Omnipotence and Scott Adams’ God’s Debris

Epicurus: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

from Living in the Balance

Scott Adams writes the Dilbert comic strip. He also wrote an interesting thought experiment called God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment. It’s interesting to contemplate even though it’s fiction and has no basis in reality. It’s an interesting thing to think about related to any other view of God because it’s just as likely or unlikely as any other belief in an intelligent creator.

Scott writes that the only challenge for an omnipotent being would be the challenge of destroying itself and its own omnipotence. A God that is omnipotent would have no motivation to do or create anything because it already knows and has everything. However, a God might be motivated to try to answer the one unanswered question of what happens if the God ceases to exist. Scott’s fictional hypothesis is that our existence is proof that God is motivated to act and since only self-destruction could interest and motivate an omnipotent being, then we must be a part of the God’s debris that came from the Big Bang as God caused itself to no longer exist.

Scott suggests that matter is the bits of God. The other part of God’s debris is probability as an infinitely powerful guiding force for everything in the universe. All of this, including us, are the building blocks of God reassembling itself. The universe is God with our consciousness, desires, and instincts to communicate and generate collective knowledge serving as a part of God’s reassembly. We can imagine and see God around us because we are all a part of God’s mind pulling itself back together into omnipotence.

One of the more interesting ideas in that book is that an omnipotent being wouldn’t have any desires or motivations. If you already knew exactly what I was going to do with each step of my existence then why would you desire to dictate any guidance for me since you already know what that additional guidance does? How could we be given free will when reality is viewed from omnipotence and everything is already known and predetermined? If I can truly do what I want then God is not omnipotent. Omnipotence may actually be all of the knowledge of all possible intellects and not something that is held by a single intelligent being.

When I contemplate the concept of God’s debris pulling itself back together into an omnipotent singularity I see that the logical conclusion is that it is once again that being again. It’s the being that no longer has motivation to do anything because it knows it all and has it all since it is everything. Once it reaches this state of being again, it would again understand that the only thing that can be done is to see if it can destroy itself and its omnipotence over and over again. Like Scott Adams says, it’s an interesting thought experiment, but it doesn’t mean it’s real even if we can’t prove that it’s true or false.

11 thoughts on “Omnipotence and Scott Adams’ God’s Debris

  1. “pulling itself back together into an omnipotent singularity” means questioning history itself and especially the impotent theological conception of God that tradition offers that has conditioned us to falsely presume that religious ideas are not subject to demonstrable proof and certainty as either true or false. That is all about to change! “Unknown’ is no longer the answer! Check it out at http://www.energon.org.uk

  2. No way, Jeff!!!!!

    This really does blow my mind. You might remember what I posted on a previous thread:

    “I had a thought once, that what if the truth was that god was a consciousness older than time, and got so bored and lonely in his existence that he committed suicide. But, because he was alive, and the sum of all energy, his suicide (the big bang), only started a slow process where he becomes himself again. Eternal dispite his own efforts. If I hired an unscrupulous preacher to sell it, I might make millions!!!!! If these assholes believe scientology, they will believe anything! But, the truth is its a wild theory. And so is kharma. It may be an interesting thing to glance at out there in the unknown, but without scientific basis, it goes in the “I don’t know” box.”

    Now, this is the bizarre truth, the name Scott Adams rings a bell, and I have on many occasions read the “Dilbert” comic strip, the black and white cartoon version of “Office”, but, I have never read his article, but, rest assured, I am about to. What blasts to the forefront is that which I thought was an original concept had been concieved of by another person, which lends a great deal of legitimacy to my statement:

    ” If I hired an unscrupulous preacher to sell it, I might make millions!!!!! ”

    The fact that it’s pure wild speculation is beside the point. If it answers the spiritual questions in the minds of the lost and seeking, they will surrender their will and their bank accounts. If you don’t get caught raping the alter boys, it’s a tax free ride to unimaginable riches. All you need to do is be a sociopathic parasite. I guess, that’s the rub. I’m a little to old to reinvent myself.

    NL

  3. Jeff,

    I realize you don’t consider yourself an activist, and that you consider this an online experiment, so let me inject some critique.

    The site now presents itself as more professional as regards to the graphics, but, unless you just want people to read broad definitions and miss the fact that there is an interactive blog here as well, the design is problematic. This is my second time here under the new format, and being old and senile, I forgot where I found the button before. It is very obscure. So, it occurs to me, that a new visitor in search of interaction with like minded individuals may conclude after a quick scan that the website is purely propaganda, and move on. My opinion is that an access link to the blog should be front and center on the front page. One man’s opinion.

    Now, I cut my post short last night, which I’m sure was a favor to anyone who tries to read it, because I was intensely curious as to when Mr. Adams wrote his article (ridiculous when you think about it, that a famous author was watching Agnostic Universe in hopes of an idea for a new venture). Well, I discovered it is not an article, it is a book. And, it was published in 2004. And my statement in my post was “I had a thought once” which is of course open ended, but the truth is, I don’t know what day it was, but what I do remember about it was that I was pacing on the back patio where I have lived for approximately seven years, doing what I often do, combing through my belief system, fine tuning my perception of the world. But, any doubt about who had the idea first becomes moot, since I had never discussed the concept with anyone until I posted it on your site. Only then, because I was trying to illustrate how easy it is to invent a new religion, and therefore, how little credibility is owed to mythology invented by witchdoctors among tent dwelling goat herders, who could not conceive that we are not the center of the universe.

    So, last night, just like the video of Neil deGrasse Tyson that you posted, it inspired me to send a message to Mr. Adams, I didn’t care if it took a month to get to him, I felt a need to tell him how I felt a distant kinship because the same wild scenario had occurred to both of us, but, the result was the same. The adoring masses are to remain outside the concertina wire barricades to be ignored in exactly the order that they arrived. It’s frustrating, but I guess I don’t understand what it’s like to be famous, so I hold no resentment.

    NL

  4. Thanks for the feedback and I tried some tweaks to make it more obvious where the blog is. Thanks again for instigating my interest back to the site. Playing with the graphics reinvigorates me to contribute more content to it and live up to the previous resolutions I’ve made with myself to do so on a weekly basis.

    Regarding the shared thoughts with Scott Adams, I find that humanity has so many shared thoughts that it becomes comfortable to blindly believe what others believe when we see similar thinking. It’s hard to avoid putting 2 with 2 and collectively getting 4. Our minds tend to run in similar and familiar paths even if some of the paths aren’t as widespread and well worn as others.

    Other people sometimes seem as mirrors to myself. Thought processes I see on TV and online are easy to follow and agree with, at least as long as I’m watching and reading a major group that is like myself. There are distinct tribes in the world that we fall into and family is only one kind of tribe. I have to remind myself not to fall into some of the groupthink that even freethinkers can engage in. People lacking theistic belief doesn’t automatically make them anti-theist. People lacking in knowledge of the supernatural still believe in them despite their lack of knowledge. I choose not to fall into either of those. I’m not anti-theist even though I lack theistic belief and I’m not a believer in anything supernatural even though I admit it remains a possibility based on our limits and ignorance.

    I’m not surprised you and Scott Adams had the same thought even though it appeared to be a new thought to me. All possible fictions should be imaginable eventually with enough individuals dreaming of all possibilities. This shared imagination reaffirms to me as a proof that the only thing we do know about the first cause of existence is that we don’t know. Others would look at the same evidence of two people sharing the same thought as proof that it might be true instead of just a product of similar minds in similar beings.

  5. Jeff,
    This is new!! Responding to me so promptly. To me this a very good thing. Why? Because, as I’ve said before, I consider you my brother in freethought. And you said:

    “I have to remind myself not to fall into some of the groupthink that even freethinkers can engage in. People lacking theistic belief doesn’t automatically make them anti-theist. People lacking in knowledge of the supernatural still believe in them despite their lack of knowledge.”

    I would have worded it differently, “People lacking theistic belief doesn’t automatically make them freethinkers.”

    I would attest to that idea. I used to contribute on the American Atheist website, and the UK website, “The Freethinker”, and I was called names like, “fundie”, and “troll”, because I put forth the idea that if you believe in something, such as, the universe is an accident without scientific proof, only scientific theory, then you are practicing a new religion. It did not set well with many of the other contributers.

    Yet, there were some who said that I had missed a subtle point, that there is a difference between not believing there is a god, and believing there is no god. From my point of view, the difference is not subtle, it is radical. Not believing there is a god is agnostism, believing there is no god is atheism. One is freethought, the other is religion. Further than that, among the atheist ranks were accepted racial bigots and conspiracy theorists, as though, if you don’t belief in god, you are one of the fold. That’s not freethought.

    So, Jeff, have you dreamed of making a difference? Agnostism is the mindset can liberate the world, and you know it. But, here is a sobering thought, that the prime ingredient that makes evolution work is adversity. The environment continually puts living organisms to the test, and those that survive are the ones that thrive. Let’s win.

    NL

    PS: Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was quoted: “A free election does not a democracy make.” True. Additionally, “Disbelief in god does not a freethinker make.”

  6. Weak and strong atheism really confuses that term because the weak atheists are agnostic concerning knowledge. I’ve started to refer to strong atheists as anti-theists. The root meaning of atheism is simply “without theism” and to quote from Bertrand Russel, this makes agnostics “for practical purposes, at one with the atheists” even though an agnostic is clearly not a strong atheist or anti-theist. I give up in trying to clarify a distinction since agnosticism should logically imply a lack of theism or weak atheism.

    Interestingly enough, some hardcore weak atheists (oxymoron?) accuse agnostics of cowardice in not embracing the atheist label. I have no problem being called an atheist, but that’s not my focus since lacking belief is just a contrary position without a stated reason. I lack belief because I lack knowledge which is the meaning of agnosticism. I think those weak atheists are the ones afraid to embrace the agnostic label since they view it as undecided or wishy washy. Casual agnostics do say “sure, maybe” and talk about a vague spirituality too much for my taste, but that doesn’t bother me as much as someone saying it’s proven that the supernatural doesn’t exist.

    Having an open mind shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. I’d never be a fundamentalist atheist or anti-theist since I view that as losing my freethought and the ability to find truth when it presents itself. For example, “being lucky” could be an actual supernatural force we just don’t understand yet. It doesn’t mean there’s a god helping those lucky people, but maybe there’s an unintelligent force behind some people having more natural good than evil in their lives than other people that would be considered unlucky.

    A fundamental Christian doesn’t care about any of these labels or meanings since we’re simply heretics in their mind for not believing what a bunch of primitive ancestors wrote down thousands of years ago. You’re definitely right that “people lacking theistic belief doesn’t automatically make them freethinkers.” I see that in too many atheists and that’s the reason I support agnosticism to remind people WHY we shouldn’t have blind faith. It’s simple: we don’t know!

  7. Jeff,
    Hopefully, I have finally seduced you out of your shell. I have been trying to do that for months. You see the universe as I do, and of course we will never agree on everything, but from my perspective, that can be a very good thing. While I feel a great deal of confidence that I have found that which I have sought my whole life, and that is freethought, I am not so arrogant as to believe that everything I see from my viewpoint is the “truth”. But, if feel that I’m so close, I can smell it in the air. That’s why I went in search of persons on the same wavelength, so we can rub against each other, and like filet knives in a kitchen of a five star restaurant, we can sharpen each other until we are all razors.
    Then I found you, and the things you write could have come from my own keyboard. And, it occurred to me, together we could send up a flare, to gather together the real freethinkers of the planet, and maybe we can make a real difference. I know it’s just a dream, but, that’s where all great ideas begin.

    NL

  8. Very interesting and thought provoking! I really enjoyed the Scott Adams book. It’s a pity that his publisher wouldn’t risk publishing it, and that he had to give it away for free.

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