Re: At What Point Do Poythress' Concerns Matter

Ben said:

I think this might be overstating the case: that excluding information is indicative of belief.

Obviously you’re correct, excluding information is not always tantamount to disbelief. But note what I said: “when we discuss a subject entirely… .” The “entirely” was deliberate. I can see that teaching for a few days, months, etc. might be okay without mentioning God directly, but if you teach someone math for 12-13 years of education and never mention God, it would be akin to you telling your friend about your life, in general, for years, and never mentioning you were married. In that context, it would be indicative that you were trying to hide something, or else had somehow forgotten your wife (which itself would be very problematic).

But is He at every moment, monitoring the Laws of Physics, seeing that they continue on unwaveringly? I don’t think so. I think that physical principles are his unconscious servants, accomplishing His will, albeit in a different way than humans or angels.

Well, that would reflect one view of providence, one which I don’t happen to share, but I don’t feel like getting into that right now…

You are not saying that humans will be able to carry out mathematical functions better per se. You are saying that they will have a better understanding of the significance or place of math.

I think I’m making a stronger claim.

Consider an analogy in logic. People all the time use the basic laws of logic that Aristotle discovered, such as the law of non-contradiction. But most people don’t know it in the technical form, nor do they know all the various reasons why it is true that things can’t be x and non-x at the same time in the same way. A philosopher who understands this has a better grasp of why reality cannot be contradictory, and for that reason better understands why the law non-contradiction is a true law. And to understand the cause or explanation of a thing is to better understand the thing.

So, while I agree that understanding math’s relation to God gives a greater understanding of God (a spiritual knowledge), I also think that it illumines the meaning of mathematical truths for us, as well.