||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Theology as a mathematic
Theologians are not the airheads whom atheists imagine them to be.
I've been using the term "transcosmos" to designate the set of all mathematically-possible universes. The term "God", in philosophy, is a stand-in for "unidentified transcosmic entity which might screw with our experiments". Theologians are those philosophers who study possible attributes of "God".
To study powerful forces outside this universe is to study set theory and symbolic logic. It is math. It is good math. Back when "Zimri" was posting on rec.games.frp.dnd, I've gone further than mere infinity: I've argued that the Planes exist in uncountability. Because Chaos, and because Cantor.
While doing some research on the posts below, I ran across Saint Anselm's definition of God - "that entity bigger than which nothing may be conceived". Reputable journals and publishers have printed a LOT of articles about Anselm's definition, proving whether it is a paradox and how.
Anselm's definition encompasses more than it has to - from the basis of Catholic Christianity. This universe has its own dimensional structure -"spacetime", limited by a point of origin (the Big Bang) and by the rate of its own expansion. This universe is finite enough to allow for any number of possible "gods" more powerful than anything possible here, dwelling in the (hypothetical) transcosmos, who could fit the profile of the God of Catholic or generally Abrahamic devotion. (But the modern faith-based community can take heart; even if Anselm is defeated, it doesn't hurt any of the traditional Western religions.)
Anselm's definition is not necessary within the logic of his own faith, and may even be self-defeating. But as a puzzle in logic and semantics, Anselm's definition is wonderful; which is why there are still publications on it today.
UPDATE 8/4/2017: On the Planes, and the Cosmic Good.
UPDATE 2/11/2018: Why it's bad to go beyond Catholic limits.
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