Zero and the Attributes of God
Besides our inability to imagine the reality that would be represented by zero, people have extra motivation to try and disagree with the analogy, God is to reality what zero is to math. We are so accustomed to thinking of ourselves as the most superior reality, that too often anything believed to be better than us will be seen as improved versions of us. This is so true that many of you reading now are trying to convince yourselves that what I’m saying is irrelevant because, even if I’m right, my version of God is just some mindless inanimate object.
Let me make this clear: every attribute of God that is universally accepted by all monotheistic concepts of God apply to the mathematical concept of zero. Before you start to wait or anticipate my explaining how zero could be loving, merciful, or even jealous, you should pay attention to what I just said.
I didn’t say any. I didn’t say some. I said all. Not all monotheistic ideologies subscribe to those attributes, but they all believe God is absolute, infinite, and perfect; even the religions with an emotional God. If those universal attributes don’t sound like zero to you, we’re thinking about two different zeroes. I’m talking about absolute zero while you’re still thinking about relative zero.
Zero, when defined in relative terms, is either something neutral, meaning it is powerless to do anything, whether it be good or bad, or it represents none of whatever is on your mind at the time: something specific. Since that specific thing is typically desirable or seen as something good, zero is seen as negative.
These are not godly qualities, so they could never help you understand God. In fact, trying to apply such qualities to God will take you further away from the truth than any other contradictory concept I would criticize. Avoiding this counter-productive train of thought is why I wish I could avoid comparing God to nothing or zero in the first place. Such an interpretation of my words is why the analogy, God is to reality what zero is to math, sounds blasphemous on the surface.
I know…when we first learn about numbers, we use examples before we start getting into number theory and absolute value, so it isn’t far-fetched to try that with zero. Zero is unique and unlike anything else in math, just like God is unique and unlike anything else in reality.
While we may find examples of relative zero as none of something, we cannot find examples relating to absolute zero because that would be none of everything. That includes none of the things we need for our existence and cognition…things we can’t imagine reality without, like: space, time, matter, energy, light, or life; even the non-physical elements of reality, like: love, hate, consciousness, ignorance, desire, or pleasure. When I say nothing, I mean Nothing!
Absolute is neither positive nor negative, but can be perceived as either…without equal, opposite, or peer…unconditional, independent of all else, yet on which all else depends…unavoidable, undeniable, and eternal. All these definitions apply to zero on the number line and none of them can apply to anything else in reality except the Creator of the universe. God is to reality what zero is to math.
I must stress the role zero plays on the number line to make myself clear. Here is why: the only example of zero we can use as a point of reference for understanding God is zero as it appears on the number line; what it does in math from that position and the attributes that come with it.
That absolute value, zero, never interacts with any other value. Attempts at addition or subtraction amount to counting up and considering your perspective as either positive or negative. You cannot multiply zero because there cannot be multiple zeros. It is singular, so there can only be one. It’s the same with division…impossible. God is Unique and Singular…the Unseen and Unimaginable.
Negatives and positives are not absolutes, as in not real states of reality. They represent perspective, since the positive is what’s desired, and the negative is the opposite of what you want.
The necessary attributes, meaning the real or absolute value without concern for perspective is determined directly and only by their relation to zero just as God is the Giver of the attributes those values represent, the Creator of all.
I mentioned zero is Infinite earlier. It is the beginning and end for everything else and there can be no beginning or end of it just as God is the Alpha and Omega. I remember I was in high school when I should have made the connection. My mind was far from God or religion. I was just concentrating on not failing:
I was in one of my advanced algebra classes. We were working on limits, and the teacher moved the class quickly. He didn’t dwell on any lesson too long. I wasn’t getting what he was saying. Whenever I ran into this problem before, I would pick a random problem out the book, get the answer, and then work backwards. I really didn’t understand what I was supposed to be doing, so I started punching numbers in on my calculator to see if I could figure things out…
My calculator must have been broken or something because it said zero whenever I hit the limit button. If I hit it again, it said error. This happened even when I punched in what I thought was infinity.
I had to stop my teacher to ask what was wrong. It was then that I learned the symbol that looks like a sideways eight wasn’t really infinity. It’s indefinite. The limit of every value, including the sideways eight, is zero and only zero has no limit. God is Infinite, the Unlimited.
This unlimited aspect of God gets distorted into some sort of Greatest or Most High. We tend to think the best is the biggest or highest in positive perceived magnitude because it overcomes, eliminates, or reverses the most perceived negative. The good itself overshadows the desired state so much that you miss understanding perfection would be if there was no negative and no excess. No negative or positive is zero, but we would rather focus on the good that would give us that, in theory. God is Perfect.
From this train of thought, it is clear that the best or true superlative comes from no negative instead of from more positive. Instead of thinking of the All-knowing as having some really big brain, think of no possibility for ignorance. Instead of thinking of the All-powerful as can do anything, think of dominion over all. God isn’t active. Any act is an attempt to improve, and you literally cannot improve on perfection.
I’ve heard people argue that the concept of an All-knowing and All-powerful God contradicts the idea of free will. That would make sense if God were spying and meddling in our affairs. Whatever happens was made possible by God, but what takes place isn’t caused by God as much as it is allowed.
The inanimate are bound by whatever laws govern their identity, purpose, movement, or interactions with anything else. The animate are bound for failure whenever they inaccurately assess or appreciate whatever they can access, wittingly or unwittingly.
The attribute of absolute zero that is causing me to have to do all this explaining to show you zero deserves higher esteem in the first place is Invaluable or Priceless. Unlike all the other attributes of God, which are objective, this one can also be subjective (meaning according to the eyes of the beholder).
Objective value comes from zero. This truth is applied subjectively, most times without our noticing it, as our relative value for what we encounter, acquire, or experience comes from knowing or imagining what it’s like to be without. This gives us a tendency to take for granted what we think will never be gone.
Since we will never directly witness God while we live, by our usual standards, God can be ignored and taken for granted, even though there can be no universe without God or value without zero. I’m not talking about some misinterpretation of what I’m saying, either. You can understand what I’ve said and agree with it all up to this point and still ignore God without any change in circumstance or concern for new repercussions.
Just because it is possible to do something, doesn’t mean you should. Consequence is no coincidence. God doesn’t have to meddle in our affairs to rule. God is All-powerful. Sure. You can ignore God and fail. There are objective laws governing reality.
There is no way you can ignore truth except by substituting it with lies and delusions; your wants and wishes in spite of what’s real. How can you be right with reality when you have such a mentality? Why would you want to ignore the truth, anyway? What lies have you told yourself that you’re unwilling to let go?
Whatever they may be, enjoy them. Whether they help you cope with life or amplify and intensify your woes, they cannot last throughout your existence. With God is the end of all things, and God is the only Judge. In the end, the only opinion that matters is your own, literally. God is to reality what zero is to math and with God is Heaven or Hell.