Most of the world’s religions have some concept of gods or a God, with some notable exceptions such as Buddhism.
Theologians claim to have discerned the essential attributes of a monotheistic God, such as omniscience (perfect foreknowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), and a necessary and eternal existence.
Information philosophy offers a simple test of the “revealed truth” of these attributes, specifically the visions by inspired thinkers that have no empirical evidence. Although these visions are in the realm of “pure ideas,” we can say that if every world religion agreed completely on the attributes of God, it would increase their believability. As it is, the comparative study of religions with the incredible diversity of their claims, renders the idea of God as implausible as Santa Claus.
At the present time, arguments like these will carry little weight with the believers in a religion, most of whom have little exchange of knowledge with those of other faiths. This can be expected to change with the reach of the Internet via smartphones to most of the world’s population by 2020.
In theism, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe. In deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer of the universe, which is now assumed to be running itself following deterministic laws of motion. Open theism denies that God’s foreknowledge has already determined the future. Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one God or in the oneness of God. In pantheism, God is the universe itself. Polytheists hold that there are many gods. For atheists, no gods exist.
God is sometimes conceived as an immaterial being (without a body), which information philosophy accepts, since God is quintessentially an idea, pure information. Some religions think an avatar of God has come to earth in the past. Some religions see God as a personal being, answering human supplications and prayers. A God intervening in human affairs is often thought to be the source of all moral norms. Logical “proofs” of God’s existence are based on various of these assumed attributes. Now that information philosophy and physics has identified the essential attributes and properties of the cosmic creation process, the problem for theologians is to reconcile their views of their gods with these new discoveries.
Creation Without A Creator?
Modern cosmology confirms that the universe came into existence at a definite time in the past, some 13.8 billion years ago. Although this does not imply the Creator some religions want, it does confirm a creation process. Because this process continues today (indeed human beings are co-creators of the world), deists are wrong about a creative act at the beginning followed by a mechanical clockwork universe tending to itself ever since. So “creationism” is wrong.
Evolution Without A Designer?
What about “intelligent design?” This is the ancient teleological notion that the “essence” or idea of something was there before the thing itself came into existence. Since all information structures, first cosmological and then biological, were “emergent,” at least some of their peculiar specific information did not pre-exist them. The “existentialists,’ from Nietzsche to Sartre, were correct in this respect, but their idea that “God is dead” was absurd.
Mind Without A Soul?
Actually information philosophy explains the human soul, but it is a mortal soul. And it explains the mind, but it is an immaterial mind, embodied in the material brain. Mind and soul are key components of the Self, the seat of our “spiritual” character. Self also corresponds to the Ego, which positivists, empiricists, materialists, reductionists, and naturalists have denied since the early nineteenth century. It is Gilbert Ryle’s famous “ghost in the machine.”
An Experience Recorder and Reproducer
Mental information is stored and recalled in an experience recorder and reproducer that also recalls the emotions, the passions, the feelings, the drives that accompanied past experiences. The ERR is beyond any computational reasoning system, beyond mere cognition, beyond logic and language. It is the basis for sentiments, for values, for agency, and ultimately, for free will and moral responsibility.
Man is not a machine and the mind is not a computer.
Freedom Without Values Is Absurd.
Compare Continental Rational Existentialism
Values Without Freedom Are Useless.
Compare British Empirical Utilitarianism