Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Bruno Marchal writes:
> > 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
> > >> notion
> > >> of goodness necessitates the notion of truth to begin with. I say more
> > >> below.
> > >
> > > 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
> > theories.
> > > Science can tell us how to
> > > make a nuclear bomb and the effects a nuclear explosion will have on
> > > people
> > > and the environment, but whether it is "good" or "bad" to use such a
> > > weapon
> > > 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
> > example).
> OK, but the point is that the basic definition of "bad" is arbitrary.
That isn't "just true"
> It might seem
> that there would be some consensus, for example that torturing innocent people
> is an example of "bad", but it is possible to assert without fear of logical
> empirical contradiction that torturing innocent people is good.
People don't want to be tortured. Isn't that empirical proof?
> There are people
> in the world who do in fact think there is nothing wrong with torture and
> they are not very nice peopel, they are not as a result of having such a
> belief deluded.
I think they are. Can you prove they are not?
> > 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.
> But there is a big difference between Pythagoras saying 17 is prime and
> saying that eating beans is bad. You can't say that "prime" and "bad" are
> in that they both need to be axiomatically defined.
Badness can be axiomatically defined (treating people as means rather
acting on a maxim you would not wish to be universal law, not
doing as you would be done by, causaing unnecessary suffering).
> > > You could say that "I believe blowing people up is bad" is a statement
> > > of
> > > empirical fact, either true or false depending on whether you are
> > > accurately
> > > reporting your belief. However, "blowing people up is bad" is a
> > > completely
> > > different kind of statement which no amount of empirical evidence has
> > > any
> > > 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.
> The problem is that some people think "good" and "bad" are on a par with
> descriptive terms that every sentient species, regardless of their psychology,
> could agree on. They are not. Every sentient species would agree that a
> nuclear bomb going off in your face will kill you, but some would say this was
> good and others would say it was bad.
Really? How likely is the universe to be populated by suicidal
> > > 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
> > > bad".
> > 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.
> I think a message spelt out across the sky by stars simultaneously going
> nova would probably do it for me. I would at least believe that these were
> beings with godlike powers responsible, but would reserve judgement on
> whether they had also created the universe. Can't shake of the skepticism
> Stathis Papaioannou
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