On 7/21/2012 3:40 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:



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.

You are inconsistent. When I used "agnostic" in it's original sense, you objected that I should conform to the current usage:

Brent: "Agnostic" means inability to know. It is the position of those who claim that it is impossible to know whether God exists or not.

Bruno: I disagree with this. You are right, historically, but it is not the sense commonly used today.


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)

Who speaks with authority for atheists?

have a problem with the idea that theology can be done in the scientific semi-axiomatic way.

No, it is people who hear "theology" in the sense it has been used for the last thousand years.

The subject concerns afterlife, the nature of soul, the fundamental reality, etc.

Where "etc." includes a powerful, judgmental god person.

With comp you can "test" all current theologies by comparing them with the theology (truth)

"Theology" doesn't mean "truth" in any interpretation. That's why I suggested "aletheology" and I can only infer that you reject it because you want the baggage that goes with "theos".

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.

But we all agree on what "flat" and "turtle" mean, so that when we deny this we know what we're talking about. You would have use redefine "flat" to curved and "turtle" to mean "geodesic".

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.

Can you cite publications by such theologians?  Swinburne?  Polkinghorne?




    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,

No you don't. All Christian theologians believe in the Trinity and in a judgemental, creator God who especially loves humans.

but I propose another theory.

And an entirely different theos.

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.

I was not aware of that. I assumed by "physical" you meant what physicist mean by physical - isn't that what you claim must be derivable from computation if comp is true?




        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.

Maybe so. Do dictionaries in Europe get to define the word "theology" and "God" differently than dictionaries in the U.S. and Korea and South America and Australia.

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.

No, European liberal Christians are the exception - and not an exception accepted by the Roman or Orthodox Catholic Church.




    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,

They are only different because you want redefine "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).

Why do you only count the opinion a few theologians, who happen agree with your definition, as defining "theology" but when it comes to physicists you want to use the everyday working assumption of the majority instead of the opinion of those few are actually engaged with the question?




    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,

No one is concerned with "the original sense" anymore that geometers in the math department are concerned with measuring the Earth. This is a specious criticism you make based on your own idiosyncratic definitions.

when they think that there is only a physical reality and that consciousness and epistemology arise from it, which is contradicted by computationalism.

Maybe they don't believe computationalism is true. Most probably have not even seriously considered it or the question of consciousness. Most scientists specialize in some narrow field and try to make modest progress and have little time for big philosophical questions because they see little hope of making progress there.







            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.


        OK.


            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?

Consilience with other theories, scope, accuracy, predictive power... "Better" is not one dimensional.

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.

Forbids adapting a word to express a new concept? In that case if must forbid your use of "God", "theology", and "comp".

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,

But that's not what you're doing. You are using words that have an "intuititive" (i.e. common) meaning that is miles away from your explication.

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.

Of course. Using "theology" makes things "better" because it is a recognized field approved in universities and serves political power.

All believers accept that God is the reason of why and how we are here,

Believers in what? Believers in God?...that makes it a tautology. It's like all believers in Santa Claus accept that gifts are made by elves.

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.

Or it may facilitate it by giving the impression that your "theology" proves that the authorities God exists. Which is why it would be great for a Templeton.

Brent

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