On Sun, Jan 8, 2012 at 3:36 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> But naturalism want to explain things by reducing it to nature or natural
> law,
>

If you want to explain X you say that X exists because of Y. It's true that
Y can be nothing and thus the existence of X is random, but let's assume
that Y is something;in that case if you don't want to call Y "natural law"
what do you want to call it?

> Computationalism asks for an explanation for the natural laws,
>

And if found those explanations would be yet more natural laws; however we
don't know that there is a explanation for everything, some things might be
fundamental. I have a hunch that consciousness is fundamental and it's just
the way data feels like when it's being processed; the trouble is that even
if consciousness is fundamental a proof of that fact probably does not
exist, so people will continue to invent consciousness theories trying to
explain it till the end of time but none of those theories will be worth a
bucket of warm spit.

> This does not mean it is always meaningful to ask "what is that made of?".
>

It is until you get to something fundamental, then all you can say is
that's just the way things are. If that is unsatisfactory then direct your
rage at the universe. But perhaps you can always find something more
fundamental, but I doubt it, I think consciousness is probably the end of
the line.

> There are no thing made of something.
>

Good heavens, if we can't agree even that at least sometimes somethings are
made of parts we will be chasing our intellectual tails forever going
nowhere.

> The idea of things being made of something is still Aristotelian.
>

Aristotle like most philosophers liked to write about stuff that every
person on the planet knows to be obviously true and state that fact to the
world in inflated language as if he'd made a great discovery. Of course
most things are made of parts, although I'm not too sure about electrons,
they might be fundamental.

> If mechanism is true, there are only true number *relations*.
>

I don't see your point. What's the difference from saying that gear X in a
clock moved because of its relation to spring Y in the same clock, and
saying that the clock is made of parts and 2 of those parts are gear X and
spring Y?

> I am not sure things can be random, nor what that would mean.
>

It would mean a event without a cause and I don't see why that is more
illogical that a event with a cause.

> If mechanism is correct, physics becomes independent of the choice of the
> fundamental level,
>

Choice of the fundamental level? There can only be one fundamental level,
or none at all.

> for the numbers (or the first order specification of a universal system)
> I can prove we cannot derive it from something simpler.[...] I can't find
> something more fundamental than the natural numbers
>

OK then numbers are fundamental, and the lifeblood of computers are those
very same numbers, so if asked how computers produce consciousness there
may be nothing to say except that's just what numbers do.

> actual QM (à-la Everett/Deutsch) assumes computationalism and the SWE.
> But computationalism has to explain the SWE.
>

Numbers can certainly describe the Schrodinger Wave Equation,  the question
you're really asking is why does the universe operate according to that
equation and not another? Everett has a answer, it may or may not be the
correct answer but at least it's a answer, because that's the universe you
happen to be living in and you've got to live in some universe. Another
explanation is that the link between Schrodinger's equation and matter is
fundamental, after all, you said numbers are fundamental but you didn't say
that's the only thing that is.

> God created the natural numbers, all the rest are (sharable) dreams by
> and among relative numbers.   I  am not saying that this is true, but that
> it follows from the belief that consciousness is invariant for digital
> functional substitution
>

OK, I'm not sure I agree but I see your point. I suppose it comes back to
the old question, were the imaginary and irrational numbers invented or
discovered?

 John K Clark

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