Bruno wrote:

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 agree largely.

I think the correct distinction to make between what people seem to mean wrt the religion/science dispute is between 'recieved wisdom' and 'reasoned wisdom'.

Religion and theology begin to encroach on liberty when the wisdom is 'recieved'. When things are true 'because that is how it is written'. It leaves little space for question or change.

Theology takes on a different character in the hands of a Descartes because he reasons for his ideas. In doing so he opens himself up for criticism and refutation. We can analyse his methodology and deductive accuracy.

Science can and does adopt sometimes a 'received' methodology. There is a prevailing world view, a chauvanism towards certain methodologies. A bias towards rewarding certain research projects over others. There seems to be little understanding that paradigmatic shifts in science often come from left field. Theories are judged to an extent on how well they fit in to the current model - however many difficulties that model is encountering.

As you point out, many ideas here have mystical consequences really. They are reasoned for however. Whilst life after death is common to many religious and philsophical models, in those presented here we can see how the conclusions are arrived at and why.

For me thats a critical difference.

rom: Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
CC: Everything-List List <>
Subject: Theology (was in-between-times)
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 15:44:07 +0200

Le 31-juil.-05, à 03:13, Kim Jones wrote (just before the thread was censored).

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. No? 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 original questioning.

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 permissable

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.


Kim Jones

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.

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