Hi Bruno Marchal
There are no reasons to believe in God
any more than there were reasons,
as an infant, to trust your mother.
----- Receiving the following content -----
From: Bruno Marchal
Time: 2013-02-01, 10:12:53
Subject: Re: HOW YOU CAN BECOME A LIBERAL THEOLOGIAN IN JUST 4 STEPS.
On 31 Jan 2013, at 19:42, John Clark wrote:
On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> i don't believe in the GOD in which you don't believe in.
Then what are we arguing about? Are we arguing about science or mathematics or
philosophy, or are we just arguing about first grade vocabulary?
Good question. You are the one criticizing the use of some word, despite, like
we do in science, the key words are redefine each time we use them.
> but I disagree with your insistence to define God by the Abramanic one,
I don't understand how you can disagree with the definition of a word,
especially if it's the same definition used by 99% of the people on the planet
who wish to communicate.
Today, in Occident, perhaps. the term "God" as a lasting use in philosophy; as
others have point out. In comp, it is the difference between G and G* which
relates the Platonist "god" , truth, with arithmetic. It is tha fact, many
thanks to Tarski theorem, that the concept of arithmetical truth share the main
attribute of God: like non nameability, ineffability, roots of everything,
everywhere and everytime presence/relevance, and even more with the God of the
neoplatonists (simplicity, origin or the No?, origin of the souls, origin of
the illusion of matter, and why it obeys a "spurious calculus" (Plotinus). The
similarities are striking, and Plotis get quite close to comp with its chapter
on "the Numbers".
> God, in philosophy or science, denotes the ultimate explanation
You believe that your pee pee argument proves that numbers are the ultimate
explanation of everything, it doesn't prove that
It does not prove that for someone confusing "and" and "or" or first person and
third person. You should find a flaw to assess what you say here, but you just
stop doing the experience. To verify the statistics, you have to put yourself
at the place of each copies, but for unknown reason you fail to do that simple
but even if it did that would not be "God" as the word is commonly used.
And here you come back with your vocabulary problem. You don't believe in the
fairy tale version of christian God, and for some mysterious reason you want
throw out all notion of gods like if it was the only one. This is like throwing
genetics because some people are wrong on it. It is not rational.
I tend to interpret this by the fact that you want the whole field of theology
being spurious, but it seems clear you have never read neoplatonists, or just
Plato and Aristotle on Gods and God.
Numbers are not a being much less the supreme being, numbers did not will the
universe into existence and numbers do not change human destiny or the way the
universe operates on a whim influenced buy prayer.
... and you don't red me. the God notion raised by comp is NOT a number.
Arithmetical truth is NOT definable in arithmetic. I have insist on this all
along. You betray that you did not read the post, and that your critics is
based on prejudices, like your critics on theology in general.
Numbers are not the source of all moral authority, and nobody thinks that
numbers are deserving of worship, and nobody prays to the integers.
Indeed. Comp makes this into a blasphemy. God, in mechanism, is not a number,
at all. Nor is matter, nor is consciousness.
You could of course personally redefine the word so that "God" and numbers are
I could not. I have explained this in detail.
and in the extraordinarily unlikely possibility that you manage to convinced
others to adopt this new linguistic convention you would have succeeded in
explaining absolutely nothing about how the world works, you'd have just
changed English, one of about 7000 human languages used on this planet.
And then you'd need to invent a new word for the old meaning of the word "God"
and then people like me would say "of course I believe in God but I don't
believe in Fluberblast" and then over time people would develop a emotional
attachment to the word "Fluberblast" and insist on redefining the word and give
it such a amorphous all encompassing sloppy meaning that everybody would have
to say " I believe in Fluberblast".
Vocabulary discussion. Just to define your God, which is actually a christian
simplification of Aristotle's third God: primary matter.
At ll level, you seems to defend the Aristotelian theology/theory of
everything. Like many atheists you want us to believe that this is the only
rational option. But comp explains in detail why this can't work, and to avoid
this, you have to do confuse 1p and 3p at some point, and we have shown you
>> I know exactly what it is that I don't believe in,
> It looks like Santa Klaus to me.
God looks like Santa Klaus to me too, and that is exactly why theology has no
more substance to it than Santaklausology.
This is so ridiculous.
> You know that both of us does not find such existence plasuible, or even
> capable of explaining anything.
Then what are we arguing about?
On the fact that machines can distinguish between many different notion of
truth: that they feel, or intuits, or observe, or prove, or get through special
Shouldn't we be arguing about concepts not how best to redefine words so that
it is possible to say "I believe in God" without being a complete fool?
With computer science we can distinguih between truth about a machine, and
truth accessible by the machine, and this in different ways, and it matches
what mysticals and religious people described, beyond the popular fairy tale
God, if you want, is the ultimate truth which remains when you lost your faith
in the primary physical reality. if you want.
> I use the term God, as it was used with that large and vague meaning for a
> millenium before it becomes a political tool of manipulation.
The common meaning of God a millennium ago was NOT the amorphous philosophical
blob you're talking about,
Arithmetical truth is not an amorphous blob. The God discussed by the greeks
was close to it. It comes from Pythagoras, and the neoplatonists makes are
responsible for a revival of the Pythagorean thread. The numbers have always
play a role in theology. for the greeks, mathematics was the best inspiration
it meant the same thing it meant 5 millennium before that, a being who's
existence was as concrete as that of your wife or children.
Then we should not use the word "earth" to describe a our spheric planet, which
has been thought to be falt by a majority for a long time. The meaning of words
evolve. It is pretty ridiculous to throw out a concept because of a word.
God meant a being in which it was a good idea to sacrifice virgins to. To my
knowledge nobody has ever sacrificed virgins to the integers, although I admit
there is a story (probably apocryphal) about Pythagoras killing a man for
leaking the proof that the square root of 2 could not be expressed as a
> But if you don't like that term I will use "ONE" with discussing with you,
Like the word "God" the ASCII sequence "ONE" already has a meaning in the
English language, the first positive integer. If you've discovered a new
concept that nobody has ever found before then you shouldn't use a word that
already has a meaning or you will cause needless confusion, you're going to
have to invent a new word for it, let's call it "Fluberblast".
It is frequent that a word has different meaning. The fact that you reject
"one" which is the quite standard term in neoplatonism shows how much to have
bad faith on such question. Good, I will stick on "God", which is indeed much
more general. keep in mind that with comp, the question is god (arithmetical
truth) can be personal is an open problem in math.
> as you take the vocabulary too much seriously, imo.
Me?! You're the one who has such a strong emotional attachment to one
particular word in the vocabulary "God" that you insist on using it where it
does not belong!
I just propose to use another word, and you criticize it!
Sorry but you are the one who seems to get nervous on the vocabulary. You want
God being only the Christian God, worst, the american creationist version of
the christian god (despite I have never found once christian ever believing in
> I search a TOE. Concentrate on the understanding, not the vocabulary.
No you do not. If you really meant that you wouldn't be torturing the meanings
of words just to make it reasonable to say "I believe in God".
Well, I am not an atheist.
What do you believe in?
> Do you believe in a primary physical universe? Are you physicalist?
Well I'm not sure what you mean but I think that everything which exists is no
more extensive than its physical properties; but that's not very restrictive
because some physical properties, such as gravity, are infinite in extent.
Intelligent behavior is also a physical property and if Darwin was correct then
consciousness MUST be a byproduct of that.
OK. So you are physicalist, but then you have to say "no" to the digitalist
doctor. You believe that the human body is not a machine ... or you will have o
confuse 1p and 3p like indeed most atheists do, to save the notion of primary
matter, or physicalism.
>> a world that was intelligently designed
>We both have agreed that this does not make any sense, at least as an
Then what are we arguing about?
I don't know. You are the one annoy by the use of a term.
>> a world that was intelligently designed would look very different from one
>> that was not, therefore deciding between the 2 hypothesis is a scientific
>> question that can be resolved just like any other.
> Not really with comp.
I don't give a shit about "comp"
I guess that explains many things about your posts. You don't read, you don't
do the reasoning, eventually you believe that you have cut with your religious
education, but you did not. You defend the Aristotle theology, and condemn the
Platonist one, exactly like the most fundamentalist christians.
but I do know that Evolution never figured out how to make a wheel large enough
to see without a microscope, it never made a supersonic bird as heavy as an
elephant, or an animal powered by a nuclear reactor, or even one that could
move its head by 360 degrees. Even the stupidest camera designer would put the
wires that connect to the light sensitive chip below the chip not above it so
they'd interfere with the light, but that's where the blood vessels that
support the retina in the human eye are. The vagus nerve connects the brain to
the larynx, in a giraffe the two organs are less than a foot apart but the
vagus nerve is more than 15 feet long, it runs all the way down the neck and
then double backs and goes back up the neck to the larynx; no human designer
much less a infinitely intelligent one would be that stupid.
No problem with that, except that evolution theory is based on comp, so
eventually you must understand that the physical laws also have an origin and
did evolve (in a non physical reality, the arithmetical one or Turing
> If your were willing to study step 4 [...]
That's not going to happen, there was far far too much pee pee in the first 3
Show them. You did not convince anybody, I think. You are using vulgar
expression like if that was a valid way to avoid an argument. That's hardly
> You elude my simple question. What do you mean by "grand concept"?
A concept that is grand. You really should buy a good dictionary.
You mean "key", "fundamental", I guess.
>> The evidence very strongly indicates that mind is what the brain does if
>> that's what you mean.
> So you do assume the existence of a primitive or primitively material brain?
I don't know because I don't know what a "primitively material brain" is
supposed to be.
It means that the TOE assumes the existence of a conceptually irreducible
notion of matter. We have to assume it at the start. But with comp, matter is
derived from something non physical (but still mathematical).
> Are such brain Turing emulable?
OK. That's comp.
But then you are put in contradiction. The contradiction appears in step 3
indeed: you believe that you are able to 100% predict where you will uniquely
(as you grant) feel to be after a self-duplication, making all your copies
> If yes, how do you predict the first person feeling of a person doing a
> physical measurement?
I can't with certainty predict if someone is going to do a physical measurement
because of quantum randomness and because their brain is too complicated.
The quantum is not relevant. The hypothesis is that the brain is Turing
emulable. Turing emulability is defined in arithmetic, not in quantum physics.
You start from physicalism, and this explains probably your difficulties on
You must be able, at least, to conceive that physicalism can be wrong to
progress on this subject.
> You might study some book on the mind-body problem.
Why would that be a good use of my time? What evidence is there that they know
more about it than I do, or that they know anything at all about it?
You have to read them a little bit before judging them, I think.
Especially that the literature is vast, and is quite variate in amount of
clarity and rigor.
The mind-body problem is about consciousness and it's also called the "hard
problem", if the authors of those books were good enough to have something
worthwhile to say about it they should have already solved the "easy problem"
of intelligence and be trillionaires. But they are not trillionaires because as
I've said before, being a hard problem theorist is far far far easier than
being a easy problem theorist. Don't worry about why things are conscious till
you've figured out why things are smart.
This means that you are not interested in the mind-body problem, but that is
part of the "everything" type of quest, which is the main theme of this list.
> we have not yet solve the problem.
There may not even be a problem to solve, after saying that consciousness is
what data feels like when it is being processed there may not be anything more
that can be said on the subject; what cannot be spoken about must be passed
over in silence.
That's a theorem in comp, but it does not concern the mind body relation, but
God and the theological things. We can assume comp and derive consequences.
You have a religion, and seem to be unaware of this, and unable to question it,
making it into pseudo-religion and pseudo-science. Evolution have programmed us
to believe, or to take very seriously our environment, and this has perhaps
leads us from time to time in the belief of metaphysical naturalism, but
science is, notably, a tool for taking distance with such belief.
We still call our planet Earth, despite we have change it from a plane to a
sphere. Likewise, after Thomas, some Christians (among the theologians) have
stopped to believe that God can be both omniscient and omnipotent. It is
natural that "Earth" and "God", as concept, can evolve.
Well, as long as you believe that you can predict an "and" (M and W) for your
most probable continuations, in the WM-duplication experience, I guess I will
not been able to make you see how physics has to be reduced into number theory,
once we postulate the comp thesis.
I will no more defend the use of the term "God", I will just refer to the
translation of Plotinus view of "everything" in arithmetic as described in my
Plotinus paper (where I use "one" instead of "god" of course).
In science we use all the terms in axiomatic, or semi-axiomatic (in the applied
science), which is the standard tool for avoiding boring vocabulary distinction.
It was a pleasure for me that you confirm, with so much insistence, my feeling
that vindicating atheists defend the same Gods ("god" and "primary matter") as
the Aristotelians. John Mike made a similar argument.
I say this, because some people believe that comp is actually very much
atheistic, given that a computationalist has to reject *all* Aristotelian gods,
not just the demiurge, also the primary matter (see the definition above). But
I prefer to follow the Platonist terminology, because they made clear that
mysticism can fit completely with rationalism, and I think this is helpful to
understand the point that computationalism is a vaccine against the widespread
reductionist conceptions of the human soul. It helps also to understand the
mystical roots of mathematics and science.
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