Dear Stephen,

On 07 May 2013, at 22:59, Stephen Paul King wrote:

Dear Bruno,

As a former and recovering fundamentalist Christian, I am 100% in agreement with your words above. I merely wish that I could communicate better with you.

Thanks for telling Stephen.


On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 11:53 AM, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:

On 29 Apr 2013, at 11:32, Telmo Menezes wrote:

On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:

You might take a look at my Plotinus paper which suggest a lexicon between Plotinus and Arithmetic. Plotinus might have appreciated it as Neoplatonism announces a coming back to Pythagorean ontology. One of the Enneads of Plotinus, "On Numbers" is a crazily deep analysis of the role of numbers in

This one?
Marchal B., 2007, A Purely Arithmetical, yet Empirically Falsifiable,
Interpretation of Plotinus' Theory of Matter


Theology is just the science of "everything", which by definition includes God and Santa Klaus. A statement saying that such or such God does not exist
is a theological statement.

It is just my agnosticism which make me use the term in the most general sense. Then, in the frame of this or that hypothesis, we can get such or
such precisions.

I like how you explain it. From a pure "marketing" standpoint, you
might avoid a lot of unnecessary intellectual resistance by using a
different term. On the other hand, some of your colourful personality
would not come through, so who am I to say...

Lol ... I can understand. But the resistance is both more superficial (and boring), but has some deep aspect, and using the word "theology" has helped me to make that clear.

In fact I have been encouraged to use the word "theology" because it makes things clearer, and it was well seen in my university (based on free-exam). I got problem, unrelated to this, and I have been proposed to defend the work in France, and there, I have been asked to remove anything referring to theology. In particular I have used the term "psychology" in place of theology, but this has led to other confusion, and an even greater resistance, making me realize the existence of a fundamentalist atheism.

The main advantage of using the term "theology" is to prevent the reductionist interpretation of mechanism, and it is a way to recall that science has not yet decide between Plato and Aristotle, which proposes deeply different view on everything, including the type of God rationally possible. Eventually it made me realize that atheism is really a slight variant of christianism, when you compare to Plato. Of course some atheists can be uneasy with this, but then it means that they are not aware of the mind-body problem.

I thought, perhaps naively, that most scientist where aware that science was deeply agnostic, and that if we do research on the mind- body problem, such agnosticism was the key to make progress. Eventually I understood that the Platonist conception of reality is deeply hidden in our culture, and that atheists are much more opposed to it than most intellectual having has some confessional religious background (something which has astonished me, but confirmed everyday since). This made atheism *theologically* more flawed than christianism.

Now, from a computer science view, "theology" is just what is true about machine. We know that this is bigger than what the machine can prove, and that is enough from a clear definition standpoint. The original term was biology, but this led to confusion too.

Since a long time, I read hundred of theologians from different confession and religion, and well, it fits remarkably with the subject, and with what I am talking about. And it is quite interesting to compare machine's theology (and machine's science) with the different existing religions.

I tend to believe that most non natural human suffering comes from that sad fact: the withdrawal of theology as a science, and its political institutionalization. Many fundamentalism would not exist, especially the atheist one, with which I have been confronted even without knowing that. Of course this doe not concern the "agnostic atheism" as the word can sometimes have a larger (but confusing) meaning.

In fact I call that theology, because it *is* theology. It concerns afterlife, the soul, the origin of realities, the existence of divine (non Turing emulable) entities, gods and goddesses, etc... and I am all against introducing new words when older words already exist, because that create big and unnecessary confusions. It helps also to refer to the theology of the Platonists and Neoplatonists. I read quite remarkable book on that subject.

I am aware some resistance can come from the use of that word, but it seems to me the advantages, notably clarity, are more numerous than the disandvantages. I might be wrong, but I am not yet convinced.

There is not scientific evidence whatsoever of this. Nor do I think it
can be. People like António Damásio (my compatriot) and other
neuroscientists confuse a machine's ability to recognise itself with
consciousness. This makes me wonder if some people are zombies.

Some people don't think, but are still conscious, most plausibly. I guess
you were joking.

I meant the opposite: people who think but are not conscious. I'm

OK (I was half serious) :)

You are right about Damásio. he confuses [] p and (([] p  &  p).

Not sure I understand. Doesn't []p => p ?

Yes, but only God knows that.

Precisely (but I will give the detail on FOAR): if B is Gödel's provability we have that G* proves []p => p, but G does not prove it. You can guess it as if G prove [] f => f (with f = the propositional constant false, and "=>" the logical implication), then it would mean that the machine proves ~[] f, and so the machine would proves its own consistency, contradicting Gödel's second incompleteness theorem. But G* proves it, and proves that the machine
is correct: []p => p.

This is capital. It is Gödel's incompleteness which makes provability obeying the logic of believability, and which gives sense to the Theaetetus'
definition of knowledge for machine.

Ok, I need to read more.

If interested, you might subscribe to Russell Standish's FOAR group, where I intend to come back on this.

I agree on intelligence, but I don't feel less conscious when I'm

sleepy. Just differently conscious. I'm a bit sleepy right now.

That's something amazing with consciousness. It exists in different
We are not trained to develop vigilance during sleep, but sleep produces
lot of intriguing altered state of consciousness.

Yes, it's so frustrating to not be able to come back with the full

For REM dreams and non-REM conscious episode, it is a question of a (lot of)
training, but some plants can help.
For example calea zacatechichi (legal everywhere except in Belgium),

I've seen that once mentioned before in the context of lucid dreaming.

I am a bit skeptical about Calea zacatechichi. Studies on mice have shown that it perturbs only the non REM dreams, and I have not found any convincing report that it might lead to lucidity. It can be part of a ritual helping some placebo effect making higher the probability to develop lucidity in dream, though. Coffee is more efficacious, but careful as it can lead easily to insomnia. Calea zacatechichi is also incredibly bitter. Calea tea is almost non swallowable at all, and the bitterness stays in the month for weeks. If you want get rid of some friends, just offer them a cup of calea zacatechichi ! :)


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