In Reply to: Re: Why do you make it personal? posted by Thinker on April 24, 2008 at 19:33:40:
Let me explain to you, why the quote is stupid either way...like you, I make some distinction between faith & the institutionalised "wrong" faith, one might want to call religion, but then the trouble begins, cause the right faith can also be a religion and to me then religion/faith , math & science can very well be in "harmony".
So I had hoped, you were not in agreement with the quote, although I agree, that false faith/religion fights all kinds of battles to remain in power...that is nothing I am objecting to.
Is it now between many mathematicians [believing vs. unbelieving ones] ,who is the smartest???Who has more credentials etc?The most followers? It's anyway beyond our level, please let's be humble about that, if there were any proofs on either side, very convincing ones, we would have heard it by now....I had posted before on journeys about the mathematical Genius Gödel's proof on the possible existence of "God", may be you weren't around that time or didn't read it, but I guess, you have heard about Gödel & the incompletness theorem etc.; also remember the various quarrels between philosophers (positivists and scepticists e.g., really a nice one) or different theologians?
You know, that the mathematician Kronecker was opposed to Cantor. Kronecker was what is termed finitist,& I also think some type of believer.I once posted here, when OT2 was still around,I think, a link about the tombstone of Kronecker with the scripture-dedication on it etc.; but let's emphasize, Cantor had faith himself [Kronecker is also the one that said, that God gave us the numbers & we did the rest or something the like]
One of the greatest revolutions in mathematics occurred when Georg Cantor (1845-1918) promulgated his theory of transfinite sets. This revolution is the subject of Joseph Dauben's important study, the most thorough yet written of the philosopher and mathematician who was once called a "corrupter of youth" for an innovation that is now a vital component of elementary school curricula. Set theory has been widely adopted in mathematics and philosophy, but the controversy surrounding it at the turn of the century remains of great interest. Cantor's own faith in his theory was partly theological. His religious beliefs led him to expect paradoxes in any concept of the infinite, and he always retained his belief in the utter veracity of transfinite set theory. Later in his life, he was troubled by recurring attacks of severe depression. Dauben shows that these played an integral part in his understanding and defense of set theory.
Inside This Book (Learn More)"
Yes, I had read before about Cantor's struggle, but what does that prove/show you, I didn't get that?And what about Pascal??The sect he belonged to, wasn't making him to be friends with some others.....about Spinozas troubles I had heard before .Shiites and Sunnites also dont "like" each other...does that surprise us anymore...the Jew Spinoza had problems at that time....but my reference point is not the Jews at that time nor the Catholics at some time or the Muslims at another....cause that is irrelevant to me.But there has to be something absolute and that is the reference point...it is for religious folks God & He must be quite a mathematician...if anyone should ask me...& for those folks , who are irreligious, those marvellous laws & creations are just there all the same...where is the problem? Those ones believe, it, "pooof", all appeared out of no where from no one (although day to day experience is vastly different from that, my dirty dishes disappear through work & not through a miracle, although I would love to see that happen...)
If someone can't believe in the divine...alright, but please, could those ones please except the criticism, that they are really not better in their "wild" assumption of something out of nothing, that they shouldn't have that bitter cynism, mockery of ones intelligence (believing physicists & mathematicians prove the possible combination of smartness/intelligence & faith), just because we won't join them.
I say, let them be happy with what they claim to have found or not found.But I won't let them tell me or any much smarter believer than me, that we are so to speak, just very dumb ignorant sheep...idiots etc....we believers except the latter in the comparison with God all very easily, as we feel totally insignificant, small & unwise compared with Him...but we can't see, how someone like Dawkins or even Russels (who didn't finish by the way his mathematical compendium with whitehead ) are so way in front of us... ; )
Sorry, but that arrogance stenches...yes, that arrogance I take very personal...because it is this haughty looking down which is more than irritating...sorry if you'd mind that I mind.
Here is a little documentary about the link between famous mathematicians like Riemann and their faith (not being "0"):
It was by the way also Russel, who shot a hole into the earlier definitions of Cantor's set theory, as the set of all sets led to a contradiction.
some other link thrown in for fun:
Of course I know some about how RC theologians fought this & that in the history of science...but may be we can also consider Tycho Brahe, the astronomer, who, after Galileo's time, tried to harmonise Bible-text with the astronomical findings.
My emphasis is on that attempt to harmonise as much as possible, because few even try & many others go into the opposite directiction, cause they rather like their freedom:
"I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption ... For myself, as no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneous liberation from a certain political and economic system, and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom."
(REPORT, June 1966. "Confession of Professed Atheist," A. Huxley)