Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate
Assume that God is real. (Is real...Isreal...nevermind).
Assume he's the eternal, omnisicent, infinite guy with the beard and throne.
I'm going to set aside omniscience and eternal for now because I think they're the most difficult characteristics to detect.
If he is real, then things we use to detect real things ought to work to detect him. But if he's infinite, how would we know when we have detected him? What I mean is that the way our senses and machines for extending our senses work is by a sort of filtering system. We filter those things we are interested in out from those things which we are not interested in. A thermometer for example, is calibrated to detect a certain range of temperatures but is not affected by motion. Thus it filters motion (and all manner of other effects) from temperature and then filters the temp for a certain range. Using a thermometer for detecting phenomena for which it was not designed will be unlikely to provide information useful to describing the world.
But if what we want to detect is infinite, omniscient, and eternal, we need a detector that eliminates everything that is not eternal, omniscient and infinite. So what does an infinity detector look like? Put another way, is there anything we have that could be used to detect infinity? Or another way, can a finite set define an infinite set?
I guess it depends on what we mean by "define". If define = enumerate, then no, it is impossible to enumerate an infinite set with a finite set. You cannot take a set of numbers less than infinite and line them up, one-for-one, with an infinite set. So our tool cannot be anything that depends on exhaustively labeling. It has to be clever rather than gross.
But we can define several kinds of infinity, symbolically. And if we understand the symbology then we understand how to classify things in relation to different sizes or kinds of infinity.
So, what kind of infinite is God? Well, if he created everything including mathematics, then all infinities were created by him as well. Since something greater cannot be created by something lesser (unless God so wills it..., hence the miraculous), then God must be greater than the greatest infinity.
So how do we know when we're dealing with an infinity greater than that which humanity has ever imagined and not some lesser infinity?