Proof that Something Irrational/Unnatural Exists

Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2022 08:24 am
Proof that Something Irrational/Unnatural Exists:

This is a modification of the first-mover argument.

Assumption 1: Logic consists of the rules of correct inference from assumed premises.

Assumption 2: The material world follows logical rules which we call the laws of nature.

1. From Assumption 1, we realize that in order to logically prove something which we once considered to be a premise, we must assume at least 1 more premise.
2. From the the point above, if we want to discuss ultimate causes, it seems we have 3 options:
a. There exists something which does not fit into our definition of logic here (something like an innately necessary premise). This would fit with the "Unmoved Mover" argument and a deistic world-view. A necessary premise could be used to derive other things, but it itself could not be analyzed by any logical argument.
b. The material world is infinitely old and has no beginning.* Or there is otherwise an infinite regression of causes outside of the material world.
c. There exists a series of material events or logical structures which cause themselves in a circle (circular reasoning is typically considered not valid).

*If you believe that our universe is all there is, and that our understanding of it is true, then this option is off the table. We have good evidence for a beginning (a big bang). Furthermore, we live in a universe that has irreversible processes (entropy), and yet these processes are still occurring. In an infinitely old universe, you would not observe irreversible processes, because all of them would have happened already. Now, if you believe in cosmological evolution (the idea that black holes can spawn new universes, possibly with slightly different laws of physics each time), or some other multiverse theory, then option b is back on the table.

Options relating to God:

Given that logic is insufficient for explaining ultimate causes, and that material objects appear to behave in logical ways, it follows that there is no logical or material explanation for the beginning of existence. The only concept humans have which appears to act without itself being acted upon is the will. So, it seems entirely natural that our ancestors imagined that some great being must have started it all. It does not matter to this particular point whether free will actually exists, or whether God actually exists.** It seems true from this line of thought that we have only 2 options:

1. There is a creator God of the kind imagined by the monotheistic religions.
2. The beginning of existence is so foreign to human understanding that we cannot say even one more thing about it.

**I personally believe that it might be possible that there is a god who has free will in the fullest sense of the word (meaning that he acts without being influenced by anything outside of himself whatever), but that since humans seem to be made of matter (which does not have free will), we have free will in a lesser degree than God (or perhaps not at all).

A note on Gödel's Theorem: Gödel's theorem says that a logical argument cannot be both complete and consistent (that means that for every consistent theory, there are true statements that can't be proven from the axioms). Since science is based on math, that means that there can never be a complete theory of everything. I think science would tend to err on the side of inconsistency rather than incompleteness, since for every phenomena, we can create a new theory, and it might not be evident at first how this theory might contradict with another theory. Historically, we know that Maxwell's equations contradicted Newtonian mechanics when it came to light. It might be that the present theories of gravity and quantum mechanics are actually inconsistent with one-another, but I'm not aware that anyone has proven this yet. This is tangentially related to the main topic because it is another proof that existence as a whole is beyond human understanding.

Since option 2 in the second argument cannot be speculated upon, I will indulge in a little speculation about 1.

It seems to me that it might be possible that God might fit all 3 options of the argument at the beginning. Perhaps there could be a set of premises which can validly prove each other (note that this is normally not possible), but that from the outside, they appear to be just 1 necessary premise. And if they are proving each other unto infinity, then option c is also something like option b. The dogma of the monotheistic religions, however, would seem to prefer option 1 alone, because they claim that God is simple.

If there is a creator God that consists in some way of a necessary premise, and this premise acts like a free agent (something that wills to do stuff without being deterministically driven by anything outside itself), then it seems to follow that God's love of himself is the most necessary condition for existence. It seems to me that if God is omnipotent, then if he didn't like himself, he could cease his own existence, and then nothing at all would exist.

Then, if God loves himself, that provides a motive for him to be a creator God. Perhaps God is something like an infinity of innate potential (and math is the closest humans can come to expressing this potential), and perhaps God created matter in order to tangibly express his infinity. In this case, you'd predict that the universe would be very big and very old, since it would take a lot of stuff to approach literal infinity. You might even predict multiverses and cosmological evolution. It seems to make sense that material things that spontaneously develop and attain consciousness are more similar to God than stuff which needs to have its hand held in order to continue to exist. Perhaps there is cosmological evolution, biological evolution, cultural evolution, and many other kinds of evolution besides which spontaneously become more like God with time. And the ultimate purpose of everything is to be like a painting for God of himself. In this case, we all give glory to God in one way or another, whether we will it or not.

Further discussion:
I have thought a great deal about this subject, and I can provide further argumentation along the same lines. I have thought of reasonable arguments for how it might be possible to have several persons act as one God (something like the trinity), how such a god might have an incentive to create an afterlife for certain persons, why the conditions for getting into this afterlife have to be similar to those proposed by mainstream religions, and why it is necessary to create material beings in order to more fully reflect the glory of God. I have also come up with good resolutions to the Euthyphro dilemma and the question of whether God can create a rock which is too heavy for him to lift. But I think this post is already long, so I will not post these other arguments unless asked. Note that I consider all of these other arguments to be purely reasonable speculation. I have no tangible evidence for it, and there is always the possibility that the truth is utterly beyond our understanding.
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