Liar’s Paradox and God
I’d be interested to hear some solutions to the Liar’s Paradox, but this is my take on it.
“I am lying”
This statement can’t be true, or else it would negate its own truth “function”.
This statement cannot be false, or else it would negate its own truth “value”.
My solution is to throw “truth” out altogether and claim that “everything is a lie in some sense and the “truth” of any value or function only exists on a conventional level and, in other words, not on an ultimate level. Ie. there are no ultimate truths.”
So, let’s look at truth.
“I am not lying”.
Well, this statement has no value or function. Nor does:
“I am being truthful.”
The statement only takes value or function when it is “about something”.
Ie. “a is true” or “a exists”
Now, we are only capable of stating “a” in the same sense that we “label” it as such. So already, this “truth” is automatically conventional.
What about “life exists on other planets”. ?
Now, this has an ultimate answer, which we can verify. Because, we can define life with very good precision and ask a yes or no question. But, we can go to a million planets, not find life, and still not know the ultimate truth of this statement.
On the other hand, perhaps we can never travel to planets and ie. we will “never know”. If we can never know, it still remains ultimate.
But the moment we do find life on another planet, that truth which was once ultimate becomes conventional. Knowing about life on other planets recoils back to labels, which are only conventional to begin with. Ie. they are just subtle lies made up so that we can navigate through reality. Boogeyman syndrome.
What about Nibbana? Well it’s defined in conventional terms. The end of suffering. The end of lust, hatred, and ignorance. The ending of the cosmos. But also, as neither existing nor not-existing. But also, “both exists and does not exist” is incorrect. But also “neither exists nor does not exist” is incorrect. Yet, “with that attainment comes the knowledge “release” and “there will be no future arising for me”.
So, the Buddha’s teaching is that there is something ultimate that can be known but transcends feeling and perception. Since it is a “blowing out” and “an end to the cosmos in this very body as it is” it is therefore the farthest away from the concept of God that one can get.Yet, it has no truth or not-truth value or function.
Now, this brings us to the notion of God. We get conventional descriptions. He’s a man in a white robe with a white beard. He had a son named Jesus. He talked with Mohamed. Etc.
But isn’t God supposed to be ultimate? He’s supposed to be the very definition of Ultimate. So if any of us were to see or hear him he would, as I pointed out above with aliens, become conventional. He is not like aliens in the sense that if we can not possibly fathom him he still exists. That is not the same as not being “capable” of fathoming the Ultimate existence of God.
But God is also not ultimate in the same category as Nibbana. He exists. Or he doesn’t.
However. If he has the same properties of not existing; not not-existing; both existing and not existing does not apply; and neither existing and not existing also does not apply … then he is Ultimate. However, he cannot be conventional in any sense. He can’t be a white robed, white bearded man in the sky.
What is God? Quite simply, if we get high on mushrooms we often notice that the world is interconnected. And this is a certain transcendental type of knowledge which goes beyond mere perception. It seems to be the underlying thread of all perceptions, all together, and all at the same time. So, this is God. It does not have to fall into any category of existence. Nor do we even have to call it God, per say. We can call it the “Universal Connectivity Principle”. Or “the Grand Wave Function”. That which transcends grasping.
It does not create, or judge, or give birth to children. But, in a sense it is an underlying current in the world.
I wrote this in a hurry. Comments or questions are appreciated. Other truth value and function categories I’ve missed would also be appreciated.