On 21 Feb 2012, at 17:16, John Clark wrote:

On Sun, Feb 19, 2012  Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> it is important to conceive that comp might be false.
Why? If it's false I don't see how there could be a way to prove it false,

You have to study UDA a little bit perhaps. Comp makes physics a branch of arithmetic. I provide a constructive proof, (accepting the most admitted classical theory of knowledge). This makes comp refutable. Just compare the comp-physics and the inferred physics. I want to be short and non technical, the details are a bit more subtle, for example, we might also conclude that we are in a relative simulation, if the difference between comp-physics and empiric-physics belongs to a certain type.

and as we can not function unless we assume it's true it would seem pointless to worry about it.

Here I really do not understand what you say. Why would the falsity of comp prevent us to function. I know some people who disbelieve in comp, they do function. Comp is a theory. We cannot prove it to be true (like any applied theory), but we might refute it one day (like any serious theory).

I mean it's not as if there were not other important things to think about.

I think it is crucially important for the consequence. Comp eventually teach a respect for machine, which seems to be rather sleepy for humans (like with prohibition, NDAA bill, etc.).

Comp also illustrates that physicalism might be false, and that rationalism might come back to the original quite different conception conceived by the Platonist and the neo-platonists, instead of the primary matter dogma common to Chirstians and Atheists (and the non Sufi Muslim, or non Cabbala judaism).

> Intelligent behavior and consciousness might be related, but should not be equated, because those are different things.

Yes they are different things. And you can have consciousness without intelligent behavior but you can't have intelligent behavior without consciousness;

That is not obvious, for me. Perhaps. It depends on possible (approximation of) definition of intelligence, and consciousness.

I can't prove that last part but I could not function if I didn't believe it as strongly as I believe anything.

You might not let your functioning be so dependent of your beliefs. It is not good for the health. Seriously, you should doubt *all* your belief everyday before breakfast.

> it is generally accepted that we are conscious during the dreams.

But the REM dream state occurs for only about 20% of the total time you sleep.

Yes. But with some training you can remember your experience, and that can help to understand that we should not make conclusion on reality and the nature of reality too much quickly from experience. This plays some role in the UDA reasoning.

> The same for some comatose state.

As I said you can be conscious even when no intelligent behavior is observed, but even so it is generally accepted that cadavers are not conscious.

I do agree on this. but with comp living bodies are not conscious either. They just make able for a person to manifest her consciousness relatively to some collection of universal numbers (the neighbors person, and universal entities).

> That shows that consciousness can be independent of macro-behavior

Yes, but if that macro-behavior is intelligent then even without proof I don't believe and can not believe the reverse is true.

This is a bit unclear.

> Actually I argue that comp, when taken seriously enough, has to reduce physics to the 'theology of numbers', like biochemistry can be said to have been reduced to quantum mechanics.

I think I know what you mean but I don't see what the word "theology" adds to the above, all it does is muddy the waters and give respect to something that does not deserve it.

Here are the reason why I call it theology:

1) to avoid the situation where people could enforce the use of a digital brain, withoiut permission of parents or of the candidates (avoid the pro-life trap, if you want).

2) to tell the patient that he has to make an act of faith for it, and that his survive is not guarantied by any theory, not even comp (paradoxically enough). Comp meta-guaranties it, but only by justifying that it is itself machine's unbelievable. So the brain transplant is as much a medical operation, than a death ritual.

3) Comp implies a vast complex spectrum of notion of afterlife. Is it not natural to call theology a science which admits as sub-branch the study of afterlives?

4) Plato's God, according to Hirschberger, and through my own reading, is basically Truth, with the understanding that conviction is private, not public. Defining the God of the machine, or the theology of the machine by the truth *about* the machine helps to distinguish truth and provability in simple term. Arithmetical truth does beg-have like a God, for the machine (which cannot know that, but can deduce it from comp + some amount of arithmetical self-correctness).

5) To help to the coming back to rationalism in the theological field, is the best way to fight against fundamentalism. The only way, I could argue.

6) Given that with comp, physics is no more the fundamental science, how should we call the fundamental science? Why not theology, given its today neutrality on the nature of God? It invites us to reread the writing of the theologians and mystics at the light of the computer science theoretical theology.

7) I have used biology and psychology for years, but it leads to more confusion, including exclamation like "it is theology", which I can't answer, except by accepting that it is theology. It concerns indeed what machine's can hope, not what they can prove.

8) I think the book "God and Golem" is very close to all this, it might give me new arguments. Mechanism impinges on Religion. The religions which will recognize or baptize the silicone machines will extend in the galaxy. The religion which don't will not escape the earth.

> Beyond arithmetic you can already doubt.

Are you sure?

Yes. have no definite conception of the continuum. Do you know the paradox of Skolem? It relativize the notion of cardinality. It makes possible to build enumerable model of ZF + existence of very big cardinal. Each time I am sure of a theorem in math, it exists an elementary proof of it, which means that the theorem was an arithmetical proposition in disguise. Like for physics, it is easy to explain why machine can find and bet on the arithmetical correctness of non arithmetical sentences, in a place where clearly they are only epistemological constructs. What is true about sets: the axiom of choice or the axiom of indeterminacy. My intuition was that they were both correct, until I realize that they are not compatible. For me the set of Gödel number of correct sentences in arithmetic is a well defined set of numbers, but the set of correct set theoretical sentences is everything but a well defined set. Last, but not the least, the theology of machines (mainly axiomatized by the logic G and G* + variants) can be extended in first order modal logic in a way which solves all the critics of Quine on modal logic, when you start from arithmetic or equivalent. But for ZF Löbian machines, those critics makes sense. The theology of machine having too much rich beliefs becomes undefined.

> We can point to many "non computable real number", called non computable function in "modern" computability theory. [...] There is the famous Chaitin number, etc.

Chaitin proved that such a number, now called Omega or Chaitin's constant exists, and it is greater than 0 but less than 1 but he could be no more specific than that; he could not point to it but he could at least prove that nobody could ever do better, nobody else would ever be able to point to it either.

yes. But that is specific to Chaitin numbers. It is due to its incompressibility. But many non computable numbers are compressible, indeed, some of them are subtly redundant, like the simple halting number, coding which machines stop or not.

What he actually did is show that if by some magical power you knew what Omega's value is you could use that information to determine the truth or falsehood of every mathematical statement, and that would contradict the proofs of Godel and Turing, thus Chaitin proved such magical powers do not exist and nobody will ever know what the numeric value of Chaitin's constant is.

Well. Strictly speaking you are correct, except that we can compute it, albeit very slowly, and without ever being sure of all the decimals. I read that for many UMs, the Chaitin numbers first few decimals have been "computed", with high plausibility factor. In fact it is even easy to conceive of a universal language making that task easier. Of course there is nothing interesting in doing that.

>> non-computable numbers were only discovered by Turing in the 1930's

> Emil Post discovered them in 1922. Others were close.
Alonzo Church discovered them independently about the same time as Turing but as far as I know Emil Post's work in the early 1920's involved propositional logic, a system not powerful enough to perform arithmetic.

No. That's another result by Post. I am talking on its non published anticipation. He saw everything, including the immaterial consequences, but he changed his mind on this after a discussion with Turing. Alas! Post is the first to see that "Church thesis" (Post "laws") entails incompleteness. Post saw the Lucas-Penrose refutation based on Gödel's incompleteness many years before Gödel, and he saw the error in that argumentation, which is that when made precise, the machine can refute it. He coin the term creative on that occasion.

> Comp is an hypothesis concerning consciousness. Why should we must to assume it.

Because it's important but nobody will ever be able to prove or disprove it and most of all because nobody can function if they thought they were the only conscious being in the universe.

I know a community of catholics who believe that comp is false, and they do not function as if they were the only conscious being in the universe. You have not yet explain me why you think that the negation of comp leads to solipsism. I have a muslim friend who believe that comp is false, yet that behavioral-comp is true. In that case, someone getting a digital brain transplant become a zombie, and eventually the whole humanity would become peopled by zombies. But before any such transplants is done, he believes none of us are zombie.
So I do not understand.
Already few people even know what "digital" means, and have no ideas of what Church thesis consists. Also, why should you depend so heavily on your beliefs. In science we know that beliefs can be wrong, and that we can progress. I agree with most counter-argument you give to Craig, but none of those provides any argument in favor of the truth of comp. I agree that if comp is false, it will take time to see it. You can run Z1*, and search for a concrete counter-example in physics.

> Atheist and materialist often use comp (even a stronger version) like if it solves the mind-body problem.

Atheist and materialist are under no obligation to solve this "problem" because their competition, Bible thumpers, can't solve it either.

That's curious. Because they don't succeed in solving a problem, we should not try ourself.

And what exactly is this mind body problem anyway, it has never been entirely clear to me.

That is why I wrote the UDA thing, to explain in utterly clear step that mechanism does not solve the mind body problem, but on the contrary make it two times more difficult, but also completely precise. Indeed, comp reduces the mind body problem into a "belief in bodies" problem in pure arithmetic.

The mind body problem, in a nutshell, consists in explaining how to relate something like a personal feeling of yellow to a gray brain. It is related to a myriad of problems. How could we relate consciousness to the working of a functional machine. If the machine function, what is consciousness for? Is it an epiphenomenon, or does consciousness have a role, a selective advantage, like the feet, the belly, the sex, but also the brain, have.

With comp, it can be shown that consciousness *can* be related to a machine, but that a machine cannot relate its own consciousness to any machine, but, still can, by betting on comp, relate it to an infinity of machines (or numbers), so you your consciousness is more or less distributed on the 'border of arithmetical truth", and is not definable in arithmetic or in the concerned machine language.

In a nutshell, comp seems to be incompatible with an already weak form of materialism (the belief in an ontological primitive matter).
> comp can only help to formulate the problem.

It is far from clear that there is even a problem to be solved, if consciousness is really fundamental, and most think it is, then after you say that consciousness is the way data feels like when it is being processed then there is simply nothing more to be said on the subject of consciousness. If you can explain something that is fundamental then it can't be fundamental, the things in your explanation are.

Hmm... Define data, define feel, relate them with the working of computer. If you do that properly, you will see that we are duplicable, and you can understand the notion of first person indeterminacy, first local on real reconstitution, then global in a robust universe implementing a universal dovetailing, and eventually just with respect of a tiny part of arithmetical truth. If you attach your curent feeling to well defined (but not necessarily constructively) data processing, you will no more know on which data processors your current experience relies, and you can understand that the next experiences are determined by all the data processing (an infinity) genuine for that task, and this is why physics, to be stable, will have to rely on a statistics on many computations (which exist already in a tiny part of arithmetic).

> I argue that comp reduces the mind-body problem into a appearance- of-body problem in arithmetic. In a nutshell, comp seems to be incompatible with an already weak form of materialism (the belief in an ontological primitive matter).

Maybe that's because consciousness is a adjective not a noun and has nothing to do with what matter is but has to do with the way matter behaves, theoretically if something other than matter behaved that way it would be conscious too.


> Even for the layman, there is a general belief that modern science has solved everything, when, in my opinion, it has not

Obviously I agree, science has done a lot but it hasn't solved everything, but the difference is that religion hasn't solved anything.

It has asked the questions, then it has provided an answer but only when the questions were stolen by those with political purpose, and in that way indeed, burned those who dared to harbor doubts (the motor of science).

Yet a big part of science is the result of religion refutation. The story is not finished, most scientist are not even conscious that the notion of "matter", as used by many (primitive matter) is still a religious/metaphysical hypothesis. But now it is refuted with comp, and those who want matter are free to continue any fairy tales they want.

Is there a flaw in UDA. It looks that such a flaw exists only in the mind of continental materialist philosophers.

Scientist are more cautious, in their vast majority.
A bit less influent in the media too. It is not new. Scientists have debunked since 70 years the myth of the danger of cannabis, including major beneficial discoveries, but the media continues to propagate the lies. To omit the inconvenient discoveries. This illustrates only the usual lack of respect of research. And why does not the media interrogate more the meaning of the NDAA bill? I have up to that bill naively defend the americans in the war on terrorism, but with that bill, which I have read hundred times, I begin to think seriously that war against terrorism is as much fake as we know already for the war on drugs. Criminal fear selling business only.
We are at the peak of the obscurantist period.

> When you say: "If God is omnipotent he could certainly make his existence obvious to even the stupidest most unobservant person if he wanted", you are still using a quite "official" version of it.

Yes, and to avoid confusion and enhance clarity if I should want to talk about the unofficial version of it I will use a word other than "God".

This gives too much credits to the Christians and the Abrahamic religions. You take also the risk to throw the baby with the bath water. It has no name, so better to use the name everyone gives to it, instead of taking the risk that another name might be taken seriously.

> If you agree that "God" is the reason of existence [...]

Actually I don't quite agree

OK, thanks for clarifying? But I was glad that you might be able to agree with this.

because He can't explain His own existence.

Perhaps. I doubt you could be sure of that. But I do believe that omniscience by itself is a contradictory notion, and indeed arithmetical truth is the god of the machine-when-machine, not the god of all entities, including those which might be accessible to the machines, when transforming themselves.

God is a omnipotent being who created the universe,

Why do you give credits to those who defend such theories. In Europa, few Christians take this literally.

Neoplatonism is closer to the Parmenides than to the Timaeus.

but even if the Christian God exists (or the God of any other competing franchise) even He does not know why there is something rather than nothing.

I'm not sure that anyone can understand where the natural numbers come from, but every Löbian machines can already grasp that if they are machines, any thing which is explainable at all, can be explained from the natural numbers.

> Arithmetic is too much often confused with the arithmetical theorems of some rich theory, like PA or ZF.

Are you trying to tell me that calling arithmetic God will avoid confusion??

I am just saying that, from the point of view of the machine, arithmetical truth (not "arithmetic" which is used vaguely to refer either to some theory or collection of theorems of arithmetic) plays the role of God. It is clearly responsible to everything (by UDA). It cannot be named and described by the machine, and in some sense, it is omnicient about the machines, but not about gods and angels (machine with special oracles).

Now, a theory of arithmetic, will play the role of the machine. The soul is then given by the Theatetus' knower true provability. Matter will be given by other variant.

All this is explained, in non theological term, in the second part of the sane04 paper. It is explained in both arithmetical and theological (plotinian) term in my paper on the arithmetical interpretation of Plotinus (available on the front page of my url).

> Theology will remain in the hand of the manipulators and fear sellers.

And that's as it should be, only astrologers should do astrology only fools should do foolish things and only the religious should do theology.

You are not so much encouraging for the interdisciplinary research.

The problem is that some biologists and physicists present their finding as refuting theology, but then they take only the fairy tales, which does not help those who want to do theology in the hypothetical deductive way.

Let me ask you, so you believe in a primary physical universe? Can you imagine that physicalism might be made wrong, and that we might understand the origin of the physical laws, from something non physical (like arithmetic), in a manner similar to the understanding of the evolution of species?

I think and argue that comp implies that much.



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