Monday, October 29, 2007


There is No God: A Geographical Proof.

In this article I intend to show a way of examining the behavior of ideas about the divine and how that can be used to draw conclusions about the veracity of these ideas. The key tool that I use is to consider each person to be a semi-effective point detector. I assume that each person has a chance to recognize the truth of the divine. Everyone also has chance of creating a spontaneous incorrect detection or detecting the divine at all. For our purposes, false detections can have any cause; madness, charlatanry, and honest mistakes are all possible explanations. This list should not be considered exhaustive.

The next assumption is that the divine is universal. This means that every detection of the true divine will be similar. False detections can take any form. False detections of the divine need not be similar to each other nor must they be similar to to true detections of the divine. From a detection perspective false detections are noise. Since we want to find the truth we must remove this noise from our signal. Once we have done that we can then see what the truth of the divine is.

There is a complication we encounter immediately. Ideas of the divine are not only gathered from the world around us. We also communicate these ideas from person to person. Therefore, any one persons ideas of the divine are caused by two different possible sources: Individual detection of the divine and being taught by other people. For our purposed knoweldge of the divine that transmitted through human communication is additional noise that we must compensate for.Human communication requires contact between people. As such we would expect knowledge of the divine to spread along trade routes and paths of conquest. This spread will resemble a plume radiating outward from its source.

We have two different types of sources: an universal true source and many individual false sources. We, as a thought exercise, can map these two types of sources. The true source would appear as many different point sources whose plumes when they come into contact would be nearly indistinguishable. This indistinguishability would be caused by the similarity of each detector's experience. The end result would be that the true source would appear like an area source. The plume of false sources would individually identifiable since the false sources have greater variability in the experience of their detectors. Therefore false sources of divine truth would appear as point sources. This animation illustrates that all the major religions are point source phenomena.

If a religion spread like a point sourced plume then it cannot be universal. if it is not universal, it cannot represent a universally true depiction of the divine.

Is there any interpretation of the divine that has an area sources? Is there one with multiple, similar, independent appearances? There is one: Atheism. Atheism has appeared independently in both in Mediterranean antiquity and in ancient India (here, here) and well as it current modern appearance. Hence, Atheism represents the one idea of the divine that comes closest to universality in geographical distribution and is therefore the most likely to be true.

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