Le 21-juil.-12, à 23:48, meekerdb a écrit :
On 7/21/2012 3:40 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
You are inconsistent. When I used "agnostic" in it's original sense,
you objected that I should conform to the current usage:
Le 19-juil.-12, à 18:00, meekerdb a écrit :
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
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
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.
Brent: "Agnostic" means inability to know. It is the position of
those who claim that it is impossible to know whether God exists or
Bruno: I disagree with this. You are right, historically, but it is
not the sense commonly used today.
Well, you are right. But it shows that we are both inconsistent,
because we both use the terms meaning when it suits the message.
Who speaks with authority for atheists?
I don't even know the name of the atheists who criticize comp. Unlike
the Churches, they does not act in any transparent way. I am just told
that those people exists, are influent, meet regularly, etc. Who they
are? I don't know. It makes the authoritative argument much worse, of
No, it is people who hear "theology" in the sense it has been used
for the last thousand years.
Where "etc." includes a powerful, judgmental god person.
I use agnostic in the common sense, but I use "theology" in a common
sense too, for non religious people. It concerns all statements
involving spirituality and non communicable truth. Consciousness itself
can be seen as a basic mystical state (we know that true, but cannot
justify it in any way), a bit like 0 is a number (meaning numerous!)
for a mathematician.
"Theology" doesn't mean "truth" in any interpretation.
But truth concerns theology. It is encompassing it. If God exist, even
with a white beard, sitting on a cloud, then truth = "God exists". If
God does not exist, then truth = "God does not exist". Both proposition
That's why I suggested "aletheology" and I can only infer that you
reject it because you want the baggage that goes with "theos".
I want a simple common term, reminding us of the human perversion of
the field. I use "theology" because I read many books untitled
"theology", and that those book address the question I am working on,
even if I disagree with their conclusion or their methodology. It is
useful to remind that comp is a theology, and that its means that from
our perspective it asks for a personal decision. Comp is clearly a non
completely justifiable belief in some form of digital reincarnation. It
cannot be imposed to any other. The comp theology explains well the
theological trap, and so redeem the field with an explanation of why we
have to backtrack so much.
The "theo" means "panorama", like in "theorem". "theology" is the name
of the field searching a theory of everything. This has to included
concepts like afterlife/mortality, souls, spirits, heaven, hell, Gods
and Godesses, etc.
of the ideally self-referentially correct machine. The difference
between G* and G completely justifies the use of that term.
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".
I could say that earth do not exist, if you take the definition of
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
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.
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
Can you cite publications by such theologians? Swinburne?
Paul Valadier, Jean Trouillard, Alan Watts, even Raymond Smullyan (in
"who know" and "tao is silent"), and Martin Gardner (in "why I am not
an atheist), or Aldous Huxley, who makes the points quite explicit in
No you don't. All Christian theologians believe in the Trinity and
in a judgemental, creator God who especially loves humans.
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,
It is because I use the same words as those people that I can say that
I disagree with this or that point in the theory. A catholic like
Jacques Arsac has foreseen such points and, by himself, as seen that
comp, or even just "strong AI" has to be unbelievable for a catholic,
and there is nothing astonshing there. By using the same terms, we can
easily agree on what we disagree.
And an entirely different theos.
From the local mundane here. May be we should find a new name for
medicine and health, given that the poular usage is that cannbis is bad
for the health, but without any evidence with the common acceptation of
the word "health". May be the Russian should have renamed "genetics".
Renaming just avoids addressing the issues, which in this case concerns
the soul immortality (here the christians are closer to Plato and comp
than to Aristotle, followed usually by the atheists), reincarnation,
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?
Ontologically: we depart from most physicists, or fundamental
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.
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
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.
No, European liberal Christians are the exception - and not an
exception accepted by the Roman or Orthodox Catholic Church.
Have you read the book by Pope Benoit XVI on the "truth"? You might be
astonished. I study christianity all over the world, and they have
quite different conception, even on Jesus, Marie, etc. Comp is very
close to Christian mysticism, usually condemned and then recuperated. I
am studying the Bitwi religion, based on the use of the plant
Tabernanthe iboga, and have realized that it is the most strongly
developing religion in the world, but also that they are strongly
divided on the interpretation of the life of Jesus. Creationist à-la
american way are just inexistant in large part of the world, and are
probably a sectarian phenomenon, which in Europa is considered as
illegal, like scientology is illegal in my country (which alas does not
prevent its spreading due to their money and corruption power).
Why do you defend that theology should be taken in the sense of those
who clearly does not apply what their own religion tell them: humility,
and, at the start, no terrestrial use of God, only a personal spiritual
Why atheist defend so much the Orthodox Catholic Church? Answer,
because the atheists have the same Aristotelian conception of reality.
Atheism is a form of Chirstianism, not an opponent, at all. A bishop
said exactly this on the radio sometimes ago. The fake opposition
between christians and atheists hide the real debate on the nature of
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".
I don't redefine it in UDA, only in AUDA, where it concerns machines
unjustifiable beliefs and knowledge. I use it in the large sense, which
concerns the questions (afterlife, Gods and godesses, nature of soul,
etc.), not the answers defended by special human communities.
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
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
I can do that for physics, by the distinction between phenomenology
(and first person) and ontology (related, but not equivalent with thrid
person account). As I just said, I use theology in the larger sense. It
is closer to the original sense, and it is more independent of the
specific fairy tales answer given in some places. For theology, the
first person sense is too much private than being able to be used in
reasoning. No problem with physics: nobody doubts phenomenal gravity.
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
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,
Quite the contrary: it points on a real widespread mistake (confusing
science with truth). It is not a problem for sending man on the moon,
it might be problematic when using machine to prolongate life (like
with the prolife movment, which use both comp and materialism, and thus
when they think that there is only a physical reality and that
consciousness and epistemology arise from it, which is contradicted
Maybe they don't believe computationalism is true.
They pretend the contrary. They behave as they believe the contrary.
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
Which is normal in a context where you are able to profess
authoritative bulshit to get the audience and money in the field.
The whole problem is there. today, because "theology" is abandoned by
the scientist, they let the field in the hand of the obscurantists.
They are very glad with this situation of course. Then a modest and
humble "scientific" contribution in theology can be remained ignored.
Let m be the proposition that matter (tables and chairs and
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?
Consilience with other theories, scope, accuracy, predictive power...
"Better" is not one dimensional.
All right. then arithmetic is better than physics, for arithmetic
explains both consciousness and matter, where physics does not address
the question. But physics is better today to explain liquid solid and
We might chose to work on the fundamental conceptual issue. And all
physical theories have failed to even address the mind-body problem.
Forbids adapting a word to express a new concept? In that case if
must forbid your use of "God", "theology", and "comp".
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.
It forbids the word "truth".
Sure it forbids the word "God" also, but this we already know, and so
we don't use it, except by analogy or pointing toward it. It is part of
the difficulty of the subject. The neoplatonist were quite aware of
this difficulty, and foreseen that the difficulty appears already in
mathematics, like what Cantor will make more precise.
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
You might try to be more specific. Have you read my arithmetical
interpretation of Plotinus?
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.
Few universities, even those defending the human free exam rights,
accepts non confessional theology.
Political power, once corrupted, really hate coming back to the real
questioning, already about physical health, so you can guess they don't
like it in the spiritual domain.
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
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.
I think that the theology (in the large but common sense) of the
universal machine is of interest to all universal machines *searching*
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