On 05 Dec 2009, at 21:00, Rex Allen wrote:

> On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 10:35 PM, Brent Meeker  
> <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>> Rex Allen wrote:
>>> What is your alternative to the "everything" universal acid?  That
>>> things just are the way they are (uniquely), and there's  
>>> ultimately no
>>> explanation for that.  Right?
>> Exactly so.  "It's just happened that way" and "Everything happens  
>> and
>> so this happens too." are both equally useless.  Progress is only  
>> made
>> when we can explain why this rather than that.
> So, we have our observations, and we want to explain them, so we need
> some context to place them in.  So we postulate the existence of an
> external universe.  But then we want to explain what we see in this
> external universe, and the only option is to postulate the existence
> of a multiverse.
> Nothing can be explained in terms of only itself.  To explain it,  you
> have to place it in the context of something larger.  Otherwise, no
> explanation is possible, you just have to say, "this is the way it is
> because that's the way it is."
> Right?
> Basically there's only two way the process can end.  Two possible
> answers to the question of "Why is the universe this way instead of
> some other way?":
> 1) Because things just are the way they are, and there's no further
> explanation possible.
> 2) Because EVERYTHING happens, and so this was inevitable in that
> larger context of "everything".
> What other option is there, do you think?

Well in this list we follow the option "2". (As its name indicates).
To progress we need to make the everything idea more precise. Most  
naive "everything idea" are either trivial and non informative, or can  
be shown inconsistent.
QM is an amazing everything theory, astoundingly accurate. Yet it is  
based on comp (or variety of comp), which means that if you take  
serioulsy the first person experiences into consideration, then you  
have to derive the Schroedinger waves from a deeper purely  
arithmetical derivation.
But with the computable, something happens: the discovery of the  
universal machine (accepting Church's thesis).
This makes enough to confront all universal machine, actually the  
Löbian one will even understand why", with a "consciousness/reality"  
problem, or first-person/third person relation problem, and that the  
Löbian machine can develop the means to explore the many gaps which  
exists there.

>>> So we can take our observations of the world around us and  
>>> construct a
>>> narrative that is consistent with what we see...a narrative that
>>> involves big bangs and electrons.  But what caused the big bang?   
>>> Why
>>> do electrons have the particular properties that they have?  If you
>>> propose a particular cause for these things, what caused that cause?
>>> How is that better than a narrative that allows for "everything"?
>>> They would seem to have equal explanatory power.  Which is to say:
>>> zero.
>> We have much evidence about the big bang and some theories as to  
>> how it
>> may have happened which are testable.
> So the existence of a big bang event certainly seems consistent with
> our observations.  But so does the idea of a Boltzmann style
> statistical fluctuation from thermal equilibrium.  Or the idea that
> this is just the dream of the infinitude of relations between numbers.
> We construct narratives that are consistent with our observations, but
> these narratives are about our observations, not about what really
> exists.  You seem to have jumped to some unfounded ontological
> conclusions.
> You can talk about big bangs if that helps you think about your
> observations, helps you identify patterns in what you experience.
> But, that's as far as it can reasonably go, right?
> At the end of the day, we're always right back at where we
> started...with our observations...with our subjective conscious
> experience.

I think we have made progress. We "know" (assuming digital mechanism)  
that we know nothing about the consequence of addition and  
multiplication, but that we can explore, and that it is divided into  
sharable and non sharable parts.

We may correct a widespread error: the sharable part is the objective  
and doubtable part, the non sharable part is the subjective and  
undoubtable part.

We have a theology. A "greek" one, by which I mean, that is the bad  
news for some, we have to do mathematics.

And nobody ask you to believe it, unless you decide to say "yes" to  
some doctor and believe that 2 + 2 = 4.

You can call it a toy theology, given that it is the theology of an  
ideally relatively self-referentially correct Löbian machine. It  
exists as a branch of math, and it applies to us if comp is true and  
as far as we are correct ourselves, which we can never known. But we  
can bet on levels, like "nature" apparently already did, and prey or  
hope or something like that.

The quest of truth will continue. If comp is true reality is beyond  
fictions. For the best or the worth, this depends *partially* on us.  
Who "us"? "Us" the universal machines.

The motto: be vigilant toward any *form* of authoritative argument,  
even those of nature. Eventually it is a matter of personal freedom,  
but it is far better to get the personal understanding in those  
matter. All universal machine  "soon or later" understands this.

Bruno Marchal



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