" 4) Mark Peaty wrote (to Brent):

    As I say, the essence of evil is the act of treating other persons
    as things.

I so agree with you. And then, with Church thesis (less than comp, thus) 
you can understand the reason why even some (relative) machine and some 
(relative) numbers should not be confused with any of their third person 
description. "

MP: There is too much packed in this for me to be clear of the scope.
For example: by 'machine' do you mean, generically, any hypothetical 
self-referencing, sufficiently complex device - or virtual emulation of 
such - smart enough to think it knows who it is?
Which numbers have anything BUT a third person description?
I am of course very ignorant about higher mathematics, so the way I use 
words is that a number is a mathematical object that has/is a [or of a] 
particular value. I guess that means that a number, for me anyway, is a 
thing not a process. People use processes to generate, define and 
compare numbers. These processes are to mathematica what verbs, adverbs, 
adjectives, complex nouns and all the phrases [noun phr, adjectival phr, 
etc.] are to natural languages. Because of the precise specifications 
required for such mathematical processes, which I suppose means their 
algorithmic qualities, many of them are mathematical objects in their 
own right, so they do what they do and not anything else.

Bruno [quote continued]:

    " On another tack: it seems to me the extent and scope of suffering
    in the world is one of the most powerful arguments in favour of the
    total irrelevance of the concept of G/god/s. However it is not for
    me to go around telling those who believe in some G/god/s that they
    are deluded.

Do you agree that those who believe in a primitive physical universe 
could be deluded in the same manner than those who believe in some 
notion of God. Perhaps even in a worse manner, because many people 
believe that the existence of a primitive material universe is a 
"scientific fact". Of course not. At least in many theological text, the 
word "God" is used in a more axiomatic way than "Matter" is by some 
scientist (at lunch or during the week-end). Most religious people will 
never say that the existence of God is a scientific fact, and in that 
sense are less deluded than many materialist. "

MP: I don't see how people who believe in 'some notion of God' can 
honestly get past the intelligent child's question of 'Well alright, 
where did G/god/s come from then'. It is a simple question without an 
answer except something like: 'Shut up you little smart a*se!' or 
'BLASPHEMY!! Thou deservest to be burnt at the stake!'

For me a very important aspect of this latter issue is that any 
purported supernatural being cannot have a coherent explanation in terms 
of natural science and, if taken of itself to be an explanation for any 
of that which is and/or that which transpires, it disempowers the 
believers concerned and any of those in their care. Why? Because, as I 
think I said before, one of the several Earth shaking things that the 
advent of scientific method has brought to the human race is the 
objective demonstration that no publicly stated belief or public 
assertion of the nature of things is immune from sceptical examination 
which is conducted in an ethical manner.

That said, I can now return to the deeper question which is: Is it 
coherent to assert that there is no universe? In common sense, plain 
English terms that is pretty much like saying that 'Nothing really 
exists!' ... which Does not compute! Like dividing or multiplying by 
zero, you either lock up your system or get no useful extra result. It 
is therefore necessary to accept that one exists, with the bookmarked 
proviso that 'exists' needs further research, and accept that for the 
time being there is no really coherent substitute for taking as /given/ 
one's own existence in a world of some sort. In fact as I said somewhere 
else it is one of only two completely free things in life. [The other if 
you remember is the benefits which come from saying 'Think positive, it 
is better for you' and acting as if you believe it.]

My point in harping on in this way is simply so as to point out that:
whilst it IS necessary to assert an assumption of existence beyond 
oneself, and to be ethical it is necessary to acknowledge the 
independent existence of the other people one meets, there is no such 
more-or-less a priori reason for positing the existence of supernatural 
beings of any sort whatever. The assertion of the existence of G/god/s 
is gratuitous, and the very concept is characteristically pre-scientific.

Furthermore, the very concept of an omniscient being, never mind 
omnipotent, depends for its credibility upon the acceptance of some kind 
of naive realism. That is to say, the truth concerning the types of 
awareness we actually experience and for which credible sceptically 
proficient observation has been made, always entails a very limited, 
circumscribed apprehension of self and world. This is consistent with 
the most reasonable conceptions of consciousness and sentience which 
entail the absolutely necessary activity of some kind of neural network, 
however instantiated. In other words, the only real evidence we have 
that stands up to reasonable scrutiny, supports only the idea that 
consciousness is either embodied or it doesn't exist!  I will go yet 
further and assert that not only is embodiment essential for the 
occurrence of consciousness but the process REQUIRES the representation 
in some form of both the observer and the observed plus representation 
of the current salient relationships between them. When this occurs 
then, and only then, is there something [or a somethinggoingon, for the 
purists] which can be 'like being something', as opposed to simply being 
it without knowing it.

The radical and apple cart damaging entailment of this is that by the 
very nature of the process - by definition if you like - the subjective 
experience which occurs cannot possibly be all of simply being the 
entity in question. The process is one of construction, in fact I think 
the word 'updating' has an important place here too, and this process 
involves overheads, in the form of structures and processes which must 
be and occur just to keep the system running, adapting to its 
environment and repairing itself. From this it follows that even the 
biggest brains in the universe, wherever they may be and however old, 
will share with us the limitations of not being able to see the backs of 
our own eyeballs or, as George Gurdjieff put it: they too cannot jump 
over their own knees!   :-)     Who needs G/god/s like that!


Mark Peaty  CDES



Bruno Marchal wrote:
> To avoid to much posts in your mail box, I send all my comments in 
> this post,
> Hi Brent,
> 4) Mark Peaty wrote (to Brent):
>     As I say, the essence of evil is the act of treating  ... etc,

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