Christian religions run around everywhere nowadays, over 38,000 versions last time I looked, and all of them claim to possess something given by God called the Holy Spirit.
Problem is, they all have different definitions. Can they actually possess this spirit, whatever it is?
A man named Alan Turing, lo ng before we actually had computers anything like what we have, created a “Turing Machine” that would operate according to universal principles. One of the first things established right off was called the Turing halting problem. What Turing realized in this little “thought experiment” was that there exists questions which a universal Turing Machine simply can never solve. Certain mathematical questions reach toward infinity, and the computer simple will be unable to give us an answer one way or another as to what is the correct answer on certain questions.
Then he developed this test which is now generally called the Turing test. Suppose, said Turing, you had a man and a woman behind a curtain, and you asked another person to sit on the other side of the curtain, and by passing written questions back and forth, the person could determine, purely by the answers of the questions, which was a man and which was a woman.
From that, Turing proposed a similar test. Suppose a person sat on one side of the curtain, and on the other side, there was a computer. The person would type questions to the computer, but would not know whether he was asking questions of a computer or a real person.
The computer would then send typewritten answers back “pretending” to be a real person. If this computer could answer questions so that, to all intents and purposes, the person on the other side of the curtain could not tell by those answers whether he was questioning a computer or a real person, then to all intents and purposes, the computer would be the equivalent of a real person.
Let’s propose, then, a similar “Turing test” for the “Holy Spirit”.
Suppose there could be a way of defining what the Holy Spirit is, and the definition could be written in such a way that a person could ask questions of a computer(without knowing it was a computer), showing whether that computer could properly answer the questions.
Wait a minute, you say, there is no such test or a process by which we can ask a computer to define the Holy Spirit. Of course not, because if there was, we could all know exactly what it is, and we could define it for ourselves.
But if we could define it ourselves, then we could take that definition and program it into a computer, so that any computer would know as much about the Holy Spirit as we do.
THEN, if we asked a computer questions about the Holy Spirit, to all intents and purposes, that computer would “possess” the Holy Spirit!
Not possible? Why? Because the Holy Spirit must come from God? But how do we know that, if we can’t define it, and if we CAN define it, then we can program a computer to have it exactly the same as ourselves. If we can define it, we can program it. If we can program it, a computer can have it exactly the same as we do.
This would seem to leave one of two options:
1.There is no Holy Spirit
2.There may actually be a Holy Spirit, but we have no way of defining or controlling it, which means that there is no proof whatever, from proposition (1) or proposition (2), that any religion, any church, any doctrine, any dogma, actually represents the Holy Spirit, which means that every attempt will simply result in infinite splintering of ideas as to what he Holy Spirit is.
While this may not disprove the existence of a Holy Spirit, it certainly leaves no room for any religion to claim authority over the Holy Spirit.