The Metaphysical Engineers Report
Our modelling is designed to answer two questions about the conception of God which you offered.
(1) Is the conception of God consistent with itself?
(2) Is the conception of God consistent with the universe that we live in?
The first question asks whether the conception makes sense. For example, a triangle with four sides is a conception which is not consistent with itself, since a triangle has three sides. A triangle with four sides is, in fact, a four-sided three-sided object, which is simply a contradiction in terms. In this sense, the conception is not consistent with itself.
If a conception is consistent with itself, this does not necessarily mean that it refers to something which actually exists. For example, the idea of a six hundred foot monster that lives in liquid steel is not inconsistent. But such a creature does not exist in our world. The second question therefore asks whether your conception of God is consistent with the universe as we understand it.
The metaphysical engineers should explain that any problems they report may reveal one of two things. Some problems may simply reflect their inability to resolve apparent problems. In this sense, the difficulties are a product of their lack of knowledge or understanding. Others may be deeper problems, so fundamental that no amount of increased understanding can resolve them. It is for you to decide which problems fall into which category.
Plausibility Quotient = 0.8
The metaphysical engineers have determined that your conception of God has a plausibility quotient (PQ) of 0.8. A PQ of 1.0 means that as far as the metaphysical engineers can determine your conception of God is internally consistent and consistent with the universe that we live in. A PQ of 0.0 means that it is neither internally consistent nor consistent with our universe. More than likely, your PQ score will be somewhere between these two figures. But remember that this is your PQ score as determined by the metaphysical engineers. The editors of TPM have no control over their deliberations, so don’t blame us!
God the sustainer?
Your God is the sustainer of all that is. This means that if God ceased to exist so would everything else.
The metaphysical engineers are finding it hard to model this God in our universe. The laws of physics do not seem to require that the universe has anything outside of itself to continue to exist. Therefore, they can’t quite see what kind of evidence it would be possible to point to in order to come to the belief that God is required for the universe to continue.
When they have previously confronted this problem, it has been suggested that a law-giver or law-enforcer is required in order to sustain the laws of physics. But this response seems to rest on a misunderstanding of the nature of physical laws. Laws in the legal sense do require law-givers and law-enforcers. But physical laws are simply descriptions of the nature of reality. So the idea that a law-giver is needed to sustain the rules of physics seems to confuse the legal and scientific senses of laws.
The metaphysical engineers request clarification of what you mean when you say God exists eternally.
You may mean that God exists through all space and time. But according to our best physics, space and time exist only within the confines of a universe. This would seem to constrain God’s existence to within a universe.
You could mean that God exists “outside” space and time. But the metaphysical engineers find it hard to understand what you mean by “eternally”, if that’s the case. Doesn’t the concept “eternally” require some notion of time to make sense? The metaphysical engineers are still puzzling over these issues.
That is the end of the metaphysical engineers’ report. As we said at the beginning, we are not sure that the problems they identify are insuperable. But we do hope that by thinking about them you may come to understand what you mean by God more deeply, and perhaps even revise your former beliefs.
hehhehe – boy am i now confused!!!!