On 2/27/2010 10:38 PM, Rex Allen wrote:
On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 10:35 PM, Stathis Papaioannou
On 28 February 2010 05:33, Rex Allen<rexallen...@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm not sure what you're saying here. Is it that peoples' beliefs
could not be other than what they actually are given initial
conditions and physical laws? I suppose that is true, but even in a
deterministic single universe we generally use the term "physically
possible" to mean that something could have been the case if initial
conditions had been different, while in a multiverse "physically
possible" means that it occurs in at least one universe. In either of
these two senses, it is physically possible that a person believes
that he lives for only a day.
How do you know? Perhaps the physical brain state that this belief
WOULD supervene on is not actually possible in our universe due to the
fact that assuming that state would violate the Pauli exclusion
Or perhaps it wouldn't violate the violate any physical law, BUT all
paths by which you could reach that state WOULD violate some physical
law. So the only universe that could contain a person holding that
belief would have to have this person appear as part of the initial
conditions of that universe.
Note that I am not arguing that this particular belief is an
impossible belief. What I'm arguing is that evolution doesn't help
you one way or the other in deciding...because evolution is just a
mental tool, a way of thinking by analogy. Lacking any sort of causal
mechanism, it doesn't explain the way things are. It's just a story
that helps us think about the way things are. Right?
People believe and do all sorts of crazy things, as I'm sure you know.
The psychological capacity for just about any possible behaviour is
there, but the very maladaptive behaviours are rare. It's not that
it's difficult to make an animal that does not feel hungry, it's just
that these animals don't pass on their genes. Is that not a causal
mechanism for evolution?
Isn't there already a complete causal account at the level of quarks
and electrons and the fundamental forces that govern their
interactions, stretching back to the first instant of the universe,
for the existence and demise of any specific animal that doesn't feel
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