On 1/9/2013 2:48 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 09 Jan 2013, at 01:01, meekerdb wrote:
On 1/8/2013 12:25 PM, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
Le me add some meat here
Nah. It's just your wishful thinking that everybody has to believe in God.
All correct and self-introspective machine will believe in (some) "God". Keep in mind
that atheists usually believe in some primary matter, which is a god-like entity, or a
That is dishonest in two ways. First, primary matter is not "god-like" except in your
idiosyncratic redefinition of "god" (c.f. John Clark's "How to Become a Liberal
Theologian"). That atheists usually believe in some primary matter, is irrelevant. It is
not a necessary part of being an atheist. You might as well say atheists usually drink
beer - which is equally true.
We can not reduce the concept of God to a boring principle that we need to put
somewhere. Like a ugly furniture inherited from the grand-parents which for its
sentimental value we have to keep and locate somewhere, so that the familly visits
show that you are a well educated and respectful person. God is like the refligerator.
if you drop the old one, you need another.
That will come as a shock to ten million atheists in the U.S. as well as those in
Europe where they constitute a plurality of religious opinion.
Why? because religion -or an extended notion of religion and divinity- is deeply
embedded in human nature. An objective study of God includes an explanation of the
subjective reality or the resulting description is incomplete. if the reality is
overall, mental and divinity a neccesity, then the divinity is part of reality
For reasons that I detail below, God must be the absolute source of meaning in all
aspects. therefore it embodies the causation and direction of what is "physical" as
well as what is mental, personal or moral and any else. Therefore, for the believer,
God must be personal, among other things, or else, the believer lacks a foundation
for the aspects that God does not includes.
Sounds like you've studied John Clark's "How to Become a Liberal Theologian".
As I tried to show in robotic Truth, religion is a neccesity for the operation of
social beings. If there is no agreed meaning, that is, goals, there is no inequivocal
rules for social action. if there are no inequivocal rules for social coordination,
descoordination and internal decomposition of the group follows. For that matter
religion is the core social instinct. it is as deeply embedded in social nature as is
other unique human traits, like the white in the eyes, another social adaptation
(facilitates the reading of the emotional states and intentions of others).
I agreed with your point that social robots would develop social values. But that
doesn't mean they would have to invent a supernatural robot who defined the values.
They will need some non sharable notion of truth to give a value to values.
What does 'truth' have to do with values? Do I love my children because of some 'truth'?
A sharable notion of 'true' is needed in order to communicate and cooperate and effect
changes in a shared world.
Probably the first religion was a cult of the person of the recently dead leader of
the tribe that was an example and a guide to all the other members by emulation.
That's why by history and by neccesity a god, must be personal .
Actually the first religions embued animals and weather with agency. There was no
sharp line between science and religion because agency, which could be manipulated by
prayer and sacrifice, was ubiquitous. Only later did the voice of the dead leader and
dreams become the basis of spiritualism and eventually religion with shamans and priests.
A society with a impersonal Principle is full of smalller personal gods in conflict,
Which was the case in Mesopotamia around the time Judaism developed. Yaweh at first
insisted on being the top god, over all the personal and household gods. Then later he
evolved into the only god - as explained by Craig A. James in "The God Virus".
Philosophers, Demagoges, scientis, rock stars, Soccer clubs. This politheism becomes
salient and agressive when there is no personal God, or, at least, no Cesar or Zeus
that make clear who is the ultimate authority. A dialectic materialist society need a
Lenin and a Stalin because its impersonal Principle is not personal. The abstract and
incognoscible Allah need a ruthless political Mahoma.
The cult to the blood, the leader and the territory. These are the almost
mathematically inexorable traits of the primitive tribal religion that we have by
default in the genes. In the origin, the cult to the leader, the public rites, The
bloody sacrifices, All are devoted to strengthen coordination and ensure
collaboration, and mutual recognition between the members. And the sharp distinction
between us and the others.
Yes, it must be sad for theists who long for the good old days of the Aztecs, the Holy
Inquisition, the Albigensian Crusade, the unifying force of The Cultural Revolution,...
It is an intrinsic weakness of the theological field: to be perverted by politics.
Have you not considered that this is because it is a wholly imaginary field invented
especially to augment politics and social control (c.f Craig A. James "The God Virus")?
But this is not a rational reason to abandon the field. On the contrary, it is even more
politicized when it is abandoned by the academicians.
It is political by construction and it attracts academicians who want to have political
A membrane separates the entity from the outside and defines an living unit that
perdures in time, be it a cell or a society, in the latter case, the membrane is
created by religion, the physical territory and the blood ties. In this sense,
primitive religion may be exigent, very exigent and dangerous. The bloody mesoamerican
religions, which grew unchallenged during centuries, with his pyramids of skulls
illustrate how a primitive religion evolves in itself when not absorbed or conquered
by a superior civilization.
That愀 why the belief in a all transcendent God that created all men at its image and
dignity and incarnated in a person, Christ to imitate, is the best use of this
unavoidable and necessary part of us called religion. In this sense, Christianity free
us from the obedience to the dictatorial earthly leaders, the bloody sacrifices, the
cult to the lebensraung (vital space) of the tribe , or the supertribe, with its
psycopathic treatment to "the others".
And it gave us Hitler and The Final Solution, the slaughter of the Cathars, the burning
of witches, the Crusades,... "What shall we do with...the Jews?...set fire to their
synagogues or schools and bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no
man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them." ---Martin Luther
Because nihilism is unbearable except as a self-steem booster by means of a
self-exhibition of strength for a certain time, as the young russians did in the early
XX century. If hihilism would not be painful it would not be a matter of exhibition.
Sooner or later the nihilist has to choose between the suicide, that has a perfect
evolutionary sense, since someone isolated, with no guide to help others in society is
a social burden, and suicide is the social apoptosis, by means of which the social
body re-absorb the useless.
What makes you think an atheist is not part of a society (however much you may wish it
were so). 93% of the members of the National Academy of Science are atheists. They
don't seem much prone to suicide or isolation or not helping others. In fact they are
far more help than those theists who prayed to cure polio and small pox.
Keep in mind that atheists are believers. Indeed, they share most parts of the
Aristotelian theology with the christians. Atheism is only a slight variant of
christianism, especially compared to the mystics or the Platonists.
Mere assertion. I'm an atheist and I'm quite willing to consider your ontology based on
computation. Other physicists I know like Tegmark's idea or Wheeler's "It from bit" and
many work on information based physics. None that I know hold primary matter as dogma
that they "believe" even if they think it's the best current model. Those that are
atheists, and that's almost all of them, assume there is no personal agency controlling
the world, as a working hypothesis - but they would give up that if there were good
evidence. All this is in strong contrast to Christianity and the other theisms, which
require dogmatic belief in a personal superbeing. You are just slandering straw men.
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