From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: Re: Theology (was in-between-times)
Date: 5 August 2005 10:44:38 PM
On 04/08/2005, at 11:44 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Only if it can never be proven. The trick is to NEVER believe that it can never be proven!
If COMP one day turns out to be true then it's not theological anymore, it's logical. I'm assuming an equivalence of meaning here in the use of the terms "theological" and "metaphysical" in dealing with assumptions. Of course, if quantum computers turn out to work in the specified manner, then MWI is proven and there never was anything metaphysical going on. Whether or not that is seen as reliable proof of COMP remains to be seen
The danger, that Alan guards against, lies in STARTING from the metaphysical/theological viewpoint. But this of course makes it extremely hard to deal with all these assumptions out in the open (as you say).
I certainly do not hold that scientists are somehow free of the ravages of belief. In science, one's beliefs are always smuggled in through the back door - hence Einstein's famous "God does not play dice with the universe". He meant it quite as much as a statement of religious faith as a refutation of QM (and I do not believe Einstein would have considered himself offtopic either)
Yes of course, but again if it turns out to be physically real or at least possible (testable), why do we need the metaphysics? What if the "soul" turns out to be the summation of the "amplitude of your minds" to use Herwig's words, spread across the multiverse? I can cope with that notion under the banner of the real, the possible. No star in the east, no burning bushes - just a mind-blowing real possibility
The exciting part surely in what they do is to bypass the theology altogether. It's simply an unnecessary explanatory step. Truth really is stranger than fiction. Theology would try to reference everything to the Bible - see next
I feel it is the other way around. Politics is belief or spirituality in action. What we believe authors what we do, sets up what we call "moral". The supposed split between the Church and the State is as much nonsense today as it was in the Middle Ages. Law is ultimately rooted in adherence to a moral framework, so belief in values, morals etc precedes politics, indeed gives rise to it
Most look to their past for a continuing mandate and thus fall back on their laurels. There is not enough futuristic stuff in theology. It's usually about why things have to be NOW the way they are because of something that happened way back THEN. COMP is exciting because it offers the possibility of "future" conditioning of "past" events. Religious thinking is not really up to this
Yet, Plato was a truly fascist thinker. He admired Sparta, a fascist state - and built this power-structure thing into his vision of what a Republic was. Let's not forget that. He believed in slavery. This surely is of interest in looking at the theological aspects of the neo-platonist tradition? He claimed a form of reality for ideas that is based on "mathematical reality" - essentially a yes-no, right-wrong information system - at least in its everyday implementation. This was extrapolated as the search for "truth". According to Socrates (or Plato more likely as all we know of Socrates words comes via Plato's ) - all you had to do was get rid of all error and then you are left with the truth. But this is nonsense. Life is not a mathematical problem. Usually the cause of all "error" is human nature. This is a very difficult cause to remove.
It's hard not to extrapolate to the world around here. Many religious scholars are standing up for their beliefs right now in a very public way. Islamic scholars have the direct ear of government. In this way, belief systems can quickly author actions if required.
If by "seriousness in theology" you allow that everything in a belief system may be subject to a complete makeover or update to a more contemporary way of expressing and dealing with issues then I am not against it at all. Everything has to change in the universe, so why does belief remain stuck in Sunday school? Going back to the Bible to justify everything is how the social manipulators work because God spoke to man in a way that requires interpretation and that can be exploited
Like I said - scientists have their beliefs; they just don't talk about them. Most don't talk about them even to themselves and that's the biggest worry. It's impossible not to act out of belief because we know when we are doing something we do not believe in. You cannot lie to yourself. I do not think science pretends to be reaching the truth because if that happens we all have to shut up and go to bed because there is nothing left to talk about.
Yes. But doesn't Occam's razor eliminate some things here? Or, doesn't Occam show up when God is around?
I think the Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock came closest. The Earth may yet convince us that she exists through repeated attempts to destroy the human plague with natural catastrophe and severe weather. We take a lot of convincing, don't we?
Except where they provide intellectual justification for people to strap bombs on themselves etc.
Then it is a very silly situation then. We should dismiss all scientists' claims until we can be certain of their dogma. You can see why they try to avoid talking about it