Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Le 16-nov.-06, à 18:40, Brent Meeker a écrit :
>> I think the difference in attitude is because you take theology to 
>> mean a study of the metaphysical basis of the world.
> I don't understand the word "metaphysics". I would call the study of 
> the basis of the world: "science", or perhaps "theology" if we include 
> the fact (provable for the lobian machine) that just believing in a 
> world needs faith, where faith is defined by the belief in unprovable 
> proposition.
>>  This is a very broad interpretation of the word.
> Sure. Sometimes I define theology by the science of the questions which 
> science cannot answer. With (a)comp this makes sense thanks to Godel's 
> theorem. Science can study its limitations (and from uda, those 
> limitations imposed verifiable empirical constraints).
>>  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 ...
> Historically the "theo" was referring to gods, by the greek 
> intellectuals. From their writing you can see that "gods" could refer 
> to "concepts" as well as images to figure out abstract recurring 
> patterns in mind and nature.

I don't see that in their writings - although I rely on translators, since I 
don't read Greek.  Can you cite a source for this opinion.

But it has not so referred for over a thousand years.  So I wonder why you want 
to use it in this non-standard way.

> The occidental destiny of theology, unfortunately, has been the same 
> than the fate of "genetics" in the USSR. Being more easily refutable, 
> Lyssenko marxiste genetics has been quickly the cause of one of the 
> bigger humanly caused famine occurring on this planet, so this fake 
> genetics did not survive. On the contrary "theology", after the Roman 
> makes it into an institution, well, it is still taboo today. So the 
> genetics affair lasts some years, but the theology-affair lasts about 
> 3/2 millenia. The result is not only bad for theology, but it is bad 
> for science as well, because it makes science itself partially fake on 
> the fundamental questions. A lot of scientist today still believe the 
> mind-body problem is a false problem, just to give one example.
> But the situation is not so desperate. Many christian theologians are 
> serious, and the christians, like the jewish and the muslims, will save 
> a big part of the greek theology and questioning. 

The very fact that you nominate them "christian", "jewish", and "muslim" tells 
me they are not searches for the truth, but apologists for a faith.

>Like in USSR, 
> authoritative constraints have not entirely wipe out the questioning 
> attitude, and some theologian have been able to even use those 
> constraints in some creative way (like artists in the USSR). And then 
> since council Vatican II most catholic have come back to the "fides 
> *and* ratio" principle (faith restricted to reason). It is presently 
> the main (if not the only tool) to fight against fundamentalism (of any 
> kind).
>> ...  I think you will agree that this is so improbable as not to be 
>> seriously entertained.
> OK for that. But if you look carefully at most religious text, 

It doesn't matter how closely you look at most religious texts I've seen here - 
they very much assume and endorse the big Daddy in the bye-and-bye.

>the idea 
> of a nameable pray-able god, is *the* big theological mistake.

Are you saying that in Belgium the Catholic priests don't teach that there is a 
name-able, pray-able god because they recognize it's a mistake?  It is my 
impression that the Catholic church not only promotes the God of Abraham, but 
has created a whole pantheon of saints who are immortal and to whom one should 
pray.  There's even a book telling you which saint is in charge of real estate 
sales and which to pray to when gardening.

>> Stretching the meaning to encompass all study of fundamental 
>> metaphysics strikes me as intellectually dishonest; mere appeasement 
>> of the religious powers that be.
> You would be right if "pagan theology" was still existing today. 

You mean like this:

> today, the "scientist" are still appeasing much more the religious 
> power than ever, by letting them, and only them, to address the 
> life/death/mind fundamental questions.

I don't agree that scientists are letting only the religious address the 
fundamental life/death questions.  That was the approach of Stephen J. Gould 
and it amounts to appeasement.  But more and more scientists like Dawkins, 
Dennett, Stenger, Pinker, and Harris are challenging the moral monopoloy of 

> Our third person sharable future will be theological. 

Alas, I agree.  I doubt that a majority of people will abandon their myths that 
make them the center of the universe.  Religion is ubiquitous - science is rare.

Brent Meeker

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