On 16 Jul 2012, at 19:37, John Clark wrote:
On Sun, Jul 15, 2012 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>> Theology is about believing in something when there is
absolutely bsolutely no reason for doing so, it is called "faith".
> Then the danger of cannabis belongs to faith,
> The definition you give of "theology" seems to me to be the
definition given by the fear sellers and the bandits.
I don't know what that means.
For the greeks "theology" was the search of the truth, considered as
unknown. It was by definition the search of the fundamental theory of
everything. The term "Gods" was close to the notion of concepts,
including natural phenomena. The term "God" was used for the ultimate
concept, and this was the base of dialog and research. They come up
with mathematics and science. But, as we know, there is a temptation
by the political world to control what is considered as fundamental as
a foundation for controlling the people, and theology/religion has
become the "opium of the people". To oppose science and theology has
been useful to save natural science from dogma, but we have not yet
succeeded to save theology for the dogma, but this is part of human
history. The fear sellers are those who use theology as argument from
authority, by building on legend involving temporal relation between
the atemporal and
terrestrial power, which has prevent theology to remain done with the
scientific attitude. The problem is that it looks like science is
serious and religion frivolous, but that separation makes science into
a new theology. Basically science has followed the religious in making
primitive matter like it was fact. But even Aristotle was aware that
is was a religious/metaphysical hypothesis, in need of being
approached with scientific skepticism.
>I am not sure why you credit them on anything.
I feel like you give credit to the definition of theology given by the
Roman Church, instead of using the term in its more general sense,
which is well illustrated by the non necessary exclusively christian
> On the contrary, I would even defined God/Religion by what you
still believe in once you succeed in abandoning *all* argument from
So 2+2 = 4 is God/Religion.
We can doubt even that, but I appreciate you don't. Still, we have to
assume it explicitly (or other axioms) to progress, and we are already
in the theoretical realm.
Face it, you throw around the words God, Religion and Theology all
the time but without any clear non-contradictory definition of any
of them, nor can you come up with a example that is not completly
Theology is the search of truth, but with the awareness that a part of
it is not rational, like the beliefs in a primary physical universe or
I have used the term "biology" and "psychology" in place of theology,
but then it generates more confusion, especially in AUDA where we
separate clearly what is provable and what is not provable by self-
The closest you have come is that when arguing with a atheist like
me "theology" is a convenient insult you can throw if the atheist
says something you disagree with.
But I do not use it as an insult. Atheism is a respectable belief. But
it is dishonest to pretend that it is not a religious belief. Atheist
accepts the definition of God given by the Church, and makes the
theological proposition that such a God does not exist. It makes also
the theological (unprovable) proposition that primitive matter exists,
that physics is the fundamental science, etc. many atheists believes
that death is the end of personal life, etc. It is theology. Science
here observes relation between observable/measurable numbers, and
extrapolate on mathematical relations between them, and possible
interpretation, but remains cautious in any definitive statements,
especially when big problem, like the mind-body problem, is still
And calling someone that you know doesn't like religion religious is
not exactly a new putdown, I believe I first heard it around 1964.
Even before. Cantor's theory of the transfinite has been dismissed as
theological, but Cantor actually vindicated that it was theology
indeed, and he discussed it with important bishop of his time. When I
use "religion" pejoratively I put quotes, or I use the prefix pseudo.
If materialists were religious, they would be less pseudo-religious,
and insists on the hypothetical nature of their conception of matter.
They would not qualify as crazy someone doubting that primitive matter
exists. In my country it is no secret that my work made angry
atheists, and this only because it put a doubt on what they defend as
a dogma. Eliminating the word "theology", like I did in my thesis in
France, has made this even clearer. The problem is not in the words,
but in the conception of reality.
> With comp, I can argue that the "inner God" (alias the first
person, the universal soul, Bp & p, S4GRz1) can play that role for
the ideally correct machine.
And in spite of your frequent use of the word, or more likely
because of it, I am no longer even clear about what exactly your
homegrown term "comp" is supposed to mean.
Put shortly, it is the belief that you can survive with a digital
brain. This can already be seen as a belief in a form of
reincarnation, and the math confirms that ideally correct machine
cannot prove such survival, so it respect the large definition I give
All propositions about machines can be translated into proposition
about numbers. You can defined science, or terrestrial science, by the
set of provable proposition, and (proper) theology by the set of true
arithmetical sentence (non provable by the machine). Gödel's
incompleteness makes that set non empty, and actually quite large and
quite complex. Despite not being provable, machines can indirectly bet
on those proposition and develop conceptions of reality.
You might take the time to read Aldous Huxley "philosophia perennis"
which illustrates well what is common in basically all human
theologies. It is just striking how this looks like the discourse of
the ideally correct machine about what is true and partially
accessible,, on her and by her, but not provable by her. The ideally
self-referentially correct machine is mystical/theological at the
start, for logical reason.
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