Betting on the Odd God

/ Cosmology … god /

Do a search for “god” at this blog, upper or lower case, and you’ll find hundreds to thousands, maybe five figures, of references: whole menus full: and that’s after the US court censored part of one of my domains thereby knocking six domains worth of pk writing and scholarship into the memory hole. I’m remounting some, gurgling out more new: it’s a lot. Still, on any day at any hour I may come up with a new slant that seems new to me, might seem new to you, for all I know might be new to all of human history. I blab so much about god, why shouldn’t some of it be “original”: even were it only by sheer chance?

I’m gonna start here with a quick sketch of two points that, once developed, I hope will be something.


godN Say “god” in any group of any size: Everyone in the group will understand what you mean, even the children, no matter the ethnicity. Europeans will understand, at least roughly, so will Americans, Chinese, Muslims … Some will prepare a scoff in their throat, but won’t blurt it out, not in the first seconds of your speaking.
Say “god according to the Nicene Creed” and you’ll loose a good portion of the audience. Say god according to the Nicene Creed, 325, or “god, Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879”, and you’ll cut your audience way down. As soon as you even hint at getting specific, at actually meaning something discussable. you’ll lose most of any audience on any subject.
Understand: a number of qualifiers could get added, ever narrowing your intelligible audience. Good, but be clear on only one point here: that the qualifiers could grow horizontally: god1, god2, god3: the complexity could add on arithmetically, linearaly.
And that’s as far as even the imaginative part of your audience will be able to follow even the broadest strokes.
Now: realize additionally that the idea of god could wax in at least one more dimension: godN … Think of that dimension as growable “vertically”: getting “taller” as well as “longer”.

Godel, Escher, Bach
Douglas Hofstadter
Godel, Escher, Bach

What the hell you talking about, Knatz?

You should read a lot of Hofstadter (and a lot of Watts) (and a lot of theology) before you read much of pk.

Good, thank you, here’s the point:
Everyone at the outset understood what was meant by “God”: everyone, the Chinese, the Indian, is familiar with the idea of the boy hoping he gets the girl, with the girl hoping she gets the red bicycle, that her little brother gets over his cough.
You want something, you want the universe to stack itself in your favor, you address an entity, any entity, to the purpose.
OK: that’s god1.
On the eve of the war everyone is hoping for success, luck, favor: on “both” sides, on “all” sides …

Now, jump with me: let’s imagine that the god referred to is of at least the minimum complexity imagined in the theologies of Judaism, Christianity … Never mind for the moment whether it’s Orthodox or Catholic or Protestant
Just get this one vertical complexity: the god is worshipped by people who know that the relationship between god and congregation is not simple.
The Jew doesn’t just say “Let my first-born prosper”; the Jew says “Let my first-born prosper despite me and my neighbors not being very good Jews”! The Christian doesn’t just say “Let my first-born prosper”; the Christian says “Let my first-born prosper despite the Jews getting everything wrong, despite the Christians, including me most of the time, not being one whit better”.

See? Now we’re not just talking about whether the god made the universe in six days, or whether the god is named “Jehovah” or “Mildred”; we’re talking about whether church1, 2, 3 or churchA, B, C is competent to know how to pray!

Realize minimally, by the time we’re alive in the Twenty-First Century every generation of every church has forfeited its right to beg to a divinity a thousand times over, a million, a billion.

And it ain’t just the church: the state pretends to have listened to Rousseau, and Locke … Jefferson … the people … Check it out: are any of the reports accurate? Is a consortium of corporations, all unapologetically devoted to profit, all using kleptocratic infrastructures, competent to report any messages truthfully?

Shouldn’t a supreme court have a perfect record of justice, no exceptions, no lapses, before it has the right, as authorized by god3, godZ before it reports on anything anybody said yesterday?

OK, never mind god for a moment: let’s consider something infinitely simpler: the Bible. Let’s just consider God’s word(s): Do we know any? Any at all? Is any one sentence of any Genesis you can find in any library or bookstore accurate? (Accurate of what?)

Please remember, at all times: whether or not God exists is an entirely separate question from whether of not any of God’s followers are worthy to worship the God. or whether any part of any document is actually the Bible, that is, accurately from God.

We’re so naive: we allow the state to send us to a school. We don’t even pretend that the school is from God. We allow humans, following political processes, to decide what’s true!!! (Any twelve year old should be able to falsify any step by any second glance.)

We block Darwin, censor Twain (fire Knatz,) (never even publish Knatz), and we still say it’s a “school”!

Dostoevsky argues that any church is fundamentally atheist. I argue the same. Neither Romans nor Jews 21-hundred years ago permitted Jesus to speak, and no church yet would let him speak today (or yesterday). Don’t have Jesus to test it with? Consdier Illich, consider pk. You don’t even know what I offered for publication! in the 1960s, in the 1970s, ’80s … You don’t know how much of it was dictation. The questions can’t be discussed! not in any church, not in any university!
(Proponents of democracy haven’t paid a bit of attention to the idea of Original Sin as they blithely assume that anything can be openly discussed: closed people imagining they’re open!)
(My university had the FBI put me in jail rather than hear my testimony as to it’s open-closed-ness.)

That begins the sketch of consideration 1. Consideration 2 will follow.

Consideration 2 Whew. Some of Consideration 2 spilled into Consideration 1 above. More will accumulate as a scrapbook: later, next week, next year …
One thing I’d already sketched elsewhere: Is Pascal’s gamble is good bet? Is any specific atheism safe to the atheist: just in case the God does exist? just in case the god gets pissed, has power.
But here’s a better question: is any cosmology safe? What if we’re protecting ourselves against Jehovah’s wrath but in the meantime the set of ecologies that permit civilization to exist collapse? What if we all fear ecological degradation but in fact Moloch is the true god and Moloch is about to toss every baby as well as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace?
Is any one cosmology ever safe? Shouldn’t we know the truth before we make any bets?
No, because we never know the truth, bets are the best we can do.
Just prepare to be wrong.

That’s my advice:

Prepare to be wrong.

See Infinity of Gods.

Society Social Epistemology Cosmology Etc.

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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