On 24 Feb 2012, at 23:40, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Feb 23, 9:41 pm, Pierz <pier...@gmail.com> wrote:
Let us suppose you're right and... but hold on! We can't do that. That
would be "circular". That would be sneaking in the assumption that
you're right from the outset. That would be "shifty', "fishy", etc
etc. You just don't seem to grasp the rudiments of philosophical

I understand that it seems that way to you.

'Yes doctor' is not an underhand move.

Not intentionally.

It asks you up-front
to assume that comp is true in order then to examine the implications
of that, whilst acknowledging (by calling it a 'bet') that this is
just a hypothesis, an unprovable leap of faith.

I think that asking for an unprovable leap of faith in this context is
philosophically problematic since the purpose of computation is to
make unprovable leaps of faith unnecessary.

This is were you are the most wrong from a theoretical computer science pov.
It is just an Aristotelian myth than science can avoid leap of faith.
Doubly so for a (meta) theory like comp, where we bet on a form of reincarnation. Betting on a reality or on self-consistency gives a tremendous selective advantage, but it can never be 100% justified rationally. Comp meta-justifies the need of going beyond pure reason. Correct betting mechanism cannot be 100% rational. That's what is cute with incompleteness-like phenomena, they show that reason *can* see beyond reason, and indeed 99,9% of the self-referential truth belongs to the unjustifiable.

You complain that
using the term 'bet' assumes non-comp (I suppose because computers
can't bet, or care about their bets), but that is just daft.

Saying 'that is just daft' to something which is clearly the honest
truth in my estimation doesn't persuade me in the slightest.

You might
as well argue that the UDA is invalid because it is couched in natural
language, which no computer can (or according to you, could ever)
understand. If we accepted such arguments, we'd be incapable of
debating comp at all.

That would be ok with me. I don't see anything to debate with comp,
because I understand why it seems like it could be true but actually

But, as you seem to believe yourself, it is just the case that the 1p cannot feel like comp is true. It is due to the clash between Bp and Bp & p I have just been talking about in my previous mail.

Saying 'no' to the doctor is anyone's right - nobody forces you to
accept that first step or tries to pull the wool over your eyes if you
choose to say 'yes'. Having said no you can then either say "I don't
believe in comp because (I just don't like it, it doesn't feel right,
it's against my religion etc)" or you can present a rational argument
against it.

Or you can be rationally skeptical about it and say "It has not been
proved" or "I see through the logic and understand the error in its

I will never been proved, for purely logical reason. Comp can only be refuted, or hoped. Comp remains science, at the meta-level, but saying "yes" to a doctor asks for a leap of faith.

That is to say, if asked to justify why you say no, you
can either provide no reason and say simply that you choose to bet
against it - which is OK but uninteresting - or you can present some
reasoning which attempts to refute comp. You've made many such
attempts, though to be honest all I've ever really been able to glean
from your arguments is a sort of impressionistic revulsion at the idea
of humans being computers,

That is your impressionistic revulsion at the idea of stepping outside
the entrenched positions of the argument. I have no revulsion
whatsoever at the idea of humans being computers. As I have mentioned
several times, I have believed in comp for most of my life, for the
same reasons that you do. I am fine with being uploaded and digitized,
but I know now why that won't work. I know exactly why.

Then you are not a machine. That's possible, but up to now, it is just a begging type of argument, given that you don't succeed to provide an argument for how and why you know that. The very fact that you feel obliged to mention that you know that can only make us suspicious that actually you don't have an argument, but only a feeling. Then such feeling are already explainable by machine. Machine also said that they (1p) knows that they are not any machine we could describe to them, and later, by deepening the introspection and the study of comp, they can understand that such a knowledge proves nothing.


yet one which seems founded in a
fundamental misunderstanding about what a computer is.

I have been using and programming computers almost every day for the
last 30 years. I know exactly what a computer is.

You repeatedly
mistake the mathematical construct for the concrete, known object you
use to type up your posts. This has been pointed out many times, but
you still make arguments like that thing about one's closed eyes being
unlike a switched-off screen, which verged on ludicrous.

I have no confusion whatsoever discriminating between the logic of
software, programming, and simulation and the technology of hardware,
engineering, and fabrication. I use metaphors which draw on familiar
examples to try to communicate unfamiliar ideas.

The example of closed eye noise is an odd one, but no more so than
Daniel Dennett's slides about optical illusion. With it I show that
there are counterexamples, where our sensation reflects factual truth
in spite of there being no advantageous purpose for it.

I should say I'm no comp proponent, as my previous posts should
attest. I'm agnostic on the subject, but at least I understand it.
Your posts can make exasperating reading.

May I suggest that you stop reading them.


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