Imagination II

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

Christian and atheist roommates in their kitchen

Albert: What the heck is this?

Beverly: It’s a Klein bottle.

Albert: What’s a Klein bottle and why’s it on the counter?

Beverly: It’s a three-dimensional projection of a four-dimensional object. Carol was bragging about her uncle’s glass blowing and I challenged her to ask him to make one. I didn’t think he’d actually be able to do it.

Albert: What do you mean it’s four dimensional?

Beverly: It isn’t literally. It’s like how a drawing of a cube is a two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional object. In the fourth dimension, a real Klein bottle wouldn’t intersect itself.

Albert: But it does intersect itself.

Beverly: Because we’re three dimensional. A real one wouldn’t.

Albert: I haven’t a clue what that means.

Beverly: That’s because we’re three dimensional. You can’t imagine something you haven’t experienced.

Albert: Like God.

Beverly: Funny, but not how you intended. We can imagine God, so that proves that God exists. If we can imagine Him, that means that we have experienced him.

Albert: No. George Lucas imagined Star Wars before there was anything like it.

Beverly: That’s not true. The movie’s all based on things that are either real or are simple variations of reality. If God didn’t exist, then you imagining God would be like someone living in the jungle a thousand years ago imagining a microwave oven — completely impossible.

Albert: If it’s impossible to imagine a microwave oven before it’s invented, then how did it get invented?

Beverly: These things happen in little steps. Maybe the person in the jungle imagines cooking with fire, and over hundreds of years of little imagined variations on that experience, it leads to science, then electricity, then electromagnetic radiation, then microwave ovens. Nobody can make a big jump in imagination straight to microwaves from nothing, but you can imagine little variations in things that build up over time into something completely new.

Albert: Maybe God’s the same way. Maybe someone heard thunder and imagined that a person made it, then imagined it was a super powerful person, then an all-powerful person, then a person with no physical body, etc., all the way up to imagining God?

Beverly: But that’s not the way it happened. Besides, you aren’t part of that chain of discovery and you can imagine God, so that proves that you sense God in some sense.

Albert: No, it doesn’t. (And well phrased, by the way.) I’ve been introduced to the concept of God through my culture, so it isn’t outside of my experience. That’s why I can imagine it.

Beverly: I introduced you to the concept of the Klein bottle and you still can’t really imagine it.

Albert: That’s because I’m not a math geek like some people. I’ve had a lifetime to get used to the idea of God. In childhood, as I learned about the concept of deities, I probably went through a process like I described, imagining God as a man in the sky, then as a spirit, etc., until I got to the point that when you go off on the subject I can understand you.

Beverly: That’s not how it works.

Albert: Then your argument doesn’t work. This bottle doesn’t work either, but I’m guessing you’re going to keep it around, fool.


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Posted on February 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

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