# Re: Why is there something rather than nothing?

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On Sep 21, 2011, at 9:11 PM, "Stephen P. King" <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
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```On 9/21/2011 9:24 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
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On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net > wrote:
```On 9/21/2011 3:06 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
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On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
```On Sep 21, 12:20 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:

Sorry to jump in here..

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> The Mandelbrot set has a definition which we can use to explore it's
```> properties.

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In this kind of context, I think it is useful to make the distinction
```that the Mandlebrot 'set' IS a definition.

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Then the important question is whether humans had to write it down for it to exist.
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```[SPK]
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Why is the question of whether some set of properties occur given some set of rules and the implementation of those rules by some process tied to the existence or non-existence of an object? Since when was it even a meaningful question? Is existence a property? No, it is not!
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My point is that existence is independent of our implementing or discovering such properties. Mandelbrot didn't have to discover the definition of the Mandelbrot set for the set to have the properties it has. He only had to discover it for us to learn about some of its properties. If there is another Mathematical object, and one of its properties is that it contains self- reproducing patterns which behave intelligently and form civilizations, we need not find such objects nor simulate them for those intelligent agents to be.
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```[SPK]
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And my point is that the *properties* cannot be said to be definite absent specification by equation, rule or equivalent. Existence is not contingent. Period.
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I agree existence is not contingent. But I go further and say the properties of those extant things is not contingent either.
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Would you say the set was non-existent before Mandelbrot
> found it?

I would say that it is still non-existent. What exists would be a
graphic representation, for instance, of the results of thousands of
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individual function calls which require our visual sense to be grouped
```into a set. Our recognition of pattern against the set of generic
iterations of the equation plotted visually is what gives it
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explorable properties: The concrete event of the plotting on a screen
```or pencil and paper.

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Yet we have only seen an infinitesimally small part of it. What ontological status shall we ascribe to the unseen parts?
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[SPK]
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Currently unknown. "...what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence. " or admit that we are only speculating.
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The properties are onknown to us, or to you. Doesn't mean it is unknown to everyone. We know that if we look at a spot we have never looked at before we will see something. Each time we conduct this "experiment" we affirm that it existed, even though we had no confirmation by previously looking at it. Why should we ever assume it's existence as a complete and coherent structure is unknown?
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```[SPK]
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No, experiments reveal properties, not existence. Again, existence is not contingent on observation or measurement or anything at all.
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This is what I have been saying!

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```Thus the entire question of "does it exist" is a red herring.
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There are many people, even on this list, who would say most possible worlds do nit exist. So there isca reason to affirm the existence of things we cannot see or define, for we cannot see nor define everything.
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>  If we have to define something for it to exist, then what

The universe always has/is/results from awareness.

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Then you get into a bootstrap problem. How did the first aware creation come to be if there was not already some structure with a previous history during which that creature evolved? Your idea suggests the universe and its 5 billion history were created when the first life form opened its eyes.
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```[SPK]
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A bootstrap problem can only occur if there is a boundary that cannot be overstepped or crossed by some means.
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Yes, like evolving a conscious brain without having had an environment or history of evolution.
```[SPK]
Obviously that cannot happen so why bring it up?
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Craig brought it up. (see above) "this unuverse results from awareness"

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Why is it assumed that there had to be a structure with no prior history that somehow just appears and all else proceeds from it? We chastise silly creationists for making the same claim!
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Who is assuming this?

Existence is eternal,

Yes.

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just because we observe a finite universe does not mean that the total universe is not infinite or that that finite observed universe is the totality of existence.
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Yes.

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It could be just the simple fact that a finite system (within an infinite Totality) with finite physical resources can only resolve a finite universe (which is just a finite subset of the Totality. Not too complicated at all.
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Yes.

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There is no need to concoct weird explanations such as Singularities and Inflatons and Dark Energy, just use some observation, logic and a liberal dose of Occam's razor.
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Okay.

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This idea is not unlike Wheeler's participatory universe, which I think has some merit. With Wheeler's idea, however, both awareness and the universe feed on each other and affect each other. With your idea it sounds like you think awareness drives everything. How do you explain the physical laws (the fact that there are laws at all) if sense and awareness are all that are required?
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```[SPK]
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You might not have noticed that Craig's thesis is symmetric with respect to "sense" and "thing". He calls them the Omni and the Acme, if I recall correctly.
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Sounds like the pre-established harmony of Leibniz.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-established_harmony
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Which explains very little, besides "Well that's how God decided it should be"
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```[SPK]
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/smile. I recall pointing that out to Craig in a phone chat I had some time ago, but you are completely missing Craig's thesis.
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Perhaps it would help me and others on this list to understand it if you provided us with your understanding of his thesis.
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> > The question of whether or not some number has some properties
```> > is dependent only on the structure that     defines it, not the
> > 'discoverer' there of.
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> What created the definition of the universe we are in?

Our neurology.

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Our neurology is contingent on the universe. What I was asking is if we need to define everything in order that it exist, how can we explain our own existence? Obviously things can exist independently of our mathematical definitions or discoveries. Our universe being a case in point.
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```[SPK]
We are aware of only a tiny sliver of what exists.

I agree.

Naive realism is a form of hysterical blindness, IMHO.

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Idealism, in contrast to realism, says what we are blind of does not exist.
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This notion that somehow the existence of an entity is linked to its properties is worse than fallacious. It is dumb.
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An object might have two mutually incompatible properties, which implies it cannot exist anywhere.
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```[SPK]
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So if it cannot exist, because it is self-contradictory how can it haev any properties at all?
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I should have said nothing exists having self contradictory properties.

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```Existence is prior to properties.
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You're right.

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> > Without a separate and concrete space to act an an extrinsic
> > distinguisher (sorry for the sad wording, a better one is
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> > requested!) of the numbers from each other, no pattern at all can
```> > exist.
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> Consider that the game of life is merely a progression of integers, > defined by a simple function. Yet all kinds of patterns and motion
```> are supported.  Now consider a three dimensional game of life: it
> might enable simple "particles" that move through it's "space".
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> > Here the 2-dimensional space of the computer monitor is playing the > > role and allows us to contrast the symbols representing the digits,
```> > but I hope that my point is understood.
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> It is not what appears to us, but what appears to the beings inside. > If you sat at a terminal showing all the bits describing this universe > changing over time your viewing of that screen is not necessary for
```> you or I to experience.

But as beings inside our universe, we DO need material interfaces to
see, feel, and think.

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What is material but its relation to other material in this universe?
```[SPK]
Correct, but the kind of relation that it is matters, literally!

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Our eyeballs are necessary for us to see the
world outside of ourselves. It's not enough that the arithmetic of
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visual phenomena exists, we cannot contact it through arithmetic means
```alone.

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A being that evolved eyes in the game of life could respond to the reception of "game of life photons" just as we do to our photons. You would then have to admit that this being can see (or perhaps you would not, since you have finally admitted your belief in zombies).
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Jason
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```{SPK]
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Umm, where in the rules of the Game of Life is there an analogue of a photon?
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A glider could be seen seen in a similar way to a photon. There could be a system which can register the impact of a glider and convey and process this information, just like a cone cell in the retina can. In previous posts I showed how Turing machines have already been implemented in GoL, so it is possible to have thinking feeling beings in the GoL if you accept mechanism.
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The game merely states somethign like "if your neighboring cell is empty do change to x state".
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At the lowest level of physics, there might be a similarly simple set of rules.
```See:
http://htwins.net/scale/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loop_quantum_gravity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heim_theory

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There is no photon there as this 'neighborhood state detection system depends on a global synchronization of the cell detections and transitions,
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Our physics is also local. (With Everett)

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thus there is no signal delay nor permittivity and permeability functions involved.
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There is a signal delay: information can only move one cell at a time. Similarly photons can only move one Plank length in one Plank time.
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One would have to radically alter the rules of the GoL to make photon facsimiles appear.
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A Turing machine in the game of life could produce any simulated environment.
```http://rendell-attic.org/gol/tm.htm

Jason
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```{SPK]
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I look forward to shaking hands with these folks. When will the GoL creatures attempt communication with us?
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When we decide to explore their world through simulation and then either abduct one of them into our world, or we inject ourselves into their universe. Greg egan explored this in "permutation city".
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Jason

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Onward!

Stephen
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Onward!

Stephen
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