[FOM] Theodicy & The Calculus

Monroe Eskew meskew at math.uci.edu
Tue Aug 3 16:47:37 EDT 2010

Regarding whether there is "formal theology"...

On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 7:20 PM, Jon Awbrey <jawbrey at att.net> wrote:
> One might well consider the mix of
> mathematics and theology in Leibniz,
> for example, his ''Theodicy'', where
> he hints at links between doctrines of
> omniscience, predestination, and the
> origins of the differential calculus.

Let me clarify that I am specifically interested in contemporary
writings referred to by Vaughan Pratt.  If we can look at contemporary
formal theology beside contemporary mathematics, then we will have a
more fair comparison.  As Mr. Lindauer has pointed out, some of the
criticisms of logical sloppiness in Aquinas for example may also seem
to apply to historical mathematicians such as Euclid.  So let us
compare apples to apples.

The relevant claims of Pratt:

"To judge theology that way
instead of analyzing the reasoning in the proceedings of a modern
theological conference is like judging our understanding of global
warming from Conservapedia's take on it...

I would think the essential difference is in the choice of concepts....

...mathematics as "a body of truths,
with certain knowledge of them" shares that trait with theology to the
extent that their respective professionals both strive for precision of
argument from axioms to conclusions."

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