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  #1  
Old 12-12-2005, 11:55 PM
RJT RJT is offline
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Default For (kind-of) Atheists

I was reading DS’s “ Four Kinds of Atheists” post and the talk of religion being invented seem to be a frequent theme. This led me to think about the familiar question, “Was Mathematics invented or discovered?”

Generally, folk seem to have no problem when the discussion ends with the side that concludes Mathematics was invented. Yet, when we talk about Religion being invented (doesn’t matter whether is was invented or discovered for my point here) folk seem to assume “therefore it must be bogus” as the automatically logical deduction. It seems to me that whether Religion was invented or discovered has no baring on its validity (invalidity).

RJT
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2005, 12:11 AM
theweatherman theweatherman is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

Math is simply a way to describe our world. It most certainly is invented. I could reinvent the entire mathematical system but instead of 1+1=2, 1+1=4. I feel that religious types see their religion as the only way it could ever work, and such it is easy to view as bogus. Mathematicians accept that their science is relative.
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Old 12-13-2005, 12:19 AM
Lestat Lestat is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

Do you find a problem with the fact that one stick equals one stick no matter which mathematical model you adhere to? Yet one god equals different gods depending on which religious religious belief is employed?
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Old 12-13-2005, 12:22 AM
hmkpoker hmkpoker is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

Religion proposes the existence of things that can't be invented, like God, Heaven and Hell. Human beings can't create any of these things like we can with mathematical systems.

If the idea of them was invented and not discovered, they are bogus.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:05 AM
RJT RJT is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

[ QUOTE ]
Do you find a problem with the fact that one stick equals one stick no matter which mathematical model you adhere to? Yet one god equals different gods depending on which religious religious belief is employed?

[/ QUOTE ]

Right, so then one would proceed to investigate the “mathematics” of the religions in question. This happens all the time in science when different new theories emerge, no? We don’t stop and say there are opposing views so therefore science must be bogus. We study the new concept until we learn which is the correct theory.

All I am saying is that we cannot deduce anything simply given the assumption that Religion was invented. That thinking stops short. Follow up questions such as these are certainly valid and can lead to different conclusion/opinions. But, to those who stop at “Religion was invented” are being intellectually dishonest.*

*My first ever “intellectually dishonest” post. Do I get some type of a symbol in my profile now? I’ve held out longer than some. (Probably I am merely no longer master of my domain. Such finality. I am feeling a bit depressed at the thought.)
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2005, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

[ QUOTE ]
Math is simply a way to describe our world.

[/ QUOTE ]

No it isn't, not solely. A portion of mathematics can be used to describe the world, but most of it has no application.

[ QUOTE ]
It most certainly is invented. I could reinvent the entire mathematical system but instead of 1+1=2, 1+1=4.

[/ QUOTE ]

Exercise: work out what the implications of asserting that 1+1=4 are. With standard interpretations, this is a contradiction and you can use it to prove anything. It is possible to make sense of this (addition modulo 2), but you have changed the meanings of the terms (you must involve equivalence classes).

[ QUOTE ]
I feel that religious types see their religion as the only way it could ever work, and such it is easy to view as bogus. Mathematicians accept that their science is relative.

[/ QUOTE ]

On the contrary, mathematicians usually think they are discovering unchangable, necessary truths, either because they believe that mathematics has a timeless existence of its own (Platonism), that mathematics consists essentially only of formal derivations from axioms (formalism), or because mathematics is ultimately grounded by conceptual mechanisms that are universal for all humans.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:26 AM
Lestat Lestat is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

<font color="blue"> *My first ever “intellectually dishonest” post. Do I get some type of a symbol in my profile now? </font>

lol-

I see what you're saying, but the one thing that steers me away from this view is that math would still exist whether man had been around to invent it or not. If both math and religion were never invented, math would still exist. The earth would still have 1 moon and not 2. Can the same be said for religion? If religion had never been discovered would it's very nature lend itself to existence? I say no. But I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts if you could argue that religion could exist without discovery or invention.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2005, 01:31 AM
RJT RJT is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists


[ QUOTE ]
Religion proposes the existence of things that can't be invented, like God, Heaven and Hell. Human beings can't create any of these things like we can with mathematical systems.

If the idea of them was invented and not discovered, they are bogus.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well of course if Heaven and Hell were literally invented then they are bogus. It is the invention of Religion as a “language” that I am talking about. That really is what Religion is, a language to discuss the metaphysical. Given that man invented Religion, it is not axiomatic that God does not exist. I get the impression that others (some, most, all) feel the opposite.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2005, 01:33 AM
Matt R. Matt R. is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

[ QUOTE ]
math would still exist whether man had been around to invent it or not

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't think this is true. Euclid laid down the axioms for mathematics from which every theorem was built. Logic would still exist if this had never been done, but math as we think of it would not. Math is created from logic, in the same way as say, a machine is created from its parts. If the machine had never been invented, its parts would still exist, but you can't really say the machine exists. Similarly, if the most basic mathematical axioms had never been stated, the logic from which math can be built would be present, but you can't really say the math exists.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2005, 01:36 AM
chezlaw chezlaw is offline
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Default Re: For (kind-of) Atheists

[ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
Religion proposes the existence of things that can't be invented, like God, Heaven and Hell. Human beings can't create any of these things like we can with mathematical systems.

If the idea of them was invented and not discovered, they are bogus.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well of course if Heaven and Hell were literally invented then they are bogus. It is the invention of Religion as a “language” that I am talking about. That really is what Religion is, a language to discuss the metaphysical. Given that man invented Religion, it is not axiomatic that God does not exist. I get the impression that others (some, most, all) feel the opposite.

[/ QUOTE ]
It seems to me that religon and god are entirely independent of each other, so whilst I agree that religon could be invented and god exist, there is no reason to believe that religon says anything about this god.

chez
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