Le 12-déc.-06, à 11:16, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
> Bruno Marchal writes (quoting Tom Caylor):
>>> In my view, your motivation is not large enough. I am also motivated
>>> by a problem: the problem of evil. I don't think the real problem of
>>> evil is solved or even really addressed with comp. This is because
>>> comp cannot define evil correctly. I will try to explain this more.
>> I agree that the problem of evil (and thus the equivalent problem of
>> Good) is interesting. Of course it is not well addressed by the two
>> current theories of everything: Loop gravity and String theory. With
>> that respect the comp hyp can at least shed some light on it, and of
>> course those "light" are of the platonic-plotinus type where the
>> of goodness necessitates the notion of truth to begin with. I say more
> Surely you have to aknowledge that there is a fundamental difference
> between matters of fact and matters of value.
Yes. Sure. And although I think that science is a value by itself, I am
not sure any scientific proposition can be used in judging those value.
But then, I also believe that this last sentence can be proved in comp
> Science can tell us how to
> make a nuclear bomb and the effects a nuclear explosion will have on
> and the environment, but whether it is "good" or "bad" to use such a
> is not an empirical question at all.
Hmmm..... This is not entirely true. We can test pain killer on people,
and we can see in scientific publication statements like "the drugs X
seem to provide help to patient suffering from disease Y".
Then it can be said that dropping a nuclear bomb on a city is bad for
such or such reason, and that it can be "good" in preventing bigger use
of nuclear weapon, etc. Again, we don't have too define good and bad
for reasoning about it once we agree on some primitive proposition
(that being rich and healthy is better than being poor and sick for
Recall that even the (although very familiar) notion of natural numbers
or integers cannot be defined unambiguously in science. Science asks us
only to be clear on primitive principles so that we can share some
reasoning on those undefinable entities.
> You could say that "I believe blowing people up is bad" is a statement
> empirical fact, either true or false depending on whether you are
> reporting your belief. However, "blowing people up is bad" is a
> different kind of statement which no amount of empirical evidence has
> bearing on.
It really depends on the axioms of your theory. A theory of good and
bad for a lobian machine can be based on the idea of 3-surviving or
1-surviving, etc. And then we can reason.
Now I do agree with you that good and bad can probably not be defined
intrinsically in a mathematical way. But a richer lobian machine can
define some notion of self-referential correctness for a less rich
lobian machine and then reason about it, and then lift the result in
some interrogative way about herself.
Some suicide phenomenon with animals could be explained in such a way.
You have the Parfit book "reason and persons". There are many pieces of
valid reasoning (and non normative) on ethical points in that book.
Science can handle values and relation between values as far as it does
not judge normatively those values.
> If you survey a million people and all of them believe that "blowing
> up people is bad", you have shown that "most people believe that
> blowing up
> people is bad", but you have not shown that "blowing up people is bad".
Again this depends on your theory. If you have the naive theory that if
a majority thinks that X is bad for them, then X is bad in the context
of that majority, then this could be used to provide a counter-example
(a bad one, but this does not change its point).
I do agree with you that science, as such, cannot show that "blowing up
people is bad". I believe that science cannot even define or name "bad"
. It seems to me that "bad" and "good" are even more complex notions
than "true" which is already beyond the scope of what science can
express. We can build approximations, or accept some axioms if only to
be enough clear so that we can be falsified and progress.
> If you find
> a message from God stating that "blowing up people is bad" then you
> have shown
> that "God believes that blowing up people is bad (and perhaps will
> send you to
> hell if you do it)", but you have not shown that "blowing up people is
Sure. Actually I cannot imagine a test showing that something is a
message from a god ... And this completely independently that
something *could* be a message of a god, and that some terrestrial
creature could believe correctly (but then personally if comp is
correct) that something is such a message.
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