Wei Dai wrote: > Jason wrote: >> I have seen two main justifications on this list for the everything >> ensemble, the first comes from information theory which says the >> information content of everything is zero (or close to zero). The >> other is mathematicalism/arithmatical realism which suggests >> mathematical truth exists independandly of everything else and is the >> basis for everything. >> >> My question to the everything list is: which explaination do you >> prefer and why? Are these two accounts compatible, incompatible, or >> complimentary? Additionally, if you subscribe to or know of other >> justifications I would be interesting in hearing it. > > These two justifications are about equally attractive to me. I also have a > couple of other justifications. > > Aesthetic: If anything doesn't exist, it's non-existence would constitute an > element of arbitrariness, given that anything exists at all. We shouldn't > accept arbitrariness unless there's a good reason for it, and there doesn't > seem to be one.
It would be a peculiar kind of arbitrariness that had a good reason for it. :-) But what constitutes a "good reason"? Does a good reason have to show that the result is inevitable? or merely probable? > > Pragmatic: We have to accept that there is at least a non-zero probability > that all possible universes exist. This seems to be a tautology: P>0 <=> "possible". The question is what is possible and in what sense of "possible". Certainly many things are logically possible: flying pigs, Santa Claus, and victory in Iraq. But if we assign a non-zero probability to one of theses we are just quantifying the uncertainty of our knowledge. Brent Meeker >Unless there is reason to believe that > the probability is so small as to be negligible (and I don't see such a > reason), we will need to consider the everything ensemble when making > predictions and decisions. Given that, why not believe that the probability > is one? The probabilities for all other possible collections of universes > can be "folded" into the measure over the everything ensemble in such a way > that all of the predictions and decisions come out the same way as before. > > > > > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---