On 8/9/2011 7:37 AM, Jason Resch wrote:


On Aug 9, 2011, at 1:38 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

On 8/8/2011 9:16 PM, Jason Resch wrote:


On Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 1:56 PM, benjayk <benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com <mailto:benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com>> wrote:



    I am getting a bit tired of labouring this point, but honestly
    your theory
    is postulating something that seems nonsensical to me. Why on
    earth would I
    believe in the truth of something that *can never be known in
    any way*
    (namely, that arithmetics is true without / prior to consciousness)?


Ben,

Do you think that the 10^10^100th digit of Pi has a certain value even though we can never know what it is and no one has ever or will ever (in this universe at least) be conscious of it? If I assert the digit happens to be 8, would you agree that my assertion must be either true or false? If so, where does this truth exist?

Note that one cannot say it has an indefinite or value, or that its value is inconsequential because that level of precision will never make a difference in any equation we work with. Euler's identity: e^(Pi * i) + 1 = 0, would be false without each of the infinite digits of Pi having a definite and certain value. These values that are unknown to use, but nonetheless must be there.

Mathematical existence isn't a matter of being "there", it's a matter of satisfying, making true, a certain proposition. So why does the putative digit of pi have the value it does, because it satisfies certain propositions which we infer from other propositions we are pleased to hold hypothetically true as axioms.

Then what is the ontological status of propositions that are true but not provable in ones set of hypothetitcally held axioms?

In that case there is something that is true but not reachable through chains of propositions.

Why is that a problem. There's a refrigerator in my kitchen. I reach it through a doorway, not a chain of propositions.


Existence in the usual sense never enters into it.

Do you think our universe is mathematical or magical?

I think it's physical -- I'm just not sure what that means.


If our universe can be understood mathematically then it is one example of a mathematical object that has physical existence.

Can understand that the number of dwarves is seven. That doesn't mean the Seven Dwarves exist. "To understand mathematically" just means to have a mathematical model that works.


What more evidence would you need to believe mathematical objects exist?

I haven't seen any evidence yet. Mathematical objects are inventions of our minds dependent on language. They made be said to exist in Platonia or in some other way, but I think it is a confusion to suppose they exist in the sense of physical objects.


QM shows the existence of perhaps an infinite number of solutions to the wave function.

It doesn't show that - it's consistent with an interpretation that asserts that.

String theory has nothing in it which rules out other universes with different physical laws.

Indeed.  But not having ruled out something is not the same as ruling it in.


Why believe only the math of string theory has been blessed with phyical existence?

I don't believe that.

You might say because we cannot see those other universes.

This is not evidence against the theory because the theory explains why you would not observe them.

That's what my Christian friends say: "You rule out a supernatural God. And our theology explains why you can't observe Him."

Occam also fails here, for the proposition that all possible structures exist has fewer assumptions than the idea that only these structures exist and no others are possible.

The fine tuning of the universe confirms to a high probability that something is wrong with the following proposition: There is only one set of physical laws with physical existence and these laws were not intelligently chosen.

So I ask you, where is the error in that statement?

First it assumes there is something called "fine tuning" (c.f. Vic Stenger's "The Fallacy of Fine Tuning"). Second physical laws are models we make up. Third, all experience shows that improbable things happen all the time.


The only way to escape it is to say the idea of fine tuning itself is flawed, but this is a last ditch attempt to stick to the model of a single universe. The bulk of evidence points strongly to the idea that intelligent life would not arise in the majority of possible structures.

Use baysian analysis to consider the following possibilities:
1. There is one set if laws not intelligently selected.
2. The laws were intelligently selected or there is more than one set of physical laws.

Since we have evaluated no other evidence at this time, let's assign a 50% chance to each.

Now let's say we determine the probability of any given set of laws having the right properties for life is one in 100. What would baysian analysis say of the new probability that proposition 1 is correct?

A Bayesian must consider ALL the evidence. So he would look around and conclude that something improbable had happened (or maybe that his prior was wrong).

Note that observing the universe is friendly to life *cannot* count as evidence for intelligent design (c.f. Ikeda and Jefferys).


Faced with proposition 2, would you be more likely to accept intelligent design or the existence of other (or all) mathematical structures?

Mathematical existence isn't sone fuzzy abstract form if existence. Look around yourself. You are in it.

Exactly what my Christian friends say when I ask "Where is the evidence for this God?"

Brent


Jason



Brent
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