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This site is part of the natural religion project
The natural religion project     A new theology    A commentary on the Summa   

 

our magic is work guided by knowledge

 

 

Welcome

Natural theology and science

Welcome to the The Theology Company (ttc). Our product (we hope) is peace, personal, local and global. Ttc is the trading arm of the natural religion project (tnrp). Religion

Our key resource is a theology (natural theology ) based on the notion that the universe is itself divine. This is in contrast to many ancient religions which see world as an arbitrary creation of an invisible God.

Such world has no nature of its own that cannot be changed at God's fiat. In the past this world was perfect, but the first humans upset God, who retaliated by rendering the world defective.

If the world is divine it is no longer a puppet. Further, theology can be scientific. Science is based on observation, and to say the world is divine is to say god is observable.

Since god traditionally represents the whole of reality, it follows that every human experience is experience of divinity. This is as true when we observe god with cyclotrons or telescopes as when we observe god in our own hearts.

The current source of this theology is my own experience, but I hope ultimately to connect with other people with a similar view of the world: it, and we as part of it, are divine, not defective.

Natural religion and peace

This theology has practical consequences. Theology is the science that corresponds to the art of religion, that is the art of peace.

Our approach does away with the need for religious institutions to interpret and enforce the word of god. We can all feel for ourselves, and compare and refine our views by communicating through whatever channels.

The ancient religions often act like brands competing for market share. They sometimes develop friction at their interfaces. Here we see an underlying unity in all religions. From an abstract point of view, every religion is a communication protocol.

A shared religion allows an group of individuals to act as a team, that is to share a common goals and agreed methods of attaining them.

In a good team, we are all peers on the network. In the notion of peerage we find solid foundation for human rights and freedoms. The network picture also allows us to see similar structures contributing to the creation of the world at all scales.

What scientific maturity we have has led us to see that we are not the centre of the universe. We often think that communication, intelligence, bonding and so on are special to ourselves, overlooking the skill of the universe that created us. It is not all chaos.

Global survival

We have to understand that cosmic art if we are to fit in, that is, survive. As a species we are only a few hundred thousands years old. As far as we know the earth will remain habitable for at least another billion years, if we don't muck it up too badly. And there's the rub.

The current theological situation is similar to that found in physics and biology in past centuries. Everybody had different ideas which were often in conflict with reality. Time and work have created broad areas of consensus in these sciences because everybody is observing the same reality using reliable methods.

The scientific community has no serious doubts about evolution, for instance, or recursive function theory.

On our definition of god, theology and religion can follow the same trajectory, toward reality based consensus.

This would be a valuable achievement. The purpose of ttc is to manage the exposure, development and trade of enough of this value to survive and grow.

(revised 26 October 2008)

Further reading

Books

Darwin, Charles, and Greg Suriano (editor), The Origin of Species, Gramercy 1998 Introduction: 'In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist, reflecting on the mutual affinities of organic beings, on their embryological relations, their geographical distribution, geological succession, and other such facts, might come to the conclusion that each species has not been independently created, but has descended, like varieties, from other species.' (66) 
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Davis, Martin, Computability and Unsolvability, Dover 1982 Preface: 'This book is an introduction to the theory of computability and non-computability ususally referred to as the theory of recursive functions. The subject is concerned with the existence of purely mechanical procedures for solving problems. ... The existence of absolutely unsolvable problems and the Goedel incompleteness theorem are among the results in the theory of computability that have philosophical significance.' 
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Dawkins, Richard, Climbing Mount Improbable, W. W. Norton & Company 1997 Amazon editorial review: 'How do species evolve? Richard Dawkins, one of the world's most eminent zoologists, likens the process to scaling a huge, Himalaya-size peak, the Mount Improbable of his title. An alpinist does not leap from sea level to the summit; neither does a species utterly change forms overnight, but instead follows a course of "slow, cumulative, one-step-at-a-time, non-random survival of random variants"--a course that Charles Darwin, Dawkins's great hero, called natural selection. Illustrating his arguments with case studies from the natural world, such as the evolution of the eye and the lung, and the coevolution of certain kinds of figs and wasps, Dawkins provides a vigorous, entertaining defense of key Darwinian ideas.' 
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Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion, Houghton Mifflin 2006 Amazon Editorial Review From Publishers Weekly 'The antireligion wars started by Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris will heat up even more with this salvo from celebrated Oxford biologist Dawkins. For a scientist who criticizes religion for its intolerance, Dawkins has written a surprisingly intolerant book, full of scorn for religion and those who believe. But Dawkins, who gave us the selfish gene, anticipates this criticism. He says it's the scientist and humanist in him that makes him hostile to religions--fundamentalist Christianity and Islam come in for the most opprobrium--that close people's minds to scientific truth, oppress women and abuse children psychologically with the notion of eternal damnation. While Dawkins can be witty, even confirmed atheists who agree with his advocacy of science and vigorous rationalism may have trouble stomaching some of the rhetoric: the biblical Yahweh is "psychotic," Aquinas's proofs of God's existence are "fatuous" and religion generally is "nonsense." The most effective chapters are those in which Dawkins calms down, for instance, drawing on evolution to disprove the ideas behind intelligent design. In other chapters, he attempts to construct a scientific scaffolding for atheism, such as using evolution again to rebut the notion that without God there can be no morality. He insists that religion is a divisive and oppressive force, but he is less convincing in arguing that the world would be better and more peaceful without it.' Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 
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Gaarder, Jostein, and Paulette Moller (Translator), Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy, Boulevard 1996 Amazon editorial review: 'Wanting to understand the most fundamental questions of the universe isn't the province of ivory-tower intellectuals alone, as this book's enormous popularity has demonstrated. A young girl, Sophie, becomes embroiled in a discussion of philosophy with a faceless correspondent. At the same time, she must unravel a mystery involving another young girl, Hilde, by using everything she's learning. The truth is far more complicated than she could ever have imagined.' An excellent essay on the relationship between literature and reality.  
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Galilei, Galileo, and Stillman Drake (translator), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo: Including the Starry Messenger (1610 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina) , Doubleday Anchor 1957 Amazon: 'Although the introductory sections are a bit dated, this book contains some of the best translations available of Galileo's works in English. It includes a broad range of his theories (both those we recognize as "correct" and those in which he was "in error"). Both types indicate his creativity. The reproductions of his sketches of the moons of Jupiter (in "The Starry Messenger") are accurate enough to match to modern computer programs which show the positions of the moons for any date in history. The appendix with a chronological summary of Galileo's life is very useful in placing the readings in context.' A Reader. 
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Jones, Steve, Almost like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated, Doubleday 1999 An Historical Sketch: 'The Origin of Species is, without doubt, the book of the millennium. ... [This book] is, as far as is possible, an attempt to rewrite the Origin of Species. I use its plan, developing as it does from farms to fossils, from beehives to islands, as a framework, but my own Grand Facts ... are set firmly in the late twentieth century. Almost Like a Whale tries to read Charles Darwin's mind with the benefit of scientific hindsight and to show how the theory of evolution unites biology as his millenium draws to an end.' (xix)  
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Maines, Rachael P, The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria", the Vibrator and Women's Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology. New Series, 24), Johns Hopkins University Press 1998 Amazon editorian review: 'From Publishers Weekly It will surprise most readers to learn that the vibrator was invented in the late 1880s as a time-saving device for physicians, who had been treating women's "hysteria" for years with clitoral massage. Denying the sexual nature of the treatments, doctors instead saw the technique as a burdensome chore and welcomed electric devices that would shorten patients' visits. Maines, an independent scholar in the history of technology, presents a straightforward account of the mechanism from its beginning through the 1920s, when it came into disrepute as a medical instrument. Going far beyond a mere summary of therapeutic advances, however, she wryly chronicles the attitude toward women's sexuality in the medical and psychological professions and shows, with searing insight, how some ancient biases are still prevalent in our society. Maines's writing is lively and entertaining, and her research is exhaustive, drawing on texts from Hippocrates to the present day. Proving her point about how women's sexuality is still perceived as an unapproachable subject in some quarters, Maines describes her travails in vibrator historiography, including the loss of her teaching position at Clarkson University. A pioneering and important book, this window into social and technological history also provides a marvelously clear view of contemporary ideas about women's sexuality.' Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. 
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Miles, Jack, God : A Biography, Vintage Books 1996 Jacket: 'Jack Miles's remarkable work examines the hero of the Old Testament ... from his first appearance as Creator to his last as Ancient of Days. ... We see God torn by conflicting urges. To his own sorrow, he is by turns destructive and creative, vain and modest, subtle and naive, ruthless and tender, lawful and lawless, powerful yet powerless, omniscient and blind.' 
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Omnes, Roland, and Arturo Sangalli (translator), Quantum Philosophy: Understanding and Interpreting Contemporary Science, Princeton University Press 2002 Amazon editorial reviews: From Booklist 'Einstein and Aristotle meet and shake hands in this illuminating exposition of the unexpected return of common sense to modern science. A companion volume to Omnes' earlier Understanding Quantum Mechanics (1999), this book recounts--with mercifully little mathematical detail--how this century's pioneering researchers severed the ties that for millennia had anchored science within the bounds of clear and intuitive perceptions of the world. As an abstruse mathematical formalism replaced the visual imagination, scientists jettisoned normal understandings of cause and effect, of coherence and continuity, setting science adrift from philosophical conceptions going back as far as Democritus. But when theorists recently began to weigh the "consistent histories" of various quantum events, the furthest frontiers of science became strangely familiar, as rigorous logic revalidated much of classical physics and many of the perceptions of common sense. With a contagious sense of wonder, Omnes invites his readers, who need no expertise beyond an active curiosity, to share in the exhilarating denouement of humanity's 2,500-year quest to fathom the natural order. And in a tantalizing conclusion, he beckons readers toward the mystery that still shrouds the origins of formulas that physicists love for their beauty even before testing them for their truth. An essential acquisition for public library science collections.' Bryce Christensen 
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Shulman, Seth, Undermining Science: Suprression and Distortion in the Bush Administration, University of California Press 2007 Amazon Book Description 'This vitally important exposé shows how the Bush administration has systematically misled Americans on a wide range of scientific issues affecting public health, foreign policy, and the environment by ignoring, suppressing, manipulating, or even distorting scientific research. It is the first book to focus exclusively on how this explosive issue has played out during the Presidency of George W. Bush and the first to comprehensively document his administration's abuses of science. In 2001, a group of eminent American scientists affiliated with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) contacted Seth Shulman, an experienced investigative journalist, to look into charges of serious mishandling of scientific information in the current administration. Shulman's investigation resulted in the groundbreaking report "Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policy Making," which served as the basis for a highly publicized UCS scientists' statement accusing the Bush administration of a misuse of science that was signed by dozens of Nobel laureates, National Medal of Science recipients, and members of the National Academy of Sciences. To date, more than 8,000 scientists across the country have signed the statement based upon Shulman's reporting. This book, drawing upon scores of interviews and including never-released information, goes beyond the UCS report to document the Bush administration's suppression and distortion of science, bringing this issue to a wider audience.'  
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Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, The Phenomenon of Man, Collins 1965 Sir Julian Huxley, Introduction: 'We, mankind, contain the possibilities of the earth's immense future, and can realise more and more of them on condition that we increase our knowledge and our love. That, it seems to me, is the distillation of the Phenomenon of Man.'  
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Papers

Schiermeier , Quintin, "Pope praised for partial conciliation of science and religion", Nature, 434, 7034, 7 April 2005, page 694. 'Catholic researchers and bioethicists have responded to the death of Pope John Paul II with tributes to his efforts to achieve reconciliation between faith and science. And some are optimistic that his successor will keep on the same path.' . back

Links

Divinity - Wikipedia Divinity - Wikipedia, the fre encyclopedia 'Divinity and divine (sometimes 'the Divinity' or 'the Divine'), are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems -- and even by different individuals within a given faith -- to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power, or its attributes or manifestations in the world. The root of the words is literally 'Godlike' (from the Latin 'Deus', cf. Dyaus, closely related to Greek 'Zeus' and Deva in Sanskrit), but the use varies significantly depending on which god is being discussed. This article outlines the major distinctions in the conventional use of the terms.' back
Enrique Alarcon, Fundación Tomás de Aquino Corpus Thomisticum The Corpus Thomisticum project aims to provide scholars with a set of instruments of research on Thomas Aquinas, freely available via Internet. It has five parts: o A full edition of the complete works of St. Thomas according, where possible, to the best critical texts. o A bibliography covering all the studies on Aquinas and his doctrine, from the 13th century through our days. o An index of the main tools of Thomistic research, and the edition of the most important among them. o A database management system, implemented to search, compare, and sort words, phrases, quotations, similitudes, correlations, and statistical information. o A digital edition of the main manuscripts of Aquinas' works. back
The Holy See The Holy See The Vatican official site back
Theology - Wikipedia Theology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Theology is a term first used by Plato in The Republic (book ii, chap 18). The term is compounded from two Greek words theos (god) and logos (rational utterance). It has been defined as reasoned discourse about God or the gods, or more generally about religion or spirituality. back
Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica An online version of the English translation of the Summa made by the Dominican Fathers of the English Province. See 'Books' above. back

 

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