Manifesto 3 is an answer to a question generated by Manifesto 2, which perhaps unintentionally heads towards the question "why are we here?".
Paraphrasing, but conserving the meaning: Can God Improve?
Quite obviously, the answer is no. Does this negate the omnipotence of God? No. Why not? From Manifesto 2, we saw the necessity of being able to define a point in order to discuss it. While we can define "improve", the concept of improvement regarding the infinite is undefined. Asking a theologian if God can improve himself is equivalent to asking a mathematician what happens if you add 10 to infinity. Since the concepts "improvable" and "omnipotent" are mutual negating concepts, we're back to asking if God can make X = Not X, which he cannot do because it is undefinable.
But this is a bit different. The concept of God improving may be undefinable, but the concept of improvement is not, just as in math, an infinite number cannot experience increase, but a finite number can. So here we have a very real experience that God, being omnipotent, cannot directly experience.
I may be going out on a limb here, but this is my own belief: There are real experiences and real concepts that are "out of bounds" for God, because God is infinite and therefore these things are not within the realm of the definable for him. Yet, these things have inherrent value. God cannot improve, but wishes improvement to exist. In my view, that is what we are here for. We are the manifestations of God's desire for improvement.
Consider the whole idea of the creation of the universe, in whatever theology you wish. Before there was anything, there was the desire on the part of God for it to exist. On may therefore infer that given a choice between two different conditions, one being God exists and nothing else, and the second being God and a manifest universe exist, God chose the latter. If we accept the idea that God is also infallibly benevolent, it logically follows that the second condition is morally better than the first, because God chose it. Therefore there is SOME quality that present in the material universe that is inherrently Good, but not present (or definable) in God alone. That something, I beleive, is the capability to improve.
Or it may not be. There are a whole host of things we can do which are not definable for God. We can maintain hope in the face of doubt. We can persevere through fear. We can choose even though the choices are ambiguous. We can learn, develop, explore. All of these things are undefinable for an Omnipotent God. A God who can know and do anything can never understand what it is like to be afraid. he can know what it is like, but he cannot BE afraid, and that is an ineffabl different thing. Since we are here, and we can do these things, it stands to reason that these things are our purpose.
God can have ethics. Man can develop ethics. We could have been created with absolute ethical knowledge, but then, if there was something inherrently valuable about the journey, we'd miss it.
It's all about the Philosophical Motion. The journey. There is something unique and wonderful and precious to God not in the destination or the route or the automobile or the engine or the road of life, but in the fact that we are experiencing the Motion that he cannot.
One of the dangers of fundamentalist religions is that they attemtp to squash all motion. "Here in our holy book, properly interpreted by us and us alone, is everything you need to know". If you beleive that, then there is no point to our existence- God could have just as easily created the whole universe as we know it and equipped us all with the absolute knowledge in his book.
Instead, we plow ahead with incomplete answers. We can't solve all the ethical problems yet- and that's a GOOD thing- it means that the journey we are on isn't over yet, and we can still improve.
Are there real, genuine, universal ethical principles? Or are we creating them as we go along? There is no real answer to this. Perhaps we are the Universe's way of generating real ethical principles.
What is the value of human life? We don't know. What is the point of Ethics? We don't know. If the point of Ethics is merely "the greatest good to the greatest number" as some have claimed, would it be acceptable to torture an innocent person to death if it made a lot of people happy? The answer seems clearly "No" but on the other hand, fundamentalist Christianity is based on God doing this very thing.
I beleive that there is a real value in the Motion, the process of improvement, growth, and development that God alone cannot experience, and therefore, those ethical systems that permit and enhance this Motion are morally superior to those that do not.
I beleive that Western Civilization best approximates the system of values which allow for this Motion. Our ideals support free expression, variety of ideas, and