Friday, October 16, 2009

Arguing the null god - the setup

I was reading some posts on Atheist-Nexus (A|N) about "What are the best arguments for god?". I was pondering the question and I still came back to the idea of the null god.

First you have to actually look closely at the question. It is actually pretty loaded. There are 3 key parts to that topic that I see.
1) best arguments
- implies that you are coming from an argumentative position, ie against another position. Not just making an open premise.
2) for
- this is actually pretty important, because in arguing for a position, you are not really comparing against another, but more contrasting and showing the strengths of your position
3) god
- This one is pretty subtle. That word is very highly loaded. Because most people, at least in United States expect an argument with regards to the Abrahamic god. If you were to make a statement for zeus, or Quetzalcoatl (Aztec creator god). I think they would look at you funny, probably disregard what ever you said, and redirect you back to restate the question as "What is the best argument for the christian/abrahamic god?"

I think you would find most people, are really not interested in arguments for the best god. they want their god. They want their god to win.

My point here is that before someone can make an argument for the null god, you need to make sure the person you are communicating with understands, you are coming from the side of the pantheon of all gods that were ever imagined. There are thousands listed in

This statement about your position puts you in a power spot. They are arguing from god=1. You are arguing from god>1000. Put it another way. You get to stake claim to the infinity of gods that have ever existed or will exist.

Think of a number line 0 <-----------> infinity. You are going to proceed to take a position along the entire line from 0 to infinity. Yes, I said 0. Zero is the atheist position. We are even going to argue against that position too.

Now you might wonder how are we going to argue against 0, 1, 100, 1000, or infinite gods. What is left? The null god. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Most modern religions are monotheistic, and could represent that position as g=1. Atheists argue that there is no god, none, there are exactly zero gods. This would be represented as g=0.

Now before I go any further, many people reading this will say -wait a minute that is wrong. Athiests come from the null hypothesis, so the atheist position should be null, not zero. However, there is a problem here.

First I agree that most atheists start from the null hypothesis, they look for the evidence of a god, they evaluate the evidence, then decide there are no gods. I think most people would agree with that. But that does not lead the atheist to g=null.

Actually lets look at this from a mathmatics or software point of view.
1) begin the process
2) create a variable "g" to hold the value for the number of gods that exist.
3) at this point nothing has been evaluated, just a plain variable has been created.
imagine it as --> dim g number;
we have a place holder, it actually starts with a null (undefined value)
sort of like being in the mental position of the null hypothesis.
4) then we sort through all the data, read the bibles, look at the literature. We listen to podcasts, read books, talk to friends, then we make a decision.
5) based on all the data, atheist is still in that unsettled state. They have to make an affirmative statement which or how many gods exist. Otherwise, why did you do all that work.
6) the decision is made and the atheist now sets --> g=0; They now say there is no god. Their mental state is different than it was before the data was evaluated.

Now it is tempting to jump to the next statement atheists make which is that there is no such thing as god, god does not exist, god is null, nada, does not apply. I still propose, that even with all that language, the position is still technically g=0. This will become clearer as we get into the null god.

stay tuned...

-- Jack

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say this, but I don't think this approach is going to work. Believers are either too "intellectually flabby" to deal with mathematical or scientific proofs, or they have set aside some portion of their brain that gives them some kind of buzz when they pray. Really, it's hard to overcome dope with logic: Google up the NPR article "Is this your brain on God?"


comments are welcome on this site. They are moderated, but primarily to remove spam. Please keep the comments rated PG-13.