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Re: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

In a message dated 95-11-14 18:12:49 EST, ArtSippo writes:

<<The difference between science and metaphysics is not merely of degree but
of kind.  It is one thing to say that something is naturally impossible or
that it dosen't exist.  It is another thing to say that it is logically
impossible or that it couldn't exist.  The  distinction is not trivial.  The
square root of ( -1) is a logical consequence of the number line yet it
represents no known physical quantity.  It is nevertheless useful for
generating fractals which are the basis of several natuarlly occurring
phenomena and has other uses in math and physics.>>

Speaking as one who has wandered through his share of multidimensional
Euclidean spaces, I really, really do grasp the difference between science
and metaphysics.

The square root of -1 (as well as all other complex numbers) has a nice
physical representation in the Argand plane. It just doesn't lie on the real
line, that's all.

<<God is the same realm.  Transcendence merely means that God is a
metaphysical entity neither defined or contained within the knowable
universe.  He is similar to the transcendental numbers "C" and "Aleph-Null."
 These are perfectly reasonable concepts but their direct relationship to
anything in our experience is analogical at best.  To argue whether such an
entity does or doesn't exist necessarily leads to speculation but not
necessarily contradiction.>>

Are you sure you're not confusing the mathematical meaning of transcendental
(which is not "transfinite" like C and aleph-null, but means "not the root of
any polynomial with integral coefficients"--like pi and e) with
quasi-philosophical mumbo-jumbo? In math, one can "make" an entity exist by
including it among the axioms grounding a system. For example, it was proved
some time ago that the existence of a transfinite number between aleph-null
and C is undecidable. That is, you can deny its existence--and get Cantorian
set theory--or accept its existence--and get non-Cantorian set theory. Does a
similar situation hold with respect to a deity? What does this mean for the
real universe? What is the point of adding transcendentalist baggage to a
universe already complicated beyond our understanding?

<<Let me give you with analogy.  With regard to the God of traditional
western theism we are in the analogous position of Oliver Twist with regard
to Charles Dickens.  Dickens is neither a macro- nor a micro- scopic entity
to Oliver Twist.  Where is he in the novel?  Nowhere in particular but
everywhere generally.  He wrote it.  The characters in the novel were created
by him directly but if you read the story they also have a history in depth
which is in the "past"and  which defines who and what they are.  They are the
product of historic forces which are simultaneously "teleological" according
to the author's intentions.   How could Oliver Twist ever discover Dickens?
 It would take an act of personal self revelation by Dickens to his creature.
 Would speculation by Oliver about an "Author of All Things" be illogical or
nonsensical?  Not if it lead him to Charles Dickens or something like him.
 And surely Dickens is the one who is "driving" Oliver's world.>>

Oliver Twist is a work of fiction. Is this universe a work of fiction?
Charles Dickens obeyed the physics of the real world--he was made up of
atoms, he bled when cut, he ate food and excreted waste, he evolved from
earlier hominids. What physics does God obey? When you put God into the
equation, you have to be prepared to discuss the nuts and bolts--the
details--of His, Her, or Its existence, and there is no handle on any of
that. There is no way to test any claims you might make against skeptical
counter-hypotheses. Until you can suggest--and carry out--some real, physical
tests of God's existence and abilities, there is no reason to accept God's
existence--and indeed, there is every reason to consider God as one's own
personal work of fiction.