On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:52 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> Comp makes physics a branch of arithmetic.
>

How in the world can you test if that is right? Even if it's true there is
no reason to think that arithmetic could only generate one type (our type)
of physical reality, there could be a huge number perhaps even a infinite
number of universes all with self consistent but very different physical
laws. And even if there is only one set of laws of physics that a universe
can have (very unlikely in my opinion) you still wouldn't be out of the
woods because that's only half the problem, there is also the matter of
initial conditions. Look at John Conway's cellular automation the "Game of
Life", the rules (equivalent to the laws of physics) by which a Life
universe evolves are deterministic and very very simple, but what any given
Life universe will change into can look radically different, it all depends
on what the initial conditions are.

Incidentally although very simple the rules of Conway's cellular automation
are sufficient to support arbitrary complexity, a few years ago it was
shown that you can build a operational Universal Turing Machine in a life
universe if you have the right initial conditions.

> 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.
>

Just? OK then let's get specific, what law of physics does this thing you
call "comp" uniquely predict and what experiment can we perform to see if
that unique thing really exists?

> 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.
>

In a simulation the laws of physics don't even need to be consistent, all
large video games are inconsistent in that they contain errors somewhere,
and yet they still work most of the time. Perhaps the singularity at the
center of a Black Hole is such a inconsistency in the laws of physics,
perhaps it's where the God-programmer screwed up and tried to divide by
zero; but such errors don't bother us much because we're a long way away
from one.

> 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.
>

First of all "Comp" is a non-standard term that is used only on this list
so it's meaning is not exactly nailed down and is a little vague, that said
I know that people may say they don't believe in comp when they are
discussing philosophy with you but when they go to the funeral of a friend
and see that the cadaver is not behaving intelligently they firmly believe
that the cadaver is not conscious. Those same people believe with all their
heart that their consciousness can change the state of a concrete physical
object, for example when they decide to pick up a hammer; thus after they
have that thought they are not astonished to find that the hammer actually
moved. Those same people also believe that a concrete physical system can
profoundly effect something as abstract as consciousness, thus when that
hammer makes contact with one of their fingers they are not surprised that
they consciously feel pain. They are also not surprised that when they take
a powerful drug they're consciousness changes nor are they surprised that
when their consciousness changes their behavior, their interaction with the
outside physical world, also changes. And then the next day when the
conversation turns to philosophy they will tell you again how much they
don't believe in "comp". Oh well, I never said human beings or their ideas
were consistent.

> 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
>

I don't know what you mean by the "primary matter dogma" but apparently its
something both Christians and I believe in. I do know that matter by itself
is rather dull, the interesting thing is the way matter is organized, in
other words information. I know two other things, information is as close
as you can get to the traditional concept of the soul and still remain
within the scientific method, and information is the only thing I or a
Christian or anybody else can understand.

> You might not let your functioning be so dependent of your beliefs. It is
> not good for the health.
>

I doubt if you could function one bit better than I could if you really
believed you were the only conscious being in the universe.

> with comp living bodies are not conscious
>

Then I don't have a clue what this bizarre non-standard term "comp" means
and I have serious doubts that anybody else does 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).
>

They are not conscious and they are conscious of numbers?  I guess I REALLY
don't know what "comp" means.

> Plato's God, according to Hirschberger, and through my own reading, is
> basically Truth,
>

It would seem to me that even more fundamental than being omnipotent to be
worthy of the name a God needs to be a BEING, so calling arithmetic God
makes no sense and makes misunderstanding inevitable. Call arithmetic
important, call it fundamental, call it The Truth if you want but don't
call it God.

  >>> Beyond arithmetic you can already doubt.
>>>
>>
>>  >> Are you sure?
>>
>
> > Yes.
>

So there IS something beyond arithmetic you can be sure about.

> many non computable numbers are compressible, indeed, some of them are
> subtly redundant
>

I don't have a clue what your thinking about. A non computable number means
there is no function or algorithm to get arbitrarily close to it, so the
most compact way to express the number is to just call out its digits; in
other words it's not compressible.

> Emil Post discovered them [non computable numbers] in 1922. Others were
> close. [...] 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!
>

It's very hard for me to believe that Turing talked Post out of publishing,
in 1922 Turing was only 10 years old.

> 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.
>

That's because consistency of beliefs is not regarded as being very
important to religious people, otherwise they wouldn't be religious.

> You have not yet explain me why you think that the negation of comp leads
> to solipsism.
>

First explain to me why you think you are not the only conscious being in
the universe without using any ideas in this thing you call "comp".

> I have a muslim friend who believe that comp is false, yet that
> behavioral-comp is true.
>

I'm still struggling with regular old "comp" and have no idea what
"behavioral-comp" is, you're making up new words faster than I can keep
track of them.

> I agree with most counter-argument you give to Craig, but none of those
> provides any argument in favor of the truth of comp.
>

None of my arguments regarding consciousness are ironclad, but they do
point very strongly in one direction. I think the single strongest argument
is that consciousness exists and Evolution produced it, but random mutation
and natural selection could not have done that if what I think you mean by
"comp" is false. But to be honest that's not really why I believe in it so
strongly, just like everybody else I believe in it because I must. The only
thing different about me is that I try to be consistent and I even believe
in it when I argue philosophy on the internet.

>> 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.
>

Try to solve it all you like it’s a free country, my point is that solving
or being stumped by this "problem" has nothing to do with being a atheist
or not being a atheist because the God theory does not help one bit.

> mechanism does not solve the mind body problem
>

If the feeling of consciousness is fundamental then I don't understand why
anybody would expect it to. If it's fundamental I don't even understand why
the mind body "problem" needs solving.

> what is consciousness for?
>

>From Evolutions point of view consciousness need not be for anything, it
could be a spandrel, the byproduct of something that Evolution does find
useful. Your belly button gives you no survival advantage but is the
byproduct of something that did.

> or does consciousness have a role, a selective advantage,
>

If so then the Turing Test works for consciousness and a machine that
behaves like we do must be conscious like we are.

> 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.
>

Now religion even wants credit for the idea of matter? That's ridiculous,
for good or ill matter is a intuitive idea that all human beings have had
since we evolved on the African savanna.

> Define data, define feel, relate them with the working of computer. If
> you do that properly, you will see that we are duplicable
>

Yes

>>  God is a omnipotent being who created the universe
>>
>
> > Why do you give credits to those who defend such theories.
>

The only thing I give them credit for is having created a word, so if I
want to talk about a omnipotent being who created the universe I will use
the word "God", if I want to talk about arithmetic I will not.

> In Europa, few Christians take this literally.
>

Then what's the difference between a European Christian and a atheist?


  John K Clark

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