On 25 Feb 2013, at 20:59, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Monday, February 25, 2013 1:26:49 PM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 25 Feb 2013, at 01:30, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Sunday, February 24, 2013 3:07:12 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 22 Feb 2013, at 17:45, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:11:36 PM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 21 Feb 2013, at 15:06, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Thursday, February 21, 2013 5:58:20 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 20 Feb 2013, at 21:15, meekerdb wrote:

On 2/20/2013 8:02 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Hi John,

On 19 Feb 2013, at 23:28, John Mikes wrote:

Craig, it seems we engaged in a fruitful discussion- thank you.

I want to reflect to a few concepts only from it to clarify MY stance. First my use of a 'model'. There are different models, from the sexy young females over the math-etc. descriptions of theoretical concepts (some not so sexy). - What I (after Robert Rosen?) use by this word is an extract of something, we may not know in toto. Close to an 'Occamized' version, but "cut" mostly by ignorance of the 'rest of it', not for added clarity. Applied to whatever we know TODAY about the world. Or: we THINK WE KNOW.

A scientist know nothing. Just nothing, not even his own consciousness.

In science we have only beliefs,

But then, according to you, if they happen to be true they are knowledge.

Yes, but "we" can't know that.

Can "we" know that we can't know that?

Yes. That something that the machine can prove and know.

How can we know what a machine can prove or know if our own knowledge is only belief?

Because some time our beliefs are true.

What does 'true' mean if we can only believe?

We can't define that, but we have a lot of example.

Suppose we meet and that I give you a slap. Then "Bruno gave a slap to Craig" would be true. It would not be true, if we meet, or not, and don't give you a slap.

How do you know that we met or didn't meet? Maybe it was just a dream?

Then it is true, or false, with respect to the dream. I was only illustrating a concept, known to de not definable, although approximable.

When we believe something, it means that we believe that it is true, even when keeping in mind that it is a belief, and that we might be wrong, that is not true.

Not necessarily. There may be no objective truth quality.


We may be creating belief synthetically by our expectation.

That is called wishful thinking.

If your criteria is wishful thinking, that might explain your question begging type of 'argument'.

If you ask someone whether they believe that eating meat is immoral, they may not have had an opinion one way or another about it before you asked. There may not be an expectation that their spontaneously projected 'belief' reflects something that is 'true', but just an expression of what makes sense to them - what feels best in their mind or seems appropriate for their idea of their own character.

I think it is better to try to see on what we agree, and build from that. Statements like "eating meat is immoral" are very complex high level statements not well suited for reasoning.

p is true means that it is the case that p, in the domain where p is supposed to be applied. If you believe that Obama is the president of the USA, it means that you believe that in our local geographico- historical situation,

I don't think that one necessarily implies the other. A machine could easily associate the string "Obama" with "president of the USA" without having any knowledge of what that might mean. In a dream, you could believe that the USA is actually the Underground Satanic Association.

in which case choose another example. "Obama" was not the main point here, neither the USA.

it is a true fact, even if you can have a doubt, because you might find conceivable to wake up, perhaps younger, and that Ronald Reagan is the president of the US. A black pothead being a president of America... that sound like a dream, after all.

But if you sleep too long, he won't be president anymore. Maybe you will wake up in 100 years when the historical revisionist party is in power and has everyone believing that the Obama presidency was a hoax...some kind of early information-media terrorism by the Chinese.

Here you betray that you have a notion of truth. If not you would not refer to something like revisionism.

We can't know that, but we can still have sharable beliefs. By a sort of informal habits, in most informal talk, we use very often the term "know" for the beliefs based on quite common sharable assumption, like "O has a successor", or the laws of addition and multiplication. But when thinking rigorously *about* such kind of beliefs, we have to use the term belief. It is simple: except for the consciousness here and now, we have only beliefs.

I don't think it has to be that simple. You are only taking your own word for that limitation on your sense. We could have all kinds of intuitive influences beneath the threshold of our conscious awareness which are in fact true beyond mere belief.

True is not opposed to belief. Sometimes some beliefs can be true. But once a belief concerns a reality different from consciousness- here-and-now, I don't see how we can be sure that any statement is true, independently of their plausibility. We can be failed on all dreamable content, except one (actual consciousness).

You don't see how we can be sure, but that doesn't mean that we can't have a sense for what is true.

That's my point. I knew we agree.

Insisting on only demonstrable certainty may itself dull your intuitive sensitivities. Some epiphanies may in fact be too fragile to be hammered into a Boolean ice cube tray. In my experience, it is not uncommon at all to know more than we think we know, and it is not uncommon to find that we know less also. If we are looking at what consciousness really is about, I don't think that we can bias only one or the other epistemological expectations.


Rather than assuming that belief is a logical stick model built up from nothing,

It is not build up for nothing. It is an arithmetical relation between a number, and some universal numbers.

But the relation is isolated within it's description. It has no roots which extend beyond it's given definition within arithmetic.

The relation is isolated, like a brain in a vat, for Bp. (belief)
But it is no more related when Bp is conjuncted to truth, like a brain in a vat which supports a person believing in galaxies, when the vat belongs in a reality owning galaxies.

I think it makes more sense to see it as a local fog which interferes with out larger grounding in the sense of eternity and totality.

Knowledge does that. By linking belief with truth.

Our only contact with knowledge, belief, or truth is participatory sense experience. If we ingest a chemical, our knowledge, beliefs, and perhaps truths can change without benefit of logical justification in our mind.

OK. This is rather normal in the comp setting.

We say: "Jim believed that Brussels was the capital of the USA, but now, he know better". We don't say "Jim knew that Brussels was the capital of the USA, but now, he believed better".

That doesn't mean that the second statement isn't more accurate.

? This does not make sense, even in case Brussels is the capital of the USA.

When we communicate with others, we share a number of perceptual inertial frames - ensembles of expectation on every level, from the physical-biological to the psychological-cultural. It is natural to treat the boundaries of these frames as if they were absolute, even though from an absolute perspective, they are only local.

I'm not arguing for truth relativism though. Just the opposite. I say that there would be truth relativism if truth was arithmetic abstraction, forms or functions - but it isn't. Truth is concrete sensory physical experience which permeates from universal to local frames and local to universal frames.

You might confuse objective truth, which we can doubt and search, and subjective truth, which are based on a non doubtable part (consciousness).

We can't bootstrap belief from inert conditions - sense and participation are implicit and inherent in any discussion of belief, whether we acknowledge it or not.

I study the case of machines believing in some limited number of sentences in computer science, with some rules of reasoning, and study what they can believe, known, observe, feel, etc. With precise definition of each terms. It is testable, as comp predicts they will believe in some precise physics that we can compare with nature, and so we can refute comp+classical-epistemology. As it is a very weak theory (comp is weak, and classical epistemology too), its refutation would make us learning a lot. If it is not refuted, then we have a much simpler theory of everything, ---simpler than the actual one, which is QM (+general relativity). And the new theory explains the difference between qualia and quanta, and this is a point where QM fails to address explicitly the question, although with Everett it leans toward the comp theory.

Whether it's driven by comp or QM or GR, or classical-epistemology, if it doesn't begin with a recognition of sensory-motor participation, then it is a theory of an alien universe as far as I can see.

Comp recognize consciousness, free will, sense, participation, but the goal consists in explaining it from the working of some machine. You beg the issue by asserting that this is not possible by referring to your sense, but this begs the question.



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