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Is a god possible?

  1. Feb 28, 2004 #1
    One thing that most gods have in common is omniscience, I have a huge problem with this because omniscience is not possible. In order to know everything about everything you would have to gather information of the entire universe instaneously. This would break one of the most accepted, tested and fundamental laws of physics: Enstien's theory of relativity. We have proof that information can not travel faster than C(the speed of light).

    I guess one could say that a god would circumvent the laws of nature but one treads thin ice with that arguement as if it does follow the laws that govern our univrese, it has no bearing on our reality.

    I would rather not look into if there is a god in this discussion, but rather, IS A GOD POSSIBLE?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2004 #2
    laws of physics apply to the physical. without a definition of god, we assume that s/he/it exists in the realm of non-physical. hence no limitations.

    in QM information is transmitted immediately. faster than "C".

  4. Feb 28, 2004 #3


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    The whole point of God is to introduce a loophole that breaks the laws of the universe. The whole point of scientific research (usually) is to explain those breaks in the laws of the universe as new complexities, subclauses to the laws we are still discovering.
  5. Feb 28, 2004 #4
    And my whole point is that something completely outside of our physical reality can only be introduced by our imagination. And thus anything outside of our physical reality has no meaning other then what we conjure for it.

    As far as quantum information traveling faster then light, you are probably talking about quantum entanglement, this process does not allow the transfer of information. Anything that does not carry information is allowed to travel faster then light without breaking causality(and thus our understanding of physics)

    edit: spelling
  6. Feb 28, 2004 #5
    can you prove that light is necessary to transmit information and that the transmission of information is somehow necessarily entangled with the properties of light?
  7. Feb 28, 2004 #6
    Lets see, no I can not "prove that light is necessary to transmit information" but then again I never claimed such and I don't really see the significance. It is not light we are talking about here but the speed of light.

    I believe you are confused on the physics I was explaining. Quantum entanglement is a quantum mechanic in which information could "possibly" be transmited faster then the speed of light. But it turns out although quantum particles in entanglement do share states over any distance instantly, they are still creatures of the uncertainty principle and thus completely random and chaotic and no information is shared between them.
  8. Feb 28, 2004 #7


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  9. Feb 28, 2004 #8

    I disagree. Religions personify God. Omniscence is possible for God if God IS the information itself. There is no question of gathering anything if God is omnipresent. :) God is possible if information is an aspect of God.
  10. Feb 28, 2004 #9
  11. Feb 28, 2004 #10
    Why does God have to be totally outside of the physical universe and why do we have be totally inside of it? This is a solipsistic argument. Moreover, why do you assume that there is a clear distinction between a physical universe and a nonphysical one like they are two rooms in a house? I never personally refer to "universes," only existence.
  12. Feb 28, 2004 #11
    A god would have to be totally outside of our physical universe because a god could not exist in our physical reality according to our best observations(laws of physics). Omniscience is not possible, and certainly not probable.

    Anything outside our reality is fiction because we do not have a clear picture of it, and thus have no mechanism to describe it.
  13. Feb 29, 2004 #12
    That's a winner. "I can't see atoms, therefore they don't exist." Probably heard that a good bit a century or two ago.

    Who's to say that a God must be centralized? Why couldn't it exist everywhere, each instance in each location all-knowing with respect to whatever's within the light cone of it?

    Either way, I still don't understand why you're opposed to the concept of a God existing beyond physical laws. If a God created the laws, then surely it can uncreate them per convenience. I think it's kind of illogical to think that a God would be subject to physical laws. It seems like an unreasonable limitation for an all-powerful being.

  14. Feb 29, 2004 #13
    Why you ignore my commentary that God is possible if God is the information itself? Do you really want to know if God is possible or are you actually biased to believe that it is not regardless of what other prespectives say?
  15. Feb 29, 2004 #14
    Hi. The consciousness that we use to comprehend the above thought is outside of our physical reality. We have no mechanism to descibe conciousness in an objective manner since it is a paradox that we cannot remove ourselve from our consciousness to do so. Consciousness cannot be fiction because the concept of fiction cannot exist without consciousness to comprehend it.
  16. Feb 29, 2004 #15


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    Try again.

    The uncertainty principle makes it impossible to exactly describe the system in terms of duals (e.g. in terms of position and momentum). The HUP says nothing about the impossibility to exactly describe the system in some other fashion. (e.g. in QM you can exactly describe a system by its wavefunction)
  17. Feb 29, 2004 #16

    As soon as you produce a wave function of the initial big bang conditions that gives an 100% accurate predictability of the entire universe then you might be on to something here. Until then, I think you are perhaps applying the wrong physics here. The HUP DOES say that if certain variables are known that THERE IS NO WAY to find the value of another set of varibles(This is especially true of the extremely quantum nature of the iniatial Big Bang conditions). This reduces the prediction to statistical averages, not a single, perfectely-defined path.

    Oh yeah, although the big bang is part of the standard model, there are some things it doesn't correctly explain, and there is a chance is it just completely wrong. In science, we can admit to the possibility of being wrong without invalidating ourselfs.
  18. Feb 29, 2004 #17
    There is no part of consciousness that is outside of our phyiscal reality because consciousness IS our physical reality.

    "We have no mechanism to descibe conciousness in an objective manner since it is a paradox that we cannot remove ourselve from our consciousness to do so."

    This is exactely my point, seeing into anything outside of our reality is impossible, therefore we have no way of validating anything from an outside reality. Anybody can claim anything about an outside reality, these claims and neither be proved or disproved, in science, it means that these claims are false until proven.

    I ignored it because it made no sense. If god is information that would mean there is no god, just information.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2004
  19. Feb 29, 2004 #18


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    I thought you were looking for an argument of possibility, not an argument for existance.

    Anyways, there's an interpretation of QM that the indeterminacy inherent in the position-momentum (or any other pair of duals) description of the universe is simply because that's the wrong way to describe it.

    Here's a very simplistic analogy:

    Suppose the universe is an exact real number that undergoes a deterministic law of evolution.

    However, we always try to measure the universe as an integer.

    We may still be able to formulate a probabilistic model of this universe in terms of integers, and it will be right.

    We may eventually recognize that the universe is a real number and be able to formulate a theory that explains the universe exactly. However, even with this exact theory, answers will always be probabilistic when we try to translate them into the integer world.

    Just like there is no Deeviant, just atoms and electromagnetic fields?
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2004
  20. Feb 29, 2004 #19

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    Re: Re: Is a god possible?

    Sometimes I think about the concept of God similarly. I like to start with what we know. If our ability to be conscious of ourselves and the universe is accepted as real, then we know we and the universe exist. We know we had nothing to do with establishing the conditions which brought the universe and ourselves about. We are also fairly certain that the universe had a beginning, and, based strictly on the information we have now, it appears the universe will end at some point.

    From that knowledge we can reason that since nothing can exist in time which was not preceded by the potential to do so, then we and the universe emerged from some sort of potentiality which possessed all the conditions (or “information” if you prefer) necessary to produce the physical universe, life and consciousness. Some of us are fascinated by that potentiality, as well as what it is capable of beyond what we now know, and like to call it “God.” What is the problem with that? That potentiality still produced us and the universe, and by any standards, that is a pretty amazing cache of potentiality!

    In any case, the question this thread asks doesn’t make much sense. So what if one of the potentials God lacks is omniscience? How does that affect whether God is or is not possible? Similarly, Deeviant’s statement, “A god would have to be totally outside of our physical universe because a god could not exist in our physical reality according to our best observations (laws of physics)” doesn’t necessarily follow. He has assumed a truth not yet proven, which is that the universe is only physical. What we seem to have proven instead is that empirical investigation can only expose the physical universe. What we don’t know is what empirical investigation is incapable of exposing, which is why Deeviant’s next statement also doesn’t follow: “Anything outside our reality is fiction because we do not have a clear picture of it, and thus have no mechanism to describe it.” The inability to describe something simply makes it indescribable; it does not make it fiction, even if it renders it inaccessible to empirical investigation. I say some thinkers here are already devoted to physicalism; they are prematurely concluding that the “truth” is only physical, and are now reasoning with that assumption clearly in place (i.e., rather than openly acknowledging the big ontological questions are still unanswered, and reasoning from an objective position).

    Part of the problem, as I see it, is people talking about God who haven’t thought very deeply about the subject, who instead mostly react to inconsistencies in religion. But why assume the religious know what they are talking about when it comes to God? Just because they claim they know doesn’t mean they really do, and it also doesn’t mean there isn’t something more than physics which some people label “God.” To many reasoning persons, God isn’t what FZ+ claimed, “. . . to introduce a loophole that breaks the laws of the universe.” God is the laws.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2004
  21. Feb 29, 2004 #20
    You may be interested in Chris Langan's CTMU. I have not read it, I am probably not intelligent enough to understand it. here is a sample:
    Among the most exciting recent developments in science are Complexity Theory, the theory of self-organizing systems, and the modern incarnation of Intelligent Design Theory, which investigates the deep relationship between self-organization and evolutionary biology in a scientific context not preemptively closed to teleological causation. Bucking the traditional physical reductionism of the hard sciences, complexity theory has given rise to a new trend, informational reductionism, which holds that the basis of reality is not matter and energy, but information. Unfortunately, this new form of reductionism is as problematic as the old one. As mathematician David Berlinski writes regarding the material and informational aspects of DNA: “We quite know what DNA is: it is a macromolecule and so a material object. We quite know what it achieves: apparently everything. Are the two sides of this equation in balance?” More generally, Berlinski observes that since the information embodied in a string of DNA or protein cannot affect the material dynamic of reality without being read by a material transducer, information is meaningless without matter.

    The relationship between physical and informational reductionism is a telling one, for it directly mirrors Cartesian mind-matter dualism, the source of several centuries of philosophical and scientific controversy regarding the nature of deep reality. As long as matter and information remain separate, with specialists treating one as primary while tacitly relegating the other to secondary status, dualism remains in effect. To this extent, history is merely repeating itself; where mind and matter once vied with each other for primary status, concrete matter now vies with abstract information abstractly representing matter and its extended relationships. But while the formal abstractness and concrete descriptiveness of information seem to make it a worthy compromise between mind and matter, Berlinski’s comment demonstrates its inadequacy as a conceptual substitute. What is now required is thus what has been required all along: a conceptual framework in which the relationship between mind and matter, cognition and information, is made explicit. This framework must not only permit the completion of the gradual ongoing dissolution of the Cartesian mind-matter divider, but the construction of a footworthy logical bridge across the resulting explanatory gap.

    Mathematically, the theoretical framework of Intelligent Design consists of certain definitive principles governing the application of complexity and probability to the analysis of two key attributes of evolutionary phenomena, irreducible complexity and specified complexity. On one hand, because the mathematics of probability must be causally interpreted to be scientifically meaningful, and because probabilities are therefore expressly relativized to specific causal scenarios, it is difficult to assign definite probabilities to evolutionary states in any model not supporting the detailed reconstruction and analysis of specific causal pathways. On the other hand, positing the “absolute improbability” of an evolutionary state ultimately entails the specification of an absolute (intrinsic global) model with respect to which absolute probabilistic deviations can be determined. A little reflection suffices to inform us of some of its properties: it must be rationally derivable from a priori principles and essentially tautological in nature, it must on some level identify matter and information, and it must eliminate the explanatory gap between the mental and physical aspects of reality. Furthermore, in keeping with the name of that to be modeled, it must meaningfully incorporate the intelligence and design concepts, describing the universe as an intelligently self-designed, self-organizing system.

    How is this to be done? In a word, with language. This does not mean merely that language should be used as a tool to analyze reality, for this has already been done countless times with varying degrees of success. Nor does it mean that reality should be regarded as a machine language running in some kind of vast computer. It means using language as a mathematical paradigm unto itself. Of all mathematical structures, language is the most general, powerful and necessary. Not only is every formal or working theory of science and mathematics by definition a language, but science and mathematics in whole and in sum are languages. Everything that can be described or conceived, including every structure or process or law, is isomorphic to a description or definition and therefore qualifies as a language, and every sentient creature constantly affirms the linguistic structure of nature by exploiting syntactic isomorphism to perceive, conceptualize and refer to it. Even cognition and perception are languages based on what Kant might have called “phenomenal syntax”. With logic and mathematics counted among its most fundamental syntactic ingredients, language defines the very structure of information. This is more than an empirical truth; it is a rational and scientific necessity.

    Of particular interest to natural scientists is the fact that the laws of nature are a language. To some extent, nature is regular; the basic patterns or general aspects of structure in terms of which it is apprehended, whether or not they have been categorically identified, are its “laws”. The existence of these laws is given by the stability of perception. Because these repetitive patterns or universal laws simultaneously describe multiple instances or states of nature, they can be regarded as distributed “instructions” from which self-instantiations of nature cannot deviate; thus, they form a “control language” through which nature regulates its self-instantiations. This control language is not of the usual kind, for it is somehow built into the very fabric of reality and seems to override the known limitations of formal systems. Moreover, it is profoundly reflexive and self-contained with respect to configuration, execution and read-write operations. Only the few and the daring have been willing to consider how this might work…to ask where in reality the laws might reside, how they might be expressed and implemented, why and how they came to be, and how their consistency and universality are maintained. Although these questions are clearly of great scientific interest, science alone is logically inadequate to answer them; a new explanatory framework is required. This paper describes what the author considers to be the most promising framework in the simplest and most direct terms possible.
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