I mentioned in a comment that there are three types of people:
- Those who worship gods.
- Those who don’t believe in gods.
- Those who become gods.
Mr Infidel was referring to the group in #3 and had question about them, where they are, and what they might do. Infidel said “category 3 is an empty set.”
Set theory is a particular love of mine, and I can’t help but pair Plato’s Cave Allegory to the particular set that Infidel is using.
In the allegory of the cave, you have a spectator who has access to only one field of view. The wall in front of them dances with the shadows cast by the fire. This is all they know, so exposure to the outside world, or even a three dimensional world would be shocking. To such a person in this cave-like existence, something like an ocean would be an empty set as well.
While Infidel hinted at technological supremacy as a method of attaining (or at least faking) divinity, he mentions no one has yet satisfied that. I agree. Based on the information and model used, Infidel is correct. The set IS empty. Or is it?
Perhaps the method will be technological, perhaps it will be through genetic alteration, epigenetics, evolution, that a species attains a godlike status.
If one existed, what would it be like?
We know from many religious texts gods have certain functions. They are routinely listed as eternal, they affect change in supernatural ways, and they tend to live in domains that are separate but accessible upon death or ascension. They are inherently counter-intuitive, with logical impasse as part of their formula.
From the general view of those who read scripture, they will take these functions at face value. God simply does things this way, and acts in mysterious ways. It is more the message than the mechanics that interest them.
A skeptic will simply deny that any of that is possible. Though there are ways to understand how gods might function, and specifically ways we might be able to identify their involvement in our lives.
This is where Aeternum comes in. Specifically, through knowledge, we can get a glimpse of such a thing, and find that an empty set is impossible. The set is occupied, almost necessarily. Likewise, we aspire to fill it.
I’ve mentioned the dimensional requirement for leading theories in physics. Some count as high as 26. Some 8. Some 10.
The mistake Infidel is making is assuming that the physical reality they experience is the totality of reality. This is, of course, demonstrably false. We can observe particle interactions, and entangled pairs that suggest dimensions of probable outcome(5), time(4), original conditions(6), and others. As well as measure these quantum effects on biological systems (microtubules, photosynthesis, benzene rings, etc.)
Here is an excerpt from my blog post “Psychic.”
Again, there are different models explaining the strangeness of the quantum world we live in. But they all share one commonality. They necessitate higher dimensions.
By dimensions, I don’t mean parallel realities. I am referring instead to “modes” or systems. I’ll briefly explain these up to the fifth dimension, though there could be as many as 26, excluding dimensional reduction.
The first dimension is a line.
The second dimension is two lines, occupying two distinguishable places. Like the letter Y. It has two branches, necessitating length and width.
The third is…well…you. You are made of three dimensions. Length, width, and height.
The fourth is time. What does something look like in the fourth dimension? It looks smeared out. If you looked at it, you would see it in multiple locations all at once. Want an example?
You are seeing a single sparkler in 4 dimensions. From start to finish. If you look closely, you can see the ghostly shadow of a human using it to cleverly write. You are seeing the sparkler from its initial light, to its fade on the far end. The totality of its shimmering existence.
In reality, it would have been lit, and the human would have waved it about, and you would have no idea what the final result was, because humans are three dimensional creatures. We can’t see the fourth without help. But once we do..its breathtaking.
A god is eternal. Thus we can assume they exist in at least four dimensions. Seeing them would be a process that takes a long time, because their actions may appear intermittently or over many decades/centuries/millennia. I would propose that the input of gods would affect a system slightly that is sensitive to the quality of space time geometry. Interference patterns, anomalous RNG output based on quantum coherence. There is evidence that these systems are affected by phenomenon (closely tied with major world events.) The extrapolation is that these systems derive their variations from collective human observation, as opposed to a deity. However, the collective effect of these observers could not be discounted as a possible definition of divinity. In other words, people are affecting the change. Yet the change their affecting would satisfy the capability of a god. But even these changes require massive data gathering tools at many locations across the globe to detect. As a comparison, liquid water discovered recently on Mars was only a couple decades displaced from this data gathering. Which speaks volumes to the difficulty in its detection.
Further more, gods are said to affect changes on systems beyond to their benefit. Turning water into wine, healing, sickening, whatever it may be. In order to have these changes immediately, this would require the alteration of initial conditions at the source of the single variable backward in time. In other words, a god that could turn water into wine would be able to instantly impact the orientation of matter and energy in every way. Even to their own detriment.
I mentioned logical impasse. There are several paradoxes encountered in theology, sometimes introduced in seminary regarding an all powerful god. I copied this list from Wikipedia (below.) Any skeptic would be entirely justified in demanding the satisfactory solution to these paradoxes. Upon examination, however, you’ll find that the dimensional attributes assigned to a god perfectly explain the paradoxes. All of them.
- “Y is absolutely omnipotent” means that “Y” can do anything that can be expressed in a string of words even if it is self-contradictory: “Y” is not bound by the laws of logic.”
- “Y is omnipotent” means “Y can do X” is true if and only if X is a logically consistent description of a state of affairs. This position was once advocated by Thomas Aquinas. This definition of omnipotence solves some of the paradoxes associated with omnipotence, but some modern formulations of the paradox still work against this definition. Let X = “to make something that its maker cannot lift.” As Mavrodes points out there is nothing logically contradictory about this. A man could, for example, make a boat that he could not lift.
- “Y is omnipotent” means “Y can do X” is true if and only if “Y does X” is logically consistent. Here the idea is to exclude actions that are inconsistent for Y to do but might be consistent for others. Again sometimes it looks as if Aquinas takes this position. Here Mavrodes’ worry about X= “to make something its maker cannot lift” is no longer a problem, because “God does X” is not logically consistent. However, this account may still have problems with moral issues like X = “tells a lie” or temporal issues like X = “brings it about that Rome was never founded.”
- “Y is omnipotent” means whenever “Y will bring about X” is logically possible, then “Y can bring about X” is true. This sense, also does not allow the paradox of omnipotence to arise, and unlike definition #3 avoids any temporal worries about whether or not an omnipotent being could change the past. However, Geach criticizes even this sense of omnipotence as misunderstanding the nature of God’s promises.
- “Y is almighty” means that Y is not just more powerful than any creature; no creature can compete with Y in power, even unsuccessfully. In this account nothing like the omnipotence paradox arises, but perhaps that is because God is not taken to be in any sense omnipotent. On the other hand, Anselm of Canterbury seems to think that almightiness is one of the things that make God count as omnipotent.
Likewise, I would suggest that the effectiveness of a god, while possible of increasing exponentially, will eventually reach a point of perfect harmony with the quantum states they wish to effect.
In other words, a new god would be able to use their power sporadically, with little yield. But if their focus was on increasing their yield by UTILIZING the ability they had, it would be in increase of a trend. Exponential curvature.