Mathematics and God T. S.


Mathematics and God

T. S. O'Rama comments below:

My stepson is fascinated by mathematics and God but reaches a different conclusion - that free will is an illusion. That if all variables are known, every human action is predictable. And he adheres to the famous complaint: "how can there be free will if God knows how it turns out?". I pointed out that Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him three times but that it did not impinge on Peter's free will to deny him.

And this is an interesting proposition, but it is contingent upon a hidden axiom which is integral to the conclusion. The stepson assumes that all reality is a single closed system and not a series of infinitely contingent systems. If the former is true, the conclusion holds; however, if the latter is true, then a choice, or a bifurcation point, can be known, but the spinning out of the system totally contingent upon it. In other words, God knows all the pathways, all the bifurcations, and our choices are free, but the end result is still known in God's mind without restricting free will. God knows the end results of every single choice and does not dictate (in the vast majority of cases) which choice is made.

In this sense free-will can be called an illusion, but it is an illusion with the depth of reality of imaginary numbers, which are, in no way, imaginary. We do not know the depths of the mysteries of God, and our minds encompass only a small portion of the reality that God knows in its entirety. Further, all of this is argument by analogy, the weakest form of argument, presenting but a flawed mirror in which to view what is happening. Mathematics is only a way to begin to examine the mysteries of God, it is not a system whereby God may be proven or even "coaxed out of hiding." We can convince ourselves of anything, but we encounter propositions within this system that cannot be proven with the tools within the system.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 22, 2002 1:22 PM.

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