On 3/17/07, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > If only one part of the possible actually exists, that isn't like being
> > the one person in a million who has to win the lottery, it is more like
> > waking up to find that money has miraculously appeared in your bedroom
> > overnight without there being any lottery. We could say "that's just the
> > way it is", but it could have been an infinite number of other ways as
> > well. On the other hand, if everything exists, it is no surprise that
> > you and every other particular thing exist.
> It's no explanation either.  It's just "Everything exists and what you
> experience is just what you experience."  which Occam's razor trimes to
> "What you experience is just what you experience".

You disagree that ensemble theories in conjunction with the anthropic
principle offer a possible explanation for the fine tuning of physical
constants in our universe (supposing there is fine tuning for the sake of
argument - I know Victor Stenger disagrees)? Of course, we are then left
with trying to explain why the ensemble, but that's the nature of any
explanation, including theological ones.

>The only thing that needs
> > ontological explanation is the everything: why everything rather than
> > something or nothing? If it were possible that the reality we experience
> > could be a simulation running on an abstract machine in Platonia, that
> > would be an answer to this question, because the machine in Platonia
> > can't not run.
> But what is Platonia - Tegmarks all mathematically consistent
> universe?  or Bruno's Peano arithmetic - or maybe Torny's finite arithmetic
> (which would be a much smaller "everything").

And while we're at it, why exclude non-mathematical structures? There seems
to be no reason why an abstract machine running a simulation of a fantastic
world should be ontologically privileged compared to the fantastic world
just existing complete in itself, not generated by any computation. This
would be closer to most forms of Idealism in Western philosophy, including
Plato's. Pythagoras was closer to the view that everything is made of

One response to this idea is that the non-computational worlds are overrun
with white rabbits, whereas the computational worlds allow the calculation
of a local measure, such as Russell Standish has described, which explains
the orderly universe we know. However, this doesn't explain why the
non-computational white rabbits don't suddenly intrude in the next moment:
what's to say that their relative measure should be less than the orderly
computational worlds' relative measure?

And how do things "run" in Platonia?  Do we need temporal modes in logic, as
> well as epistemic ones?

No, it would be like a block universe.

Stathis Papaioannou

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