Is Quantum Physics Proof of God?

This would be equivocation on the word “God.”

Although sometimes the people advocating the “proofs” are well aware of what they do and do not assert, and the equivocation is in the eye of the beholder.

The kind of god that creates universes and steps aside or passively observes quantum interactions (or whatever) is only ever trotted out in these kinds of discussions. No one in real life cares about that kind of god.

As Cheesesteak says, the people who do care about god sometimes talk about this kind of amorphous, unfalsifiable thing and then immediately pivot to “so that’s why abortion should be illegal” or whatever.

Specifically I was referring to Revelation Chapter 6 in which the Heavens/Sky are rolled up as a scroll. The author being aware it is possible for the fabric of space to be curved/bent is very interesting to me.

The other references are mostly about God being completely outside the passage of time (rather than just being very, very old). This too seems to be a concept which would have been foreign to ancient cultures.

That interpretation is a lot more than a little bit of a stretch.

Remember, I am totally in favour of logic puzzles! Now, if someone were to ascribe religious significance to, say, the Axiom of Choice, or to certain axioms of quantum mechanics, barring faulty logic/mathematics criticism of that comes (necessarily comes :slight_smile: ) from a theological basis.

Please tell us you’re joking.

13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

There’s a bit more going on. You seem to be claiming that they understood a curved space while simultaneously having no ideas what stars were. And ignoring that they thought the earth was flat in the first place.

Bible cherrypicking gives only sour fruit.

Not sure what logic puzzles have to do with it—it’s a logical argument like any other, in that if you agree with Gödel’s axioms and definitions (among which, his definition for ‘god-like-ness’), then you’ll be forced to accept the conclusion (that a god-like being necessarily exists). Now, of course, the proof is silent on whether the being whose existence it demonstrates (barring acceptance of the underlying axioms etc.) is the God of Christianity, or any other particular religion, but that can be remedied—you might decide, for instance, that a being that possesses all positive properties (i. e. is ‘god-like’ on Gödel’s account) is deserving of worship on that basis, and just start a religion on that basis.

Point being, if you accept the axioms etc., and if you accept that they describe the being you have in mind when talking about ‘God’, then Gödel’s proof is a perfectly sound demonstration of God’s existence. But that’s the same caveats that apply to any logical arguments, so arguments for the existence of god (any god) don’t have a special status there. There isn’t anything more misguided in using logic to prove God’s existence than there is in using logic to prove Socrates’ mortality.

As for the OP, even granting the premise that consciousness is necessary for the ‘collapse’ of quantum states to a definite outcome, it doesn’t follow that there needs to be any sort of ‘ur-observer’ to get things to collapse. Such a theory would make the most sense as a sort of objective collapse theory, where the reduction of the wave function is a stochastic process occurring with some appropriate likelihood to have macroscopic systems be reasonable definite most of the time.

These aren’t technically interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, but modify the dynamics, in principle in a detectable way. The most well-known such theories take the concept of mass as being responsible for the collapse. This has some justification: General Relativity is a nonlinear theory, hence, the sum (superposition) of two mass/gravitational field configurations, each of which individually is a solution of the theory, will generally not be a solution again; in Quantum Mechanics, however, any two solutions can be coherently combined into a new solution. So one might say, something’s got to give: if you try to superpose two gravitational fields that differ ‘too much’, the resulting combination will randomly collapse to one or the other.

You could try and do the same thing with combination of conscious experience—if the state involves into a superposition of two conscious experiences that differ by ‘too much’, then it randomly collapses to one or the other (such a model has, in fact, been worked out, starting from Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory of consciousness). But then, it also becomes clear that you don’t need any god-like superobserver to collapse things: it suffices to eventually have the wave function contain terms pertaining to two different sorts of conscious experience, and then, one of these will survive, and the other will be annihilated. So what initially collapsed the universe, on such a view, would be the most simple sort of conscious experience—perhaps an amoeba detecting a chemical gradient—or anything further up (or down) the evolutionary ladder: no gods needed.

…nevermind that a scroll being rolled up still has zero intrinsic curvature anyway (any triangle drawn on that scroll will continue to have its angles sum up to 180°).

You (well, Gödel) are reading a lot into things (begging the question, as it were :-P) by talking about “God(s)” and “beings” using the language of modal logic and formal semantics. Not that one can ignore the importance of this line of philosophy to certain theologists, but I am not seeing it (especially in cases when from a religious point of view God should possess contradictory properties like being both one and many, or intrinsic ineffability; or all the ecstatic aspects of religious experience). It would be an interesting perspective were people to decide to worship mathematical objects, though.

And it is absolutely a logic— ok, not a “puzzle” per se— but you can view it that way, for example, if I recall correctly, it was relatively recently that someone explicitly worked out the inconsistency in the handwritten version of the axioms in one of Gödel’s manuscripts, computer-verified some other version, proved the modal collapse, etc., and I’m sure these were all fun exercises.

Predicting precise values for the cosmological constant seems like pretty dry fare for a freaky prophetic vision, though arguably it would be rather impressive, especially veiled in some dactylic hexameter.

Hmm… Meta-god of the gaps?

Of course it’s easy to shoot things like this down but suppose the author was a human from around 70 AD (or later if you prefer) trying to write a fake prophesy about doom and gloom and the end of the world.

If they are (presumably) trying to scare people would they really use language like “sky rolled up like a scroll” to describe the end of the world? Rather than being scary it sounded like absolute nonsense the first time I read it. Is this something which would have had meaning to the populace at that time? Did the author get the idea from a contemporary?

John was doing great with the doom and gloom theme until then but that detail doesn’t really seem to fit.

Yes, for people who thought that the sky was a physical dome positioned over the Earth.

That should be “Of course it’s absolutely necessary to shoot things like this down.”

Searching the entire corpus of religious writing over several thousand years to cherrypick a mention of anything vaguely related to curvature so that it can be called a forerunner of relativity is sheer quackery. It discredits all serious students of religion and highlights the enormous gulf between faith and reason. How can you do more damage to your cause than by using exactly the techniques that conspiracy theorists use to justify creationism?

Right, and that’s why it’s annoying when you hear of “Is there a God” being supposedly the most important philosophical question. The notion of a God itself, in the abstract, is no more interesting than whether a hyper advanced alien species exists (which is interesting, but not the most important question).
It only becomes important by linking it to important questions like the nature of consciousness, how anything exists at all, and, historically, now-solved questions like Why is there night and day or What gives life to organisms.

It’s like the most important philosophical question is whether there is a chocolate pudding planet. Because the pudding planet was there during the big bang and played a critical role in the distribution of matter. It will smush the earth one day, killing all humans in the Day of Deliciousness. Oh and this book about how to live your life was inspired by the chocolate world.

Not more than with any other logical argument presumed to apply to some concrete or hypothetical object in the world. You always have two levels with any such argument: the purely syntactical, which decides the argument’s validity, and the semantic level, which decides its soundness (not that I’m implying you don’t know that, but it helps to go over this for the point I’m trying to make). So such an argument is sound only if it’s valid (i. e. its logical form checks out), and its premises are, in fact, true—but the latter can only be decided by appealing to the real world. So Gödel’s argument is sound if God is that being which has all positive properties.

That being is not in any way a mathematical, or logical, entity. Take the following:

  1. All(x): H(x) → M(x)
  2. H(s)
  3. M(s)

This is clearly a valid argument: if, for every x that is H, x is M, and s is H, then s is M. But we don’t know whether it’s sound—and that’s not a purely logical/mathematical matter. Suppose I now tell you that H means ‘is human’, M means ‘is Mortal’, and s is Socrates—then, we have a sound argument, which tells us that Socrates is mortal. This isn’t a conclusion about some mathematical object called ‘Socrates’, but it’s something that applies to a concrete individual, by virtue of the fact that that individual happens to have been human. Suppose I hadn’t known that Socrates was human, or I hadn’t known that all humans die: then, the above argument tells me something new about Socrates the ancient Greek philosopher.

It’s the same with Gödel’s argument. If it’s true that God is that entity of which all positive properties obtain (and if all other premises are likewise true), then it tells us that God exists—in the same way that if it’s true that Socrates is a human, the argument above tells us that he is mortal. Reasoning about God using formal logic is nothing special—it allows us to draw conclusions about God on the basis of God’s properties. If God’s properties implied God’s existence, which is what ontological arguments assert, then formal logic would be the tool to tease out this fact. So the application of formal logic to the question of God’s existence is not in any way dubious—it’s merely that nobody has as of yet been able to make that argument convincing to anybody who wasn’t already convinced in the first place. But that’s not a fault of the tools used, but of the way they are wielded, so to speak.

Socrates existed, as far as evidence can show. If I interpreted the argument to say that it meant that Biggus Maximus was mortal, you could legitimately respond that no evidence shows that Biggus Maximus is human or has ever lived outside the pages of fiction.

Putting God into a logical argument fails in the same way. It can only work semantically if one already accepts the existence of God. That’s why doubters reject the ontological argument.

Sure, but this is like saying that if were to divine the future based on astrological signs then seeing if Jupiter is in Aquarius or whatever would be the way to do it.
Making empirical claims based only on logic has failed over and over again. Science vs Ontological Proofs is something like 10 million to zero right now.

So, I’ll say right now: even if I saw an ontological proof that seemed absolutely sound to me, I would still ignore the conclusion. Just as if I saw a magic trick that I couldn’t explain I wouldn’t conclude that magic is real.

Actually given that the God of Gödel’s proof is the possessor of all positive qualities, and the Christian God clearly has some negative qualities mixed in, I think its pretty clear that the Christian god is not Gödel’s god.

Of course it all boils down to how one defines positive qualities, which the proof is utterly silent about beyond the axiom that existence is a positive quality. We could for example define positive qualities that those qualities exhibited by my cat, in which case my cat is logically proved to be god (rather than just thinking he is).

I suspect that any attempt to define “positive qualties” in a way that matches our intuition as to what they should entail would result in Gödel’s axiom system being inconsistent. This would effectively be a proof of God’s non existence by contradiction. So that a being that has all positive qualities can no more exist then can the set of all sets that don’t contain themselves.