Theism vs. Agnosticism vs. AtheismPosted: September 13, 2012
This thread is a continuation of a discussion begun at:
and then moved to:
and then moved to here.
The discussion that was started there has be thinking and so I will jot down my thoughts for later consumption if the need arises. I owe PaulB on the other thread an answer to the following question:
If God intervenes in some not entirely random way, that changes things. How could those changes not be detectable?
Consider the following scenario:
- Someone asks you to pick a number between 0 and 10.
- You decide on the number 5.
- At that instant in time the state of the universe, Sx, is such that your memory contains the number 5.
- At that same instant God suspends time as perceived by you within the natural universe.
- God alters the state of the universe to a new state, Sy, as follows:
- In Sy your memory instead contains the number 2
- He adjusts whatever else is required so that your thought processes would have otherwise picked the number 2
- He adjusts whatever else is required in Sy such that the natural laws of the universe have not been violated by the change. This will necessarily imply changing the entire history of the universe back in time to its very beginning.
- God resumes time.
- You respond that you are thinking of the number 2.
I argue that in this scenario God has intervened and that his intervention is undetectable. In order to detect the change you would need to retain information about Sx to compare against Sy and you have no means of retaining that information. Your memory is inherently bound to the current state of the universe at any instant in time. If that state is changed instantaneously from Sx to Sy your memory will necessarily be altered to match, and your memory of any historical events or observations will likewise have been changed to be consistent with Sy. This is unavoidable under the constraints mentioned above.