On 27 Nov 2013, at 20:04, John Clark wrote:

On Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 10:03 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> If you are able to conceive a god without afterlife

I can conceive of a afterlife without God too.

> it means you can conceive a non Christian God,


> which is nice

Certainly nicer than the Christian God who is the most unpleasant character in all of fiction.

It really depends on which Christians, which can be very different from one culture to another.

But I can relate with your feeling. Some "christian God" are very antipathetic, like the one who promise hell if you just don't love him, which I think makes it impossible to be loved.

> but contradicts the main atheist statements you already did in preceding conversations.

I don't see how. I can conceive of Harry Potter too but that doesn't mean I think it likely he exists, although the probability that Mr. Potter really exists would be far greater than the probability the Christian God exists.

> We might try to decide on a definition of "atheism", as that notion is very unclear,

The only reason its unclear is that your meaning of the word G-O-D is very very unclear; and the reason for that is you've fallen in love with the English word G-O-D even though you've abandoned the idea behind it.

Already Plato used it in two different sense, which are hard to relate. The God of the Timaeus is quite different from the God of the Parmenides. I use God for any transcendental reality, which implies some experience, and some faith, if only in our sanity.

For some reason that I don't fully understand you just want to make the following sound with your mouth "I believe in God" and it doesn't matter what the sound means.

You can replace the term "God" by the term "Reality" or "Truth". The problem is that most people take a reality fro granted, but in the comp theory that is probably a sort of illusion. To believe in a reality is akin to believe in its own consistency, and this asks for a cautious type of act of faith. Machines' theology is very close to Plotinus or Proclus theology, and I am just using the same word, which is rather standard in the scholars writing, and among the non-confessional philosophers.

> I use "God" in the greek sense of Truth

The Greeks believed it was true that Poseidon existed and was the brother of Zeus. I don't.

It is the fate of theories: to be wrong. It is not a reason to abandon an idea, but it is a reason to attempt to correct it. And the greeks already corrected their own theory many times.



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