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My Rational Logical Basis for Belief in God and Creation

August 5, 2011

I make an assertion I take to be self-evident truth as an Axiom, a foundational belief that I am unwilling to question a Foundational Belief.

A Belief not marked as Foundational is one that I am willing to reconsider, given a suitable, simple argument demonstrating its flaw. This argument must rely on other Axioms and Beliefs stated here, and not invoke Beliefs that I do not myself accept.

  1. (Axiom) I exist.
  2. (Foundational Belief) Others exist. [Rationale: else I believe reality would appear simpler than it does.]
  3. (Belief) Absolute entities may exist.
  4. (Foundational Belief) All non-Absolute entities that affect me exist within the Universe.
  5. (Foundational Belief) All within the Universe is interconnected. [Rationale: conservation of energy: to do Work on me requires energy and the entity doing the work must expend this energy and thus is affected by me.]
  6. (Belief) Two Absolute entities, if they overlap, must be contained in a greater Absolute entity.
  7. (Belief) No Absolute entity may be contained in another entity, even an Absolute one.
  8. (by 6 and 7) If Absolute entities exist, there is one, unique Absolute entity. Call this Absolute entity God.
  9. (Belief) Suppose God does not exist. What contains the Universe? To avoid infinite regress, we require the assumption that God exists.
  10. (Belief) God is responsible for the existence of the Universe. [Rationale: some entity is responsible, be it an idea or a thought or something, and to avoid an infinite regress into an unending chain of responsibility, this responsibility must rest with God.]
  11. (Belief, cf. Karma) Everything has a (possibly unknown) cause.
  12. (from 10 and 11, with a definition) If we define the cause of the existence of Universe to be (an action of) its Creator, then the Creator of the Universe must be God.

So far as a simple explanation of the creation (in the sense of the above) of the Universe is concerned, I have seen nothing as nice as Genesis 1. Ergo, I accept Genesis 1 as a simple explanation and require justification for the use of a less simple explanation. Blindly asserting that ‘science is True’ is no foundation for a convincing argument, so I am not swayed by such arguments. A convincing argument must have sound foundations, and must given relatively simple reasons for me to reconsider my beliefs. Otherwise I accept my beliefs as sufficiently sound to take my life forward.

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4 Comments
  1. I’m going to get a little mathematical here, talking of cycles, simplicity and alternating groups. This was precisely the area of my thesis, so I know this area well.
    If you define a fallacious argument as one which relies on a circularity, then trivially all arguments will be fallacious, since at some stage you will be relying on the assumption of the soundness of your reasoning process which will, in turn, be relying (circularly) on the assumption of soundness of your reasoning process.
    What you have to do is to look at the thought process, from one intended thought to the next, of the path you want your audience to walk. A 2-cyclic argument such as ‘I am right because I am right’ is one kind of circular argument and I will agree that arguments founded on 2-cyclic arguments are definitely fallacious. But if the cycle does not reduce to a 2-cycle, only a product of 3-cycles, the resulting thought process is still able to discriminate (i.e. it is confined to a suitable alternating group, so there are always thoughts it will never lead to). Thus a 3-cyclic circular argument is not a source of logical fallacy. It only becomes a source of logical fallacy if a 2-cyclic dependency can be deduced, and the thought you cite does not.
    Note that the simplicity of An does not depend much on arithmetic or set theory in the way the other simple groups and their classification does. You can build a consistent thought system on 3-cycles, provided you admit no 2-cycle (i.e. no Good-Evil type thing such as ‘it is evil because it is evil’, which is precisely the lesson from Genesis 2-3).
    Here the Biblical account is backed up by the maths when you actually sit down and work it out.

  2. To look at it more logically (i.e. like the stuff in Kaye’s ‘The Mathematics of Logic’), in a language of propositional logic we have a symbol, sometimes written as _/_ which I shall simply call False. If False is logically deduced from a set S of sentences, then every sentence in the language can be logically deduced. We call such a set inconsistent and, critically, it has no logical ability to discriminate between the sentences in the language.
    If you claim something, but your proof involves deducing False at some stage of the process, and this False step cannot be removed, the argument is Fallacious. If you can deduce False from your initial assumptions, your assumptions are inconsistent. The presence of a 3-way cycle in a logic is not necessarily an indication of inconsistency. If the 3-way cyclic argument cannot be deduced from the assumptions, not disproved from them. This looks like a set of rules that say ‘from A we can deduce B, from B we can deduce C, from C we can deduce A’. This is logically perfectly acceptable, so long as you know you are doing it (and Christians don’t deny their belief or reliance on a God concept, in fact they are often quite proud of it). If you don’t accept the choice of these logical rules, you are working in a different logic, so can’t assess the soundness of the Theist’s logic: to prove a Theist’s belief fallacious, you must show that by accepting their beliefs, a logical inconsistency is necessarily true. An irreducible 1-cyclic argument (a trivial one) is something of the form ‘from A we deduce A’. Nothing wrong there. An irreducible 2-cyclic argument is of the form ‘from A we deduce B and from B we deduce A’. Again nothing wrong. But if our reasoning system is constructed from three cycles such of the form ‘from A we deduce B, from B we deduce C, from C we deduce A BUT from B we cannot directly deduce A’ then we have a consistent logic capable of holding apparently contradictory thoughts without actual problems. The problem is that, when you then introduce ‘from A we deduce B and from B we deduce A’, this structure collapses into the trivial one where we can deduce anything from anything. The maximal 3-cyclic structure is called an alternating group on a set of objects and, for a set of size 5 or more, this group is a simple and maximal proper subgroup of the symmetric group on your set of objects (the symmetric group is the group of all transpositions). There are no larger subgroups of the symmetric group since Alt(n) has order exactly half of S(n). Thus the most complex mental structure you can have that is capable of discrimination between two apparent contradictory thoughts with absolute certainty is one corresponding to the alternating group on the thoughts accessible to you. In summary, there is nothing logically wrong with Christian belief (or Buddhist or Taoist beliefs for that matter), though its logic is necessarily non-classical in nature.

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