On 18 Feb 2012, at 11:53, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Hi John (Clark),
I answer your two posts in one.
Well, I forget to say the main thing. There is two posts now! See below.
On 17 Feb 2012, at 22:35, John Clark wrote:
On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 3:17 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
> You can argue that Nature has already bet on comp, when building
brains, and in that sense we use it implicitly,
You bet you can argue that!
Except that Nature is not, a priori, a person, so it does bet only
in some metaphorical sense. Or you are anthropomorphizing Nature,
which *might be* a typical theological error.
> but here comp is assumed.
It's assumed to be true every day of our lives by everybody
everywhere, except when they are arguing philosophy on the
internet. But the instant they sign off they go right back to
assuming it just like everybody else, the have to because nobody
could function if they thought they were the only conscious being
in the universe.
That solipsism. I don't see why you believe that people have to
believe in comp to avoid solipsism. Some people disbelieve in comp
because they believe in some confessional God, and they believe
(perhaps wrongly) that with comp there is no such God, yet they
believe in other minds too. You lost me here.
> even if the argument of the non-comp people are rarely rational,
this does not mean that rational argument for non-comp cannot be
I've never heard a rational argument for non-comp and I've been
debating this issue for decades. So be the first, make me a
believer, I have no loyalty toward any theory and will change sides
at the drop of a logical hat.
I find comp much more plausible than non-comp. I don't want at all
defend non-comp, but my point is logical: we don't know, and
probably cannot know, that comp is true, so it might be false, and
to say "yes" to the doctor requires some act of faith. Comp is the
most natural and elegant theory possible, imo, but that, by itself,
is not an argument for its truth.
Then comp can be weakened. For any constructive or not constructive
ordinal I can build (mathematically) a weakening of comp, alpha-
comp. The usual comp we talk about is omega-comp (omega is the
least infinite ordinal). It is not logically impossible that we are
alpha-machines, with alpha strictly bigger than omega. Note that
AUDA remains unchanged, and we keep a similar mathematical theology,
with a similar origin for the physical reality, yet, if we are alpha-
machine, we will not survive an omega-substitution. I do agree there
are NO evidence at all for such a falsity of omega-comp, or for
alpha-comp with alpha bigger than omega, but logically, this is
My point is not that comp is false, but that we cannot know if it is
true. Even someone using a classical omega-teleportation device
(based on omega-comp) has to be cautious not using his personal
evidence (I feel like surviving it everyday) as an argument for
making the public statement that comp is true, because that would be
like asserting/proving his own self-consistency (impossible for
The main thing that I was forgetting is that if you make comp (alias
digital mechanism) enough precise, you can understand that the
physical reality emerges in a precise way from arithmetical truth, and
this makes the comp hypothesis refutable. So, today, it is still
possible that nature refute comp. To test comp, you have to extract
physics from it (together with some theory of knowledge) and compare
with nature. If comp predicts that electron exist and weight two tuns,
then we will have evidence that comp is wrong. To see this I suggest
you read the UDA in the sane04 paper that you can find here:
Up to now, comp predicts only some concrete feature of the physical
reality, which fits rather well with quantum mechanics and quantum
logics (MW, indeterminacy, non locality, non cloning, and the presence
of some key symmetries and breaking symmetries at the core physical
On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> [Bruno wrote] I see you defend the conception of God given by the
By "God" I mean an omnipotent being that created all the matter and
energy in the universe, and logic and mathematics and morality and
everything else; when I want to talk about a concept other than
that I use a different word than "God".
So you reduce God to the Christian's conception of it. I use the
term in the sense used by the scientists before politics stole the
concept and develop the fear selling. I gave you the axiom of God:
- It is the one responsible for the existence of anything
- we cannot prove its existence (so it asks for an act of faith)---
- we cannot give it a "name" (a description or definition in our
- we cannot not believe in it (but we can and should not believe in
any too much literal description of it, by the axiom above).
With comp God can be arithmetical truth (but then we cannot know
that, still less prove that, making comp absolutely undecidable).
Like Kronecker said, God created the natural numbers, all the rest
is man imagination. But with comp you can say "God created the
natural numbers, all the rest is an invention by the numbers"
> Bruno wrote: I use the term God in the pre-christian sense of the
Platonists. It is basically the truth we are searching, whatever it
I see, so if I seek to know who was the 13'th president of the
United States then Millard Fillmore is God.
This does not follow. You might conceive truth as the collection of
true statement, in which case you might say the trivial and non
interesting statement that if it is true that Millard Fillmore is
the 13th US president, that is part of God knowledge.
I might have use the term "ultimate truth" instead of truth. Of
course we cannot know that, nor can we know any empirical facts, in
the strong sense of "knowing" that I am always using. But we can
You can certainly redefine the word "God" to mean anything you like,
That is what you should say to the christians. I use the term used
by those who invented science, including theology, which is just
their "theory of everything". Science comes from that.
If you believe that the Christians have the right conception of God,
then you are a sort of Christian.
you can redefine it so only a fool would not believe in it,
Yes. With the greek original conception of God, any Löbian machine
(universal machine knowing (in a weaker sense than above, to be
precise, that she is universal) eventually bet on something
verifying the axioms above.
but I don't see the point.
The point is to come back to the scientific attitude in the field of
This proves what I have often said, many people are willing to
abandon the idea of God but not the 3 letter word "God".
It is a useful pointer, especially for making the point that some
conception of God might be incorrect when some *assumption/theory*
are made/used. Can God be seen as a person, like the Christian
think? Well, if we are machine, this is an open problem.
The machine's theology is quite close to the theology of the greeks
and of many mystics.
If I redefine the symbol "5" to mean "4" then 2+2=5 is a true
statement, but doing so would cause needless confusion.
Sure. But here we talk about the ultimate explanation. We know that
if we are machine, God is not the God of the actual atheists which
are naturalist/physicalist, and believe that God (in the sense
above) is the physical reality. They are making a theological error
when they says that this is a fact, or that they are not doing an
hypothesis or an act of faith, or that the physical reality is a
machine (digital physics).
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