First and foremost, I'd like to apologize for my previous two absences from discussion. Tuesday was election day and Thursday I had to attend a funeral. I publish the apology to you all not because it was necessarily appropriate, but because it helps lead into how I came across this topic. After I finished my (unsuccessful) campaign for Connor Moss last Tuesday, I went to the local Masonic Lodge for an inquisitorial, a process in which they talk about the Masons, answer any questions to the applicants, and then we (the applicants) tell why we wanted to join.
The Freemasons, like many fraternities, mandate a belief in some deity, creator, or divine - preferably an Abrahamic one, from what I gathered. I decided it was worth putting some thought into- after all, I'm the first Atheist in my family (that I know of), a family which every male has previously been a Freemason.
I figured "eh what the hell? I can come up with a decent argument to make them believe me, and then not have to talk about it again." So I immediately jumped to the only argument in favor of a divine being that really made me raise an eyebrow, and that was the Spinozan argument, which I was originally introduced to from Goldstein's 36 Arguments. I gathered it was as follows :
A monotheistic God would be the most powerful thing in the universe - based on my blogs about "power" for the midterm presentations.
Nothing can be more powerful than everything, by definition.
If God is everything, and everything exists, then God exists.
Sounds workable, right? I'm sure if the members of the lodge haven't taken formal logic, they'll eat this up.
Unless they're fans of formal logic.
Everything must also be God for the statement to be biconditional.
IE (Ex) : "There exists some x"
(y) : All ys (every thing that can be a y)
(x > y) xs are ys
Bxy : "x is greater than y"
We'll use y to denote "EVERYTHING"
We need to start with the assertion that "God would be the greatest thing there is"
and "Nothing is greater than everything"
(Ex)(y)((~Bxy . ~Byx) . Gx)
Literally : "god" is not greater than everything, and everything is not greater than god, and x is god."
// I won't fully flesh out the other statements that are implied here, like "god is not less than everything, and vice versa." That could go on infinitely.
"God is everything" would be a conditional statement that would read formally : (Ex)(y)(Gx > y)
Literally if there exists a God, then there is "EVERYTHING"
"Everything is God" would read : (Ex)(y)(y > Gx)
Literally : If there is everything that can be a y "EVERYTHING" then there is an x that is a God.
If it were the case that God is everything and everything is God, it would read like this : (Ex)(y)(Gx <-> y)
The debate therefore lies in PROVING that everything is as much god as god is everything. Could it be as valid as saying "all attorneys are lawyers," or will it be as nonsensical as saying "all clothes are pants."
Furthermore, if everything is God as much as God is everything, we must then consider if this being is a conscious and dynamic being, and how that would even work, or if it is just an obligatory title placed on a vast, universal cloud of events taking place and things existing. More on that later, if we get there.
Before we determine the level of consciousness a god may or may not have, we must first determine what we mean when we say "everything". Is it the idea of "everything" in its totality, or is it "every thing" individually compiled? When I say everything exists, I do mean both that everything exists in its totality as I do mean to state that every individual thing exists. It is only fair that if I am to assert that god might exist through rite of "everything," I must consider both meanings of everything before even considering tying a deity to its understanding.
In short, this would mean that both everything in its totality, and everything in its plurality ; To hold it true that everything is god, I would consider as much god in the sum of all parts of the universe as I would in the cigarette lighter on my desk, or the slim jim I'm gnawing on. I for one do not find this to be the case, because the part of "everything" that has something that "every thing" does not, is that measure of omnipresence and other "omni" nesses. For example. Everything is in fact everywhere, but the same cannot be said about every thing, because some things aren't in some places.
If it does not satisfy that everything is god as much as god is every thing, then the whole circus tent falls apart.
(Ex)(y)(Gx > Gy)
See how that formula looks very different? You can't just give the property of "god" to everything because something exists that might be considered god, can you?
In part two, I'll throw some Descartes into the mix to really upset some people