Tom Caylor wrote:
> On Jan 27, 6:52�am, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> Le 26-janv.-07, � 15:13, Mark Peaty a �crit :
>>> �Bruno:
>>> �" 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?
>>> �and
>>> �Which numbers have anything BUT a third person description?
>> I can explain (see UDA) why if you assume comp, numbers get private
>> first person relation with respect to other numbers or with unameable,
>> from their point of view, set of numbers. I have to use the Wi and Fi
>> to explain this. I do identify machine and their godel numbers (or any
>> finite description of the machine) at some point.
> The question of the "meaning of life", and also the problem of (the 
> existence of) evil (whether you believe in God not), has at its core 
> the question of what is this "non-thing" entity called a "person"?
> By the way, the problem of evil that I am referring to is simply the 
> problem of the existence of evil.  We just know it exists.  We see 
> people treated as things. We know it is wrong.  The simple existence 
> of evil is a problem.  

If you don't believe in an omnipotent, benevolent God who orders the universe 
it isn't a problem.  It's just a consequence of different people having 
competing values.

>I'm not talking about the wrongness of a 
> logical contradiction.  I'm talking about something that is even 
> "wronger than" that.  When I talk about the problem of evil,  I'm 
> talking about something that is *really* wrong, down at the core level 
> of reality.  The reason that something defined by persons (such as a 
> person being treated as a "non-person"

What it mean to treat a person as a non-person?  Even Kant's categorical 
imperative was not to treat a person *only* as a means.  It's not evil to fail 
to ask your bank teller how they feel about cashing your check. 

>) can be "really wrong" at the 
> deepest level is that the essence of a person is something that lies 
> at the deepest level of reality.  

It's words or concepts that are defined by people.  What people judge as right 
or wrong seems far from "basic reality" since they so often disagree about it.  

>This is why the "problem of evil" in 
> general has been so hard to "figure out".  It's because the very 
> definition of the problem is illusive without defining what a person 
> is.  We try to define the problem by saying evil is a logical 
> contradiction with whatever theory someone has, but this actually only 
> proves even more how lost we are in figuring it out, and even more 
> lost in solving it.
> In the same way the "meaning of life" question on one hand seems 
> nebulous and unuseful from a scientific viewpoint.  But it is the 
> ultimate question.  We may ask, "What is the meaning of the 'meaning 
> of life'?" But that just illustrates the meaning of the question 
> itself. Perhaps this is one of the attributes of a "person", that we 
> continually, recursively, as the question of meaning.  We just *know* 
> what the meaning is of the question, "What is the meaning of life?" 
> Thus, the essence of what a person is is key to this question, and key 
> to the answer!

The trouble with "the meaning of life" question is that it implicitly assumes 
that life has some external referent that gives it meaning, the way "grass" is 
given a meaning by pointing to grass.  People who ask about the meaning of life 
usually want something like "the purpose of my life", "what goals should I 
pursue", etc.  Thus reformulated this has a simple answer, "Whatever you 
want!".  The problem is that people want their lives to have purpose without 
providing it themselves.

Brent Meeker
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"
      --- motto of the Hellfire Club, B. Franklin, member

> Now when it comes to mathematical/logical systems, and Bruno's 
> arguments, I think that we can see a "type", or analogy, of what is 
> going on here.  Through arguments that use things such as Church's 
> Thesis, diagonalization, the excluded middle, we can see that there 
> are always some systems or sets which are provably not describable by 
> other systems or sets.  I don't think this ultimately resolves the 
> problem of evil or the meaning of life.  But I do think that it is 
> perhaps a "picture" of the limitlessness that is possible, even 
> necessary.  It shows us the infinite proportions of these problems.  
> They are intractable by human persons, and yet have at their core the 
> essence of what a person is.
> Tom
> > 

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