Proof of God: a formal conjecture
Existentialism is dead, and God has killed it
Imagine an apple. Better yet, find yourself an apple and examine it.
What properties does it have? What shape and structure? What taste and other sensory characteristics does it have? Apples can come in many varieties and states. They can be ripe and rotten, large and small, edible and non-edible.
Apples can also develop deformities and large discrepancies of shape. Are these malformed fruits also apples? Does their disfigurement divorce them from the whole reality of what it means to be an apple?
Also, there are myriad species of apple. Some are inedible and appear almost like large berries. Some of these may be taxonomically apples or not apples, but do we define an apple in our hearts by biological minutiae? Even if there exists a continuum of apples and ‘near-apples’ with no objective terminus for each definition, does that impede our ability to recognize the emergent features of the true apple? Is it just mere human thoughts, purely subjective and relative, which create the idea of the apple? Is there a form upon which all apples are contingent, outside of imperfect human reason?
What is the form of a perfect apple? Is it something science can capture, or is it better the endeavor of art?
Not only is the form of the apple an image in your mind, but we can think of the image of the particular apple as informed by the genetics of the apple—the information which structured it—and the environment which produced it through interaction with its genetics.
What variables affected its genetic predisposition as it grew? The soil quality, the water and shade all affected it, but even more distant effects could be considered. Why did the farmer plant the apple tree in this particular spot? What if he had chosen another spot? Why was the apple planted when it was?
The contingency of the apple—all the external factors to which it owes its existence—could be chased infinitely. In fact, we know through our understanding of causality that they could be chased to the beginning of time and the creation of the Universe itself. All events are contingent and bear the effects of the primordial state, and even to this day all matter affects other matter through the forces in some tiny amount. Even the most distant particles in the Universe still attract each other gravitationally, even if in infinitely small amounts.
With the contingency of the apple extrapolated to such a limit, we can say that the conditions for its existence are contingent also on the prime state of Creation. The characteristics and state of all reality as constructed gave rise from before the beginning of time itself to the possibility—no, necessity, of the apple’s creation.
In a timeless way, the sum of all these contingencies comprise the form of the apple and lie outside of Creation, behind this mere material reality. In what place does a form reside, from which it emanates its image into the world?
In this world, no single physical apple has embodied the form of an apple. Rather, all apples taken together approach the limit case of the formal apple, which resides behind this physical reality, not inside of it.
Now, imagine a man. What is the form of a man?
Were we not once something ‘near-man’ in our evolutionary history? Are we not approaching the limit case of a man in our strivings? But still always falling short in the individual case? Can you not select from the whole the deeds of men’s lives those which aspire to manhood and those which do not? Who is the perfect man? What is he like? Where does he reside?
Now, imagine a mind. What is the form of a mind?
Contingent for a mind are its calculating components which allow it to process, simulate, or imagine. A mind looks at the world and pushes itself upon the world, creating things and structures and meaning. At what point could a mind become non-contingent and create itself? At what point could a mind perceive all contingencies and follow them perfectly to their source? Would that not require the machinery of its calculation to exceed the sum of the components of the reality in which it resides, in order that it might simulate perfectly that reality?
Now, imagine shared love between the self and the other. What is the form of shared love?
The minds of men do not walk about this planet alone, grasping and not-grasping, conjecturing and pondering all by themselves. The full person of which the mind is a component possesses contingency in others, otherwise it would wither. Those who get lost in the woods for decades forget how to speak, and when they forget speech they no longer can think. All of us reside in each other, in hearts, minds and souls, and when we are cut off we perish.
These are difficult questions. If you have followed, God bless you, for you know that the form of a man is Christ, the form of a mind is the Father, and the form of shared love the Holy Spirit.