>From: "Jacques Mallah" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> >>From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] >>You continue to characterize those who disagree with you on this issue >>as insane. Do you mean this literally? Or is it just a rhetorical >>technique, argument by intimidation and rudeness? > > No, it's not a rhetorical technique. Why would it be advantageous in >an >argument to be rude? > I do mean it quite literally. As far as I can tell, there people >believe in illogical and dangerous things, for no apparent reason. It's no >different than if they believed they can fly.

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I don't understand your objection. It seems to me that it is perfectly coherent to imagine a TOE which includes both a universal "objective" measure on the set of all observer-moments and also a relative conditional probability which tells me what the probability is I'll have experience B in the future if I'm having experience A right now. In statistics we have both absolute and conditional probability, so what's wrong with having the same thing in a TOE? I suppose one objection might be that once we have an objective measure, we understand everything we need to know about why I find myself having the types of experiences I do, and that defining an additional conditional probability measure on the set of all observer-moments would be purely "epiphenomenal" and inelegant. Is that what your problem with the idea is? I have my own pet theory about why a TOE including both absolute and conditional probability measures could actually be quite elegant, with each type of probability measure defining the other (like solving a large set of simultaneous equations to find the only self-consistent way to assign values to each variable), but I'll save that for another post. Another possible objection to the notion of a conditional probability measure would be the one you mentioned earlier, that it would seem to imply some weird idea of a propertyless "soul" that leaps around between different observer-moments (each defined as a certain computation, perhaps). I would point out, though, that there is a nice symmetry between this difficulty and a similar difficulty in understanding the meaning of the self-sampling assumption--what does it mean to say that "I" should reason as if I had an equal probability of being any one of all possible observer-moments? How could I be any observer-moment but the one I actually am? Perhaps a skeptic would caricature the self-sampling assumption by imagining a bunch of propertyless souls that have to draw straws to decide which observer-moment they'll end up "becoming," but I don't think the difficulty visualizing what the SSA means really counts as a strong argument against it. Similarly, I don't think the difficulty with visualizing what "conditional probability" would mean is a strong objection to the idea, "leaping" nonwithstanding. >From a first-person perspective you can see pretty clearly what it would mean--if I am about to step into a machine that will replicate one copy of me in heaven and one copy in hell, then as I step into the imaging chamber I will be in suspense about where I will find myself a moment from now, and if the conditional probability of each possible future observer-moment is 50% given my current observer-moment, then I will interpret that as a 50/50 chance that I'm about to experience torture or bliss. Surely you agree that there is nothing *mathematically* incoherent about defining both absolute and conditional probability measures on the set of all observer-moments. So what's your basis for calling the idea "crazy?" _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp