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
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
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.
That is not obvious, for me. Perhaps. It depends on possible
(approximation of) definition of intelligence, and consciousness.
Yes they are different things. And you can have consciousness
without intelligent behavior but you can't have intelligent behavior
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.
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.
> 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
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).
> 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
> 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
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
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.
> Beyond arithmetic you can already doubt.
Are you sure?
> 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.
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
Post is the first to see that "Church thesis" (Post "laws") entails
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.
>> 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
> Comp is an hypothesis concerning consciousness. Why should we must
to assume it.
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.
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.
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.
That's curious. Because they don't succeed in solving a problem, we
should not try ourself.
Atheist and materialist are under no obligation to solve this
"problem" because their competition, Bible thumpers, can't solve it
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).
Hmm... Define data, define feel, relate them with the working of
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).
> 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
> 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
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
Obviously I agree, science has done a lot but it hasn't solved
everything, but the difference is that religion hasn't solved
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
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
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.
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.
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
OK, thanks for clarifying? But I was glad that you might be able to
agree with this.
> If you agree that "God" is the reason of existence [...]
Actually I don't quite agree
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.
because He can't explain His own existence.
Why do you give credits to those who defend such theories. In Europa,
few Christians take this literally.
God is a omnipotent being who created the universe,
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.
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
Are you trying to tell me that calling arithmetic God will avoid
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
And that's as it should be, only astrologers should do astrology
only fools should do foolish things and only the religious should do
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
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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