The Problem of Value
Does "Goodness" exist? We find this a much more tractable problem than whether God exists. And identifying objective goodness or value will uncover the nature of some things often attributed to a God. The Existentialists thought good did not exist . Most religions place its origin in a supernatural Being. Humanists felt that good was a human invention. "Man is the measure of all things." and "Nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Modern bioethicists situate value in all life. Environmentalists have a slightly broader view, embracing all our planetary resources.
A variety of ancient religions looked to the sun as the source of all life and thus good. If not the sun itself, they anthropomorphized the "bright sky" as God. Dark and the night were stigmatized forever as evil and "fallen." Philosophers have ever longed to discover a cosmic good. Their ideal source of the good was remote as possible from the Earth in space and in time. Some wanted it outside space and time. For Plato a timeless Good was found in Being itself. For his student Aristotle, Good was a property of the first principles that set the world in motion. For Kant it needed a transcendental God in a noumenal realm outside space, time, and the phenomena. Can we discover a cosmic good? At least identify the source of anything resembling the Good? Yes, we can.
Does it resemble the Good anthropomorphized as a God personally concerned about our individual good, a God intervening in the world to respond to prayer? No, it does not. It is more like the Divine Providence of the Stoics, Spinoza, and Einstein. Our source of goodness has one outstanding characteristic of such a God. We can accurately say it is Providence, in the sense of that which has provided for our existence. We have discovered that which provides. It provides the light, it provides life, it provides intelligence. Again celebrating the first modern philosopher, René Descartes, we name our model for value and Goodness the Ergo. We call "ergodic" those few processes that resist the terrible and universal Second Law of Thermodynamics, which describes the increase of chaos and entropy (disorder). Without violating the Second Law, ergodic processes reduce the entropy locally, producing pockets of negative entropy (order and information-rich structures). We will see that ergodic processes radiate away positive entropy, far more than the local reduction, thus satisfying the Second Law. We call all this cosmic order the Ergo. It is the ultimate sine qua non. All else is chaos. For those who want to anthropomorphize on the slender thread of discovering the natural Providence, they might call it the Ergod. No God can be God without being Ergodic.
Ought from Is?You Can't Get Ought from Is. Descriptions cannot lead to prescriptions. Science can have no bearing on ethics. Man is the measure of all things. Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. All these truisms get us nowhere without an objective standard of value. We propose to value information.