Bruno Marchal wrote:

OK. Now, if you accept, if only just for the sake of the argument, the
mechanist hypothesis, then you will see there could be an explanation
why you feel necessary to postulate such a personal God. But then I
must agree this explanation is more coherent with
"theories/philosophies" in which that "God" is so much *personal* that
it looks like the "first person" canonically associated to the machine.
In that case your "personal God" would be the "machine third hypostase"
or "Plotinus universal soul". It is the unameable self (re)defined by
Bp  &  p.

If we are limiting ourselves to some finite machine or person, say
myself, and thus the third hypostase is simply my first person
experience, that is not the same as my personal God.

However, if we are talking about the "largest" person possible, then
the third hypostase (Bp & p) is based on the first hypostase (p) where
p is ALL TRUTH.  Then if we take the first hypostase to be the
impersonal Arithmetic Truth, or any impersonal truth, then the third
hypostase based on that (Bp & p) seems to be akin to the World Soul of
pantheism mentioned my Smullyan in "Who Knows?" p. 20.  I presume this
is akin to the universal soul that is sometimes referred to in MWI
discussions about all of us belonging ultimately to the same person,
since we all eventually have every experience.

However, this is not the same as the personal God's Soul, or what I
mapped to the Holy Spirit.  The third hypostase I referred to in my
Christian interpretation of the hypostases was based on the first
hypostase corresponding to God the Father, or "I am that I am", or
"Yahweh".  (more on naming below)  This is the personal God, not an
impersonal god.  Without a personal God at the top (by definition!)
there is no impetus for downward emanation.  Numbers don't care about
us and our plight with evil!  With only numbers or other impersonal
things, we are forever stuck with evil.

> If someone
> wants to research the historical record sufficiently to convince
> themselves one way or another about the Bible or Jesus' resurrection,
> that's great, and I can give them some sources, but it's probably too
> contingent for this List.

Perhaps. The problem is that I just cannot take an expression like
"Jesus is the Son of God" as a scientific proposition. It could be
true, it could be false without me seeing a way to resolve it. On the
contrary, I can find in the talk by Jesus general pattern which makes
sense, and, indeed, 2/3 of Christian theology is probably compatible
with the comp hyp. Somehow, any literal interpretation of *any* text
(even PA's axioms !) should be considered with systematic suspicion.

Notice that I used the word "convince themselves" rather than "proof".
(I used proof later on, but that was a mistake when talking with you,
because I wasn't using it in the sense of a mathematical logic proof,
like an inference from axioms.)  The reality of the personal God in His
three Persons fulfilling the first four hypostases is obviously greater
than any truth that is accessible within the realm of mathematical
provability (G) of finite persons or machines.  You can see that
through your statement that goodness is based on truth, so in a sense
the personal God is even "bigger" than all Arithmetical Truth.  This
makes sense also from my statement that you need more than truth at the
core, but also love and communication.  So trying to "prove" God in
some logical inference sense would not only be "harder" than trying to
prove all Arithmetical Truth, it's even a category error since that
wouldn't address love and communication.  Trying to "prove" God in this
step-by-step way is actually equivalent to trying to become God.  Not
only will we be forever short of seeing God, but we will be missing the
love and communication aspect.  So in a sense, putting our hope in just
numerical truth is like hoping in only one dimension when more are

The word "convince" is meant to convey something akin to convincing
ourselves of the truth of Church's Thesis.  It is like a machine at
level G convincing itself of truth at the G* level.  It is like the
"circumstantial evidence" that Smullyan refers to (p. 5).  The great
thing is this:  Say p=(all that the personal God is).  Then Bp is the
Logos, which has both the divine level, say G*(Logos), and the human
level, say G(Logos), so that G(Logos) is the Word that "became flesh
and dwelt among us", the Son of God.  Now let G(Tom) = all of the truth
that I can prove.  Now of course this is not as "big" as G(Logos), and
probably (I'm sure!) isn't even as "big" as G(Bruno).  However, you can
help me to discover areas of G(Tom) that I'm not aware of.  In fact,
the G(Tom(half asleep)) or the G(Tom(before Bruno helped me)) may not
be as big as the G(Tom(awake)) or G(Tom(after Bruno helped me)).  So
G(Tom(awake)) contains some of G*(Tom(half asleep)) minus G(Tom(half
asleep)).  (Actually, sometimes it's the inverse where I realize
something when I'm half asleep, and then when I wake up I have to
figure out what I realized :) In other words, the fact that the
personal God took on a form G(Logos) made it possible for us to
"behold" him and expand our consciousness upward toward Someone who is
more than just numbers.  And it's more than just being able to expand
our consciousness, there's the solution to evil too, the solution to
the separation between us and who we really are meant to be.

> But I do have response to your comment on
> universal-ness below.
> <snip>
> I agree I was too loose in my use of hypercomputation as an analogy.
> Actually the direction of the "spanning" was downward, going from G*
> (celestial) to G terrestial, described by the Greek work kenosis
> (emptying).  This does not mean that God the Father (the personal
> fulfillment of the first hypostase), or the Holy Spirit (...second
> hypostase) discontinued to exist, but that the Logos became flesh and
> dwelt among us, so that we could see his grace and truth.  Again, this
> does not mean that we cannot believe and seek truth, and have a feeling
> that we are on the right track, without a relationship with the
> personal God.  This means that the ultimate source of all truth made
> himself known to us on a human level and solved the problem of evil.

Again this can have some symbolic sense. Literaly it is enough I know
just one suffering Dog to feel uneasy with the idea that the concrete
(not the theological) problem of evil is solved.

So the solution to the problem of evil *starts* with the theological
solution, as I said above, the solution to the separation between us
and who we really are meant to be.  Since we were made in the image of
the personal God, then with the G(Logos) we can be brought into
relationship with Him again.  This is the core to the solution of evil.
Now this does not automatically imply that evil is immediately solved
down in the 5th through 8th hypostases, i.e. the concrete problem of
evil.  But the solution to evil must first start at the level of our
human persons.

> Death itself is the ultimate effect of evil: separation/isolation from
> everything and everyone.  Jesus proved his divinity by raising
> *himself* from the dead.

A very big advance in modern and serious parapsychology is that humans
are easily fooled by humans. How could you say Jesus has proved
something? Even if someone appear and can change water in wine and
makes miracles etc. I would not take this as a proof. Remember I even
think there is just no proofs concerning any reality. Proofs belongs to
theories. Facts does not prove. Facts confirms or refute beliefs

See above.  I know that it's in the category of "circumstancial
evidence", or a "sign" as the Bible calls it.  It makes sense to me
that the personal God would choose a sign that addressed the ultimate
effect of evil: death.  A mathematical proof just doesn't hack it.

> I am not saying that God's communication is an exhaustive communication
> of all truth, i.e. all facts (scientific, historic, etc.) that it is
> possible for us to know.  It was a message saying, "I am here. I love
> you. I am your source of meaning. Here is my hand to rescue you from
> darkness/meaninglessness and death/isolation.  Your
> meaning/relationships are actually, ultimately, based on something:
> Me."

But how could I know if jesus was not refering to the universal "me",
in which case I can make sense of what he said both relatively to Plato
or Plotinus theory and with the comp hyp. If Jesus meant literally
himself, then, well I wait someone can even address a theory in which
such literal truth can make sense.

I'm still working on this. Hopefully the other paragraphs in this post
will help a little.  Reading Romans 8 might help.

It is a cute story, but how could we be *sure* it was not a collective
hallucination? I recall that I take already the appearance of a
physical universe as a sort of collective (all machine) hallucination.
I am not saying that Jesus' resurrection was such an hallucination, but
are you willing to be scientific on this, meaning are you prepared to
doubt any axiom of your theory?

While I am still in this finite body I will doubt.  Being told truth
doesn't mean that we don't doubt.

> In a similar manner as "I don't know about other planets", I would say
> I ultimately don't know about other people (first person pov and all
> that), what it means for them to believe in the personal God's love for
> them.  All I know is the way I've heard it (Jesus being the personal
> God's hand to us).  To try to worry and orchestrate how all of that
> works for everyone would be going way above my competence.  But this
> doesn't negate the truth of the personal God.

To be clear, with comp there is a personal God, which is the unnameable
self all enough correct machine have in themselves.

Isn't this just Bp & p? This is not All Arithmetic Truth, and even more
it is not the personal God which is bigger than that.
However, when we believe in Jesus [i.e. the G*(Logos) made flesh into
G(Logos), or all Bp where p = (all that the personal God is)], then Bp
& p, i.e. God's Spirit, "Himself bears witness with our spirit that we
are children of God" (Romans 8:16).  This is the same Spirit that fills
in the gaps when we pray (Romans 8:26-27) and the same Spirit that will
fill the gap when our bodies die, and give us life (Romans 8:11).

> To the last question, yes.  However, I think that Godel's
> axiomatization also applies to an impersonal god.  The axioms for a
> personal God would have to include all three persons as I outlined with
> the four hypostases.  This is for reasons similar to the reasoning of
> the hypostases, with the added axiom that the ultimate One is personal
> and that the three persons somehow communicate and love one another.
> This is the basis on which there can be communication and love among
> other persons.  In a way, communication and love are on a par with
> truth on the ontological scale.  This is an important point.

I agree, but it is even because I agree that I am afraid your
interpretation of Jesus and "witness" interpretation sound too literal
and could help those who want to abandon the theological baby with the
criminogenic human pseudo religious behavior.
Influence by comp I would add that the "personal God" is so much
personal that the enlightened person will never mention It. Personal
God are personal. Of course we can talk about such "personal things" in
a list where the very notion of person is addressed. personal stuff are
not scientific, but this does not forbid 3-talk on such "personal
things", once we agree enough on some axioms etc.

I agree.  With Jesus as the fulfillment of the 2nd/3rd hypostases, i.e.
the third-person pov, then He really is the "3-talk" on the ultimate
personal God.

> This goes back to his death and resurrection, which opened up the way
> again for our relationship with the personal God.

... as far as "I" am Jesus. If not, I could argue that the message has
not even been delivered to me. Got an atheist education ... I stop
believing in Santa Klaus and Jesus the same day in my early childhood.
I was astonished that my cousins stop to believe in Santa Klaus but
kept they belief is Jesus.

Santa Claus is just a source of things, which are dispensable.  Jesus
is a source of the indispensable.  You agree that we have to believe in
some source of the indispensable.

If this annoy you just put the third hypostase (the first person, the
universal soul) "above" the 0-person. This is just a tiny nuance,
unless you are sure by your literal interpretation of Jesus.

But the first hypostase is all truth, etc. (p), from which the
second/third (Bp) and fourth (Bp & p) are derived.

If that helps you it is ok. But, as others have illustrated, it seems
such believes are not necessary. Now the main the point is that if you
don't allow *possible* (re)interpretation of you theory, it would
prevent progress. Science = Doubt.  Factual things like "Jesus is the
son of God" or "there is a primary physical universe" are scientific
statement only as far as we can conceive them as being false (or better
refutable, but I am not sanguine about this).


Regarding naming things and believing something literally.  I'm not
saying that Jesus was saying "What you see here is all there is to
God".  As I said above, I agree that we would not be able to see all
there is to God.  We are finite.  Could you tell me a better way in
which, if there were a personal God who is absolutely good and infinite
and loving and the ultimate basis of personal communication and truth,
that personal God could tell us, "Hello, I am the personal God, and you
are made in my image and I love you and want to rescue you from your
separation from me."  How could he do it?

So, if the personal God gave us a communication (Logos) that is more
than just arithmetic truth about who we are, then would it be
successful to throw it away and try to see if we can build everything
from the ground up with  just numbers?  Science and Doubt is good for
building, but you have to build given some kernel, and love and
personhood is part of the kernel itself.  The only way to know this is
to be told by the source, the ultimate loving Person, through a
third-person message (Logos).  Now messages can always be misread,
there is always some signal-to-noise ratio, but there is a signal, not
just noise.  But without an ultimate Person, it would be just noise.


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