Posted by: John Vandivier | June 9, 2013

God’s Will as Objective Utility and Interpretive Proof

Under traditional economics utility is subjective. Under CAE we discern between personal and objective utility. Personal utility is classical economic utility or personal preference. Objective utility is defined in two ways and the two ways will always yield the same result. The first definition of objective utility is the subjective preference of the objective reference frame, God. The second definition of objective utility comes from the idea that there is a perfect allocation. If that perfect allocation were to be achieved then the subjective utilities of all individuals would be equivalent to their objective utilities. Similarly, if a perfect economic allocation were to be achieved then subjective market valuations would be equivalent to objective valuations.

In this sense CAE establishes intrinsic value where the intrinsic value of a good is 1) God’s value of that good and 2) The value of that good in the perfect economic allocation, where point # 1 = point # 2. 2 is equivalent to the long run in traditional economics. The fact that point # 1 = point # 2 is a fundamental assumption of CAE and it is the Invisible Hand Axiom which states:

In the long run the reality will self-optimize and the self-optimized state reflects the will of God.

What is God’s will? What is the correct interpretation of Christianity? These are interestingly not a questions which CAE directly answers. Instead we operate under the presumption that the market forces which act upon economic systems also act upon us and our beliefs. Just as the economy will self-optimize in the long run under free market conditions we also believe that the interpretation of a normalized market professing proper interpretation will approach a perfect interpretation under free market conditions. In fact CAE posits that reality will self-optimize. This is not limited to economics nor to belief systems but includes politics and all other systems.

This highlights the importance of several things. First CAE is a post-free market economic discipline. Many of the requirements of free market economics are vital to CAE including perfect information. Similar to Austrian School economics, or thymology to be more precise, CAE works with the concept of teleology in order to produce action axioms as well. Another thing highlighted is the concept of the Church in CAE. In CAE the Church is a market comprised of Christians. There is the Apparent Church which is the aggregate of all people claiming Christianity and there is the Real Church which is comprised of those people who are actually Christians. The Real Church is an important concept in CAE because the idea is that in the long run the Real Church will form the proper interpretation of Christianity. Lastly are the two concepts of the human condition and interpretive proof.

The CAE Human Condition Axiom states that individual people have the imperfect ability to correctly ascertain, process and enact information. Processing includes storing, retaining, recalling and synthesizing among others. What this means is that no person on their own is thought to be able to have a perfect interpretation under CAE. However we can and should try to correctly interpret as this allows the market to work better. One tool for interpretation is the interpretive proof, which, as just explained, doesn’t mean that anyone who accomplishes a proof isn’t possibly wrong. It is simply one method of interpretation and should be used alongside other hermeneutic methods. In my next post I will do an example proof but in this post I will explain how it works. The interpretation is proven when it “comes full circle.”

An interpretation is said to have come full circle when it is taken from observation and verified by observation, although the same observations needn’t, and perhaps shouldn’t in order to avoid circular reasoning, be used. Let’s say I want to prove that a proper interpretation of Christianity is that we should pursue traditional marriage. On the one hand I can look at countries around the world and see that they have superior economies when they have a prevalence of traditional marriage. This is a one-handed proof and it provides evidence that traditional marriage is a component of a superior economy. The superiority demonstrates something of God’s will. God’s will is that reality be allocated more like a traditional marriage-based society than like the average society. When we provide evidence for a characteristic of the optimized reality, and that characteristic is advocated by a particular morality, we say that we have a “left-handed proof” of God’s will being in accordance with a particular morality.

It should be noticed that claiming God’s will is consistent with personal morality is related to Divine Command Theory, the Epicurean Paradox, and a variety of other topics. Those discussions are for another time.

While a left-handed proof is based on secular data, a “right-handed proof” is based on observation of exclusively Christian sources. Reading the Bible is one example of observing an exclusively Christian source. If we come up with an explanatory interpretation using the Bible then we have a “right-handed” interpretation. In order to verify that interpretation we must test it against the left hand and against extra-biblical data.

When the left handed interpretation is consistent with the right handed interpretation we have completed a CAE Interpretive Proof. I will conduct an example of such a proof in my next post.



  1. […] This is an essential presupposition in caeconomics. It is a economics-specific application of the Invisible Hand Axiom to say that a moral good is also an economic good and therefore prevalence of a certain kind of […]

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