Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
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24-06-2017, 02:23 AM (This post was last modified: 24-06-2017 02:31 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
I've never heard of it either! It's one if the most bogus analogies I've ever heard, trying to hide God inside a number.

Most people apply mathematics all the time, which is fair enough, so it's easy to miss the fact that mathematics is purely abstract. It becomes applied mathematics as soon as you apply it to a particular problem. Even adding quantities of real things is applied mathematics.

But as an example, let's say I define the Watts Set as having the elements 1, 2, 3 and 4. There is one operator that can be used on these elements, +. It is defined as such:

For any a, b from the Watts Set, a+b={4 if b=4; a otherwise}

Straight away we can see that a+b =/= b+a in general.

That's it. It's a mathematical system. It's internally consistent. (Feel free to try and break it!) Does it have any applications in reality? Doesn't matter. It's still mathematics. Maybe someone could find a way of applying this to address a very strange situation which is eventually found in nature. Maybe not. As I said, some totally weird systems have been set up in the past just because the person wanted to, where they appeared utterly useless in reality. But then a problem comes up in the future, and the theory that was created was suddenly exactly what was needed. Fascinating Big Grin

No magical beardy cloud man required.

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24-06-2017, 04:13 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
(23-06-2017 08:42 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  I have an ongoing feud with a particularly objectionable creationist. TBH it's quite funny seeing him wriggle and twist and demonstrate his dishonesty but he's recently come up with a new version of "Why God Exists".

This is an excerpt from his latest nonsense:

Quote: 1+1 = 2 will always be true, it is unaffected by time, or even whether there are any humans left to do mathematical calculations.

A lot of Christians are convinced that 1 + 1 + 1 =1. Their arithmetic does not correspond to mine.

[This can work if any number x is defined as a function: x MOD 2, but that is simply redefining the word so that the context is not valid. It is like claiming that a god exists by defining "god" as a striped omnivore that lives in a sett. These creatures exist, therefore gods exist.]

“I am not responsible for actions of the imaginary version of me you have inside your head.” - John Scalzi

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24-06-2017, 04:39 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
(23-06-2017 08:42 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  Any thoughts? Other than it's complete nonsense.

He's essentially correct about maths. Other than the fact that he's ignored that it's a human invention of course. There was great controversy introducing negative numbers as well as zero into maths. Case in point, if you divide by zero do you go to negative infinity, positive infinity, or some infinity in one of the infinite complex planes? If you couldn't define what an integer is maths would be useless - and it doesn't matter if you use base 10, base 12, or whatever base you want you need a well defined integer to make the rest of mathematics work. In that sense 1 is always the same.

I guess I could put his point to you this way ... we invented God. We also invented mathematics. Do you believe in mathematics but doubt God - why believe in one over the other when both were invented by humans? That argument has a kind of poetic quality to it!

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24-06-2017, 05:22 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
I thought of a real situation that my maths system models Big Grin

There are four chess players. The first three are very equal, and so whoever goes first (white) will probably win. The fourth player is much stronger and mostly beats them all, even with black. So + gives the probable winner.

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24-06-2017, 06:17 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
(23-06-2017 08:42 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  I have an ongoing feud with a particularly objectionable creationist. TBH it's quite funny seeing him wriggle and twist and demonstrate his dishonesty but he's recently come up with a new version of "Why God Exists".

This is an excerpt from his latest nonsense:

Quote: Maths is a type of information - and information, like truth, is not purely physical.
It can require physical media to make it tangible, but while the physical media is always subject to entropy, information is not. 1+1 = 2 will always be true, it is unaffected by time, or even whether there are any humans left to do mathematical calculations.
Jesus said; Heaven and Earth may pass away, but my words will go on forever. Jesus is pointing out that truth and information are unaffected by entropy.
For example: historical truths, such as the fact that Henry VIII had six wives, will always be true. Time cannot erode or change that truth. Even if all human records of this truth were destroyed, it would never cease to be true.
As the Christian, apologist Peter Keeft has made clear, maths is entirely dependent on a positive integer, i.e. the number one. Without this positive integer, no maths is possible. Two is 2 ones, three is 3 ones, etc.
The concept of the number one also exists as a characteristic of the one, infinite, first cause. - God is one. - God embodies that positive integer (number one/first cause), essential for the operation of maths. Without the number one, there could be no number two or three, etc. etc. There could be no positive numbers, no negative numbers and no fractions.
The fact that an infinite ‘first’ cause exists, means that number one is bound to exist. In a state of eternal and infinite nothingness, there would be no information and no numbers and nothing would be ‘first’. So, like everything else, maths is made possible only by the existence of the one, infinite, first cause (God).

There are so many things wrong with this I'm at a loss to even know where to start because he seems to be mixing mathematics, information theory, entropy and goodness knows what into a jumble of verbal diarrhea. But the positive integer claim is a new one on me. I'm familiar with the ontological argument but this seems to be a rather different in that it mixes in the first cause argument.

The guy he's referring to is actually Peter Kreeft who is a xtian apologist and philosopher and NOT a mathematician.

Any thoughts? Other than it's complete nonsense.

> This is, of course, a load of rubbish. If it can be used to support the existence of God, it can be used to support the existence of ANY god. Consider
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24-06-2017, 08:26 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
(23-06-2017 08:42 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  
Quote: 1+1 = 2 will always be true, it is unaffected by time, or even whether there are any humans left to do mathematical calculations.
Any thoughts? Other than it's complete nonsense.

Show him that 1+1=10.

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24-06-2017, 08:43 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
(23-06-2017 11:46 AM)unsapien Wrote:  Didn't Einstein add a value to one of his equations (I think he called it "ether") to "account" for some results that he didn't want because he didn't like the implications it had for the nature of the universe? That would be like "Einstein's math dragon", and he later had to remove it admitting it was wrong. I'm gonna have to google it again, it's been so long since I've read his theories.

Einstein added a term that he called the Cosmological Constant to the field equations of General Relativity to prevent the universe from expanding or contracting. He was a follower of the "steady state" cosmological model. But once Vesto Slipher observed that the spectra of nebulae (i.e. galaxies) were shifted toward the red, which Hubble interpreted as a Doppler Shift, it became obvious that in fact the universe was expanding in all directions. At that point Einstein considered his Cosmological Constant his biggest mistake.
Recent evidence indicates that the rate of expansion of the universe is accelerating. And it is now apparent that one possible explanation for this phenomenon would be a kind of "anti-gravity" at a cosmic scale that would push the universe ever outward. And that is precisely what the Cosmological Constant describes. So perhaps Einstein's "greatest mistake" may eventually turn out to be his greatest insight.
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24-06-2017, 09:17 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
(23-06-2017 08:42 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  There are so many things wrong with this I'm at a loss to even know where to start because he seems to be mixing mathematics, information theory, entropy and goodness knows what into a jumble of verbal diarrhea. But the positive integer claim is a new one on me. I'm familiar with the ontological argument but this seems to be a rather different in that it mixes in the first cause argument.

Yes, it is a jumble of disjoint thoughts and arguments. Several of the respondents have it right. Mathematics is a human invention. It's not something we received from a world of divine truth, as Plato argued. The claim that the equation 1 + 1 = 2 proves something about God is unfounded. As one commentator said, 1 + 1 = 10 in base 2, so it's not even always true. It's only true on the basis of our assumptions-- our human devised axioms. We apply logic to those axioms to derive deductions, but even our logic is human devised. There's Aristotlean (two valued) logic, Modal Logic, the logic of Quantum Mechanics, and perhaps other forms of logic that I don't know about.
Your Creationist nemesis also threw in an element of the claim that everything must have a cause and that therefore there is a First Cause and that First Cause is God. That's a compelling argument, one that can't be dismissed out of hand. The curious thing about this argument, which I believe originated with Aristotle, is that it was originally a pagan argument. Furthermore, the God of the First Cause does not in any way resemble the God of either the Old or the New Testaments of the Bible. So I would think that a Christian wouldn't want anything to do with it.
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24-06-2017, 09:29 AM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
The problem with the first cause argument, even if you give a pass to the assertion that everything has a cause, is that is assumes infinite regression is impossible. It never states why. Stating that such and such is impossible in reality is a bold claim indeed, especially when we're talking about events beyond the limits of our own space/time. And of course, the "first cause" violates the initial claim that everything has a cause.

A circular series of events is an easy way to imagine infinite regression, for one thing.

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24-06-2017, 01:37 PM
RE: Weird argument - positive integer proves god?
(24-06-2017 02:23 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I've never heard of it either! It's one if the most bogus analogies I've ever heard, trying to hide God inside a number.

It's an aspect of what is called presuppositionalism.

For an atheist blog dedicated to critiquing presuppositionalism, try:

http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2006/0...-year.html

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

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