On 02 Dec 2013, at 19:03, meekerdb wrote:

On 12/2/2013 1:55 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


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."

Exactly. That is my main criticism of atheism. They have to believe in a rather precise notion of God to disbelieve in it.

And you criticize us for that!? My main criticism of you and theologians is that they want to take the fairly precise notion of God, the one that billions of people pray to and tithe to and strive to obey,

The very fact that this definition is precise should make you skeptical about it. You talk current majority, I point on a concept with has a large long human history. You look like wanting aborting a possible science.




try to stretch it and chop it to fit some rational philosophy,

But that is what we do all the time in science.
Why couldn't we do that in theology?
Who forbids that? The pope, the Ayatollah  and the atheists.




just so they and their close friends can say, "We believe in God rationally


Come on. No serious theologian would say that. they know you need grace, luck, or a bit of salvia divinorum, which seems to cure atheism according to some reports.

We can't believe in God rationally, nor can we believe in the moon rationally, but we can study the consequences of our theories. And when we become rational, as you know, we are lead from questions to questions.




and so all those people are justified in continuing to believe in fairy tales; they just don't know what the fairy tale really is."

Some fairy tales might have some symbolical explanation, others might not.







But the only God in which it is easy to disbelieve in, are the Fairy Tale notion of God. Atheism becomes equivalent with "I don't believe in fairy tales". Now I have tuns of books in theology, and I have not yet seen one defending fairy tales notion of Gods. (Except the free one given by Jehovah witness, which I don't read, except to measure the credulity exploited by their sects).

And except the Bible, the Quran, and the Torah - which are the fairy tales believed by billions of people, all but a tiny group of 'theologians' who also claim to believe them, but try to make the belief rational by redefining all the words in them - just as you redefine "God".

I suggest definition, and make reasoning, and that is what the scientists always do. The "simple" machines theology is refutable as it contains physics.

I can understand the dislike of the term "God" given the many things made in its name, but I think that if your read the theological literature you can become open that the religious phenomenon is not just in the brain, it might reflect some deeper arithmetical truth, concerning notably the relation between the first person self and truth.

I fail to understand the certainty you seem to have in this matter.

Bruno





Brent

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http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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