More about God

So – there are several logical problems with the concept of God. I would like to explore a few of them right now.

Let’s assume that God is omni-whatever.

Where does he live?

Time is woven into the fabric of our universe. As space stretches and warps, time is stretched and warped the same. Time and space are basically the same thing. This is not a theory – it has been experimentally proven several times since the big E proposed it.

Time is also subjective, rather then objective. We determine time’s flow in our brain and nervous system. It is not some universal constant, rather a construct of our psychology and physiology. You can see that yourselves. When you are bored, the hours seem to drag on. When you are focused and busy, time seems to just fly by.

I think that we can also all agree that every event has a cause. Things do not ‘just happen’ on their own. If a tree falls in a forest, it is because something caused it to fall. Gravity, breakdown at the cellular level causing structural failure, wind – some thing caused it to fall. There can be no event with out some cause.

All this said, where does God live? In our universe, or some place external?

Let’s look at each option (and there are only two – here or there)

Here – God lives in our universe. There are a few complications that this raises.

If He lives here, then he would be bound by the rules in effect here. He would be bound by Time, and therefore would not know everything. He could not know every cause and effect, because some effects have not happened, and the effects that they cause are not know.

Also – if he lives here, how did he create the universe that he is part of? If he in fact He lives here, then he would have been created when the universe was created – as He is part of it

Ok, so that does not work.

He must live out side of our universe.

But wait – if Time is an integral part of our universe, then he must live in a different time stream. If He lives in a different universe with different time, then how could he effect our universe with it’s own time? If our time does not effect Him, then our universe would be created and destroyed in no time in His universe. So, if he were to have created our universe, it would be over before any time passed in his time stream.

And, if he exists in another universe – what caused him? Every event has a cause, so what caused him? Did He have parents?

-Tsyko

6 thoughts on “More about God”

  1. <em>There’s a third choice: what if God is the Universe?</em>

    Then see argument #1 – He is bound by time/space – which is part of Him. Logically, you just cannot excape this. If He is part of our universe, then he cannot be omni-whatever because He is bound by the laws of Time and Space that we know to exist.

  2. So, I should belive in something <em>because</em> it’s not provable?

    "<em>Something that has freedom of motion in 3 dimensions would not be within the perceptions of something restricted to just 2. You can see that right? If you can’t leave the plane you are in, how can you detect me when I leave the plane for a different, perpendicular plane? I would cease to exist to your perceptions, but I would still perceive you, and be able to act on you.</em>"

    However, the flatlander would have no frame of refrence to even comprehend, let alone describe, the object that existed in 3D. So, logically, he could neiter prove nor disprove anything about it. It all comes down to Faith.

    <blockquote>Faith: # Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See synonyms at belief, trust.</blockquote>

    There is no way to hold a conherent discussion where one side is talking about logical reality and the other about Faith.

    To quote a freind:

    "<em>I just don’t understand any intellectual argument where a invisible deity is involved. What if I told you that I believe the Universe was spawned by a galactic chicken that, in a fit of extreme diarrhea, secreted the cosmos into being. This chicken now demanded gifts of grain annually after a good harvest to insure that next years harvest was bountiful as well. If next years harvest turns out to be bad, then we must have done something to displease the galactic chicken during the past year, and we must now spend 12 days wearing an outfit made from chicken feathers and come together in a pasture to worship him by flapping our arms up and down, scratching in the ground, and clucking?</em>"

    You cannot disprove the Great Chicken. You might not belive that this is true, however there is no way that you can disprove it.

    When someone plays the faith card in a logical discussion, it is tanatmount to them saying "I cannot explain it, I just belive it". Sorry if that does not do it for me. :)

    As in court, if some one is to make a claim – they should be able to defend that claim. If in a logical discussion, and they claim the existance of God, there should be some good logical evidence that is true. To just say "Well, it might be like this" is not enough. One should have a logical argument that stands up.

    So, in summary – Yes, God could be a Nth dimensional creature that we cannot perceive. However, that does not change the fact that there is no evidence that he exists. Infact, there is evidence that He does not exist. I would ask for what emperical evidence that you have that He does in fact exist.

  3. There’s a third choice: what if God <i>is</i> the Universe?

    For instance: are you inside or outside your body? It’s the exact same question.

    Point to the part that contains "you". Which neuron is it? Which part of the brain? Which synapses?

    Or are you just the sum of your perceptions?

    Here’s the basic problem with your question:
    You understand Euclidean Geometry, right?
    There are an infinite number of points in a line. How can that be? At some point, you should get to an ultimate ‘smallness’ and be able to start counting, right? But that’s just an aside.
    So take that line of infinite points…and now, without leaving the line, describe a plane.
    You can’t do it.
    You need at least two lines to describe a plane.
    But from the perspective of a point, the plane doesn’t exist; <i>can’t</i> exist.

    Likewise, from points within that plane, attempt to describe a three-dimensional object.

    Again, you can’t do it. The 3-D object <i>cannot</i> be described with only two dimensions.

    The 4th dimension is Time. A solid object in and of itself cannot be described in ‘time’ without moving within that dimension. We talk about ‘along’ the timestream, but that’s just our perception, because we do move from the past to the future.

    So, what if there were a fifth dimension (and I’m not talking about the soul group). How would you detect it or even know it was there?

    Rather than trying to locate God in the dimensions you know, consider again:

    Something that has freedom of motion in 3 dimensions would not be within the perceptions of something restricted to just 2. You can see that right? If you can’t leave the plane you are in, how can you detect me when I leave the plane for a different, perpendicular plane? I would cease to exist to your perceptions, but I would still perceive you, and be able to act on you.

    I will spare you the same comparison between a plan and a line, and a line and point.

    About suffering…well, is suffering always bad? Have you ever worked out? Some suffering leads to growth, and some suffering prevents even greater suffering later on.

    Do you have kids? Do you control every aspect of their lives to prevent any suffering whatsoever? Does a 14-year-old who is prevented from going out with their friends <i>really</i> understand how minor that depravation is? Probably not.

    Have you ever known a person whose parents managed to prevent the child from experiencing even 10% of the normal suffering of life? The ones <i>I’ve</i> seen weren’t worth a crap.

    …and that’s even aside from the idea that most of the suffering we experience in this life is due to the selfish decisions of sinful people.

    That’s only a scant introduction to the wonderful world of theology. I’ll be back to check your disagreements later. [grin]

  4. I did point out the free will problem in my original comment and I agree with you there.<br /><br />The most useful thing about the analogy in my mind is that it does demonstrate well that a different persepective, a different frame of reference, can make the same thing look very different.<br /><br />From a movie watchers point of view a movie is much different from a movie character’s point of view, even though the movie is the same thing.<br /><br />One could probably better construct an analogy with a virtual reality world (even something like EverQuest or the Sims) with God being the designer/programmer and the characters being us humans. <br /><br />I kind of like the idea of us as humans (in the real world) having a strong analogy to this idea, where a portion of us is a mortal being (the character and part of the world) and a portion of us is immortal and outside of it (the human player behind the character.)

  5. I would agree that just because we cannot comprehend something does not make it untrue. <br /><br />Several issues with the motion picture analogy.<br /><br />First off, the watchers of the movie cannot effect the movie. The plot of the movie is already set in stone, as it were.<br /><br />We can no more cause changes in the Matrix then an outsider could in that enviroment. If the outcome is already known, and the causes are already in place, then there is no wiggle room.<br /><br />Secondly, If the ‘outsider’ sees this world as a static artifact, and can ‘fast forward’ to see what the outcomes are, then we live in a deterministic world – everything is already determined and we have no choice in the matter.<br /><br />The issue of free will is the crux of this matter.<br /><br />I guess that I have a hard time with that. I would rather that my actions and choices were not pre-destined. If we destiny is in fact guiding our every act, thought and deed – then why should we try to better ourselves? Why should we attempt to reach beyond what we know?<br /><br />A pre-destined world is a sad place to live, IMO. And we come a full 180 back to the question of suffering.

  6. Richard Bach had an interesting analogy in his book Illusions.<br /><br />Basically he equated our lives/world with a movie and God or the God’s or whatever’s world with our world.<br /><br />The characters in the movie expirience time in a definate progression, from their point of view everything happens in order and the future is unpredictable.<br /><br />However, someone outside, in the real world, sees the movie as being a static artifact. The future is predictable, everthing is knowable. <br /><br />It would be impossible for any of the characters inside the movie to determine anything for certain about the movie maker or what his world was like.<br /><br />Of course this analogy is imperfect. Free will does not exist for the characters in a movie (although the illusion of it does) but it is an interesting way to think about this sort of problem.<br /><br />Of course the ultimate answer is, "It’s a mystery." <br /><br />Perhaps that is not very satisfing, but I for one am a little unwilling to abandon the idea at least that the mysterious and the unknowable may in fact exist.

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