In 1545 Girolamo Cardano made up , out of thin air , a new kind of number. A special number which was simply defined as the solution to the square root of negative one. The square root of negative one is something which no ordinary number can solve. It was considered so outlandish the great mathematician Descartes contemptuously called them “imaginary numbers”. Like “The Big Bang” the pejorative description conceived as an insult stuck. The square root of negative one is now abbreviated as i, for the imaginary number.
One has to understand that even the concept of negative numbers was rejected by most of humanity through most of its existence. What would negative 3 cows look like? An “imaginary” number such that when multiplied by itself becomes a negative number seems like an absurdity times an absurdity creating an absurdity!
It's amazing just how far this “absurd” concept has come. The clock in my “cosmic time” graphic at the top of this page was made using imaginary numbers. Mathematicians and physicists routinely use i to arrive at the solution to problems much quicker. The most beautiful mathematical truth ever discovered , Euler's identity , uses the imaginary number. The discovery of this identity is one of the great triumphs of human reason.
One of the symbols of the Church Of Socrates is ii . ii represents the triumph of reason because of the great strides Leonhard Euler made to even understand what ii means. The mathematical expression itself has an infinite amount of solutions. Each solution is real, infinitely long and positive. Because of this it is a metaphor for “The Individual to the power of the Individual”. The infinite amount of solutions represents the infinite potential mankind has if the rights of individuals as individuals are protected. The infinite length of every solution represents the infinite possibility for each individual. The positive value of every solution represents that each of us starts out with some real worth before God.
ii has an even more important meaning. One that makes it worthy of a symbol for a church. It represents that an idea , the imaginary number , which seems arbitrary and artificial , is actually more real than we would think otherwise. Like the idea of God itself.
Like i If one simply makes up a “God” yet insists that it follow logical rules some neat things follow. The catch phrase here is “logical”. There have been endless illogical versions created over time and they don't work any better than faulty mathematical theorems. Indeed one particular version of God, the Islamic one, Allah , is evil . Like any evil that deceives so many so effectively , the deluded followers will murder , lie and die for Allah.
While God is often blamed for all sorts of bad things, like Islam , consider the good the concept does. It's power to influence people easily stretches through centuries, far outlasting any individual. It 's an “imaginary” concept that adds real stability to our lives. It explains amazing coincidences, like the almost unbelievable series of events which led to where we are today . It provides comfort for us to see a life beyond where we think it ends. It helps people to behave in accordance with the beliefs of their God which is good if the God they follow is good. Like “imaginary” numbers it simply works once accepted.
God is such a powerful concept that once a particular one takes hold of an individual they will literally sacrifice everything before they reject it. That is the cornerstone of it's power and like the immense power hidden in the Uranium atom it is capable of great good or evil. Assuming God is good what does that require?
God greatest gift to man is our power of reason. It is what separates us from all the other life on Earth. It gives us the means to determine truth from fiction. Reason is Mankind's primary means of survival itself. To be good , therefore , God must also be reasonable. He must be based on truth. A God that requires no conflict with natural law to believe in. That is the God for which the Church of Socrates was created and the conditions for which it should always seek to strive for.
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