Nov 18 2009

The Next Great Awakening Part 12: Nothing is complete without God

Category: philosophy,religion,scienceharmonicminer @ 9:47 am

The previous post in this series is here.

Perry Marshall has put up a brief introduction to the mathematical thought of Kurt Gödel.  After a brief explanation of it, he draws connections to the idea of the mathematical necessity for a Creator in Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century

If you visit the world’s largest atheist website, Infidels, on the home page you will find the following statement:

“Naturalism is the hypothesis that the natural world is a closed system, which means that nothing that is not part of the natural world affects it.”

If you know Gödel’s theorem, you know all systems rely on something outside the system. So according to Gödel’s Incompleteness theorem, the folks at Infidels cannot be correct.  Because the universe is a system, it has to have an outside cause.

Therefore Atheism violates the laws of mathematics.

The Incompleteness of the universe isn’t proof that God exists. But it IS proof that in order to construct a consistent model of the universe, belief in God is not just 100% logical, it’s necessary.

Euclid’s 5 postulates aren’t formally provable and God is not formally provable either. But just as you cannot build a coherent system of geometry without Euclid’s 5 postulates, neither can you build a coherent description of the universe without a First Cause and a Source of order.

Thus faith and science are not enemies, but allies. They are two sides of the same coin. It had been true for hundreds of years, but in 1931 this skinny young Austrian mathematician named Kurt Gödel proved it.

No time in the history of mankind has faith in God been more reasonable, more logical, or more thoroughly supported by rational thought, science and mathematics.

Everyone understands the Incompleteness Theorem in a personal way, and knows that it applies to the most important issues of life.

Only the most trivial, least important aspects of life involve things that can be proved in the way the objectivists wanted to do it. You can’t “prove” that you love your child, that there is any point to existence, that you are loved by the person whom you hope loves you, that you don’t plan to do some great evil tomorrow (or, for that matter, that you didn’t yesterday, the “negative” being notoriously difficult to prove), etc.

Yet we all live as if our lives matter, as if at least some other people’s lives matter, as if love is real, as if we are certain that their is some underlying rationality to the universe that is not containable within it, etc.    Scientists live and work in that latter assumption whenever they assume that the “laws” of physics are the same everywhere and everywhen, which is an unprovable notion, but foundational for the ability to DO science.  And the very idea that the universe may be understandable requires an assumption about its nature and, probably, its origin, that cannot be “proved.”

In other words, in the business of being a human being and living a normal life, very little of high and immediate importance can be proved.  Yet we all, with very little exception, live as if some of our foundational assumptions are true.  Love exists.  Rationality exists.  People matter.  It matters how we live.

These things are, while not “provable,” nevertheless as true as Euclid’s postulates, demonstrable by the simple observation that without them, nothing makes any sense at all.

The First Postulate, of course, is that God IS.  And it is surely true that, without God, nothing makes any sense, any sense at all.   Not love, not rationality, not human life, not the universe, not anything.

The Second Postulate:  everything that exists makes the most sense when understood in its relationship to our Creator.

Some will argue that only the First Postulate deserves the label “postulate,” but I think the Second Postulate protects us from Deism.

God is involved with us, and with everything that is, right now.

The Third Postulate is that God has revealed Himself to us, in Christ, in human lives and traditions, in words and history, and in nature.

I think these postulates are all one needs to seek God, who is surely seeking us, and does not require us to “prove” that He is there before being in relationship with Him.

What’s really interesting is that Gödel appears to have tried to “prove” the existence of God….  perhaps a sign of lack of faith in the implications of his own work, though his faith in God seems to have been strong.

The next post in this series is here.

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