Re: Believing ...

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 16:47:33 +0200

Here is the post I was searching!

Le 21-mars-07, à 18:01, Brent Meeker a écrit :

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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,
> A god defined solely by that would not be accepted by any of the major
> religions, except perhaps Bhuddism which doesn't include gods. The
> Abrahamic religions add that God is a person, is beneficient, is
> demanding, and answers prayers. These are defining characteristics of
> theism. Which is why I was careful to specify a theist God. The
> etymology of "atheist" implies that it is this religion of theism that
> is not believed.

Perhaps. Theology has been a scientific field during one millenium,
until it has been transformed into a political power, which has
systemically use some repression precisely against anyone thinking
freely in that field. The problem is that many atheist continues that
tradition by taking for granted the theology of Aristotle, like if
doubt were not allowed. IMO Atheism and theism are are almost
faithfully mirroring each other. They take for granted a notion of
nature/matter, and they both put under the rug the very fundamental

>> making "truth" an elementary lobian machine/entity's God,
>> and this is enough for coming back to serious theology.
> Serious theology for Bruno seems to be that of Paul Tillich: God is
> whatever you consider fundamental. To me that seems like an attempt
> at theological jujitsu to convert atheists by redefining words.

I disagree. But OK, I am probably not enough clear.

I associate to each machine M a theology. I define it by the set of all
true propositions about machine M, including experiences and many
unprovable truth. By Science about and by a machine M, I mean what a
machine can prove about herself. The pure theology of machine M is then
given by the difference between theology on M and Science by M.
I don't consider the "fundamental" has being theological per se, like
Tillich. It is more the difference between what a machine can
(correctly) prove and what a machine can (correctly) bet.
It is relate with a sense of uncommunicability.

having said this, you can guess that "our theology" cannot be
scientific. But with comp a sort of miracle occurs. A machine having
rich axiom can study "scientifically" the whole theology of a simpler
machine, and then can lift it on herself in a betting way. So I can
study the complete theology of Peano Arithmetic (the machine! not to be
confused xith Arithmetical truth: the non effective set of true
arithmetical proposition). Then I can hope comp is true for me, and I
can hope the PA theology could apply to me. So with comp there is both
a scientific theology and a "non scientific one". The trick is just
make clear when you apply the comp hyp, and when you reason about
simpler machine than you.

Of course, in a nutshell: the modality "science" is given by the modal
logic of self-reference G. And theology is given by the modal logic G*.

>> 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.
> What difference does "in the name of make"? That seems to attribute
> magic power to phrases.

Naming God, or institutionalize anything in his name, and you will get
the contrary of what you intend for. You can even empirically note that
confusing spiritual and temporal (by creating church for example, but
worst by linking church and state) betrays the religious message.
Actually, in "conscience and mechanism" I show this happens with all
"protagorean virtue". Someone who say "I am good" is bad. Someone who
say "I am clever" is stupid etc.
In term of lobian machine. "self-truth" is really not expressible, and
leads directly to inconsistency when the machine confuse "the truth",
and any of its possibly correct (and nameable) approximation. The
machine will crash.
Of course phrases have "magic power", that is what computer are all
about: words which make a machine act in some way.
Intuitively you can perhaps intuit that "talking in the name of God"
leads to an unscientific (to say the least) authoritative type of

>> 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
>> exception.
>> 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.
> I can appreciate that the fundamental thing (if there is one) must be
> unameable and god-like (omnipresent)...

Nice. We agree on this.

> but not God-like (person, answer prayers, beneficient) and not God.

I agree. But it is only by taking seriously theoretical theology (like
the one derivable from the comp bet, for instance) that we will able to
learn what could be like "comp-mistake" in actual theologies, and learn
many things, explaining perhaps how and why "temporal theologies" lead
from time to time to "criminogenic religion".

"theos" has given theism, ok, but recall that it has given also
"theorem". "Theos" is related to the idea of having a *panoramic* view
of reality, whatever it can be, and with the greeks, it means mainly
what is beyond appearances.

to sum up; it is not so bad an approximation to say that Lobian
science = G, and Lobian
theology = G*
remembering that G* becomes practically religious (and non
"scientific") only when you want to apply it on yourself (like saying
yes to a doctor).
Note that the comp-matter is theological (matter appears in Z1*; like
in Everett QM, you need some faith beyond appearances, and
indeterminacy is driven by population multiplications (cf. first person


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Received on Wed Mar 28 2007 - 10:47:55 PDT

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