Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Holy Logic: Computer Scientists 'Prove' God Exists
Spiegel Online ^ | 10/22/2013 | David Knight

Posted on 10/24/2013 5:12:05 PM PDT by Alex Murphy

As headlines go, it's certainly an eye-catching one. "Scientists Prove Existence of God," German daily Die Welt wrote last week.

But unsurprisingly, there is a rather significant caveat to that claim. In fact, what the researchers in question say they have actually proven is a theorem put forward by renowned Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel -- and the real news isn't about a Supreme Being, but rather what can now be achieved in scientific fields using superior technology.

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.

Even at the time, the argument was not exactly a new one. For centuries, many have tried to use this kind of abstract reasoning to prove the possibility or necessity of the existence of God. But the mathematical model composed by Gödel proposed a proof of the idea. Its theorems and axioms -- assumptions which cannot be proven -- can be expressed as mathematical equations. And that means they can be proven.

Proving God's Existence with a MacBook

That is where Christoph Benzmüller of Berlin's Free University and his colleague, Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo of the Technical University in Vienna, come in. 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.

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: Religion & Science; Skeptics/Seekers; Theology
KEYWORDS: faithandphilosophy
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.

Even at the time, the argument was not exactly a new one. For centuries, many have tried to use this kind of abstract reasoning to prove the possibility or necessity of the existence of God. But the mathematical model composed by Gödel proposed a proof of the idea. Its theorems and axioms -- assumptions which cannot be proven -- can be expressed as mathematical equations. And that means they can be proven.

That is where Christoph Benzmüller of Berlin's Free University and his colleague, Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo of the Technical University in Vienna, come in. 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. Their initial submission on the arXiv.org research article server is called "Formalization, Mechanization and Automation of Gödel's Proof of God's Existence."

1 posted on 10/24/2013 5:12:05 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Proof that God exists came 33 years ago.............

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsDe-8cOSYY


2 posted on 10/24/2013 5:16:21 PM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (What do we want? Time travel. When do we want it? It's irrelevant.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Kurt Gödel was The Man.


3 posted on 10/24/2013 5:17:54 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

A mathematical expression sophisticated enough to be sentient.


4 posted on 10/24/2013 5:32:36 PM PDT by Excellence (All your database are belong to us.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vince Ferrer
Gödel published his two incompleteness theorems in 1931 when he was 25 years old, one year after finishing his doctorate at the University of Vienna.
***The first incompleteness theorem states that for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers (for example Peano arithmetic), there are true propositions about the naturals that cannot be proved from the axioms. To prove this theorem, Gödel developed a technique now known as Gödel numbering, which codes formal expressions as natural numbers.
***He also showed that neither the axiom of choice nor the continuum hypothesis can be disproved from the accepted axioms of set theory, assuming these axioms are consistent. The former result opened the door for mathematicians to assume the axiom of choice in their proofs. He also made important contributions to proof theory by clarifying the connections between classical logic, intuitionistic logic, and modal logic.

Huh?

5 posted on 10/24/2013 5:34:01 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

Ahhhh Bach...


6 posted on 10/24/2013 5:37:06 PM PDT by smvoice (HELP! I'm trapped inside this body and I can't get out!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

‘I refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’

‘But,’ says Man, ‘This mathematics proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.’

‘Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

‘Oh, that was easy,’ says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.


7 posted on 10/24/2013 5:40:09 PM PDT by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

I take it that this is not a man Obama would hire for his website?


8 posted on 10/24/2013 5:40:13 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/nicolae-hussein-obama/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smvoice
Ahhhh Bach...

One of our species finest!

9 posted on 10/24/2013 5:42:35 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain
Kurt Gödel: The World's Most Incredible Mind [FULL LECTURE][Video]

Kurt Gödel

10 posted on 10/24/2013 6:12:57 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

LOL!


11 posted on 10/24/2013 6:21:04 PM PDT by smvoice (HELP! I'm trapped inside this body and I can't get out!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
As someone once said of the ontological proof of God's existence, you can almost see the rabbit being put into the hat. I think Aquinas did a better job with his Five Ways.
12 posted on 10/24/2013 6:24:52 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney ( book, RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY, available from Amazon.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

What software did they use? java? C#? Mathematica? Is there a download I can try at home?


13 posted on 10/24/2013 6:35:12 PM PDT by posterchild
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GrandJediMasterYoda

Bump


14 posted on 10/24/2013 6:39:46 PM PDT by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Philosophically such proofs cannot be real for a simple reason. Abstracts, such as mathematics, only describe reality; they do not define reality.

You may paint the prettiest, most accurate picture of an apple ever made, but it remains just a picture, not the apple itself.


15 posted on 10/24/2013 7:10:24 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Welfare is the new euphemism for Eugenics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

well then nothing written - numbers or words - can really describe anything. they just are attempting to define concepts in either a number, or a language term. and yet writers write about the world and scientists use equations to model the world.


16 posted on 10/24/2013 7:19:07 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

God exists. Things do not just spontaneously create everything out of nothing, there are no self-creating effects, there is always a cause. Only God fits a self-creating cause. Information and codes prove an intelligence in DNA.

You either know He exists and know Him, you know He exists but don’t know Him, you just don’t know, you don’t care, or you know He exists but wish He didn’t exist.


17 posted on 10/24/2013 7:27:40 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void
Nice!

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

18 posted on 10/24/2013 7:30:24 PM PDT by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: MV=PY

Thank you I stole it (with minor modifications) from Douglas Adams.

I really miss him.


19 posted on 10/24/2013 7:33:52 PM PDT by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: GrandJediMasterYoda

Chancellor sure looks blue and so does that map. Illinois, too, wow.


20 posted on 10/24/2013 7:35:02 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: smvoice

"I'll be Bach."

21 posted on 10/24/2013 8:10:00 PM PDT by Defiant (GOPe Strategy: We have to fund Obamacare in order to see how bad it is. Good idea, guys!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Defiant

Oh good, I was wondering where you wuz Haydn!


22 posted on 10/24/2013 8:10:55 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Vince Ferrer
Kurt Gödel: The World's Most Incredible Mind [FULL LECTURE][Video]

Yes, Herr Gödel is the world's most incredible mind.

However, I SERIOUSLY doubt that I would understand one word in 1,000,000,000,000 that he spoke. I am SERIOUSLY average and would feel like a piece of wood being even near his bailiwick. A (wo)man has GOT to know his/her limitations. (Dirty Harry)

Thanks anyway.

23 posted on 10/24/2013 9:46:26 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Vince Ferrer
What in the WORLD IS a "self-consistent recursive axiomatic system" anyway???

Rhetorical, PUL-EEZ!

24 posted on 10/24/2013 9:49:28 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain
some of Bach visualized;

And yet another hour lecture, but easer to stay awake throughout;


25 posted on 10/24/2013 10:04:26 PM PDT by BlueDragon (A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

It’s an important distinction between what people can and cannot do.

People can observe and describe, subjectively, like the story of the blind men trying to describe an elephant, each touching parts of the elephant and reaching very different conclusions about it.

People can also subdivide things into their component parts, but if those things are dynamic: alive or changing, then when they are reassembled they are not the same as the original thing. Take apart a person then reassemble them, and they are no longer a person. They are a dead person. Frankenstein’s monster only came alive with science fiction magic, as it were.

People can also combine things into a greater whole, at least in their imaginations. If one violinist is a maestro, then an orchestra of one hundred novice violinists will, as a group, be even more expert.

And then, people can create any number of abstracts that describe things. But even back in caveman days, people confuse the abstract with the reality. Often this is done with the mood of “sympathetic magic”, that is, if a picture is made of stick figure hunters shown killing an elk with spears, it will somehow *cause* their hunting of elk to be a success.

As poet Joyce Kilmer noted:

“Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”


26 posted on 10/25/2013 6:09:34 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Welfare is the new euphemism for Eugenics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

.


27 posted on 10/25/2013 7:08:27 AM PDT by FreeManWhoCan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

Which is why Goedel and Einstein were close chums. They went on walks talking about this kind of stuff as casually as you and I might talk football.


28 posted on 10/25/2013 12:05:12 PM PDT by RobbyS (quotes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS
From the wiki article on Gödel:

On December 5, 1947, Einstein and Morgenstern accompanied Gödel to his U.S. citizenship exam, where they acted as witnesses. Gödel had confided in them that he had discovered an inconsistency in the U.S. Constitution, one that would allow the U.S. to become a dictatorship. Einstein and Morgenstern were concerned that their friend's unpredictable behavior might jeopardize his chances. Fortunately, the judge turned out to be Phillip Forman. Forman knew Einstein and had administered the oath at Einstein's own citizenship hearing. Everything went smoothly until Forman happened to ask Gödel if he thought a dictatorship like the Nazi regime could happen in the U.S. Gödel then started to explain his discovery to Forman. Forman understood what was going on, cut Gödel off, and moved the hearing on to other questions and a routine conclusion.

!!!

29 posted on 10/25/2013 12:23:40 PM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Campion

Doesn’t take anyone with the brains of a Goedel to figure that out.


30 posted on 10/25/2013 2:59:20 PM PDT by RobbyS (quotes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: BlueDragon
I've been listening to classical music all my life. My dad used to offer us a nickel if we guessed the composer. I never won THEN but I would win some nickels now. Bach is UNMISTAKABLE. But, then so are Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, etc.
That is all I listen to now...with an occasional Mexican station when Dianne (Note the TWO "n's.") Lickaweenie (Lol, that was my husband's name for her. She is SUCH a snob.) er, Nicolini is on the air. She has the afternoon hours on classical KDFC radio.
31 posted on 10/25/2013 8:48:35 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: JoeFromSidney
Aquinas and his Five Ways are WAY over my little head/brain.
I was so blessed to have faith. Truly a gift, unearned and undeserved but devoutly appreciated.
32 posted on 10/25/2013 8:52:24 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Defiant

OH MY, that is VERY good!!! :o)


33 posted on 10/25/2013 8:54:44 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain
I haven't listened to enough classical music, myself. You have me beaten in that regard. Yet I can hear when a progression tonally resolves, replays, shifts, or as in some jazz (a wide spectrum in that genre) wanders off leaving the explored hanging a bit, to return to the investigation of those loose ends bringing them all together, resolving, making sense of it. When that occurs, well, I guess that's why some people were in past decades crazy for it.

Sorry about the other one hour lecture link...but although it could be a bit difficult to follow, the lecturer was much more engaging than at that other link, and near the end provided some insight as to how some of Bach's compositions could interface or be made to link (if just in the imagination, and by some example of principle) with the questions and discussion as to philosophy of math, which is why I sent those.

I do apologize for not having provided better explanation for the links.

I made the (possible) mistake of listening to some Stevie Ray Von a short time back... Talk about an ear worm. I've been hearing passages of his treatment of Hendix's Little Wing going through my mind for days. Part of it is that like many people, I am well enough acquainted with the original to be able to hear the departures, with those being like much like some jazz, while staying within R&B/Rock, blending those genres.

34 posted on 10/25/2013 10:32:20 PM PDT by BlueDragon (A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: BlueDragon
I tried to like jazz when I was younger. Couldn't do it. After a lifetime of classical everything else pales.

It's all a matter of taste and taste is taught, usually.

I don't doubt that in 1000 years from now, classical will still be around. I don't know about jazz. Jazz enthusiasts are positive that it will be; I'm not so sure.

35 posted on 10/26/2013 6:22:57 AM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson