On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 5:55 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 26 February 2010 16:41, Rex Allen <rexallen...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Could our universe *actually* produce such a being by applying our
>> presumably deterministic laws to any set of initial conditions over
>> any amount of time?
> Of course it could. People could have any belief whatsoever, and the
> day-person belief can't even be shown to be logically or empirically
> false. It's just a contingent fact about human psychology that it is a
> rare belief.

Assuming Physicalism:

People can only have beliefs that supervene onto one of the physical
configurations that it is possible for a human brain to take.  What
determines the set of possible physical brain configurations?  Well,
first, the laws of physics that govern the interactions of the quarks
and electrons that constitute such a brain.  And second, whether such
a configuration is reachable from the initial state of the universe.

So physical laws plus initial conditions determine what beliefs are
actually possible vs not possible for people.  People cannot have any
belief whatsoever.

Evolution has no causal mechanism, and thus doesn't add any
explanatory power to physicalism.  It's just a convenient fiction - a
kind of short hand, or a metaphor - for fundamental physical laws plus
initial conditions.

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