On 04 Dec 2011, at 16:39, benjayk wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

The steps rely on the substitution being "perfect", which they will

That would contradict the digital and correct level assumption.

No. Correctly functioning means "good enough to be working", not perfect.

Once the level is chosen, it is perfect, by definition of digital.
Either you miss something or you are playing with words.

Digital means based on discrete values, not only consisting of discrete values (otherwise there could be no digital computers, since they rely on
non-discrete functioning of their parts).

In which theory. The assumptions are neutral on physics. Here, you are not, so i suspect you work in some non defined theory.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

When I look
at myself, I see (in the center of my attention) a biological
not a

Biological being are computers. If you feel to be more than a
computer, then tell me what.
Biological beings are not computers. Obviously a biological being it
is not
a computer in the sense of physical computer.

I don't understand this. A bacteria is a physical being (in the sense that it has a physical body) and is a computer in the sense that its
genetic regulatory system can emulate a universal machine.
Usually computer means programmable machine, not "something that can
a universal machine".

That can be proved to be equivalent.
No, because that would rely on an abstract notion of progammability.
Programmable machine means "programmable (to any practical extent) by us"
(this cannot even be formalized).
That's why we call a computer computer and biological beings usually not.
Othwise you are using an abstraction of a computer.

Not at all. When I say "can emulate a universal machine", it is programmable. You are assuming a primitive physical reality. We have to be neutral at that stage.

Also "something that can emulate a universal machine" may be more capable
than a computer, like a hypercomputer.

Yes. That does not contradict the statement I made. I said only that anything capable of emulating a universal machine, is a universal machine. I did not say "is only a universal machine". This follows from the comp assumption, though.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

It is quite strange to say over and over again that I haven't
studied your
arguments (I have, though obviously I can't understand all the
given how complicated they are),

UDA is rather simple to understand. I have never met people who does
not understand UDA1-7 among the scientific academical.
Some academics pretends it is wrong, but they have never accepted a
public or even private discussion. And then they are "literary"
continental philosophers with a tradition of disliking science. Above
all, they do not present any arguments.
It is indeed not hard to understand.
Again, there is no specific flaw in the argument, because all steps
rely on
an abstraction of how a computer works,

They relies on the definition of digital computer. The digitalness
allows exact simulation (emulation).
No. It allows simulation to the extent that the computer works.

Sure, but that is a default assumption.

A digital
computer is not defined to be always working, and a correct substitution is
one where the computer works good enough, not perfectly.

You miss the notion of level, and are splitting the hair, it seems to me.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Consciousness supposedly emerges from self-reference of numbers, but
very concept of self-reference needs the existence of self
Without self, no self-reference.

The discovery of Löbian machine and of arithmetical self-reference
contradicts this.
Again, you can't even begin to talk of arithmetical *self*-reference if you don't assume SELF. Otherwise we could be talking about HT)D)F$w99- reference
as well.
Just like you can't talk of apple-juice without apples.

I can defined the self without assuming it. I have often explained this on this list. Search for diagonalization, or ask me to explain. It is the main triumph of logic and theoretical computer science. See Smorinsky paper "Fifty years of arithmetical self-reference", or study Solovay theorem. not only is the (third person) self well defined (without assuming it), but its propositional logic have been completely axiomatized. But this plays no role in UDA, only in the arithmetical translation of UDA (and so is not relevant here).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

To equate self and consciousness is not warranted
We can't equate *local self* or self-identity with consciousness, but why
not self itself?
That's what all great mystics are saying, consciousness is self.

It is the first person self, and not all mystics makes that identification. Some consider the universal consciousness to be without any notion of self. I am agnostic on this. Both the 1-self and consciousness are non definable (like truth). Again I don't see the relevance of this for the validity of the UDA.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

If we have that faith,
we believe in abitrary mysterious occurences.

We believe just that the brain is a sort of machine, and that we can
substitute for a functionnally equivalent machine. This cannot be
proved and so it asks for some faith. But it might not need to be
blind faith. You can read books on brain, neuro-histology, and make
your own opinion, including about the subst level. The reasoning uses
only the possibility of this in theory. It is theoretical reasoning
a theoretical frame.
But functionally equivalent does not mean *totally* equivalent, but
this is
required for the steps to work.

There is no notion of total equivalence used. Only of subjective
equivalence (first person invariance), modulo the changing conditions
of reawakening, reconstitution in different environment, etc.
What is that supposed to mean? The only thing that ever remains absolute subjectively invariant is (arguably) the fact of anything being conscious at all, and this does not depend on a specific correct substitution (in case you don't survive other people are still conscious). You seem to assume a absolute personal self, but the personal self is itself just a collection of
memories and personality traits, that itself is ever changing.

In which theory. The 1-self is absolute from the 1-self perspective. It is relative when seen or talked about in the third person perspective. You are the one making that 1-self absolute, by identifying it with your notion of consciousness.

So you can't
remain absolutely subjectively equivalent, since you never do.

This does not preclude the notion of first person survival in comp. You did show that you can conceive that comp is true. This seems to contradict your other points.

And if you do
remain relatively invariant, it is only because you choose to define
yourself in a way that you are still yourself after a certain change in experience, but that is just a matter of opinion, and it means that is just a matter of opinion whether you survive a substitution - but then we can only conclude that we may survive no substitution (if we don't believe YES doctor) or we survive every substitution (!) or something inbetween - a
pretty weak conclusion.

You are playing with words. Sorry, but I get that feeling. Comp would have no sense if you were true here, and that contradict other statement you made. you still are unclear if you criticize comp, or the validity of the reasoning. You seem a bit wanting to be negative.

Also: How does your reasoning show that we can't survive every substitution?

Nowhere the reasoning shows that. On the contrary, I have very often presented the conclusion partially by saying: if you can survive (in the usual clinical sense) with a concrete digital brain, then you will survive no matter what.

If we do, how can you exlude the possibility that we survive every

Not in a way which make it possible to you to manifest your consciousness from the point of you of those who care about you here and now (like in the clinical sense).

but only *if done in the correct non-computational way*,

And that would just contradict directly the comp *assumption*. You are (again) shifting from a theory to another.

making the conclusion false (we are also related to a non- computational
element, the instantiation of computations).

Changing the assumption cannot change the validity of the reasoning.

We can always say YES doctor,
but the substitution may still fail, but not because the doctor didn't pick
the right substitution level but because he didn't instantiate the
computations in the correct non-computational way.

Then, by definition, it has not pick the right level. By definition of comp, the non computational level of matter does not play any role. Indeed, that will be the reason why the "apparent matter" will be justified to be non computational.

To be sure that we

This can never happen when we assume comp.

we also have to assume YES non-computational-doctor (which makes
sure the computations are instantiated in the right non- computational way).

That's non-comp.

If we just conlude that we can survive any substitution if we define our local selves the right way, the result is pretty trivial: Our *local selves* are related to abstract computations as far as we identify them as related
to abstract computational.

Nothing abstract is needed up to the step seven included (which is already full of results, like the first person indeterminacy, non- locality, etc.). Immateriality and abstraction are proved at the step 8.

Our experience is related to computations, but
may also be related to something beyond computations, and also beyond
infinite sheats of computations, etc...

Many things are possible, in other theories. That does not concern the comp theory which I am using as a working hypothesis.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Unfortunately then we could as well base
the argument on "1+1=3" or "there are pink unicorn in my room even
though I
don't notice them", so it's worthless.

This does not follow. We do have biological evidence that the brain
a Turing emulable entity. It is deducible from other independent
hypothesis (like the idea that QM is (even just approximately)
correct, for example).
You don't seem to realize, a bit like Craig, that to define a non-
object, you need to do some hard work.
We have no biological evidence whatsoever that the brain is turing

This is simply not true. There are many evidences, including the fact
that we don't know physical laws which are not Turing emulable, with
exception like the non intelligible collapse of the waves, or some
theoretical physical phenomenon build by diagonalization, but unknown
in nature.
But we have evidence that not all phenomena follow laws. There are no laws
to derive a emotion, for example.

In which theory? Here you make a big statement which either contradict comp, or you refer to the emotion as already explained to be non computational from the 1-perspective in the comp theory.

And since we know that the brain has do to
with emotions, is unreasonable that it strictly follows laws (including
comptutational laws).

At all levels? Then comp is false.

You assume a form of "formalist reductionism", everything follows laws.

On the contrary. I do even prove that the contrary follows from the comp hyp. You are still not studying the argument.

course science has to assume that the workings of nature are approximated by
laws, but that doesn't mean that it exactly follows any laws.

At your substitution level you obey the laws of computations. If that is not the case, comp is false.

Indeed, many
paranormal occurences and the problems of finding an adequate unificated theory suggest even from a scientific standpoint that this is not true.

You argue against comp. This might be interesting, but is not related with the UDA validity issue.

Unfortunately we live in a world of dogmatic scientism, materialism and
rationalism (but also in a world of irrationality and superstition and
dogmatic religion) and that's the only reason that many people assume those

Assuming clear hypothesis is good, if only to be shown wrong by nature or by peer reviewers. You seem to argue against science. (As you often did some time ago).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

or your proof doesn't work (because actually the patient will notice
he has
been substituted, that is, he didn't survive a substitution, but a
change of
himself - if he survives).

He might notice it for reason which are non relevant in the
He might notice it because he got a disk with a software making him
able to uploading himself on the net, or doing classical
teleportation, or living 1000 years, etc.
But if he noticed this his subjective experience did change, and we
assume in any of the steps that it doesn't (except for an added

This just trivially says that we are changed by any experience, even
drinking a cup of coffee. But if the substitution is done at the right level, the changes will only be of that type, and are not relevant for
the issue.
But that's riduculous since ALL changes are of that type (change of
experience). So if the changes happening due to a substitution doesn't
matter, why should any other change?

It is the difference between life and death, in the teleportation thought experiment setting. You contradict what you said in the preceding posts. You seem again unable to conceive that comp might be correct. I guess this explain why you seem not to even try to get the point of the reasoning. perhaps because you personally believe that the conclusion are obvious, but the reasoning + its translation in arithmetic provides usable information for explaining constructively where the belief in laws of physics come from.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

It is even more obvious in step 3: "The description
encoded at Brussels after the reading-cutting process is just the
description of a state of some
Turing machine, giving that we assume comp. So its description can be
duplicated, and  the
experiencer  can be  reconstituted  simultaneously  at two different
places,  for  example
Washington and Moscow". This assumes we work precisely like an
turing machine,

Like a concrete Turing machine.
But a concrete Turing machine does not work like an abstract turing machine.

It does. if that was not the case, the notion of substitution level would have no sense.

Your computer, a concrete turing machine, generates errors (that are not based on the computation that is happening, like a short circuit) and takes
time to process things and can be touched and seen, etc...

That's true, but not relevant for the theoretical reasoning.

An abstract turing machine is a model of a computer,

That is an aristotelian way to put the things. A Platonist would say that a concrete computer (if that exists) is an approximation of a universal Turing machine. Again, that point has no relevance for the reasoning, where we are supposed to survive through a substitution done at the level where we are captured by some universal machine concrete code. Only in step 8 does immateriality play a role.

but the computer is not
(and does not work) the same as the model. You confuse an actual thing

Such a notion need a theory, which you have not given. Words like "real" and "actual" cannot be taken for granted, except as some decor for the thought experiments, whose validity is shown independent of how such notion might (later) acquire precise meanings.

the abstraction of that thing.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

This just works as long as
the neurons can make enough new connections to fill the similarity

Bruno Marchal wrote:

This would make COMP work in a quite special case scenario, but
wrong in

It is hard to follow you.
I am not saying anything very complicated.

You seem to oscillate between "comp is nonsense" and "there is
something wrong with the reasoning".
You need to be able to conceive that comp might be true to just
the reasoning.
I can conceive that a substitution might work,

Nice. that is comp. So you can conceive it to be true.
Indeed. The only reason that I don't think it is practically true is that the transcendent ("dreamy"/"spiritual") aspect of reality is transcending biology faster than technology can, so that once we have the technology for substitution, it becomes totally irrelevant, as we already have no necessity
of a biological brain.

Yes. That's one of the result of the reasoning.

It is a bit like you could theoretically build a computer out of stones and pipes and levers, but we will never do that, since if we knew how to build that, we could already build a computer that is much much much more powerful
than that.


Bruno Marchal wrote:

1) Exact computational states or slightly changed one, after the
recovering, are not relevant for the issue, and this is made clear at
step seven, given that the robust universe running the concrete UD
just goes through all those computational states, in all histories.
The relevant points are only the first person indeterminacy, and its
many invariance for some third person changes.
Step 7 does not even adress the issue that I am pointing at.
You write "With comp, when we are in the state of going to drop the pen, we are in a Turing emulable state. ". That's simply not the


COMP just says that a substitution with an (actual) computer can
work, not that the substitution works due to us being in a turing emulable
state -

Of course it is. That is why I use often the expression "qua computatio". It means I survive in virtue of the fact that the relevant computation is physically implemented.

it doesn't say why exactly the substition works (beyond being
functionally correct). We can say YES because we are emulable enough, *even
though* we are not in a precisely emulable state.

We are exactly emulable at the substitution level.

COMP might mean that we
survive because there is always a substitution that is good enough to work (since a non-computational aspect of ourselves, beyond our old parts, or within the new digital parts can adapt), but not because the substitution is
substituting a state that is fully emulable.

By definition of comp, below the level we are fully emulable, and that is used in the reasoning. Slight changes, and the unknown level are irrelevant at step seven because the UD simulates all levels, and that's enough to make physics conceptually a branch of computer science and number theory.

You can't presuppose that a substitution can only work if we are precisely
determined through a computational state.

Of course. A substitution could work than the holy goodness of a God, but then we are working in another theory. You keep talking like if I was asserting that comp is the only assumption possible. I do not. I simply never assume this.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

2) The immateriality of computations is not assumed in any step, and
is the conclusion of the eight step.
It seems that here lies our main difference. The eight step says it is
absurd to associate any experience with abitary pyhsical activity.

This sentence is ambiguous. Those who defend comp + materialism (still a majority, and the reasoning is addressed to them) assume that consciousness is the result of the execution of a computation in a primitive (ontologically) physical reality. That physical activity is never arbitrary. It has still to implement the computation.

That is
just the case if we assume a reductionistic objective world, were there has
to be a precise correspondence. It might be true that it is
impossible/abitrary to associate experience with physical activity in an
*objective way*. Any association can only be a theory or a local
approximation. Therefore we can associate any experience with any physical activity (or with none), because it may be subjectively meaningful, but that doesn't mean that that is all there is to it. The substitution does simply work because it subjectively works, not because of some inherent, *objective
and/or absolute* association of physical activity with experience.

All this is highly ambiguous. I do agree from what I can guess.

The whole MGA argument is supposed to show that the physical supervenience thesis is false, but that's not the only possibility (even though the vast majority of materialist argue for that, or for eliminativism). It may be that it is impossible to seperate matter and consciousness. Arguably that's not really materialism as commonly understood (even though we could say it is materialism if "matter" equals consciousness or "proto- consciousness").

That is why I use the label "weak materialism" (ontologically: matter is primitive; epistemologically: physics is the fundamental science). Comp shows that machine's theology is the fundamental science, and physics is a study of emerging plural sharable first person perspective.

But that's not relevant for the argumentation, because your conclusion is not that from COMP it follows that naive materialism is false, but that we
can only associate experience with a measure on the computations.

Yes. Including physical experiences.

You plainly miss all alternative conclusion that are not your conclusion or
commonly given alternatives.

Which one (saving materialism)?

You are not even defending the validity of your
argumentation, your argue for the validity of your argumentation with
respect to commonly presented alternatives.

If you see another alternative (still assuming comp) then give it to me. But I doubt this make sense. You are again confusing, I'm afraid: NOT A v NOT B with A v B. I only shows that weak materialism is incompatible with comp. Then in AUDA, I keep comp, and I listen to what ideally correct universal machines can already assert about this (can prove, guess, infer, interrogate, etc.).

That might be enough for the validity concerning naive materialism,

Weak materialism.

but that
doesn't make it universally valid.

It shows constructively that physics cannot be the fundamental science, but (machine's) "theology" is. Machine's theology is just computer science. The proper theological part is computer science minus computer's computer science, and that can be handled mathematically from the work of Tarski and Gödel. Simplifying slogan: machine's theology = Tarski minus Gödel.

I am just not arguing at all for what
your argument(s) seeks to refute.

I know that. It might be your problem. You have independent reason to *believe* in the conclusion of comp. You just seems uncomfortable that those conclusions can be extracted from comp. It looks like you feel like this should force you to accept comp, but I have *never* say so. There are plenty other logical alternatives. Just that to make a non- comp theory, you will have to diagonalize against comp, and that will not been obvious, given the fact that machines can do diagonalization too (indeed self-reference logics exploit this maximally).

If you want your argument to be a refutation of COMP+naive materialism, then
write that.

It is a refutation of comp+weak materialism (which entails all known form of materialism). And the proof is constructive, so it does translate the mind-body problem into a justification of how the laws of physics emerge from comp/numbers. This makes comp testable, and up to know nature confirms it, through the "many world/dream" testable appearances.

It might actually work as that, though I suspect that people
that adhere to a naive form of materialism have to be very dogmatic to keep that belief for long, so they probably often will not be convinced by any
rational argument at all.

Study the literature. Look how much the QM interpretation are debated. Don't take people who does not embrace immaterialism at the start as being so stubborn that they cannot follow a reasoning. If you were correct here, the science enterprise would be hopeless.

I mean even almost universally accepted modern physics are not compatible
with naive materialism

This is a very highly debated point. For many, the many worlds saves "naive or weak materialism", even booleanity at some high level description of the entire multiverse.

(things are made of spatially defined and non-fuzzy
stuff, like bricks or something).

Weak materialism is the statement that primitive matter exists ontologically. It might be fuzzy, non local, even magical, etc. But comp makes all form of such a "primitive" matter into a machine's statistical appearance, and this in a precise way (relative measure on computations as seen from inside, and then AUDA use Theaetetus to define the "inside" perspective from self-reference logic, and makes comp+classical theory of knowledge 100% testable).



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