1. Finding something that is worse does not make a bad thing good. (I
derived that in the US recent election's 'schmier'-campaign: proving that
the 'other' candidate is a crook does not make the 'prover' electable)
2. those 'intellectual achievements' in the US are done by a quite
negligible portion of the generally(!) uneducated, brute and superstitious,
high hatted population - now I tried to "label", as I feel you did that in
And 'post enlightened' Europe is no better. Allegedly in post- WWII Germany
there were sorceress-processes and recently in Hungary nazi-demonstrations.
Not to mention the Balkans..
Every country (nation?!) has its excellence and its trash.
I loved the 'reason' for the demise of the dinosaurs.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:40 PM
Subject: RE: Natural Order & Belief
I can see and basically agree with your point, but I was specifically
of fundamentalist Protestant Christians, who make the Catholic Church look
reasonable by comparison. It may be easy to ignore them in most countries,
but in the US they are anything but an irrelevant fringe group. This has
puzzled me because whatever other criticisms one may make of America, the
quality and quantity of her intellectual achievements cannot be denied.
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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.
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