Hi Evgenii,

On 06 Jan 2011, at 17:18, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

Dear Bruno,

Thanks a lot for your answers.

You are welcome.



I was raised in former Soviet Union where scientific atheism was used as the official religion. So I have actually no idea what theology is about.

Few people have.




Some other difference between science and religion is that science is mainly experimental. Even physics, as Laughlin points out in his book, is experimental science.


I agree again with Laughlin. Science is experimental. Putting back theology in science consists to accept that theology is experimental.
Let me try for once a "popular account" of mechanism.

With mechanism, the real best theory of everything is ... your brain. The answer to all the questions (physical, biological, theological) is ... in your head.

So IF you are a believer in Mechanism, and if you want to know the REAL mass of the electron, or the REAL value of Planck constant, or the REAL age of the universe, all you have to do is close your eyes, close you ears, and look inward.

That seems to contradict what I just said: that theology is experimental. Here is the catch: we don't know if Mechanism theology is correct. So, if you have the mind of the scientist what you have to do is

1) look inward for the mass of the electron (say)
2) look outside for the experimental value of the electron
3) compare them. If they are equal, you confirm (don't prove) mechanism theology. If not, you have refuted mechanism theology, and you can search another theology (you learn something).

But after Gödel and Löb, Solovay, etc., we can say more and be more modern. With the current struggle of life, we have no more the time to look inward, but we have discovered the universal machine (alias the all purpose computer), and we can program a computer to ... look inward. Let it run, and then compare the mass of the electron that the computer finds "in his head" and the experimental mass of the electron.

To be sure, this is theoretical. Computers have not yet find even the presence of electron, to be sure. But they are already able to find the logic of the observable, including indeterminacy, parallel universes, non locality, non clonability, etc., and this fits with the data, confirming mechanism (= not disproving it).

Yes. Theology coming back to science = theology coming back to experiments, even if Mechanist theology says that "reality" is in your head, we have to compare what is in our head(s) with what seems to be outside to confirm or refute it.





From a practical viewpoint, a theory is useful if it could help to earn more money.


I am a pathological optimist for the long run, and I do believe this is true for the long run. I mean with "correct theory": the search of truth is beneficial for the long run. Alas, for the short run, this is false. Fake and false theory are often more profitable in the short run. This is well illustrated with "religion", or even better, nowadays, with the prohibition of drug. The danger of drugs is a beautiful example of a hoax theory which enriches a lot a minority at the expense of the majority. It also transforms the planet into a big Chicago, generating wars and terrorism, which again enriches all the fear sellers of the planet. But this is a bit out of topic. And rather trivial. I could have used the example of burglary. The best theory for "earning a lot of money" is rob the rich. But of course, this eventually works for a minority against a majority, and is without purpose for any long run enterprise.




Yet, when people get reach they ask what to do next and I guess that at that point they need some special theories to this end.

It seems that *most* people winning huge amount of money at the lottery get depressed. Without a solid philosophical (fundamental, theological, metaphysical) overview or theory, a big amount of money extinguishes the meaning of life. Likewise, some people becomes happy when loosing their money, or during war, in difficult situation. It is known that the frequency of suicides is far bigger for the rich than the poor. Money is like blood. It works well when distributed, and create cancers when concentrated. Today there is a widespread confusion between "doing money for living" and "living for doing money". That confusion kills the meaning of life. Money is a wonderful tool, but an awful end.

Best,

Bruno


Finally I should say that I enjoy reading discussions on this list. Thanks to everybody.

Evgenii

http://blog.rudnyi.ru

on 06.01.2011 12:43 Bruno Marchal said the following:

On 05 Jan 2011, at 20:02, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

on 04.01.2011 11:43 Bruno Marchal said the following:

On 03 Jan 2011, at 19:33, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

...

Do you mean that some time ago the times were less
obscurantist? If yes, could you please tell me when?

From -500 to +500. Roughly speaking. From Pythagorus to the
closure of Plato academy. In intellectual circles, of course.
This is not supposed to be taken too much literally. Since 523,
theology has been abandoned by the academics (against their will
of course) to the political powers. Nothing has changed. We have
the choice between fairy tales theologies or the idea that
theology is necessarily BS (and then the dogma of materialism,
which is a pseudo-theology which tries to make us believe it is
"science", making science an authoritative argument in the
fundamental matter). Science and religion are inseparable, and
when you separate them you get pseudo-science and
pseudo-religion, and you get the ten thousand manipulative tools
of the powers driven by the special interest, etc.

I would agree that science is impossible without belief. Yet, in my
view there is a big difference between science and religion as
well. Science is inseparable from a question "How do you know". On
the other hand, in religion such a question would be inappropriate,
as religion is based on the authority. Science is driven by
anarchists, to this end I like what R. B. Laughlin says in his book
A Different Universe, Chapter Star Warriors. A couple of citation
from there.


I agree with you, and with Laughlin. But I would not simply say that
religion is based on authority. This is a contingent fact due to
historical circumstances, but also fear-based mammals subroutines,
which have promoted the surrender of theology and religion to
authorities, like in Occident when Plato academy has been closed by
the Romans when they became christians.

The tendency to use authoritative arguments is human and very old,
and appears in both science and in religion, but science tend to
fight against it, and modern religion have institutionalized them.
Exactly like genetics has been captured by the authority for a
(short) period in the Soviet Union, theology, the science, has been
captured in Occident by the Church, unfortunately for a long period.

But theology is a science, like biology, zoology, physics, etc. By
abandoning theology to the authoritative church, not only we have
lost the most fundamental science, but we have erect automatically
another science, physics, into a pseudo-theology, that is a science
which acts as a theology without saying. That is why if you humbly
try to explain that today science have not yet solve the traditional
question on the after-life, the meaning of life, or the mind-body
problem, people can look at you as if you were crackpot, because,
they pretend, science has shown that such question are meaningless,
which of course is not the case.

Science is belief, that is doubtable or falsifiable belief. It is
always hypothetical, and always with an intention of clarity so that
we can say clearly "we were wrong". Theology should be done with that
same modest attitude, with the assumption put clearly on the table,
and then it will evolve accordingly. We have to reintroduce theology,
non confessional theology, in the academic curriculum, but that will
takes time, given more than 1500 years of constant general
brainwashing in the field.

The true mystics know that religion is by its very nature at the
complete opposite of the authoritative argument, and most religions
have originally accept that principle at the start. "God" has no
name, cannot be used for any public purpose, and has to be a matter
of private conviction or feeling/inspiration only, exactly like in
mathematics.

Churches and religious communities are not necessarily bad things,
provided that no authoritative arguments are ever used, and that
*all* questioning and doubts are permitted.

Science is sleepy since 1500 years. In a sense, science has not yet
really begun, because humans still count on the authoritative bloody
argument instead of calm reason in the most fundamental science
among all: theology. And unfortunately this is reflected in the whole
human science field including medicine, where fuzziness makes people
swallowed many form of insidious authoritative arguments.

Things will change with the discovery that the ideally correct
universal machines have already a thoroughly formidable precise and
100% testable theology, actually very close to the non authoritative
discourse of (eastern and western) mystics and of the rational (but
open to mysticism and consciousness) greeks.

Things will *have to* change when biotechnology will lead to (many
and very different sorts of) theotechnologies.

Bruno



"The practicalities of responsible adulthood are arguably the
reason discoveries tend to be made by the young. It is not that
young people are smarter, although they often are, but that they
have fewer promises to keep."

"There will always be scientists – real ones – for the simple
reason that there will always be a steady trickle of anarchists
generated by responsible and good families doing their level best
to avoid this outcome and produce only bankers, doctors, and soccer
coaches. As the older ones are killed of by the practicalites of
life, newer ones rise up to take their place like new grass in
spring, in a cycle of creative rebirth that transcends the
generations and is older than history."

Now a citation from the chapter The Emergent Age, where indeed
Laughlin shows similarity between religion and science:

"Greek creation myths satirize many things in modern life,
particularly cosmological theories. Exploding things, such as
dynamite or the big bang, are unstable. Theories of explosions,
including the first picoseconds of the big bang, thus cross
Barriers of Relevance and are inherently unfalsifiable,
notwithstanding widely cited supporting “evidence” such as isotopic
abundances at the surface of stars and the cosmic microwave
background anisotropy."

"The analogy with Greek religion also applies to the humbler end of
the research spectrum, where warring among scientists to see whose
emergent god is more powerful is an everyday reality. A case in
point is ordinary semiconduction. Back when I was in grade school,
it was said that the tribe of semiconductor physics lived in piece
in the Silicon Valley and worshiped crystallinity, the daughter of
which, the gods of valence band and conduction band, caused
transistor actions and prosperity. But then they were invaded by a
hostile tribe of chemists, who worshiped not the crystal but the
molecule and who believed its offspring, the lowest unoccupied
molecular orbital and highest occupied molecular orbital, were the
true cause of transistor action, and that the worshipers of the old
gods wre inferior and unclean. The two tribes engaged in bloody
combat – fought with disinformation, dirty tricks, and refusal to
speak the name of the other tribe’s god – each hoping to starve the
other tribe of research dollars and thus to annihilate it. The war
resulted in stalemate, the vestiges of which persist today. As
often happens in conflicts of this kind, the war was not really
over conceptual matters at all but money, for these warring gods
are actually different names for the same thing. Similar wars occur
routinely in biology, although they are vastly nastier on account
of the greater resources involved."

Evgenii

http://blog.rudnyi.ru

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