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Irreducibale Complexity

10101001 10101001 (732688) writes | more than 5 years ago

User Journal 5

God is All-Mighty. To be All-Mighty, God must be infinite.

An infinite being is irreducibly complex in so far that an infinite being could not be made finite. Hence, any substantive representation of an infinite being would be infinite.

The Bible is a representation of God. The Bible is finite.

Hence, the Bible cannot be a substantive representation of an All-Mighty God.

God is All-Mighty. To be All-Mighty, God must be infinite.

An infinite being is irreducibly complex in so far that an infinite being could not be made finite. Hence, any substantive representation of an infinite being would be infinite.

The Bible is a representation of God. The Bible is finite.

Hence, the Bible cannot be a substantive representation of an All-Mighty God.

This either leaves God as less than All-Mighty (and specifically finite) or leaves all holy texts as inrepresentative of their respective infinite deities.

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Durr (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26823439)

Hence, the Bible cannot be a substantive representation of an All-Mighty God.

I don't think the most hardcore fundamentalist would disagree with you on that point, it really boils down to a matter of degrees as the counterargument is that, while obviously not the totality of God, the Bible gets all the basic parts right.

Think about it this way: God would communicate with finite humans in a finite way. Hence, 10 commandments, a few Beatitudes, and a scattering of interferences performed on certain archetypal individuals to keep everybody up to speed.

You should check out MarxistHacker42. He's an interesting guy here on Slashdot to talk to on topics like this.

Re:Durr (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824639)

Hence, the Bible cannot be a substantive representation of an All-Mighty God.

I don't think the most hardcore fundamentalist would disagree with you on that point, it really boils down to a matter of degrees as the counterargument is that, while obviously not the totality of God, the Bible gets all the basic parts right.

You're obviously missing my argument. To reduce God's message into its "basic parts" would take a part of an infinite God and reduce it down to an infinite message. Any finite message would fail to encapsulate God's basic message because God and his message are irreducibly complex. The "matter of degree" is the very point of the argument, as no degree of reduction of God's message to finite will produce a substantively right message. So, one has to accept that either (a) God isn't infinite or (b) the Bible is simply wrong. This also means, btw, things like "man was made in [God's] image" can't be right in any substantive way unless either man is infinite or God is finite; figuratively, it might hold some weight though.

Infinity (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826453)

Hence, any substantive representation of an infinite being would be infinite.

I think you've got a mistake in your reasoning. A line is infinite, yet I can describe it fully in the statement "y=mx+b".

In fact, you made a statement about the nature of God: "To be All-Mighty, God must be infinite." You just said something substantive about the nature of an infinite God, using a finite number of words. Why can't the Bible do the same?

Re:Infinity (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26831251)

Hence, any substantive representation of an infinite being would be infinite.

I think you've got a mistake in your reasoning. A line is infinite, yet I can describe it fully in the statement "y=mx+b".

I guess that means I cannot just use "irreduibly complex" to explain away things without thinking.

In fact, you made a statement about the nature of God: "To be All-Mighty, God must be infinite." You just said something substantive about the nature of an infinite God, using a finite number of words. Why can't the Bible do the same?

The problem isn't whether the Bible can say a few things substantive about the nature of God. The problem is, the Bible is designed to say sufficiently substantive things about the nature of God that one can directly or indirectly learn God's will to carry it out. God's will is the substance being discussed. Having said that, perhaps there does exist a finite, possibly mathematical representation of God's will. I haven't actually seen that in the Bible (or in any other holy text), though. Having said that, I can't currently prove it couldn't exist.

PS - Good job pointing out some discrepancies.

Re:Infinity (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26832963)

The problem is, the Bible is designed to say sufficiently substantive things about the nature of God that one can directly or indirectly learn God's will to carry it out. God's will is the substance being discussed.

Okay. I think you're saying something along these lines: God's will is infinitely complex. Any attempt to completely describe the nature (or "rules") of God's will would, necessarily, contain at least one exception, where your potential description didn't accurately describe God's will. But that exception would have at least one more exception. Etc...

So, to accurately describe God's will, you would have to have a description of infinite length. The Bible is obviously not of infinite length, so cannot be an accurate description of God's will. Am I on the right track?

So, all that's left to prove, is the statement, "God's will is infinitely complex". But, I think that's a fundamentally different statement than, "God is infinite". Because some infinite things can be very simple (a line).

But, don't take spiritual advice from me. I'm an atheist. Ask a Catholic; they've been thinking about this stuff for 2000 years.

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