Morality as an exercise in applied autism

In which I begin a physical analogy for the Christian ethos and formulate some common notions.

Imagine, if you dare, a surface function z = f(x, y) in three dimensions defined over all x and y, resembling a hilly country.

Surface

There is a set P of particles representing men, P = {M1, M2, M3…}. Each particle P_i has qualities of mass, charge, position, etc. All Mi in P are bound to this surface by a downward gravitational pull so that all (Mi_x, Mi_y) are in f(x, y) at any given time t.

The upward direction in z is “virtue” according to the original meaning (strength) and the downward direction shall be called “vice”. Good is defined as that which tends to produce motion toward the z-axis, where x = 0 and y = 0, and evil is defined as that which produces motion away from the z-axis. We’ll call the z-axis itself “righteousness” such that a particle’s “sin” is its distance from righteousness, d = sqrt(x^2 + y^2). That is, how far away from the “bullseye” the particle is as viewed from above. The cardinal directions x and y could stand for any particular moral axes, such that a particle in one position choose mercy and have acted correctly, and a particle in another position may choose justice and have acted correctly, because they were both directed toward righteousness.

Although there is local variation in the surface f(x, y), there is a global tendency upward toward an infinite positive asymptote as one approaches the z-axis. This asymptote represents God, sitting on his throne at the point (0, 0, infinity), being both perfect in strength and righteousness. This represents the impossibility of any particle achieving perfect righteousness on account of its mass, which represents its carnality being drawn downward to vice by gravity. So a particle feeling a strong horizontal force pulling it toward the z-axis will fail to reach it because as it ascends the asymptote, the force of gravity begins to predominate.

In this abstraction we imagine that the law of electricity is opposite from the physical reality, so that like attracts like rather than opposites attracting. Then, we imagine the z-axis has a finite charge per unit length such that it exerts a positive, finite electric field like an infinite line charge. A particle that is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” would be a one with more negative charge than positive, which will always tend away from the origin in the long run even though it may occasionally move in the good direction by accident by rolling toward the z-axis into a local minimum or rebounding from an elastic collision. A heart transformed by the Holy Spirit would be a particle which has had its negative charges stripped away, leaving only positive charges which will always tend toward the origin over time even though it may be occasionally misdirected by local minima or collisions with evil particles fleeing in the other direction.

At this point many notions from ordinary physics, such as momentum, apply in the expected ways. Work(s) will be defined in the same way as usual, which is to say force applied over a displacement. Good works then describe a pattern of movements with a central tendency to righteousness, which demonstrates a strong positive internal charge (i.e. faith). Willpower can be described as a finite but replenishing source of potential energy which a particle can use to overcome small obstacles. We can equivocate “action” with displacement and “choice” with direction of willful movement. Intelligence would describe a pattern of motion that is described less by expected cause-and-effect and more by effective applications of willpower. And associative horizon would be the range of angles available to choose from when making choices.

The force of friction represents force of habit, which can impede a particle’s moral progress but also prevent the particle from slipping into a local minimum. Of course, you can’t have that without a normal force, which acts perpendicular with the surface f(x, y) and for expediency I will define it as always pointing in the direction with a positive z-component.

This was pretty weird but I enjoyed it a lot.

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6 Responses to Morality as an exercise in applied autism

  1. SirHamster says:

    I like it.

    I’ve conceptualized a much simpler 1D version with just gravity, to distinguish between position and direction. But where you use sin for distance (position), I treated sin as direction (acceleration vector). Sin is the gravity pulling us down and away from God (up).

    Mine was meant to be visual, demonstrated with an object like a set of keys. If we hold up the keys and let go, it crashes to the floor. We can prop up the keys with a chair or a book, but take away the prop and the keys will go back down to the floor. That is culture, institutions, habits. Building a very large tower artificially props up the keys, but can be knocked back down. We can toss the keys up and it will always come back down. That is every human effort to reach God.

    Thus, the need for a new nature, so that we float up instead of being dragged down by gravity.

    My model was about illustrating the nature of sin separating us from God. I think your model has use for understanding life as a cumulative series of decisions to go “uphill” or “downhill” and how to navigate it. A life map. Works better than the 2d graph I got in Sunday school showing a zig-zag line representing “spiritual life” over time.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      My model includes the phenomena you’re describing. A recharging effort of will to ascend an increasing slope will produce the “zig-zag”. The large tower can be conceived as a local maximum which acts as a bulwark to backsliding. And of course, any tower of Babel project would be like an attempt to ascend to the (0, 0, inf) by building a “stairway to heaven” around it.

      • SirHamster says:

        As I said, I like it. Integrates far more of reality, making it a more useful map. I will probably be stealing it for use in meatspace.

        The simpler ones are for babby. 1D is binary in direction, only letting us measure magnitude. 3D lets us consider how the angle of our direction matters.

        One thing that it demonstrates is that we cannot continuously make decisions that are “tangential” to God. (draw a line from our position to God; making a decision that is 90 degrees from it) Initially, it is neutral. But maintaining that direction will lead us away from God.

        If we continuously change course so that we stay tangent, we will end up circling around God, never getting closer. We cannot get too close to God, but many (all?) are in danger of being too far.

        Therefore, it is necessary to always be pointing towards God in our decision. Blessed is the man who goes straight towards God. The rest of us need continuous repentance so that our flawed angles will still bring us closer. (only 1 line leads towards God, everything else will eventually lead away from the source)

  2. Salvatore says:

    So in other words we should apply mathematics to Spiritual matters but when it comes to the Heliocentric theory we are to take it on faith and not dare examine the Helio theory from an Empirical Scientific approach, that might involve some mathematics and we don’t apply matehmatics to Scientific matters, only Religious-Spiritual matters do we use mathematics to figure out. We never use Empirical Science and Mathematics to figure out Scientific matters, especially NOT with the Heliocentric theory. NO Empirical Science and NO Math please, we’re Heliocentrics. Empirical Science and Math are tools we use to figure out the Christian religion, that’s the only thing Science and Math are good for. Just take Heliocentrism on Faith and Faith Alone and approach the Christian religion with a calculator in-hand and be prepared to crunch some numbers.

  3. Patrick says:

    This is basically how my brain works normally

  4. Pingback: Long-term disability insurance premiums for children with IQs below employability | Aeoli Pera

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