Jason: "I can easily prove to you at least one thing must be self-existent for there to be anything at all"
It looks like we have not assimilated the history of philosophy here. I thought we did away with these classical metaphysical speculations. Did you not read Kant? You may be able to "prove" it.... but you will never be able to demonstrate or know the identity of "it". So you bs. On Jun 6, 7:00 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote: > On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote: > > On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 8:34 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> > > wrote: > > >> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> > > wrote: > > >>> Perhaps so, perhaps there is only Rex's beliefs. Perhaps only rex's > > >>> beliefs at this exact moment. > > > >> Not obviously impossible. Thought not obviously necessitated either. > > > >> Does the possibility that there are only Jason’s beliefs at this exact > > >> moment scare you? > > > >> Would you prefer it to be otherwise? > > > > It makes the universe much smaller, less varied, less fascinating, etc. > > to > > > believe my current thought is all there is. It also makes answering any > > > questions futile (why does this thought exist?, can I change it? Am I a > > > static thought or an evolving thought? What determines or controls the > > > content of this thought?) How can any of those questions be approached > > if > > > only thought exists? > > > How can any of those questions be approached by conscious entities in > > a deterministic computational framework? > > > Everything you’ll ever learn, every mistake you’ll ever make, every > > belief you’ll ever have is already locked in. > > This is fatalism. By AR+Comp you will experience all possible experiences, > perhaps an infinite number of times (recurring endlessly?). But this does > not mean we are powerless to affect the measure of those experiences. A > simple example: Some think that QM implies that in half the universes they > put on the seatbelt and in half the others they don't. This is not true, if > the person is conscientious enough they probably put on the seat belt in>99% > of the universes. That depends entirely on them. A > > less safety-concerned individual may have the opposite probabilities. > > > > > Your life is “on rails”. Maybe your final destination is good, maybe > > it’s bad - but both the destination and the path to it are static and > > fixed in Platonia. > > > Further, nothing about computationalism promises truth or anything > > else desirable...or even makes them likely. > > > In fact, surely lies are far more common than truths in Platonia. > > There are few ways to be right, but an infinite number of ways to be > > wrong. If you think you exist in Platonia, then surely you also have > > to conclude that nearly everything else you believe is a lie. > > What is true in this universe may be false or meaningless in most of the > universes, but there might be some things which are true in every universe > (such as 2+2 = 4). If it is true in every universe, even in those having > fewer than 4 things to count then by extension they are true even in > universes with nothing to count, and correspondingly, would be true even if > there was nothing anywhere. Math is self-existent (I can easily prove to > you at least one thing must be self-existent for there to be anything at > all) and it is much easier to see how math can be self-existent compared to > observable physical universe. > > > > > *** > > > Computationalism’s answers to the questions you pose are: > > > Why does this thought exist? There is no reason except that > > computation exists. Big whoop. > > Computationalism (mechanism, functionalism) is a theory of mind, which I > believe is superior to its contenders (immaterialism, interactionalist > dualism, epiphenominalism, biological naturalism, mind-brain identity > theory, etc.) which all have big flaws. While immaterialism cannot be > disproved, it explains nothing and therefore fails as an explanatory or > scientific theory. It > > > > > Can I change it? No. > > Then why bother to get food when you are hungry? > > > > > Am I a static or evolving thought? Neither. Your are computation. > > > What determines or controls the content of this thought? The brute > > fact of computational structure. > > > *** > > > Why did your momma love you? It was computationally entailed. > > > Why did Jeffry Dahlmer kill those people? It was computationally entailed. > > > Why 9/11, Auschwitz, AIDS, famine, bigotry, hate, suffering? They are > > computationally entailed. > > This is just reductionism taken beyond the level where it should be taken. > You might as well answer: It is physically entailed, chemically entailed, > biologically entailed, etc. I don't see the point of the argument. > > > > > Platonia actually sounds like more hell than heaven. > > You base that on the small part of Platonia you have seen in your decades as > a human on this remote planet floating through an infinitesimal part of the > universe. Perhaps life in other alien civilizations is comparatively a > heaven. > > > > > SO...what is it that computationalism gives you over solipsism, > > exactly? What makes this picture more varied, more fascinating, less > > futile? > > It answers questions which cannot be answered correctly with other theories > of mind. Given what I know, it is the theory of mind I would wager on as > correct above the others I know about. > > > > > > > > > > > > > I’m not saying you’re position is worse than mine, but surely it’s no > > better. > > > >>> What is the engine providing the computations which drive the universe? > > > >> That assumes that computations do drive the universe. > > > >> Which is the assumption that I’m questioning. > > > > The physical universe may be computational or it may be a mathematical > > > structure, but what enforces its consistency and constancy of its laws? > > If > > > it were a mathematical structure, or a computation then the consistency > > > comes for free. > > > But doesn’t computationalism predict that their should be conscious > > entities whose experience is of inconsistent, contradictory, shifting > > laws? > > We went over this a few months ago without ever reaching an agreement. > Surely there are some, but I think such universes occur less frequently > and/or preclude conscious life forms from evolving. You said they would > occur more frequently because there are more unique descriptions (given the > fact that they are longer and there are more possibilities the longer a > string is). > > > > > In fact, this sounds like the experiences described by schizophrenics, > > or people on drugs. > > And people have those experiences. > > > > > In fact, I would think that Platonia should contain far more chaotic > > experiences than not. > > If consciousness = awareness of random bit strings chosen from Platonia I > would agree, but if consciousness involves computation, it seems chaotic > programs harder to come by. You would need a stable platform for the > program to run long enough to compute a thought, but somehow the input to > that program would have to be noise. A chaotic experience requires a > not-fully chaotic mind to have the experience. Otherwise you might say the > air molecules bouncing around your room constitute a chaotic experience. > > > > > So this virtue that you highlight isn’t a virtue at all. > > > The idea that “oh, those all cancel out when we average across all > > computations” or something is pretty ad hoc sounding. > > > You’ve lost whatever intuitive appeal that computationalism had in > > fell swoop. We’re back to, “why would that result in conscious > > experience if non-averaged computation didn’t???” > > > It just does? Pah. > > I don't think I ever made an argument about cancelling out or averaging out. > > > > > > > > > > > > > >>> Do you think pi has an objective (not human invented or approximated) > > >>> value, > > >>> whether or not any person computed it? > > > >> I think that everyone who starts from the same assumptions and makes > > >> the same inferences will always reach the same conclusions regarding > > >> the value of pi. > > > > So that would make pi an objectively studiable object, would it not? > > > Everyone who starts with the same assumptions about the Incredible > > Hulk and Spiderman, and makes the same inferences from those > > assumptions, will reach the same conclusions regarding the outcome of > > an arm-wrestling match between them. > > > Does that make Spiderman objectively studiable? > > > >What makes the study of such objects less valid than the study of > > > other objects in science, for example in biology? > > > I’m not saying it’s less valid. It’s equally valid. But that’s > > saying less than you think. > > Okay, this makes sense given your solipism/immaterialism. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > To define a bacterium as a life form > > > Earth scientists and alien scientists both have to start from similar > > > assumptions and make similar inferences. Based on different starting > > > assumptions some might say a virus is alive others may not, this doesn't > > > mean that viruses don't exist. In your postings you seem to suggest that > > > given there could be disagreement on what starting assumptions to use the > > > reality of mathematical objects should be called into question, but this > > > would be like questioning whether viruses exist because biologists can't > > > agree on whether or not they are alive. The numbers, their properties > > and > > > relations are objectively studiable, as much as planets and viruses are. > > If > > > math is invented, then you should invent a prime number with a billion > > > digits and claim the $250,000 prize (http://www.eff.org/awards/coop). > > If > > > you cannot invent such a number, then perhaps mathematics truly is a > > space > > > to be explored, much like the vacuum that surrounds our planet. > > > Instead, maybe I should just write a fantasy book about a boy wizard > > to goes to a magical school - and then people who find such things > > interesting would give me millions and millions of dollars! > > > Oh wait...maybe I can’t invent such a book, because I’m not a very > > good writer, and people don’t find the structure of my fantasies > > compelling or believable or interesting or useful. Rats. > > My point was that mathematics has its own rules, it is not something where > anyone can add their own arbitrary axioms as they see fit. For example, if > you generated a 1 followed ... > > read more » -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.