The one theology book all atheists really should read

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Musika, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not talking about philosophy. I'm talking about theology, which like alchemy and astrology and demonology is not a legitimate field of study. But nice attempt at changing the subject.

    LOL.When did that happen? Quote it please..
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  3. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    What agency do you think delivered the philosophy of ancient Greece to our current age?
    Wikipedia?

    I too, once thought I made a mistake. But then I realized I never make mistakes. But it then indeed dawned on me that I had made my first mistake, because I had thought I made a mistake, which of course, was a mistake.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Like Ufology? Parapsychology?

    I personally think that alchemy and astrology are fine subjects for the history of science. Necessary subjects actually, since nobody will understand the historical origins of astronomy or chemistry unless they study them.

    I wrote this in another thread and it bears repeating here:

    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/the-importance-of-pseudosciences.160141/page-7

    I'm not convinced that science and astrology can be so cleanly distinguished. See this extraordinary book (link below), particularly chapter 4 (which begins on page 85 in this version) which discusses what the author calls the "Prediction of Celestial Phenomena (PCP) Paradigm... It is to be distinguished from the EAE Paradigm [the earlier form of Mesopotamian divinatory astrology] as it incorporates for the first time, I argue, methods whereby certain celestial phenomena can be predicted to a high level of accuracy." This kind of astrology/astronomy produced accurate predictions of astronomical events using algebraic techniques, in the form of lunar and planetary ephemerides, almanacs and what are termed mathematical-astronomical texts (MAATs). These people could predict eclipses (some of their entries say "to be looked for" and there are predictions of eclipses in parts of the world not visible from Mesopotamia.

    "Most important is the evidence that they intended to predict them,[planetary phenomena] and that they felt confident enough to write to the king and tell him of their calculations. Their reputations were at stake when they did this. The Scholars were interested and capable of regulating the luni-solar year, and they had available to them both the accurate records of eclipses and planetary phenomena, and the characteristic periods after which they recurred. Their Letters and Reports show that some of them made predictions of planetary behaviour, using, at the very least, a characteristic period for Venus and some model of lunar velocity, and probably the Saros for eclipses."

    https://www.scribd.com/document/354817791/David-Brown-Mesopotamian-planetary-astronomy-astrology-pdf

    https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEsaros/SEsaros.html

    They made predictions, they informed the king of those predictions, and it would have been noticed in the palace if their predictions weren't accurate. But separating the astronomical aspects of what they were doing from the astrological is probably anachronistic. It would be reading our own distinction back into how they conceived of their work and what motivated them to do it.

    It's true that these ancient astrologers/astronomers didn't have a physical model of how the planets were moving up there in the sky. They were satisfied with 'saving the appearances', with predicting when planets would appear in particular places on the dome of the night sky (in various constellations or whatever).

    The Greeks under Alexander the Great eventually conquered Mesopotamia and Greeks had a more geometrical and less algebraic sensibility. So the Hellenistic Greeks went to work trying to create physical models of how everything moved like clockwork so that everything would be in the right place at the right time. So they produced elaborate orreries and astronomical computers such as the Antikythera mechanism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orrery

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

    The Greeks also produced highly precise forms of mathematical geocentric astronomy, with its (in)famous heavenly spheres and epicycles. In the 16th century this kind of astronomy was still just as accurate as Copernicus' new heliocentric astronomy and for years astronomers felt that geocentric and heliocentric astronomy were basically equivalent, just alternative models for predicting astronomical observations. Even today, planetarium projectors are based on the old geocentric system. It's that accurate.

    Today we are in essentially the same situation with quantum mechanics. We have several very accurate ways of predicting quantum measurement outcomes (Schroedinger's wave mechanics and Heisenberg's matrix mechanics) but we still lack a physical model (a quantum mechanical interpetation that permits us to understand what's actually happening down there on the microscale to make all the observations come out as they do.

    Physicists today basically just trust their mathematics, they make observations, turn the mathematical crank, and predict further observations. It works very well. But today's physicists are once again in the position of the ancient Mesopotamian astronomer/astrologers, without the divination but with lots more quantum weirdness.

    I'm most definitely not suggesting that we revive astrology. I'm just suggesting that it wasn't without value in its historical context and it wasn't totally irrational either. It's questionable whether the 16th and 17th century mathematical astronomy, and with it the scientific revolution, would have happened if it were not for astrology.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    It wasn't theology.


    So iow you just made up some shit about me getting hamstrung over Greece and India 2500 years ago. Thanks for that admission.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Thank God!

    And no..I'm not honoring astrology because it came before astronomy and is like really old. I'm just going to honor astronomy and the objective study of the stars and the planets. And I'm definitely not honoring theology because it came before what?....more theology?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
  9. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    That just leaves wikipedia, I suppose.

    I guess if the ancient Greeks had wiki, it explains why they knew so much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    It wasn't theology.

    The invention of the printing press more likely.
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yup. That's pretty much exactly what I said in post 42:

     
  12. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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  13. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Hi, Beer!

    I'm having beer and Hatch chilis stuffed with minced shrimp, garlic and diced mushrooms, onion and tomatillo, all dressed up with a tempura batter.

    Want some?
     
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  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    "Demolishing this God is pretty straightforward: all you need to do is point to the lack of scientific evidence for his existence, and the fact that we don't need to postulate him in order to explain how the universe works."
    It's just assumed as a possibility. OK, what makes it anything more than an attempt to shoehorn in god where there is no philosophical need for one? You may define god as a necessary condition, but that doesn't make it so. Why is it necessary?
    Science is a form of philosophy, but anyway, when no evidence is given, none is required to dismiss the premise. By the way David Bentley Hart wrote a book called "Atheist Delusions". Coincidence?
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Which is why you don't need to include that phrase. It's too wordy and is implied anyway.
     
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  16. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Amazingly. Thanks, Seattle...
     
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  17. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    So you keep telling us, which just begs the q why you are rewriting history.

    Which still leaves you with at least 1000 years of history to explain, even if you want to accept printing presses have a mind of their own.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  18. river

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    There is no one book that atheists should read .

    Read them all
     
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  19. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Well. This thread went down the toilet after only six pages. Good job.
     
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  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    So what about "at least 1000 years of history" must I explain by saying the printing press was the main agency of getting Greek philosophy to our current age? You are very vague in your assertions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not all bad.
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That is
    1) Abetting the continual confusion of religion and deity that dogs this topic.
    2) Certainly not true, about the "thoughtful believer". (We see the example of the recommended book, and the countless examples of theists discussing the "First Cause / Uncaused Cause / Cause of Reality and so forth - that's the version I God, the thing they claim is a "cartoon", dressed up).*
    3) Missing the point and motivation (begging the question, often) of Dawkins's polemics - he has been explicit about his reasons for focusing on the Abrahamic theistic beliefs that actually exist and have power in his world. For better or worse, it's a motivated rhetorical decision - not a fundamental property of his atheistic belief system, whatever it is.
    *Compare the "First Woodpecker" objection to Darwinian Evolution, often presented by the more sophisticated as the "Watchmaker" objection
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    This thread was flushed by the OP.
     

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