# Re: How can a grown man be an atheist ?

```On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 11:06 PM, Stephen Paul King <
stephe...@provensecure.com> wrote:```
```
> Dear LirZ,
>
>
> On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 11:52 PM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On 17 December 2013 16:22, Stephen Paul King
>> <stephe...@provensecure.com>wrote:
>>
>>> Dear LizR,
>>>
>>>   That is exactly the point that I wanted to make: 'There couldn't be
>>> an observer in such a universe, it's far too simple." There could not be
>>> one wherefore "he could deduce the existence of 17 theoretically, and
>>> work out its properties" is impossible: probability zero.
>>>
>>
>> I can't see the significance of this argument. If we take a large enough
>> number, say 10^80, that observers *can *exist, we can then ask whether
>> such observers could work out the properties of numbers greater than 10^80.
>> Since we appear to be in such a universe, the answer is yes.
>>
>
> Are we really "working it out" or are we merely doing some approximation
> that is cut off far below the 10^80 limit? So, no!
>
>
It is fully possible to represent a number 10^80 on a computer.  It would
take only a few 10s of bytes of memory.  This e-mail itself takes more
space up than 10^80; there are far more than 10^80 ways to write an e-mail.

>
>
>
>> And we can also work out the properties of a universe containing 16
>> objects.
>>
>
> You just pointed out that there cannot be observers in the 16 object
> universe, so why are you arguing as if they could exist in such? This is a
> typical mistake that we make: assuming that there can exist an observer of
> a universe that does not allow the existence of such an observer in that
> particular universe. To do such is a fallacy!
>

Like the tree falling in the woods, Stephen believes a number can only be
prime if it is written down on a piece of paper and gazed upon by a
mathematician. To me, this seems more fallacious than the idea that a
number is prime or not depending on whether or not someone is looking at it.

>
>
>
>> So it appears that observers in a universe which allows observers to
>> exist can work out the properties of universes containing any number of
>> objects. (Or, for short, they can do maths,)
>>
>
> Wrong, there is no actual "working it all the way out". There is, OTOH,
> lots of shortcuts and cheating by assuming that some thing is true without
> actually working the proof by demonstration.
>

As of today, the largest known prime is over 17 million decimal digits
long.  This number, by the way, is far larger than the number of Planck
volumes that could fit in the Hubble volume, but we have still discerned
its properties.  You doubt its properties are really true because there
aren't this many things to count in our universe?  Is 17 not prime because
slugs cannot comprehend the concept?

>
>>>   We could never experience such and thus it follows that, to us, such a
>>> universe does not exist. Now, to follow the chain of reasoning, consider
>>> the collection of universes that are such that 17 is not prime is true in
>>> that collection. Could "we" experience anything like those universes?
>>>
>>
There may be many universes in which certain things cannot be proved, but
we shouldn't take that to mean those those things are not true.

Jason

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