On 17 Jun 2008, at 11:47, Russell Standish wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:37:24AM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Should I write a reply book, I could entitled it: "The Physical
>> Universe, the Failed Hypothesis" with the subtitle "How Science shows
>> the Physical Universe does not exist".
>> Of course Stenger's goal was not to present an argument in favor of
>> the existence of the Physical Universe. His goal was to present
>> evidence that IF such a universe exists THEN there is no evidence
>> it has been created by a GOD, and I believe Stenger is mainly right
>> this account.
>> Too bad I don't believe in "Stenger's God" (the physical universe).
>> that sense I am much more "atheist" than him.
> Of course Stenger is fairly profoundly nonplatonist in his views. I
> doubt he would accept COMP, for instance.
I am not sure.
It would mean that he believes that brains (or whatever consciousness
supervenes on) are non Turing-Emulable infinite analog machine/
entities. This would contradict his chapter three, where he argues
that the brain obeys "well known physical laws". All such known laws
are Turing emulable.
And he does believe that the physical laws are independent of the
human mind (like anyone believing that something like the big-bang can
make sense), and this has no sense with the belief that elementary
true relations between numbers depend on us. Or does it?
To be sure, I have not yet find an atheist or a materialist who does
not believe, at least implicitly, in comp, except some very rare
specimen who understood, at a time, the UDA, and still wanted a
physical universe to be "physically" existing. But then they admit
that the brains have to be actually infinite and obey totally unknown
laws of nature, exactly the kind of things Stenger shows science fails
to put in evidence. I agree with him.
I think it is the book's background that is flawed. I think physicists
will soon or later abandon materialism and the notion of *physical*
universe(s) for the same reason modern biologist have abandoned
vitalism. Those ideas don't fit with the facts. It will take some time
though, due to bad habits, and due to the long path from numbers to
Yet conceptually, we don't really need to postulate a physical
universe to explain why immaterial(*) self-referentially correct
machine have to believe, in a local correct way, in a physical
universe, like we don't need to believe that the earth is flat to
explain, in a local correct way, our belief in a flat neighborhood.
This is a point which I think I share with Tegmark: physicalness is a
local illusion from inside mathematicalness (or "just"
arithmeticalness with comp).
Some feels that we have to invoke "matter" to justify existence, but
this is really an unsatisfactory magical circular thinking, even
without comp, imo.
You don't have to be a (neo)platonist like Plato or Plotinus to get
the idea. The UDA blue pill is enough, I think. Once you get UDA,
Plato and Plotinus are useful because it gives a deep glance on the
general shape of the future paradigm shift. And we can enjoy that it
could possibly give sense to notion like persons, game, and people ...
and that it could help to reframe, without the need of fairy tales,
our non-reductionist human, and non-human, feelings.
We have never left the (arithmetical) matrix ...
(*) immaterial in the sense of number-theoretical, not in Stenger's
sense of supernatural (unless you decide to put elementary arithmetic
and computer science in the supernatural ...).
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