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> wrote:

> 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 given.

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 conceivable. 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 correct machine).

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 bottom).


On Fri, Feb 17, 2012  meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> [Bruno wrote] I see you defend the conception of God given by the Christians.

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)--- god's transcendence. - we cannot give it a "name" (a description or definition in our language) - 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 is.

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 believe it.

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 theology.

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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