Hi Benjamin,

Bruno, list,

I've looked over Bruno's recent replies and, though I don't understand much about Bruno's work or modal logic, etc., I wish to attempt a few general remarks.

If Bruno is, as he puts it, "[searching for] a general name for a field which studies fundamental type of faith, hope, fear, bets, etc.," then there are set of Ancient Greek words like _pistis_ (faith, belief, confidence), _pistos_ (confident, faithful), _pisteuticos_ (deserving of faith or belief), etc. So he could call it Pistics (sounds awful in English, though, because of that to which it sound similar) or Pisteutics, etc. Or maybe there's some form of this word with a prefix which would make it sound less like, well, um, "piss" plus a suffix, and, having considered it, I do think that that's an issue. Ancient Greek is too unfamiliar to me, otherwise I'd try to come up with such a word myself, keeping in mind the next paragraph:

Well thanks. Pistology perhaps? I must say I like to use already existing terms, but I am still trying to understand why people seems so negative for the term "theology" ... I do think, perhaps unmodestly, that my approach belongs to the Classical Platonic Theology from Pythagoras to Proclus. (Of course Pythagoras comes before Plato but can be considered as its one of its main important precursor.)

What kind of belief? The focus in religion and theology on faith, belief, etc., seems (e.g., in "Credo quia absurdum") to arise from a stubbornness in the belief despite resultant seemingly contradictory or inadequate interpretations and understandings, and despite seemingly contradictory or inadequate confirmations, corroborations, knowledge ("knowledge" in the everyday sense).

Even just with the quantum hyp., or more deeply (I think) with just the comp hyp. I would say that we can say the same things about the notion of matter, or the notion of a primitive or primordial universe. ... Except that it is far more "easier" (cf UDA) to explain the epistemological contradictory nature of "matter" than of "God", which I take as being PERHAPS just a more general notion of reality, like our common (with comp) unnameable ignorance, or even the Platonico-Aristotelian notion of Self, etc. Today's physics take for granted implicitly a major part of Aristotle theology: the religious idea of Nature, and the idea of linking souls to bodies in some one-one manner.

This is a special kind of belief, not the most general kind, and we tend to distinguish it in English by calling it "faith" though "faith" does have other meanings. It tends to be motivated by valuations not pertaining primarily to investigating and establishing the character of the world. For Bruno, the question is, does he mean a kind of belief which, howsoever motivated, is stubborn? (in the face of resultant contradictory or inadequate understandings and in the face of contradictory "knowledge" or inadequate knwledge). For what it's worth, I think that the name most suitable will have the meaning!
  of this kind of belief.

You don't need to be stubborn to belief (or hope) in God, especially if you are willing to take seriously pre-christian theology. Of course if you define God by a white male senior sitting on a cloud, it seems to me reasonable to suppose some level of stubbornness indeed.

Are religion and theism just about belief? Maybe I'm wrong, because there's a lot of background here on the everything-list threads that I don't understand, so maybe I'm interpreting things in the wrong light, but there seems to be a tendency here to regard religion as if it were fundamentally a cognitive discipline -- as if it consisted in a set of cognitive beliefs about facts.

Not at all. I would say the driving force is just truth, or even Truth. Then the theology of machine is entirely dependant of the gap between proof and truth, which you can seen as a gap between cognitive ability and the Truth. Perhaps I am just talking in a premature way, and I should explain more on the Godel-Lob provability-truth gap (G* \ G). Note that the "Truth About-a-Lobian-Machine" is an unnameable notion BY the lobian machine, and it verifies my favorite axiom of "..." which is that it has no name. Note that I am not identifying God with Truth or with the Self. But in the whole family of Platonic thought, such notion are frequently related.

Religion has been many things and in some societies has taken many forms in being involved in every aspect of life. But the core toward which it seems sometimes to retrench, seems to be affectivity and valuing with regard to decision-making, power, submission, governance and self-governance -- including valuing with regard to the greatest powers in one's life and in the universe.

Science too, including affectivity, at least in practice.

(All the same, I fully admit that religion can get involved quite widely, in valuings with regard to competence and work, and with regard to feelings and gratifications, and with regard to cognition and knowledge -- and, also, it can get involved in a variety of cognitively based disciplines with regard to those just-listed subjects, so as to influence, e.g., education and community planning, productive arts, affective arts {painting, literature, music, drama, cinema, etc., etc.} and, among the maths and sciences, cosmology, as well; and religion can get involved in the arenas -- political, economic, cultural, discussional, and in non-conflictual practices of corresponding kinds.)

Why do we associate religion especially with stubborn beliefs and certain disputed issues of fact?

Because in our civilisation religion has been jeopardised by the state and politics. From something which is supposed to free your mind, it has become a tool for manipulating anybody. But this for me is a reason to come back to the original questioning and faith/hope, and then the comp theology (G*) can explain why the "Truth" can only be find in ourselves, and why the Lobian machine is 100% allergic to any form of authoritative argument.

At the core of most of those things which we'd call religion in the strict sense, the sense in which the word "religion" is usually meant when the context is vague, are claims of miracles, miraculous powers in impassioned settings. Civilization tends to ask of religion that it renounce compulsion, tampering and interference, and provocation, but has tended in some cases to leave the improbable unsupported claims about facts more or less alone.

Well, I do agree, except that this is not really theology or religion, it is "theology or religion" betrayed by "politicians" in the context of a complex human history. Imagine a country-civilisation where anyone daring to say that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with the sides of that square is exiled if not tortured, and this during centuries. I can imagine people being tired with the very idea of mathematics, but is that a reason to abandon mathematics, or even the term "mathematics"? I would say such an abandon would be a victory for the dishonest manipulating politicians.

For one thing, many of us who are not religious tend to recognize that we really don't know much about religion and society, we really don't know that much about how religion may be needed in society -- we look at all the bloody religious history and at all the civilizing influence which major religions have exerted as well and don't know quite what to make of it all. Those of us who live far from academic communities are well aware that ! religion has roles in filling gaps in in the everyday lives of many around us. That's us non-religious types. Most people in civilization are more or less religious. Anyway, this variously hesitant, ambivalent, and belligerent confrontation with religion's ill supported claims about facts may tend to create the impression among some that this is what religion is about -- those cognitive beliefs standing unconquered by, and outside of and sometimes opposed to, science.

The idea I would like to develop is that G is (self) -science, G* is (self)-theology. At least G* warns us that if we put G* in science, that would make us inconsistent, and that would lead us to many problems, most probably of the bloody type.

But it's not at all everything that religion, or theism, monotheism, polytheism, etc. are about. (There is a kind of philosophical "panpsychism" which tends to be more cognitive in aim, but that's the exception). And in fact the secularist-religious conflicts ongoing today are about all that further stuff, and not just about the particular factual issues which sometimes are made their arena.

I think this comes from the use of religion as collective identity labels. That is why 99% of religious pseufo-beliefs are just inheritated by children from their parents. We got a religion like we got an identity cart almost. This is contingent.

So, again, I think that Bruno needs a name that carries the meaning of a kind of belief, and not one that just says "God."

But I just say "theology". Then most people say that "theology" is related to God, but I take it as related to Truth, whatever it is. In Plato it is the science of Gods, and eventually of form of transcendence. With the comp hyp, the diagonalizations lead to a precise form of transcendence incarnated into the gap between G (provable provability logic) and G* (true provability logic). Perhaps I should talk in term of a "toy theology", but then, remember it is testable.

One added note: "Agnosticism" originally meant holding that it can't be known whether God exists -- "un-knowledge-ism".

I would be interested if you could give me some links or references. I was using "agnosticism" in what I think is the modern sense of the world (to distinguish it from atheism). Plotinus has been confronted with a sceptical school pretending that human cannot pretend to access to true knowledge (including possible knowledge of God). That school is called "Gnosticism", curiously enough.

It is still used, I think, by some in that sense. Anyway, earlier in philosophical and theological traditions it was used in that sense. Many also use it to mean that one is simply unsure -- I don't know whether God exists, but maybe you do, etc. There one simultanously suspects and doubts that God exists, i.e., neither believes nor disbelieves, but has some awareness of the question and treats it as suitable for belief-attitudes.

Yes that's it. And it is transparent with the use of modal logic.
The "religious" believer:   Bg    (He believes in the existence of God)
The "atheistic believer": B~g (He believes in the non-existence of God) The "agnostic": ~Bg & ~B~g (He does not believes in the existence of God and he does not believe in the non existence of God).

Of course in that sense you can be agnostic for many reasons: because you don't care, because you are waiting for more (positive or negative) evidences, or because nobody explains you in what sense the term God could possibly be used, etc. I do think that the scientific attitude is agnostic, not only relatively to God notions, but to anything big, like universe(s), or ... "everything".



Reply via email to