Friday, 05 March, 2004

A few days back, I made a comment on slashdot regarding the recent discovery that there was once liquid water on mars.

In that post, I made the point that prehaps the discovery of life on another planet might finally kill off religion. Needless to say, I got moderated a troll for that. Slashdot is read by mostly americans and a sizeable proportion of americans are Christian. Making a statement as bold as that is not a clever thing to say in that peer-group.

Religious zealots aside, there was one user's comment which was rather insightful: "Why *do* you want religion to die?"

That's an awfully good question. On closer examination, my comment was wreckless at best. I don't want religion to die. A lot of people get a lot of comfort from the notion of a God and a Heaven. I wouldn't want to take that comfort away. In some respects, I envy them for having that comfort.

I couldn't help but think that the same Islamic or Christian fudementalism of the current and previous centuries was spilling out in that post. The kind of line of thought that goes: "I want you to believe what I believe because I know what's right better than you." - That's clearly a fools logic.

But my wrecklessness aside, The question has prompted my examination into what I believe with regard to the notion of a God.

On the face of things, i'm probably a closed agnostic. In short, I don't think it will ever be possible to to draw a meaningful conclusion to the question of god based on the scientific principle.

I think the notion of a God leads to logical problems. Assume there is a God. Who created it? Who created the creature that created God? Who created the creature that created the creature that created god? And so on ad infinitum..

You could counter-argue that god existed before the creation of the universe and has existed forever and so didn't need creating.

This is a problematic line of thought because physics tell us that the concept of time disintegrates as you get very close to the big bang: time and space are not valid tools to measure the universe before 10-43 seconds after the Big bang.

You're forced to conclude that if God exists in our universe, it too must have been created with the Big Bang. I find the infinite creators of God argument abhorrent and so under this banner, I'd conclude that God can't exist in our universe.

So the next natural question is ff God exists outside the universe? If so, it of little consequence to us anyway. The only place that God may have had an impact is in the birth of the universe. I think all are agreed this is an important role but physics doesn't permit God to mess with the universe very much now that it's been set in motion.

People have probably written books on the subject and I am rather ill-informed to do a proper examination of the question.

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that it is probably the ultimate example of Godel's incompleteness and that's why i'm a closed agnostic.

08:56:41 GMT | #Randomness | Permalink
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