Jacques Mallah wrote:

>> >(I'm currently in North Dakota, but have lived in NYC most of my life.  I 
>>did not know anyone who was in the WTC.)
>> [BM]: I told you my relief, but I begin to doubt !
>    What do you mean by that?

...that I was beginning to ask myself if you were not a sort of fanatics,
yourself. Your recent answer reassures me a little bit.

>  I did mention that they were also "advocates of suicide".

But you know that in our discussion a term like "suicide" is
not well defined. Personaly I have nothing against suicide (in the
usual folk meaning) with
the fundamental proviso that the one who does it does not
wound other people, physically or morally.

> Bruno, you have an amazing ability to misunderstand what 
>I say.  I used 
>to think that the problem was that many of the posts on 
>this list concern 
>arcane philosophical and technical points, so that misunderstanding was 
>understandable.  By now I know better.
>    I could say "Coke is better than Pepsi", and you would interpret that to 
>mean that I don't know they are both colas.  Further, you would believe that 
>the only way to illustrate the relationship between the two drinks is by 
>analogy to G and G*.

I never pretend it was the only way.

>>The sound machine is maximaly humble, she is agnostic on both
>>her own consistency and her own inconsistency.
>    Does that imply it is agnostic on any question?

No. The sound machine will be agnostic only on proposition
beginning by a diamond, like consistency <>t, or on some false
but irrefutable proposition like inconsistency (-<>t or []f).
The machine will not be agnostic on any provable arithmetical

>One of these days, I'll 
>have to check out what kind of analogy you are making between Godel's 
>theorem and belief systems.  Right now I doubt there's much to it.

It is not an analogy. It is provable that all self-referentially
correct machine able to prove enough classical theorems of arithmetic
"obeys" to G and G*. 
Actually it can be proved that G and G* are still sound (but not
complete) for much more general sort of (non-machine) entity.

> A couple more points.  When I say "X is true" you can assume 
>I mean "I 
>believe X is very likely to be true, so my Bayesian probability 
>of (not X) 
>is so low it is best to neglect it."  If I say for example "This is 
>a chair" 
>that is what I mean.

Thanks for being precise. This explains probably why there is
so much misunderstanding between us. I believe in arithmetical
truth. In theoretical discussion when I say "X is true" I
mean it is the case that X.
In *that* frame I isolate a notion of probability in some
indirect way (translating the UDA in arithmetic).
Probability is primary for you, only secondary for me.

>Also, if humans have properties that are not shared by your "consistent 
>machine" model, then it is not the humans' fault.  It is not their job to 
>describe your model.  It means your model is faulty.

If humans are machine-emulable and if (or when) humans are
self-referentially correct, then they obeys to G/G*.
Of course the consistent machine can become inconsistent. This
is indeed a consequence of G: <>t -> <>[]f. Weird but true,
and provable by the machine!

> Even if I'm not sure of X, I might still want you to believe 

In actual decision process. I can understand. In a theoretical
approach I am less sure. Well I'm sure of the contrary.

>    It's going to be a war between ordinary people vs. evil. 

I hope so.

> Personally I 
>am not too concerned right now with the philosophical differences among the 
>ordinary people, be they religious or  intelligent.  This will be serious, I 

It must be serious. Note that our enemies made a so big
sign of disrespect to the other (us) that no countries can really
protect them without destroying their soul eventually.
The key weapons here will be patience and imagination. 
By killing purposely so much innocent civilians, out of any
military target, the terrorists made a very bad publicity for 
terrorism. They succeed only in reuniting the world against them.
I hope Algerians, Israelians, and all countries so badly attacked
by terrorists will benefit of the revelation that terrorism is
essentially self-defeating. Not defensible.

>    I'm an atheist, and have no doubts of any significance about it.  I do 
>believe that other people should be atheists too, and that on the whole 
>religion is an evil.

I don't believe at all religious questioning is an evil. I do
believe that religious institutionalisation can fall in evil trap.
I do believe in something you loose when you give it a name, or
when images are taken too much seriously. I like Alan Watts when
he says a priest should be able to do a wink.
Now you know I think "atheism" is a religion. 
And the problem with atheist is that they are not aware that
atheism is a religion, so they have a tendancy toward a much
subtil proselitysm I just cannot accept. This tendency is sometimes
linked to the confusion between agnosticism and atheism.
You can disbelieve in the God(s) of such or such group of people.
But you cannot necessarily disbelieve in something nobody
can define.  
Now, computer science and mathematical logic shows that
a lot of non definable things, unnameable things, etc. 
can clearly exists.

>Of the major religions I would say that Islam and 
>Christianity are the worst, but the main factor is how seriously the 
>believers take it and how radical they are in interpretation.

It is here that you reassure me a little.

>But again, 
>for now I am putting disagreements among non-evil people on the back burner.

That is wise, indeed.


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