Le 16-nov.-06, à 13:59, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

>
>
> Bruno,
>
> I suspect you can talk about God in this way when the subject of 
> atheism
> comes up because you live in post-Enlightenment Europe.


It is a difficult subject, perhaps a bit out of topics or premature, 
but I do not believe so much in the enlightenment in Europe. It has 
been a very partial "enlightenment" ...




>  But if you lived in
> a certain large English-speaking country where a substantial 
> proportion of
> the population believe that God created Adam and Eve 6000 years ago and
> the dinosaurs died out because they didn't fit on Noah's ark, you 
> might be less
> keen to suggest anything that might be construed as supporting theism.


I live in one of the most catholic country in the world, with some 
island of atheism, but both catholics and atheists believe agnosticism 
(which is imo the best scientist methodology)  is a mental disease. 
Actually atheists are even far more dogmatic than educated christians, 
but, ok,  indeed few people here would take Adam and Eve for real 
history.


But now, I do believe that if today so many people here and there 
believe "seriously" in religious legends or dogma, this is due to the 
fact that the scientific attitude in theology has been successfully 
banished from the academy since a long time. It is because "theology" 
is no more taken seriously that obscurity and superstition develop 
itself in the religious realm. Under the (neo)platonist, you have to 
pass exams in advanced mathematics, astronomy, music before entering 
the theology field. If we continue to forbid or discourage the 
rationalist attitude in theology, then unfounded theology and 
superstition will continue to reign, and ... many will use this to say 
we have to continue to forbid rationalism in it. I think we should cut 
that loop. If we don't,  it is because "naturalism" or "physicalism" or 
"materialism" is the new (fake) religion with new "Gods" like the 
physical universe (a concept which does not explain a lot, and which is 
not clear at all once you take the fundamental question seriously, this 
should be clear with the UDA and any serious reasoning on the mind body 
problem).

An honest scientist should admit that we are still very ignorant on 
most fundamental questions.  Today it is politically correct to be open 
minded toward any religion and belief system. I think we should on the 
contrary be more demanding in rigor, in all inquiry fields.

My father (who was working in the law) told me once that it is much 
more important to be rigorous in the human science than in exact 
science.
Indeed, an error in the exact science leads quickly to a catastrophe 
(from the rejected paper, to the explosion of the laboratory ...) so 
that you learn quickly. An error in the human science could lead to 
millenaries of useless suffering if not longer.

Do you see what I am trying to say? I understand Colin's feeling of 
being fed up with religion, I am too. But I react differently because I 
think that the widespread superstitions really are due to the fact that 
we are not taking seriously enough the fundamental matters.

Recall that for me SCIENCE = DOUBT. When I say we should be serious in 
theology, it means we should develop and encourage that doubting 
attitude in theology. This is not incompatible with faith. But it is 
incompatible with any form of blind faith, brainwashings, etc.

Bruno

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


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