On 9/4/2011 3:08 PM, Jason Resch wrote:


On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 9/4/2011 12:13 PM, Jason Resch wrote:


    On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 1:42 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
    <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

        On 9/4/2011 8:32 AM, Jason Resch wrote:


        On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 8:25 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru
        <mailto:use...@rudnyi.ru>> wrote:

            On 04.09.2011 07:51 meekerdb said the following:

            ...


                If that's what you're trying you're giving aid and comfort to 
the
                enemy. Every religious fundamentalist in America hates 
materialism
                and believes in an immaterial spirit, distinct from brain 
processes,
                which is responsible for our thoughts and actions.


            You know, I was raised in the USSR where the official religion was 
atheism
            and materialism. The results were disastrous.

            Hence you could take the existence of people in the USA who 
"believe in an
            immaterial spirit, distinct from brain processes" positively. After 
all,
            they are working hard and contribute to prosperity.

            In any case, I do not think that the ideology should affect 
reasoning.


        Evgenii,

        The kind of atheism and materialism which stood as the official 
religion of
        the Soviet Union, and that held by most atheists today is naive.  The 
leading
        scientific explanations for conscious are mechanistic, but taken to its
        logical end mechanism leads to remarkable conclusions: consciousness is 
not
        attached to the body, it survives death of the body, it continues 
forever, it
        may be reincarnated into different forms, it may switch between realms. 
 In
        this respect, science leads directly to something very much like a soul.

        Only by taking partial theories and over extending them.


    If you accept the first few steps of the UDA regarding duplication / 
survivability
    with clones (digital mechanism), and you accept any of the following: 1. the
    universe is infinitely big, 2. many worlds interpretation, 3. string theory
    landscape, 4. ultimate ensemble or 5. mathematical realism, then it can be 
clearly
    demonstrated.  I think the only reason you call it "over extended" is that 
you are
    uncomfortable with the conclusion.

    If by "accept" you mean "believe", I don't accept 2, 3,4, and 5.  I 
consider 1 to be
an inference from some theories, but I don't necessarily accept those theories. When you make a long chain of inferences and arrive at a conclusion contrary to
    experience that is called a reductio ad absurdum.  Then it is time to 
review your bets.


If you accept (believe) the universe is infinitely big then there are other locations in the universe which have an identical configuration to you in this moment,

That doesn't follow. For example there could be infinite repetitions of a some other, quite different subset of this universe. The universe would then be infinite while this part is unique.

the whole earth in this moment, the solar system, the local group, the observable universe. Just as any finite sequence of digits can be found in the digits of Pi.

But not in 1/3.  Yet the decimal expansion of 1/3 is infinite.

Then if you accept that you could be reassembled (and saved from death) by the appropriate arrangement of atoms (regardless of whether they were the original or an entirely new set of atoms) then you can see how your consciousness will survive your death in this universe.

I can see how it could be possible (and I thought of that when I was 16) but I don't believe everything that is possible happens nor do I see any way to test such a vague hypothesis.





        Similarly, the materialist effort to explain the existence of this 
universe
        without invoking God ends up pointing to the existence of something 
that has
        no cause, exists timelessly, contains infinite variation (perhaps 
everything
        possible), may be identical to the sum of all truth, is everywhere and
        everything.  While not every scientist or person on this list agrees 
with
        this, it is the conclusion of any rational effort to explain the fine 
tuning
        of this universe.

        I don't think any scientists agrees with all of that.


    1. Something exists without a cause (Any Platonist believes this.  Also, it 
is
    inconsistent to believe that nothing exists without cause, unless you 
believe
    something can come from nothing)

    Most current theories of cosmogony say something like that.


Not out of nothing, but out of the vacuum <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state>, which is something.

Is it? Can you have less than a vacuum? Isn't it as 'nothing' as can be. Maybe the philosopher/logician's "nothing"; the thing that has no properties is incoherent, an illegitimate abstraction from the absence of something to the absence of everything.


        According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum 
state or the
        quantum vacuum, it is "by no means a simple empty space",^[1]
        <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state#cite_note-Lambrecht-0> and again: 
"it
        is a mistake to think of any physical vacuum as some absolutely empty 
void."^[2]
        <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state#cite_note-Ray-1> According 
to quantum
        mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains 
fleeting
        electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of
        existence.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state#cite_note-2>




    2. Exists timelessly (Again, every platonist accepts mathematical truth 
exists
    timelessly)

    That is a peculiarly mathematical meaning of "exists".



Are there really different ways in which something can exist? The way I see it, either something exists or it does not.


Me to. But to a mathematician, "exists" means a variable takes a value that satisfies a proposition.




    3. Contains infinite variation, perhaps everything possible (Mathematical 
truth is
    infinite in scope, and math contains all possible structures, again 
according to
    the platonist philosophy of mathematics (which is the most popular))

    Which cardinality of infinite?  All of them?


I don't know.



    4. Is everywhere and everything (This follows from digital mechanism and
    platonism.  Most today are unaware of this of course, but I think if all the
    choices were well defined and described most rational people would identify 
with
    platonism and finite mechanism.)

    "Something exists everywhere and everything"?   I don't understand what is 
being
    asserted.  Is it a mere tautology?


All that we see ultimately is part of the same infinite object.

Only if "object" is defined as all that exists anywhere - in which case it is reduced to a tautology.



    Science isn't about justifying theories.  It's about creating models that 
have
    predictive and explanatory power.



I agree, science is about explanations.

To ask what concept is scientifically justified is to misconceive the enterprise. Some theories are better supported by evidence than others. Some are contradicted
    by evidence.  That's all.


That everything exists isn't contradicted by any evidence.

But it isn't supported by any either.

Brent
""What is there?  Everything! So what isn't there?  Nothing!"
         --- Norm Levitt, after Quine

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