On May 24, 7:55 pm, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, May 25, 2012 at 1:12 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> If it is absolutely certain that you won't sleep under a bush tonight
> >> then it is impossible that you will do so and the probability is zero.
> >> My understanding is that you don't approve of this sort of certain as
> >> you believe it leaves no room for free will or even consciousness.
>
> > I approve of it completely as an exercise in abstraction, but yes, I
> > am confident that a universe of probability alone cannot generate
> > sense of any kind.
>
> Probability alone cannot generate sense, for that you need a brain of
> some type.

How do you know? Lots of living organisms don't have brains. Worms.
Jellyfish. Bacteria that signal each other to act en masse. Sea
anemones seem pretty sensitive to me.

>However, the brain must be either probabilistic or
> deterministic.

It doesn't matter what the brain's limitations are. It seems to me
that the psyche uses the brain like a tool. The brain is a 3-D shadow
of an 8-D temporal phenomena.

>You still haven't explained the third category, neither
> probabilistic nor deterministic. If I assert that I have special dice
> which are neither probabilistic nor deterministic, what am I
> asserting? How could we tell if I was telling the truth?

The third category is intention. It's quite ordinary and
straightforward. Understood implicitly among all cultures and people.
If you have special dice that determine their rolls intentionally, you
could not tell the difference, but they could. That's because motive
originates from within and is private.

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> >> It doesn't neutralise significance. In one universe you wake up in
> >> your bed and you tell yourself that you made a good decision, your bed
> >> is warm and comfortable and it would have been stupid to sleep under a
> >> bush. In another universe you wake up under a bush and you tell
> >> yourself that you made a good decision, even though you were cold and
> >> uncomfortable, because you have achieved your purpose of empathising
> >> better with homeless people. In each case you made your own decision,
> >> freely, with good reason and according to the laws of physics. Before
> >> you made the decision you were not completely sure which way you would
> >> go. Right now, you can say you're pretty sure you will wake up in your
> >> bed tomorrow and I would bet that that is what will happen, but you
> >> could change your mind.
>
> > What point would there be to making any of those outcomes seem
> > significant to us if every bad decision inevitably has its own
> > universe anyhow, regardless of our choices?
>
> When I worry about a decision I worry about what sort of universe I
> will find myself in. In one universe I made a good decision and am
> happy, in another I made a bad decision and am unhappy. If I didn't
> worry about it, for example if I walked across the road without
> looking, then I am more likely to end up in a universe where I am
> unhappy.

But you just create millions of universes where you get hit by a car
no matter what you decide. What would be the point of having a sense
of a personal stake in this particular version of you?

Craig

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