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

`On 17 December 2013 18:06, 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?
>

No, we really can work out the properties of very large numbers. You don't
have to be able to count up to them one at a time to do it. For example, we
can work out the product of two large numbers without counting up to the
result, which is just as well, since (for example) 12345678 x 87654321
= 1,082,152,022,374,638 which would take about 35 million years to count up
to.

So, no!
>

Or rather, yes.

>
>
>> 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!
>

I didn't argue that we could *exist* in such a universe, I said we could *work
out its properties*. In fact one can work out the properties of a universe
containing zero objects, as Einstein did - it's actually a lot easier than
working out the properties of complicated universes like ours.

None of which has very much bearing on maths, because you don't have to
picture weird universes to do maths. Maths works in any universe regardless
of the presence or absence of observers, in much the same way that it works
on the Moon and inside the Sun.

>
>
>> 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.
>

See above.

>
>>>   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?
>>>
>>
>> I can't see any chain of reasoning.
>>
>
> Does it make more sense now?
>

No.

>
>

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