BaruchTheology is a branch of Metaphysics ...Fri Jul 6, 2012 09:4818.104.22.168just as Quantum Theory is a branch of Physics ;-) What is common to both situations is that we have some data, which in general might be either rational nor quantitative (what I dreamed last night) but in limited normal conscious circumstances is both rational and quantitative (what comes out of the ATLAS instrument). Well at least it is a good assumption that the latter is both rational and quantitative, that is what the physicists are assuming with good reason, though there is no guarantee that those two assumptions are correct. This was all defined during the first 500 years of Greek philosophy ... the invention of abstract mathematics, of logic, and physical science. The mathematics and logic developed way quicker than the physical science, which remained in a primitive state for another 1500+ years (until you have Tartaglia, Stevin, Galileo and Kepler). In the case of dogmatic theology, one assumes the evidence is rational, but not quantitative ... see St Thomas Aquinas etal.
To my own taste, I don't care for dogmatic theology ... basically that is assuming angels, then deducing how many can dance on the head of a pin. Dogmatic theology is most prominent in Catholicism and its close relative, Calvinist Protestantism (see Jean Cauvin (aka John Calvin). Buddhist theology is the inverse ... whereas Christians are trying to come to positive knowledge (what can we know), Buddhists are trying to come to negative knowledge (what can we not know). Dogmatic Buddhism not surprisingly originated in the first Indian universities, such as at Nalanda ... just as Dogmatic Catholicism originated in the first European universities such as that at Paris.
That frames an answer to you, it isn't the answer itself. In dogmatic theology, I would make one or more assumptions (much more sticky than those in Euclidean geometry), and then use logic to derive the existence and personality of G-d, or at least the properties of the Absolute (if not personalist). The first is Western, the second is Eastern. In Buddhism/Hinduism, the deities are simply super-beings, not G-d in the sense of the Abrahamic religions at all. One line of reasoning (but for me reason is a tool, not a fetish) one can argue from cause/effect and Aristotle did so, and derived the Unmoved Mover ... because infinite regress was considered illogical. Today we deal with infinities more nimbly, so infinite regress is quite reasonable and useable, in say calculus and number theory. Thus the argument of Aristotle falls apart in better hands.
For me the question is the point, not the answer, let alone using a deductive technique (Greek or Indian) to find an answer. It is a matter of recognition ... and thus a question of psychology, not of physics. Of course a reductionist will try to derive psychology from physics, and if we are rigorous, will fail at doing so. The marketing materials of reductionists, like that of international bankers, will twist the truth a bit to avoid this conclusion. So what is the question? Well not all questions are qualitatively the same. The number of questions (quantity) is irrelevant. And qualitatively, I am not assuming that the question is rational. Remember that rational numbers are a subset of the real numbers, and that the other two categories of the real numbers are the irrational numbers (this is why Hippias of Metapontum, of the Pythagorean brotherhood, was murdered by the other Pythagoreans, because he revealed to outsiders (non-Barclay's bankers?) that there were irrational numbers (say the square root of two) or was it LIBOR manipulation?) ... and the transcendental numbers. You are simply by metaphor, limiting yourself to positive integers (no zero) and the ratios of those integers.
So good questions are ...
1. Is what I experience objective or subjective?
2. Is the dichotomy of objective/subjective a continuum or binary?
3. Is there an order to what I experience?
4. Is what I experience life or non-life?
5. Is the dichotomy of life/non-life a continuum or binary?
6. is what I experience conscious or unconscious?
7. Is consciousness/unconsciousness a continuum or binary?
8. Is experience rational or irrational? (see #3)
9. Is the dichotomy of rational/irrational a continuum or binary?
Those are some of the psychological questions one can ask oneself. There are some obvious assumptions involved in this list ... monism vs dualism vs pluralism ... discrete vs continuum ... order vs disorder etc. Just examine the first sections of any classical Roget's Thesaurus ... and you will see that these abstract categories are fundamental to any language, and therefore to any thought process.
- How do you have more than one assumption.... Kasey, Fri Jul 6 08:48that a creator god, by whatever name, actually exists? Regards, Kasey
- Lecture on QM by Google software engineer ... Baruch, Fri Jul 6 11:33http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEaecUuEqfc This covers the present "spookiness" of QM. There is something illogical about the conventional understanding of QM, and he has a go at determining what the ... more
- Most of the lecture is based on photons ... Baruch, Fri Jul 6 12:32and photons have really odd behavior compared to ordinary matter like electrons. In classical mechanics, if you try to deal with EM waves, you end up with infinities (this also happens with rest mass ... more
- Do you regard any assumption as a theory??? (nm) Kasey, Sat Jul 7 03:27
- Definitions ... Baruch, Sat Jul 7 06:56Per Physics: hypothesis = concept developed by the imagination, that is potentially repeatable, quantifiable and confirmable by public observation, Higgs boson for example theory = hypothesis... more
- And for a god or gods assumption???? (nm) Kasey, Sat Jul 7 09:09
- End of lecture ... Baruch, Fri Jul 6 12:13it applies to consciousness, just as the Schroedinger's Cat thought experiment applies to what consciousness is in a non-sensical way. In summary, human consciousness is a Turing Computer simulation... more
- Theology is a branch of Metaphysics ... Baruch, Fri Jul 6 09:48