On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 5:53 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> That solipsism. I don't see why you believe that people have to believe
> in comp to avoid solipsism.

Everybody, when not arguing philosophy on the internet, believes that
physical actions effect consciousness and consciousness effects physical
actions. Everybody also believes that a specific sort of physical action,
intelligent behavior, indicates consciousness. If you accept those 2
things, and everybody this side of a loony bin not only accepts it they use
it every hour of their waking life, then the Turing Test and everything
else you call "comp" can be derived from that. By the way, I
say "waking life" because when people are sleeping they do not behave
intelligently so I assume they are not conscious.

> 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.

I agree with that. Except for pure mathematics you can not know anything
without doubt. I think.

> It is not logically impossible that we are alpha-machines, with alpha
> strictly bigger than omega.

If so then it is very odd indeed that we can not even deal with large but
FINITE integers very well; even the smallest computer can operate with them
far far better than we can.

> if we are alpha-machine, we will not survive an omega-substitution.

It's also very odd that the real numbers were not intuitively obvious to
everybody but instead were only discovered a few hundred years ago. It's
even stranger that non-computable numbers were only discovered by Turing in
the 1930's and we are not one bit better at actually pointing to one (even
though nearly all real numbers are non computable) than digital computers.

> My point is not that comp is false, but that we cannot know if it is true.

My point is that we must assume its true to function.

> So you reduce God to the Christian's conception of it.

Yes I suppose I have. Christians and other religious franchises should own
the word "God" as they think its so important and use it so much. So when I
want to talk about that I will use the word "God" but when I want to talk
about something else, like truth or numbers or Millard Fillmore, I will use
another word. I give them "God", there are plenty of other words I can use
when I want to talk about something very important but is not a omnipotent
being who created the universe.

 > 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.

That impossible to prove His existence bullshit is just stuck on and plays
no part in the core concept, it need not be that way. If God is omnipotent
he could certainly make his existence obvious to even the stupidest most
unobservant person if he wanted, in fact I think He would need to expend a
considerable part of that omnipotence to hide himself from us. He should be
bloody obvious. However I can certainly see why certain humans would push
the idea that His nature can't be found by reason and that faith, believing
in something for no good reason, is a wonderful virtue. These religious
mountebanks have a really nice little swindle going, they turn the
inability to prove one word of what they say into a advantage. Talk about
turning lemons into lemonade!

> we cannot give it a "name"

I don't know what you mean by this, humans have named all the thousands of
Gods they have invented over the centuries.

> we cannot not believe in it

I think I do a pretty good job in not believing in it.

> With comp God can be arithmetical truth

Then just call it what it is, arithmetic. The word "God" adds nothing and
just invites confusion and misinterpretation. It has vastly too much
baggage so it's time for "God" to be retired and join other obsolete words
like "methinks","cozen","fardel", "huggermugger", "zounds" and

> If you believe that the Christians have the right conception of God, then
> you are a sort of Christian.

Hey, let's not get nasty.

 John K Clark

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