On 12/1/2013 12:48 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 30 Nov 2013, at 22:37, meekerdb wrote:

I can conceive of (with apologies to H. L. Mencken), Agdistis or Angdistis, Ah Puch, Ahura Mazda, Alberich, Allah, Amaterasu, An, Anansi, Anat, Andvari, Anshar, Anu, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apsu, Ares, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Athirat, Athtart, Atlas, Baal, Ba Xian, Bacchus, Balder, Bast, Bellona, Bergelmir, Bes, Bixia Yuanjin, Bragi, Brahma, Brent, Brigit, Camaxtli, Ceres, Ceridwen, Cernunnos, Chac, Chalchiuhtlicue, Charun, Chemosh, Cheng-huang, Clapton, Cybele, Dagon, Damkina (Dumkina), Davlin, Dawn, Demeter, Diana, Di Cang, Dionysus, Ea, El, Enki, Enlil, Eos, Epona, Ereskigal, Farbauti, Fenrir, Forseti, Fortuna, Freya, Freyr, Frigg, Gaia, Ganesha, Ganga, Garuda, Gauri, Geb, Geong Si, Guanyin, Hades, Hanuman, Hathor, Hecate (Hekate), Helios, Heng-o (Chang-o), Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Hod, Hoderi, Hoori, Horus, Hotei, Huitzilopochtli, Hsi-Wang-Mu, Hygeia, Inanna, Inti, Iris, Ishtar, Isis, Ixtab, Izanaki, Izanami, Jesus, Juno, Jehovah, Jupiter, Juturna, Kagutsuchi, Kartikeya, Khepri, Ki, Kingu, Kinich Ahau, Kishar, Krishna, Kuan-yin, Kukulcan, Kvasir, Lakshmi, Leto, Liza, Loki, Lugh, Luna, Magna Mater, Maia, Marduk, Mars, Mazu, Medb, Mercury, Mimir, Min, Minerva, Mithras, Morrigan, Mot, Mummu, Muses, Nammu, Nanna, Nanna (Norse), Nanse, Neith, Nemesis, Nephthys, Neptune, Nergal, Ninazu, Ninhurzag, Nintu, Ninurta, Njord, Nugua, Nut, Odin, Ohkuninushi, Ohyamatsumi, Orgelmir, Osiris, Ostara, Pan, Parvati, Phaethon, Phoebe, Phoebus Apollo, Pilumnus, Poseidon, Quetzalcoatl, Rama, Re, RheaSabazius, Sarasvati, Selene, Shiva, Seshat, Seti (Set), Shamash, Shapsu, Shen Yi, Shiva, Shu, Si-Wang-Mu, Sin, Sirona, Sol, Surya, Susanoh, Tawaret, Tefnut, Tezcatlipoca, Thanatos, Thor, Thoth, Tiamat, Tianhou, Tlaloc, Tonatiuh, Toyo-Uke-Bime, Tyche, Tyr, Utu, Uzume, Vediovis, Venus, Vesta, Vishnu, Volturnus, Vulcan, Xipe, Xi Wang-mu, Xochipilli, Xochiquetzal, Yam, Yarikh, YHWH, Ymir, Yu-huang, Yum Kimil and Zeus. But I see no reason to believe any of them exist.

Which means it is up to you to prove that none of those Gods can exist.

Just because I, or someone else, can conceive of them? Is that how you accept the burden of proof - you must either believe in whatever anyone conceives of or else provide a disproof?

Well, you are the one saying that no Gods exist,

No, I said I see no reason to believe in them.

That makes you agnostic, not atheist. I recall you that agnostic = ~[]g (& ~[]~g). Atheist = []~g.

That's right, I'm agnostic with respect to the question of whether there could be a god(s). But I'm still an atheist because I'm pretty sure there's not theist god.

You said that being able to conceive of gods makes it hard to disbelieve in God.

Once you accept that we are ignorant on the origin of the physical universe, you can be open to different sort of explanation. "God" points on an explanation is not physical, but it does not mean it takes some Fairy tale into account. The God of comp is the God of the Parmenides, which is the base of the neoplatonist theology (Plotinus, Proclus). Such a conception is close to Augustin and the christian mystics, the Soufis, the Kabbala, and the East spirituallity.

I'm saying it is only when you conceive of something that you can say you fail to believe it exists. Otherwise you don't know what you are denying.

That's my exact point.

It's not what you wrote.  You wrote:

"If you are able to conceive a god without afterlife, it means you can conceive a non Christian God, which is nice, but contradicts the main atheist statements you already did in preceding conversations."
"Also, if you can conceive a Non Christian God, it becomes more difficult to *believe* in the non existence of God."

So you claimed that conceiving of a non-Christian God makes it more difficult to believe in the non-existence of God (by which I think you mean to fail to believe in the existence of God). And then you agree that one *must* concieve of a God (or anything else) in order to fail to believe in its existence. As one of my physics advisors, Jurgen Ehlers, used to say, "Before we can know whether a thing exists we must first know its properties."

so you are the one pretending having a clear referent for each of the name above, and you are the one acting like if you knew that none exist.

Right. Of course I don't have clear referent of each one, but someone did. They were worshiped and prayed to and sacrificed for. But being able to conceive of them is what makes it possible say I don't believe in them - otherwise I wouldn't know what I was failing to believe. It doesn't make it harder to disbelieve; it makes it *possible*.

We have been naive on thunder, sun, moon, and many things. Obviously we have been naive on God too, but that is not a reason to abandon the idea, which is basically the idea that the physical universe has a non physical reason.

You refer to "the idea". What is "the idea". Common usage, which is how we define words, holds that "God" refers to an immortal person who created the world, wants to be worshiped, judges people and rewards and punishes them. There are plenty of reason to abandon *THAT* idea. If you want to consider some other idea: Great! But you should use a different word for it. When pressed you admit that the idea you want to consider has nothing in common with "God": It's reality or all true, but unprovable formulae of arithmetic or the computations of a universal dovetailer. None of which bear the slightest resemblance to the God that is worshiped in Temples, Churches, and Mosques around the world. So when I say I'm and atheist I have a clear referent for what I don't believe. When you say you don't want to abandon "the idea" you are not clear what is the referent of "the idea".


Atheists, like fundamentalists often talk like if they were not ignorant in those matter. but in science, not only we are ignorant, but the very subject is denied by some scientists (when atheists).

People like Gödel and Einstein where pissed of by "free-thinkers" and "atheists", because they were quite aware of their dogmatic attitude. I would have read them about that subject, I would have been less naive, and probably run away from them.

Atheism and fundamentalist theism is really the same. Same God, same Matter. And same violent responses against the doubter and the agnostics. Same visceral negative attitude against the application of the scientific attitude in the theological field.

I'm fine with applying the scientific attitude to the theological field.

That is my only point here, besides the study of machine's or number's theology (G* minus G).

And it is characteristic of science that it does not confirm theories, but sometimes refutes or makes theories very improbable. The theory that the world was created by a superperson who cares about humans and judges them and will reward or punish them and answer prayers, the theory known as "theism", has been tested and found false.

If that is true, we abandon that notion of God, and then we can come back to the original scientific conception of God: the Unknown origin of the Universe.

Look at arXiv.org. There are papers almost every day discussing possible conceptions of the origin of the universe, whether information may be fundamental, whether there can be relations without relata, whether we live in a simulation,... Perhaps it is only in Belgium that atheists are strict billard-ball materialists.

It is discussed in many books, including many treatise written by theologian, in most traditions. Of course such theologians have problems with the religious institutions. But that is a point in their favor, as most institutions perpetuates authoritative arguments.

But the ONE is not anyone of those, as it has no name.

A god, with a name, that might be a comp reason to disbelieve in it, or to try to look who is hiding beyond the name.

Exactly!  And "God" is a name.

It is a NickName, pointing on the one without name, and in theology, it is the most common term used. To change its name would be to give an importance of the name. It is the axiom one about God, "It has no name", a bit like the tao, which once named is no more the tao.

No it's not a nickname, that's why it is capitalized.

It is capitalized because it is unique,

How do you know it's unique. Sounds like dogma to me. "Reality" is unique in some metaphysics, but we don't capitalize it because it's not the name of a person.

and a name of something very often conceive as a person. With comp, the "person" character of the outer God is an open problem. But the inner God *is* a person.

Define "inner", so that the above is not just a semantic definition.

You just like to use it because some atheists gave you a hard time. Otherwise you could call it "reality" or "the tao" or something else not implying theism (see definition above).

Not at all. I use it because all the theologians I read use it, and this in many variate cultures. If I was using TAO, most people would believe that I defend specifically Taoism, but what I defend is more general than that, and closer to the Greek notion explained in Plato and Neoplatonism.

Why don't you worry that you are defending Yawheh, Eloim, Allah, and the God of the Catholic Church.

The problem I got with atheists came before I use any term from theology, as they were oppose the word "mind", "consciousness", AI, and even "computer" for many. I still don't know if the problem was ideological at the start, but apparently it has become ideological.

What's the matter with "reality" or "what is fundamental"? John K. Clark makes the charitable assumption you are just enamored of the word "G-o-d". I hope he is right.


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