At 09:41 19/05/2005, you wrote:
Le 18-mai-05, à 18:09, Stephen Paul King a écrit :
Pearce's idea is not new and we have it from many thinkers that the totality of the multiverse must sum to zero, that is the essence of symmetry.
If the totality of the multiverse must sum to zero, then this must include consciousness. But this sounds bizarre - and perhaps unintelligible. How could all our pains and pleasures, our sensory experiences etc "cancel out" to zero?
For a zero ontology to work, then all the different textures of consciousness [sights, sounds, etc and their "binding" into sensory objects] must be numerically encodable and expressed in the fundamental equation of the TOE - and thus must participate in the summing to zero too.
Currently, we don't have a clue why any particular texture of consciousness has the "feel" it does rather than that of any other texture - or how it relates to others. Redness, say, or the taste of cinnamon, would seem arbitrary - and as inexplicable within a materialist framework as the existence of consciousness itself. But on a zero ontology, all the textures of consciousness are necessary, interdependent, and constrained to sum to zero in virtue of being solutions to the master equation of the TOE that encodes all the information there is about the multiverse.
Thanks for the explanation. Unlike much that is said here, I am able to understand what you mean. But it's not satisfying, and the core mystery remains. Even if Pearce is correct and everything in the multiverse self-cancels and adds up to zero, so what? That is not an explanation of existence.
But just how well do we understand our pre-theoretic notion of "Nothing" - zero properties - with which existence is supposedly being contrasted?
Just as it is (controversially) possible to generate all the natural numbers from the empty set, perhaps a deeper understanding of what "Nothing" - no properties whatsoever - entails will reveal that a multiverse that sums to zero is a logico-physical necessity: a trivial expression of what the net absence of any properties at all entails.
[Do I really believe all this? No, but IMO it's still an explanation-space worth exploring]