On 15 Jan 2013, at 08:26, meekerdb wrote:

On 1/11/2013 10:19 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 10 Jan 2013, at 19:59, meekerdb wrote:

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.

No, the real question is whether there is something fundamental from which all that we experience can be derived and if so what is it?


 If you were German and called it "Urstoff" I'd go along with you.

I try to avoid "Aristotelian imagery". God = truth, not "stoff" and even less "Ur". You should perhaps read Plotinus. The being (Noùs), which is what looks like stuff for the internal creature is enclosed between two things outside "beings", God (by definition the truth frm which the beings emanate) and matter, the unavoidable and uncontrollable (by God) border of the observable.

But you insist on calling this hypothetical thing "God" thus dragging in all kinds of connotations of personhood, judgement, worship, dogma,...

because I read many theologians of different culture. I realize that 'even" Christianism is less wrong than atheism with respect of the global rational picture that we can bet on with computationalism. Let us call it the 'one' (but this change of name can be misleading as It has no name, and changing name can be a symptom that we take the name seriously.

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 exceptional.

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 Aristotle.

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.

Yes, but his "physical universe" is just mathematical. It is "physical" like your fundamental stuff is "God"

It is not stuff. Is it a person? I don't know yet.

- it's just a use of an old word to mean something quite different. Physicist are sometimes criticized (rightly) for the same thing, using words like "color" and "free energy" in ways that are only vaguely related to the common meaning. But they at least all agree on the technical meaning - whereas every theologian redefines "God" for himself.

I follow Plato. I give the references, and despite 1500 years of politics, even the conventional religion are less false than atheism in this matter. It *is* a technical point. An important one, given that the opposition to my work comes from fundamentalist atheists. They don't like the realization that the belief in primary matter is a religious belief.

You seem to be unaware of the many atheist sects. Many are secret and non transparent. I think you might never have met fundamentalist atheists.

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 "primary matter".

You are putting thoughts into their head. Cats and people believe in matter. They don't need to have any opinion about whether it is primary.

You might be right, but given our mammal brain, I think it is reasonable to suppose it seems primary for them by default. Unless when waking and remembering dream, which is the root of the skepticism here.

They just know they don't believe in theism, the belief in a personal God.

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.

No, agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible to know of any god whether or not that god exists.

I use the term in the layman european sense.

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 Zoroastrianism.

OK, but they might be wrong on some point and correct on others.

But they claim infallible revelations -

Which of course makes no sense in the public discourse. They just fall in the theological trap (that comp explains).

so if they are wrong on some point their whole system if refuted.

Why? People can get correct conclusion with wrong premises.

The vindicating atheists are just more wrong on some point and less on others.

So point on where they are wrong. So long as they are right not to believe in the theist god, they are still atheists.

I define machine's theology by the discourse of the machine about what is true for them, but not rationally justifiable, and then I show it gives a simple arithmetical interpretation of Plotinus. Forget the religion used for political purpose, please. Vindicating atheists does believe in primary matter, naturalism, physicalism.

The division Plato/Aristotle is more interesting, and more scientific.

Sure, the question of what is fundamental, or whether anything is, is more interesting.

OK. Nice.

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,

Only if you *don't* mean the god of Christianity or Islam or Zoroaster or...

Forget the human religion, unless you find one coherent with your hypothesis about everything.

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.

Or that either has anything to do with the events of 0 to 30CE. Saul of Taursus invented the dogmatic religion of Christianity based on what he heard of a mystic cult leader.

Which is the first mistake.

I have just no interest in the mistaken (if only relatively to computationalism) theories.

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.

"Responsible" is an ethical concept.

Really? OK. In french responsible is more general. It can be "reason that". We can say something like the bad weather was responsible for the car crashes, or the low tempretaure was responsible for the icing of the pond.

My mistake.

Why should there be anything that has ethical responsibility for our existence. Why not simple cause of our existence?

Then I see that some theories (like weak materialist theories) are incompatible with other theories (like computationalist theories).

Maybe. I don't think they are as incompatible as you do. I think that even if computation is fundamental, we (that is consciousness) can only exist within the context of material existence.

Then we are back to UDA, as it proves that if "matter" play a role, it cannot be computational. You light confuse "human consciousness", which needs material existence, and the consciousness of the Löbian machine, from which human and matter emerge.

"My Atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety toward the
universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own
image, to be servants of their human interest."
     --- George Santayana

That's my religion too, but to say that Spinoza is an atheists will not make sense for many. To be continued ...


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 right answer.

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 about that.





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