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A Theodicy of Incompleteness

[The following is an excerpt from an article originally printed in Hope's Reason: A Journal of Apologetics and reprinted as the first chapter of my book Transcending Proof.] Like most of the great mathematical discoveries by the great mathematicians, the famous incompleteness theorems published by Kurt Gödel in 1931 almost completely escape the comprehension of the average man on the street. Nonetheless, scholars familiar with the work of Gödel and his theorems have gone to the trouble of translating his texts – not only from the original German, but from the abstract language of logic and high-level arithmetic. What they describe is a powerful insight with profound limiting implications for otherwise seemingly unbounded areas of research, such as artificial intelligence and theoretical cosmology. I suspect they also have implications for theodicy. Using sophisticated mathematical and logical machinery, Gödel managed to prove with the incompleteness theorems that in most any formal …

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