On 06 Aug 2012, at 16:10, John Clark wrote:

On Sun, Aug 5, 2012  AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> I remain astonished why atheists defend a so particular conception of God.

And I remain astonished that so many people think the idea of God is idiotic but still have such a strong emotional attachment to the ASCII characters G-O-D that they insist on still using them even though they don't even claim to know what G-O-D means.

> This confirms what I have already explained. Atheism is a variant of christianism.

And so "atheism" and "Christianity" now join "free will" and "God" as words that mean absolutely positively nothing. When I tell people I'm a atheist I might as well just burp at them or tell them I'm a teapot for all it will inform them about what I think.


Read Aldous Huxley "philosophia perennis".

You might also tell me what is your "theory of everything", or if you are even interested in that notion. To define theology by christian theology can only be done by a christian (and I would say a particularly obtuse Christian, as the one I know are open to non christian theologies, and quite critical against all form of certainties in that domain.




> They defend the same conception of God than the Christians, as you do all the time.

Yes, Christians and I do have one thing in common, we both think that it might be good if words mean something.

Only an obtuse Christian can believe that only the christian God gives the right meaning of the word God.




Otherwise when I say I don't believe in God I wouldn't even know what it is I don't believe.

Some hope remains.




And I also have the same conception of Santa Claws as small children do, the only difference between us is that they think he exists and I don't.

But the abramanic God is already *quite* different for the muslim and the sufi, or for the israelite and the cabalist, or for the christian clergy and the christian mystics. Comp seems coherent with the God of the mystics, and diverges quickly from any clergy or God from authority. But you have decide that the christian clergy is right, which confirms that you are not just christian, but fundamentalist christian. You can make sense only of the God of the clergy.




> Note that philosophers use often the term "God" in the general and original sense of theology:

Maybe that's part of the reason philosophers no longer do philosophy and haven't found anything important in a thousand years or so.

> as being, by definition, the transcendental cause of everything.

Cause? If its still involved with cause and effect then I don't see what makes it transcendental; if it’s a cause we should be able to perform experiments on God just like any other aspect of our world; assuming of course that God exists.

I was not using cause in the physical sense, but more in the sense of reason.




> I have already told you that God is supposed to be responsible for our existence; which is not the case for the bulldozer.

Excellent! Apparently I've convinced you that words should actually mean something, it may not be very close to what most people mean by the word "God" but at least you mean something. So now that I know what we're talking about and "God" is not "a force greater than myself" I can now say that I no longer think a bulldozer is God and I now know that my parents were God.

This is not even coherent, and you misread or over-interpret what I say.



> I am agnostic

Technically I suppose I too am agnostic about a omnipotent omniscient conscious being

For this I am atheist. There are no omniscient being(s). The notion can be shown to be self-contradictory. The GOD of comp is already overwhelmed by the DIVINE-INTELLECT, itself overwhelmed by the UNIVERSAL SOUL, and things get worse. In fact the comp notion of matter can almost be defined by the things about which GOD lose control. This is intuited by Aristotle and recast in Platonism by Plotinus, and fits quite nicely both UDA and AUDA.




that created the universe but you've got to decide how to live your life and emotionally I'm a atheist

That explains something.



because, although I can't prove that He does not exist, I think I can prove that God is just silly.

Not the concept. Up to now, you just allude that the only interesting meaning of God was the Santa Klaus version of it, not the unameable (but still capable of being circumscribed in the negative neoplatonist way) reason of our existence.



Beliefs are a emotional state

Mental state. Often related to emotion, but the serious work consists in first letting the emotion in the closet. I know it is not easy.

and nobody believes only in things he can prove,

Correct. for two reasons: we have to start from basic assumptions, even if unconscious and inherit from the parents or the biology of the brain, and we have to assume some self-consistency to give sense to the beliefs, and that too we can't prove. That's the main difference between self-referential science/belief and self-referential theology/ religious-belief, well captured formally by the Solovay difference between G and G* for the self-observing computer.



and even more important nobody believes in things they think are silly.

OK (nobody consistent, I guess).

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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