On 01 May 2009, at 08:53, Kim Jones wrote:

> Perhaps atheism is necessary as a stepping stone to a more correct
> theology?

Ah ah, I see that you want to provoke me :)

Hard to say, I am discovering that many atheist websites adopt a new  
definition of atheism, making it a form of agnosticism. This differs  
from the atheist living in my neighborhood who dismiss agnosticism as  
a coward form of atheism.

So just to fix the thing, I assume you are talking on the real  
atheist, those who have the faith in the non existence of God. OK.
And by God I assume the Judeo-Islamo-Christiano God, to fix the thing,  
all right? (obviously there are nuances there)

> Materialistic atheism is not irrational, being on the side
> of reason,

Who says that?

> but it may be illogical,

It may be wrong. Because it is an assertion. (Illogical or invalid  
bears on reasonings or proofs)

> given the advanced view of reality
> we are adopting on this list that challenges the myth of a hard
> material substratum.
> Nevertheless
> I can see a distinct need for this illogicality.
> de Bono says that the mind goes from equilibrium to equilibrium which
> means we only ever see/perceive what the mind is prepped by belief to
> see.
> The mind craves stable states - we cope very badly with change we
> ourselves are not controlling or desiring
> We literally cannot see what we do not already possess some kind of
> belief/theory/hypothesis/guess etc. about
> that's the magnificent thing about hominid minds - they're able to
> "make sense" of anything at all; without this faculty we wouldn't have
> gotten this far

In Hobson theory of dream, the dreams result from quasi random  
information generated by the cerebral stem into the cortex, and the  
cortex would just create meanings from that information. The Ganzfeld  
procedure shows also how much the brain can generate meaning from  
random inputs:


You are right I think, it is a fundamental ability. Note also the  
experiments made by Penfield: you can't trig (electrically) a brain so  
that someone loose its identity in any first person way. It looks like  
some fixed theorem in computer science. Drugs confirms that too.

> But it's also a worry
> We find it extremely difficult to switch our perception away from our
> favourite, automated patterns of recognition
> Anything new will only be judged by the knowledge of the past i.e. the
> sequence of arrival of all information converted to knowledge up to
> that point. Anything truly new cannot therefore be understood easily.


> This is the "mathematical necessity" for Lateral Thinking and other
> disruptive mental operations that reboot perception so that previously
> hidden realities come into purview.

I think the brain does already this during the night.

> It's also how humour works, another reason humour is an incredibly
> significant part of thinking.

Humour, and many other art. Dreams are also forms of self-made art.  
Sometimes I make comical dreams, full of jokes.

> This would mean that atheism would be like a provocative operation
> designed to perturb the fake certainty of most religion

Science is agnostic, and cannot do any absolute ontological  
commitment. Atheists give a wrong idea of science, and that is worst  
than simply provoke. For me Atheism is really just a variant of  
Christianism. They both believe in one of the Aristotelian God, a  
material nature. They both fight against agnosticism and any form of  
return to rationalism in the field. At least, like in the ex-Soviet  
Union, good christian theologians continue discretely the serious  
research, despite and through the authoritative arguments.

> so that
> perhaps a new appreciation based on renewed and broader perception
> comes about.
> as de Bono says "it can be perfectly logical to be illogical at  
> times."

That's what the guardian angel G* tells to the machine G, but it adds,  
like Sally apparently, that you have to keep your mouth close here. It  
is once more again a truth which transforms itself into a falsity when  
made explicit. It belongs to the corona G* minus G. You can teach  
those Protagorian virtue only by example and practice, never by  
assertions. Sorry for being so literal, I just like so much the case  
of ideally correct machine. And you help me to put the finger on what  
disturbs me a little in de Bono. It is like he tries to teach G* minus  
G (in comp-auda terms). Perhaps. It is really the non emptiness of G*  
minus G which makes the good intentions paving the road to hell.



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