Friday, May 30, 2008
Bouncer Genius and God
By Richard E. Noble
The other night on TV they found the man with the highest I.Q. in America. He was working as a bouncer in a night club, and his main intellectual interest in life was to prove the existence of God, mathematically. He said that the existence of God has yet to have been established by any human thinker to date, and that he had taken up the challenge, and that it was now his life's goal.
I am not one of the greatest thinkers to have ever lived, but I have also been concerned with this problem for as far back as I can remember in my life, and I am going to be so bold as to predict the results of this man's mathematical inquiry even though I have almost no mathematical skills whatsoever.
First of all, as it stands today the world believes in basically two Gods. Today there is the God of religion, and the God of science.
The God of religion is a sociological, psychological, human entity. This God is a composite of reason, compassion, power, love, justice, conscience, intellect, and all of the qualities admired by humankind extended or expanded to infinity. This God of religion will never be discovered mathematically. The reason being, is that compassion, truth, justice and beauty etc. are qualities that can not be reduced to a formula of A square plus B square - all of the mathematical calculations in the world will not prove the Bible, the Koran or the Upanishads to be the word of God, or Jesus to be the Son of God, or Mohammed to be the prophet of God. And as Saint Augustine and others after him have pointed out, God is beyond the capacity of human reason and intellect and a matter for faith.
On this point the true believer and the atheist are as two adjacent but at the same time, extreme points on a circle. From one point of view they are as far apart on the circle as two points can be, yet from another point of view, almost one and the same. The only difference between the philosophical atheist and the philosophical true believer is that the atheist says that nothing is beyond the capacity of human reason and intellect. What is necessary at the point where human reason seems to fail is more knowledge, not faith or belief, or revelation.
Once a definition is placed on God and God is given any attributes, the concept of God becomes paradoxical and illogical. If you give a secular or atheistic philosopher a definition of your God, he can prove by whatever definition that you provide that your concept of God is unreasonable, illogical, or paradoxical - and therefore untrue. The only requirement for true being - that it conforms to reason and logic. If you throw out the requirement of reasonableness or logic then, of course, any and all definitions of God are equal and acceptable.
The God of science is another God entirely. This God can be reduced to the notion of a Force or Power operating to keep the Universe in motion and afloat in the heavens. This God is not connected with sociological criteria such as morality or justice. He is simply an unexplainable, yet to be discovered or determined or defined force, power or physical principle - a physical principle governing, or at the root of, all of the so far discovered principles behind the motion and matter of the Universe.
Mathematics will not discover this God either - because mathematics is not a science of discovery but explanation. Like a computer you can only get out of it what you put into it. You can not discover new facts from mathematics, you can only suppose them. And they are supposed by hypothesis which is guessing. So my prediction is that our bouncer genius will come to the mathematical conclusion that our Universe is self perpetuating, or as yet unexplainable. He will not discover that A square + B square - the square root of 0 = God.
Considering that all definitions of God can be proved to be logically impossible, to suggest that life is fantastically improbable and that therefore there must be a God is to replace the highly improbable with the totally impossible.