Tuesday, 13 May 2008

First Post - About Time Too.

Okay, okay, so this has been a while coming; I originally set this up so that I could comment on other people's blogs - the title was a little play on words that I had been mulling over ever since reading about the Omnipotence Paradox (basically the idea that if an omnipotent entity Y cannot create a stone which is too heavy for it to lift then it is not omnipotent and if it can then the fact of not being able to lift it makes it not omnipotent).
This got me to thinking about one of my favourite mathematical proofs from back in my school days - the proof by contradiction aka Reductio ad absurdum; the principal is that you take a definition and then prove that the definition is self contradictory. The first time that I encountered this technique was for proving that the square root of two is not a rational number. This is done by assuming that the square root of two is rational and then showing that the assumption is self contradictory:

CAUTION: The following contains maths and will probably only be enjoyed by geeks. If you want to skip down to "So what does all this have to do with god(s)?" then no-one will mind, but you are missing out.

If √2 is rational, then √2 = m/n
where m and n are integers with no common factors.

So our definition consists of four things:
1) √2 = m/n
2) m is an integer
3) n is an integer
4) m and n have no common factors

If we can show that these four things cannot all be simultaneously true then we have a contradiction and √2 must therefore be irrational.

If √2 = m/n
Then 2 = m²/n²
and 2n² = m²
therefore m² is an even number (since it is divisible by two) and since the square of a odd number is odd and vice versa, m itself must be an even number.

Since m is an even number it can be represented by 2a, where a is an integer,
thus 2n² = m²
=> 2n² = (2a
=> 2n² = 4a²
=> n² = 2a²

So now we can see that (for the same reasons as above) n must also be an even number, thus we have contradicted 4) as both m and n have a common factor of two. Therefore, since all numbers are either rational or irrational, √2 must be irrational.

So what does all this have to do with god(s)?

Well, one of the favourite little nuggets of stupid pulled out by apologists is, "to know that [insert name of deity(s) here] doesn't exist would require you to know everything about the entire universe and, since you don't, you cannot state that [whatever] doesn't exist." Leaving aside the obvious fallacy of proving the negative, it isn't necessary to know the entire universe inside out to prove that it doesn't contain square circles, for example, since the definition of such an entity is self contradictory and thus no entity can possibly fulfill the definition. Likewise with most deities; their definitions are self contradictory, such as being omnipotent which is a contradiction all in itself, and so they cannot exist and the questions as to where you would look and "what evidence would convince you" (another favourite) become nonsensical.

That then is my mission for this blog; I will (at least attempt to) disprove by definition the existence of any gods that I come across. Initially I will use the common definitions of gods as they are understood by most people, but to avoid the whole, "that's not my god - his beard is too long," phenomenon, I will also be accepting definitions from commenters of a theistic persuasion. Assuming that anyone is still reading, that is...


Rebecca in TX said...

Please provide absolute proof and evidence that the God of the Bible does not exist.

felix said...

Ok, Rebecca:
The God of the Bible cannot exist because he is self-created outside of a spatiotemporal framework. Neither creation nor self-creation outside of time are possible. Time does not 'occur' without space to occur in. Either God existed in some space for some time, which means that his space and time were pre-existent, or everything we know about physics and causality is false.
Some negatives can be proven.

Rebecca in TX said...

Thank you for responding Paul. You are right in that a created being must exist inside of space and time. Everything we know about physics and causality falls apart when there is no cause, nothing can not create something. By definition, an infinite, eternal being has always existed—no one created God. The Bible clearly states that He is the self-existing, eternal not self created. He exists outside of space and time. The God of the Bible can exist because he is eternal outside of a spatiotemporal framework. Creating the universe is possible outside of space and time by an eternal being. Everything we know about physics and causality is true only if an eternal being outside of space and time caused it all. Otherwise you are left with nothing caused everything and that flies in the face of everything we know about physics and causality.

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

ExPatMatt said...