God as a Slack Variable

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God as a Slack Variable

Years ago during a calculus class, being a little bored, I started a line of thought which I have toyed with over the years.

We were studying inequalities and equalities on that particular day and I thought of the statement, "The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts."  This was clearly an inequality I could reduce to an equation:

W > (P1+P2+P3+.... Pn) where Px= known Parts and n approached infinity.

But, as we cannot solve for an inequality, I made the equation an equality:

W = (P1+P2+P3+.... Pn) + Z

Z, the Slack Variable, forces the equation to be equal regardless of the number of parts or their values.  As more parts appear or their values become known, Z becomes smaller.  As parts disappear or their values decrease, Z becomes greater. It is not necessary to know the actual value of Z.  It is only there to create an equality that might be solved (or the assumed output of the equation to be carried forward as a component in a system of equations).

My theory then and now is that in life (and all its wonder) people, societies, etc. feel a need to believe in a god that lives in the "mysterious" component outside of the known realm.  My belief is that as society and science and reason add to the list of Px, then Z - or god or the "need" for a god (any god) - decreases.  Primitive societies "knew" less and ascribed a greater value to Z than we do today. Why people need to attribute the value of Z to some fatherly/motherly/extraterrestrial/non-corporeal entity I don't understand.

There is definitely some biological aspect or component hard-coded into humans that wants or needs an answer.  Or needs to believe that order or reason controls things in life (and death).  Like drugs that attach to certain naturally occurring receptors in the body, a belief in a god (and organized religion) is something that easily and addictively attaches to the receptors that evolved to meet some condition(s).  Or is evolving to overcome some condition(s).  Organized religion, like a drug dealer, supplies the opiates that create a dependency on people which can be manipulated and exploited at the expense of the "user" for the benefit (financial, power, control) of the manipulators.

I smile when I hear of people who were religious and lost their faith being discribed as disillusioned.  My question has always been, were they better off when they were illusioned and faithful?  Ironically, the disillusioned often become bitter at the religion they discovered wasn't true and run to another one they now believe is true.

I would rather be disillusioned and rational than "illusioned" and irrational.

“It’s not safe out [in the Universe]. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it is NOT for the timid.” Q

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The slack variable is an

The slack variable is an excellent way to put it. Welcome to the forums!

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Damocles; how's thy sword?



       Welcome to the RRS forums.  I agree with everyhing you said,  but with simpler language.  I am an engineer and I spent over 30 years in a factory; teaching and training and keeping the machinery operating was my main job. I had to deal with people who eather didn't have a good education or did not speak English as  a first language;  in short I had to get the message accross in clear simple language.

        I believe religion was invented by early humans as a way to explain the weather and death.  (i.e.) "goddidit".

        I believe the biological need for answers in humans is proof of Darwins' dictate of survivel of the fittist; (i.e.) "the more you know the better off you are".

        I believe that people do NOT loose their faith;  they simply run out of reasons to believe in the impossible.



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Welcome to the forum.

Welcome to the forum.

Interesting application of mathematics.


Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare

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Glad I found this site

Thanks for the greetings.

I'm sure it'll take me awhile to peruse the many postings before I add much more to the conversations already underway.


“It’s not safe out [in the Universe]. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it is NOT for the timid.” Q

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This thread is no complete

This thread is not complete without Bob


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