Re: Believing ...

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 12:25:21 +0100

Le 20-mars-07, à 13:02, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

> On 3/20/07, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
>> Le 01-mars-07, à 00:35, Brent Meeker a écrit :
>> > Brent Meeker quoted:
>> > "Atheism is a belief system the way "Off" is a TV channel."
>> >       --- George Carlin
>> Carlin makes the typical confusion between atheism and agnosticism.
>> An atheist has indeed a rich belief system:
>> 1) he believes that God does not exist (unlike an agnostic who does
>> not
>> believe that God exists: that makes a huge difference)
>> 2) he generally believes in a material or Aristotelian Universe
>> (despite its contradiction with comp, or with QM, or with some
>> physically reproducible facts, and despite any proof or argument
>> beyond
>> the Aristotelian Matter reification.)

> 1) Do you believe we should also be agnostic about Santa Claus and the
> Tooth Fairy? If so, should the balance of belief in these entities
> (i.e. belief for/against) be similar to that in the case of God? I ask
> in all seriousness as you are a logician and there *is* a huge
> difference, logically if not practically, between atheism and
> agnosticism.

Of course (cf Brent's comment) we are on the verge of a purely
vocabulary discussion. If you define God by a big white male sitting on
a cloud, there is a case of comparing "God" and "Santa Klaus". If you
define "god" by "ultimate meaning or ultimate theory of everything
including persons and feeling, quanta and qualia, ...", or even more
generally by "god" = "truth" about "us", then it is different. Now most
religions accept or even define God by its transcendance and
unnameability, making "truth" an elementary lobian machine/entity's
God, and this is enough for coming back to serious theology. The gap
between truth about a machine and provability by that machine already
illustrates the necessity of distinguishing the scientific and
religious discourse of machines. Pure theology can be (re)defined by
"truth minus science". Then, lobian theology is controlled by the G/G*
mathematical gap, and their intensional (modal) variants.
Talking or acting or doing anything in the name of God leads to
inconsistency and most probably suffering. In the scientific (=
doubting) discourse, we can use use the term "God" like we can use the
term "first person", but we cannot talk *in* those names.

> 2) I don't know that atheists are much more likely to believe in a
> material universe than other people.

I have never met an atheist who does not believe in primitive matter.
Well, today even theist believe in primitive matter, with few
Now, if an atheist does not believe in primitive matter, he certainly
believe in something, all right. And if he does fundamental research,
he certainly believe in something fundamental, and then if he is a
lobian machine, then it can be shown that that fundamental thing has to
be unnameable and god-like, even if it is "just" a pagan notion of god.


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Received on Wed Mar 21 2007 - 07:25:47 PDT

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