On 27 Jun 2008, at 20:52, Tom Caylor wrote:

> On Jun 8, 2:43 pm, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> On 06 Jun 2008, at 23:35, Tom Caylor wrote:
>> ...
>>> One consistent configuration is that we are all immortal and that  
>>> part
>>> of this immortal being is something that is outside of what we can
>>> observe scientifically, including other persons' deaths.
>> I am with you. But we can address scientifically the question "does
>> self-introspecting machine refer correctly to something they can
>> recognize as being something they cannot observe in a third person
>> communicable (scientific, objective) way and yet still *know* that
>> they can make the experience of it (for example through prays,
>> reflexion, meditation, 1-self-introspection, starvation, accidents,
>> drugs, or some other (hopefully) genuine 3-self-manipulations, ...)?
>> Bruno
>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
> If the basis of everything is a Person, then this can make my above
> statement make sense.

Yes. As I said. Although perhaps from different motivation or reason.
But as you know the platonist (who believes in A V ~A) universal (who  
believes in all true Sigma_1 sentences) Lobian (who knows that)  
machine has three "unique" Gods available for her.

- The ONE, Plato's notion of Truth, which has to be searched for, and  
which can hardly be said to be a "person", at least a priori. For each  
machine such a "truth" is unnameable or non definable by the machine.

- The INTELLIGIBLE, which splits into two (its terrestrial part,  
described respectively by G and its "divine" part described by G* , at  
the level of propositional logic). The terrestrial part is a sort of  
cold, objective, scientific, person. The divine part, is not so easily  
amenable to personhood. The universal machine and Plotinus agree that  
this is a difficult question!  Aristotle is very ambiguous here, imo.

- The SOUL, or universal self or universal mind. It is the knower, the  
unnameable self,  (the one described by the logic S4Grz). This one is  
the closer to the notion of "God as a person". Perhaps even the  
*unique* person (yet an open problem here). But it is closer to the  
eastern notion of God, than to the western notion. it is the one you  
can recognize within. The one about which Alan Watts talked about in  
most of its book, including "Beyond Theology", "The Book", "Joyous  
Cosmology", for examples. He is the subject of first person immortality.

They are dream technics which can help you to "remember", by,  
curiously enough perhaps, forgetting everything else.
And there are plants which can accelerate the process (like Alan watts  
explained in "Joyous cosmology"). This leads to a Botanical form of  
entheogenic computationalism, where you say "yes to the doctor-plant!"  
Entheogen: means "reveals the God within".
Actually, those who find Plotinus' way of talking a bit laborious or  
those who dislike his vocabulary, can read as well the trip reports of  
entheogenic experiences. This is especially clear with the trips made  
under Salvia Divinorum. See for example:
Personally I have used mainly cafeine, (and sometimes other stuff) for  
helping to generate realistic-enough dream's state, when it does not  
prevent sleep altogether (!). See my chapter on Dreams in "Conscience  
et Mécanisme": "Le cerveau, le rêve et la réalité"  if you want more  
on dreams as a mean to get "altered state of consciousness" for the  
purpose of illustrating the UD proof. Cafeine does not help for  
getting the amnesia, alas, but the amnesia  can be prepared by some  
yoga or meditation exercises. A minimal understanding of the notion of  
dream is of course an important prerequisite to get the sixth step of  
the UDA.
I don't recommand you to try Salvia Divinorum though, but if you do,  
verify it is legal in your country. It is illegal in Australia,  
Belgium, South Korea and in some US states.
In case you do, follow the user's manual:  The User's Guide in PDF  
format.  I could come back on this one day.
Of course the UDA pill is enough to get the things "scientifically",  
that is in the modest (based on sharable theory) and communicable  
(polite) manner. But some experience with consciousness could help a  
lot, I guess.
Or (re)read directly Plato and Plotinus, or perhaps any "mystic".

> Can we really have a scientific understanding
> of a person?

It depends what you mean by "scientific understanding". We never  
understand our theories, that is why we invent them. Scientific  
understanding is always reduction of set of beliefs into other set of  
beliefs. We understand only "trivially" the initial chosen beliefs.

> This would by definition be one person having a
> scientific understanding of their relationship to another person.

I think you are confusing two levels. We can build a theory (and  
indeed all comp theories are necessary like that) where we can, after  
choosing some axiomatic for the notion of person, explain why we  
cannot understand scientifically (by third person verifiable facts)  
the notion of person (first person).
Mechanism cannot put the "mystery" under the rug, it can only help us  
to contemplate it by eliminating the pseudo-mysterious marmelade, like  
Matter, Universe and other fairy tales.

> Actually, I think that this is a downfall of many relationships among
> persons.

It is what eliminative materialism leads to. At least this is in  
contradiction with Mechanism. (BTW I say Mechanism instead of  
Computationalism, just to recall we should not attach ourselves to  
words. By Mechanism, in our list context, I mean Digital Mechanism, or  
comp, like Judson Webb, or like in: Conscience et Mécanisme).  
"Mechanism" is also shorter, and I'm tired saying "comp" all the times.

> The scientific understanding requires repeatability.

I don't think so. Evolution and history are not repeatable, yet can be  
approached with the scientific (modest) attitude. Remember that  
science, in which I include theology, is mainly essentially "just"  
that: modesty and doubts. It *has* to be such if Mechanism is correct.  
That is what my work is all about.

> The
> goal of modern science (which is what we mean by science) is control,

That is engineering, or more general form of constructive science.  
Real science, I mean knowledge driven inquiry, is more on the side of  
"let it go". If you try to control what is fundamental, you make it  
running away. With platonist third person science, the more you know,  
the bigger your own ignorance appears to be. Alan watts, again,  
describes very well all this in "The wisdom of insecurity". That is  
why I called sometimes the second incompleteness modal formula: "Dt ->  
~BDt",  the "Lao-Tseu, Watts, Valadier formula. It is a deep law of  
contrariety about fundamental things, like consistency, reality,  
control, security, etc. Valadier is a french Jesuit, who wrote  
impressive theologial book on that idea with respect to moral.

> which requires repeatability.  Love (the mysterious force of good
> relationship between persons) does not "work" within a scientific
> framework.

Hmmm... Perhaps in the current materialist and reductionist conception  
of "science". I invite you to read Plotinus' treatise 50 on Love.
There is also an interesting thesis by Agnès Pigier (published by  
VRIN, Paris 2002): "Plotin, une métaphysique de l'amour, l'amour comme  
structure du monde intelligible". For Plotinus: Love (amour) comes  
from the meeting between "logos" and "indeterminacy".
Please, remember that mechanism and materialism are metaphysically,  
epistemologically, or even "common-sensical" incompatible (cf UDA).  
OK? This seems not yet well known. Ask question on UDA if residual  
doubts persist on this. I know how this can be counter-intuitive in  
the naturalistic aristotelian framework, but yet the UD Argument does  
not leave much choice here.


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