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kowalskil
28-07-2014, 03:40
Some of you might be interested in extracts from a theological presentation--of a Russian Orthodox priest--that I just posted at:

pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/sysoev.html

Comments will be appreciated,

Ludwik

rusmeister
28-07-2014, 08:36
Yeah, I think Sysoev is pretty much on target. (He's the one that was murdered/martyred for his work with Muslims a few years ago.)

The trouble most modern academics will have with it is the same one any ruler would have in being asked to (partly) surrender his power. Modern science now enjoys the authority (and even worship) once granted to theology and philosophy. Most won't want to admit that there is a meta-science, a framework of knowledge, in which we understand the various sciences. They will want their own meta-assumptions unquestioned and unchallenged.

"Is there anything beyond the material universe?"
"Can literally nothing ever become anything?"
"Where did the material blob that made up the theoretical Big Bang come from? Did it eternally pre-exist?"
"How can mankind be evolving in any positive sense when entropy shows us the tendency of things to degrade? Are we not rather devolving?"

So it is more convenient for them to pretend that teleology, philosophy and theology are irrelevant, or even just imaginary. Admitting them means surrendering the primacy of their own sciences to draw conclusions and determine truth. So my bet is that an article like this would be quickly dismissed without serious consideration.

Benedikt
28-07-2014, 08:57
why can't we just believe? whatever it is.
if you believe you don't need proof. and if you don't all the proof will not make you change your mind.

that is what i at least believe.

rusmeister
28-07-2014, 13:10
why can't we just believe? whatever it is.
if you believe you don't need proof. and if you don't all the proof will not make you change your mind.

that is what i at least believe.

I don't think Sysoyev is talking about needing proof at all, but about the necessary interrelationship in a logical worldview between theology (which all true philosophy would be derived from) and science, and that the precedence of authority has been reversed - that people hold science as the thing that determines truth and cosmic worldview, a thing it is utterly unable to do, and that philosophy has been reduced to interesting theories that have no effect on real life, and theology is simply laughed at without examination.

JanC
28-07-2014, 19:45
He's perilously close to the god of the gaps argument in a few places.

Other things are plain scary.


To exist in Christian civilization, science should be a servant of theology, as it was in the past


Aside from defeating the point of science, it would also be problematic in ways which are completely ignored in this piece: there is much theology, and many theologians, and not all of them agree. In fact, most of them don't. There is not one theology to rule them all, though this piece would like to think otherwise perhaps.

You can put a Christian theologian in a room with theologians from different religions, and no matter how long you keep them in there, they will not agree with each other. There is no way to settle the question. Any belief is as valid as another. Any theology is only relevant to its followers, and unlike science it is different wherever you go. With science, it either works everywhere or nowhere - independent of what the people conducting it believe, no less.

If there is truth in theology, there is no way of ascertaining it with certainty. The result will always be indistinguishable from superstition, no matter how right it might actually be. There is nothing to test.

Nobody knows the limitations of science better than scientists. There are many things which remain unanswered, many of them will be that way forever. But there is no valid logical path to conclude from this that what science cannot answer, theology can. In fact, no theologian can claim they accurately explain anything at all.

The only difference between science and theology in this respect, is that theologians are free to pick the explanation they like, in absence of evidence, whilst science must remain undecided.


The revelation, thank God, does not change. This is not due to stagnation; it is due to the fact that revelation is absolute and perfect. What is perfect does not have to undergo developmental changes.

Again the pointlessness becomes obvious when you bring multiple religions into it. Many of these are old, very old. And they don't change, either. So how is an open minded fellow supposed to choose a god to believe in? They all have equally convincing arguments.

I would also challenge the notion of religion in general not undergoing changes. If we draw a timeline of religion in the sense of people believing in supreme beings in some form or other, any religion you place on it becomes a step in an evolutionary chain. Each and every religion of course considers itself unique and "absolute" but if you stand back and look at them all at once, nothing really stands out as ground-breakingly different. Most of them incorporate parts of earlier religions. The Christian God was not the first, nor last, to be believed in. Religion has never been static. Most of them, including Christianity, branched off in different directions over time as well. And as there is no way to settle any religious argument with claim and counter-claim of absolute truth, they will continue to do so.

rusmeister
29-07-2014, 01:02
Jan, science HAS to be the servant of SOMETHING, even if it is only the assumptions of Jan.
The question of "What is truth?" has to start from SOMEWHERE. It CAN'T start from "nowhere".

You are right that "theology" as a blanket term is useless".

So the issue then is, what theology - or philosophy, which any theology would produce - is true.

I can literally say
If there is (cosmic) truth in science, there is no way of ascertaining it with certainty. The result will always be indistinguishable from superstition, no matter how right it might actually be. There is nothing to test. because truth is NOT a provence of science. The job of science is to make observations, NOT to come to conclusions of cosmic philosophy.

rusmeister
29-07-2014, 01:09
He's perilously close to the god of the gaps argument in a few places.

Other things are plain scary.




Aside from defeating the point of science, it would also be problematic in ways which are completely ignored in this piece: there is much theology, and many theologians, and not all of them agree. In fact, most of them don't. There is not one theology to rule them all, though this piece would like to think otherwise perhaps.

You can put a Christian theologian in a room with theologians from different religions, and no matter how long you keep them in there, they will not agree with each other. There is no way to settle the question. Any belief is as valid as another. Any theology is only relevant to its followers, and unlike science it is different wherever you go. With science, it either works everywhere or nowhere - independent of what the people conducting it believe, no less.

If there is truth in theology, there is no way of ascertaining it with certainty. The result will always be indistinguishable from superstition, no matter how right it might actually be. There is nothing to test.

Nobody knows the limitations of science better than scientists. There are many things which remain unanswered, many of them will be that way forever. But there is no valid logical path to conclude from this that what science cannot answer, theology can. In fact, no theologian can claim they accurately explain anything at all.

The only difference between science and theology in this respect, is that theologians are free to pick the explanation they like, in absence of evidence, whilst science must remain undecided.



Again the pointlessness becomes obvious when you bring multiple religions into it. Many of these are old, very old. And they don't change, either. So how is an open minded fellow supposed to choose a god to believe in? They all have equally convincing arguments.

I would also challenge the notion of religion in general not undergoing changes. If we draw a timeline of religion in the sense of people believing in supreme beings in some form or other, any religion you place on it becomes a step in an evolutionary chain. Each and every religion of course considers itself unique and "absolute" but if you stand back and look at them all at once, nothing really stands out as ground-breakingly different. Most of them incorporate parts of earlier religions. The Christian God was not the first, nor last, to be believed in. Religion has never been static. Most of them, including Christianity, branched off in different directions over time as well. And as there is no way to settle any religious argument with claim and counter-claim of absolute truth, they will continue to do so.

Looking hard for the claim that the Christian God was the first (or the last..) to be believed in...