Le 25-oct.-07, à 18:22, Tom Caylor a écrit :

> How about SAI (Super Intelligence)?  Or God?  Seriously, of course.
> The problem with generic SAI is the one you brought up: how do you
> know the SAI is good?  This problem does not exist with a good God.
> Also the problem of what is the arrow, how do you make it, does not
> exist with the Christian God, since the Christian God (and no other
> one) made the arrow himself.

Hmmm.... It seems to me you are quite quick here.

Especially after reading Vance novels, as linked by Marc.

Is God good? Well, according to Plato, accepting the rather natural 
"theological" interpretation of the Parmenides (like Plotinus), there 
is a sense to say that God is "good", but probably not in the Christian 
sense (if that can be made precise). Indeed, Plato's God is just Truth. 
And Truth is not good as such, but the awareness of truth, or simply 
the search of truth,  is, for a Platonist,  a prerequisite for the 
*possible* development of goodness.
Truth is necessary for justice, and justice is necessary for goodness. 
That's the idea. It makes knowledge (and thus truth) a good thing, in 
But Vance's novel rises a doubt. Actually, that doubt can rise through 
the reading of the first Pythagorean writings, which insist so much on  
hiding their knowledge to the non-initiated people, making them secret. 
(according to the legend, their kill a disciple who dares to make 
public the discovery of the irrationality of the square root of 2). 
Maimonides also, in his "Guide for the perplexed" insists that 
fundamental knowledge has to be reserved for the initiated or the elite 

Fundamentally I don't know. I know a lot of particular case where 
knowledge can be bad. But this happens always in "human, too much 
human" practical circumstances, like during war, illness, etc.  (it is 
not good that your enemies *knows* where are your missiles; it is not 
good to tell a bad new to some old dying people, etc. But this never 
concerns fundamental truth.

I guess it *is* a question of faith. Of course, something like complete 
knowledge, would be bad, making life without any purpose (at least it 
is natural to fear that), but in this case both lobianity, and well, 
may be things like Christianity, remind us about our finiteness and 
about the fact that complete knowledge is inconsistent (even for Gods, 
but not for the Unnameable, making it above thinking (something 
Plotinus understood, but I am not sure Christians, following here 
Aristotle theology,  take this seriously into account but then they do 
have confuse temporal and spiritual power isn't it?).

Now, Tom, to come back to the present thread, i.e. Wei Dai's question 
on the meaning of the measure problem with respect to the ASSA 
philosophy, frankly I am not sure that saying that God is responsible 
for the indexical "arrow" will put light. It looks a bit like closing 
even the possibility of progressing, given that God can hardly be 
invoked in any attempt to scientifically explains something (cf 
"scientifically" means based on a clear and doubtable (if not 
refutable) theory). So you would have to elaborate, but as we have 
already discussed, to use God here would mean that you do have a 
doubtable and clear theory of God. OK if you are using lobian theology 
(which is cristal clear I think), but which cannot be related so easily 
with any human religion without much work on both human and machine and 
comp, etc. We would quickly been led to propositions far more 
difficult, not to say controversial, than Wei Dai's original question.
Of course, here, those who take the primacy of a physical universe for 
granted, somehow, makes the same mistake than those who take God or a 
God for granted. Such moves hide the questions through incommunicable 
(perhaps even false) "certitude".



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