideration of current company, it's safer not to take that path. A quandary at the stage of existence precludes more intimate notions of identity.

    It's not so much presuming about God's existence, but presuming about our own. The tendency is to eradicate aspects of God's identity for the sake of empowering our own. The more we remove God as an agency of context, the more noble we feel about taking the gauntlet.

    Well if it's not your Will that illuminates your path, whose is it? Technically, a person who bites their own tongue has no one else to blame.

    Well that's kind of rude. Even in this world we find that mental assylums that don't keep their clients drugged up in strait jackets 24/7 more endearing than those that do.
    At the very least, I am sure even Diderot, no stranger to incarceration, appreciated the opportunity to air his madness.
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Just a little interjection;
    No one is denoting everything to mathematics. I am denoting everything physical as having a value.
    Values interact with each other through orderly mathematical functions, which we have been able to symbolize into a scientific language.
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Might these unknown physics be the "hidden variables" in Bohmian Mechanics?
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I think I'm going to go with probably not.

    One way of looking at it is a question of how neurons work compared, to, say, the simplification of being like a computer; these are not, for instance, mere binary switches. In that metaphor, what kind of "switches" are they? I suppose the question, in that particular model, has to do with how many flops per time unit.

    Perhaps, though, it is easier to say I just don't see how a finite capacity surveys and comprehends infinity. Any person only has so many brain cells that can only do so much over however long; there are not and will not be enough of us to network and contain enough information to countenance infinity. Any finite number expressed as a numerator over infinity, for instance.

    Is it possible for, say, your or my brain, to countenance "God" in its entirety? If God is infinite, then no. If God is infinite and the answer is yes, then we might invoke sayings about technology looking like magic and wonder at the physical processes taking place in the brain that would allow our finite capacities to contain infinity, and if you noticed the contradictory terms, yes, that is the problem.

    Which brings us back to the whole point of needing to consider the physics of a brain being the rock that is larger than God. No, really, not only must it contain infinity, it must also calculate; therefore, it must contain infinity and then some:

    ... at some point we encounter a threshold of applicability versus a range of potentials evading actualization; as Sideshowbob↑ reminds, there is a question of faculty. Much like whether or not we have the technology to accomplish certain feats otherwise likely permissible according to physics, it is difficult to conceive of the scale at which sentient compatibility with infinitude is possible without invoking unknown physics. In terms more philosophical, something about Augustine and a rock goes here.

    (#211↑)

    In the question presented, "Is it possible that God is irrational because life has always been such?" the obvious problem is not that "God is irrational", but that finite creatures cannot comprehend infinite reality.

    The question of the infinite being necessarily incompatible with sentience↑ drives this question including potentials for unknown but necessary physical processes in the brain. Setting aside the strangeness of the objection itself, we might note the whole problem appears to stem from some manner of dispute about the scale of what constitutes God. The part about God's masculinity↑, for instance, would seem to reinforce that last.

    But, yeah, to the one, no, I don't think Bohmian hidden variables are what we're after; to the other, it only matters if we require God attend certain finite boundaries.
     
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    From the perspective of God being unknowable your posit makes perfect sense.

    However, from an atheist view, I reject the concept of a sentient God altogether and but I do like Bohm's concept of the "Wholeness" as a non-sentient object , which acts in accordance to immutable laws of mathematical/physical functions.

    From that perspective "hidden variables" may be just as unknown or unknowable mathematical functions, due to our mental limitations and the current state of scientific knowledge.

    At one point Higgs' boson was an unknown particle, but after some 20 years of doing the maths, he predicted its existence.
    We build a cosmic simulator (Cern) and behold there it was. An otherwise unknowable object revealed.

    I see no reason to reject the concept of "hidden variables" as non-existent or unknowable just yet. If they do in fact exist, then the concept of an omnipotent sentient God becomes superfluous. The jury is still out on that, but science also evolves and who can tell what as yet unknown universal functions are just waiting to be discovered....

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  9. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Well it is a premise that doesn't bother to explain itself, and as a theory it has no predictive power or evidence to support it.
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I have not said anything about, "the essential language for establishing truth." I have expressed doubts about whether such a thing as "truth" exists. And I have suggested that mathematics is the best language we have for describing reality.

    So yes, mathematics is a pretty useful language and no, it is not the fabric of the universe. And no, those are not the same thing.
     
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  11. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Precisely.
     
  12. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    We were discussing what other posters commonly say, but if we want to progress
    on to your personal views, that's fine.

    Why would your ideas about the best language to describe reality be true?
    I mean someone could just turn around and say "Well, that's just your opinion, in a world brimming with opinions."

    So a premise about reality that evades definition or correlation to mathematical reducibility doesn't automatically set off alarm bells, in your books?
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Not fine, it's essential.
    Any poster can say, "You're wrong" . How does that discuss anything?
    And if you're just preaching to the chior and get, "You're right", then you learn nothing.

    The point is to discuss alternative perspectives (based on various different hypotheses by serious and qualified scientists), a verbal falsfication process, which eventually may prove your perspective right or wrong.

    This type of verbal debate demands that you explain your position in pertinent detail. If you can't logically defend your position, you lose credibility and audience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    It's not my idea. It's a consensus.

    I'm saying that it does. You seem to be saying that there is "truth" beyond what mathematics can describe and that is setting off my woo alarm.
     
  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Otherwise known as reality.
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    One of the challenges I haven't yet figured a solution to is explaining to our neighbor the difference between the math and our capability. The discussion I'm in with Write4U↑ is an offshoot of a similar aspect of my discussion with Musika; W4U and I are discussing hidden variables at all largely because it is apparently more difficult than we might expect to explain certain aspects of the relationship between reality and human capacity to experience and comprehend it.

    Like my use of the idea of unknown physics; I don't have a better phrase for explaining brain cells and the underlying math of the electrochemistry that apparently accounts for our experience insofar as there is a lot more data in the known Universe than our brains would seem capable of containing unless that finite number of cells can do some unobserved or unrecognized extraordinary things. I can say the same thing for the Universe that I can for God: If the Universe seems irrational, then the problem is likely somewhere within the framework of my perception. The Universe is perfectly rational; I, on the other hand, am human, observably finite and bearing distinctive frailties of our species.

    I can't quite figure out how to explain to our neighbor that if reality "evades definition or correlation to mathematical reducibility", the problem is likely within our human framework of definition and correlation according to mathematical reducibility, as such. The math is the math; the rest is up to us. The nearest true statement I can fashion is that the "'truth' beyond what mathematics can describe" is what "evades [our] [imperfect and incomplete] definition".

    Here's a subjective statement, for you: It's hard to explain, sure, except it feels like we see this problem "everywhere", as such, a human tendency presupposing to blame nature instead of our understanding thereof, thereby constraining further objective exploration. We all know phrases about human outcomes that lead with, "self-fulfilling", or, "self-inflicted", and part of what we seem to be describing has to do with blaming the Universe for being wrong.
     
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    While I agree with most of your post, I see this (quoted) part from a little different perspective.

    IMO, a "hidden variable" may still be a purely mathematical process, but may have so many potential variables, considering the vastness of the universe, that it becomes impossible to make any accurate or predictive measurements.

    If I understand "Schroedinger's cat" correctly, that is an example of a hidden variable.

    Another example is the butterfly effect, where the butterfly in China must flap its wings at exactly the right moment in time to set the causal process of a hurricane in Florida in motion.

    And while that is a purely theoretical argument of possibility, it has an extremely low probability of occurring and I doubt if such a cascading effect has ever occurred specifically from a butterfly flapping its wings during the lifetime of earth.

    Moreover, clouds and oceans have such complicated and unpredictable mathematical wave functions, it becomes impossible to account (measure) for all the hidden mathematical variables, such as wave interferences.

    Now compare a cloud on earth with a cosmic cloud such as the Crab Nebula and we can readily see that no mathematical calculation can account for all the "hidden mathematical variables" in such a chaotic distribution of potentials. It's just impossible to measure all the values and potentials and their functional effects at such large scales and so far away.

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    Rereading the quoted part of your posit, seems to me that we are in basic agreement on this after all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  18. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Then you just contradicted everything you said in your previous post :

    I have not said anything about, "the essential language for establishing truth." I have expressed doubts about whether such a thing as "truth" exists. And I have suggested that mathematics is the best language we have for describing reality.

    So yes, mathematics is a pretty useful language and no, it is not the fabric of the universe. And no, those are not the same thing.


    If one alludes to anything aside from those things reducible to the language of mathematics, you say it is not true (apparently because it is not the consensus) and it is not real (unless you think there are valid forms of woo out there).

    Therefore, at the very least, you have no doubt that truth exists and that mathematics represents the very fabric of the universe (reality).
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  19. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    You're pasting your definition of "truth" into my statement. I didn't use the word "truth" at all. I referred to reality as perceived by a consensus of "us". You seem to assume that I consider that "the truth" but I do not.
     
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  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This is why I always refer to reality as "our reality". Reality may appear completely different to an insect than it does to humans.
    Deep ocean creatures experience a completely different reality than land dwellers.

    IMO, it would behubris to assume that "our reality", is "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".

    Is that not the fundamental concept of "Relativity" (reality as experienced from the point of the observer)?

    However we may know some fundamental truths, such as E = Mc^2, or even the relativistic variable results of the Doppler Effect.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  21. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If you don't think "reality as perceived by a consensus of us (namely the apparent consensus that mathematics is the best language to describe it)" is "the truth", why bring it up?

    If you want to lay this down as the final immutable principle that separates you from the WWWoW (Wonderful Wide World of Woo), how are you not saying it is "the truth"?

    And if you cannot tolerate the discussion of reality that is not reducible to mathematics as valid (or assume that such things are reducible to mathematics ... but we simply don't know how to do it yet .. aka the MotG, Maths of the Gaps), how are you not saying mathematics represents the very fabric of the universe?

    Even if you want to say "I think there is no such thing as truth." , one can still ask "why do you think that is true?".
     
  22. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    You're the one who brings up "truth". You seem to think there's some kind of "ultimate truth" or "eternal truth" that's beyond the ability of mathematics to describe.

    There are no "immutable principles". There is only what we can describe and what we can not describe.

    If English was the only way we had to describe things - i.e. if we had no mathematics at all - would you conclude that English must be the fabric of the universe? There is a difference between a fabric and what we use to describe/measure/etc. the fabric.

    See, there you go again, bringing up truth, as if I can't say two words without declaring something "true".

    I do think there is no such thing as ultimate truth. I do not think that is "true". I think it's reality.
     
  23. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If you want to discuss ontology (or say things like "that is woo"), its kind of integral to discuss truth .... much like maths requires numbers.
    Regardless of what I may or may not think, you think that mathematics is that "ultimate truth". I have simply provided explanations and examples of how mathematics is a mediocre yardstick for such a task. Unless you think notions of justice, "why" questions or art history are eternal, its not clear how "eternal truth" entered this discussion.

    Then why default to outcries of "Woo!" the very moment mathematics is problematized as a perennial language for such descriptions? Clearly you are bringing other criteria to the discussion, even if you are not forthright enough to lay it on the table.

    Ok. So what if I was turn around and say any conclusion that is not presented in english is not an accurate representation of the fabric of reality? In otherwords if one insists that english has a monopoly on describing reality (and all other languages are, at best, mere subsets or partial representations of english), in what "space" can I establish the gaps?. I admit that english has gaps but I also hold that they can only be sealed by the use of English, as we, in the progress of time, become more proficient in it. Anything less is woo.

    In otherwords if I, as above, default all languages to the authority of english, how am I not drawing an explicit connection between the fabric of reality and english as the topmost language of truth?


    Ontological discussions (even if they take the form of "spot the woo") tend to be like that. Its just like complaining about maths tests where it seems every question has something to do with numbers.

    Lol
    Then you have an epistemological stance that is indefensible.

    Or to put it in simpler terms, it's a case of even if you are right, you are wrong.
     

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