Re: Godhood (was: Re: How To Live In A Simulation)

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Thu Mar 29 2001 - 20:59:18 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: Mikael Johansson <>

> > I think that godhood is relative matter:
> > If we were to create a simulation of other universe in computer
> > we would satisfy the requirements for your 'Type I God'. We have ability
> > to chance laws of our simulation but we were still restricted by the
> > of our universe. 'Type II Gods' can exist then, absolute power is
> > thing.
> >
> > But would 'Type III God' be possible and would that need "alternative
> > mathematics'? Perhaps you philosophers know can such a thing exist and
> > what would it be? A set of theorems impossible to prove with theorems
> > another set?
> Being the religiously mathematical mathematician that I am, I simply don't
> buy the possibility of existence of a Type III God. That's one of the main
> reasons I am pronouncedly not a Christian.
> The thing is, that in a system -- where the laws of logic as well as a few
> starting points are taken to be axiomatic -- such as mathematics, the
> possibility of violating the laws of the system simply is not there within
> the system. And stepping out of the system is just that -- and it's simple
> to violate the laws of a system while not in it.
> I could elaborate and make it clearer what I'm talking about --- but not
> this time of day...
I have a hard time with this stuff no matter what the time of day--and about
half my thesis is on this, i.e., on the philosophical foundations of logic.
To my mind, the question is not whether we can understand violations of our
most cherished logical laws, but whether we could verify this is the case.
Here is an analogy: A child of 4 is told by her loving physicist mother that
E=Mcc. The child has good evidence that this is true--mum wouldn't lie about
this--but she cannot comprehend the meaning of this statement. Does the
child know that E=Mcc even though she cannot understand what the statement
means? If you answer yes, the question then is could we be in the same
relation to a God III. A rationalistic response is to say no, because we
cannot verify statements that we cannot understand. Fideism allows the
possibility that we are in exactly the same position as the child, that we
could trust a God III who said: "hey you humans, your logic is wrong, but
then again, that is understandable, you were built that way. The fact that
you cannot understand this is no more telling than the fact that a child
can't understand relativity theory." To the rationalist, the fideist looks
irrational placing so much evidence on interpersonal trust. To the fideist,
the rationalist looks inconsistent because asserting the supremacy of human
reason can itself only be a matter of trust. Could we build a God III that
we could not understand but who we could trust? I leave that as a homework
assignment. Mark and Not-Mark.

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