Le 19-juil.-12, à 18:00, meekerdb a écrit :

 On 7/19/2012 6:13 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Le 18-juil.-12, à 20:48, meekerdb a écrit :

Then, by the most common definition of atheism, atheists are doubly believer as they verify, with B for "believes": B~g and Bm. Science is or should be agnostic on both ~Bg and ~Bm (and ~B~g, and ~B~m).
 This is wrong in two ways, which you muddle by not defining God. 

Sure. I do it on purpose, but atheists I met can agree, with some instanciations of "God"'s meaning. But we are scientists, and we search explanation which should not depend on definition restricted by political power.

I don't think the publishers of dictionaries are politicians.  They record usage and usage is important because it tells you what meaning will be given to your words.  If you don't care what meaning will be conveyed then you can just write gibberish.

The usage can be perverted with respect to the original meaning. Our occidental dicionnaries reflect our cultural value, and in that the spiritual field, the field usage is political since a long time. But the questions remains, and it might be time to reintroduce argument free from authority if we want to progress. Only people defending those argument of authority (like fundamentalist christians and atheists) have a problem with the idea that theology can be done in the scientific semi-axiomatic way. The subject concerns afterlife, the nature of soul, the fundamental reality, etc. With comp you can "test" all current theologies by comparing them with the theology (truth) of the ideally self-referentially correct machine. The difference between G* and G completely justifies the use of that term.

I could say that earth do not exist, if you take the definition of some community.

Let g be the proposition that some god(s) exist and let G be the proposition that the god of theism (a creator who judges and wants to be worshipped) exists. 

Why to restrict to such definition? Why, if not to keep the notion in the hand of those who sell feary tales to control people by fear (cf hell).

I'm not restricting the definition.  Language is for communication and so words mean what most people think they mean

Not in science. It would be absurd to define earth by a flat surface supported by turtles. The words have indexical first person meaning, and in science we search for an account capable of capturing the most of the usual meaning, but in a way coherent with other known facts, or currently accepted theories.

and most people think "God" means a being who created the universe, judges people, and wants to be worshiped. 

A part of this might reflect some feature of God, and a part of this might be naive theorizing. I use "theology" in the sense of the neoplatonist theologians, which actually is rather close to Christian (European) theologians.

I would be happy to have all those people change their mind and say that God doesn't exist and henceforth we just mean whatever is fundamental when we say "God" - but I don't have the power to change the meaning of words. I do have the power to chose words that are not misleading though, or even to invent new ones if none exists.  You invent words like "comp" and you use words like "Turing machine" that were invented for a new concept.  So I'm puzzled as to why you want to use a word like "God" that has so much irrelevant baggage - unless you're going for a Templeton.

I use "One", usually. Or Outer God. Or "Lord" as used by Einstein. I use the word God in the same sense as all believer theologians, but I propose another theory. Actually, you might criticize my use of "universe", "physical", even machine, as in comp, those words do not relate to the naive popular sense of it.

Why does atheists, who does not believe in the God of the theist, want to keep that definition?

Because they want to be able to say what it is they don't believe in. 

But all what they say is that they don't believe in fairy tales. And they miss the real debate among real theologians, which exists since the beginning. In Europa most christians does NOT believe in those fairy tale either. So, with your use of "atheists", the Christians in Europa are sometimes more atheists than American atheists. Of course, they believe in God, but they take the fairy tales aspect of it as traditional folklore to build their identity on it, without believing literally in it. Many christians are buddhist, here, without any problem keeping their Christian faith. I think that "literalist" christians is an american exception.

If you don't believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden does that mean you must change the definition of "fairies" so it applies to something you do believe in?  Do you criticize a-fairiests because they use the definition of fairies in order to say they don't believe in them?

But fairies are different from the concept of theology, which are debated and, when not used by politics (in the large sense), are object of theories.

The reason, is that they does not want to admit that they believe in a God, when they believe in "the third Aristotelian God", which is primary matter.

I don't know any physicist who "believes IN" primary matter.  They speculate, hope, hypothesize that they can find something that is more fundamental (strings?) and that they will be able to define it with mathematical precision. 

But they still believe in physicalism. And only a few of them are suspicious that primitive matter might make no sense (the physicists who take the conceptual issue seriously enough: there are not so many).

They may think that some kind of matter is the best bet; because that is how progress has been made in the past.  But many also consider the possibility that information is more basic or even just relations (c.f. David Mermins "relations without relata").

OK. But they still avoid the consciousness issue, computationalism, and they still ignore the theological aspect of the possible truth. They still use, most of the time, the physical supervenience thesis, and they still ignore coginitive science and philosophy of mind. It is normal, it is just ot part of what thay are interested in. They are still unaware that they do theology, in the original sense, when they think that there is only a physical reality and that consciousness and epistemology arise from it, which is contradicted by computationalism.

Let m be the proposition that matter (tables and chairs and atoms) exists.

Hmm... That is not the Aristotelian primary matter, which I was mentioning. I tend to believe in atoms, chair and tables, yet I tend to not believe and remain agnostic on primary matter (but I know, or I am pretty sure, that the concept is non sensical in the comp theory, which I interrogate only).

  Then atheists B~G and ~Bg and all sane people Bm. 


So then in parallel let M be the proposition that...what?  I don't know what it would mean to say M="matter is fundamental" because there is no definite boundary on "matter".  Nobody thinks table and chairs are fundamental. Some physicists think that the Standard Model of matter is sufficient to explain all ordinary experience, but they know it doesn't include dark matter, dark energy, or gravity.  So they may hypothesize that some better mathematical model will describe a more comprehensive 'matter' that will be a theory-of-everything - but then 'matter' is just an honorific bestowed on whatever exists according to the current best theory.  It is only 'fundamental' in the sense that we haven't been able to explain it further, yet.  No one stops looking for the better theory because they have faith or because it would be heretical.

Sure, but you avoid the real question: is the physical universe primary (physicalism, Aristotelism) or is it the shadow of a vaster reality (platonism, computationalism)?

You show your theological bent here.  A scientist doesn't ask, "Is this the final theory?", he only asks, "Is there a better theory?" 

A better theory with respect to what question?
We might chose to work on the fundamental conceptual issue. And all physical theories have failed to even address the mind-body problem.

That's the big question.  But the question in this thread is just why use "God" and "theology" when you could use or invent words that didn't have lots of different meanings contrary to yours?  I even pointed out that there were excellent words of Greek derivation that much better express your ideas:

 Altheia - the spirit of truth
 Aletheology - the science of truth.

G* forbids this. I already have explained this to you. Better to keep the naive common word for the intuitive concept so that people have an idea of what we are doing, and then to make the usual less naive corrections of the concept to fit the facts and theories adopted. Science always to that. Why do you want protect theology for this? For ten years I have abandoned the word theology, when presenting my thesis in France, but it has made things worst. All believers accept that God is the reason of why and how we are here, and what we can expect here and there. Many theological beliefs fit well with machine's theology, especially in the mystic traditions (often harassed by the "authorities", though). To use new words and create a new field would avoid a necessary scientific confrontation, and would allow the impostors to continue the brainwashing of the kids. We will never been modern, by proceeding in that way, and the human science will remain arbitrary, and inhuman.


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