Re: help with "proof" for non-existence of God

Steve Witham (
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 00:10:45 -0500

"Dan Hook" <> quests for the holy antigrail:

>Of course, to get that kind of resolution, the
>being would need the entire universe as a storage device. Since adding any
>thought to this being would result in more information in the universe we
>are left with the problem of infinite simulations within simulations. This
>leads to paradox and a paradox is the conclusion of a negative proof.

Hmm, funny. Recent stray metaphysical ponder was that maybe the universe
is a big compression algorithm running on itself. That maybe, in fact, the
difference between past and future is how far the compression has progressed.
Puts a funny spin on the phenomenon of memory. & it means it's freeing up
space all the time. Kinda like RAM Doubler. Also has tie-ins to Teilhard
du Chardin, Paolo Soleri and, er, sorry, is it Tippler who screwed the
light bulb into Big Socket at the end of time?

But more directly, is there necessarily a paradox with infinity?

Btw, you're familiar with St. Anselm's "ontological proof of the
existence of God"? The synopsis I remember (a verse from "Thus Spake
Saint Anselm") is sung to the tune of "Walzing Matilda":
If that than which nothing greater can be conceived
can be conceiv-ed not to exist,
Then t'is not than which nothing greater can be conceived--
This is irrefutable (?), I insist.
(The supposed upshot here, logically, is that it's impossible to conceive
of there not being a God. So if you think there isn't one, you must be
Thus spake St. Anselm,
Thus spake St. Anselm,
Thus spake St. Anselm with weighty intent.
And we're awed as we read his proof so ontological.
Would that we could understand what he meant.
The "greater than can be conceived" bit combined with the paradox sounds
a lot like your proof! Find the right theologian and you might be in for
some real rhetorical adventures. Armed with a versatile proof/disproof,
you could go on to discover the switch that makes reality appear and
disappear. If you do can I be the first one to try it?


--           Steve Witham
      ___       ___       ___       ___
| | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___   --pattern in the heater grills
| | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___     of Boston Red Line subway cars