On 06 Jan 2012, at 23:11, John Clark wrote:
On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
> In fact I do agree often with John Clark, but then he exaggerates
also very often the point.
I've told you a million times I never exaggerate.
> The church was asking to Galileo to present his view as a theory
What do you suppose would have happened if Galileo asked the church
to present its views as a theory or conjecture?! Actually Galileo
was not tortured but he was shown the instruments for it, as the
worlds greatest expert on mechanics at the time he certainly
understood how such machines operated, as a result he publicly
apologized for his scientific ideas and said in writing that the
church was right, the Earth was the center of the universe after
all. I certainly don't hold this against Galileo, instead I look at
it as yet another example of the man's enormous intellect. Only 20
years before, another astronomer Giordano Bruno, said that space was
infinite, the stars were like the sun only very far away and life
probably filled the universe, but Bruno was not as smart as Galileo,
he refused to recant his views. For the crime of telling the truth
Bruno was burned alive in the center of Rome so all could see,
according to custom green wood was used because it doesn't burn as
hot so it takes longer to kill. I imagine Feyerabend would say that
the church's verdict against Bruno was rational and just too.
You might give reference to corroborate this. At first sight, the case
of Galileo and Bruno does not seem comparable.
> Galileo did endorse the "modern" view of naturalism,
Another reason Galileo was a great man.
> and that science *has* to be naturalist
If there are things about the universe that are not naturalistic
(and there might be), that is to say if there are things that do
not work by reason then science has nothing it can say about them,
so yes science *has* to be naturalistic.
You confuse naturalism (nature exists and is fundamental/primitive)
and rationalism (things works by and for a reason).
The first is the main axiom of Aristotle theology, the second defines
the general scientific attitude.
Today we know that they oppose each other. Indeed "nature" might have
a non natural reason. For example nature, or the belief in nature,
might have a logical and/or an arithmetical reason independent of its
>and this *is* a scientific error (as comp illustrates) which has
not yet been corrected (excepting the study of comp).
I don't know what that means.
It means, in a nutshell, that if you are willing to believe that your
consciousness would remain unchanged for a digital functional
substitution of your parts made at some description level of your
body, (comp), then physics can no more be the fundamental science of
reality, and the physical universe has to be explained in term of
cohesive digital machine dreams/computation. Physics becomes one of
the internal aspect, from the relative point of view of numbers/
program/digital-machine, of arithmetic. We have been discussing this a
lot on this list. You might have also followed the first six steps of
the reasoning (the universal dovetailer argument) on the FOR list
perhaps. If not you might read my sane04 paper(*).
I don't oppose natural with supernatural, but with computer science-
theoretical or logico-arithmetical. In fact, to believe that nature
and matter is primitive gives a sort of supernatural conception of
matter, of the kind "don't ask for more explanation". I am not
satisfied by that type of quasi-magical explanation, and besides, I
can explain in all details why that position is irrational once we bet
that we are digitalizable machine. In fine, computationalism forces to
recognize that Plato's theology might have been, with respect to the
fundamental questions, more rational than Aristotle's materialist
theology (used by christians and their atheists variants). The simple
"dream argument" shows already that observation is never a proof of
existence, and that the *primitive* existence of a physical universe
is a scientific hypothesis, not an undoubtable fact (unlike
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