Ron Csillag In The Toronto Star: Math + Religion=Trouble

Csillag has an interesting article on the combination of mathematics and mysticism, in which he seems motivated by a fear that deep impulses and beliefs channeled into the metaphysical doctrines and practices of religion, or at least left unexamined by the believer…are dangerous, especially if the believer happens to be a great mathematician.

Betrand Russell also accused the Pythagorean cult of combining the two, perhaps in an unnecessary way.  Would Csillag agree with with Russell’s atheism and empiricism?

Here’s the final line of the piece:

Or as Paulos might say, no mathematician has ever deliberately flown planes into buildings

But some mathematicians have discovered equations that were eventually applied to the creation of the atomic bomb.   Is mathematics a set of pure ideas unrelated to the moral consequences that flow from them?

I’m not convinced Csillag’s argument has to do particularly with religion, nor Islam, rather than (as a piece of journalism) with the construction of an edifice of atheism, or maybe an attack on that edifice.

Does it all lead back free will?   

See also:  Law At The End Of The Day:  From Kant to Fichte to…Right Now, More On The Kant-Fichte Argument:  What Was Hume Doing?

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