Moshe Callen
Israel Jerusalem
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...

I admit it. I play about with some strange ideas at times. When it comes to anything comparative for example be it a study of politics, of languages, or of religion, I tend to think of representing each of the types of objects being studied as a mathematical set with elements suited to the subject.
Let imagine someone were to take that approach to comparative religion. What would a mathematical model of religions (defined as sets of elements which people call religions) look like?

Josh
United States Pennsylvania

I don't follow. Are you speaking of names of religions, aspects shared by *all* religions, or aslects possessed by *any* religions?

rico mcflico
United States Mill Valley California

whac3 wrote: What would a mathematical model of religions (defined as sets of elements which people call religions) look like? #DIV/0

Moshe Callen
Israel Jerusalem
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...

Shadrach wrote: I don't follow. Are you speaking of names of religions, aspects shared by *all* religions, or aslects possessed by *any* religions? It would be modelling each religion as a set with algebraic and possibly topological aspects and then compatring them.
For example, one might have a set representing the texts of the religion, a set of operations which apply to those texts generating possible accepted interpretations of those text and another set of operations which describe practical applications. This would be only a part of the representation of the religion but is treated as a set of ordered triplets could form an algebraic structure. One could then compare the algebraic structures of these types of subsets of religions.

Josh
United States Pennsylvania

whac3 wrote: Shadrach wrote: I don't follow. Are you speaking of names of religions, aspects shared by *all* religions, or aslects possessed by *any* religions? It would be modelling each religion as a set with algebraic and possibly topological aspects and then compatring them. For example, one might have a set representing the texts of the religion, a set of operations which apply to those texts generating possible accepted interpretations of those text and another set of operations which describe practical applications. This would be only a part of the representation of the religion but is treated as a set of ordered triplets could form an algebraic structure. One could then compare the algebraic structures of these types of subsets of religions.
It is interesting, but interpretive dissagreements might render it useless.

Me nah play no 'ide and seek
United States Lincoln NE

I hope this isn't the first step down a road of attempting to explain the world through Kabbalistic numerology that ends with Moshe resorting to DIY trepanning in order to maintain his sanity in the light of unfathomable truths about the nature of Gd.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138704/

Moshe Callen
Israel Jerusalem
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...

No numbers, just math.

Larry Haskell
United States Springfield Illinois

Hari Seldon, is that you?

Chapel
United States Round Rock Texas
"32 inches of Plexi....for your pleasure"

Maybe start with Variables and Constants, e.g.
T = Weight per Sin U = Longevity V = Bad Deeds W = Good Deeds X = Afterlife Y = Morality Z = Direct Deity Interaction
etc.

Kelsey Rinella
United States Rochester New York
I am proud to have opposed those who describe all who oppose them as "Tender Flowers" and "Special Snowflakes".
Check out Stately Play for news and reviews of games worth thinking about.

Are we saying, for example, that Hinduism is a torus, while Mormonism is a parabola, and Catholicism an Abelian group? Because I feel like I need more structure to my analogizing.

Moshe Callen
Israel Jerusalem
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...

rinelk wrote: Are we saying, for example, that Hinduism is a torus, while Mormonism is a parabola, and Catholicism an Abelian group? Because I feel like I need more structure to my analogizing. Something like that.


Unfortunately on a scale of 1 through 10 of craziness , their followers all turn the starting dial up to 11.
I am willing to admit that might be a fault of the followers rather than the core ideas of the religion.

Marshall P.
United States Wichita Kansas
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution"  Theodosius Dobzhansky
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

whac3 wrote:
Let imagine someone were to take that approach to comparative religion. What would a mathematical model of religions (defined as sets of elements which people call religions) look like?
It would look like cultural hierarchy analogous to language.


mdp4828 wrote: whac3 wrote:
Let imagine someone were to take that approach to comparative religion. What would a mathematical model of religions (defined as sets of elements which people call religions) look like?
It would look like cultural hierarchy analogous to language. That is one way to do it, but if you approach from certain theological tennet you could end up with something entirely different. Fro example catalogue on:
sin virtue afterlife meanigfull action in life universality religous service (ie being a monk for life or part of life) a godhead multiple godheads reincarnation subtance usage (peyote, shrooms, etc.) easethisism bla bla bla.
Can think of couple of more. That might lead to some intersting connections, for example calvinist and judaic similarity in applying to a limited number of people (the elect and jews respectively)

Mac Mcleod
United States houston Texas

whac3 wrote: I admit it. I play about with some strange ideas at times. When it comes to anything comparative for example be it a study of politics, of languages, or of religion, I tend to think of representing each of the types of objects being studied as a mathematical set with elements suited to the subject.
Let imagine someone were to take that approach to comparative religion. What would a mathematical model of religions (defined as sets of elements which people call religions) look like?
Please provide a trivial example so I can understand your question better.
From above I might add from an atheist perspective.
SB = Survival Benefit to Adherents SB.WB = War Benefit to Adherents. (no fear of death, glory in battle, etc.) RF = Reproductive Fitness to Adherents (have lots of kids) MG = Monkey Group Benefit to Adherents (larger stable "tribe" size) AM = Moral Ambiguity Benefit to Adherents (allows "evil" actions to non adherents which benefit adherents) PB = Priestly Benefit. (does it provide for priest class) PL = Plasticity. (How "adaptable" is the religion to change)
Some like the AM would be strongly beneficial in some environments but turn strongly detrimental in other environments.
Many religions with low RF beliefs fail within a few generations.

Moshe Callen
Israel Jerusalem
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...

I was thinking of it far more abstractly:
W x I x T c R
W is the set of all sets of authoritative religious writings associated with one specific religion. I is the set of all sets of rules of interpretation associated with one specific religion. T is the set of all sets of tenets or laws (or range thereof) associated with one specific religion; each set which is an element of T is a function of elements W and I which must be associated with the same specific religion. Together, the element of T and those elements of W and I of which it is a function form an ordered triplet which is a subset of an element of set R, the set of all religions. Not all religions have sacred writings etc and so this would involve looking at a specific subsert of religons.
R would be globally disjoint because many religions are simply distinct but would include local continua for religions which incrementally transition from one to another. There's be such local continua for at least each of the five major world religions.
Operations within the set would include changes of rules of interpretation. That operation applied to any element of the set generates a new element of the same set. Then the set of ordered triplets and the operation of changes in adherents understanding of the rules of interpretation form an algebraic structure.

Lone Locust of the Apocalypse
United States Sandworms USA Plateau of Leng

loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + selfworth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side

Mac Mcleod
United States houston Texas

whac3 wrote: I was thinking of it far more abstractly:
W x I x T c R
W is the set of all sets of authoritative religious writings associated with one specific religion. I is the set of all sets of rules of interpretation associated with one specific religion. T is the set of all sets of tenets or laws (or range thereof) associated with one specific religion; each set which is an element of T is a function of elements W and I which must be associated with the same specific religion. Together, the element of T and those elements of W and I of which it is a function form an ordered triplet which is a subset of an element of set R, the set of all religions. Not all religions have sacred writings etc and so this would involve looking at a specific subsert of religons.
R would be globally disjoint because many religions are simply distinct but would include local continua for religions which incrementally transition from one to another. There's be such local continua for at least each of the five major world religions.
Operations within the set would include changes of rules of interpretation. That operation applied to any element of the set generates a new element of the same set. Then the set of ordered triplets and the operation of changes in adherents understanding of the rules of interpretation form an algebraic structure.
Is I effectively infinite over believers?
Is I actually infinite over time*believers.

Moshe Callen
Israel Jerusalem
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...

maxotexas wrote: whac3 wrote: I was thinking of it far more abstractly:
W x I x T c R
W is the set of all sets of authoritative religious writings associated with one specific religion. I is the set of all sets of rules of interpretation associated with one specific religion. T is the set of all sets of tenets or laws (or range thereof) associated with one specific religion; each set which is an element of T is a function of elements W and I which must be associated with the same specific religion. Together, the element of T and those elements of W and I of which it is a function form an ordered triplet which is a subset of an element of set R, the set of all religions. Not all religions have sacred writings etc and so this would involve looking at a specific subsert of religons.
R would be globally disjoint because many religions are simply distinct but would include local continua for religions which incrementally transition from one to another. There's be such local continua for at least each of the five major world religions.
Operations within the set would include changes of rules of interpretation. That operation applied to any element of the set generates a new element of the same set. Then the set of ordered triplets and the operation of changes in adherents understanding of the rules of interpretation form an algebraic structure. Is I effectively infinite over believers? Is I actually infinite over time*believers. I is the set not methods of interpretation such as the 13 midot of R' Yishmael for example. Christians do have their own systems of Biblical interpretation too. S, no, this would not be individual takes.

Tom McVey
United States SF Bay Area California

whac3 wrote:
Let imagine someone were to take that approach to comparative religion. What would a mathematical model of religions (defined as sets of elements which people call religions) look like?
There's is a numerical classification system for folktales, which probably would be a good scaffolding for what you want to do.

Agent J
United States Coldwater Michigan
He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metalthemed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
He's a semiaquatic egglaying mammal of action. He's a furry little flatfoot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.

I haven't watched enough Numbers to do this yet. Am interested though.

Tom McVey
United States SF Bay Area California

whac3 wrote: I was thinking of it far more abstractly:
W x I x T c R
W is the set of all sets of authoritative religious writings associated with one specific religion. I is the set of all sets of rules of interpretation associated with one specific religion. T is the set of all sets of tenets or laws (or range thereof) associated with one specific religion; each set which is an element of T is a function of elements W and I which must be associated with the same specific religion. Together, the element of T and those elements of W and I of which it is a function form an ordered triplet which is a subset of an element of set R, the set of all religions. Not all religions have sacred writings etc and so this would involve looking at a specific subsert of religons.
One issue you'll face (if your N gets larger), is that not all religions sacred texts have been as worked over and edited and refined as Judaism and Xtainity  you just have to look at the organization of the Koran to see that. When you get down to the religions with a few million or less followers  e.g. Druzism, Yazidism, Alawism  I'd expect their sacred texts (if they're even open to outsiders to read) to look pretty rough in comparison to the Big 5. Also, the number of theologically talented minds that have deepened the teaching of those religions will be limited. There's only so many Aquinas' or Maimonides' or AlGhazali's to go round, and not all religions will have had one in their history (or had the scholastic infrastructure in which they could thrive).

Tom McVey
United States SF Bay Area California

It'd be interesting to see where this goes. One thing that I found annoying with Joseph Campbell was there was myth comparison after myth comparison, anecdote after anecdote and it felt like never was any synthesis  was he trying to argue for Jungian archetypes? Or that there are a limited number of dramatic themes in narratives (like the folklorists)? Or that disparate cultures would arrive at similar myths to solve questions of explaining the natural world and promoting social cohesion?
But, hey, his work inspired both Star Wars and Glorantha, so I guess that makes up for it.

