On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Yes, the Big Bang is a program. There are initial conditions and rules
>> that lead deterministically to the unfolding of the entire multiverse
>> and all its rich content. All of science is an effort to work out
>> details of the algorithm.
> Then you have a infinite regress. How did the rules get there? A
> programmatic meta-big bang?

Are you asking who made the universe? A possible answer is that all
possible universes exist and we find ourselves in one of those that
has the kind of physical laws leading to observers.

>> > There is nothing that they 'want' or don't want to do.
>> So you say, but the computers could say the same of you.
> They are welcome to. Hey computer! You suck! Insult me!
> But they don't say anything that is beyond their scripted parameters. Not
> ever. That's because they are machines. Basically an elaborate collection of
> springloaded dominoes. There's nothing there to want anything except to fall
> or spring back up.

If a collection of spring-loaded dominoes becomes so complex that you
can't understand it or predict what it's going to do next, you will
have to be careful what you say to it.

>> Which is why it appears that consciousness is epiphenomenal; if it
>> were not then we would be zombies.
> You don't need zombies when you have puppets. Zombies gives an inanimate
> object way too much credit.

I'm not sure why you prefer "puppet" to "zombie" but if they mean the
same thing, OK.

>> By epiphenomenal I mean a necessary side-effect of the type of
>> intelligent behaviour putatively conscious organisms display.
> It's a contradiction to expect that a universe can be based entirely in
> necessity and then to imagine that there could be some kind of side effect
> which is in some way pseudo-experiential. It is sawing off the branch you
> are sitting on. Your argument is an epiphenomenon - a necessary side
> effect...of what?

When you place three spheres together so that they are touching you
create a triangle. The triangle is a necessary side-effect of putting
the spheres together in that way.

When you create a system that perceives, responds, perceives its own
response, adjusts its response, etc. you have a system that is
conscious. The consciousness is a necessary side-effect of such a

Now, you don't like this idea but what's wrong with it apart from
that? It's a minimal explanation and it's consistent with all the

Stathis Papaioannou

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