Monday, March 23, 2015
Origin or Originator
Excerpts of an email exchange regarding the use of the term God and/or Allah in a mathematician's Theory of Everything.
A list member posted: 'So I reiterate my objection that using "God" is not only obfuscating your avowed meaning it is also wrong to say it's what the Greeks meant by the basis of reality.'
and B replied: Yes, it is a key moment in the greek theology, where at the beginning, God was considered as finite, and the infinite was confused with the indefinite, and almost an insult. Later they make the infinite (apeiron) into a possible attribute of the ONE, and reserve the indefinite ofr the notion of bad, or matter.
If you don't like the term "God" I will use "Allah". The main point about God is that it has no name, so *any* name is wrong. I did not use God, except in a reply which has lead us to that infinite useless vocabulary discussion. God is just the most common quasi-name (pointer).
I made clear what I meant, and the important point is the coming back to the scientific attitude in theology, which is typically concerned with soul, afterlife, (re)incarnation, origin of universe, transcendence, truth, non-nameable, etc. It is the ONE of Parmenides and Plotinus, and it is not distinguishable from arithmetical truth, in case we are machine.
The following is a discussion between the mathematician (B) and I (SI)
SI: Why don't you just call it One with a capital O
B: Because I use "One" for Plotinus first Hypostase. I use God, for the general notion, used by most philosophers and comparative theologians.
SI: God / Allah (The Deity) are terms used for a being worthy of worship (loving obedience). Does the One/God of Comp mean as such? From what I've gathered from your explanations, it simply points to an origin, not the Creator of the origin(s). Is that correct?
B: That might be true for those who meet God, and strictly speaking it go without saying. But it might lead to catastrophes when said by anyone, because you can't really name God so as to be clear about what to obey to. Cerfeul, as the trick is ,for some tyrant, to make believe he is the intermediate. That happens very often.
I suspect so, but with that important proviso, above.
I would say that it points on the permanent immutable perfection, say, at the origin and end of all origins and ends. It is out of time and space, and explains the reason of the perception of origin, time, space, etc
I think "God" is more a semantic reason than an "origin". It is not omnipotent. Its perfection makes it unable to cope with many things, including matter. There is a trade-of between knowledge and ability to change/move. God can oscillate between knowing all things, but then unable to change anything, or forgetting and then being able to change and move.
SI: Well, though you can refer to it with whatever word seems appropriate to you, however I would suggest that you do not use of the term Allah, as the concept of the term is a perfect, perfectly-able, perfectly and constantly all-aware, all-seeing, all-hearing, perfectly-commanding and perfectly-governing being, in control of everything and not sharing its sovereignty or command with anyone. Allah alone is worthy of worship, and all else is creation, and even the mightiest / loftiest of creation submits humbly to Allah. Use of the word Allah for a concept less-powerful may not be a good idea.
B: Well, if by Allah you mean God, I certainly agree, but I don't think any human has a monopoly of a name, as "The God" (which I think is Allah in arab) has no name.
Suggesting me not to use Allah seems a little weird, then.
SI: The descriptions that you have given of your discovery is something that set in motion the process by initiating 0 and 1 and then is no longer involved in the process of creation, forgets, unable to act, and so on. That is not the concept of Allah in Islam, nor of God in most religions. That is why I suggested that perhaps what you've discovered is not God but rather an origin, a primary creation of sorts, may be. Feel free to call it whatever you like, I was just sharing my thoughts on the matter.