|Front cover design for Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly|
I've written, put together, and decided to publish the collection in print primarily to address a few themes that I think are important. The decision to put them in print was a bit of a struggle for me, but I hope it will help them reach more minds and be taken more seriously. Putting it in print adds weight and seriousness to the endeavor, which I think it deserves in this case, instead of simply leaving it in blog format.
The central themes of the piece, from my perspective (please, when it's available get it, read it, and come up with your own!) include
- Mathematics is a human endeavor that does nothing to point to the existence of any "God,"
- As the foundation of the previous theme, that Platonism (the reification of ideals) is an erroneous way to think about just about everything,
- Mathematics and theism, among many other things, are axiomatic realms of abstractions used to describe or understand reality, not reality themselves,
- The concept of infinity is desperately tricky to work with philosophically without making mistakes (for both theists and atheists),
- That the application of the concept of infinity to "God" is simultaneously necessary and fatal to modern theology,
- Infinity is fraught with paradoxes and therefore may not apply to reality,
- Infinity isn't a number or anything like a number,
- Infinity is weird.
The subtitle, Infinity Plus God Equals Folly, is, I hope, self-explanatory. It applies, for my purposes, to theists, but I don't spend much of my time tackling that low-hanging fruit. Indeed, only two of the essays are directly targeted at theists (one at William Lane Craig and one at Anselm of Canterbury, although Alvin Plantinga gets a brief mention). Most of the time is spent on the math, bringing in key points about the God discussion along the way. An atheist's argument is also given some attention. Historian and outspoken atheist Richard Carrier has an essay dedicated to one of his arguments as well. The misuses of infinity are common. Indeed, I even indict myself a little bit.
There's plenty there for any reader that's interested in thinking about philosophy (including especially mathematical ideas) as it gets applied to theological topics, or for anyone that's interested in this bizarre end of abstract reasoning in the mathematical realm.
I do hope people will find interest in it. I found writing it and compiling it to be rather a lot of fun, and since it pressed my thinking, I sincerely think it will press the thinking of others. Stay tuned to the blog or my Twitter feed for updates on publication progress. It should be fairly soon!