Wonderful post Bruno! I agree with you 100%.
It reminds me of a great book with the title "One" by Richard Bach the
author of "Jonathan Linvingston Seagull," "There Is No Such Place As Far
Away" and "The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah". In "One" Richard Bach
asks the questions--what if we could meet the people we are destined to
be in twenty years? What if we could confront the people we were in the
past, and those we are right now in parallel lifetimes, in alternate
worlds? He also meets an old man who has a book that holds the "Truth."
I won't tell you what happens to the "Truth" book because that would
spoil the story.
> 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.)
> I told you my relief, but I begin to doubt ! Look at what you write:
> >Recently, of course, I have been more concerned with the destruction
> >caused in NYC by the advocates of suicide and believers in immortality.
> I understand your concern with NYC. I share with you the concern
> of those terrible and crual 11 sept. events.
> Now a pecularity of this war consists in figuring out who
> is the enemy, exactly.
> It looks like you have solved that problem too. The enemy are the
> believers in immortality, the religious people !?!
> I am fearing amalgamations, like the amalgamations between Muslims and
> terrorists (to name one which has been done by some). But you are the
> champion: the enemy are all religious people. The war between atheism
> and religion !?!
> Perhaps I should tell you what are, according to G*, the canonical
> "enemies" of the sound universal machine.
> [ ... and here a very long reasoning with lot of thought experiments,
> or a shorter formal reasoning where the main point consists in
> distinguishing what G and G* say ... I don't want to bore you and
> give you at once the "result" ...]:
> And it looks like you were almost right.
> The universal sound machines "war" is between the agnostic and the
> *imposed* religion (whatever that religion is, atheism included).
> The sound machine is maximaly humble, she is agnostic on both
> her own consistency and her own inconsistency. This entails two sort
> of dangerous consistent extensions: 1) meeting a machine (perhaps
> itself) which feels superior, and 2) meeting a machine (perhaps itself)
> which feels inferior. (Meeting or becoming herself).
> That reminds me a "theory of intelligence" I developped years ago
> (still from G*):
> a machine is intelligent iff it is not stupid. And a machine is stupid
> iff either the machine believes itself intelligent or the
> machine believes itself stupid.
> [with "consistent (resp. inconsistent)" in place of
> "intelligent (resp. stupid)" those sentences are just rephrasing of
> particular instantiation of Godel second incompleteness theorem].
> The universal sound machine is forever undecided about any
> of its possible ultimate worldview and, by doubting, never imposes
> its religion or worldview on different machines. This should not prevent
> her to react against those imposing-view machines. That's just
> self-defense. We can respect only those who respect ourselves, and
> ... reciprocaly.
> With comp any sound machine is condemned to doubt, forever.
> A sound machine can neither be a believer in immortality nor be a
> believer in mortality. The sound machine is forever agnostic on that
> question. That is forever undecided. (and by consequence forever
> undecided about comp of course: they can bet, fear or hope for comp
> and/or for self-soundness, but that's personal). The sound machines
> can also make reasoning with comp *as an hypothesis*.
> This is what I find very humanistic about comp: we are necessarily
> more modest and ignorant about fundamental questions, and thus more
> open and prudent with other's opinions. At the
> same time we get tools for studying the geometry of that ignorance
> and see precisely where "matters" come from, through the comp "act of
> Precisely but uncertainly. Like any scientific approaches.
> The consistent computationalist cannot *not* be moderate, like
> the honnest scientific, which is also a professional doubter.
> Some people believe that doubting is a sign of lacking confidence
> in oneself, or even lacking faith. Apparently (with G*) it is
> the contrary. This is coherent with the apparent lack of doubt
> of the fanatics, which above all does not even tolerate sign of doubts.
> Today I guess we have still the choice between a war between
> moderates and fanatics and a war between fanatics and fanatics.
> In the second case we loose the war at the start, isn't it?
> Do you agree with this last statement? Or are you really, Mister the
> Devil's Advocate, a fanatical atheist?