# Re: Theology (was in-between-times)

```Bruno wrote:

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```Here I deeply believed that just teaching logic could help people.
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Well I think you are right. Its a discipline.

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Indeed, once you understandenough logic you understand that even in mathematics, few "text" can have an univocal interpretation and it helps you to be cautious in front of any "literal" interpretation of any text.
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yes. I think there are problems of interpretation in all fields of enquiry. Lets distinguish between 'interpretations' that are handed down, and accidental interpretations that were wrong, or misleading ala Pythagoras's definition of a point, which I understand led to stagnation in geometry for some time. The two are different in the sense that the latter is open to change when the problem is established and understood.
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Futhermore, with regards to formal logic, there is some controversy over how logical operators should be interpreted I gather. Indeed whilst it is possible to derive all operators from just one (Sheffer's I think), and thus reason to think that this operator is fundamental in some way, its interpretation however is clearly a combination of 'english' operators. There doesnt appear to be a strict isomorphism between language and logic.
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```Note that before Descartes some other were reasoning nicely to.
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Ofcourse. Where there are homosapiens, you will no doubt find decent reasoning.
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Note that Descartes miss logic, due to the exaggeration of many "scholastic" logicians, but he is really a good reasoner (which by the way shows we don't need logic to be a good reasoner).
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I think Descartes is much maligned actually. Sure, his attempt to rebuild the world from the cogito fails, but his theology and philosophy really just form a tiny part of his oevre. His work in analytical geometry is testament to how good a mathematician he was. His study of algebra and curves has been of unquestionable use to the world.
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Actually I don't believe in science at all. I believe just in honest and curious people capable of trying to make clear and sharable their ideas and works.
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Knowledge by any means! I think knowledge in science has a pragmatic definition. Ideally, a theory has authority over its field to the degree to which it is of use. More predictive theories replace older ones, whether or not the older ones strictly speaking have been falsified. (Newton vs. Einstein). I follow the argument Hilary Putnam makes in 'The "Corroboration" of Theories', that intertheoretic dependency renders falsifiability impossible for most theories. I certainly agree with Feyerabend, and many others, that scientists usually dont (and shouldnt) worry about falsifiability too much. Given they shouldnt, and dont, it becomes somewhat fustrating to see epirical falsification wielded as some great method other disciplines ignore. So do scientists very often.
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The point is that there isnt a 'unique' method that garauntees futhering knowledge. There are many ways of understanding, and many ways of enquiring. How much did relative space/time as concept cost compared to the non descovery of the Higgs Boson?
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Regards Chris.

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```From: Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "chris peck" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
CC: everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Theology (was in-between-times)
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 12:16:56 +0200

Le 04-août-05, à 18:11, chris peck a écrit :

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```Bruno wrote:

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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.
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I agree largely.

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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'.
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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.
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I agree. Thanks for mentioning this important point. Here I deeply believed that just teaching logic could help people. Indeed, once you understand enough logic you understand that even in mathematics, few "text" can have an univocal interpretation and it helps you to be cautious in front of any "literal" interpretation of any text.
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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.
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Absolutely. Note that before Descartes some other were reasoning nicely to. I am tring to have a better understanding of the thread Plato, Plotin, Proclus and other neo-platonists. Note that Descartes miss logic, due to the exaggeration of many "scholastic" logicians, but he is really a good reasoner (which by the way shows we don't need logic to be a good reasoner).
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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.
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Yes.

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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.
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Exactly. An expression like "quantum immortality" *is* theological. To negate this consists in making science not only theological again, but dogmatically so!
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For me thats a critical difference.
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I rarely share opinions with "post-modernist" and other "deconstructivists", but I do share with some of them the idea that the frontier between fields are biological-cultural, just locally useful, constructions. Actually I don't believe in science at all. I believe just in honest and curious people capable of trying to make clear and sharable their ideas and works. Some gardiners and parapsychologist(*) can be more rigorous than mathematician and physicists. It is really a question of attitude.
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(*) I am thinking to that chef-d'oeuvre of science: "In search of the Light" by Suzanne Blackmore (much more rigorous than her more recent book on Memes, actually). The original discovery that lucid dreaming can be tested in laboratory (in a third person verifiable way) has been done by a parapsychologist (Hearne). The scientific community will gives the credit to a neuroscientist and mathematician though, Laberge, when he (re)published the results in "scientific" journal. Some mathematician acts like Pavlov Dog. They dismiss any text has non serious if some words appears in it, like "mind", "quantum" (sic). Empirically I have discovered that engineers are most of the time more open to serious reasoning on fundamental questions. In science they still exist "popes", and truth need to wait they leaves the planet to progress. I am not alluding to anything personal here, but what I say is clear from any books on the history of sciences.
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Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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