From: Jason Resch 
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 2:24 AM
Subject: Re: Maudlin & How many times does COMP have to be false before its 

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 12:52 AM, Brent Meeker <> wrote:

  On 2/13/2011 10:13 PM, Jason Resch wrote: 

    On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM, Brent Meeker <> 

      On 2/13/2011 5:21 AM, 1Z wrote:

        On Feb 12, 3:18 am, Brent Meeker<>  wrote:


                What do you think the chances are that any random object in
                Plato's heaven, or any random Turing machine will support 
intelligent life?
                1 in 10, 1 in 1000, 1 in a billion?


        Does that allow us to argue:

        1) A universe selected from an uncountably infinite number of
        possibilities has measure
        2) Our universe exists so it has measure>0
        3) Our universe is not selected from uncountably infinite
        4) MUH indicates any universe must be selected from uncountable
        infinite possibilities (since all
        of maths includes the real line, etc)
        5) MUH is false.

      Hmmm.  I think we argue that objects in Plato's heaven and Turing 
machines are not the right kind of things to support life.

    I am very puzzled by this statement.  You could help me understand by 
answering the following questions:

    Why couldn't there be an accurate simulation of life on a Turing machine?

  Because a Turing machine is an abstraction.  If you mean a realization of a 
Turing machine, then I suppose there could be a simulation of life on it. 

    How can entities within a universe that exists in Plato's heaven 
distinguish it from a universe that does not?

  I doubt that Plato's heaven exists.  So no universes would exist in it.


Exists is a funny word.  It seems to embody knowledge and opinion from one 
observer's viewpoint based on their own limited experiences and interactions 
within their local portion of reality.  If Plato's heaven is such a thing that 
contains all possible structures, does the fact that it contains all possible 
structures hold true whether or not it exists?  If there are universes existing 
abstractly inside Plato's heaven, and some of those universes contain conscious 
observers, does ascribing the property of non-existence to Plato's heaven or to 
those universes make those observers not conscious, or is the abstraction 
enough?  What properties can something which is non-existent have?

It seems there are two choices: 1. Things which are non-existent can have other 
properties besides non-existence.  E.g., a non-existent universe has atoms, 
stars, worlds, and people on some of those worlds.  Or 2. Non-existent things 
cannot have any other properties besides non-existence.  It sounds like you 
belong to this second camp.

However, this seems to lead immediately to mathematical realism.  As there are 
objects with definite objectively explorable properties in math.  7's primality 
and parity are properties of 7.  But how can 7 have properties if it does not 
exist?  If non-existent things can have properties, why can't consciousness be 
one of those properties?  What is the difference between a non-existent brain 
experiencing a sunset and an existent brain experiencing a sunset?  Please 
explain as precisely as possible what it means for something to not exist.


No facts about it if it is non existent?


    Allow me to add a comment to this brilliant argument. Following Jason’s 
description of Platonia, Plato’s heaven, it would seem to include all possible 
descriptions of itself and thus is in a way like a set that contains all 
subsets of itself including at least one subset that is identical to itself. Is 
this not a paradox? 




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