Bruno Marchal wrote:
> 
> 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

I think the difference in attitude is because you take theology to mean a study 
of the metaphysical basis of the world.  This is a very broad interpretation of 
the word.  The "theo" refers to a "God", an immortal person of great power and 
"theism" refers to belief that such a person exists and should be worshipped 
and answers prayers.  I think you will agree that this is so improbable as not 
to be seriously entertained.  Stretching the meaning to encompass all study of 
fundamental metaphysics strikes me as intellectually dishonest; mere 
appeasement of the religious powers that be.

Brent Meeker

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