AE-DOC: matheism-and-psychonics

Chapter 1: Matheism

In this chapter the Scionics concept of matheism will be introduced. Matheism is the idea that it is the infinite, eternal, immutable and omnipresent truths of mathematics which are the ultimate foundation and cause of all reality.

A common argument for the existence of God is the well-known watchmaker argument. This argument, in brief, states that "where there is a watch, there is a watchmaker," and by analogy, that design implies a designer. One who accepts this line of reasoning sees the enormous magnificence and complexity of life and of the universe as a whole, and from this infers that all of this complexity required a designer. The watchmaker argument, however, contains serious logical flaws.

Consider the well-known Mandelbrot set. One can zoom in on the Mandelbrot set, to any desired degree of magnification, and one will find a level of magnificence and complexity in the infinitely complex fractal pattern which emerges which is far beyond anything inherent in the simple, finite, recursive formula by which it is constructed. There is no designer of the Mandelbrot set; it is simply a mathematical object, and like all mathematical objects, it exists eternally and immutably, without beginning or end, and without any sort of creator, whether or not anyone ever actually discovers its existence.

This is just one example of the more general phenomenon that complexity often emerges from simplicity. There is also the entire class of cellular automata, of which Conway's Game of Life is probably the most well-known example. Many additional examples of the emergence of complexity from simplicity could be presented; there are actually infinite instances of this phenomenon.

That being said, let us closely examine the idea that the magnificence and complexity of the universe seems to imply a design and a designer, and therefore a God. Such a God is normally considered to be at least intelligent enough to design this universe, or at most actually omniscient, knowing literally “everything about everything.” The postulated magnificence and complexity inherent in such a God's mind could thus range widely, from the finite but unimaginably vast, to the actually infinite. But now, if one argues that the magnificence and complexity of the universe required a creator, then would not the magnificence and complexity of God, in turn, also require a creator?

Thus the watchmaker argument falls upon the very premise upon which it is founded. Instead of using the idea of some God to explain the complexity and origin of the universe, we have now pushed the question back one step further, and must now ask ourselves: What is the explanation for the complexity and origin of God? One might be tempted to simply state that this magnificent and complex being, God, always existed, but then one could just as easily have stated that the magnificent and complex universe, itself, simply always existed, in some form. (In this case, the Big Bang would not have been the origin of the cosmos, as it is often misunderstood to be, but merely a transitional period between some preexisting state and the emergence of that portion of the cosmos which we have come to label as our observable universe. Among the most promising cosmological models which hold the Big Bang as being such a transitional period are various forms of cosmological inflation, including eternal inflation, and several form of cyclic or recurring inflation. We will be exploring these issues later.)

Positing the existence of some magnificent and complex God thus actually does nothing at all to resolve the mystery of the origin of our magnificent and complex universe. In fact, rather than resolving anything, it actually only adds more complications which are removed completely once one realizes what should be obvious: that our cosmos exists now because it has always existed. The cosmos, itself, is eternal.

There is a deeper question here, however. Whether one posits the existence of some imaginary eternal God, or one accepts the reality of the eternal cosmos itself, one is still left with the mystery of just why it should be the case that anything exists at all. It may well be simpler, after all, for simply nothing at all to exist, than for any of this magnificence and complexity to exist. This leads us to one of the deepest metaphysical questions of all: Why does something exist, rather than nothing?

To put this another way, to state that the cosmos exists now because it has always existed in the past is to give a physical reason for its existence: each moment is a product of the preceding moment, back into the infinite past, forever. The question of why anything exists at all, however, may be more accurately categorized as a metaphysical question. To resolve this metaphysical question, then, Scionics employs something which is, likewise, metaphysical in nature.

This is not to say, however, that this metaphysical thing is mystical, supernatural or imaginary in nature. Unlike any imagined God, or any type of supernatural being or force, we all know this thing exists, and we all have very real experience with. This thing undeniably exists everywhere, at all points in space and time, and is inconceivably and infinitely complex. It has an infinite, eternal, immutable, and omnipresent nature, just as God is often claimed to have. It underlies everything and all phenomena in the universe. This thing is pure mathematics, or pure logical and mathematical truth. Reality exists, and has existed eternally, because pure mathematical truth exists and has existed eternally. Pure mathematical truth is the ultimate foundation and cause of all reality; this position can be called matheism.

Before continuing to explore matheism, however, it would be prudent to first note the very important distinction between various forms of human-created mathematical language, on the one hand, and the mathematical truths which they express, on the other. So, for example, one can say, "One plus one equals two," in English, "Un plus un égale deux," in French, or simply write: “1+1=2.” These are all essentially equivalent expressions in human-created mathematical languages. Each of these expressions, however, are not merely expressing arbitrary opinions, but an underlying and very real objective mathematical truth. If there were no truth behind these expressions, then they would be useless. So, when references are made herein to pure mathematics, or pure logical and mathematical truth, or even just to math or mathematics in general, these are references to the underlying objective mathematical truths, and not to any particular human-created mathematical language at all.

With that understanding, it is obvious that one plus one equals two (however one expresses this truth) eternally and everywhere, even if no one is around to be aware of this fact. Furthermore, the total structure of inter-related and inter-connected logical/mathematical truths is infinite and eternal: all of these infinite truths are true everywhere, eternally. These truths are also immutable: no God or any other being of any kind, can change this or any of the infinite objective truths of mathematics in any way.

Matheism is a position which is simultaneously distinct from either mystical theism or simplistic atheism. This distinction will be examined a bit more closely later in this writing. For now, however, suffice it to say that, rather than resorting to any sort of imagined God or other supernatural forces, or even simple blind chance, matheism instead posits that the ultimate foundation and cause of all reality is the universal and ontologically necessary truths of mathematics. (To say that a thing is ontologically necessary is to say that it must exist, or conversely, that it cannot not exist.)