On Sunday, October 14, 2012 12:46:38 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> 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?

No, you are saying that a program made the universe, so I am asking what 
made the program?

> 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. 

I'm familiar with the Anthropic principle, but what program does it run on 
and where did the language that that program was written in come from?

> >> > 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. 

No, you won't. The limitations of our own intellectual capacity to keep 
track of complex quantities is no excuse to turn water into wine. 
Complexity in itself is meaningless without something to make sense of that 
complexity, to sum it up, in some qualitative presentation which is 
completely orthogonal to quantity.

> >> 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. 

The difference is that a zombie is charged with an expectation of life 
which is absent. We have no such expectation of life in a puppet, so we 
correctly identify it as a fictional presentation in our minds of a natural 
object rather than a supernatural being who lacks personal presence.

> >> 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.

Not if you can only see the two closest spheres. Not if the spheres are 
black in a dark room. Not if the spheres are made of smoke. Etc. Formation 
is not an independent property. It is contingent upon interpretative 
senses. If I place three spheres together, what do they sound like? 
Limiting our consideration of the universe to geometric forms and algebraic 
functions is useful precisely because it is the most meaningless way to 
approach the universe. It is the absolute most aloof and detached 
perspective from which we can imagine ourselves a dimensionless voyeur. 
It's a conceit which is incredibly useful but ultimately the very worst 
possible approach to understanding subjectivity, and one of the worst 
approaches to understanding the cosmos as a whole (even though it is one of 
the best in a different sense, as the meaningless truths are by definition 
the most universal, since meaning is about private experiences of 

> The triangle is a necessary side-effect of putting 
> the spheres together in that way. 

Only if you are a thing who can see triangles and the spheres are made of 
the kind of thing which we can see in a consistent and unambiguously clear 

> When you create a system that perceives, responds, perceives its own 
> response, adjusts its response, etc. you have a system that is 
> conscious.

This is begging the question. The only way that we know how to do this is 
to reproduce biologically. Otherwise you are saying that if I have a 
cartoon of Bugs Bunny which children see as a system where Bugs Bunny 
perceives, responds, perceives his own response, adjusts its response, etc, 
then Bugs Bunny is conscious.

> The consciousness is a necessary side-effect of such a 
> system. 

Why should it be? How could it happen? Just a disembodied metaphysical 
magic that appears whenever a system which we have designed to seem to act 
in a way that reminds us of ourselves?  

> 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 
> facts. 

I like the idea fine, it's just that I understand why it doesn't work. I 
see the gaping hole in it, because it is the same hole that I came though 


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit 
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to