• Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I followed it fine. Seems quite reasonable to me as well. I think that God gave us “free will” so that we could chose to love him. Getting much more into what God does and does not want is asking for trouble. Well, in my belief system anyway.  What is the contridictory notion, “God is in the details. The Devil’s in the details?” If you believe in such things, might those guys be playing your computer program for their own ends?


  • well, dont get confused- im trying to develop a comprehensive theory of God, but that doesnt mean i believe he exists, rather, im trying to describe God (in the judeo-christian sense) in a rational way. theres also the (too easy) theory that God is beyond human comprehension, so much so that its like Daoism: “the Dao that can be explained is not the Dao at all”, which basically means that whatever you can say about God is not true of God, the true nature of God defies all human understanding and explanation.

    As for might they be playing for their own ends- of course. it seems natural. God is the creator of this amazing computer program. angels were created in the program in a function something like agents in the matrix, except not malevolvent. Satan, then, is a rogue angel, who tries to manipulate the program to his own ends. but satan is stuck within the program, and is limited by the rules of the program. God, the programmer, is not. So God is ultimately superior to Satan, but allows Satan’s existence and attempts at subversion because it creates interesting scenarios in the program.

    this so far is the only way i can reconcile the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient God who is at all involved in his creation. the computer analogy simply puts it into easily digested framework.


  • I suppose you could say Satan and demons are the “viruses” of the program.  Or the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” - not really in that analogy, but someone has to make the Bill Gates = the Devil joke.  :evil:

    Interesting analogy overall, but you must realize that if you are speaking of something programmed, there is already a limit on free will.  That’s the difficulty in building good AI (I’m sorry, Dave).


  • Interesting analogy overall, but you must realize that if you are speaking of something programmed, there is already a limit on free will.  That’s the difficulty in building good AI (I’m sorry, Dave).

    first, keep in mind that “programmed” is only applicable in the analogy, not necessarily in the actuality. second, you cant place human limits on super-human beings such as God. third, even for humans, this is a consequence of the technology we have, not of the technical possibilities. fourth, assuming God exists in some form similar to the way ive described with the analogy, he is the “perfect” programmer, able to literally program anything. his knowledge of the programming language is total, his ability to use the language to develop complex systems, rules and creatures is limited only by his ability to imagine, and surely, anything we can imagine God can imagine.

    i like the critique though, anyone else see any holes, discrepencies, paradoxical conclusions, etc. please let me know, Id like to continue developing this theory.


  • @Janus1:

    It allowed for the future to have already been complete and for God to know all the actions that will be taken, while still allowing us free will as we travel down the length of the straw.

    my own way of reconciling this (just because i dont believe in god doesnt mean i dont have theories on how he functions) is to see time as a something like a family tree, in the sense that each moment has infinite possibilities branching off from it, with infinite possibilities branching off from each possibility, and so forth. God, in his omniscience, knows at any given time everything that has happened (past) everything happening (present) and every potential occurrence (future) along with the possibilities that arise from those possibilities. free will allows us to move from the present to the future however we choose (obviously within the limits of what our physical world allows us to do), and God knows what will happen at each stage whatever you decide, as well as what is the most probable occurrence (its more likely that i will choose to finish this post, submit it, and move on then that i will be suddenly gripped by a burning desire to go to Colorado, and leave right now without finishing), but God doesnt make the choice for you (though he could, but that would violate free will).

    if you want to abstract it further, the universe is like a computer program, and God is the programmer. The program is extremely comprehensive, to the point that it seems complete (here i use “complete” to mean accounting for all situations, and rationally dealing with every possibility within the rules of the program), and God has a comprehensive knowledge of how the program functions, what has happened so far in the program, and what is happening, as well as all possible outcomes of the program. He knows what is most likely to happen, but free will prevents him from knowing for certain what will happen. free will is the AI of the people created in the program. God can certainly remove our free will (like the Free Will toggle in The Sims) but he doesnt, because he allows the program to work itself out. the program runs on its own, requiring no input from God, but functions better when God is actively involved, even in small ways, because he can direct the proceedings rather than allowing them to unfold. since he is programmer, he can rewrite the rules of the program at will, and do anything he wants, thus the omnipotence and omnipresence.

    I hope you were able to follow that, it was basically focused stream of conciousness.

    Thank you Janus, that is exactly the point-of-view that I try to take with regards to time travel.  At the beginning of all things (like the universe) time was represented by the trunk of said tree.  As time went on, the possibliities, and thus the state of all things, branched out to encompass many diverse states.


  • Janus -

    What’s the purpose of your analogy?  I don’t see it as a proof of God - but where are you wanting to take it?


  • I don’t see it as a proof of God

    Neither do I, I dont believe in God.

    What’s the purpose of your analogy?

    <shrugs>Whats the purpose of any philosophical discourse?

    My analogy is my way of comprehending God. Both for my own benefit, and for discussions with others. The analogy provides a starting point, this is how I concieve of a Judeo-Christian type God (omnipotent, omniscient, etc.) This helps me to process and analyze any new information or new question that may arise regarding God, and gives me a basis for discussions with other people. It is to that end that I am trying to further develop it, because the end goal of a theory on any topic is comprehensiveness w.r.t. that topic, in this case, God. It proves nothing, and doesnt attempt to.</shrugs>

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