On 10 Jan 2013, at 19:59, meekerdb wrote:
On 1/10/2013 8:02 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 09 Jan 2013, at 20:17, meekerdb wrote:
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 metaphysical hypothesis.
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").
Why? Nobody has "seen" primary matter, but the believer in it
usually attribute it a fundamental role in our existence. It was
the third God or many Platonists (the most famous one being
Of course it is not like the Christian God. Now the christian God
is already very different for some american and european Christians.
It's not a person, it didn't create the world, it doesn't care what
people do, it has not dogma, no temples, no priesthood, no sacred
It's not like any god,
That's not true. It is like the God of those who introduce the
concept, or the very idea that we can reason on that concept.
except the liberal theologians god which can be anything.
It might be any thing that we can conceive as being the explanation or
model of the universal realm. Why does atheist defended so much the
idea that only the Christian's notion of God make sense?
Why defending a notion of God just to say that it does not exist?
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
I was just saying that many, if not all, atheists are already
"believer" in some sort of God (in the greek sense, not in the
But you've redefined 'God' (in the greek sense) so that anybody who
believes anything is a theist?
Well, everybody who believe in primary matter is a theist. But you
don't need to be theist to believe in matter. Only when you posit the
existence of something non jusitifiable, as a complete type of
explanation, are you doing theology.
Science is agnostic, by definition. But many scientist believe in
primary matter without even realizing that this needs an act of faith,
and then as I show it contradicts the comp explanation of mind and
body, without suggesting any theory of mind and its relation with
When atheists judge that there is no "God" (none at all, not even
taoist one, in my neighborhood) they implicitly make primary matter
into "the" God,
How do you know that?
I asked them for years. They reject papers who submit doubts in the
Do they worship at a shrine of primary matter?
They reject papers who submit doubts in the domain. It is equivalent,
even if it looks more "modern".
The atheists around here hate more the agnostic than the Christians.
They consider as crackpot any attempt to just doubt primary matter.
And some of them have cult and quasi equivalent notion of God, when
you ask the details. If you insist they can even invoke secrecy.
Do they quote primary matter as a reason for legislation?
Well, there is the case of China and the USSR who did.
and worst, they believe this explains everything, which can make
them quite sectarian, arrogant and impolite (and acting like in the
inquisition (actually much worst)).
It is arrogant and impolite to attribute implicit beliefs to those
who disagree with you in order to discredit them.
It is explicit beliefs. It is true that some can doubt in private, but
they will not say so in public, and will discredit you, i.e. the
doubter, in name of non dogma, but yet dogmatic proposition. you are
just lucky never have met that kind of sectarian form of atheism.
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
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
Sounds like you've studied John Clark's "How to Become a Liberal
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
What does 'truth' have to do with values? Do I love my children
because of some 'truth'?
Yes. the truth that you have children, for example.
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, sometimes violent.
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")?
I have actually done that in my youth, but I have stopped to
believe this. All field can be perverted, but more so for the
theological field because it touches deeply our global view on
reality, and is full of non-communicable propositions.
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
It is political by construction and it attracts academicians who
want to have political effects.
In the university based on a conventional religion. Scientific
theology is simply not part of the curriculum since 1500 years, in
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." ---
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
I think that american put "agnostic" in atheism. If you are a real
atheist, believer in primary matter and believer in the non-
existence of any God, then you are an Aristotelian believer.
and I'm quite willing to consider your ontology based on
That's nice, and show that you are agnostic on primary matter,
which makes you a very special sort of "atheist". You should meet
I'm agnostic on everything if you mean not being absolutely certain.
OK. Well, I doubt you can be agnostic on your own consciousness "here-
and-now", but indeed we can doubt any other content. Now I have less
doubt for 1+1=2 than for G= kmM/r^2, to give simple examples.
I just gave up telling people who asked, that I was an agnostic
because then they would assume I was uncertain about the existence
of their god, Yaweh, Jesus, Allah, Zeus,... when in fact I was
pretty certain their god didnt' exist.
OK, but pretty certain is not "certain", and besides, they might be
partially correct. With comp they are certainly partially not correct
has they do the deeper theological error of giving a name to what many
consider as being not nameable, still less socially usable. But it is
not because they make error, that everything they say is incorrect.
Since most of these people were theists, I found it easier to just
say, "I'm an atheist", because that succinctly conveys (to those who
respect the meaning of words) my lack of belief in their theist gods.
Then I am atheist too. I am just out of that debate. The real question
is does God exist, and then we can measure if such or such religion is
closer to that God. But God is defined here by the (unnameable)
transcendental (independent of me) from which all notion of existence
emerge. Then we can ask if we can have personal link, like with the
notion of inner god. For a plotinian God is both a universal soul
attractor, and the reason why soul fall from it, in some circumstances.
Some atheists describe my work as super-atheism, as all
Aristotelian Gods are refuted, somehow. But they are usually not
even aware of the other conceptions of God and reality.
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.
Tegmark and Wheeler are the closer to comp, and are rather
No, they are not. Of course most physicists don't worry about
'what's fundamental, mathematics or matter'. But among those that
do think about it, I'd say more are close to Tegmark than to
Really? Note that Tegmark is still close to Aristotle too. he has not
embrace the comp reversal between physics and machine "theology/
psychology/biology". There is still a notion of "physical universe",
even if he become perhaps more cautious, and get closer to comp.
You seem to be unaware of the many atheist sects. Many are secret
and non transparent. I think you might never have met
I belong to the Ventura County Freethinkers, which has some fifty
members almost all of whom call themselves atheists. I'd say a only
two or three match your idea of believing in 'primary matter', but
most of them haven't thought of it that deeply anyway.
Even the cat believe in primary matter by default. Milk is a sort of
independent substance for him/her.
Our brains are constituted that way. Only people with frequent realist
dreams usually can doubt, by themselves, the basic nature of reality.
So people who does not think deep on this usually have never doubt
They just know they don't believe in theism, the belief in a
Do they believe in the non existence of a theist God. if not, that is
agnosticism. I know that for some american, agnosticism is part of
atheism, but this is quite confusing.
For many of them the reasons more moral and ethical than
epistemological or philosophical.
I have no problem with the anticlerical.
I think you are inventing secret opposition.
I don't want to talk about that.
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.
You oppose atheism and christianism.
Sure, because Christianity is a theism, as is Islam and Judaism and
OK, but they might be wrong on some point and correct on others. The
vindicating atheists are just more wrong on some point and less on
others. The division Plato/Aristotle is more interesting, and more
I oppose Aristotle and Plato theologies. From that points of view,
European Atheists are more fundamentalist than European Christian,
because they pretend that science is on their side, and they mock
(to say the least) and hide any argument which might generate a
doubt on this.
I don't know what 'their side' means. If it means Christianity is
wrong, I think science is on their side.
Science is not on any side. It asks only for interesting hypothesis.
God is an interesting hypothesis, but this is hidden in the fable and
superstition encouraged by the manipulators.
Personally, I am already not sure that christianism, before 500, has
anything to do with Christianism after 500.
In science, in case of big ignorance, we often extend the terms to
make easy the reasoning. So define God by whatever is responsible of
our existence. Then I see that some theories (like weak materialist
theories) are incompatible with other theories (like computationalist
They don't allow the doubt and the scientific attitude on the
fundamental question. They already "know".
It's quite possible to know answers are wrong without knowing the
They know that the fable are incorrect, but some believer knows that
too. Atheism evacuates the question and often present science as the
answer, when science is only a tool to formulate the questions and
test some answers.
Well, I will not insist as my opinion on atheists comes mainly from my
personal experience with some of them, and it is hard to communicate
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