​Re: Odifreddi: Goedel's proof of the existence of God

Vaughan Pratt pratt at cs.stanford.edu
Mon Nov 7 20:55:44 EST 2022

Many thanks to Jean-Yves Beziau for that link to Piergiorgio Odifreddi's
slides, which covered many other ontological proofs besides Goedel's, along
with some objections.

It was pretty clear that essentially all proofs had two essential
components: a definition of God, and an argument based on that definition
implicitly or explicitly based on proposed axioms and inference rules.

What's striking about the objections is that they almost invariably attack
the argument rather than the definition.

Which is very strange, because which religions would recognize a countably
complete ultrafilter as being their God?

Each definition could be considered the basis for a religion in its own

There is however one religion that has existed for centuries if not
millennia that is based on a clear definition of God, namely the version of
pantheism that defines God to be the universe.

I don't know any variant of it that limits "the universe" to "the
observable universe".  Rather it seems to take God to be everything that

And with that definition, not only is God's existence an immediate
consequence but also God's uniqueness.

For if anything further exists then it too falls under that definition.

Moreover it does not limit "everything" to "everything that is material",
which would please Goedel who was no fan of materialism.

And as a proponent of Chu spaces, neither am I, since the material part of
a Chu space is just its covariant part.  The contravariant part constitutes
the space's ideas, just as bras (the material) and kets (the ideas) form
the basis of quantum mechanics.

Vaughan Pratt
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