Monday, January 22, 2007

Is God Just? - A Christian Universalist View

Universalism is the belief that all humans will be saved. That no human will suffer for eternity, because God -the creator- loves us and will save us. Christian Universalism is a belief that encompasses both Christianity and Universalism. Christian Universalism states that God is all-loving, that Jesus is the son of God, that Jesus is a spiritual leader, and finally that all humans will be saved by the greatest sacrifice in history: The crucifixion of Jesus.

According to Christian Universalism, Jesus has a deeper understanding of the nature of God. Some interpretations of the New Testament reveal that Jesus, through his understanding of God, revealed to humans that God is not Just, but rather Generous. Generosity and Justice are contradicting terms. Justice is to give each exactly what he deserves. Generosity is to give each more than he deserves. Some argue that Jesus through his teachings revealed a generous God rather than a just one.

To inquire the validity of those blatant interpretations, those Christian Universalists provide biblical stories from the New Testament.

One such story is the parable of the "prodigal son" (Luke 15:11-32). A man had two sons. The younger asked his father to divide his father's fortune between the two of them. The man divided his fortune between his two sons. The elder son stayed with his father, helped his father, and was very obedient. On the other hand, the younger son took the fortune and moved out of his father's mansion and started spending the money on luxury. The day came when that youngster lost all his money and was in dire need. He thought to himself that he'd better get back to his father's mansion. He thought that working as a servant at his father's mansion was better than how he is living now. The youngster headed back home, and when his father saw him from a distance, he ordered his servants to make a feast. The father joyfully welcomed his returning son and asked him to join the feast to celebrate the return of his son. The elder son was confused, he asked his father: "I have been always by your side. I have been always your obedient son. You never made a feast in my honor.". The father answered: "You have been always with me, and all I have is you. But your brother was dead and now alive, he was lost and now found."

The injustice in the parable of the "prodigal son" is evident. The elder son was surprised by the obvious injustice, and reported to his father. The father in that story is being generous to his youngster. He didn't deserve his father's compassion, but the father gave it anyways. So if Jesus wanted to teach humans something by that parable, it would be that God is generous, not just.

I believe Jesus had a greater understanding of God than perhaps any other man. In turning to his parables, I believe that Jesus teaches us that God is not just. In the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20: 1-16) the landowner (God) is not just, he is generous. In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) the elder brother is quick to point out the injustice of his younger brother’s being welcomed back home. But the father’s love and compassion for both his sons outweighs any concerns for justice. When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus (John 8:1-11) he came to her defense, even though the just law of Moses would have had her stoned. And as Jesus hung on the cross, he did not call down justice upon his persecutors, but forgiveness (Luke 23: 34).

Justice would have us say, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But Jesus said, “Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.” (Matthew 5: 39) Justice would have us do to others as they have done to us. But Jesus said, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) He also said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven: for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5: 44-45) Justice must have its roots in judgment. But Jesus said, “Do not Judge.” (Matthew 7: 1) All this indicates to me a God of love and mercy; not justice. (source)

PS: Inspired by this article [recommended-read]
PS: For biblical references, download the New Testament (PDF)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Nature Of Resonance

In conclusion of my paper on resonance, I find that resonance is the natural effect of the natural delay time of any system. Every system responds to the frequencies that are close enough (rather than equal) to its natural frequency. The question that arises, how close is "enough"?!

Really?! How close is "enough"?! The answer to this question depends on the sensitivity of the system, and its natural delay time. This issue is discussed in more details in my paper.

As a simple practical example, suppose that the electricity was disconnected at your house for one tenth of a second (0.1 sec). Two electrical components were running at that time. The first component is the computer. The second component is a small motor, like the refrigerator. We can observe that the computer will respond to the disconnection and restart. The motor will not respond to the disconnection and will continue its operation uninterrupted. We can say that, the computer is more “sensitive” with a short natural delay time.

PS: Download the paper: PDF DOC
PS: Download supportive Matlab code here
PS: The scientific validity of the claims is NOT asserted

Friday, January 12, 2007

Values In The Continuous Spectrum

It is understood in the field of mathematics that values in the continuous spectrum CANNOT be proved to be equal. In other words, five is NOT NECESSARILY equal to five!

Some people might ask: If no two values can be proved to be equal, how does mathematics handle values?! It's a good question... And the answer is simple: Thats why calculus was formed!! Mathematics is based on limit theorems. We can say that five sometimes equals five, yet five never equals six!! I say that five sometimes equals five, because this might not be true all the time!!

I have provided a FORMAL MATHEMATICAL PROOF of these claims. I have published the proof in PDF format (140 KB) and MS WORD format (56 KB).

I urge you to print the proof, and double check the validity of every statement and transformation. I have taken like three hours of my time to write this proof, in order to check and re-check every statement I put... Yet it is important to have peer reviews!!

I also urge you to look at the proof to learn the good way to prove a point... Always start with 1- definition of notations, then 2- definition of terms, followed by 3- axioms and assumptions. The three mentioned parts are crucial to a good proof! Finally, always follow logical inferencing, and then all should be good.

Now, apart from formalities, allow me to explain the claims informally:
First consider the value of ZERO/ZERO. It is well-known that the answer is ANY VALUE!! Some people think that the answer is "no value", but thats mathematically wrong statement!

Now, ZERO/ZERO is any value. Is One a value?! Yes, it is. Is Two a value?! Yes, it is. But we all know that any two equal values when divided the result is One... Right?! Well, in one case ZERO/ZERO in fact gave the value of One. But also, in a second case ZERO/ZERO had the value 2... Obviously this means that ZERO is not equal to ZERO in that case. Combine the above two phenomenas, we find that ZERO is sometimes equal to ZERO, and sometimes not so!!

Since we showed that ZERO is NOT NECESSARILY equal to ZERO, we can generalize this result to all values by adding assumed equal values to both sides of [0!=0]...

Another argument goes like this: ZERO*INFINITY is any value (just like ZERO/ZERO). We can think of multiplication as a magnification operator. Even the ZERO when magnified "enough" can be shown to deviate from ZERO!!! This also demonstrates the above claims about the continuous spectrum.

PS: For additional insight, read the "physical justification" in my comment here
PS: Download the formal mathematical proof: PDF DOC

Einstein And God

God does not play dice.

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.

I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God.

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.

Albert Einstein (source)

Amen to all of that!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Mathematical Challenge: Integrating A Sinusoidal Signal

For the past two days my head has been processing at maximum load!! Thanks goes to an anonymous poster. Mr. Anonymous has brought my attention to an older post, titled "Inconsistent Circuits Formula". His comments triggered my thoughts, and as some do notice, our thoughts aren't clear all the time. At the time I posted my old entry, I had a limited vision - Today, I come with new understanding: An understanding of the nature of the phenomena of resonance.

I will not post my newly-reached understanding in this post. I have a clear vision of the phenomena of resonance, but I want to support it with some mathematical justification, and more importantly, numerical analysis data. The results should be ready within two weeks depending on my free time - No promises though! You can read the results here.

Mr. Anonymous has argued about my bold statement "We cannot prove two physical (even mathematical) quantities to be equal". This post should indirectly justify my position. I am still considering to post a more direct argument can be found here. Just keep in mind, my position is strictly regarding inclusion of equalities for continuous quantity spectrum.

Finally, this mathematical challenge question was tailored by me in order to clarify a point I want to make, so try to solve it, and tell me your results.

The Mathematical Challenge:

The Final Answer:
ZERO (assuming that no noise exists in the signal)
ANY VALUE is the general solution

[+] Show\Hide

Explained Answer:
The interval [0, 2*PI/a] represents one period of the sinusoidal signal cos(ax). When integrating a sinusoidal signal over one period the answer is ZERO. In short, the answer is ZERO regardless of the value of a.

A source of confusion might arise due to the use of the value ZERO for 'a'. The easiest approach is to devise an answer which is independent of 'a', as has been explained above. Note that the sinusoidal signal has a constant value of ONE over the finite region. The interval of the integration extends to ( 2*PI/a ), which also extends to the infinity. For this reason, the transformation of cos(ax) to ONE is NOT valid, because the sinusoidal signal is equal to 1 ONLY in the finite region, but the integration extends to the infinite region which implies that this transformation leads to incorrect results.

This solution applies only if we consider that there is NO NOISE in the sinusoidal signal. If we consider the possibility of existence of noise, then the integration will take the value of the integral of noise over the whole interval.

[+] Show\Hide

Update 1: The answer to the challenge has been posted.
Update 2: The paper about resonance has been posted here.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Life In The Eyes Of Douglas Adams

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." (source)

"Man [has] always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much-the wheel, New York, wars and so on-while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man-for precisely the same reason." (source)

"In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad idea." (source)

Douglas Adams

That guy really has a point!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What Constitutes Prostitution?

Most people would roughly define prostitution as "selling the body". It is generally viewed as objectionable to make a sex-for-money kind of deal. The question that arises, why can't that deal be view as any other deal. The thing is: If we consider "selling our body" to be ethically wrong, then ALL work is ethically wrong.

As some might notice, we lend our bodies everyday in way that are viewed as "acceptable". Working in general implies that we use our body functions to produce a service or a product in exchange for money or an equivalent service or product. Consider a construction worker, he is using his physical strength and muscles to serve a building. A receptionist is using their physical existence to serve customers. A dentist uses his hands to fix teeth, and an engineer uses his mind and hands to come up with designs. So whats different when a person uses his physical form and genitalia to please?! It is not intrinsically different than commodifying any other part that an employer might make use of.

If we consider a more basic view, (considering Hedonism) we find that "pleasure" is the only service of real value. At the end of the day, every product sold or service offered is finally converted into a comfort commodity. Money is of no value at all if it cannot be converted into pleasurable items. So we can say, prostitution provides a service of usable value, something that will not undergo further transformations. A property that doesn't apply to many services offered on the market!

If we look at things from a more abstract level, we can see that many sex-for-a-service instances occur without being deemed objectionable. What about sex-for-love? Why is sex-for-love generally viewed as less problematic? Why is it that two "love-birds" making out viewed less objectionable than making out for the money?!

Don't you think "monogamy" is a kind of prostitution?! Isn't preserving the genitalia for "one true love" a type of accommodating one's body?! Some people suggest that prostitution makes people see others as commodities, doesn't monogamy imply that consequence?!

What about a wife that refuses to have sex with her husband because, say, he has been neglecting her. Isn't that a kind of prostitution? Doesn't that kind of behavior imply a sex-for-attention kind of deal?!

At the end of the day, prostitution is one of the oldest professions known to mankind; If we consider respect for the elders, then prostitution deserves just that!!

PS: Partly inspired by this entry
PS: Check this funny cartoon loosely related to the topic [Thanks No Angel]

Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year - Just Like The One Before It


Its now 2007, wishing all a happy 2007! A year hopefully better than expectation!