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Author Topic: Is god just a bunch of numbers?  (Read 7144 times)

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Offline Inkidu

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #75 on: October 30, 2008, 07:00:18 PM »
Well then no. He's not. He's everywhere but not everything.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #76 on: October 30, 2008, 07:06:53 PM »
How can God be everywhere but not be everything?

If god is in the electrons that get stimulated to show a picture on my laptop, god IS that picture on my laptop.

You can't have it both ways.


Offline Cecily

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2008, 07:07:16 PM »
Not everywhere.

Every thing.

Most/All Christians believe that God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. I don't know what you're getting at saying God is 'everything'. Are you implying that God is everything, such as he is a chair, a couch, a computer, etc? o_O

If Christians knew that, then they wouldn't believe what they believe.

If God is everything, then they would understand that you can't venerate him in such a limited way.

If it is the case that they know that and do not act upon it, then it is treasonous to their beliefs.

If it is the case that they know that and believe that they are acting upon it, then it is stupidity on their behalf.

I think most christians believe that God is everywhere, hence the belief of that he is omnipresent and omniscient.  Not that he is everything. Even if they do believe God is everything, it doesn't make them stupid just because they believe that.

What limited way are you referring to? Praying? I don't think that Christians venerate God in a limited way, they pray, go to church, all of that stuff doesn't seem inadequate, if that is what you mean. :p

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #78 on: October 30, 2008, 07:08:47 PM »
I think I might see the problem.  Using the word 'three' to refer to the numerical concept is, of course, completely arbitrary and made up.  The concept of three stays the same no matter whether it's being described with the word three or drei or trois or whatever.  So the word could be called abstract, but not the idea which it describes.  Is that the disgreement here?

Right. Every letter in this message is encoded as a number. We give each of those numbers names, but the underlying mathematics is the same, originating differences in voltage and magnetic strength that are returned as discrete values.

Very well you can't touch two, you can't smell, or taste two, you can't really see two as an idea. You see the quantity of two (Two apples, two, oranges, but never two.), or the symbol used to represent two, so two and all numbers are abstract.

"Two" is an abstraction. As is 10, 2, whatever. The number it represents is not an abstraction, however. An abstraction is a representation, and that would imply that the state of having two apples could just as well be replaced with the state of having one apple, no matter what you called those numbers.

The sort of argument you're taking here is representative of why proving that 1 + 1 = 2 actually takes a few pages to work out in analysis, but the end result is the same - the numbers themselves represent a construct and are not, themselves, abstractions.

Quote
However, in interest of getting this back on topic. Does the some of all things in the universe equal God? No. That is like saying all the words in a book add up to its author. No they add up to the authors work but not him as a being. I can write a book with its own universe laws, boundaries. I am obligated to work within that universe's laws, and boundaries but it is not me.
So adding up every quark in the universe isn't going to let you see God. It will let you see the whole of His creation but you're not going to see Him. You might see the house in which he dwells. Just like a creator likes to use the houses they build to live in, but you're not guaranteed to se the creator himself. 

As I mentioned, if 'God' exists, the most likely explanation is that the Universe is a simulation. Which would actually tell us a great deal about God. Made in his image, indeed.

Premise One:  If God exists, he must be all powerful, omnipresent and all good, or at the very least, all powerful and omnipresent.

This one is easily shown to be false.

Someone who makes a simulation is not in the simulation. They are not even necessarily in that simulation at all times, all powerful, or even omniscient regarding it.

Offline Cecily

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #79 on: October 30, 2008, 07:10:00 PM »
How can God be everywhere but not be everything?

If god is in the electrons that get stimulated to show a picture on my laptop, god IS that picture on my laptop.

You can't have it both ways.



Because he's God, and it's complicated and hard for people to explain their beliefs about him completely. -Shrugs- There may not be a God, or any gods at all, but regardless of if there is or not I don't believe that a god can be everything. I guess some people view God in a more scientific way, and others in a more mythical sense, and that's why their opinions differ?

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #80 on: October 30, 2008, 07:22:56 PM »
Right. Every letter in this message is encoded as a number. We give each of those numbers names, but the underlying mathematics is the same, originating differences in voltage and magnetic strength that are returned as discrete values.

"Two" is an abstraction. As is 10, 2, whatever. The number it represents is not an abstraction, however. An abstraction is a representation, and that would imply that the state of having two apples could just as well be replaced with the state of having one apple, no matter what you called those numbers.

The sort of argument you're taking here is representative of why proving that 1 + 1 = 2 actually takes a few pages to work out in analysis, but the end result is the same - the numbers themselves represent a construct and are not, themselves, abstractions.

As I mentioned, if 'God' exists, the most likely explanation is that the Universe is a simulation. Which would actually tell us a great deal about God. Made in his image, indeed.

This one is easily shown to be false.

Someone who makes a simulation is not in the simulation. They are not even necessarily in that simulation at all times, all powerful, or even omniscient regarding it.
My second post after that one elaborates. I know abstractions are applied concretely. I agree with his in real numbers. I know they're all basically (For lack of a better word.)  made up, in a  sense. Negative numbers can exist. I just never get imaginary numbers. They were invented for problems that have no real solution and then applied concretely? It's a little throwing. I'm not in to higher math either.

The author thing wasn't for your argument, it was for whoever said the sum of all things equals God. That's sort of like saying two plus two equals me just because I wrote it on the board. I believe if we were to see the universe as a whole (and survive) we would see the ideas of God but not God himself. However, if you believe in God, he doesn't see everything just as it is. Like we would. He would be able to see everything that has been and will be knowing all possibilities of every quark in the universe. So I have to imagine his big picture would make ours look something like a Highlights picture puzzle.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #81 on: October 30, 2008, 07:34:35 PM »
... I decided that I was breaking one of my personal rules.

I'm backing out of this convo!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 07:38:08 PM by PhantomPistoleer »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #82 on: October 31, 2008, 10:26:11 PM »
My second post after that one elaborates. I know abstractions are applied concretely. I agree with his in real numbers. I know they're all basically (For lack of a better word.)  made up, in a  sense. Negative numbers can exist. I just never get imaginary numbers. They were invented for problems that have no real solution and then applied concretely? It's a little throwing. I'm not in to higher math either.

You need to separate the term from what it represents. Like how the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is neither a democracy or a republic, does not represent its people, and certainly doesn't have a prayer at consuming the rest of historical Korea.

Likewise, the terms imaginary number and real number are just classifications. The -terms- are abstractions, the numbers themselves are not. You might, for example, read that the three spacial dimensions are real dimensions, and that time is an imaginary dimension. It's not incorrect, but certainly, time is quite real, you would agree.

Likewise, string theory requires at least six additional 'real dimensions'. They may not exist, they may have nothing to do with reality, but are still termed real dimensions because that's the underlying math behind them.

Three-phase electrical power is another example - phase to phase voltage will always have an 'imaginary' component, but if you cross it you will find that the resulting shock is quite real : )

i = sqrt (-1)

We call the result imaginary, but in terms of mathematics, its use lets us handle very concrete aspects of our Universe, from understanding time itself to supplying your computer (and every machine in between you and me) with power.

Quote
The author thing wasn't for your argument, it was for whoever said the sum of all things equals God. That's sort of like saying two plus two equals me just because I wrote it on the board. I believe if we were to see the universe as a whole (and survive) we would see the ideas of God but not God himself. However, if you believe in God, he doesn't see everything just as it is. Like we would. He would be able to see everything that has been and will be knowing all possibilities of every quark in the universe. So I have to imagine his big picture would make ours look something like a Highlights picture puzzle.

I was addressing them with that, but you're still making the same mistake.

You technically have omniscient control over your computer. Do you know every last thing that goes on? Of course not. In fact for any Turing complete machine, such knowledge is not just difficult, but actively impossible. You can have a great deal of understanding, but you cannot have complete understanding.

That only disproves an omniscient God if logic applies to it, but the resulting dichotomy there is amusing.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #83 on: October 31, 2008, 10:40:10 PM »
Well that's what I said. I don't exactly know what you're driving at. If humans ever glimpsed all of existence in its entirety well that would give us the present picture, maybe limited predictability. However, God would know everything that could ever possibly happen. So his picture would be the Mona Lisa and ours would be a Highlights Puzzle. There, complete, black and white, but a lot of things just outside of our scope of vision. That's what separates God from humanity. So even if we knew all of existence it would be like reading God's dedication in the front of the book. Infinity is tricky like that. 

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #84 on: October 31, 2008, 11:04:38 PM »
How can God be everywhere but not be everything?

If god is in the electrons that get stimulated to show a picture on my laptop, god IS that picture on my laptop.

You can't have it both ways.



I'm not so sure on that.


If god existed in a form that's completely unrelated to matter or energy as we know it, and for the sake of argument let's assume god fits the standard Christian model of an omniscient-omnipotent being, then I'll assume he's capable of pulling this off.

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #85 on: October 31, 2008, 11:15:13 PM »
This just came to me, but there are two books that really comprise most of the whole 'mathematical depiction of G/god' thing for me.  One is Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, and the other is The Fourth Dimension by Rudy Rucker.  We've all probably heard the phrase describing G/god as being on 'a higher plane', and both of these books sort of take that literally.  In the first book (which is much more accessible publication-wise), our hero is a Square that gets talked to by a Sphere.  The Sphere appears to be one to the Flatland 'priests' (circles), can appear inside a locked room, can be heard when not visible, can see everything in Flatland at once, can even touch someone in their 'insides'.  When the Sphere takes the Square out into 3-space, it's impossible for the Square to take it all in - the images just can't properly form.  

This isn't intended to contradict anything already said, just an interesting addition to the whole 'math and G/god' discussion.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #86 on: October 31, 2008, 11:23:00 PM »

A complete possibility in my view, as modern cosmology readily accepts there are more dimensions than those we can observe.

As Carl Sagan put it, when he explained the concept of Flatland and then took it up one step to conceptualize the fourth dimension, that fourth dimension has to be simultaneously perpendicular to all other dimensions. Being as the fourth is often referred to as time, then by this reasoning god either exists in the timestream or actually is the timestream.

Going on the Flatland concept one more time, we only perceived a slice of time at any given moment; the fleeting now we're all in. Seeing all of time at once I guess is pretty damn close to omniscient-omnipotent in my book.  :-\

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #87 on: October 31, 2008, 11:59:22 PM »
Well that's what I said. I don't exactly know what you're driving at. If humans ever glimpsed all of existence in its entirety well that would give us the present picture, maybe limited predictability. However, God would know everything that could ever possibly happen. So his picture would be the Mona Lisa and ours would be a Highlights Puzzle. There, complete, black and white, but a lot of things just outside of our scope of vision. That's what separates God from humanity. So even if we knew all of existence it would be like reading God's dedication in the front of the book. Infinity is tricky like that. 

I'll try to explain it differently, then. For the proofs, you can look up Gödel's incompleteness theorems and the halting problem.

No complete understanding of the Universe can be correct. No correct understanding can be complete.

I'll try to summarize. Even with infinite data storage and computing power - ie, the actual -ability- to take a snapshot of an infinite Universe (which ours may or may not be) and evaluate it, you cannot perfectly predict the outcome derived from a given state without actually evolving the entire system.

That is to say, omniscience is a logical impossibility.

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #88 on: November 01, 2008, 10:27:47 AM »
There's actually a very simple proof to why no deity can be all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful at the same time, and the crux is that 'Evil exists.'

There are three reasons that a deity would allow evil to exist:

1) He doesn't know about it. (Scratch all-knowing.)
2) He knows about it, but can't prevent it. (Scratch all-powerful.)
3) He knows about it, can prevent it, but chooses not to. (Scratch all-good.)

Now, I know that the typical comeback to this is 'But we were given free will, and point #3 would countermand free will,' but the act of giving us free will (deliberate or not), takes away some of the power (point #2.)

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #89 on: November 01, 2008, 10:54:34 AM »
Point three is a fallacy. If God were to choose to stop all evil there would be no free will. Just because he chooses not to stop all evil doesn't mean he's any less all-good. To stop all evil from existing right now would be tyranny and that is a sin. God is all-good all the time. That is the only real condition. He can choose to be everywhere, or all-powerful whenever he wants. That's the true mark of power. If I have to power to oppress thousands of people to stop evil and choose not to. Doesn't that make me a better person than if I had stopped evil?

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #90 on: November 01, 2008, 11:10:16 AM »
Considering the fact that there's an entire branch of philosophy (Theodicy) devoted to the 'problem of evil', and my own post is derived from the works of Epicurus, I doubt we'll come to a resolution for this on a forum thread.   ;)

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #91 on: November 01, 2008, 11:38:50 AM »
Considering the fact that there's an entire branch of philosophy (Theodicy) devoted to the 'problem of evil', and my own post is derived from the works of Epicurus, I doubt we'll come to a resolution for this on a forum thread.   ;)
Well yes I agree to disagree. That's not to say I don't believe there is no right or wrong answer. There always is.
That and we are off topic. So on that kilter. Is God merely a bunch of numbers? No. No amount of numbers can add up to the soul.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #92 on: November 02, 2008, 06:07:36 AM »
What is a soul?

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #93 on: November 02, 2008, 06:45:10 AM »

Exactly.

Offline Sherona

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #94 on: November 02, 2008, 07:26:44 AM »
There is never a right or wrong answer, atleast none that anyone has ever been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, when it comes to Religion. Is there a god? Is there not a god? If there is a god, is it Allah, Jehovah, The Lord or Lady? The great bosoms? Me?

I mean, besides me who you could probbaly easily disprove I am god by just looking at mistakes I make intyping, in just about everything -unless I am doing it on purpose to through you mortals off track- you can not prove anything from the questions above.

So there is no right or wrong just yet, only theoretical right's and wrong's.

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #95 on: November 02, 2008, 07:31:04 AM »
What I wonder is can numbers/math be applied to everything in existance? Is it conceivable that there could be anything that numbers couldn't be applied to?

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #96 on: November 02, 2008, 10:48:51 AM »
What I wonder is can numbers/math be applied to everything in existance? Is it conceivable that there could be anything that numbers couldn't be applied to?

*rubs hands evilly*  Give me time.  Give me time.  And a really kick-ass spreadsheet program.

Seriously, though - anything that has cycles, which comprises a lot of biological processes, you can at least approximate through math.  Growth and decay processes, as well.  Laws of physics?  Nearly inseparable from Calculus, if you want to understand them, rather than memorize them.  The Fibonacci sequence has been found in nature to an almost eerie degree.  Sound waves can be reconstructed with sines and cosines.  Fractals have been used to make stunningly realistic recreations of everything from terrain to tree leaves.  (Mandelbrot and Barnsley are good starting points for pure fractals.  Cliff Pickover has some amazing creations as well.)  Chaos theory can create (though not predict) simulated weather patterns as 'natural' as the ones outside.  (Check out Lorenz's work on that.  You'll never look at a butterfly the same way again.  Gleick's Chaos is another good starting point.) 

Maybe there's not a single or small set of Divine Equations, but at least some aspect of the Divine enjoys playing with a calculator.  (*gives another yank back towards the original topic*)

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #97 on: November 02, 2008, 11:09:32 AM »
*rubs hands evilly*  Give me time.  Give me time.  And a really kick-ass spreadsheet program.

*laughs* That would be one interesting program..

Quote
Seriously, though - anything that has cycles, which comprises a lot of biological processes, you can at least approximate through math.  Growth and decay processes, as well.  Laws of physics?  Nearly inseparable from Calculus, if you want to understand them, rather than memorize them.  The Fibonacci sequence has been found in nature to an almost eerie degree.  Sound waves can be reconstructed with sines and cosines.  Fractals have been used to make stunningly realistic recreations of everything from terrain to tree leaves.  (Mandelbrot and Barnsley are good starting points for pure fractals.  Cliff Pickover has some amazing creations as well.)  Chaos theory can create (though not predict) simulated weather patterns as 'natural' as the ones outside.  (Check out Lorenz's work on that.  You'll never look at a butterfly the same way again.  Gleick's Chaos is another good starting point.) 

Maybe there's not a single or small set of Divine Equations, but at least some aspect of the Divine enjoys playing with a calculator.  (*gives another yank back towards the original topic*)

Interesting references! I'll take a look at them.

So if everything in existance could be measured with numbers, then the concept or 'god factor', and the soul would be as well. Fortunately it wouldn't be the only way to perceive things. When we look at a sunrise we don't have to just see the science behind it, we can appreciate its beauty. While beauty and other ephemeral qualities would have an equation, the numbers would just be a tool or language to help us grow but not everything. While everything may have numbers, it wouldn't define us. The moment it does we become Borg (star trek reference!)

(I hope I'm on track with the original point! hehe)

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Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #98 on: November 02, 2008, 11:49:02 AM »
This topic would come up while all of my books are in inaccessible piles.  >:( *resorts to Amazon... then Pickover's home page*   Pickover did write a book called "Computers, Pattern, Chaos and Beauty: Graphics from an Unseen World", which goes into this a bit, and while tracking that down, I found out he has also written things on Mathematics as applied to God (http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/pickover/home.htm, link on the left.)  I haven't read any of those texts, but his previous work is very readable even for non-math people.  (But not boring for those with more interest in the subject.)

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Is god just a bunch of numbers?
« Reply #99 on: November 02, 2008, 12:07:00 PM »
That book is interesting. Was just reading a review regarding it and it looks like one of Pickover's goals was to show through computer graphics the role of aesthetics in mathematics.

Im going to pick that book up. It looks intriguing. Thanks!