Le 31-juil.-05, à 03:13, Kim Jones wrote (just before the thread was
Theology concerns itself with the "mechanism" of belief.
What is the mechanism of belief?
It acts like a filter, or a pair of tinted glasses if you will.
Belief is that way of looking at reality that reinforces that way of
looking at reality. Is that scientific?
No. But then your definition of theology is perhaps a little bit to
much a contingent matter.
Perhaps the word "theology" has too many connotations. I explain below
why I do think that, despite its heavy historical background, it could
still be the less misleading word.
Any assessment of supposed objective rigour in ANY form of
theological thinking - be it "total unrigorous manipulative pseudo-
theology" or even the usual kind of theology taught to the average
working cleric has to be seen in the light of this comment.
The FOR book, Everett formulation of QM, and my own work rely on the
computationalist hypothesis. Is this not a "theological" assumption? Is
this not a belief in a form of survival after a form of possible death?
A belief that I can survive with an artificial body can be seen as an
argument for the ability of the "soul" to be independent of its body.
Those cases also illustrate the possibility of some theological
assumptions about which we can reason. As Deutsch and Tipler do, it
seems to me.
Theology wants to limit the field of ideas because theology is the
traditional gate-keeper of the intellect of organised religion.
It is not because 99% of the theologians, and this 99% of the time, are
under the control of political organization (like science sometimes,
somewhere: ex: genetic in Soviet Union), that we should dismiss the
anyone heard of an organised religion that is gagging for new
thinking, new ideas???
Come on. The jewish commentaries, the scolastic christians, The Muslim
neoplatonist, the Hinduism school, the taoist schools, the buddhist
schools: all have been open some long time to critical argumentations
and improvements. Hinduism and Buddhism have even had quite
sophisticate internal school of logic.
Look at the neo-platonist tradition: quite a long and sincere
argumentation. It still exists today everywhere on the planet, even if
it is hidden by the media politically correct cacophonia.
Theology has an unspoken brief to limit the field of ideas to what
the powerbrokers in organised religions long ago decided was
But organised religion, like organised academy, should be separate from
the original intent.
The same is true for philosophy.
Science (and hopefully philosophy if it can keep up) will usually
seek to enlarge and populate the field of ideas with anything and
everything necessary to understand reality.
But by preventing seriousness in theology and its related questions,
you make yourself an objective ally of those who want "theology" to be
kept in the hand of social manipulators.
And the worst is that this attitude encourages a wrong understanding of
science, like if science was answering (or even tackling) those
questions, which for methodological reasons only, it does not. It makes
science a peculiar theology : one which pretend to reach the truth. Is
that not a form of arrogance?
Is not naturalism a religion? Is not the "primitive universe" or
"Nature" just a "Modern God"?
After all, as I just recall in my preceding post, nobody has given a
proof of the existence of Nature. Even Aristotle, as I begin to
suspect, has been much more cautious on the existence of Nature than
most of its followers.
I have no problem with scientists and theologians. I have problem with
any dogma, both when used in science or in theology. But today,
dogmatic theologians are less annoying than dogmatic scientists,
because the dogmatic scientists pretend having no dogma, making dialog
on fundamental open questions even more difficult I'm afraid.
On 31/07/2005, at 2:42 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
The problem is that if the "scientist" dismiss some fundamental
questions, they will be tackled by those who will use some urgency
feeling related to them to to do "total unrigorous manipulative
pseudo-theology", so that the scientist will say "you see, let us keep
those things under the carpet". Your negative attitude is unfounded
self-fulfilling, I'm afraid.