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
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,
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
of "God"'s meaning. But we are scientists, and we search explanation
should not depend on definition restricted by political power.
I don't think the publishers of dictionaries are politicians. They record
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
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
No, it is people who hear "theology" in the sense it has been used for the last thousand
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
Let g be the proposition that some god(s) exist and let G be the
that the god of theism (a creator who judges and wants to be
Why to restrict to such definition? Why, if not to keep the notion in
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
what most people think they mean
Not in science. It would be absurd to define earth by a flat surface supported
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
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
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
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
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
"God" that has so much irrelevant baggage - unless you're going for a
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
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
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
The reason, is that they does not want to admit that they believe in a
they believe in "the third Aristotelian God", which is primary matter.
I don't know any physicist who "believes IN" primary matter. They
hypothesize that they can find something that is more fundamental
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
information is more basic or even just relations (c.f. David Mermins
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)
Hmm... That is not the Aristotelian primary matter, which I was
tend to believe in atoms, chair and tables, yet I tend to not believe
agnostic on primary matter (but I know, or I am pretty sure, that the
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
it would mean to say M="matter is fundamental" because there is no
boundary on "matter". Nobody thinks table and chairs are
physicists think that the Standard Model of matter is sufficient to
all ordinary experience, but they know it doesn't include dark
energy, or gravity. So they may hypothesize that some better
model will describe a more comprehensive 'matter' that will be a
theory-of-everything - but then 'matter' is just an honorific
whatever exists according to the current best theory. It is only
'fundamental' in the sense that we haven't been able to explain it
yet. No one stops looking for the better theory because they have
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
You show your theological bent here. A scientist doesn't ask, "Is this the
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
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
"theology" when you could use or invent words that didn't have lots of
meanings contrary to yours? I even pointed out that there were excellent
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.
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