God Needs No Defense

This image is used to emphasize helping the needy. Disaster relief is one way an army of humans helps to relieve suffering.

All Mighty God does not need an army to defend Him. God’s army defends the weak and relieves suffering. God Himself needs no defense.

In God’s Kingdom the innocent are defended, the needy receive help, orphans and widows are supported. All work to relieve human suffering is the work of His Kingdom.

The folly of Christian scholars has been the defense of doctrines at the expense of human suffering.

In so much as our Christianity seeks to relieve human suffering,
the Kingdom of God has come among us.

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Nothing – A Poem

by Justice Ward, 10 years old

Nothing is a never ending abyss.

It has not one atom.

It is a mystery.

It is dark,

And nobody has ever seen nothing.

It is easily killed,

And nothing can live inside it,

Or it would be something.

Nothing is scary and interesting.

by Justice Ward, 10 years old

In the quest for higher learning,
we would do well to continue to cultivate
the logic of 10 year olds.

Home schooling my three grandchildren, I gave them an assignment to copy any paragraph of their choice. Justice asked, “Can I just make something up?”

I answered, “Yes, what do you want to write about?”

He responded, “Nothing.”

I said, “Well, it’s okay if you write about nothing, but you may not write nothing.”

He wrote the above in paragraph form. I saw a poem.

I asked him about the line, “It is easily killed.”
He said that it is gone even if only one atom enters it, so in his mind to be killed is to be gone.

(I am home schooling these grandchildren because they lost their mother to cancer four and a half years ago.)

 

The Virgin Watchman – A Poem

Out upon the rocky rampart

Unnoticed and alone

Sits the virgin watchman.

Her tears do not distort the view;

She waits and through them watches

Like Anna and old Simeon

Knowing day does come.

She waits and works and watches

Writing plain upon her tablet

Crying for the day

When sons shall run

And read

And conquer

And darkness flee away.

Habakkuk 2:1-3

Language is Not Mathematics

123 or ABC

2+2=4 in every language, in every culture. Even among people with no written language, a girl having two sheep who gets two more sheep always ends up having four sheep. There is no room for ambiguity or nuance. The numbers don’t lie; they don’t hide the truth.

Language, however, cannot claim to be so straightforward. There are always two participants in language, the speaker/writer and the hearer/reader. Language always has nuance.

One could say, “He went to the store.” -Seems simple and straightforward, but the understanding is affected by the emphasis of the speaker. HE went to the store. He WENT to the store. He went TO the store. He went to the STORE. These all have different nuance of meaning.

More than speaking, writing adds another level of complexity. While the hearer has audio emphasis as well as possible facial expression and body gestures to aid understanding, the reader must gather by context which emphasis the writer means.

Language is always a conversation. Even a soliloquy must have a hearer. The hearer must always intuit the speakers meaning to some degree.

We come to the problem with translations.

The translator studies the context, and deciphers as mathematically as possible, but he can never translate without the bias of his own understanding, his own intuition.

I am not a language expert, but in my limited experience it seems that some languages are more mathematical than others. For instance, Latin is very mathematical in form and order while English leaves much freedom of order and even of form to the speaker/writer. Still, Latin is not as clearly unambiguous as mathematics.

A few years ago a series of tornadoes blew destruction across the southeastern US. Some of my neighbors discovered windblown mail from other states dropped by the swirling clouds into their backyards. Some letters were actually returned. Had I discovered a letter out of the blue and had read it, no doubt I would have found nuances that I could not intuit because I do not know the writer.

Here is my point. In order to fully understand a speaker, a hearer must know the speaker. Also, understanding is more apt to be accurate when the hearer is actually in the presence of the speaker, face to face, so to speak. Again, this is a problem for translators.

I can fully affirm my belief that the Bible is the “only infallible rule of faith and of practice.” Yet, I do not find a translation that I can fully trust to be infallible due to nuances intuited or not intuited by the translators. I study the text using several translations, paraphrases and lexicons, but none of them will ever yield a mathematically accurate understanding. I have resigned myself that I must know the speaker.

My father was a gentle, empathetic and kind man. If someone brought me a letter written in my father’s handwriting that could be interpreted as harsh, vindictive or unkind, I would reject that interpretation. Those characteristics were not in his nature. I would look into the context and the history to find clues about his meaning.

We have such clues to be used in Bible interpretation. The greatest clue as to the character of God is Jesus himself. In his own words, “If you have seen me, you have seen my Father also.” God is a spirit. It is hard for us to see Him. Jesus was “the image of the invisible God”. The best interpretation of any passage will be found by seeing God through the character of Jesus Christ. It reminds me of  the old saying, “What would Jesus do?”

 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
John 1:18

Like Clockwork

Known unto God…

The future is formed out of constantly developing, waving probabilities[i]. It is not a place on the 4-D Universe graph you can get to in a machine. It doesn’t exist; it isn’t there; it hasn’t happened yet.

Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.  Acts 15:18

From the beginning of the world, God has a plan. He knows what He will do. Daily He works toward His goal[ii]. Jesus was working toward that goal too. Jesus said that he did what he saw the Father doing[iii]. Humans may also work against God and His plan, but that doesn’t stop God from working toward His goal.

The road toward the goal is paved
with a set of constantly developing, waving probabilities.

Probability is the key word. The daily works of God “collapse the wavefunctions[v]” of probabilities onto each probability that progresses His plan. Whatever things human choices may throw into the way to divert God’s plan, God will daily move toward His goal. As we live and pray daily, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done,” we are paving the road toward God’s goal out of the material of today’s probabilities.

The six day creation story illustrates God building the mechanism of the Universe. At the end of the sixth day all the parts are in place. On the seventh day, God, like a clockmaker winding his clock for the first time, releases the mechanism of His creation. He rests while he enjoys watching every sub-atomic movement producing larger and larger movements as the clockwork of the Universe begins unwinding.

Unlike the predictability of clockwork mechanisms, the Universe incorporates free will. Human choices affect outcomes. Maybe animal choices affect outcomes. Maybe spirit beings affect outcomes. All of these effects produce the constantly developing wavefunction of probabilities that God uses as materials to pave the road toward His goal.

Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. The Universal Creator daily finds a way toward His goal among the constantly developing probabilities. He invites us to join Him in that work as Jesus did[iv].

That takes faith. That is faith.

[i] Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness; Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2011, p. 79, p. 135

[ii] Isaiah 46:9-10  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,  10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

[iii] John 5:19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

[iv] John 14:12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

[v] Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness; Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2011, p. 85

A Point of Life -A Philosophical Physics Riddle

Here is a riddle I have composed after many months of a certain line of contemplation.

A Point of Life -The Riddle

by Susan Ector Ward

I occupy a point.

The point is a location on a particular line.

The line is located on a particular plane.

Within the plane, I am occupying a location on an infinite number of other lines.

The location of my point is claimed by an infinite number of other planes each of which incorporates an infinite number of other lines whose path also claims my point.

My point is the center of an infinite sphere.

I may move in any direction along any of the infinite number of lines occupied by my point.

Successively and momentarily as I move, I will be occupying one of an infinite number of other points each one not only located on the line along which I move but also located on an infinite number of other lines and also located on an infinite number of other planes, few of which are occupied by the point at which I began.

As I move, each point whose location I occupy becomes the center of a new infinite sphere.

I may change my direction by choosing to move along any of the infinite lines whose path
claims the point of my new location.

As I move, I find that I have influenced an infinite number of spheres whose center I have occupied.

If I move backward to retrace my path, though I will again pass through the center of every one of the infinite spheres whose center I had occupied before, I cannot influence any sphere in the same way I had influenced it before because I have been influenced by each of the infinite spheres along my path.  The fact of my movement has changed me.  Though I go back, neither I nor my point can ever be the same as we once were.

Who am I?

Finished guessing?  The answer here.

The Time Axis and a 4-D Universe

My friend Dave says he manipulates events captured in time every day.  Dave is a video editor, among other things. He views the video on a screen with a timeline below it. He can move to any particular frame by clicking the timeline. Then he can edit out unwanted parts.

A photo, like a single frame of a movie, is a representation of a 3-D event captured on a 2-D surface in an instant of time. Movies capture images of the 3-D universe on 2-D surfaces represented on a timeline. Videos are a way to describe Time.

I have thought that Time was a dimension, one of four: length, height, depth, and time. Given a precise moment in time any point in the physical universe can be mapped by its coordinates in relation to lines designated x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis. Length is a line we express as parallel to an x-axis. Height, similarly, is a line parallel to a y-axis. Depth may be expressed as a line parallel to a z-axis, where the axes x, y, and z are perpendicular to one another and intersecting in a common point. The intersection creates three planes, plane xy, plane yz, and plane xz. Any 3-D figure touches each of these three planes. However, can Time be expressed by such a plane?

Can a line pass through all three planes? Yes, I think so, but I need a model to be sure.

If it could, then such a line could represent Time, and Time could be expressed as a plane such as; plane xt, or yt or zt. If so, Time would be understood as a dimension, as are length, height and depth.

Right now I’m wondering if the point of origin (0,0,0) is the only available point at which a single line may pass through all three planes. If it is, could Time be expressed as infinite points of origin along a single axis, a t-axis? I don’t think so because that would require constantly generated new points of origin. Wouldn’t that seem to disrupt the continuity of the timeline and all things 3-D?

Wait a minute.

We know that points on a line do not require space between them. Isn’t that a definition of infinity? With no space between points on the t-axis, wouldn’t the 3-D universe move smoothly along a timeline? -Even though all things 3-D may constantly be moving in relation to all other things 3-D.

Any movement in 3-D might be “captured” as in a single frame of a video. The “capture” is imaginary, of course, since Time, in the words of Josh Garrels‘ song, “keeps on slipping into the future.”

Can Time ever be expressed by a 2-D plane? If not, then Time incorporates all of the 3-D universe upon each infinitely small point of time and propagates it on to the next infinitely small point on the timeline.

Does this mean that the 3-D universe is newly propagated at each infinitely small movement along the timeline?

Is this not exactly what has been discovered in Quantum Physics? -What Einstein said he’d spent 100 times more thought on than his theories of Relativity, yet he died without disproving? Isn’t this the quantum theory that Niels Bohr and others used to develop the foundation of all modern technology that runs 1/3 of our economy today? What?! Yes to all!

Does this Theory of Time affect my faith? Yes and no.

No, in that I continue in the same faith I had before this understanding came.
Yes, in that miracles no longer seem so far away, and Jesus can heal Schrodinger’s cat.

If you enjoy this kind of thinking, you may enjoy Quantum Enigma, Physics Encounters Consciousness by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner published by Oxford University Press, 2011.
Disclaimer: Rosenblum and Kuttner are not responsible for my theory of Time espoused above. They only opened my eyes to what traditionally only physicists have known.
ASIDE:  A Point on Time Travel
Do you really think we can ever gather up all those points on the 3-D universe graph to reproduce any one point on the timeline of the past? If we could, it would only be one “snapshot”. Time travel remains a wonderful imagination for science fiction.  -Sorry, Albert.