On 15 Oct 2011, at 19:27, benjayk wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 13 Oct 2011, at 22:50, benjayk wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

If you are really humble, just don't make any statements about
whether you
reasoning is valid or not.

I don't defend any truth but I am still offering a reasoning to you. If you find it invalid it is your task to find the flaw. That's is by
definition of reasoning.
By saying that no flaw has been found, while people have pointed out
that you just don't accept as such (whether valid or not is not even

On the contrary, once we are genuinely interested in the topic, that
is what is important. The rest is meta-discussion distracting from the
See, I say it doesn't matter whether it's valid or not, because whether its valid or not may be not accurately judged by you, or even by the majority of
the people.
I like the humble scientific attitude, but I think it would be nice to be as humble with regards to logical reasoning, and admit that a flaw might be
accurately perceived by persons, even if it is hard to point out where
exactly the flaw lies. It seems to me that as we discuss topics that are
more fundamental (and certainly COMP and its consequences are very
fundamental) there is always especially much room for error that might be not perceived as such by a majority (You see that in religion a lot, for example), and so it is better to not take a position with regards to wether
something is true, or valid, or flawed, or not flawed.

You miss the point, or the idea of the scientific method. Validity is something checkable. When you feel your reasoning is valid, to submit it to many people. If they understand it, that check all the steps of the reasoning, then the work is accepted. This means that it is submit to the appreciation of the majority, and not that there is no flaws. If someone find a flaw, he can published it, and usually scientist recognize it, or sometimes find a flaw in the flaws.

The only question is: what is it that you do not understand?

Of course, on hot subjects, not all scientists can stay cold, and usually pioneers' professional life are not easy.

Nowhere I pretend any truth, like all normal scientists (in their field). I submit a reasoning to you, that's all.

Honestly I think that
on more fundamental topics it is better to have no stance at all, simply
because fundamental reality can not be (remotely) captured by stances.

With stances like that you just abandon the fundamental science to irrationalism and authoritative arguments.

You are saying "don't even try to understand". I respect that feeling, as far as you don't impose it to me. Everyone has the right to question and reason on everything.

I don't force you to reason.

Yes, this pretty much means that we will contradict ourselves when it comes to this (as we always take a stance - or at least seem to take a stance -
when we say something), and this is totally OK for me. At least it may
prevent someone for taking your words on face value, which really just point
to an "uncommunicable" truth.

Science (the real one, not the mediatic one) = never take anything at face value.

Absolutely all theories are all hypothetical. Even the theory that we have parents, and that there is a planet.

Consciousness only is not doubtable, but it is not a theory, in the usual sense of the word.

I am much more OK with people finding what I say riduculous and/or
emotional, than if they agree on what I say, while they missunderstand what I mean. I mean, even I tend to attach to my own misunderstood beliefs, which
probably means that other people understand it even less.
You may say that if someone contradicts herself, what she says it just

It is, in the scientific discourse. It is not in the everyday life discourse. When you do AI and model human beings, you will use paraconsistent logics, and relevance logic, not the classical logic used in science. Even the classical LUMs are close to paraconsistency (logic allowing contradictions), but their ideal nature makes them avoid this, which simplifies the reasoning and illustrations.

I think that's dualistic thinking. Whether there is an apparent
contradiction does not determine whether something is meaningless. Something is meaningless to you if you don't know what is meant with it, and it is meaningless in general if no one really knows what is meant by it. Obviously
this is subjective and fuzzy, and indeed it appears true to to me that
meaning is inherently (inter)-subjective and fuzzy.

This is already the case with the classical LUMs. And in science. That is why we share theories and rules of reasoning, and are glad when we share *parts* of the (usually fuzzy, infinite) meaning. Logic is the science of valid reasoning, which are ways to reason independently of the meaning.

When I say COMP&C is meaningless I am not saying it makes no conceivable sense at all, objectively. I am just saying that I don't really know what is
expressed with it.

It means that the brain is a computer, at some level, like the heart is a pump. It means that "there is no magic" in the relations between our constituants. It means that you can, in principle, survive with an artificial brain. It means that you can use teleportation, etc.

I see no abstract digital machine,

Here you are already alluding to the consequence.

and no one can show me
one apart from the intellect, so I don't know what it would mean to be one.

But can I show you a concrete machine? You might be dreaming. Can you imagine or conceive that you are dreaming? If you handle a machine in a dream, is a bit like seeing an abstract, or immaterial, machine.

I don't see any meaning in being something within the intellect.

Nobody can. That might be a reason to doubt comp. That is not an argument showing comp false, and still less making a deductive reasoning starting from comp invalid.

Even the question whether I say "yes" or not seems somewhat meaningless to me (of course not in most practial context, as when a crazy scientist wants to replace my brain with a computer tomorrow, but as general act of faith towards "the right doctor with the right technology"), as a substitution on the right level will necessarily be without any visible consequence if it
can just happen as a thought experiment (or imagination, or dream).
So, for the sake of reasoning, I say yes to a substitution of the galaxy on a planck scale, because I don't believe it could ever really happen - as real as I could ever imagine it to be, it will ultimately not happen in the
way that it would seem real to anyone.

That is doubtful as comp will entail that something like that is happening "all the time". This is partially corroborated by QM-without- collapse, which describe something similar. By saying that such things cannot, will not, or does not happen, you are just saying that you assume some Aristotelian or Newtonian notion of physical universe.

If, for example, I replace my brain
now with a substitution in 100^100 years, whatever my digital brain does then will be irrelevant to my consciousness - as I don't believe in physical death *without substitution* my consciousness will find a new place to be,
and the substitution in 100^100 years will at most constitute a minor
interference with my subjective concsiousness.

No problem with that. You are just abandoning comp. I have no problem with any opinion, when they are not imposed or pretended to be the only one.

This can't possibly mean that
I accept all the consequences of COMP, except as a dream, or imagination, also, which means the same as saying that the consquences don't follow in
every common sense of what is meant by that.


So, just by leading the consequences ad absurdum I am pretty sure the
reasoning has to be flawed, or the consequences do not at all mean what they
appear to mean (eg, every computation can be associated with every

Careful, that does not follow. I guess you meant that every experience can be associated to one, or a set of particular computations (the one doing the correct brain emulation at the correct level, by example).

which would basically mean that the computations are irrelevant,
making COMP 99,999..9% false, even if not formally false),

I insist, every computation *cannot* be associated with every experience. That does not follow from comp, and I don't see why you say so.

or you have a
flaw in how YES is formulated.

If from comp you derived in a valid way an absurdity, you just prove that comp is false.


Bruno Marchal wrote:

It seems to me "purely" rational arguments are only especially
arguments, like arguments purely based on belief.

Rational argument are always based on belief, that is, by people ready
to be shown false.
Unfortunately many "rational" people argue as if they know the truth.
Maybe this is not the form of rationality that you mean, but it is totally
possible to reason with a dogmatic belief that you don't doubt in any
practical sense (even if you pretend to doubt it in order to seem rational). It is a very insidious way of practicing rationality, but there is nothing especially irrational in it (as he have to postulate premises in order to
reason either way, and whether we *seriously* question them or not has
little to do with rationality per se).
So what you mean is probably honest rational argumentation, which really must go beyond reason, as there is no reason that can justify the premises you work with (or the premise that you derived the premise from, etc...).
For me this really means that pretending to argue solely rationally is
already a bit dishonest - even just on the ground that we can't rationally
know whether we argue solely rationally, because there is no objective
standard of how rationality is validly rationally expressed in an argument.
Even if make the premise explicit, the reasoning itself needs premises
also,... We just can't make all premises explicit, as all practical
non-formal reasoning is far too complicated for that.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Irrational arguments are based on knowledge, which is never rational,
nor even a rational notion, because it is based on truth.
Depending on what you mean, I will strongly argee or strongly disagree. If you mean non-mental knowledge, I am with you. But there is no need for that to be rational in order to be valid. Your eyes need no rationality to give you a very precise and valid picture of reality. In meditation you use no rationality whatsoever, yet it is quite obvious there is truth to what is
being experienced there. And I don't see why we can't point to the
same/similiar experience(s) everyone has (like I do when I say that
awareness is primitive).
If you mean mental knowledge, you are just wrong. As you can see for
yourself I am not arguing that anything of what I say is true (if it seems like that I am now saying the opposite and apologize), I am just trying to point to what I (absolutely and surely) know to be the truth - which *can't*
be expressed in words at all (and of course this can be false also, as
pointing towards it may be seen as a way to express it). I am not asserting the truth (I don't believe that's possible), I am asserting something in hope that it helps someone (if it is only me ;) ) to see the (absolute)
You may equate irrationality with claimed knowledge, but either this is a belief of yours, which has no objective basis (as you can't even objectify irrationality in general), or it is knowledge, which of course would make
you refute yourself.
Also I don't see that a very strong belief is much different from knowledge anyway (for most purposes). What's the difference if I say I know it 100% to be true, or I say I believe this to be true to 99,9999999999 (but it is just a belief - which happens to be almost unrefutable)? It is a difference when
we regard things we can really know directly (I experience with 100%
certainty that I am), but almost none when we are concerned about abstract
topics - where there is no way to even measure or make sense of such
probabilities (differences).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

That is why  in science, there is only beliefs, at least if we accept
Popper idea
that a scientific proposition has to be refutable. I am not talking on human scientists, who falls in the trap of believing non fallible, but
on sort of ideal science.
Just relying on belief is not sufficient, in my opinion. A theory that can be refuted might still be riduculous and non-scientific. Also it is not
clear what exactly is a refutation (sometimes small refutations can be
explained away, etc..). If we would just rely on belief science had no
connection to reality, as reality can't be accessed by belief (you can't believe the consequences of an experiment into existence, you can just see
them after doing the experiment).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

*All* reasoning suppose their premise true for the sake of the
But in some case the reasoning itself cannot be seperated from the
If I don't share the premise that 1+1=2, I can still see that 1+2=3
from that. This may not be the case with all arguments, and it seems
to me
this is the case with COMP.

Comp, on the contrary, warns explicitly that it might be false, and
that: if it is true, this cannot be shown by a rational argument. If a doctor pretended that science has proved that the brain is a computer,
you better run away, because, IF the brain is a computer THEN no one
can show it to be a computer. This is a subtle point. It is like
"consistency" for a LUM (or for Peano Arithmetic). Peano Arithmetic
can prove that if Peano Arithmetic is consistent, then Peano
Arithmetic cannot prove it.
COMP is very similar with a notion of self-consistency, and it
provides a sort of rational near inconsistency experience.
Hm, I don't see the connection of your answer with what I said. I already
got the point you made there.
I am not saying that COMP might not be shown to be true, I said that it might not be able to be shown that your reasoning is valid (without or even without assuming COMP). That is, your reasoning might need the same faith
that COMP needs, and it seems exactly this is the case.

This is most apparent in step 8, which might be a valid argument considering materialism and COMP, but for someone believing that spirit is the basis of reality and who says YES (in theory), this argument doesn't seem to work at all. "any inner experience can be associated with an arbitrary low (even
null) physical activity,  and  this  in  keeping  counterfactual
correctness" is not absurd at all, but pretty much a formulation of what immaterialism is/means. So this argument works for materialism, but I don't know what it has to do with the belief that consciousness is the fundamental
I don't see how this argument could be used against this, as experience with
null measurable conscious activity is not absurd, either, since
consciousness may just be unmeasurable (it even obviously is, I'd say), and also - being beyond time - may not rely on activity as such (and it is hard to find a anology equivalent to modifying a device in the first place). COMP wants to show that from YES doctor (and the two other hypothesis) the conclusion follows, while just adressing the incoherence of materialism (and YES), and not non-mechanist immaterialism and YES. So it doesn't work if you believe we are immaterial non-machines that still can be (theoretically)
"replaced" while still surviving in a similiar history.
If you would exclude this as a fourth hypothesis of COMP, the reasoning is quite valid in my view, but it had the very severe disadvantage that it
postulates the falsity of the only real competitor (non-mechanist

Bruno Marchal wrote:

but yours isn't strictly formal
(necessarily so because "Yes" doctor, including correct substitution
is not formal and the reasoning has to reference that), and so no
contradiction can be found - or even no contradiction at all.

You can get informal contradiction.
But informal contradictions are subjective, even though there is often a
strong inter-subjective agreement whether something constitutes a
contradiction or not.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

If you were true, no discussion at all would make sense.
We don't have to discuss to refute the other, we can also discuss to
incorporate the others view, which is more productive, IMO.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

In fact rigorous/non-rigorous has nothing to do with formal/informal.
Uhm, that's clearly not true, even just because it is harder to determine what rigor even means in an informal context (as it can't be easily defined as in a formal context). And if something remains more undetermined/ vague,
it is clearly less rigorous, is it?

Bruno Marchal wrote:

This doesn't
imply that the reasoning is valid. Otherwise all informal arguments
would be
valid, which is clearly not true.

Of course. But if you find a reasoning non valid, it is up to you to
say where and why specifically.
OK. I have done this now. This still doesn't mean that I agree with all of
the rest of the reasoning, necessarily (I still believe there may be
non-concrete flaws - flaws with the meta-assumptions of the reasoning, which you don't seem to count), but I hope the point is concrete enough to count
for you.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

PS I might comment other paragraph, but I am unfortunately very busy, so I will limit to answer only one paragraph which I might find more
important, or summing up others.
Don't bother. You are just wasting your time, frankly I have no
interest in
this discussion anymore.

You did really lost me. I did not see your point at all in some of
your late posts. I have begun to answer one, but then some remarks you
did made me realize it would make no sense of trying to answer the
post. I was enjoying discussing with you, but then, all of a sudden,
you lost me through a labyrinth of negative and emotional remarks,
which cannot really been answered.
This is no wonder, as what I said was not based on rationality (and I was mostly not even making a concrete point refutable point) and thus it would be hard to give any rational answer, which apparently would be the only kind
of answer you would find appropiate.
I tried to make a more rational point in this answer, so maybe you
appreciate that. I would like to hear answer to that. I won't get into a
long winded discussion, though (hopefully :D).

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