God vs The Multiverse

Click here for God vs The Multiverse: a rational argument for the Existence of One God who intelligently designed one universe.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 24: King of the Universe)

Abraham was the first person to call God by the name 'Master'.  It is on account of the idea behind this name that we call the God of Abraham the 'King of the Universe'.  (See first comment for some sources that elaborate on this idea and other ideas in this post.)  We would like to explain, to the best of our abilities, the idea behind the term 'King of the Universe', and discuss some of its consequences.

The key concept in this post is that the idea of King of the Universe is not dependent upon God's Providence (as is normally assumed, and which we are not proving in these posts), but naturally emerges from a proper idea of the God of Abraham.  In order to develop this point, we will analogously consider the good human king (or any other form of government) and his role towards his nation.

The king takes many separate individuals, who would otherwise live in a state of social chaos (as barbarians), and unifies them into one ordered society which is capable of developing a hierarchy of complex social structures (i.e., cities, nation-states,  multinational-states, etc).  To accomplish this goal, the king designs just laws and enforces these laws to ensure that they are not regularly violated.

If an individual who lives in the king's society were to ask why he can not violate these laws, we would tell him that the very fact that he has a good life in a safe society is because of the existence and force of these just laws.  To violate the laws which are the basis of one's state of existence is a contradictory position, as it undermines the very premise of one's own existence.

In fact, in order for the society of individuals to continue to exist, the king must punish those individuals or groups who rebel against his just laws.  When these acts of justice are properly executed (that of legislating just laws and enforcing them), they result in every individual obeying the king's laws, and thereby bring about the good for society as a whole.  Hence, the king's acts of justice produce order and peace throughout his kingdom.

It is in this sense that we say that the God of Abraham is the King of the Universe.  As we have seen in the previous posts, all that exists in the universe is contingent upon His Necessary Existence. He fine tuned the universe in a way which gives it complex structure and order, as opposed to chaos and disorder.  His good laws of nature, which strictly govern all physical space-time events, are what produce the magnificent cosmic evolution of an ordered and stable universe.

Since this order and stability is based upon His actions alone, it is appropriate to describe Him as King of the Universe.  We are not speaking about God's justice to human beings in particular, but are only drawing an analogy with regards to the general laws of nature and the universe as a whole.  We analogously describe God's actions as just and harmonious because they result in an ordered and stable universe.  It is only an analogy for the following reason: since nature has no free will, it perfectly obeys the laws and thereby produces perfect order and stability; on the other hand, a human king rules over human beings who have free will, and therefore the human king's acts of justice only result in imperfect order and harmony.

The King of the Universe provides order and structure to our universe through the good laws which He designed.  Our existence is premised upon all of His creations acting in line with their nature within this design; electrons act as they were designed, stars act as they were designed, plants act as they were designed, etc.  Of course, this is something we have always observed to be the case in the past, and we firmly believe will continue to be true in the future.  Nature always obeys the King of the Universe's laws.  The natural world appears to us to be a very faithful subject to the King.

Human beings have the internal subjective perception (which we accept as being true) of having free choice in how to live our lives, and are therefore naturally presented with the question of "How should we live?"  If we could know man's design (i.e., his place in God's design of the universe), then we should live in line with it.  Why?  Man's existence in this universe is dependent upon all the creations acting as designed by the King of the Universe.  To rebel against the King of the Universe would undermine the very premise of one's own existence.  Man has no rational justification for arbitrarily selecting himself out as the one special creature which does not obey its design.

The question then becomes if and how we can determine man's place in God's design and thereby decide how man should live.  For starters, we must question the premise.  Does man have any place in the design?  Who said that man is important?  Our answer for this is that we do not need to show that man is the essence of God's design.  All we need to know is that man is at least a small part of God's design in the universe; that man is not entirely an accidental byproduct in God's plan to design an ordered, structured, complex universe.

Although we can not prove that this is definitely the case, it would seem to us that the burden of proof would be on someone claiming that man is a mere byproduct.  Man is certainly a uniquely complex creation. As far as we are aware, he is the only intelligent being which is capable of perceiving, even on a small scale, the awesome intelligent design manifest throughout the universe.  As far as we know, he is the only self-aware being capable of the abstract self-reflection that it is a creation of the God of the Universe.

It would therefore seem intuitively reasonable that man is at least a small part in God's grand design for the complex universe.  This does not mean that man has special cosmic importance and significance.  Far from it.  Rather, it means that man is a small part of a significant whole, and as such, has no less significance than any other part of the universe that we currently know about.  Each component of the universe must faithfully fulfill its part, in order for the grand design of the universe as a whole to emerge.

If so, how can we determine what man was designed for and thereby how man should live?  It would seem that the basic approach to answering this question (short of God revealing it to us) is to study man's nature and define what a human being is.  Upon a little reflection, it seems that a human being is an intelligent form of life.  On the one hand, a human body's morphology is clearly part of the animal kingdom like all other animals on earth.  On the other hand, man has a unique intelligence that enables him to perceive a rational world of abstract ideas and live according to them.

It would therefore seem that for man to live in line with the way he was designed, he should live an intelligent life.  Although this does not immediately indicate any particular actions, it opens up the door for developing a well-grounded moral philosophy which is built upon a rational foundation.

Another related consequence of the recognition of the King of the Universe is that a rational person should accept upon himself God's authority to rule.  What does this mean?  It means that if God were to give him a command, he would follow it.  Again, the basis for this is the argument given above.  Man's very existence is only possible in the framework of God's cosmic design and order.  To benefit from the order provided by God's laws of the universe, and then exclude one's self from following God's decrees is self-contradictory.  It is the same logical problem as in the case of the rebel against the human king.

Even if a person is not currently aware whether God has or has not commanded anything, his attitude should be one of already accepting the authority of the King, if the King would give him a command. Additionally,  it would seem to be a very worthwhile pursuit to seek out evidence related to the significant question of whether God has done so.  This is the proper attitude for a subject whose existence is dependent upon the laws of the King.

A higher ordered, social consequence of all rational individuals accepting the reign of One King, stems from the realization that He is One King over the entire universe, and specifically over all humans.  He is not merely the King over one particular group or nation.  To relegate His sovereignty to one chosen people is preposterous in the face of His reign over the entire universe.

It seems to us, that complete worldwide acknowledgement of the King of the Universe would be beneficial for all of humanity.  In fact, the acceptance of the reign of the King of the Universe can be a uniting and harmonizing force for all of mankind.  It is a force that can organize human society into higher levels of complex structures, through providing a common universal ideal and purpose.  Just like a city only exists when there is a mayor (or any city government), and a state only exists when there is a king (or any state government), so too the nations of the world can only be justly and harmoniously united into a greater social entity when there is One King over them all.

It is not possible for us to fully work through all the implications of these deep philosophical concepts.  We hope these ideas can serve as a starting point for each reader to further develop the consequences that follow from the recognition of the King of the Universe.  A person who has a love of humanity and a desire to share the good and truth with others, would naturally share his knowledge of the King of the Universe, insofar as he believes it will bring good to others.  He would teach others this idea, much like Abraham spent his life doing, rather than live as if he has a special claim to the God of Abraham.  The God of Abraham is the King over all humanity, and the recognition of the King is for the good of all mankind.

May there come a day when the One Simple Necessary Existence will be recognized by all people as the One King over the entire Earth.  On that day, humanity will be truly united in peace and justice under the sovereignty of the King of the Universe.

8 comments:

  1. We wanted to include some of our sources for this post. This is not the only post where we have derived the idea of the post from other sources. In fact, just about every idea in this entire series was discovered by other people before us, who we were fortunate to learn from.

    We are including sources on this post because this area is so rich and deep, that a study of the sources themselves can help reveal much that we couldn't include in the post. We think the points in the post itself stand on their own, irrespective of these sources and our interpretation of them.

    Mishlei 29:4:
    מֶלֶךְ--בְּמִשְׁפָּט, יַעֲמִיד אָרֶץ; וְאִישׁ תְּרוּמוֹת יֶהֶרְסֶנָּה

    Tosafos Brachos 49a:
    ובברכות של י"ח ברכות אלהי אברהם היינו מלכות כדאמרינן (לעיל ד' ז:) משנברא העולם לא היה אדם שקראו להקב"ה אדון עד שבא אברהם וקראו אדון שנא' (בראשית טו) אדני אלהים מה תתן לי

    Tosafos Brachos 40b:
    וכן פסק ר"י דכל ברכה שאין בה מלכות שמים אינה ברכה ולכך היה אומר ר"י שאם היה מדלג מלכות של ברכת המוציא שצריך לחזור ולברך ואפי' דלג תיבת העולם בלבד דמלך לבד אינו מלכות וברכות של שמונה עשרה אין בהן מלכות דאינן באין בפתיחה ובחתימה אין שייך מלכות אבל אלהי אברהם הוי כמו מלכות דאברהם אבינו המליך הקב"ה על כל העולם שהודיע מלכותו ומעין שבע דמצלי בשבת הואיל ויש בה האל הקדוש שאין כמוהו היינו כמו מלכות כמו שמע ישראל ה' אלהינו ה' אחד דהוי במקום מלכות ולפי מה דפרישית דכל היכא דכתיב אלהי אברהם הוי כמו מלכות ניחא

    Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos, Positive Commandment 2:
    והמצוה השניה היא הצווי שצונו באמונת היחוד והוא שנאמין כי פועל המציאות וסבתו הראשונה אחד והוא אמרו יתעלה שמע ישראל י"י אלהינו י"י אחד. וברוב המדרשות תמצאם יאמרו על מנת ליחד את שמי על מנת ליחדני ורבים כאלה. רוצים בזה המאמר שהוא אמנם הוציאנו מן העבדות ועשה עמנו מה שעשה מן החסד והטוב על מנת שנאמין היחוד כי אנחנו חייבים בזה. והרבה שיאמרו מצות יחוד. ויקראו גם כן זאת המצוה מלכות. כי הם יאמרו (ברכות יג א) כדי לקבל עליו עול מלכות שמים. רוצים לומר להודות ביחוד ולהאמינו

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    1. The blessing of Kingship from the Rosh Hashana prayer, formulated by The Men of the Great Assembly:
      עָלֵינוּ לְשַׁבֵּחַ לַאֲדון הַכּל לָתֵת גְּדֻלָּה לְיוצֵר בְּרֵאשִׁית שֶׁלּא עָשָׂנוּ כְּגויֵי הָאֲרָצות וְלא שָׂמָנוּ כְּמִשְׁפְּחות הָאֲדָמָה, שֶׁלּא שָׂם חֶלְקֵנוּ כָּהֶם וְגורָלֵנוּ כְּכָל הֲמונָם, שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהֶבֶל וְלָרִיק וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים אֶל אֵל לא יושִׁיעַ וַאֲנַחְנוּ כּורְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים וּמודִים לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁהוּא נוטֶה שָׁמַיִם וְיוסֵד אָרֶץ וּמושַׁב יְקָרו בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וּשְׁכִינַת עֻזּו בְּגָבְהֵי מְרומִים הוּא אֱלהֵינוּ אֵין עוד: אֱמֶת מַלְכֵּנוּ אֶפֶס זוּלָתו כַּכָּתוּב בְּתורָתו וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיּום וַהֲשֵׁבתָ אֶל לְבָבֶךָ כִּי ה' הוּא הָאֱלהִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל הָאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת אֵין עוד

      עַל כֵּן נְקַוֶּה לְּךָ ה' אֱלהֵינוּ לִרְאות מְהֵרָה בְּתִפְאֶרֶת עֻזֶּךָ לְהַעֲבִיר גִּלּוּלִים מִן הָאָרֶץ וְהָאֱלִילִים כָּרות יִכָּרֵתוּן לְתַקֵּן עולָם בְּמַלְכוּת שַׁדַּי, וְכָל בְּנֵי בָשָׂר יִקְרְאוּ בִשְׁמֶךָ לְהַפְנות אֵלֶיךָ כָּל רִשְׁעֵי אָרֶץ, יַכִּירוּ וְיֵדְעוּ כָּל יושְׁבֵי תֵבֵל כִּי לְךָ תִּכְרַע כָּל בֶּרֶךְ תִּשָּׁבַע כָּל לָשׁון, לְפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלהֵינוּ יִכְרְעוּ וְיִפּלוּ וְלִכְבוד שִׁמְךָ יְקָר יִתֵּנוּ וִיקַבְּלוּ כֻלָּם אֶת על מַלְכוּתֶךָ וְתִמְלךְ עֲלֵיהֶם מְהֵרָה לְעולָם וָעֶד. כִּי הַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁלְּךָ הִיא וּלְעולְמֵי עַד תִּמְלךְ בְּכָבוד

      וּבְתורָתְךָ כָּתוּב לֵאמר: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה' אֱלהֵינוּ ה' אֶחָד

      אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלהֵי אֲבותֵינוּ מְלךְ עַל כָּל הָעולָם כֻּלּו בִּכְבודֶךָ, וְהִנָּשֵׂא עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ בִּיקָרֶךָ, וְהופַע בַּהֲדַר גְּאון עֻזֶּךָ עַל כָּל יושְׁבֵי תֵבֵל אַרְצֶךָ, וְיֵדַע כָּל פָּעוּל כִּי אַתָּה פְעַלְתּו וְיָבִין כָּל יְצוּר כִּי אַתָּה יְצַרְתּו, וְיאמַר כּל אֲשֶׁר נְשָׁמָה בְאַפּו ה' אֱלהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֶלֶךְ וּמַלְכוּתו בַּכּל מָשָׁלָה. קַדְּשֵׁנוּ בְּמִצְותֶיךָ וְתֵן חֶלְקֵנוּ בְּתורָתֶךָ, שַׂבְּעֵנוּ מִטּוּבֶךָ וְשַׂמְּחֵנוּ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ, וְטַהֵר לִבֵּנוּ לְעָבְדְּךָ בֶּאֱמֶת, כִּי אַתָּה אֱלהִים אֱמֶת וּדְבָרְךָ אֱמֶת וְקַיָּם לָעַד. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' מֶלֶךְ עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ מְקַדֵּשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיום הַזִּכָּרון

      See also Rambam Guide for the Perplexed 1:46 (beginning of the chapter).

      There are more sources than we can list, but these are a few of the main ones we used. We apologize to anyone who does not understand Hebrew, but translating these texts would demand accurately interpreting every word, which we did not feel competent to do.

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  2. Ron Wadiz here.

    Just in time for Rosh Hashanah (you planned it that way, right?)!

    There's been a lull in the commenting the last few days. Where is everybody (Dr. M?). You just gonna let R&R get away with whatever they say? ; )

    Nature doesn't always follow its King. The moon and the trees in Bereshit, for example.

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    1. We were saying that it seems based upon all our observations that nature always follows its laws. There is never a "glitch". In fact, they are looking for a glitch to prove the simulation hypothesis (that we are all simulations in a computer program of transhumans). See:

      http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/21/1090089219062.html

      We don't think it makes sense to take those Chazal's you mentioned literally, as they seem to attribute free will to trees, which doesn't really make sense at all (as trees aren't intelligent). The Wise Men of Israel frequently spoke it metaphorical language for various reasons, and a good rule of thumb is that when they say something that taken literally doesn't make sense, see if you can interpret it metaphorically. If you can't understand it even in that way, leave it alone; but you can't accept absurdities based upon authority, as that leads to a self-contradictory philosophy.

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    2. If you are interested in learning how to apply the method of analyzing strange midrashic statements, you can find a lot of information at mesora.org.
      the website even addresses the tree midrash,
      here: http://www.mesora.org/treesdisobey.html
      and here: http://www.mesora.org/rabbifox/bereshit68.htm

      always follow your mind.

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  3. Hey Ron. No time now, maybe will get around to it. Don't be shy in the meantime :)

    Dr_Manhattan

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    1. OK - good to hear your virtual voice! Thought maybe you had a shtikel change of mind...

      Are you email subscribed to the Parts? Just a click on the bottom of each Part (thanks to Michael for the tip). I commented on Part 7. Nothing substantial - about video links.

      Got some interesting developments to post about in Stage 2. Stay 2uned...

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  4. Ron Wadiz here.

    Selichos keeping everyone too busy to comment? ; )

    I just posted in Part 4 a reply from Prof. Stenger to "critics" of his Fallacy book. Use Find with "r 13" (the end of "September 13) to find it.

    Subscribe to that and other parts if you haven't already (bottom of each Part).

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