The past two days I spent on my class retreat. For whatever reason, it really depressed me. (Though I was depressed Saturday too; I might just never have cheered up.) But I also managed to come up with a semi-decent explanation of why I believe God >= math. So here goes.
First of all, what is math? Painting in rather broad strokes, math is truth. Well, math is a type of truth. It isn’t math to say “that couch is red”. It isn’t even math to say “there is one couch”. But it is math to say “1+1=2”, or “infinity is not a number”. So, math means universal truths, not particular truths. Math means truths that God himself cannot change. God cannot make 1+1=3. He can, though, make the couch not red, because couches do not HAVE to be red.
(This raises interesting questions as to whether God can act “immorally” – i.e., whether morality is defined by what God proscribes and prescribes, or whether there is something deeper to it. But I don’t really know too much about that.)
Could one say “God does not exist”? i.e., is the existence of God a universal truth? Let us assume that it is not. Then you would have nothing – no God, no universe, no rational beings. But, I hold, there would still be math. Even if nothing existed, math would still exist. Of course, so would all other universal truths (whatever you hold those to be).
But, God is defined as the most perfect being. How can it be that his existence is not universal, while math’s is? So the existence of God must be a universal truth.
This seems to put God in the same category as math, and his existence as a truth on the same level as math. But, God is not by definition, equal to anything – he is superior to anything. So, to reconcile these two, you must say that math is, in a sense, a part of God. Just as Truth is a part of God.
Remember, this is not, strictly speaking, a proof, and my hope here is not to convince you rationally that God >= math (because I don’t think this argument does that, in its present form), it is merely to give you some concepts to think about, some of which may lead you, but a not strictly logical process, to that belief.
So, yeah, this is what I spent the retreat thinking about. Well, one of the things I thought about. I might talk later on one of the others, which is in some ways related to this.