Monday, May 4, 2009

Manifold Providence and Omniscience

Last month, I edited and reposted my own peculiar pomo-scholastic "proof" of the existence of God. Manifold Providence, as I like to call it, is a mild little heresy, an experimental jazz fusion of multiverse cosmology and classical theology. But hey, it keeps me entertained. It's nice to have hobbies.

A significant part of this little oddment rests on a theological assumption about the nature of God, and for some reason, I feel like blabbering on about it today. As a card-carrying Calvinist, I understand God to be both omniscient and omnipotent. There is nothing that God does not know, and God's creative power knows no limits or boundaries.

Given that foundation, God by necessity must know not only what is, but also must by definition know what might be. If omniscience is to be asserted in any meaningful way, then God knows not only the results of the choices we will make, but also the results of the choices that we do not make. Arguing otherwise delimits God to creation, which is a Biblical and conceptual nono. And we wouldn't want to do that, would we?

If divine knowledge is complete and not simply conceptual, then the reality of those paths we have not taken stands before God in the same manner of our current reality. That we do not and cannot know all of the different potential ways we might exist before God does not mean that God is not aware of us, in all of the ways that we both are and might have been ourselves.

For God to be God, God would be aware of an infinite array of possibilities, the fullness of all that could conceivably be. The unfathomable divine mystery would include a boundless omniverse of realities, some familiar, some impossibly strange, some with structures of physics and spacetimes that are completely different and antithetical to our own.

Omniscience, then, seems to require an infinite multiverse. An infinite multiverse, as I've argued in the link above, gives solid conceptual purchase to an ancient argument for the existence of God. The two concepts are interwoven and mutually self-supporting.

This may appear to be a delightfully cozy tautology, a line of reasoning that depends on itself for it's own proof. That's kinda the same thing fundamentalists do when they argue for the Bible's authority from the authority of the Bible. Then again, I'm fairly sure that a tautology by definition must be finite. As what is being described incorporates the infinite, it can't be a self-referential feedback loop. The conceptual integrity of the...

Oh. Wait. You're nodding off.

Sorry. I do go on and on.

I guess the broader question in all of this is...well...so what? Even if this is true, what could it possibly have to do with me? That, I think, is something I'll need to deal with another time.

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