Computer Scientists 'Prove' God Exists

Thomas

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Scientists Use Computer to Mathematically Prove Gödel God Theorem - SPIEGEL ONLINE
I thought this was going to be fun, but I'm afraid higher modal logic leaves me scratching my head.

So did this:
When Gödel died in 1978, he left behind a tantalizing theory based on principles of modal logic -- that a higher being must exist. The details of the mathematics involved in Gödel's ontological proof are complicated, but in essence the Austrian was arguing that, by definition, God is that for which no greater can be conceived. And while God exists in the understanding of the concept, we could conceive of him as greater if he existed in reality. Therefore, he must exist.

I thought that theory was voiced by Anselm of Canterbury in 1078:
Anselm defined God as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived", and then argued that this being could exist in the mind. He suggested that, if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality. If it only exists in the mind, a greater being is possible—one which exists in the mind and in reality. (In his Proslogion.)

I suppose it's Gödel's particular argument that is credited to Gödel.

Perhaps Radarmark knows. And maybe he can explain 'higher modal logic' to my 'lower model noggin' ... but having looked at wiki, I don't hold out much hope (and that won't be your fault, Mr R!)
 

A Cup Of Tea

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I don't get it, if I can imagine unicorn, they must also exist in reality? I'm not making fun, I really don't see the logic.
 

Thomas

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I don't get it, if I can imagine unicorn, they must also exist in reality? I'm not making fun, I really don't see the logic.

It's a slippery one, but I think it goes something like ...
... and just when I thought I had it, it slips away.

I'll get back to you :D
 

Gordian Knot

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It makes no sense to me either. But then a mathematical model to prove God? You know that no such thing could possibly exist.
 

Paladin

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Hmmm sort of raises the question though, if God does mathematically exist, who's version of God would it be?
 

A Cup Of Tea

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It makes no sense to me either. But then a mathematical model to prove God? You know that no such thing could possibly exist.

"One sure mark of a fool is to dismiss anything that falls outside his experience as being impossible."
 

Gordian Knot

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I've played the fool many times. Turns out to be quite educational as well as a lot of fun! Because there is no way a mathematical model could be written to prove a God. Even if someone had claimed to have written such a thing how would one verify it?

Scientists wrote a mathematical model on the probability of rogue waves. They determined that such waves would be a once in a lifetime occurrence. Turns out there are at least 10 a year. There's an old phrase amongst computer folk, "Garbage in, garbage out".

Unless El Supremo came down and slapped an A+ on that mathematicians head, the math would always be speculation.

"One sure mark of a fool is to think that anything outside his experience must be possible."
 

A Cup Of Tea

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Is that me? Must I think it's possible because it's outside my experience?
You know flying is impossible right, must be since wood is to heavy and we cant make the test people flap their arms quickly enough.
 

Gordian Knot

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That was kinda my point, Tea.

"One sure mark of a fool is to dismiss anything that falls outside his experience as being impossible."
"One sure mark of a fool is to think that anything outside his experience must be possible."

Both are equally lacking statements.
 

Sheshbazzar

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Forum nonsense. You have not understood the proof. Had you grasped it, you would be unable to remain unconvinced. It is a most pure & simple proof. No, it is neither Anselm's nor Leibniz' argument.
In regard to forums:

The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. (Proverbs 15.14)
 

Gordian Knot

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I'll reiterate. I've played the fool many times. It is but another path to knowledge. A great many proverbs are like modern day sound bites. Their purpose is to attempt to distill into a few seconds a greater truth. The distillation itself often negates the wisdom it is attempting to emulate.

It is not necessary to understand the proof as it, in effect, proves nothing. This was plainly stated in the article:

"Using an ordinary MacBook computer, they have shown that Gödel's proof was correct -- at least on a mathematical level -- by way of higher modal logic."

See my example, above, about rogue waves that shows that mathematical models and simulations are only as good as the code is accurate.

Shesh you are very good at quoting biblical verse. Are you capable of individual thought as well? Or is that left behind. That is not meant to be an insulting question. I would like to hear from you, the person, not more parroting of proverbs.
 

Sheshbazzar

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The proof is completely conclusive & completely satisfactory. Here is the original.

It represents, in modal logic, the concept of necessary existence & the essence of essence.
 

Jane-Q

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I've always thought that God is more of a "quality" than a "quantity."
If you can quantify it, it's not God.

Once upon a time, I knew what "modal logic" was. But I'm not about to spend the rest of the morning relearning. Seems to forgetful-me that there is, nonetheless, some deep problem here within the posited definition:

by definition,
God is that for which no greater can be conceived . . .

Who was it (a philosopher, I think) who said . . . ?

There is no number so large . . .
that, if you add "1" to it,
you will suddenly find yourself incapable of conceiving of this new number.

Our powers of abstract conception are endlessly extensive.

But say, instead of a concept (a very very large number), it is now a collection of physical objects in the real world -- say golf balls . . .
this sea of golf balls would boggle not just the senses but the mind.
You could not take-in the immensity which literally sits before you.

This seems to contradict the conclusion put forth for Godel's argument, doesn't it? . . .

. . . And while God exists in the understanding of the concept,
we could conceive of him as greater if he existed in reality . . .

One more golf ball?

. . . Therefore, he must exist.

Yeah? . . . Only as one massive splitting headache!

Anselm's proof is, certifiably, an early triumph of abstract thinking.
Godel's proof . . . ?

Mathematics and abstract-thinking are tools for solving narrow problems.
That's it. Tools. Period.
What do they . . . (for that matter, what does Artificial Intelligence and computational devices) . . . tell us about the wider (and incredibly complicated) real world?

Not one hell of a lot.
Mental concepts are semantic meaning-units.
Standing alone, they tell us not one iota about the syntax of human reality.
Reality happens. Reality is a full syntax, not a single narrow meaning-unit.

Even if God is (as Godel postulates) merely one very very large "meaning-unit" . . .

Where (in this computation) is the interactive grammar of your and my and everybody's lived life?
Where is the compassion? . . . the feeling of hope? . . . the fire of conviction?

 
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