Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-28 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 07-févr.-07, à 05:55, Brent Meeker a écrit  (some time ago)


 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Sorry, I thought I was replying to what you said. It's possible of
 course to be right about one thing and wrong about another, and people
 do keep different beliefs differently compartmentalized in their head,
 like your brother-in-law. However, this is *inconsistent*, and
 inconsistent is even worse than wrong.

 Stathis Papaioannou

 I'm not sure I agree with that last.  Being consistent means you're 
 either all right or all wrong.  :-)


I don't think so. By Godel II, [Peano Arithmetic + the axiom that Peano 
Arithmetic is inconsistent] is consistent. But is wrong (because PA 
*is* consistent), but not all wrong, because PA + PA is inconsistent 
does correctly prove that 1+1=2.

You can be wrong, and consistent. It is due to the gap between truth 
and provability. Stathis is right, you (and machine lobian) can be 
right on something and wrong on another thing, still remaining 
consistent.

Bruno




http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-25 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 This study recent published in Nature suggests not only a neural basis 
 for morality, but a specific neural basis for a specific kind of morality:

I'd say an irrational morality.  I almost always make the utilitarian choice in 
those hypothetical moral dilemmas (must be damage from one of my motorcycle 
crashes :-)).  

I wonder if they surveyed any Inuits, who traditionally killed female infants 
in a family until a son had been born.

Brent Meeker

 
 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature05631.html
 
 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/science/22brain.html?_r=1ref=scienceoref=slogin
  
 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/science/22brain.html?_r=1ref=scienceoref=slogin
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-23 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
This study recent published in Nature suggests not only a neural basis for
morality, but a specific neural basis for a specific kind of morality:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature05631.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/science/22brain.html?_r=1ref=scienceoref=slogin

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-20 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 15-mars-07, à 01:38, David Nyman a écrit :

 On Mar 14, 10:18 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Perhaps using the term existence for mathematical objects is 
 misleading.
 It doesn't mean they exist as separate objects in the real world,  
 just that
 they exist as concepts. This is mathematical Platonism.

 Yes, I understand.  I guess I'm saying that nevertheless I can
 conceive of a radical negation in which even Platonic objects have no
 existence, conceptual or otherwise. Consequently AFAICS arguments for
 Platonic 'necessity' are in fact derived wholly from contingent states
 of affairs.


True. But the fact that the human conception of platonic necessity is 
derived from contingent facts does not necessarily change the necessity 
character of platonic truth.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-20 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 15-mars-07, à 17:15, David Nyman a écrit :

 Yes, in that it makes sense to argue (from a 'contingentist'
 perspective) that the justification for 'primeness' (or indeed any
 other concept) derives ultimately from persistent aspects of
 contingent states of affairs (in this case a degree of persistence we
 abstract as 'necessity').  So from this perspective 17 is
 'necessarily' prime, but this very 'necessity' is limited to the
 contingent framework that supports the conceptual one. In this view,
 positing 'platonic primeness' does no further work. This is not to
 take issue with Bruno's alternative numerical basis for contingency,
 but rather to see it as just that - an alternative, not a knock-down
 argument.


Please, don't take what I will say here as an authoritative argument. 
Giving the extreme newness, you have to understand this by yourself, 
and the UDA is really a construction which aimed at that. But my point 
is that once we assume the comp hyp in the cognitive science, then, the 
reversal between matter and mind is not an alternative, it is a 
necessity.
You can still believe in primary matter if you want to, but you just 
cannot use it to individuate neither mind/person, nor matter.
Of course, arithmetical truth as seen from inside is full of relative 
contingies, generally treated by a modal diamond (having an 
arithmetical interpretation).
For the UDA you need only a passive knowledge of Church thesis. For the 
lob interview you need more background in mathematical logic and in 
theoretical computer science.
And to believe it, I guess you have to know about the quantum, which is 
currently still more weird than anything I extract from comp (but that 
converges as it should).

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-20 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 15-mars-07, à 19:38, Brent Meeker a écrit :


 Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Le 13-mars-07, à 05:03, Brent Meeker a écrit :

 But there is no reason to believe there is any root cause that is
 deeper than variation with natural selection.  You have not presented
 any argument for the existence of this ultimate or root.  You
 merely refer to closed science as though that proved something - 
 but
 it begs the question.  You have to show there is something outside
 science in order to know that it is closed; not just that there is
 something science has not explained, there's lots of that, but
 something that science cannot, in-principle explain.


 Assuming comp, we can know that science will never been able to 
 explain
 where natural numbers come from. That's an insoluble mystery.
 It makes science open. Forever.

 I think that depends on what you count as explanation.  There are 
 certainly possible evolutionary explanations for why humans invented 
 counting of say sheep instead of looking at each sheep as a unique 
 thing.


OK, but we have to distinguish
A) the existence of numbers, and
B) the discovery of numbers by humans.
I can understand how human discovered numbers  by mixture of 
introspection and observation of a physical reality (and struggle of 
life ...).
But to understand the physical reality I need the numbers at the start.



 But then comp *can* explain (but does not yet provide more than an
 embryo of explanation, yet already confirmed) where waves and 
 particles
 come from, and also, unlike physics, why waves and particles can hurt
 (cf G/G*).

 But can comp explain why there is einselection of large objects and 
 the world is approximately classical.

Normally classical comp implies quantum observation, and quantum theory 
can explain the emergence of the classical mind (in the Everett, 
Hartle, Deutsch way).

Comp makes qubit emerging from glueing dreams by  bits. But our local 
bits emerge most probably from our local qubits.
Bit---Qubit is a two way road, if comp is correct (and if my reasoning 
is valid, 'course).


Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-17 Thread John M
Brent:
...No parent expects to receive anything but satisfaction from raising their 
children - as perfectly well explained by Darwin.  And how dare you assert that 
money I sent to Katrina victims was simply calculated to get something back.  
There are many possible Darwinian explanations for feelings of altruism; but 
apparently you haven't bothered to find them...

What is this? a mental blockage?
How could you forget (disregard) your 1st sentence in the 2nd? Are you a 
formalistical materialist to expect ONLY monetary rewards for money (or 
anything else) spent? S a t i s f a c t i o n  is not a reward? Feeling good 
about something? Besides such feelings - indeed - might have developed from 
'real' return: raising young means having a community-protection when getting 
old (as the most primitive idea). As complexity grew such ideas get also more 
complex. Luv is a composition. Not a primitive

John M


  - Original Message - 
  From: Brent Meeker 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:03 AM
  Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life



  Tom Caylor wrote:
   On Mar 6, 5:19 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   Tom Caylor wrote:
   A source that has given us the crusades and 9/11 as well as the
   sister's of mercy.  No a very sufficient source if nobody can
   agree on what it provides.
   I don't like simply saying That isn't so, but nobody can agree
   on what it provides, referring to the source of ultimate
   meaning,
   I was referring to the sufficient source of *morality*.  Such a
   source should be able to provide an unambiguous standard that is so
   clear everyone agrees - if it existed.
   
   is not true.  In fact it's very remarkable the consistency,
   across all kinds of cultures, the basic beliefs of truly
   normative morality, evidence for their being a source which
   cannot be explained through closed science alone.
   Why not?  Why isn't Darwin's or Scott Atran's or Richard Dawkin's a
   *possible* explanation. And how is God did it an explanation of
   anything?  It's just a form of words so ambiguous as to be
   virtually empty.  God meant different things to the crusaders and
   the 9/11 jihadists, to the Aztecs and the Conquistadores, to the
   Nazi's and the Jews.  So just because they use the same word
   doesn't mean they are referring to the same thing.
   
   
   We've talked about this before.  Darwin cannot explain giving without
expecting to receive.

  Where do you get this nonsense??  Do you just make it up as you need it?  No 
parent expects to receive anything but satisfaction from raising their children 
- as perfectly well explained by Darwin.  And how dare you assert that money I 
sent to Katrina victims was simply calculated to get something back.  There are 
many possible Darwinian explanations for feelings of altruism; but apparently 
you haven't bothered to find them.
  ...skipped the rest...
  Brent Meeker


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 13-mars-07, à 05:03, Brent Meeker a écrit :

 But there is no reason to believe there is any root cause that is 
 deeper than variation with natural selection.  You have not presented 
 any argument for the existence of this ultimate or root.  You 
 merely refer to closed science as though that proved something - but 
 it begs the question.  You have to show there is something outside 
 science in order to know that it is closed; not just that there is 
 something science has not explained, there's lots of that, but 
 something that science cannot, in-principle explain.


Assuming comp, we can know that science will never been able to explain 
where natural numbers come from. That's an insoluble mystery.
It makes science open. Forever.

But then comp *can* explain (but does not yet provide more than an 
embryo of explanation, yet already confirmed) where waves and particles 
come from, and also, unlike physics, why waves and particles can hurt 
(cf G/G*).

Bruno





http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 14-mars-07, à 07:48, Kim Jones a écrit :


 Lurking, lurking...


 This thread started I believe with Tom's 3 magnificent questions,
 aeons ago on my birthday last year.

 Thankee, Tom

 A little refresher now:


 On 31/12/2006, at 8:25 AM, Tom Caylor wrote:

 Besides the question of how meaning relates to this List, the question
 of meaning itself can be asked at several different levels, so I'll
 list a few:

 1) Why does the universe exist?  Why is there something rather than
 nothing?
 2) Why do human beings in general exist?
 3) Why do I exist?


1) We don't know. But assuming the consistency of elementary 
arithmetic, we can explain why machines will develop exactly such 
questions. Assuming moreover comp, we can know why *we* are such 
questions, and why we believe in universes.

2) because all lobian (not necessarily consistent) machine exists.

3) this is equivalent with: why am I in Washington after a self 
Washington/Moscow duplication. Or, why do I observed a spin up, after a 
preparation in the complementary base. Here again, with just elementary 
arithmetic we can explain where such question come from, and with comp, 
we can explain why we ask and why we will never get an answer. Even a 
God cannot explain that!

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 3/15/07, David Nyman [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

On Mar 14, 10:18 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  Perhaps using the term existence for mathematical objects is
 misleading.
  It doesn't mean they exist as separate objects in the real world,  just
 that
  they exist as concepts. This is mathematical Platonism.

 Yes, I understand.  I guess I'm saying that nevertheless I can
 conceive of a radical negation in which even Platonic objects have no
 existence, conceptual or otherwise. Consequently AFAICS arguments for
 Platonic 'necessity' are in fact derived wholly from contingent states
 of affairs.


It's something Bruno, in particular, has discussed at length. Is it possible
that 17 is only contingently prime?

Stathis Papaiaonnou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 14-mars-07, à 08:15, Kim Jones a écrit :

 I believe that the 'ability to conceive of nothing' -  in a Loebian
 machine context might be forbidden under comp (I could be wrong)


The problem with words like nothing and everything is that they 
have as many meaning than there are theories or philosophical frame.

As example, you cannot represent the quantum vacuum by the empty set. 
Those are completely different and opposite notion of nothingness.
The empty set can be simulated by a simple non universal machine. The 
quantum void is already turing universal.

I am not sure that a notion of nothingness can have some absolute 
meaning. It is rich and interesting, but hardly basic and primitive.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 14-mars-07, à 20:51, John Mikes a écrit :

  I am not in favor of human omniscience.


The more a machine knows, the more she is able to see the bigness of 
its ignorance.

Knowledge for lobian machine is really like a lantern in an infinite 
room. The more powerful is the lantern, the more bigger the room seems 
to be.

So I certainly agree with you. Meaning: perhaps we are both wrong!

Bon week-end,

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread David Nyman



On Mar 15, 2:45 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 It's something Bruno, in particular, has discussed at length. Is it possible
 that 17 is only contingently prime?

Yes, in that it makes sense to argue (from a 'contingentist'
perspective) that the justification for 'primeness' (or indeed any
other concept) derives ultimately from persistent aspects of
contingent states of affairs (in this case a degree of persistence we
abstract as 'necessity').  So from this perspective 17 is
'necessarily' prime, but this very 'necessity' is limited to the
contingent framework that supports the conceptual one. In this view,
positing 'platonic primeness' does no further work. This is not to
take issue with Bruno's alternative numerical basis for contingency,
but rather to see it as just that - an alternative, not a knock-down
argument.

David


 On 3/15/07, David Nyman [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 On Mar 14, 10:18 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:



   Perhaps using the term existence for mathematical objects is
  misleading.
   It doesn't mean they exist as separate objects in the real world,  just
  that
   they exist as concepts. This is mathematical Platonism.

  Yes, I understand.  I guess I'm saying that nevertheless I can
  conceive of a radical negation in which even Platonic objects have no
  existence, conceptual or otherwise. Consequently AFAICS arguments for
  Platonic 'necessity' are in fact derived wholly from contingent states
  of affairs.

 It's something Bruno, in particular, has discussed at length. Is it possible
 that 17 is only contingently prime?

 Stathis Papaiaonnou


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread Brent Meeker

Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 13-mars-07, à 05:03, Brent Meeker a écrit :
 
 But there is no reason to believe there is any root cause that is 
 deeper than variation with natural selection.  You have not presented 
 any argument for the existence of this ultimate or root.  You 
 merely refer to closed science as though that proved something - but 
 it begs the question.  You have to show there is something outside 
 science in order to know that it is closed; not just that there is 
 something science has not explained, there's lots of that, but 
 something that science cannot, in-principle explain.
 
 
 Assuming comp, we can know that science will never been able to explain 
 where natural numbers come from. That's an insoluble mystery.
 It makes science open. Forever.

I think that depends on what you count as explanation.  There are certainly 
possible evolutionary explanations for why humans invented counting of say 
sheep instead of looking at each sheep as a unique thing.

 
 But then comp *can* explain (but does not yet provide more than an 
 embryo of explanation, yet already confirmed) where waves and particles 
 come from, and also, unlike physics, why waves and particles can hurt 
 (cf G/G*).

But can comp explain why there is einselection of large objects and the world 
is approximately classical.

Brent Meeker

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread John M
Thanks for a clear mind, Bruno. But isn't it obvious? We can know about what 
we don't know ONLY if we do know 'about it'. Copernicus did not know that he 
does not know radioactivity. Aristotle did not denigrate the linearity of QM 
because he did not know these items. 

My 'firm' knowledge of my ignorance stems from earlier memory: I know 
(remember) not having learnt many things I would have needed later on (by 
laziness or lack of interest). Nowadays I find myself exposed to other items of 
my ignorance and feel lazy to start studying things I did not study at 21. 
Don't even have the time (?) and tutor (school) - plus: I have a suspicious 
(violent?) mind and start arguing instead of learning.  
So I stay stupid (but happily so). 

Have a good weekend you too

Machine John

PS For some (taste?) reasons I like 'organisation'  - or 'organism' - better 
than 'machine', which carries a  notion of a composition (contraption): 
structural and designed ingredients assembled for some purpose. Loebian 
machine is different, (I hesitate to call it 'unlimited' or 
the questionable 'infinite') but the word is not. - J.
  - Original Message - 
  From: Bruno Marchal 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:00 AM
  Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
  Le 14-mars-07, à 20:51, John Mikes a écrit :

   I am not in favor of human omniscience.

  The more a machine knows, the more she is able to see the bigness of 
  its ignorance.

  Knowledge for lobian machine is really like a lantern in an infinite 
  room. The more powerful is the lantern, the more bigger the room seems 
  to be.

  So I certainly agree with you. Meaning: perhaps we are both wrong!

  Bon week-end,

  Bruno


  http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread John M

  - Original Message - 
  From: Bruno Marchal 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:34 AM
  Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
  (Brent's question skipped)...
  BM:
  Assuming comp, we can know that science will never been able to explain 
  where natural numbers come from. That's an insoluble mystery.
  It makes science open. Forever.

  But then comp *can* explain (but does not yet provide more than an 
  embryo of explanation, yet already confirmed) where waves and particles 
  come from, and also, unlike physics, why waves and particles can hurt 
  (cf G/G*).
  Bruno
  A question in the 1st par: (Not   the assuming or not part): it is the 
nature of that particular type 'science' prohibiting to disclose the origin of 
ANY numbers. 
  *
  As evolutionary complexity (and I emphasize this 'comp') goes, the hominid 
compared things, fingers, etc. and found 2 (two) hands/feet. Paralle to its 
mental development it realized 5 fingers on each. Compared to children in the 
cave and as the veins in his neck widened (through increasing holes in the 
skull etc.) for more blood into the developing neuronal brain, named the 
'count', added both hands if there were many kids and so on. I skip the 
ramifications, counting was developed with 'numbers named' and it is only a 
quanti developmental difference to arrive at a Hilbert space, or CQD. The 
growing neural complexity allowed the coordination of hand-muscles to make the 
hand-ax a projectile, something chimps have not yet achieved. It went in 
quantitative (no qualitative emergence and no random invention) steps to the 
spacerocket application.
  Then, gradually, the human mind became capable of more complexity - to 
explain natural observation at the level of the time in a quantised 
(physicalistic) fashion.
  *
  In another science-view, if we look at the processes as in a reductionist 
model separation, the numbers may appear as God, creating the universe. 
Unexplainably.
  It is another viewpoint of another form of 'science'.  
  The above is not my obsession, I see it as free thinking.
  *
  Bruno, I looked at your 'knots' (my head still spins from them) and agree to 
their topological - math view, no need of a material input. Which one was 
Alexander's? 
  Best wishes

  John M


  http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


  


  -- 
  No virus found in this incoming message.
  Checked by AVG Free Edition.
  Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.11/723 - Release Date: 3/15/2007 
11:27 AM


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-15 Thread John M
Thank you, Russell

John
  - Original Message - 
  From: Russell Standish 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 6:56 PM
  Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life



  I think high energy physicists talk about colour charge, rather than
  colour pole, but this is by analogy to electricity with its +ve 
  -ve charges, rather than analogy to magnetism with its north and south
  poles. However at the level of analogy, which is what your story is,
  this distinction is unimportant.

  In the real world, objects tend to be electrically neutral (even when
  charged, objects have only a slight imbalance between positive and
  negative charges). This is a not quite analogy to the need for magnets
  to always have two poles. Incidently, physicists also talk about
  monopoles, but aside from one isolated experiment, monopoles have
  never been seen.

  With the strong force, the colours can never be imbalanced on everyday
  objects. Only quarks have colour. Bigger objects from protons up are
  said to be white or colourless. The reason for this is
  confinement, but I'll let you look that up on Wikipedia if you're
  interested.

  Cheers

  On Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 04:04:59PM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
   Russell,
   
I apologize for my flippant quip of yesterday, it was after several hours
   of reading and replying internet discussion lists. Besides: it was true.G
   
   I never considered the features named as distinguishing 'colors'  in QCD as
   poles. Also it is new to me that the strong force has 3 poles. In my usage
   a 'pole' represents ONE charge of the TWO we know of - the positive and the
   negative.
   Well, it seems those non-physicists are simpleminded brutes. It felt so good
   to 'invent' something (for fun) beyond our grasp.
What nature would that 3rd pole present in the strong force? (I ask this
   question, because I did not read about the 3-pole distinction of it).
   
   Cheers
   
   John M
   
   On 3/12/07, Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   
   
On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 11:58:58AM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
 In the sci-fi I wrote in 1988-89 I depicted the 'story' of human
evolving as
 done
 by an experiment of aliens from another universe, to which I assigned
 energy
 with 3 (three) poles. One +, one -, and a THIRD one. (Maybe your math
could
 formulate this, but I could not. I accepted it as something beyond our
human
 mind.
   
The strong force has 3 poles. To think about them in a human
fashion, we name them red, green and blue, and the theory
describing the strong force is called quantum chromodynamics. It
doesn't seem beyond the human mind at all.
   
I dare say if we had a reason to have a theory with four poles,
someone will come up with a way of thinking about these too.
   
Prof Russell Standish
   
   


  -- 

  
  A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
  Mathematics 
  UNSW SYDNEY 2052  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au
  

  


  -- 
  No virus found in this incoming message.
  Checked by AVG Free Edition.
  Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.11/723 - Release Date: 3/15/2007 
11:27 AM

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-14 Thread David Nyman

On Mar 14, 9:44 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 3/14/07, Kim Jones [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 It is
 conceivable that the physical world might not exist, or God not exist, or
 God exist but not make the physical world, but it is not conceivable that
 circles or integers or the UD not exist as mathematical objects.


In what sense 'not conceivable'?  I don't find it hard to conceive of
mathematical objects not existing, given that nothing else does
either. 'Nothing else' here simply but radically entails that whatever
you say you can 'conceive', my response is 'not that either'. This
'nothing' precisely is the nothing from which *nothing* can come. Our
own existence contingently rules it out, which is what makes it so
hard to think about.  Such a 'possibility', being in fact necessary in
'all possible worlds', paradoxically abolishes the conceiver at the
moment of conception.

David


 A little refresher now:



  On 31/12/2006, at 8:25 AM, Tom Caylor wrote:

   Besides the question of how meaning relates to this List, the question
   of meaning itself can be asked at several different levels, so I'll
   list a few:

   1) Why does the universe exist?  Why is there something rather than
   nothing?
   2) Why do human beings in general exist?
   3) Why do I exist?

  I think we need more on question 1

 Thanks for reminding us of the original questions, it's easy to get lost in
 a thread this long. For me, one of the more compelling reasons for
 entertaining some version of the idea that mathematical existence is all
 there is to apparent physical reality is that it answers this question:
 physical reality, including God (if he exists, and contra the ontological
 argument), is contingent; mathematical truths are necessary. It is
 conceivable that the physical world might not exist, or God not exist, or
 God exist but not make the physical world, but it is not conceivable that
 circles or integers or the UD not exist as mathematical objects.

 Stathis Papaioannou


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-14 Thread John Mikes
Kim, thanks for your observing 'lurking' about the 'hatchet'. I do not
believe that we would have buried it into each others' head, I accepted that
Bruno may be irritated (by my question/remark, or by other business).

To your choice of Q-#1: recalls my usual doubt in Mark's Plain English:
does the why ask for originating history, or for a purpose?
In the second case I count myself out.
In the 1st meaning I have an answer:- I dunno - and do not think that ANY
humanly conceived machine (Loeb?) could come up with an acceptable (for us)
history from parts impenetrable for our views (of today)..  Even if a
'supernatural and superhuman' comp can come up with something from
outside our conceivable system, how could we muster some understanding for
it? The best thing is: we '(mis)understand' it for an explanation that may
or may not hold water.
 I am not in favor of human omniscience.

Nice to hear from you again.

John M

On 3/14/07, Kim Jones [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 Lurking, lurking...


 This thread started I believe with Tom's 3 magnificent questions,
 aeons ago on my birthday last year.

 Thankee, Tom

 A little refresher now:


 On 31/12/2006, at 8:25 AM, Tom Caylor wrote:

  Besides the question of how meaning relates to this List, the question
  of meaning itself can be asked at several different levels, so I'll
  list a few:
 
  1) Why does the universe exist?  Why is there something rather than
  nothing?
  2) Why do human beings in general exist?
  3) Why do I exist?
 
  The purpose of listing these three questions is not to deal with
  all of
  them on this thread necessarily, but to show that the question of the
  meaning of life really is connected to the universal questions that
  this list tries to address.  One's answer to any one of these
  questions
  can affect his/her answer to the other questions.
 
  It seems that we all have to eventually come to the question of the
  end
  of our lives.  (Even if immortality, quantum or other kinds, is a
  reality, the question of the end of our lives is a topic addressed
  even
  on this List.)  So as one man on United Flight 93 said before giving
  his life to save others, Let's roll!
 
  Tom



 It was a touching moment when Bruno and John 'buried the hatchet'
 yesterday ;)

 I just want to say that this has been the most magnificent and
 compelling thread I have contributed nothing to that I have ever
 contributed nothing to

 nevertheless

 I think we need more on question 1

 Questions 2 and 3 appear to have answers of sorts

 Kim Jones

 


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-14 Thread John Mikes
Russell,

 I apologize for my flippant quip of yesterday, it was after several hours
of reading and replying internet discussion lists. Besides: it was true.G

I never considered the features named as distinguishing 'colors'  in QCD as
poles. Also it is new to me that the strong force has 3 poles. In my usage
a 'pole' represents ONE charge of the TWO we know of - the positive and the
negative.
Well, it seems those non-physicists are simpleminded brutes. It felt so good
to 'invent' something (for fun) beyond our grasp.
 What nature would that 3rd pole present in the strong force? (I ask this
question, because I did not read about the 3-pole distinction of it).

Cheers

John M

On 3/12/07, Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 11:58:58AM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
  In the sci-fi I wrote in 1988-89 I depicted the 'story' of human
 evolving as
  done
  by an experiment of aliens from another universe, to which I assigned
  energy
  with 3 (three) poles. One +, one -, and a THIRD one. (Maybe your math
 could
  formulate this, but I could not. I accepted it as something beyond our
 human
  mind.

 The strong force has 3 poles. To think about them in a human
 fashion, we name them red, green and blue, and the theory
 describing the strong force is called quantum chromodynamics. It
 doesn't seem beyond the human mind at all.

 I dare say if we had a reason to have a theory with four poles,
 someone will come up with a way of thinking about these too.

 Prof Russell Standish


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-14 Thread 明迪
My reply to the topic:

The question How to calculate the Universe? by definition is equivalent to
the question how to calculate Everything, including the answer to the
question what is the meaning of life.

It justifies our existence even if we were not to know exactly the meaning
of it. :-)

Inyuki
http://i.tai.lt

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-14 Thread David Nyman



On Mar 14, 10:18 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Perhaps using the term existence for mathematical objects is misleading.
 It doesn't mean they exist as separate objects in the real world,  just that
 they exist as concepts. This is mathematical Platonism.

Yes, I understand.  I guess I'm saying that nevertheless I can
conceive of a radical negation in which even Platonic objects have no
existence, conceptual or otherwise. Consequently AFAICS arguments for
Platonic 'necessity' are in fact derived wholly from contingent states
of affairs.

David

 On 3/14/07, David Nyman [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:





  On Mar 14, 9:44 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   On 3/14/07, Kim Jones [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

   It is
   conceivable that the physical world might not exist, or God not exist,
  or
   God exist but not make the physical world, but it is not conceivable
  that
   circles or integers or the UD not exist as mathematical objects.

  In what sense 'not conceivable'?  I don't find it hard to conceive of
  mathematical objects not existing, given that nothing else does
  either. 'Nothing else' here simply but radically entails that whatever
  you say you can 'conceive', my response is 'not that either'. This
  'nothing' precisely is the nothing from which *nothing* can come. Our
  own existence contingently rules it out, which is what makes it so
  hard to think about.  Such a 'possibility', being in fact necessary in
  'all possible worlds', paradoxically abolishes the conceiver at the
  moment of conception.

 Perhaps using the term existence for mathematical objects is misleading.
 It doesn't mean they exist as separate objects in the real world,  just that
 they exist as concepts. This is mathematical Platonism.

 Stathis Papaioannou


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-14 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 
 
 On Mar 14, 10:18 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 Perhaps using the term existence for mathematical objects is misleading.
 It doesn't mean they exist as separate objects in the real world,  just that
 they exist as concepts. This is mathematical Platonism.
 
 Yes, I understand.  I guess I'm saying that nevertheless I can
 conceive of a radical negation in which even Platonic objects have no
 existence, conceptual or otherwise. 

It's hard to imagine what conceptual existence means anyway.  Sort of like 
non-existent existence.  It's just  set of non-contradictory property 
statements.

Brent Meeker


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-13 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 12-mars-07, à 16:58, John Mikes a écrit :

 Let me reverse the sequence of your post for my ease:
 The last part:  If we accept Bruno's we are god
 I have never said that. The most I have said in that direction, is
 that, assuming comp, the first person inherits God' unanmeability.
 So the first person has some god attribute. you cannot infer from
 this that we are God!.Bruno
 I apologize for misunderstanding what you said.

No problem. I hope I was not too much direct, but of course, 
misunderstandings are the very reason why we are discussing.



  I tried to find the meaning of the (seemingly mistyped?)  
 unanmeability
 in your present post  - the closest was :'untenability'. Is this what 
 you meant?
 *


Logicians use the term unameability  in the sense of undescribable. 
The most typical example is the notion of truth for any sufficiently 
complex machine. Such machine, when consistent (not proving 0 ≠ 0)  
cannot define a notion of truth T(x) and prove that for each sentence x 
they can prove T(x) iff x. That is, no truth predicate, bearing on a 
machine, can be defined by that machine.




 Now let me return to our 'human mind.
 Reasonably: we are part of a world -


The notion of part is misleading, both in comp and in QM.



 assumably a small portion only - and our
 mind (whatever you identify as that) is 'part of us' = included into 
 the 'model' we
 may call 'humans'.

Is not the model included in the mind, instead?




 We have certain exparience-stuff and logical thinking ways,
 we use that even in trying to 'understand' ideas beyond it - beyond 
 our reach of
 observation. We do that, but can never be sure of doing it right.

OK.


 In the sci-fi I wrote in 1988-89 I depicted the 'story' of human 
 evolving as done
 by an experiment of aliens from another universe, to which I assigned 
 energy
 with 3 (three) poles. One +, one -, and a THIRD one. (Maybe your math 
 could
 formulate this, but I could not. I accepted it as something beyond our 
 human mind.
 (It facilitated direct mental contact, manipulation of time, 
 overriding of materially
 induced space barriers, conscious machines and of course no 
 lights-peed max.)
 [It was rejected  from publishers both in the US and Europe on 
 identical grounds:
 too much science and insufficient sex and violence]
 Speaking about such is different from understanding, more so from 
 'creating'.
 We would need a bootstrap process to explain our origin (existence) 
 from within our existence.


Yes. But comp science is full of possible bootstrap processes.




 Maybe this is my mental limitation - I have to live with it.


Why? If you are really aware of a mental limitation, then you can 
overcome it.


 And - of course - I am also guilty of 'human' thinking as you  charged.


Well I charged you for criticising some idea by only mentionning that 
there are produced by human thinking.
If a human (resp. lobian) really find a personal limitation, then 
he/she/it can go beyond, with some work. That is the nice aspect of 
human, and of lobian machine.




 Loeb created the idea of his machine. It is equipped with superhuman 
 (-natural?)

Loeb proved in 1955 that Peano Arithmetic PA has the following weird 
property. If PA proves that provable(p) implies p, for some proposition 
p, then PA proves p (Lob theorem). I call a machine, or a any chatty 
entity Lobian, in case it obeys Loeb theorem. You can see Lob theorem 
as a statement that some placebo effect could work for PA (and thus by 
definition on all Lobian Machine). If you convince a Lobian entity that 
if she ever believes that [if she believes in Santa Klaus existence 
implies Santa Klaus existence], then she will believe in Santa Klaus.
And, of course, if the machine is correct, this will entail the 
existence of Santa Klaus.


 capabilities, all identified by a human mind, just as my 3-pole energy 
 was. The idea of a pole is very much from within our (humanly 
 adjusted?) worldview. If it
 is 2, or 3, or 1457: it is still a (humanly divised) pole.

?


 I am a believer of 'creativity' so I do not find 'arguing' about 
 'ideas' superfluous.
 I am not 'prejudiced' against numbers: I asked so many time to get 
 understandable information and did not. I am agnostic, do not 'cut 
 out' other possibilities unless I see acceptable arguments to do so. 
 (Acceptable to me).
 And: you are so smart that you do not have to resort to some 'racist' 
 hint which
 seems to me as an ad hominem link.

OK sorry. Sometimes you give me the feeling that you know that machine 
cannot be the bearer of thought.


 Here I am again: decided so many times to keep off from arguments 
 where the
 word god is involved and am bugged down into it, both with you and 
 Danny.


The choice of words should not matter, at least in principle. We should 
bother only on the validity of reasoning. But 'course, it is easier to 
say than to practice. In mnay situation, I would say the God of the 
machine X, is the truth *on* the 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-13 Thread Kim Jones

Lurking, lurking...


This thread started I believe with Tom's 3 magnificent questions,  
aeons ago on my birthday last year.

Thankee, Tom

A little refresher now:


On 31/12/2006, at 8:25 AM, Tom Caylor wrote:

 Besides the question of how meaning relates to this List, the question
 of meaning itself can be asked at several different levels, so I'll
 list a few:

 1) Why does the universe exist?  Why is there something rather than
 nothing?
 2) Why do human beings in general exist?
 3) Why do I exist?

 The purpose of listing these three questions is not to deal with  
 all of
 them on this thread necessarily, but to show that the question of the
 meaning of life really is connected to the universal questions that
 this list tries to address.  One's answer to any one of these  
 questions
 can affect his/her answer to the other questions.

 It seems that we all have to eventually come to the question of the  
 end
 of our lives.  (Even if immortality, quantum or other kinds, is a
 reality, the question of the end of our lives is a topic addressed  
 even
 on this List.)  So as one man on United Flight 93 said before giving
 his life to save others, Let's roll!

 Tom



It was a touching moment when Bruno and John 'buried the hatchet'  
yesterday ;)

I just want to say that this has been the most magnificent and  
compelling thread I have contributed nothing to that I have ever  
contributed nothing to

nevertheless

I think we need more on question 1

Questions 2 and 3 appear to have answers of sorts

Kim Jones

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-13 Thread Brent Meeker

Kim Jones wrote:
 Lurking, lurking...
 
 
 This thread started I believe with Tom's 3 magnificent questions,  
 aeons ago on my birthday last year.
 
 Thankee, Tom
 
 A little refresher now:
 
 
 On 31/12/2006, at 8:25 AM, Tom Caylor wrote:
 
 Besides the question of how meaning relates to this List, the question
 of meaning itself can be asked at several different levels, so I'll
 list a few:

 1) Why does the universe exist?  Why is there something rather than
 nothing?
 2) Why do human beings in general exist?
 3) Why do I exist?

 The purpose of listing these three questions is not to deal with  
 all of
 them on this thread necessarily, but to show that the question of the
 meaning of life really is connected to the universal questions that
 this list tries to address.  One's answer to any one of these  
 questions
 can affect his/her answer to the other questions.

 It seems that we all have to eventually come to the question of the  
 end
 of our lives.  (Even if immortality, quantum or other kinds, is a
 reality, the question of the end of our lives is a topic addressed  
 even
 on this List.)  So as one man on United Flight 93 said before giving
 his life to save others, Let's roll!

 Tom
 
 
 
 It was a touching moment when Bruno and John 'buried the hatchet'  
 yesterday ;)
 
 I just want to say that this has been the most magnificent and  
 compelling thread I have contributed nothing to that I have ever  
 contributed nothing to
 
 nevertheless
 
 I think we need more on question 1
 
 Questions 2 and 3 appear to have answers of sorts
 
 Kim Jones

What kind of statement would you regard as an answer to why there is something 
rather than nothing?  For example here are some possible answers:

1. What is there?  Everything!  What isn't there?  Nothing!
2. Nothing is unstable (Frank Wilczek, Nobelist physics)
3. Why should Nothing be the default and Something need an explanation?
4. The universe is just Nothing rearranged (Vic Stenger, Yonatan Fishman)

I think it's one of those questions that seems as if it should have answer 
because it is so simple and clear, but which on reflection you find isn't clear 
at all.  What is Nothing?  Can you conceive of Nothing?  Is absolute Nothing a 
coherent concept or is Nothing just absence of matter, i.e. empty space.

Brent Meeker

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-12 Thread Jason

On Mar 12, 12:49 am, Danny Mayes  [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Le 07-mars-07, à 18:50, Danny Mayes a écrit :

 If you assume an ensemble theory, whether it be an infinite MWI or Bruno's
 UD in the plenitude, is it POSSIBLE to avoid God?  For the purposes of this
 question I'll define God as an entity capable of creating everything that
 would be observed to exist in a (all possible) quantum mechanical universe.


The UD contains many recursive instances of itself, and since the UD
is a short program these instances should be rather common.  Less
common in the UD would be progams whose initial conditions were
something like AI, but since all programs exist in the UD these
necessarily do exist.  If this AI has intelligent control over its own
program code then it would have infinite computing resources made
available to it by the UD.  This AI might desire to explore the rest
of the UD by running its own instance of it.  In this way you have an
entity which is capable of creating everything that exists within the
UD.  To be accurate, it is not really creating anything, only
exploring and realizing other parts in the infinite structure of the
UD.  It is up to you if you wish to call such an intelligence God.  If
the UD is true, such an entity must exist, infact an infinite number
would.  To me, the best approximation to a monotheistic God would be
the plentiude itself, or perhaps the set of all first person
experiences that exist in the UD (or would this be the holy
spirit?).  To summarize, if everything possible exists then there is
something out there which best appoximates anything you might imagine
to be God.  Does this mean it has control over the universe you are in
now?  It does in the sense that the universe you are in now exists
simultanesouly in an infinite number of instances of the UD created by
an infinite number of very different Gods.

Jason


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-12 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 11-mars-07, à 17:33, John M a écrit :



 Still: human thinking.



You should subscribe to some alien list, if you are annoyed by us being 
human.
You can answer human thinking  to any (human) post. So this does not 
convey any information, unless you explain what in our human nature 
prevent us to understand something typically non-human. It will be hard 
for you, human, to point on such a thing (actually the human thinking 
critics apply to your own posts).

Now, I am the one in the list which says: look we can already interview 
non-human lobian machine. So, in a sense, I could argue that all the 
lobian explanation with regard to our fundamental questions are lobian 
thinking, and a priori, this is not human. You, among the other, should 
be particularly pleased by this non human intervention in the list, 
unless you add that whatever the lobian machine says, it is us, human 
who interpret it, but then, again, we, humans, could stop arguing about 
anything, and even argue we should not talk with non-human entity given 
that we will deformed, by our human-ness, all what they talk about. But 
then we will certainly enforced our human prejudice.
My feeling, John, is that you have typically human prejudice against 
number and machine, 100% similar to any form of racist prejudice: oh 
those entity are so different from us that we should not even listen to 
them ...

And why do you say human thinking. Why not mammal's thinking? Why 
not carbon type of life thinking? Why not typical descendent of 
bacteria prejudices ...



 If we accept Bruno's we are god


I have never said that. The most I have said in that direction, is 
that, assuming comp, the first person inherits God' unanmeability. So 
the first person has some god attribute. you cannot infer from this 
that we are God!.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-12 Thread John Mikes
Let me reverse the sequence of your post for my ease:
The last part:  If we accept Bruno's we are god
I have never said that. The most I have said in that direction, is
that, assuming comp, the first person inherits God' unanmeability.
So the first person has some god attribute. you cannot infer from
this that we are God!.Bruno
I apologize for misunderstanding what you said.
 I tried to find the meaning of the (seemingly mistyped?)  unanmeability
in your present post  - the closest was :'untenability'. Is this what you
meant?
*
Now let me return to our 'human mind.
Reasonably: we are part of a world - assumably a small portion only - and
our
mind (whatever you identify as that) is 'part of us' = included into the
'model' we
may call 'humans'. We have certain exparience-stuff and logical thinking
ways,
we use that even in trying to 'understand' ideas beyond it - beyond our
reach of
observation. We do that, but can never be sure of doing it right.
In the sci-fi I wrote in 1988-89 I depicted the 'story' of human evolving as
done
by an experiment of aliens from another universe, to which I assigned
energy
with 3 (three) poles. One +, one -, and a THIRD one. (Maybe your math could
formulate this, but I could not. I accepted it as something beyond our human
mind.
(It facilitated direct mental contact, manipulation of time, overriding of
materially
induced space barriers, conscious machines and of course no lights-peed
max.)
[It was rejected  from publishers both in the US and Europe on identical
grounds:
too much science and insufficient sex and violence]
Speaking about such is different from understanding, more so from
'creating'.
We would need a bootstrap process to explain our origin (existence) from
within our existence. Maybe this is my mental limitation - I have to live
with it. And - of course - I am also guilty of 'human' thinking as you
charged.
Loeb created the idea of his machine. It is equipped with superhuman
(-natural?)
capabilities, all identified by a human mind, just as my 3-pole energy was.
The idea of a pole is very much from within our (humanly adjusted?)
worldview. If it
is 2, or 3, or 1457: it is still a (humanly divised) pole.

I am a believer of 'creativity' so I do not find 'arguing' about 'ideas'
superfluous.
I am not 'prejudiced' against numbers: I asked so many time to get
understandable information and did not. I am agnostic, do not 'cut out'
other possibilities unless I see acceptable arguments to do so. (Acceptable
to me).
And: you are so smart that you do not have to resort to some 'racist' hint
which
seems to me as an ad hominem link.

Here I am again: decided so many times to keep off from arguments where the
word god is involved and am bugged down into it, both with you and Danny.

I have to control my 'mouse' better.

John M



On 3/12/07, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:



 Le 11-mars-07, à 17:33, John M a écrit :



  Still: human thinking.



 You should subscribe to some alien list, if you are annoyed by us being
 human.
 You can answer human thinking  to any (human) post. So this does not
 convey any information, unless you explain what in our human nature
 prevent us to understand something typically non-human. It will be hard
 for you, human, to point on such a thing (actually the human thinking
 critics apply to your own posts).

 Now, I am the one in the list which says: look we can already interview
 non-human lobian machine. So, in a sense, I could argue that all the
 lobian explanation with regard to our fundamental questions are lobian
 thinking, and a priori, this is not human. You, among the other, should
 be particularly pleased by this non human intervention in the list,
 unless you add that whatever the lobian machine says, it is us, human
 who interpret it, but then, again, we, humans, could stop arguing about
 anything, and even argue we should not talk with non-human entity given
 that we will deformed, by our human-ness, all what they talk about. But
 then we will certainly enforced our human prejudice.
 My feeling, John, is that you have typically human prejudice against
 number and machine, 100% similar to any form of racist prejudice: oh
 those entity are so different from us that we should not even listen to
 them ...

 And why do you say human thinking. Why not mammal's thinking? Why
 not carbon type of life thinking? Why not typical descendent of
 bacteria prejudices ...



  If we accept Bruno's we are god


 I have never said that. The most I have said in that direction, is
 that, assuming comp, the first person inherits God' unanmeability. So
 the first person has some god attribute. you cannot infer from this
 that we are God!.

 Bruno


 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-12 Thread Russell Standish

On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 11:58:58AM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
 In the sci-fi I wrote in 1988-89 I depicted the 'story' of human evolving as
 done
 by an experiment of aliens from another universe, to which I assigned
 energy
 with 3 (three) poles. One +, one -, and a THIRD one. (Maybe your math could
 formulate this, but I could not. I accepted it as something beyond our human
 mind.

The strong force has 3 poles. To think about them in a human
fashion, we name them red, green and blue, and the theory
describing the strong force is called quantum chromodynamics. It
doesn't seem beyond the human mind at all.

I dare say if we had a reason to have a theory with four poles,
someone will come up with a way of thinking about these too.

-- 


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-12 Thread John M
Thanks, Russell, 4 Poles may play bridge.
John
  - Original Message - 
  From: Russell Standish 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 9:19 AM
  Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life



  On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 11:58:58AM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
   In the sci-fi I wrote in 1988-89 I depicted the 'story' of human evolving as
   done
   by an experiment of aliens from another universe, to which I assigned
   energy
   with 3 (three) poles. One +, one -, and a THIRD one. (Maybe your math could
   formulate this, but I could not. I accepted it as something beyond our human
   mind.

  The strong force has 3 poles. To think about them in a human
  fashion, we name them red, green and blue, and the theory
  describing the strong force is called quantum chromodynamics. It
  doesn't seem beyond the human mind at all.

  I dare say if we had a reason to have a theory with four poles,
  someone will come up with a way of thinking about these too.

  -- 

  
  A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
  Mathematics 
  UNSW SYDNEY 2052  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au
  

  


  -- 
  No virus found in this incoming message.
  Checked by AVG Free Edition.
  Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.8/718 - Release Date: 3/11/2007 
9:27 AM


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-12 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 On Mar 6, 5:19 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
 A source that has given us the crusades and 9/11 as well as the
 sister's of mercy.  No a very sufficient source if nobody can
 agree on what it provides.
 I don't like simply saying That isn't so, but nobody can agree
 on what it provides, referring to the source of ultimate
 meaning,
 I was referring to the sufficient source of *morality*.  Such a
 source should be able to provide an unambiguous standard that is so
 clear everyone agrees - if it existed.
 
 is not true.  In fact it's very remarkable the consistency,
 across all kinds of cultures, the basic beliefs of truly
 normative morality, evidence for their being a source which
 cannot be explained through closed science alone.
 Why not?  Why isn't Darwin's or Scott Atran's or Richard Dawkin's a
 *possible* explanation. And how is God did it an explanation of
 anything?  It's just a form of words so ambiguous as to be
 virtually empty.  God meant different things to the crusaders and
 the 9/11 jihadists, to the Aztecs and the Conquistadores, to the
 Nazi's and the Jews.  So just because they use the same word
 doesn't mean they are referring to the same thing.
 
 
 We've talked about this before.  Darwin cannot explain giving without
  expecting to receive.

Where do you get this nonsense??  Do you just make it up as you need it?  No 
parent expects to receive anything but satisfaction from raising their children 
- as perfectly well explained by Darwin.  And how dare you assert that money I 
sent to Katrina victims was simply calculated to get something back.  There are 
many possible Darwinian explanations for feelings of altruism; but apparently 
you haven't bothered to find them.

 Actually that's true love.  Only some people believe that God did
 that.  But many other people somehow see the goodness of it.
 
 And there is nothing closed about science.  Science is perfectly
 open to the existence of whatever you can demonstrate.  People have
 tried to show that the God who answers prayers exists and they
 fail.  But they could have succeeded; nothing about science
 prevented their success.  They failed because there is no such God.
 
 
 On your first sentence, it also can be said of science that a lot
 of evil has come that wouldn't have come (at least in the forms
 it has) if it weren't for advances of science.

Quite true.  Science helps technology and technology provides power and power 
can be applied for good and ill.

 And I'm not knocking down science as being invalid in its own
 right.  I'm just making the point that your statement does not
 address *root* cause any more than blaming science.

But there is no reason to believe there is any root cause that is deeper than 
variation with natural selection.  You have not presented any argument for the 
existence of this ultimate or root.  You merely refer to closed science 
as though that proved something - but it begs the question.  You have to show 
there is something outside science in order to know that it is closed; not 
just that there is something science has not explained, there's lots of that, 
but something that science cannot, in-principle explain.  

Brent Meeker

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-11 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 07-mars-07, à 18:50, Danny Mayes a écrit :


  

 If you assume an ensemble theory, whether it be an infinite MWI or 
 Bruno’s UD in the plenitude, is it POSSIBLE to avoid God?  For the 
 purposes of this question I’ll define “God” as an entity capable of 
 creating everything that would be observed to exist in a (all 
 possible) quantum mechanical universe. 

God has to choose only among QM universes? Does that God obey QM Eself?




 To avoid God are we back to some kind of “primitive physical” idea 
 that there is something about the nature of reality that will forever 
 prohibit intelligence from emulating it? 


We cannot, knowingly, emulate a first person in any third person way. 
For example we can emulate perfectly both the comp and the quantum 
indeterminacy .. up to the measurement procedure, which can still be 
emulate but only by emulating the observer himself. But this can be 
done with any classical or quantum universal machine, but then only 
serendipitously.
I prefer translate the primitive physical idea as the idea that there 
is a primitive physical world which is responsible for appearances. But 
this already contradict the comp hypothesis (for example by the UDA 
argument, but you can also look at Plotinus or Proclus).




 That it is impossible even in theory to build a kind of “universal 
 quantum constructor”? 

It is impossible to build a universal *prover* or knower. But we can 
build universal classical or quantum constructor or computer.



 Or is the idea one that physics will forever prohibit intelligence 
 from acquiring the resources necessary to achieve such a feat? 

Neither math nor physics prohibit this. Math only prohibit universal 
machine prover or knower.




 How can you have everything, but not have something capable of 
 creating everything?  If you assume for instance the UD in the 
 plenitude (no intelligent action required), doesn’t it eventually 
 describe intelligence with access to infinite or near infinite 
 resources capable of creating an “artificial” UD? 

Sure. But why? The UD is needed in an argument. Real platonic UDs are 
enough for the rest. Note that this can and should be tested.


 If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to become a silly 
 argument over semantics.  

You are quite fuzzy about God, and your basic assumptions. Do you 
assume a *primitive* physical universe?



  I’ll be happy to hear where I’m wrong on all this.  Please be kind, 
 I’ve been away from these sorts of discussions for quite a while!


No problem, but you could be clearer about your assumption, or I am 
perhaps missing something.


Bruno


 Danny Mayes

  

  

 On 3/7/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:

   I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not 
 what
   gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in 
 time
   (contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the 
 quote
   makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
   problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
   first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person:
   It's all about me).

  Why should there be?  Values are relative to people.  Love is our 
 word.  We invented it to describe what we feel.  Having some Platonic 
 form of LOVE out there is superfluous.  You're just making up a 
 requirement for the really real ding-an-sich so that you can say God 
 provides it.


  You could replace love with chocolate and God with the 
 chocolate fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like 
 chocolate can be explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, 
 evolutionary biology etc., only the chocolate fairy can give ultimate 
 meaning to the chocolate eating experience.

  Stathis Papaioannou


  

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-11 Thread John M
Danny wrote:
To avoid God are we back to some kind of primitive physical idea that there 
is something about the nature of reality that will forever prohibit 
intelligence from emulating it? 
JM:
I suppose 'our intelligence' is part of 'us' and we are part of the nature of 
reality (whatever that may be, god, or existence, or...).
My grandparents had a cellar with a trap door to descend, a maid-girl came 
crying that the door does not open. As it turned out: she was standing on it 
when trying to lift it
(parable for us understanding 'all' we are part of). 

Bruno asked:
God has to choose only among QM universes? Does that God obey QM Eself?
JM:
whatever WE decide is our restrictive opinion. Bruno accepted that 'we' are 
'god' so mu answer to the question is: NO, I as god do not.
I consider QM a product of the product (etc) of that 'reality' we try to assign 
to it. 
(Sorry,Bruno, I do not start from 'numbers' to build up the existence. So far 
they stayed unidentified/able upon the many questions I (and others) asked. 
They still seem to be - as Bohm said - products of the human thinking. (See 
above: product of the product of the pr...etc.)

Bruno:
It is impossible to build a universal *prover* or knower. But we can build 
universal classical or quantum constructor or computer.
JM:
Build, or think about it? (Alice, the builder?)

Bruno:
...I prefer translate the primitive physical idea as the idea that there is a 
primitive physical world which is responsible for appearances. 
JM:
I like the translation into idea. It implies that an 'idea' cannot be 
responsible for appearances we think to receive in our mind. Appearances are 
just that. Our - if you prefer - mind's interpretation of 'something' - 
reality. 
Still: human thinking. 
Question: which one of us (humans) CAN think with anything else than a human 
mind? If we accept Bruno's we are god then it is a human god. Not capable of 
'building' the existence from the existing existence. (Cf: trapdoor)

Danny:
...If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to become a silly 
argument over semantics. 
JM:
If the answer is 'no' or anything, it IS as well. If somebody 'believes' in a 
personal relationship  with any god-phantom halucination based on ANY selective 
hearsay assumption, you cannot make him accept (substitute) a scientific'  
scrutiny. (I may elaborate on selective, hearsay, and assumption, if I must).
*
I would be happy to see an expansion of what kind of assumption Bruno was 
mentioning in the last sentence.

John M


  - Original Message - 
  From: Bruno Marchal 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 11:42 AM
  Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life



  Le 07-mars-07, à 18:50, Danny Mayes a écrit :

If you assume an ensemble theory, whether it be an infinite MWI or Bruno's 
UD in the plenitude, is it POSSIBLE to avoid God?  For the purposes of this 
question I'll define God as an entity capable of creating everything that 
would be observed to exist in a (all possible) quantum mechanical universe.  

  God has to choose only among QM universes? Does that God obey QM Eself?


To avoid God are we back to some kind of primitive physical idea that 
there is something about the nature of reality that will forever prohibit 
intelligence from emulating it?  


  We cannot, knowingly, emulate a first person in any third person way. For 
example we can emulate perfectly both the comp and the quantum indeterminacy .. 
up to the measurement procedure, which can still be emulate but only by 
emulating the observer himself. But this can be done with any classical or 
quantum universal machine, but then only serendipitously.
  I prefer translate the primitive physical idea as the idea that there is a 
primitive physical world which is responsible for appearances. But this already 
contradict the comp hypothesis (for example by the UDA argument, but you can 
also look at Plotinus or Proclus).

That it is impossible even in theory to build a kind of universal quantum 
constructor?  


  It is impossible to build a universal *prover* or knower. But we can build 
universal classical or quantum constructor or computer.




Or is the idea one that physics will forever prohibit intelligence from 
acquiring the resources necessary to achieve such a feat? 


  Neither math nor physics prohibit this. Math only prohibit universal machine 
prover or knower.





How can you have everything, but not have something capable of creating 
everything?  If you assume for instance the UD in the plenitude (no intelligent 
action required), doesn't it eventually describe intelligence with access to 
infinite or near infinite resources capable of creating an artificial UD?  


  Sure. But why? The UD is needed in an argument. Real platonic UDs are enough 
for the rest. Note that this can and should be tested.



If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to become a silly 
argument over

RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-11 Thread Danny Mayes
 

 

 

Danny wrote:

To avoid God are we back to some kind of “primitive physical” idea that
there is something about the nature of reality that will forever prohibit
intelligence from emulating it? 

JM:

I suppose 'our intelligence' is part of 'us' and we are part of the nature
of reality (whatever that may be, god, or existence, or...).

My grandparents had a cellar with a trap door to descend, a maid-girl came
crying that the door does not open. As it turned out: she was standing on it
when trying to lift it

(parable for us understanding 'all' we are part of). 

 

 

Bruno asked:

God has to choose only among QM universes? Does that God obey QM Eself?

JM:

whatever WE decide is our restrictive opinion. Bruno accepted that 'we' are
'god' so mu answer to the question is: NO, I as god do not.

I consider QM a product of the product (etc) of that 'reality' we try to
assign to it. 

(Sorry,Bruno, I do not start from 'numbers' to build up the existence. So
far they stayed unidentified/able upon the many questions I (and others)
asked. They still seem to be - as Bohm said - products of the human
thinking. (See above: product of the product of the pr...etc.)

 

 I think I agree with you on this.  However, numbers are ultimately
representations of information.  And it seems possible, perhaps probable,
that everything can be reduced to information.  As with most other things,
maybe it is just a matter of perspective. 

 

Bruno:

It is impossible to build a universal *prover* or knower. But we can build
universal classical or quantum constructor or computer.
JM:

Build, or think about it? (Alice, the builder?)

 

Bruno:

...I prefer translate the primitive physical idea as the idea that there
is a primitive physical world which is responsible for appearances. 

JM:

I like the translation into idea. It implies that an 'idea' cannot be
responsible for appearances we think to receive in our mind. Appearances are
just that. Our - if you prefer - mind's interpretation of 'something' -
reality. 

Still: human thinking. 

Question: which one of us (humans) CAN think with anything else than a human
mind? If we accept Bruno's we are god then it is a human god. Not capable
of 'building' the existence from the existing existence. (Cf: trapdoor)

 

Danny:

...If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to become a silly
argument over semantics. 

JM:

If the answer is 'no' or anything, it IS as well. If somebody 'believes' in
a personal relationship  with any god-phantom halucination based on ANY
selective hearsay assumption, you cannot make him accept (substitute) a
scientific'  scrutiny. (I may elaborate on selective, hearsay, and
assumption, if I must).

 

I disagree and think you misunderstood the point of my original post.  I
don’t really have time to get into it in detail now, but I was really trying
to get outside of any faith-based aspect of the question.  Perhaps the word
God should not be used.  The question I guess boiled down to its essence is
can you have an ensemble theory of any kind (everything exists) that does
not end up having intelligence playing an “interesting” role in the process.
For future reference, when I refer to “God” in a post I will not be
referring to anything relating to personal relationships (in the general
understood sense that I think you meant) or hallucinations, but will be
referring very specifically to an entity capable of emulating or creating in
one manner or another the “universe” we observe, either from a 3rd person
viewpoint or from the 1st person viewpoint.  The question is can you have
ensemble theories without having these entities, and if so, what assumptions
do you have to make about our underlying reality (or the ensemble theory) to
avoid them.

 

I don’t see those types of questions as being exclusive of some type of
tentative scientific scrutiny, but I guess you do or perhaps you thought I
meant something else when I said “God” (despite my defining the term in the
original post). 

 

It may be that I just totally don’t understand you John.  To be honest I
more than occasionally have a difficult time understanding what you are
conveying in your posts.

 

Danny

 

*

I would be happy to see an expansion of what kind of assumption Bruno was
mentioning in the last sentence.

 

John M

 

 

- Original Message - 

From: Bruno Marchal mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]  

To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 

Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 11:42 AM

Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life

 


Le 07-mars-07, à 18:50, Danny Mayes a écrit :

If you assume an ensemble theory, whether it be an infinite MWI or Bruno’s
UD in the plenitude, is it POSSIBLE to avoid God?  For the purposes of this
question I’ll define “God” as an entity capable of creating everything that
would be observed to exist in a (all possible) quantum mechanical universe.




God has to choose only among QM universes? Does that God obey QM Eself?

To avoid God are we back to some kind

RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-11 Thread Danny Mayes
 


Le 07-mars-07, à 18:50, Danny Mayes a écrit :


 

If you assume an ensemble theory, whether it be an infinite MWI or Bruno’s
UD in the plenitude, is it POSSIBLE to avoid God?  For the purposes of this
question I’ll define “God” as an entity capable of creating everything that
would be observed to exist in a (all possible) quantum mechanical universe.





God has to choose only among QM universes? Does that God obey QM Eself?

 Bruno, as a starting point, I concede that discussion of things
occurring outside the quantum-mechanical multiverse is metaphysical.
Certainly other realities can be discussed (Tegmark, and for that matter the
UD in the plenitude), but for the purposes of the question I was
specifically limiting the subject to the creation of the type of universe we
observe, because we are having to work off the laws of physics we know to
attempt and answer the question, and the issue is the creation of what we
observe, not other realities.  So it’s not that “God” has to choose QM
universes, it’s that I’m only interested in whether an entity capable of
creating QM universes (whatever you call it) is an inevitable result of an
assumed ensemble theory.  Of course, as I described in the original post,
the entity does not have to actually create QM universes necessarily.  It
would achieve the same effect as to observers if it simply understood how to
emulate brain states of observers that existed in QM universes.

 

To avoid God are we back to some kind of “primitive physical” idea that
there is something about the nature of reality that will forever prohibit
intelligence from emulating it?  





We cannot, knowingly, emulate a first person in any third person way. For
example we can emulate perfectly both the comp and the quantum indeterminacy
.. up to the measurement procedure, which can still be emulate but only by
emulating the observer himself. But this can be done with any classical or
quantum universal machine, but then only serendipitously.
I prefer translate the primitive physical idea as the idea that there is a
primitive physical world which is responsible for appearances. But this
already contradict the comp hypothesis (for example by the UDA argument, but
you can also look at Plotinus or Proclus).



 





That it is impossible even in theory to build a kind of “universal quantum
constructor”?  




It is impossible to build a universal *prover* or knower. But we can build
universal classical or quantum constructor or computer.




 

 

Or is the idea one that physics will forever prohibit intelligence from
acquiring the resources necessary to achieve such a feat? 


Neither math nor physics prohibit this. Math only prohibit universal machine
prover or knower.





How can you have everything, but not have something capable of creating
everything?  If you assume for instance the UD in the plenitude (no
intelligent action required), doesn’t it eventually describe intelligence
with access to infinite or near infinite resources capable of creating an
“artificial” UD?  




Sure. But why? The UD is needed in an argument. Real platonic UDs are enough
for the rest. Note that this can and should be tested.



If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to become a silly
argument over semantics.  




You are quite fuzzy about God, and your basic assumptions. Do you assume a
*primitive* physical universe? 




 I’ll be happy to hear where I’m wrong on all this.  Please be kind, I’ve
been away from these sorts of discussions for quite a while!



No problem, but you could be clearer about your assumption, or I am perhaps
missing something.

  Thanks for your responses Bruno, I’ll respond as to my assumptions when
I have more time.

Danny


Bruno



Danny Mayes

 

 

On 3/7/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
Tom Caylor wrote:

 I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not what
 gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in time
 (contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the quote 
 makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
 problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
 first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person: 
 It's all about me).

Why should there be?  Values are relative to people.  Love is our word.  We
invented it to describe what we feel.  Having some Platonic form of LOVE out
there is superfluous.  You're just making up a requirement for the really
real ding-an-sich so that you can say God provides it.


You could replace love with chocolate and God with the chocolate
fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can be
explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology etc., only
the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
experience.

Stathis Papaioannou






http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-10 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 3/10/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

It seems that you are missing my point.  I will better explain my
 point about the whole control loop.   Personal tastes and second
 order feelings about the tastes are all on the *input* side of our
 system of consciousness.  But the input is not the whole system.
 Instead of saying are personal feelings sufficient as the total input
 into our decision making system? I should have said are personal
 feelings (and other interpretations of inputs) sufficient to make up
 our decision making system, actually our whole system of
 consciousness?


Apparently they are, since that is what in fact happens.

Here a diagram would be useful.  The reductionist tendency seems to be
 to lump all of consciousness into the input interpretting box and
 explain it in terms of smaller parts making up an autonomous
 machine.  Hence, now that it is all explained and we are a machine,
 there is no room for real morality and we can do whatever we want.  (I
 think I heard an Amen! from Brent.)

 That's fine for those of us who are older and have one foot still back
 in the days when our parents believed in something that was based on
 ultimate meaning and reality.  Hence we know what we want.  But what
 about the future generations? The big question for them is, What are
 we supposed to want?  We answer, Whatever you want!  See the
 circularity?  By lumping everything into the input interpretting box
 and explaining it, we have left the output creating box totally
 undefined.  The nobility of humanity is not in how to interpret things
 alone, but in creating things.  If we are trying to eliminate any
 normative thinking about this creating ability, we have left the
 creating ability to atrophy without guidance.  Freedom must be guided
 by form, on purpose, in a meaningful way.


Most people in the world behave as if there were an ultimate morality, even
though logically they might know that there isn't. I think this true even of
those with religious beliefs: murder is bad because it's bad, not because it
confirms in the Bible that it's bad. This strong sense that there is
something to moral behaviour besides evolutionary expediency is what I
called a second order feeling, and its utility is that it makes it difficult
for us to shrug off morality and do whatever we want.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-10 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 10-mars-07, à 04:30, Tom Caylor a écrit :

 Here a diagram would be useful.  The reductionist tendency seems to be
 to lump all of consciousness into the input interpretting box and
 explain it in terms of smaller parts making up an autonomous
 machine.  Hence, now that it is all explained and we are a machine,
 there is no room for real morality and we can do whatever we want.  (I
 think I heard an Amen! from Brent.)

This is a good description of comp before Gödel and Church's thesis. 
After, comp makes such interpretations provably wrong or inconsistent.
To understand comp + Gödel forces us toward more modesty, including the 
modesty in front on any self-referentially correct (by constuction) 
universal machine or entity.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-10 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 10-mars-07, à 09:58, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

 Most people in the world behave as if there were an ultimate morality, 
 even though logically they might know that there isn't.


Come on, come on, come on com,  





  I think this true even of those with religious beliefs: murder is bad 
 because it's bad,

?


 not because it confirms in the Bible that it's bad.

Certainly!



 This strong sense that there is something to moral behaviour besides 
 evolutionary expediency is what I called a second order feeling, and 
 its utility is that it makes it difficult for us to shrug off morality 
 and do whatever we want.


All right!   So there could be an ultimate morality (making bad 
bad!), it is just that there if there is one, then there is no third 
person normative theory of it. But, with comp, there is a (machine's) 
metatheory saying exactly that, that ultimate morality is not 
normatively describable, if that exists.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-09 Thread Tom Caylor

On Mar 8, 4:14 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 3/9/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
You could replace love with chocolate and God with the
  chocolate
fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can
  be
explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology
  etc., only
the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
experience.

  Actually if all we're talking about is first-person experience and
  personal tastes, then there would be cause for alarm if someone is
  claiming that there's some normative rules governing them.  I agree:
  How could any such normative rules ever be verified as being the
  right way of interpreting things?  Not! This is not what I am
  talking about.  You need to look at the *whole* control loop in order
  to be able to talk about sharable 3rd person meaning.

  Personal feelings of oo that's good or bleah are fine for what
  they are, but are they sufficient as the total input into our decision
  making system?  Without real morality the answer *must* be yes.  As in
  Russell Standish's post, the answer *must* be that whatever I
  *happen* (for no reason that I need to worry about) to feel is good
  stuff, is good stuff.  Marquis de Sade with no escape.

 It's not just personal tastes, but also second order feelings about the
 tastes. Consider the importance attached to the Japanese tea ceremony, for
 example. If there is a strong feeling in the tea ceremony participant that
 they are not just engaging in a cultural quirk but doing something of
 profound significance, this does not mean there is a supernatural source for
 this significance. Psychological factors are necessary and sufficient to
 explain it, and to explain morality as well.

 Stathis Papaioannou

It seems that you are missing my point.  I will better explain my
point about the whole control loop.   Personal tastes and second
order feelings about the tastes are all on the *input* side of our
system of consciousness.  But the input is not the whole system.
Instead of saying are personal feelings sufficient as the total input
into our decision making system? I should have said are personal
feelings (and other interpretations of inputs) sufficient to make up
our decision making system, actually our whole system of
consciousness?

Here a diagram would be useful.  The reductionist tendency seems to be
to lump all of consciousness into the input interpretting box and
explain it in terms of smaller parts making up an autonomous
machine.  Hence, now that it is all explained and we are a machine,
there is no room for real morality and we can do whatever we want.  (I
think I heard an Amen! from Brent.)

That's fine for those of us who are older and have one foot still back
in the days when our parents believed in something that was based on
ultimate meaning and reality.  Hence we know what we want.  But what
about the future generations? The big question for them is, What are
we supposed to want?  We answer, Whatever you want!  See the
circularity?  By lumping everything into the input interpretting box
and explaining it, we have left the output creating box totally
undefined.  The nobility of humanity is not in how to interpret things
alone, but in creating things.  If we are trying to eliminate any
normative thinking about this creating ability, we have left the
creating ability to atrophy without guidance.  Freedom must be guided
by form, on purpose, in a meaningful way.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-09 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 On Mar 8, 4:14 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 3/9/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 You could replace love with chocolate and God with the
 chocolate
 fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can
 be
 explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology
 etc., only
 the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
 experience.
 Actually if all we're talking about is first-person experience and
 personal tastes, then there would be cause for alarm if someone is
 claiming that there's some normative rules governing them.  I agree:
 How could any such normative rules ever be verified as being the
 right way of interpreting things?  Not! This is not what I am
 talking about.  You need to look at the *whole* control loop in order
 to be able to talk about sharable 3rd person meaning.
 Personal feelings of oo that's good or bleah are fine for what
 they are, but are they sufficient as the total input into our decision
 making system?  Without real morality the answer *must* be yes.  As in
 Russell Standish's post, the answer *must* be that whatever I
 *happen* (for no reason that I need to worry about) to feel is good
 stuff, is good stuff.  Marquis de Sade with no escape.
 It's not just personal tastes, but also second order feelings about the
 tastes. Consider the importance attached to the Japanese tea ceremony, for
 example. If there is a strong feeling in the tea ceremony participant that
 they are not just engaging in a cultural quirk but doing something of
 profound significance, this does not mean there is a supernatural source for
 this significance. Psychological factors are necessary and sufficient to
 explain it, and to explain morality as well.

 Stathis Papaioannou
 
 It seems that you are missing my point.  I will better explain my
 point about the whole control loop.   Personal tastes and second
 order feelings about the tastes are all on the *input* side of our
 system of consciousness.  But the input is not the whole system.
 Instead of saying are personal feelings sufficient as the total input
 into our decision making system? I should have said are personal
 feelings (and other interpretations of inputs) sufficient to make up
 our decision making system, actually our whole system of
 consciousness?
 
 Here a diagram would be useful.  The reductionist tendency seems to be
 to lump all of consciousness into the input interpretting box and
 explain it in terms of smaller parts making up an autonomous
 machine.  Hence, now that it is all explained and we are a machine,
 there is no room for real morality and we can do whatever we want.  (I
 think I heard an Amen! from Brent.)
 
 That's fine for those of us who are older and have one foot still back
 in the days when our parents believed in something that was based on
 ultimate meaning and reality.  Hence we know what we want.  But what
 about the future generations? The big question for them is, What are
 we supposed to want?  

Wrong question.  The question is what do you want?  What's going to be a life 
well lived?  What epitaph do you want on your tombstone?

We answer, Whatever you want!  See the
 circularity?  

Yes - you're going around in circles because you think you need ultimate 
purpose to have any purpose at all.

By lumping everything into the input interpretting box
 and explaining it, we have left the output creating box totally
 undefined.  

No, I want to create things.  I get a lot my satisfaction in life by creating 
things.  It's part of what I want.

Brent Meeker
My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child 
is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can. 
 Frank Zappa

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-08 Thread Tom Caylor

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 On 3/7/07, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 
  On 3/7/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  Tom Caylor wrote:
  
I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not what
gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in time
(contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the quote
  
makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person:
It's all about me).
  
   Why should there be?  Values are relative to people.  Love is our
   word.  We invented it to describe what we feel.  Having some Platonic form
   of LOVE out there is superfluous.  You're just making up a requirement for
   the really real ding-an-sich so that you can say God provides it.
  
 
  You could replace love with chocolate and God with the chocolate
  fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can be
  explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology etc., only
  the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
  experience.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou
 

 I hope that didn't come across as facetious, Tom. These are serious
 questions and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss them with an
 intelligent and scientifically well-informed theist.

 Stathis


Actually if all we're talking about is first-person experience and
personal tastes, then there would be cause for alarm if someone is
claiming that there's some normative rules governing them.  I agree:
How could any such normative rules ever be verified as being the
right way of interpreting things?  Not! This is not what I am
talking about.  You need to look at the *whole* control loop in order
to be able to talk about sharable 3rd person meaning.

Personal feelings of oo that's good or bleah are fine for what
they are, but are they sufficient as the total input into our decision
making system?  Without real morality the answer *must* be yes.  As in
Russell Standish's post, the answer *must* be that whatever I
*happen* (for no reason that I need to worry about) to feel is good
stuff, is good stuff.  Marquis de Sade with no escape.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-08 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 3/9/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   You could replace love with chocolate and God with the
 chocolate
   fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can
 be
   explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology
 etc., only
   the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
   experience.


Actually if all we're talking about is first-person experience and
 personal tastes, then there would be cause for alarm if someone is
 claiming that there's some normative rules governing them.  I agree:
 How could any such normative rules ever be verified as being the
 right way of interpreting things?  Not! This is not what I am
 talking about.  You need to look at the *whole* control loop in order
 to be able to talk about sharable 3rd person meaning.

 Personal feelings of oo that's good or bleah are fine for what
 they are, but are they sufficient as the total input into our decision
 making system?  Without real morality the answer *must* be yes.  As in
 Russell Standish's post, the answer *must* be that whatever I
 *happen* (for no reason that I need to worry about) to feel is good
 stuff, is good stuff.  Marquis de Sade with no escape.


It's not just personal tastes, but also second order feelings about the
tastes. Consider the importance attached to the Japanese tea ceremony, for
example. If there is a strong feeling in the tea ceremony participant that
they are not just engaging in a cultural quirk but doing something of
profound significance, this does not mean there is a supernatural source for
this significance. Psychological factors are necessary and sufficient to
explain it, and to explain morality as well.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 3/7/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

Tom Caylor wrote:

  I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not what
  gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in time
  (contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the quote
  makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
  problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
  first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person:
  It's all about me).

 Why should there be?  Values are relative to people.  Love is our
 word.  We invented it to describe what we feel.  Having some Platonic form
 of LOVE out there is superfluous.  You're just making up a requirement for
 the really real ding-an-sich so that you can say God provides it.


You could replace love with chocolate and God with the chocolate
fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can be
explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology etc., only
the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
experience.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 3/7/07, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:



 On 3/7/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Tom Caylor wrote:
 
   I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not what
   gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in time
   (contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the quote
 
   makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
   problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
   first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person:
   It's all about me).
 
  Why should there be?  Values are relative to people.  Love is our
  word.  We invented it to describe what we feel.  Having some Platonic form
  of LOVE out there is superfluous.  You're just making up a requirement for
  the really real ding-an-sich so that you can say God provides it.
 

 You could replace love with chocolate and God with the chocolate
 fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can be
 explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology etc., only
 the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
 experience.

 Stathis Papaioannou


I hope that didn't come across as facetious, Tom. These are serious
questions and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss them with an
intelligent and scientifically well-informed theist.

Stathis

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-07 Thread Danny Mayes
 

If you assume an ensemble theory, whether it be an infinite MWI or Bruno's
UD in the plenitude, is it POSSIBLE to avoid God?  For the purposes of this
question I'll define God as an entity capable of creating everything that
would be observed to exist in a (all possible) quantum mechanical universe.
To avoid God are we back to some kind of primitive physical idea that
there is something about the nature of reality that will forever prohibit
intelligence from emulating it?  That it is impossible even in theory to
build a kind of universal quantum constructor?  Or is the idea one that
physics will forever prohibit intelligence from acquiring the resources
necessary to achieve such a feat?  

How can you have everything, but not have something capable of creating
everything?  If you assume for instance the UD in the plenitude (no
intelligent action required), doesn't it eventually describe intelligence
with access to infinite or near infinite resources capable of creating an
artificial UD?  If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to
become a silly argument over semantics.   I'll be happy to hear where I'm
wrong on all this.  Please be kind, I've been away from these sorts of
discussions for quite a while!

Danny Mayes

 

 

On 3/7/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

Tom Caylor wrote:

 I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not what
 gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in time
 (contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the quote 
 makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
 problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
 first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person: 
 It's all about me).

Why should there be?  Values are relative to people.  Love is our word.  We
invented it to describe what we feel.  Having some Platonic form of LOVE out
there is superfluous.  You're just making up a requirement for the really
real ding-an-sich so that you can say God provides it. 


You could replace love with chocolate and God with the chocolate
fairy. You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can be
explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology etc., only
the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
experience. 

Stathis Papaioannou



--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-07 Thread Russell Standish

  If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to
 become a silly argument over semantics.  
 Danny Mayes
 

A *lot* of the debate over God seems to be a silly argument over
semantics. When people ask me if I believe in God, I sometimes ask
What precisely do you mean by 'God'?. But only if I'm spoiling for an
argument. Otherwise I'll just say something like Not the Christian
God, or mind your own business...

Cheers


-- 


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 3/8/07, Danny Mayes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  If you assume an ensemble theory, whether it be an infinite MWI or
 Bruno's UD in the plenitude, is it POSSIBLE to avoid God?  For the purposes
 of this question I'll define God as an entity capable of creating
 everything that would be observed to exist in a (all possible) quantum
 mechanical universe.  To avoid God are we back to some kind of primitive
 physical idea that there is something about the nature of reality that will
 forever prohibit intelligence from emulating it?  That it is impossible even
 in theory to build a kind of universal quantum constructor?  Or is the
 idea one that physics will forever prohibit intelligence from acquiring the
 resources necessary to achieve such a feat?

 How can you have everything, but not have something capable of creating
 everything?  If you assume for instance the UD in the plenitude (no
 intelligent action required), doesn't it eventually describe intelligence
 with access to infinite or near infinite resources capable of creating an
 artificial UD?  If the answer is yes the whole debate over God seems to
 become a silly argument over semantics.   I'll be happy to hear where I'm
 wrong on all this.  Please be kind, I've been away from these sorts of
 discussions for quite a while!

You could have what Russell Standish called a demigod, creating a copy of
every physical structure in the Plenitude but powerless, even if he were a
supernatural being separate from the Plenitude (i.e. not just arising as a
consequence of the many worlds), as far as creating, destroying or changing
the Plenitude goes.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-06 Thread Tom Caylor

On Mar 1, 8:17 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  On Feb 26, 4:33 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On 2/27/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  The thing that is different in this realm of true morality is that the
  Creator is a person that we can get to know (not totally, but in a
  process of growth just like any relationship), so that we aren't just
  cranking out IF/THEN inferences like a machine, but the Holy Spirit
  (analogous to All Soul in Bruno/Plotinus term) affirms with our spirit
  that a certain response or initiative in the current situation is in
  accord with the Creator's personal character.  Thus, there is only so
  much convincing that one can do in a forum like this.  The rest
  requires actually being shown God's love in a tangible way by another
  person.  Then it is still up to each of us to decide how we respond.
  OK, but if we skip the question of how we know that God wants us to act in 
  a
  particular (moral) way, as well as the question of why we should listen to
  him, we still have the Euthyphro dilemma, as raised by 
  Brent:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma
  ...

  I insist that I am not going down the ontological argument path.  If
  you want to categorize my argument from meaning, perhaps it is closest
  to Kant's argument from morality.  In a scientific system, perhaps
  this is branded as wishful thinking, but I am also insisting that
  science's basis (anything's basis actually), such as fundamentality,
  generality, beauty, introspection is also mystical wishful thinking,
  and naturality is circular, and reproducibility is circular in that
  its pragmatism begs the question of meaning (IF you want to do this,
  THEN reproducible experiments have shown that you should do such and
  such).
  But you're seeking to break out of this circularity by introducing God, who
  doesn't need a creator, designer, source of meaning or morality, containing
  these qualities in himself necessarily rather than contingently. If you're
  happy to say that God breaks the circularity, why include this extra layer
  of complication instead of stopping at the universe?

  Stathis Papaioannou

  Because the universe doesn't break the circularity (and a plenitude of
  universes doesn't either for that matter).

  By the way, I'm not using the moral argument as a proof of the
  existence of God in the sense of a conclusion inside a closed system
  of logic.  I'm arguing that the personal God of love is the only
  possible truly sufficient source for real morality and ultimate
  meaning.  

 A source that has given us the crusades and 9/11 as well as the sister's of 
 mercy.  No a very sufficient source if nobody can agree on what it provides.

I don't like simply saying That isn't so, but nobody can agree on
what it provides, referring to the source of ultimate meaning, is not
true.  In fact it's very remarkable the consistency, across all kinds
of cultures, the basic beliefs of truly normative morality, evidence
for their being a source which cannot be explained through closed
science alone.

On your first sentence, it also can be said of science that a lot of
evil has come that wouldn't have come (at least in the forms it has)
if it weren't for advances of science.  And I'm not knocking down
science as being invalid in its own right.  I'm just making the point
that your statement does not address *root* cause any more than
blaming science.  Conversely, people would still do evil things no
matter what the form of their belief in ultimate reality takes.  We
all (except for nihilists) believe in some form of ultimate reality.

I have a feeling that you'll always just come back with another short
quip like that.


 Brent Meeker
 Happiness is none the less true happiness because it must come to an end, 
 nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.
 --- Bertrand Russell-

I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not what
gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in time
(contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the quote
makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person:
It's all about me).  I've talked about that plenty already.  I just
wanted to make the point about unendingness, which is a common
caricature of what belief in God is all about (i.e. It's all about
me :).

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-06 Thread Tom Caylor

On Mar 6, 5:19 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  A source that has given us the crusades and 9/11 as well as the sister's 
  of mercy.  No a very sufficient source if nobody can agree on what it 
  provides.

  I don't like simply saying That isn't so, but nobody can agree on
  what it provides, referring to the source of ultimate meaning,

 I was referring to the sufficient source of *morality*.  Such a source 
 should be able to provide an unambiguous standard that is so clear everyone 
 agrees - if it existed.

 is not
  true.  In fact it's very remarkable the consistency, across all kinds
  of cultures, the basic beliefs of truly normative morality, evidence
  for their being a source which cannot be explained through closed
  science alone.

 Why not?  Why isn't Darwin's or Scott Atran's or Richard Dawkin's a 
 *possible* explanation. And how is God did it an explanation of anything?  
 It's just a form of words so ambiguous as to be virtually empty.  God meant 
 different things to the crusaders and the 9/11 jihadists, to the Aztecs and 
 the Conquistadores, to the Nazi's and the Jews.  So just because they use the 
 same word doesn't mean they are referring to the same thing.


We've talked about this before.  Darwin cannot explain giving without
expecting to receive.  Actually that's true love.  Only some people
believe that God did that.  But many other people somehow see the
goodness of it.

 And there is nothing closed about science.  Science is perfectly open to 
 the existence of whatever you can demonstrate.  People have tried to show 
 that the God who answers prayers exists and they fail.  But they could have 
 succeeded; nothing about science prevented their success.  They failed 
 because there is no such God.

  On your first sentence, it also can be said of science that a lot of
  evil has come that wouldn't have come (at least in the forms it has)
  if it weren't for advances of science.  And I'm not knocking down
  science as being invalid in its own right.  I'm just making the point
  that your statement does not address *root* cause any more than
  blaming science.

 That's the same criticism that theists make of cosmogonies - and the reply is 
 the same; if God doesn't need a root cause and can just exist uncaused, then 
 why not the universe (or the multiverse).  Love and morality don't need a 
 root cause beyond the evolutionary advantages they bestow.

  Brent Meeker
  Happiness is none the less true happiness because it must come to an end, 
  nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.
  --- Bertrand Russell-

  I agree with the Russell quote as it stands.  Unendingness is not what
  gives meaning.  The source of meaning is not living forever in time
  (contrary to the trans-humanists) but is timeless.  However, the quote
  makes a bad assumption when it talks about losing value.  The real
  problem is how there can be any true objective value to love in the
  first place (other than the so-called irrefutable first person:
  It's all about me).

 Why should there be?  Values are relative to people.  Love is our word.  We 
 invented it to describe what we feel.  Having some Platonic form of LOVE out 
 there is superfluous.  You're just making up a requirement for the really 
 real ding-an-sich so that you can say God provides it.

Dealing with our differences would require dealing with the fact that
I am a moral realist (hence my appeal to the argument from morality),
and you are not.  It seems you are a non-cognitivist or emotivist.

Perhaps we should just acknowledge our different views of morality.
Of course, as a moral realist, I believe that non-cognitivism does not
give a sufficient basis for morality.  But of course you disagree.  If
you agreed with moral realism then you would have to deal with the
argument from morality.

But if, when we say I love you to someone, all we're talking about
is our feelings, then morally that is like a stock market bubble, all
froth and in danger of collapse, sooner or later.  I'm not saying that
the speaker doesn't feel something at the time he/she says it, or that
they don't have good intentions.  I'm saying sooner or later.  There
is no foundation.


 Brent Meeker
 The Christian religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in 
 veneration- courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love 
 of the truth.
 --- H. L. Mencken

What in the world is this quote talking about?  Since I am a follower
of Jesus, I am not interested in religion, but I am interested in all
of those other things.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-01 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 3/1/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 But you're seeking to break out of this circularity by introducing God,
 who
  doesn't need a creator, designer, source of meaning or morality,
 containing
  these qualities in himself necessarily rather than contingently. If
 you're
  happy to say that God breaks the circularity, why include this extra
 layer
  of complication instead of stopping at the universe?
 
  Stathis Papaioannou

 Because the universe doesn't break the circularity (and a plenitude of
 universes doesn't either for that matter).


Actually, the plenitude does break the circularity, trumping even God. God
could create or destroy his own separate physical universe but the infinite
and infinitely nested universes of the plenitude, at least matching God's
work, would exist regardless. If you don't agree with this statement at
which point do you think the analogue of our present universe in the
plenitude would fall short of its real counterpart: would stars and planets
develop? Life? Zombie humans? Conscious humans but lacking a soul (and if
you could explain what that would mean)?

By the way, I'm not using the moral argument as a proof of the
 existence of God in the sense of a conclusion inside a closed system
 of logic.  I'm arguing that the personal God of love is the only
 possible truly sufficient source for real morality and ultimate
 meaning.  And if multiverses truly don't give us that, then to heck
 with multiverses.  I think I've made my point.


Well, I think from what you've said you would have to agree that if you can
find a way to prove that ultimate morality and meaning exist, you would also
prove that God exists. Is there a way of proving that these entities exist,
independent of a separate proof of God's existence?

Lastly, on Euthyphro, look at the last reference at the end of the
 Wikipedia article on the Euthyphro dilemma, especially the last
 section on whim.  The circular logic of Euthyphro is a problem only
 with self-referencing terms in a closed system of logic.  This is the
 problem with the assumption of the uniformity of natural causes in a
 closed system.  God's love transcends all closed systems.


That reference seems to suggest that there is an extra-God criterion for
morality, because as God is all-loving, God's arbitrary commands can't be
arbitrary in the sense of being based on whim, but must instead concern
behaviour that is in the overall best interests of those involved.

through the dark dry barren sky
 pierced a warm red wet rain
 can you not see this next new life spring flowing from him
   -- Song of Longinus


Who wrote that?

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-01 Thread Tom Caylor

On Mar 1, 5:26 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 3/1/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  But you're seeking to break out of this circularity by introducing God,
  who
   doesn't need a creator, designer, source of meaning or morality,
  containing
   these qualities in himself necessarily rather than contingently. If
  you're
   happy to say that God breaks the circularity, why include this extra
  layer
   of complication instead of stopping at the universe?

   Stathis Papaioannou

  Because the universe doesn't break the circularity (and a plenitude of
  universes doesn't either for that matter).

 Actually, the plenitude does break the circularity, trumping even God. God
 could create or destroy his own separate physical universe but the infinite
 and infinitely nested universes of the plenitude, at least matching God's
 work, would exist regardless. If you don't agree with this statement at
 which point do you think the analogue of our present universe in the
 plenitude would fall short of its real counterpart: would stars and planets
 develop? Life? Zombie humans? Conscious humans but lacking a soul (and if
 you could explain what that would mean)?


God would be outside of the plenitude, and thus would break the
meaning/moral circularity inherent in the plenitude, breaking its
symmetry of meaningless whiteness/blackness and bringing order.  He
basically would be in charge of the evolution of the countless
histories of the universes.  But this seems superfluous to what is
needed for meaning for us in this universe.  Thus why bother with
multiverses?  You haven't shown how multiverses give meaning.

  By the way, I'm not using the moral argument as a proof of the
  existence of God in the sense of a conclusion inside a closed system
  of logic.  I'm arguing that the personal God of love is the only
  possible truly sufficient source for real morality and ultimate
  meaning.  And if multiverses truly don't give us that, then to heck
  with multiverses.  I think I've made my point.

 Well, I think from what you've said you would have to agree that if you can
 find a way to prove that ultimate morality and meaning exist, you would also
 prove that God exists. Is there a way of proving that these entities exist,
 independent of a separate proof of God's existence?


Not proof in the sense of logic in a closed system of course.  How can
you *prove* something ultimate from something non-ultimate?  But as I
have said before, I am arguing *from* the fact that meaning and
morality are evident to us (my posts on seeing and consciousness),
and that you can't have meaning without ultimate meaning of the same
nature as the meaning.

  Lastly, on Euthyphro, look at the last reference at the end of the
  Wikipedia article on the Euthyphro dilemma, especially the last
  section on whim.  The circular logic of Euthyphro is a problem only
  with self-referencing terms in a closed system of logic.  This is the
  problem with the assumption of the uniformity of natural causes in a
  closed system.  God's love transcends all closed systems.

 That reference seems to suggest that there is an extra-God criterion for
 morality, because as God is all-loving, God's arbitrary commands can't be
 arbitrary in the sense of being based on whim, but must instead concern
 behaviour that is in the overall best interests of those involved.


You can't put God's love in a box.  Remember that I'm not pushing
through to a proof of God's existence.  You seem to be assuming that I
am.  I'm talking about what is evident to us, and the multiverse can't
explain.


  through the dark dry barren sky
  pierced a warm red wet rain
  can you not see this next new life spring flowing from him
-- Song of Longinus

 Who wrote that?

 Stathis Papaioannou

I did.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-03-01 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 On Feb 26, 4:33 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/27/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 The thing that is different in this realm of true morality is that the
 Creator is a person that we can get to know (not totally, but in a
 process of growth just like any relationship), so that we aren't just
 cranking out IF/THEN inferences like a machine, but the Holy Spirit
 (analogous to All Soul in Bruno/Plotinus term) affirms with our spirit
 that a certain response or initiative in the current situation is in
 accord with the Creator's personal character.  Thus, there is only so
 much convincing that one can do in a forum like this.  The rest
 requires actually being shown God's love in a tangible way by another
 person.  Then it is still up to each of us to decide how we respond.
 OK, but if we skip the question of how we know that God wants us to act in a
 particular (moral) way, as well as the question of why we should listen to
 him, we still have the Euthyphro dilemma, as raised by 
 Brent:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma
 ...

 I insist that I am not going down the ontological argument path.  If
 you want to categorize my argument from meaning, perhaps it is closest
 to Kant's argument from morality.  In a scientific system, perhaps
 this is branded as wishful thinking, but I am also insisting that
 science's basis (anything's basis actually), such as fundamentality,
 generality, beauty, introspection is also mystical wishful thinking,
 and naturality is circular, and reproducibility is circular in that
 its pragmatism begs the question of meaning (IF you want to do this,
 THEN reproducible experiments have shown that you should do such and
 such).
 But you're seeking to break out of this circularity by introducing God, who
 doesn't need a creator, designer, source of meaning or morality, containing
 these qualities in himself necessarily rather than contingently. If you're
 happy to say that God breaks the circularity, why include this extra layer
 of complication instead of stopping at the universe?

 Stathis Papaioannou
 
 Because the universe doesn't break the circularity (and a plenitude of
 universes doesn't either for that matter).
 
 By the way, I'm not using the moral argument as a proof of the
 existence of God in the sense of a conclusion inside a closed system
 of logic.  I'm arguing that the personal God of love is the only
 possible truly sufficient source for real morality and ultimate
 meaning.  

A source that has given us the crusades and 9/11 as well as the sister's of 
mercy.  No a very sufficient source if nobody can agree on what it provides.

Brent Meeker
Happiness is none the less true happiness because it must come to an end, nor 
do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.
--- Bertrand Russell

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-26 Thread Tom Caylor

On Feb 24, 6:10 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/24/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

   The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we
  can
   do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a best
   guess as to what's going on.

  This is a metaphysical judgment.  There are those who strongly
  disagree on rational grounds.

 One of the problems with the verification principle of logical positivism
 was that it, itself, cannot be verified by the verification principle, and
 hence is subject to the charge of being part of the hated metaphysics (and,
 I suppose, if it could be verified it would be subject to the charge that it
 was a circular argument). But I would get around the problem by stating the
 principles by which science works thus: IF you want to predict the weather,
 build planes that fly, make sick people better THEN you should do such and
 such. By putting it in this conditional form there is no metaphysical
 component.


I think you and/or Bruno talked about this internal conditional
definition of morality before.  But this is just logical inference
inside a closed system of facts.  IF this is true THEN this is
true.  There are no real normative statements here, and thus no real
moral meaning.  IF you want to torture babies, THEN you should do
such and such.  This definition of morality does not explain why we
should want certain things and not others.  This definition does not
suppport the real noble things of morality such as compassion.  Some
examples are:

IF you want to follow the Creator's path when your enemy strikes you
on the cheek, THEN you should turn the other cheek and pray for him/
her.
IF you want to follow the Creator's path when it comes to a choice
between your benefit and your neighbor's benefit, THEN you act for
your neighbor's benefit.
IF you want to follow the Creator's path when it comes to a choice
between your life and your friend's life, THEN you should give your
life.

The thing that is different in this realm of true morality is that the
Creator is a person that we can get to know (not totally, but in a
process of growth just like any relationship), so that we aren't just
cranking out IF/THEN inferences like a machine, but the Holy Spirit
(analogous to All Soul in Bruno/Plotinus term) affirms with our spirit
that a certain response or initiative in the current situation is in
accord with the Creator's personal character.  Thus, there is only so
much convincing that one can do in a forum like this.  The rest
requires actually being shown God's love in a tangible way by another
person.  Then it is still up to each of us to decide how we respond.


  Science is just a systematisation of this
   process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories.

  So science is a just systematisation of a metaphysical judgment.  I
  agree.

   However, it's
   all tentative, and the scientific method itself is tentative: tomorrow
  pigs
   might sprout wings and fly, even though this has never happened before.
  I
   would bet that pigs will still be land-bound tomorrow, because there is
  no
   reason to think otherwise, but I have to stop short of absolute
  certainty. A
   metaphysical position would be that flying pigs are an absurdity or an
   anathema and therefore pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is arrogant
  as
   well as wrong to create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or
  absolute
   anything else by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If there are
  some
   things we can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may be
   unfortunate, but it's the way the world is.

   Stathis Papaioannou

  Looking over my previous post, I cannot see why you are bringing up
  absolute certainty.  Also I don't know what absolute meaning means,
  unless it means knowing meaning with absolute certainty in which case
  I don't hold that view.

 Sorry if I have misunderstood, and if I have been unclear or tangential.
 Several posts back you spoke of positivism being deficient because a closed
 system which is supposedly totally explainable will always have at least one
 fixed point that is unexplainable. I read into this an implication that God
 would solve the problem because he could be outside the system, indeed
 outside all possible systems. But this runs into two problems. The first is
 that positivists are in fact very modest and make no claim to explain
 everything; the very opposite, in fact. The second is that the concept of an
 entity outside all possible systems, and therefore requiring no cause,
 design, meaning or any of the other things allegedly necessary for the
 universe and its components constitutes a restatement of the ontological
 argument for the existence of God, an argument that is 900 years old and has
 been rejected as invalid even by most theists.

 Stathis Papaioannou

I insist that I am not going down the ontological argument path.  If
you want to 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-26 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 On Feb 24, 6:10 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/24/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we
 can
 do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a best
 guess as to what's going on.
 This is a metaphysical judgment.  There are those who strongly
 disagree on rational grounds.
 One of the problems with the verification principle of logical positivism
 was that it, itself, cannot be verified by the verification principle, and
 hence is subject to the charge of being part of the hated metaphysics (and,
 I suppose, if it could be verified it would be subject to the charge that it
 was a circular argument). But I would get around the problem by stating the
 principles by which science works thus: IF you want to predict the weather,
 build planes that fly, make sick people better THEN you should do such and
 such. By putting it in this conditional form there is no metaphysical
 component.

 
 I think you and/or Bruno talked about this internal conditional
 definition of morality before.  But this is just logical inference
 inside a closed system of facts.  IF this is true THEN this is
 true.  There are no real normative statements here, and thus no real
 moral meaning.  IF you want to torture babies, THEN you should do
 such and such.  This definition of morality does not explain why we
 should want certain things and not others.  This definition does not
 suppport the real noble things of morality such as compassion.  Some
 examples are:
 
 IF you want to follow the Creator's path when your enemy strikes you
 on the cheek, THEN you should turn the other cheek and pray for him/
 her.
 IF you want to follow the Creator's path when it comes to a choice
 between your benefit and your neighbor's benefit, THEN you act for
 your neighbor's benefit.
 IF you want to follow the Creator's path when it comes to a choice
 between your life and your friend's life, THEN you should give your
 life.
 
 The thing that is different in this realm of true morality is that the
 Creator is a person that we can get to know (not totally, but in a
 process of growth just like any relationship), so that we aren't just
 cranking out IF/THEN inferences like a machine, but the Holy Spirit
 (analogous to All Soul in Bruno/Plotinus term) affirms with our spirit
 that a certain response or initiative in the current situation is in
 accord with the Creator's personal character.  Thus, there is only so
 much convincing that one can do in a forum like this.  The rest
 requires actually being shown God's love in a tangible way by another
 person.  Then it is still up to each of us to decide how we respond.
 
...
 
 I insist that I am not going down the ontological argument path.  If
 you want to categorize my argument from meaning, perhaps it is closest
 to Kant's argument from morality.  In a scientific system, perhaps
 this is branded as wishful thinking, but I am also insisting that
 science's basis (anything's basis actually), such as fundamentality,
 generality, beauty, introspection is also mystical wishful thinking,
 and naturality is circular, and reproducibility is circular in that
 its pragmatism begs the question of meaning (IF you want to do this,
 THEN reproducible experiments have shown that you should do such and
 such).
 
 Tom

You seem not to appreciate the inconsistency in trying to use someone else's 
morality, even The Creator's, as your own.  Surely you've read Euthyphro.

Brent Meeker

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-26 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/27/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:



 On Feb 24, 6:10 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On 2/24/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All
 we
   can
do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a
 best
guess as to what's going on.
 
   This is a metaphysical judgment.  There are those who strongly
   disagree on rational grounds.
 
  One of the problems with the verification principle of logical
 positivism
  was that it, itself, cannot be verified by the verification principle,
 and
  hence is subject to the charge of being part of the hated metaphysics
 (and,
  I suppose, if it could be verified it would be subject to the charge
 that it
  was a circular argument). But I would get around the problem by stating
 the
  principles by which science works thus: IF you want to predict the
 weather,
  build planes that fly, make sick people better THEN you should do such
 and
  such. By putting it in this conditional form there is no metaphysical
  component.
 

 I think you and/or Bruno talked about this internal conditional
 definition of morality before.  But this is just logical inference
 inside a closed system of facts.  IF this is true THEN this is
 true.  There are no real normative statements here, and thus no real
 moral meaning.  IF you want to torture babies, THEN you should do
 such and such.  This definition of morality does not explain why we
 should want certain things and not others.  This definition does not
 suppport the real noble things of morality such as compassion.  Some
 examples are:

 IF you want to follow the Creator's path when your enemy strikes you
 on the cheek, THEN you should turn the other cheek and pray for him/
 her.
 IF you want to follow the Creator's path when it comes to a choice
 between your benefit and your neighbor's benefit, THEN you act for
 your neighbor's benefit.
 IF you want to follow the Creator's path when it comes to a choice
 between your life and your friend's life, THEN you should give your
 life.


That's fine in its logical form.


 The thing that is different in this realm of true morality is that the
 Creator is a person that we can get to know (not totally, but in a
 process of growth just like any relationship), so that we aren't just
 cranking out IF/THEN inferences like a machine, but the Holy Spirit
 (analogous to All Soul in Bruno/Plotinus term) affirms with our spirit
 that a certain response or initiative in the current situation is in
 accord with the Creator's personal character.  Thus, there is only so
 much convincing that one can do in a forum like this.  The rest
 requires actually being shown God's love in a tangible way by another
 person.  Then it is still up to each of us to decide how we respond.


OK, but if we skip the question of how we know that God wants us to act in a
particular (moral) way, as well as the question of why we should listen to
him, we still have the Euthyphro dilemma, as raised by Brent:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma


   Science is just a systematisation of this
process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories.
 
   So science is a just systematisation of a metaphysical judgment.  I
   agree.
 
However, it's
all tentative, and the scientific method itself is tentative:
 tomorrow
   pigs
might sprout wings and fly, even though this has never happened
 before.
   I
would bet that pigs will still be land-bound tomorrow, because there
 is
   no
reason to think otherwise, but I have to stop short of absolute
   certainty. A
metaphysical position would be that flying pigs are an absurdity or
 an
anathema and therefore pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is
 arrogant
   as
well as wrong to create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or
   absolute
anything else by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If there
 are
   some
things we can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may
 be
unfortunate, but it's the way the world is.
 
Stathis Papaioannou
 
   Looking over my previous post, I cannot see why you are bringing up
   absolute certainty.  Also I don't know what absolute meaning means,
   unless it means knowing meaning with absolute certainty in which case
   I don't hold that view.
 
  Sorry if I have misunderstood, and if I have been unclear or tangential.
  Several posts back you spoke of positivism being deficient because a
 closed
  system which is supposedly totally explainable will always have at least
 one
  fixed point that is unexplainable. I read into this an implication that
 God
  would solve the problem because he could be outside the system, indeed
  outside all possible systems. But this runs into two problems. The first
 is
  that positivists are in fact very modest and make no claim to explain
  everything; the very opposite, in fact. The second is that the concept
 of 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-24 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
I suppose it depends on what is covered by the term metaphysics. Theists
sometimes profess absolute certainty in the face of absolute lack of
evidence, and are proud of it. I wouldn't lump this in together with the
interpretation of quantum mechanics (I'm sure you wouldn't either, but I
thought I'd make the point).

On 2/24/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
  On 2/24/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
  On Feb 23, 3:59 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
On 2/23/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   
 My point in quoting Kronecker was to simply to allude to the
  fact that
 the foundations of mathematics are axiomatic in a similar way
 that
 ultimate meaning is ultimate.  We have a feeling that the
  foundation
 of math is ultimately right, even though we can't prove it.  In
 my
 logical reason (reason #1 a few posts back), I am simply
  arguing for
 realism (vs. positivism).  Your arguments that you are trying
 to
 enforce here would apply equally well (if valid) to realism in
  general
 (not just God), and therefore put you in the positivist camp.
   
 Tom
   
Positivists don't like metaphysics, but even if you allow that
  metaphysics
isn't all just nonsense, you have to maintain some sort of
  standards. How do
you weed out those metaphysical beliefs which *are* just
 nonsense?
   
Stathis Papaioannou
 
  I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually
  don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that science
 is
  ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some kind
  of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a
 whole.
 
  There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
  criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since,
 again,
  science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as
  fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that
 science
  conventionally has been limited to the material (whatever that
  means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle
  actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we have
  in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to
  metaphysics.
 
  [Side note: But even more important is to recognize that
 metaphysics,
  as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
  and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
  limits more than anything the amount of sense we can make out of
  Everything.]
 
  However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
  things having a cause even in the context of Everything and
 Everyone,
  is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It
 assumes
  that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
  effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything (as
 I've
  mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious
 circle.
 
 
  The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we
  can do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a
  best guess as to what's going on. Science is just a systematisation of
  this process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories.
  However, it's all tentative, and the scientific method itself is
  tentative: tomorrow pigs might sprout wings and fly, even though this
  has never happened before. I would bet that pigs will still be
  land-bound tomorrow, because there is no reason to think otherwise, but
  I have to stop short of absolute certainty. A metaphysical position
  would be that flying pigs are an absurdity or an anathema and therefore
  pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is arrogant as well as wrong to
  create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or absolute anything else
  by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If there are some things we
  can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may be unfortunate,
  but it's the way the world is.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou

 You seem to take metaphysics to be an absolutist theory.  Maybe Tom does
 too.  But I think of metaphysics to be the interpretation we put on top of
 our mathematical theories, e.g. Bohm's pilot wave and Feynman's multiple
 particle paths are two different metaphysics we can use to explain what the
 formalism of quantum mechanics refers to.  But we're *less* certain about
 them than about the formalism.  In fact they don't even matter in
 applications.  Their usefulness, if they have any, is in suggesting
 extensions to the theory.

 Brent Meeker

 


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-24 Thread John M
Thank you, guys, for 2 parts in this post I cherrish most.
(I was questioning the endless back-and-forth of these 'bickercussions', but 
from time to time there is a part that justifies the frustration of reading so 
much) 
*
I leave the part from Stathis' text which I want to copy to another list (with 
credit to Stathis and this list - if it is not prohibited, pls advise) between 
dotted lines. 
Also:
The remark of Brent opened up a little light in my head (aka activated some 
photons in the neurons?) about refreshing the 'pilot wave' of D. Bohm as 
coinciding with Robert Rosen's anticipatory principle. (Bohm's priority). 
*
Btw I find 'metaphysics' was a false historical mock-name to reject everything 
outside the primitive ancient model they called (then) physics (the science). 
Today's physics is many times 'meta', especially when carrying a Q-name. I 
can relate to both of yours remarks. 
( Theists etc. just wanted to ride that horse in the past.  )
The wording that emerges in talks about metaphysics is a mixture of the ancient 
denigration and the up-to-date ideas. Is it still fruitful to argue about a 
past misnomer?

John M
 
PS. about 'cause' and 'positivists':
if we accept the random occurrences in the existence, we just waste any effort 
to identify ANY order (including math). I don't think the 'positivist' is a 
right (denigrating?)
word for the idea that everything is (deterministically) interconnected/ 
interinfluencing any occurrence to 'happen' - maybe not 'causing' just 
'directing/facilitating' - entailing in some sense.  JM
  - Original Message - 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2007 6:32 AM
  Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life


  I suppose it depends on what is covered by the term metaphysics. Theists 
sometimes profess absolute certainty in the face of absolute lack of evidence, 
and are proud of it. I wouldn't lump this in together with the interpretation 
of quantum mechanics (I'm sure you wouldn't either, but I thought I'd make the 
point). 

  ...  (On /24/07,
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:)

 On Feb 23, 3:59 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]  wrote:
   On 2/23/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: 
Skip
*
   Stathis Papaioannou

 I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually 
 don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that science is
 ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some kind
 of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a 
whole. 

 There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
 criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since, again,
 science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as 
 fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that science
 conventionally has been limited to the material (whatever that
 means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle 
 actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we have
 in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to
 metaphysics.

 [Side note: But even more important is to recognize that metaphysics, 
 as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
 and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
 limits more than anything the amount of sense we can make out of 
 Everything.]

 However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
 things having a cause even in the context of Everything and Everyone,
 is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It 
assumes 
 that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
 effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything (as I've
 mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious circle. 

-
 The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we
 can do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a
 best guess as to what's going on. Science is just a systematisation of 
 this process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories.
 However, it's all tentative, and the scientific method itself is
 tentative: tomorrow pigs might sprout wings and fly, even though this 
 has never happened before. I would bet that pigs will still be
 land-bound tomorrow, because there is no reason to think otherwise, but
 I have to stop short of absolute certainty. A metaphysical position 
 would

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-24 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/24/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 On Feb 23, 8:51 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On 2/24/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED]  wrote:
 
   I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually
   don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that science is
   ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some kind
   of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a whole.
 
   There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
   criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since, again,

   science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as
   fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that science
   conventionally has been limited to the material (whatever that
   means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle
   actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we have
   in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to
   metaphysics.
 
   [Side note: But even more important is to recognize that metaphysics,
   as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
   and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
   limits more than anything the amount of sense we can make out of
   Everything.]
 
   However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
   things having a cause even in the context of Everything and Everyone,
   is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It assumes
   that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
   effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything (as I've
   mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious circle.
 
  The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we
 can
  do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a best
  guess as to what's going on.

 This is a metaphysical judgment.  There are those who strongly
 disagree on rational grounds.


One of the problems with the verification principle of logical positivism
was that it, itself, cannot be verified by the verification principle, and
hence is subject to the charge of being part of the hated metaphysics (and,
I suppose, if it could be verified it would be subject to the charge that it
was a circular argument). But I would get around the problem by stating the
principles by which science works thus: IF you want to predict the weather,
build planes that fly, make sick people better THEN you should do such and
such. By putting it in this conditional form there is no metaphysical
component.

 Science is just a systematisation of this
  process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories.

 So science is a just systematisation of a metaphysical judgment.  I
 agree.

  However, it's
  all tentative, and the scientific method itself is tentative: tomorrow
 pigs
  might sprout wings and fly, even though this has never happened before.
 I
  would bet that pigs will still be land-bound tomorrow, because there is
 no
  reason to think otherwise, but I have to stop short of absolute
 certainty. A
  metaphysical position would be that flying pigs are an absurdity or an
  anathema and therefore pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is arrogant
 as
  well as wrong to create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or
 absolute
  anything else by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If there are
 some
  things we can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may be
  unfortunate, but it's the way the world is.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou

 Looking over my previous post, I cannot see why you are bringing up
 absolute certainty.  Also I don't know what absolute meaning means,
 unless it means knowing meaning with absolute certainty in which case
 I don't hold that view.


Sorry if I have misunderstood, and if I have been unclear or tangential.
Several posts back you spoke of positivism being deficient because a closed
system which is supposedly totally explainable will always have at least one
fixed point that is unexplainable. I read into this an implication that God
would solve the problem because he could be outside the system, indeed
outside all possible systems. But this runs into two problems. The first is
that positivists are in fact very modest and make no claim to explain
everything; the very opposite, in fact. The second is that the concept of an
entity outside all possible systems, and therefore requiring no cause,
design, meaning or any of the other things allegedly necessary for the
universe and its components constitutes a restatement of the ontological
argument for the existence of God, an argument that is 900 years old and has
been rejected as invalid even by most theists.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-24 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 On 2/24/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 On Feb 23, 8:51 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   On 2/24/07, Tom Caylor  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually
don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that
 science is
ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some
 kind
of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a
 whole.
  
There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since,
 again,
science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as
fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that
 science
conventionally has been limited to the material (whatever that
means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle
actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we
 have
in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to
metaphysics.
  
[Side note: But even more important is to recognize that
 metaphysics,
as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
limits more than anything the amount of sense we can make out of
Everything.]
  
However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
things having a cause even in the context of Everything and
 Everyone,
is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It
 assumes
that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything
 (as I've
mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious
 circle.
  
   The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us.
 All we can
   do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make
 a best
   guess as to what's going on.
 
 This is a metaphysical judgment.  There are those who strongly
 disagree on rational grounds.
 
 
 One of the problems with the verification principle of logical 
 positivism was that it, itself, cannot be verified by the verification 
 principle, and hence is subject to the charge of being part of the hated 
 metaphysics (and, I suppose, if it could be verified it would be subject 
 to the charge that it was a circular argument). But I would get around 
 the problem by stating the principles by which science works thus: IF 
 you want to predict the weather, build planes that fly, make sick people 
 better THEN you should do such and such. By putting it in this 
 conditional form there is no metaphysical component.
 
   Science is just a systematisation of this
   process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories.
 
 So science is a just systematisation of a metaphysical judgment.  I
 agree.
 
   However, it's
   all tentative, and the scientific method itself is tentative:
 tomorrow pigs
   might sprout wings and fly, even though this has never happened
 before. I
   would bet that pigs will still be land-bound tomorrow, because
 there is no
   reason to think otherwise, but I have to stop short of absolute
 certainty. A
   metaphysical position would be that flying pigs are an absurdity
 or an
   anathema and therefore pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is
 arrogant as
   well as wrong to create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or
 absolute
   anything else by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If
 there are some
   things we can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may be
   unfortunate, but it's the way the world is.
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
 
 Looking over my previous post, I cannot see why you are bringing up
 absolute certainty.  Also I don't know what absolute meaning means,
 unless it means knowing meaning with absolute certainty in which case
 I don't hold that view. 
 
 
 Sorry if I have misunderstood, and if I have been unclear or tangential. 
 Several posts back you spoke of positivism being deficient because a 
 closed system which is supposedly totally explainable will always have 
 at least one fixed point that is unexplainable. 

This is somewhat beside the point anyway.  Positivists (and all foundationists) 
suppose that there are some things known directly, without explanation, usually 
by direct perception or by introspection.  Just as mystics suppose some things 
are directly intuited or revealed by meditation, e.g. ...such things as 
fundamentality, generality and 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-24 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/25/07, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

[SP, in response to Tom Caylor]:

  Sorry if I have misunderstood, and if I have been unclear or tangential.
  Several posts back you spoke of positivism being deficient because a
  closed system which is supposedly totally explainable will always have
  at least one fixed point that is unexplainable.

 This is somewhat beside the point anyway.  Positivists (and all
 foundationists) suppose that there are some things known directly, without
 explanation, usually by direct perception or by introspection.  Just as
 mystics suppose some things are directly intuited or revealed by meditation,
 e.g. ...such things as fundamentality, generality and beauty.

 Brent Meeker


But then why value a scientific explanation over a mystical explanation?
It's straightforward when we stick to science as a method for making
predictions and creating technology (penicillin works better than prayer),
but where does this leave the example you raised recently, the
interpretation of quantum mechanics? I understand that some journals will
not publish papers on this subject on positivist grounds, i.e. that it is
metaphysics rather than science.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-24 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 On 2/25/07, *Brent Meeker* [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 [SP, in response to Tom Caylor]:
 
   Sorry if I have misunderstood, and if I have been unclear or
 tangential.
   Several posts back you spoke of positivism being deficient because a
   closed system which is supposedly totally explainable will always
 have
   at least one fixed point that is unexplainable.
 
 This is somewhat beside the point anyway.  Positivists (and all
 foundationists) suppose that there are some things known directly,
 without explanation, usually by direct perception or by
 introspection.  Just as mystics suppose some things are directly
 intuited or revealed by meditation, e.g. ...such things as
 fundamentality, generality and beauty.
 
 Brent Meeker
 
 
 But then why value a scientific explanation over a mystical explanation? 

Because, as you pointed out, it works.  When knowledge is tested against 
perception and intersubjective agreement on that perception (to rule out 
hallucinations) it seems to be reliable.  When it's based on mystic revelation, 
it's not.  I was referring to Tom's statement you quoted when I said it was 
somewhat beside the point.

 It's straightforward when we stick to science as a method for making 
 predictions and creating technology (penicillin works better than 
 prayer), but where does this leave the example you raised recently, the 
 interpretation of quantum mechanics? I understand that some journals 
 will not publish papers on this subject on positivist grounds, i.e. that 
 it is metaphysics rather than science.

Some physics journals and proceeding of symposia do publish papers on the 
interpretation of quantum mechanics.  This kind of metaphysics (literally 
about physics) is useful in guiding the development of new theories.  When 
Einstein developed general relativity he assumed some meta- rules, e.g. no 
derivatives higher than second.  Since there's a conflict between quantum 
mechanics and general relativity at the ontological level, the resolution is 
likely to require something that is meta- relative to the current theories.

Brent Meeker

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-23 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/23/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 On Feb 20, 3:47 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
   Ultimate meaning is analogous to axioms or arithmetic truth (e.g. 42
   is not prime).  In fact the famous quote of Kronecker God created the
   integers makes this point.  I think Bruno takes arithmetic truth as
   his ultimate source of meaning.  If you ask the same positivist
   questions of arithmetic truth, you also have the same problem.  The
   problem lies in the positivist view that there can be no given truth.
 
   Tom
 
  This is indeed related to the ontological argument, first formulated by
  Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century: We say that God is a being
 than
  which nothing more perfect can be imagined. If God did not exist, then
 we
  can imagine an entity just like God, but with the additional attribute
 of
  existence - which is absurd, because we would then be imagining
 something
  more perfect than that than which nothing more perfect can be imagined.
  Therefore, God the most perfect being imaginable must necessarily have
  existence as one of his attributes. Versions of the argument from first
  cause and the argument from design also reduce to the ontological
 argument,
  answering the question who made God? with the assertion that God
 exists
  necessarily, with no need for the creator/designer (or, you might add,
  external source of meaning) that the merely contingents things in the
  universe need.
 
  The problem with defining God in this way as something which necessarily
  exists is that you can use the same trick to conjure up anything you
 like:
  an existent pink elephant can't be non-existent any more than a
 bachelor
  can be married. This objection pales a little if we admit that imagined
  existence (i.e Platonia and the conscious computations therein) is all
 the
  existence there is, but I am not sure that you would be happy with this
  explanation as despite the Kronecker quote (which I always understood as
  rhetorical anyway) mathematical truths are beyond even God's power to
  change.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou

 My point in quoting Kronecker was to simply to allude to the fact that
 the foundations of mathematics are axiomatic in a similar way that
 ultimate meaning is ultimate.  We have a feeling that the foundation
 of math is ultimately right, even though we can't prove it.  In my
 logical reason (reason #1 a few posts back), I am simply arguing for
 realism (vs. positivism).  Your arguments that you are trying to
 enforce here would apply equally well (if valid) to realism in general
 (not just God), and therefore put you in the positivist camp.

 Tom


Positivists don't like metaphysics, but even if you allow that metaphysics
isn't all just nonsense, you have to maintain some sort of standards. How do
you weed out those metaphysical beliefs which *are* just nonsense?

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-23 Thread Tom Caylor

On Feb 23, 3:59 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/23/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  My point in quoting Kronecker was to simply to allude to the fact that
  the foundations of mathematics are axiomatic in a similar way that
  ultimate meaning is ultimate.  We have a feeling that the foundation
  of math is ultimately right, even though we can't prove it.  In my
  logical reason (reason #1 a few posts back), I am simply arguing for
  realism (vs. positivism).  Your arguments that you are trying to
  enforce here would apply equally well (if valid) to realism in general
  (not just God), and therefore put you in the positivist camp.

  Tom

 Positivists don't like metaphysics, but even if you allow that metaphysics
 isn't all just nonsense, you have to maintain some sort of standards. How do
 you weed out those metaphysical beliefs which *are* just nonsense?

 Stathis Papaioannou

I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually
don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that science is
ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some kind
of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a whole.

There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since, again,
science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as
fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that science
conventionally has been limited to the material (whatever that
means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle
actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we have
in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to
metaphysics.

[Side note: But even more important is to recognize that metaphysics,
as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
limits more than anything the amount of sense we can make out of
Everything.]

However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
things having a cause even in the context of Everything and Everyone,
is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It assumes
that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything (as I've
mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious circle.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-23 Thread Tom Caylor

On Feb 23, 8:51 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/24/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually
  don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that science is
  ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some kind
  of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a whole.

  There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
  criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since, again,
  science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as
  fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that science
  conventionally has been limited to the material (whatever that
  means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle
  actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we have
  in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to
  metaphysics.

  [Side note: But even more important is to recognize that metaphysics,
  as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
  and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
  limits more than anything the amount of sense we can make out of
  Everything.]

  However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
  things having a cause even in the context of Everything and Everyone,
  is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It assumes
  that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
  effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything (as I've
  mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious circle.

 The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we can
 do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a best
 guess as to what's going on.

This is a metaphysical judgment.  There are those who strongly
disagree on rational grounds.

 Science is just a systematisation of this
 process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories.

So science is a just systematisation of a metaphysical judgment.  I
agree.

 However, it's
 all tentative, and the scientific method itself is tentative: tomorrow pigs
 might sprout wings and fly, even though this has never happened before. I
 would bet that pigs will still be land-bound tomorrow, because there is no
 reason to think otherwise, but I have to stop short of absolute certainty. A
 metaphysical position would be that flying pigs are an absurdity or an
 anathema and therefore pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is arrogant as
 well as wrong to create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or absolute
 anything else by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If there are some
 things we can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may be
 unfortunate, but it's the way the world is.

 Stathis Papaioannou

Looking over my previous post, I cannot see why you are bringing up
absolute certainty.  Also I don't know what absolute meaning means,
unless it means knowing meaning with absolute certainty in which case
I don't hold that view.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-23 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 On 2/24/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 On Feb 23, 3:59 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   On 2/23/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
My point in quoting Kronecker was to simply to allude to the
 fact that
the foundations of mathematics are axiomatic in a similar way that
ultimate meaning is ultimate.  We have a feeling that the
 foundation
of math is ultimately right, even though we can't prove it.  In my
logical reason (reason #1 a few posts back), I am simply
 arguing for
realism (vs. positivism).  Your arguments that you are trying to
enforce here would apply equally well (if valid) to realism in
 general
(not just God), and therefore put you in the positivist camp.
  
Tom
  
   Positivists don't like metaphysics, but even if you allow that
 metaphysics
   isn't all just nonsense, you have to maintain some sort of
 standards. How do
   you weed out those metaphysical beliefs which *are* just nonsense?
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
 
 I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually
 don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that science is
 ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some kind
 of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a whole.
 
 There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
 criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since, again,
 science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as
 fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that science
 conventionally has been limited to the material (whatever that
 means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle
 actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we have
 in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to
 metaphysics.
 
 [Side note: But even more important is to recognize that metaphysics,
 as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
 and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
 limits more than anything the amount of sense we can make out of
 Everything.]
 
 However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
 things having a cause even in the context of Everything and Everyone,
 is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It assumes
 that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
 effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything (as I've
 mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious circle.
 
 
 The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we 
 can do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a 
 best guess as to what's going on. Science is just a systematisation of 
 this process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories. 
 However, it's all tentative, and the scientific method itself is 
 tentative: tomorrow pigs might sprout wings and fly, even though this 
 has never happened before. I would bet that pigs will still be 
 land-bound tomorrow, because there is no reason to think otherwise, but 
 I have to stop short of absolute certainty. A metaphysical position 
 would be that flying pigs are an absurdity or an anathema and therefore 
 pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is arrogant as well as wrong to 
 create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or absolute anything else 
 by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If there are some things we 
 can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may be unfortunate, 
 but it's the way the world is.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

You seem to take metaphysics to be an absolutist theory.  Maybe Tom does too.  
But I think of metaphysics to be the interpretation we put on top of our 
mathematical theories, e.g. Bohm's pilot wave and Feynman's multiple particle 
paths are two different metaphysics we can use to explain what the formalism of 
quantum mechanics refers to.  But we're *less* certain about them than about 
the formalism.  In fact they don't even matter in applications.  Their 
usefulness, if they have any, is in suggesting extensions to the theory.

Brent Meeker

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-22 Thread Tom Caylor

On Feb 20, 3:47 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  Ultimate meaning is analogous to axioms or arithmetic truth (e.g. 42
  is not prime).  In fact the famous quote of Kronecker God created the
  integers makes this point.  I think Bruno takes arithmetic truth as
  his ultimate source of meaning.  If you ask the same positivist
  questions of arithmetic truth, you also have the same problem.  The
  problem lies in the positivist view that there can be no given truth.

  Tom

 This is indeed related to the ontological argument, first formulated by
 Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century: We say that God is a being than
 which nothing more perfect can be imagined. If God did not exist, then we
 can imagine an entity just like God, but with the additional attribute of
 existence - which is absurd, because we would then be imagining something
 more perfect than that than which nothing more perfect can be imagined.
 Therefore, God the most perfect being imaginable must necessarily have
 existence as one of his attributes. Versions of the argument from first
 cause and the argument from design also reduce to the ontological argument,
 answering the question who made God? with the assertion that God exists
 necessarily, with no need for the creator/designer (or, you might add,
 external source of meaning) that the merely contingents things in the
 universe need.

 The problem with defining God in this way as something which necessarily
 exists is that you can use the same trick to conjure up anything you like:
 an existent pink elephant can't be non-existent any more than a bachelor
 can be married. This objection pales a little if we admit that imagined
 existence (i.e Platonia and the conscious computations therein) is all the
 existence there is, but I am not sure that you would be happy with this
 explanation as despite the Kronecker quote (which I always understood as
 rhetorical anyway) mathematical truths are beyond even God's power to
 change.

 Stathis Papaioannou

My point in quoting Kronecker was to simply to allude to the fact that
the foundations of mathematics are axiomatic in a similar way that
ultimate meaning is ultimate.  We have a feeling that the foundation
of math is ultimately right, even though we can't prove it.  In my
logical reason (reason #1 a few posts back), I am simply arguing for
realism (vs. positivism).  Your arguments that you are trying to
enforce here would apply equally well (if valid) to realism in general
(not just God), and therefore put you in the positivist camp.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-20 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 On Feb 19, 7:00 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
   On Feb 19, 4:00 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 These are positivist questions.  This is your basic error in this
 whole post (and previous ones).  These questions are assuming that
 positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
 meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
 when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).
 
 Tom
 
Can you explain that a bit further? I can understand that personal
   meaning
is not necessarily connected to empirical facts. The ancient Greeks
   believed
in the gods of Olympus, built temples to them, wrote songs about
 them,
   and
so on. They provided meaning to the Greeks, and had an overall
 positive
effect on Greek society even though as a matter of fact there
 weren't
   any
gods living on Mount Olympus. Just as long as we are clear about
 that.
 
Stathis Papaioannou
 
   It is a given that whatever belief we have falls short of the set of
   all truth.  But here we are talking about different theories behind
   beliefs in general.  Positivism is one such theory or world view.
   This problematic type of world view in which positivism falls has also
   been referred to as rationalism in a closed system.  In such a world
   view there is no ultimate meaning.  All meaning is a reference to
   something else which is in turn meaningless except for in reference to
   yet something else which is meaningless.  We can try to hide this
   problem by putting the end of the meaning dependency line inside each
   individual person's 1st person point of view.  At that point, if we
   claim that we still have a closed system, then we have to call the 1st
   person point of view meaningless.  Or, if we at that point allow an
   open system, then we can say that the 1st person point of view has
   meaning which comes from where-we-know-not.  This is just as useless
   as the meaningless view (in terms of being meaningful ;).  This is all
   opposed to the world view which allows an ultimate source of meaning
   for persons.  If there were such an ultimate source of meaning for
   persons, then, even though our beliefs would fall short of the full
   truth of it, it makes sense that there would be some way of seeing
   or discovering the truth in a sort of progressive or growing process
   at the personal level.  Gotta go.
 
   Tom
 
  I don't see how ultimate meaning is logically possible (if it is even
  desirable, but that's another question). What is God's ultimate meaning?
 If
  he gets away without one or has one from where-we-know-not then how is
 this
  different to the case of the individual human? Saying God is infinite
  doesn't help because we can still ask for the meaning of the whole
 infinite
  series. Defining God as someone who *just has* ultimate meaning as one
 of
  his attributes is a rehash of the ontological argument.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou
 

 Ultimate meaning is analogous to axioms or arithmetic truth (e.g. 42
 is not prime).  In fact the famous quote of Kronecker God created the
 integers makes this point.  I think Bruno takes arithmetic truth as
 his ultimate source of meaning.  If you ask the same positivist
 questions of arithmetic truth, you also have the same problem.  The
 problem lies in the positivist view that there can be no given truth.

 Tom


This is indeed related to the ontological argument, first formulated by
Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century: We say that God is a being than
which nothing more perfect can be imagined. If God did not exist, then we
can imagine an entity just like God, but with the additional attribute of
existence - which is absurd, because we would then be imagining something
more perfect than that than which nothing more perfect can be imagined.
Therefore, God the most perfect being imaginable must necessarily have
existence as one of his attributes. Versions of the argument from first
cause and the argument from design also reduce to the ontological argument,
answering the question who made God? with the assertion that God exists
necessarily, with no need for the creator/designer (or, you might add,
external source of meaning) that the merely contingents things in the
universe need.

The problem with defining God in this way as something which necessarily
exists is that you can use the same trick to conjure up anything you like:
an existent pink elephant can't be non-existent any more than a bachelor
can be married. This objection pales a little if we admit that imagined
existence (i.e Platonia and the conscious computations therein) is all the
existence there is, but I am not sure that you would be happy with this
explanation as despite the Kronecker quote (which I always understood as

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-20 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 On Feb 19, 7:00 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 On Feb 19, 4:00 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 These are positivist questions.  This is your basic error in this
 whole post (and previous ones).  These questions are assuming that
 positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
 meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
 when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).
 Tom
 Can you explain that a bit further? I can understand that personal
 meaning
 is not necessarily connected to empirical facts. The ancient Greeks
 believed
 in the gods of Olympus, built temples to them, wrote songs about them,
 and
 so on. They provided meaning to the Greeks, and had an overall positive
 effect on Greek society even though as a matter of fact there weren't
 any
 gods living on Mount Olympus. Just as long as we are clear about that.
 Stathis Papaioannou
 It is a given that whatever belief we have falls short of the set of
 all truth.  But here we are talking about different theories behind
 beliefs in general.  Positivism is one such theory or world view.
 This problematic type of world view in which positivism falls has also
 been referred to as rationalism in a closed system.  In such a world
 view there is no ultimate meaning.  All meaning is a reference to
 something else which is in turn meaningless except for in reference to
 yet something else which is meaningless.  We can try to hide this
 problem by putting the end of the meaning dependency line inside each
 individual person's 1st person point of view.  At that point, if we
 claim that we still have a closed system, then we have to call the 1st
 person point of view meaningless.  Or, if we at that point allow an
 open system, then we can say that the 1st person point of view has
 meaning which comes from where-we-know-not.  This is just as useless
 as the meaningless view (in terms of being meaningful ;).  This is all
 opposed to the world view which allows an ultimate source of meaning
 for persons.  If there were such an ultimate source of meaning for
 persons, then, even though our beliefs would fall short of the full
 truth of it, it makes sense that there would be some way of seeing
 or discovering the truth in a sort of progressive or growing process
 at the personal level.  Gotta go.
 Tom
 I don't see how ultimate meaning is logically possible (if it is even
 desirable, but that's another question). What is God's ultimate meaning? If
 he gets away without one or has one from where-we-know-not then how is this
 different to the case of the individual human? Saying God is infinite
 doesn't help because we can still ask for the meaning of the whole infinite
 series. Defining God as someone who *just has* ultimate meaning as one of
 his attributes is a rehash of the ontological argument.

 Stathis Papaioannou

 
 Ultimate meaning is analogous to axioms or arithmetic truth (e.g. 42
 is not prime).  In fact the famous quote of Kronecker God created the
 integers makes this point.  I think Bruno takes arithmetic truth as
 his ultimate source of meaning.  If you ask the same positivist
 questions of arithmetic truth, you also have the same problem.  The
 problem lies in the positivist view that there can be no given truth.
 
 Tom

I think you mis-state the positivist view; which is that what we can directly 
perceive can be the referent of true statements.  But I take your point.  It is 
strictly parallel to the question of what is reality.  It seems pretty clear 
that we can't know what is real as opposed to what seems real to us; except for 
our own thoughts.  So some people deny there is any reality and we're just 
making it all up in a dream (solipism) or in a kind of joint dream (mysticism). 
 Others suppose there is a reality but it's completely unknowable.  Scientists 
generally suppose there is a reality, which we can never know with certainity, 
but which we may know some aspects with varying degrees of confidence through 
inductive inference.  Some on this list suppose that we may be entities in a 
computer game and so we can never know the really real reality of the 
programmer.  Theists suppose there is a reality that cannot be known through 
perception but only through revelation (as if the programme
r told his creations about the computer).  Some seize on the fact that we must 
know our own thoughts and conclude that reality must consist of 
observer-moments.

Brent Meeker

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-19 Thread Tom Caylor

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 On 2/18/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


  On Feb 16, 8:18 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
   If you built a model society and set its citizens instincts, goals,
   laws-from-heaven (but really from you) and so on, would that suffice to
   provide meaning?
  
 
  It would not provide ultimate meaning for two reasons...


 My answer would have been that the beings would have no way of knowing the
 difference between the provided meaning and ultimate meaning, and would
 live their lives just as we live our lives, some of them atheists and others
 theists. In other words, the idea of ultimate meaning can have no objective
 or subjective consequences: you can honestly, deeply believe in it and this
 belief can change the way you live your life, but it would do so even if it
 had no basis in reality. A child might behave well in order to receive
 presents from Santa Claus, but this has no bearing whatsoever on the
 question of whether Santa Claus exists.

 1) Logical reason, but still important and inescapable:  If the source
  of meaning was from within the system, i.e. the observable/
  controllable universe, then we can always ask the why question when we
  find the source. This is not acceptable as part of a scientifically
  observable causal universe, as it contradicts it.  A closed system
  which is supposedly totally explainable will always have at least one
  fixed point that is unexplainable.  This is the old positivism
  problem.  This is actually part of the problem with a straw-man
  caricature god, in our image, i.e. any thing that we (as part of the
  universe) can think up.


 You can always draw a circle around the system + externals and call it a
 new, larger system: the universe, the multiverse, the plenitude, God + the
 Plenitude, or whatever. Long before it was a problem for positivism it was a
 problem for theism: Who made God? Who gives God meaning? Who tells God
 whether his ethical principles are right or wrong?


These are positivist questions.  This is your basic error in this
whole post (and previous ones).  These questions are assuming that
positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).

Tom

 2) Spiritual reason, but no less important and inescapable:  Perhaps
  this one is more for people (like Bruno, and Jesse Mazer?) who accept
  the possible existence of difference levels of reasoning, based on
  different ways of seeing truth (a la G and G*).  We just know
  somehow that there is something inexplicable about personhood.  There
  is a hunger in us that wants to always ask the question why, a hunger
  for the meaning behind whatever layer of stuff we just discovered.
  Perhaps it's like looking for our true home, or for the reason why
  this is or is not our true home.  It's like Neo in the Matrix.  And
  there have been signs the meaning behind this existence poking in this
  existence now and then, and seen by different people.  Yes, we can
  always imagine how someone could have thought these signs up, or
  interpretted them up, and thus explain everything back down to the
  purely logical level, dealing only with repeatable things.  Like a 2-
  dimensional shadow world can make up laws that somehow explain the
  behavior of shadows and say that there are only shadows, but it is not
  seeing the whole reality.


 I agree that there is something fundamentally inexplicable, irreducible
 about first person experience, but you are basically challenging this idea
 and saying there *can't* be any inexplicable things, hence God is postulated
 to explain the inexplicable. But again, you are just delaying the
 inevitable: how do you explain God's existence? How do you explain the
 concept of necessary existence? How do you explain why God wanted to have
 other conscious beings around, and why he decided to give just the amount of
 evidence of his existence to those beings as he did? There are countless
 such questions to which the answer is just, I don't know, that's just the
 way it is.

  On 2/16/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
Yes. Now we're startin' to talk!  I don't know much of the language,
but I think that when people experience what some may call words like
enlightenment, cosmic consciousness, etc. they are experiencing
something that is really there.  In fact, they use words like seeing
reality as it actually is, etc.  They speak of wholeness and
integralness.
  
Except that people would still have the same experiences whether or not
   something were really there, just as they would still experience the sky
  as
   a dome whether or not it is in fact a dome. In other words, if you
  imagine a
   being in a universe without meaning, cosmic consciousness, enlightenment
  and
   all the other significant things which are supposed to be there, but
  with
 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-19 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  On 2/18/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
   On Feb 16, 8:18 am, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   
If you built a model society and set its citizens instincts, goals,
laws-from-heaven (but really from you) and so on, would that suffice
 to
provide meaning?
   
  
   It would not provide ultimate meaning for two reasons...
 
 
  My answer would have been that the beings would have no way of knowing
 the
  difference between the provided meaning and ultimate meaning, and
 would
  live their lives just as we live our lives, some of them atheists and
 others
  theists. In other words, the idea of ultimate meaning can have no
 objective
  or subjective consequences: you can honestly, deeply believe in it and
 this
  belief can change the way you live your life, but it would do so even if
 it
  had no basis in reality. A child might behave well in order to receive
  presents from Santa Claus, but this has no bearing whatsoever on the
  question of whether Santa Claus exists.
 
  1) Logical reason, but still important and inescapable:  If the source
   of meaning was from within the system, i.e. the observable/
   controllable universe, then we can always ask the why question when we
   find the source. This is not acceptable as part of a scientifically
   observable causal universe, as it contradicts it.  A closed system
   which is supposedly totally explainable will always have at least one
   fixed point that is unexplainable.  This is the old positivism
   problem.  This is actually part of the problem with a straw-man
   caricature god, in our image, i.e. any thing that we (as part of the
   universe) can think up.
 
 
  You can always draw a circle around the system + externals and call it a
  new, larger system: the universe, the multiverse, the plenitude, God +
 the
  Plenitude, or whatever. Long before it was a problem for positivism it
 was a
  problem for theism: Who made God? Who gives God meaning? Who tells God
  whether his ethical principles are right or wrong?
 

 These are positivist questions.  This is your basic error in this
 whole post (and previous ones).  These questions are assuming that
 positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
 meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
 when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).

 Tom


Can you explain that a bit further? I can understand that personal meaning
is not necessarily connected to empirical facts. The ancient Greeks believed
in the gods of Olympus, built temples to them, wrote songs about them, and
so on. They provided meaning to the Greeks, and had an overall positive
effect on Greek society even though as a matter of fact there weren't any
gods living on Mount Olympus. Just as long as we are clear about that.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-19 Thread Tom Caylor

On Feb 19, 4:00 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  These are positivist questions.  This is your basic error in this
  whole post (and previous ones).  These questions are assuming that
  positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
  meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
  when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).

  Tom

 Can you explain that a bit further? I can understand that personal meaning
 is not necessarily connected to empirical facts. The ancient Greeks believed
 in the gods of Olympus, built temples to them, wrote songs about them, and
 so on. They provided meaning to the Greeks, and had an overall positive
 effect on Greek society even though as a matter of fact there weren't any
 gods living on Mount Olympus. Just as long as we are clear about that.

 Stathis Papaioannou


It is a given that whatever belief we have falls short of the set of
all truth.  But here we are talking about different theories behind
beliefs in general.  Positivism is one such theory or world view.
This problematic type of world view in which positivism falls has also
been referred to as rationalism in a closed system.  In such a world
view there is no ultimate meaning.  All meaning is a reference to
something else which is in turn meaningless except for in reference to
yet something else which is meaningless.  We can try to hide this
problem by putting the end of the meaning dependency line inside each
individual person's 1st person point of view.  At that point, if we
claim that we still have a closed system, then we have to call the 1st
person point of view meaningless.  Or, if we at that point allow an
open system, then we can say that the 1st person point of view has
meaning which comes from where-we-know-not.  This is just as useless
as the meaningless view (in terms of being meaningful ;).  This is all
opposed to the world view which allows an ultimate source of meaning
for persons.  If there were such an ultimate source of meaning for
persons, then, even though our beliefs would fall short of the full
truth of it, it makes sense that there would be some way of seeing
or discovering the truth in a sort of progressive or growing process
at the personal level.  Gotta go.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-19 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 On Feb 19, 4:00 pm, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
   These are positivist questions.  This is your basic error in this
   whole post (and previous ones).  These questions are assuming that
   positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
   meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
   when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).
 
   Tom
 
  Can you explain that a bit further? I can understand that personal
 meaning
  is not necessarily connected to empirical facts. The ancient Greeks
 believed
  in the gods of Olympus, built temples to them, wrote songs about them,
 and
  so on. They provided meaning to the Greeks, and had an overall positive
  effect on Greek society even though as a matter of fact there weren't
 any
  gods living on Mount Olympus. Just as long as we are clear about that.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou
 

 It is a given that whatever belief we have falls short of the set of
 all truth.  But here we are talking about different theories behind
 beliefs in general.  Positivism is one such theory or world view.
 This problematic type of world view in which positivism falls has also
 been referred to as rationalism in a closed system.  In such a world
 view there is no ultimate meaning.  All meaning is a reference to
 something else which is in turn meaningless except for in reference to
 yet something else which is meaningless.  We can try to hide this
 problem by putting the end of the meaning dependency line inside each
 individual person's 1st person point of view.  At that point, if we
 claim that we still have a closed system, then we have to call the 1st
 person point of view meaningless.  Or, if we at that point allow an
 open system, then we can say that the 1st person point of view has
 meaning which comes from where-we-know-not.  This is just as useless
 as the meaningless view (in terms of being meaningful ;).  This is all
 opposed to the world view which allows an ultimate source of meaning
 for persons.  If there were such an ultimate source of meaning for
 persons, then, even though our beliefs would fall short of the full
 truth of it, it makes sense that there would be some way of seeing
 or discovering the truth in a sort of progressive or growing process
 at the personal level.  Gotta go.

 Tom


I don't see how ultimate meaning is logically possible (if it is even
desirable, but that's another question). What is God's ultimate meaning? If
he gets away without one or has one from where-we-know-not then how is this
different to the case of the individual human? Saying God is infinite
doesn't help because we can still ask for the meaning of the whole infinite
series. Defining God as someone who *just has* ultimate meaning as one of
his attributes is a rehash of the ontological argument.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-16 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 2/16/07, Tom Caylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 On Feb 13, 11:35 pm, Jesse Mazer [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Tom Caylor wrote:
 
  I'm talking about ultimate meaning, meaning which is ultimately based
  on truth.  Purpose would go along with that.  I think that this
  situation is similar (metaphysically isomorphic? :) to the primary
  matter situation.  I think you maintain that experience is enough.  I
  maintain that if all you have is relative references, you are having
  faith that there is ultimately something there.  I'm not interested
  in any straw-man caricature god who decides what is valuable etc. on a
  whim.  I'm interested in the source of the wonderfully unexplainable
  good in us.
 
  In mentioning the idea of God deciding morality on a whim, you perhaps
  allude to the old counterargument to grounding morality in God in the
 first
  place, known as Euthyphro's Dilemma from one of Plato's dialogues--if
 God
  *chose* these supposed laws of morality, then they are ultimately
 arbitrary
  since God could have chose a completely different set of laws, but if
 moral
  truths are in some sense beyond God's ability to change, much like many
  philosophers would say the laws of mathematics or logic are, then it's
 not
  clear why you need God in your explanation at all, you could just cut
 out
  the middleman and postulate eternal platonic moral truths in the same
 way
  many on this list are prepared to postulate eternal platonic
 mathematical
  truths.
 
  The only way in which I could see that it would make sense to relate
  goodness to God is to imagine a sort of pantheist God that represents
 a
  sort of ultimate pattern or harmony connecting every individual part of
 the
  universe, so goodness would represent some kind of orientation towards
 the
  ultimate pattern which encompasses all of us, and which would override
  individual conflicting interests. A variation on this might be the
 Omega
  Point idea that every individual finite being is on some sort of
 long-term
  path towards being integrated into an infinite superorganism (perhaps
 only
  as a limit that can never actually be reached in finite time), or in the
  concepts of this list maybe a single infinitely complex observer-moment
 with
  memories of every other observer-moment, which could also be seen as an
  ultimate pattern connecting everything (one might say, as in Frank
 Tipler's
  speculations about the Omega Point, that an infinite mind would itself
  contain simulations of every possible history in every possible universe
  leading up to it, so that the Omega Point would both be an endpoint of
  history but also contain all history integrated within it). In this
 view,
  every instance of individuals trying to cooperate and to understand and
  connect with each other is an incremental step in the right direction,
 so
  one could ground ultimate goodness in that. I recently came across an
  interesting interview
 athttp://www.wie.org/j34/swimme2.asp?%20from=lnk-zaadzdiscussing Teilhard de
  Chardin's thoughts on the Omega Point, and many on this list will be
  familiar with Frank Tipler's version which I mention above (even if
 Tipler's
  specific ideas about using the Big Crunch to do an infinite amount of
  computation in a finite time are proven wrong, as a transhumanist I'm
 still
  crossing my fingers that intelligence will find some loophole in the
 laws of
  physics that will allow it to continue forever without violating the
 laws of
  thermodynamics). But neither of these versions of God bears much
  resemblance to the creator-God separate from the rest of the universe
 that's
  imagined by most mainstream religions.
 
  Jesse
 

 Yes. Now we're startin' to talk!  I don't know much of the language,
 but I think that when people experience what some may call words like
 enlightenment, cosmic consciousness, etc. they are experiencing
 something that is really there.  In fact, they use words like seeing
 reality as it actually is, etc.  They speak of wholeness and
 integralness.


 Except that people would still have the same experiences whether or not
something were really there, just as they would still experience the sky as
a dome whether or not it is in fact a dome. In other words, if you imagine a
being in a universe without meaning, cosmic consciousness, enlightenment and
all the other significant things which are supposed to be there, but with
otherwise the same physical laws etc., can you think of any reason why such
a being would or wouldn't come up with the same ideas as humans have,
assuming similar evolutionary provenance?

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-15 Thread Tom Caylor

On Feb 13, 11:35 pm, Jesse Mazer [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:

 I'm talking about ultimate meaning, meaning which is ultimately based
 on truth.  Purpose would go along with that.  I think that this
 situation is similar (metaphysically isomorphic? :) to the primary
 matter situation.  I think you maintain that experience is enough.  I
 maintain that if all you have is relative references, you are having
 faith that there is ultimately something there.  I'm not interested
 in any straw-man caricature god who decides what is valuable etc. on a
 whim.  I'm interested in the source of the wonderfully unexplainable
 good in us.

 In mentioning the idea of God deciding morality on a whim, you perhaps
 allude to the old counterargument to grounding morality in God in the first
 place, known as Euthyphro's Dilemma from one of Plato's dialogues--if God
 *chose* these supposed laws of morality, then they are ultimately arbitrary
 since God could have chose a completely different set of laws, but if moral
 truths are in some sense beyond God's ability to change, much like many
 philosophers would say the laws of mathematics or logic are, then it's not
 clear why you need God in your explanation at all, you could just cut out
 the middleman and postulate eternal platonic moral truths in the same way
 many on this list are prepared to postulate eternal platonic mathematical
 truths.

 The only way in which I could see that it would make sense to relate
 goodness to God is to imagine a sort of pantheist God that represents a
 sort of ultimate pattern or harmony connecting every individual part of the
 universe, so goodness would represent some kind of orientation towards the
 ultimate pattern which encompasses all of us, and which would override
 individual conflicting interests. A variation on this might be the Omega
 Point idea that every individual finite being is on some sort of long-term
 path towards being integrated into an infinite superorganism (perhaps only
 as a limit that can never actually be reached in finite time), or in the
 concepts of this list maybe a single infinitely complex observer-moment with
 memories of every other observer-moment, which could also be seen as an
 ultimate pattern connecting everything (one might say, as in Frank Tipler's
 speculations about the Omega Point, that an infinite mind would itself
 contain simulations of every possible history in every possible universe
 leading up to it, so that the Omega Point would both be an endpoint of
 history but also contain all history integrated within it). In this view,
 every instance of individuals trying to cooperate and to understand and
 connect with each other is an incremental step in the right direction, so
 one could ground ultimate goodness in that. I recently came across an
 interesting interview 
 athttp://www.wie.org/j34/swimme2.asp?%20from=lnk-zaadzdiscussing Teilhard de
 Chardin's thoughts on the Omega Point, and many on this list will be
 familiar with Frank Tipler's version which I mention above (even if Tipler's
 specific ideas about using the Big Crunch to do an infinite amount of
 computation in a finite time are proven wrong, as a transhumanist I'm still
 crossing my fingers that intelligence will find some loophole in the laws of
 physics that will allow it to continue forever without violating the laws of
 thermodynamics). But neither of these versions of God bears much
 resemblance to the creator-God separate from the rest of the universe that's
 imagined by most mainstream religions.

 Jesse


Yes. Now we're startin' to talk!  I don't know much of the language,
but I think that when people experience what some may call words like
enlightenment, cosmic consciousness, etc. they are experiencing
something that is really there.  In fact, they use words like seeing
reality as it actually is, etc.  They speak of wholeness and
integralness.  The dilemmas such as you speak of come from
projecting our own incomplete concepts onto Something/Someone who is
complete.  This is what I meant by a straw-man caricature god.  C.S.
Lewis said something like, Reach for heaven and you get the earth
thrown in too; take only the earth and you get neither. (Can't
remember exact quote.)  I like the aspect of Chardin's Omega Point
that it has a from-the-infinite-back-to-us component.  This very much
is in line with the Creator God of love, actually.  But not a god who
is in our image, i.e. from-us-out-to-the-infinite.

Have to go, so I'll get back to the other posts later.  Along these
lines, I finished reading the mathematical logician Smullyan's Who
Knows? Some Thoughts on Religious Consciousness (?).

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-14 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 14-févr.-07, à 00:27, Tom Caylor a écrit :

 This is precisely my point.  If all that exists is internal meaning
 (i.e. opinion), then there is no true basis (even in the literal sense
 of true) for anything more than a dog-eat-dog world (unless the
 other dog provides 1st person subjective gratification).


I would say external meaning is opinion. Internal meaning is 
private (1-person, incorrigible) knowledge.

(or I have to reconsider my understanding of some preceding posts).

Would you accept (as a first rough approximation):

Truth = Reality = God (be it 'Primary Matter or Jesus or 
Number or whatever)
Intellect = Science = Opinion = Theory = Doubt
Soul = (lucky (?) case when) Intellect matches Truth

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-13 Thread Tom Caylor

Brent Meeker wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
  On 2/12/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   
 Tom Caylor writes:
   
 Brent Meeker
 It does not matter now that in a million years nothing
  we do now
 will matter.
 --- Thomas Nagel
   
We might like to believe Nagel, but it isn't true.
   
Tom
   
   That is, it isn't true that in a million years nothing we do
  now will
   matter.
   
 Why do you say we might like to believe Nagel? Why would
  anyone want
 it to be the case that nothing we do now will matter in a
  million years?
 
  In order to think in terms beyond a few generations, we need a basis
  for meaning that is more universal than explaining and controlling
  things in our immediate sphere of care abouts, like our animal
  instincts.

 But what we care about right now, may include anything we think of - 
 including how things will be a million years from now, including an abstract 
 principle, even including a fine point of theology.

Sorry that I don't have much time.  I agree with your statement
above.  However, see below.


 (Such a local basis does not support doing things like
  sacrificing your life for others even a couple thousand years in the
  future.)

 For the very good reason that one cannot foresee the benefits of such 
 sacrifice so far in the future.   But people sacrifice for others that they 
 know all the time.

This statement seems to be in conflict with your previous statement.
Theology (I'd rather say being in communion with the personal God in
from whom we have our personhood, rather than an academic pursuit) is
a way of enabling us to see things, expand our consciousness,
outside of the immediate sphere of care abouts that are defined by
animal instincts, the five senses, etc., and to see things such as the
nobility of giving our life for a cause that is greater that this
local, supposedly (but not truly) autonomous, sphere.


  But if we reject the ultimate basis, then it feels good to
  say that it doesn't matter.
 
  Tom
 
 
  If we discovered some million year old civilization today I think wonder
  at its achievements, however paltry, would far outweigh dismay at its
  wickedness, however extreme. I'm not sure what the significance of this
  observation is.

 I don't think it's true.  My exhibit A is the Aztecs.


I think the significance of Stathis' observation is this.  Our local
sphere of care abouts mostly has to do with what can I get out of
it.  It is more immediately obvious that we could possibly gain
something from someone else's achievements or ideas, rather than from
their wickedness.  In fact, it is probably true.  Studying goodness is
more fruitful than studying wickedness.  (Rather lopsided isn't it?
How could such a thing be generated from Everything (or Nothing)?)
But whoever said that what matters is only about wickedness and not
goodness?

 Brent Meeker
 There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself
 to be burned for an opinion.
 -- Anatole France

This is precisely my point.  If all that exists is internal meaning
(i.e. opinion), then there is no true basis (even in the literal sense
of true) for anything more than a dog-eat-dog world (unless the
other dog provides 1st person subjective gratification).

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-13 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 On 2/12/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Tom Caylor writes:
 
 Brent Meeker It does not matter now that in a million
 years nothing
 we do now
 will matter.
 --- Thomas Nagel
 
 We might like to believe Nagel, but it isn't true.
 
 Tom
 
 That is, it isn't true that in a million years nothing we
 do
 now will
 matter.
 
 Why do you say we might like to believe Nagel? Why would
 anyone want
 it to be the case that nothing we do now will matter in a
 million years?
 
 In order to think in terms beyond a few generations, we need a
 basis for meaning that is more universal than explaining and
 controlling things in our immediate sphere of care abouts, like
 our animal instincts.

I never said otherwise.  It is you who keep pretending that if we don't worship 
a sky god we're reduced to animal instincts.

You keep bringing up meaning.  Do you not see that meaning is reference to 
something else.  Words have meaning because they refer to things that are not 
words.  In order to act you need purpose, an internal thing.  You don't need 
meaning; except by reference to your own purpose.  If you act to satisfy 
someone else's purpose, then you have to answer the question, Why was it your 
decision, your purpose, to satisfy someone else?

 But what we care about right now, may include anything we think of
 - including how things will be a million years from now, including
 an abstract principle, even including a fine point of theology.
 
 Sorry that I don't have much time.  I agree with your statement 
 above.  However, see below.
 
 (Such a local basis does not support doing things like 
 sacrificing your life for others even a couple thousand years in
 the future.)

Depends on what you mean by local basis.  You seem to mean animal 
instincts.  But I, here and now, can care about whether democracy survives in 
the U.S. in 2100, whether global warming kills people in Bangladesh, whether 
AIDS spreads in Africa, whether a theory of quantum gravity will ever be 
discovered.

 For the very good reason that one cannot foresee the benefits of
 such sacrifice so far in the future.   But people sacrifice for
 others that they know all the time.
 
 This statement seems to be in conflict with your previous statement. 

How?

 Theology (I'd rather say being in communion with the personal God
 in from whom we have our personhood, rather than an academic pursuit)
 is a way of enabling us to see things, expand our consciousness, 
 outside of the immediate sphere of care abouts that are defined by 
 animal instincts, the five senses, etc., and to see things such as
 the nobility of giving our life for a cause that is greater that this
  local, supposedly (but not truly) autonomous, sphere.

You seem to assume that non-local = good.  Tell it to the victims of 9/11.

 
 But if we reject the ultimate basis, then it feels good to say
 that it doesn't matter.
 
 Tom
 
 
 If we discovered some million year old civilization today I think
 wonder at its achievements, however paltry, would far outweigh
 dismay at its wickedness, however extreme. I'm not sure what the
 significance of this observation is.
 I don't think it's true.  My exhibit A is the Aztecs.
 
 
 I think the significance of Stathis' observation is this.  Our local 
 sphere of care abouts mostly has to do with what can I get out of 
 it.  It is more immediately obvious that we could possibly gain 
 something from someone else's achievements or ideas, rather than from
  their wickedness.  In fact, it is probably true.  Studying goodness
 is more fruitful than studying wickedness.

You're assuming that you have somehow decided what is good and what is wicked.  
But that's the question isn't it.  I know what I value and I can build on that. 
 I don't see how I can build on somebody else's values; how could I let someone 
else decide for me what is valuable?

 (Rather lopsided isn't it? How could such a thing be generated from
 Everything (or Nothing)?) But whoever said that what matters is
 only about wickedness and not goodness?
 
 Brent Meeker There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself to
 be burned for an opinion. -- Anatole France
 
 This is precisely my point.  If all that exists is internal meaning 
 (i.e. opinion), then there is no true basis (even in the literal
 sense of true) for anything more than a dog-eat-dog world (unless
 the other dog provides 1st person subjective gratification).
 
 Tom

You keep assuming that all internal meaning is selfish, short-sighted opinion.  
This is false.  As I said above, it can include anything we think about.  Of 
course we are more likely to care about our children and neighbors than people 
in Dafur and it's easier to see what will promote our values next year than 
next century.  It is rational to pay more attention to the short term and 
local, because we can be more certain of 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-13 Thread Tom Caylor

On Feb 13, 5:18 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  Brent Meeker wrote:
  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

  On 2/12/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

  Tom Caylor writes:

  Brent Meeker It does not matter now that in a million
  years nothing
  we do now
  will matter.
  --- Thomas Nagel

  We might like to believe Nagel, but it isn't true.

  Tom

  That is, it isn't true that in a million years nothing we
  do
  now will
  matter.

  Why do you say we might like to believe Nagel? Why would
  anyone want
  it to be the case that nothing we do now will matter in a
  million years?

  In order to think in terms beyond a few generations, we need a
  basis for meaning that is more universal than explaining and
  controlling things in our immediate sphere of care abouts, like
  our animal instincts.

 I never said otherwise.  It is you who keep pretending that if we don't 
 worship a sky god we're reduced to animal instincts.

 You keep bringing up meaning.  Do you not see that meaning is reference 
 to something else.  Words have meaning because they refer to things that are 
 not words.  In order to act you need purpose, an internal thing.  You don't 
 need meaning; except by reference to your own purpose.  If you act to 
 satisfy someone else's purpose, then you have to answer the question, Why 
 was it your decision, your purpose, to satisfy someone else?

I'm talking about ultimate meaning, meaning which is ultimately based
on truth.  Purpose would go along with that.  I think that this
situation is similar (metaphysically isomorphic? :) to the primary
matter situation.  I think you maintain that experience is enough.  I
maintain that if all you have is relative references, you are having
faith that there is ultimately something there.  I'm not interested
in any straw-man caricature god who decides what is valuable etc. on a
whim.  I'm interested in the source of the wonderfully unexplainable
good in us.


  But what we care about right now, may include anything we think of
  - including how things will be a million years from now, including
  an abstract principle, even including a fine point of theology.

  Sorry that I don't have much time.  I agree with your statement
  above.  However, see below.

  (Such a local basis does not support doing things like
  sacrificing your life for others even a couple thousand years in
  the future.)

 Depends on what you mean by local basis.  You seem to mean animal 
 instincts.  But I, here and now, can care about whether democracy survives 
 in the U.S. in 2100, whether global warming kills people in Bangladesh, 
 whether AIDS spreads in Africa, whether a theory of quantum gravity will ever 
 be discovered.

But the wonderfully unexplainable good thing is that these cares of
yours actually mean something that other people can appreciate, and
that what you see as being worthy to pursue or fight against,
individually and collectively, can *actually be* worthy, independent
of what we may think.


  For the very good reason that one cannot foresee the benefits of
  such sacrifice so far in the future.   But people sacrifice for
  others that they know all the time.

  This statement seems to be in conflict with your previous statement.

 How?


I explained in the following sentences.

  Theology (I'd rather say being in communion with the personal God
  in from whom we have our personhood, rather than an academic pursuit)
  is a way of enabling us to see things, expand our consciousness,
  outside of the immediate sphere of care abouts that are defined by
  animal instincts, the five senses, etc., and to see things such as
  the nobility of giving our life for a cause that is greater that this
   local, supposedly (but not truly) autonomous, sphere.

 You seem to assume that non-local = good.  Tell it to the victims of 9/11.


I'm not assuming that.  This prompts me to bring up the Solzhenitsin
quote again about the line between good and evil going down the center
of every human.  This quote is saying something more than I value
certain things, and I don't value (or even I am horrified by) other
things.  This by itself is meaningless unless there is some basis
upon which it is good to value some things and be horrified by other
things.  Solzhenitsin believed in the personal God (who is love), and
so he could believe in actual good and evil, and that we each have a
choice between them.  Without that, we have no choice, we just like
what we like and that's that.


  But if we reject the ultimate basis, then it feels good to say
  that it doesn't matter.

  Tom

  If we discovered some million year old civilization today I think
  wonder at its achievements, however paltry, would far outweigh
  dismay at its wickedness, however extreme. I'm not sure what the
  significance of this observation is.
  I don't think it's true.  My exhibit A is the Aztecs.

  I think the significance 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-13 Thread Jesse Mazer

Tom Caylor wrote:


I'm talking about ultimate meaning, meaning which is ultimately based
on truth.  Purpose would go along with that.  I think that this
situation is similar (metaphysically isomorphic? :) to the primary
matter situation.  I think you maintain that experience is enough.  I
maintain that if all you have is relative references, you are having
faith that there is ultimately something there.  I'm not interested
in any straw-man caricature god who decides what is valuable etc. on a
whim.  I'm interested in the source of the wonderfully unexplainable
good in us.

In mentioning the idea of God deciding morality on a whim, you perhaps 
allude to the old counterargument to grounding morality in God in the first 
place, known as Euthyphro's Dilemma from one of Plato's dialogues--if God 
*chose* these supposed laws of morality, then they are ultimately arbitrary 
since God could have chose a completely different set of laws, but if moral 
truths are in some sense beyond God's ability to change, much like many 
philosophers would say the laws of mathematics or logic are, then it's not 
clear why you need God in your explanation at all, you could just cut out 
the middleman and postulate eternal platonic moral truths in the same way 
many on this list are prepared to postulate eternal platonic mathematical 
truths.

The only way in which I could see that it would make sense to relate 
goodness to God is to imagine a sort of pantheist God that represents a 
sort of ultimate pattern or harmony connecting every individual part of the 
universe, so goodness would represent some kind of orientation towards the 
ultimate pattern which encompasses all of us, and which would override 
individual conflicting interests. A variation on this might be the Omega 
Point idea that every individual finite being is on some sort of long-term 
path towards being integrated into an infinite superorganism (perhaps only 
as a limit that can never actually be reached in finite time), or in the 
concepts of this list maybe a single infinitely complex observer-moment with 
memories of every other observer-moment, which could also be seen as an 
ultimate pattern connecting everything (one might say, as in Frank Tipler's 
speculations about the Omega Point, that an infinite mind would itself 
contain simulations of every possible history in every possible universe 
leading up to it, so that the Omega Point would both be an endpoint of 
history but also contain all history integrated within it). In this view, 
every instance of individuals trying to cooperate and to understand and 
connect with each other is an incremental step in the right direction, so 
one could ground ultimate goodness in that. I recently came across an 
interesting interview at 
http://www.wie.org/j34/swimme2.asp?%20from=lnk-zaadz discussing Teilhard de 
Chardin's thoughts on the Omega Point, and many on this list will be 
familiar with Frank Tipler's version which I mention above (even if Tipler's 
specific ideas about using the Big Crunch to do an infinite amount of 
computation in a finite time are proven wrong, as a transhumanist I'm still 
crossing my fingers that intelligence will find some loophole in the laws of 
physics that will allow it to continue forever without violating the laws of 
thermodynamics). But neither of these versions of God bears much 
resemblance to the creator-God separate from the rest of the universe that's 
imagined by most mainstream religions.

Jesse

_
Invite your Hotmail contacts to join your friends list with Windows Live 
Spaces 
http://clk.atdmt.com/MSN/go/msnnkwsp007001msn/direct/01/?href=http://spaces.live.com/spacesapi.aspx?wx_action=createwx_url=/friends.aspxmkt=en-us


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-13 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 On Feb 13, 5:18 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 On 2/12/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Tom Caylor writes:
 Brent Meeker It does not matter now that in a million
 years nothing
 we do now
 will matter.
 --- Thomas Nagel
 We might like to believe Nagel, but it isn't true.
 Tom
 That is, it isn't true that in a million years nothing we
 do
 now will
 matter.
 Why do you say we might like to believe Nagel? Why would
 anyone want
 it to be the case that nothing we do now will matter in a
 million years?
 In order to think in terms beyond a few generations, we need a
 basis for meaning that is more universal than explaining and
 controlling things in our immediate sphere of care abouts, like
 our animal instincts.
 I never said otherwise.  It is you who keep pretending that if we don't 
 worship a sky god we're reduced to animal instincts.

 You keep bringing up meaning.  Do you not see that meaning is reference 
 to something else.  Words have meaning because they refer to things that are 
 not words.  In order to act you need purpose, an internal thing.  You don't 
 need meaning; except by reference to your own purpose.  If you act to 
 satisfy someone else's purpose, then you have to answer the question, Why 
 was it your decision, your purpose, to satisfy someone else?
 
 I'm talking about ultimate meaning, meaning which is ultimately based
 on truth.  Purpose would go along with that.  I think that this
 situation is similar (metaphysically isomorphic? :) to the primary
 matter situation.  I think you maintain that experience is enough.  I
 maintain that if all you have is relative references, you are having
 faith that there is ultimately something there.  I'm not interested
 in any straw-man caricature god who decides what is valuable etc. on a
 whim.  I'm interested in the source of the wonderfully unexplainable
 good in us.
 
 But what we care about right now, may include anything we think of
 - including how things will be a million years from now, including
 an abstract principle, even including a fine point of theology.
 Sorry that I don't have much time.  I agree with your statement
 above.  However, see below.
 (Such a local basis does not support doing things like
 sacrificing your life for others even a couple thousand years in
 the future.)
 Depends on what you mean by local basis.  You seem to mean animal 
 instincts.  But I, here and now, can care about whether democracy survives 
 in the U.S. in 2100, whether global warming kills people in Bangladesh, 
 whether AIDS spreads in Africa, whether a theory of quantum gravity will 
 ever be discovered.
 
 But the wonderfully unexplainable good thing is that these cares of
 yours actually mean something that other people can appreciate, 

Nothing inexplicable about that at all.  Other people are products of the same 
evolutionary process, so inevitably they share a sense of what's good and what 
isn't; but this includes looking out for themselves and their kin first, so 
everybody appreciates altruism...in other people.

and
 that what you see as being worthy to pursue or fight against,
 individually and collectively, can *actually be* worthy, independent
 of what we may think.

I don't even know what actually means here.  Is it like a scientific finding, 
that everybody can replicate and agree on?  Or is it like an unknowable really 
real reality?
 
 For the very good reason that one cannot foresee the benefits of
 such sacrifice so far in the future.   But people sacrifice for
 others that they know all the time.
 This statement seems to be in conflict with your previous statement.
 How?

 
 I explained in the following sentences.
 
 Theology (I'd rather say being in communion with the personal God
 in from whom we have our personhood, rather than an academic pursuit)
 is a way of enabling us to see things, expand our consciousness,
 outside of the immediate sphere of care abouts that are defined by
 animal instincts, the five senses, etc., and to see things such as
 the nobility of giving our life for a cause that is greater that this
  local, supposedly (but not truly) autonomous, sphere.
 You seem to assume that non-local = good.  Tell it to the victims of 
 9/11.

 
 I'm not assuming that.  This prompts me to bring up the Solzhenitsin
 quote again about the line between good and evil going down the center
 of every human.  This quote is saying something more than I value
 certain things, and I don't value (or even I am horrified by) other
 things.  This by itself is meaningless unless there is some basis
 upon which it is good to value some things and be horrified by other
 things.  

Yes it is meaningless in the precise sense that it does not refer to something 
else.  It is me referring to myself and my values.  It doesn't need some 
external basis.

Solzhenitsin believed in the 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-13 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Tom Caylor writes:

I'm talking about ultimate meaning, meaning which is ultimately based
 on truth.  Purpose would go along with that.  I think that this
 situation is similar (metaphysically isomorphic? :) to the primary
 matter situation.  I think you maintain that experience is enough.  I
 maintain that if all you have is relative references, you are having
 faith that there is ultimately something there.  I'm not interested
 in any straw-man caricature god who decides what is valuable etc. on a
 whim.  I'm interested in the source of the wonderfully unexplainable
 good in us.


If you built a model society and set its citizens instincts, goals,
laws-from-heaven (but really from you) and so on, would that suffice to
provide meaning?

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-12 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Brent Meeker writes:


  If we discovered some million year old civilization today I think wonder
  at its achievements, however paltry, would far outweigh dismay at its
  wickedness, however extreme. I'm not sure what the significance of this
  observation is.

 I don't think it's true.  My exhibit A is the Aztecs.

 Brent Meeker
 There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself
 to be burned for an opinion.
 -- Anatole France


The Aztecs aren't a million years old. The further removed it is from us
(literally and metaphorically), the less we worry about the ethical
considerations. If some far future nonhuman civilization dug up the Nazis
their children might very well want the equivalent of Adolf Hitler dolls for
Christmas, even if their ethical standards turn out to be similar to our
own. In the long run, fascination trumps horror.

Stathis Papaioannou

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-12 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
  
 
   If we discovered some million year old civilization today I think
 wonder
   at its achievements, however paltry, would far outweigh dismay at its
   wickedness, however extreme. I'm not sure what the significance
 of this
   observation is.
 
 I don't think it's true.  My exhibit A is the Aztecs.
 
 Brent Meeker
 There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself
 to be burned for an opinion.
 -- Anatole France
 
 
 The Aztecs aren't a million years old. The further removed it is from us 
 (literally and metaphorically), the less we worry about the ethical 
 considerations. If some far future nonhuman civilization dug up the 
 Nazis their children might very well want the equivalent of Adolf Hitler 
 dolls for Christmas, even if their ethical standards turn out to be 
 similar to our own. In the long run, fascination trumps horror.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

Of course distance, in time or DNA, makes ethical judgments less relevant.  
It's hard for us to judge chimpanzees and impossible to judge dinosaurs.

Brent

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-11 Thread Tom Caylor

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

  Tom Caylor writes:

  Brent Meeker
  It does not matter now that in a million years nothing we do now
  will matter.
  --- Thomas Nagel

 We might like to believe Nagel, but it isn't true.

 Tom

That is, it isn't true that in a million years nothing we do now will
matter.

  Why do you say we might like to believe Nagel? Why would anyone want
  it to be the case that nothing we do now will matter in a million years?

In order to think in terms beyond a few generations, we need a basis
for meaning that is more universal than explaining and controlling
things in our immediate sphere of care abouts, like our animal
instincts.  (Such a local basis does not support doing things like
sacrificing your life for others even a couple thousand years in the
future.)  But if we reject the ultimate basis, then it feels good to
say that it doesn't matter.

Tom


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-11 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 On 2/12/07, *Tom Caylor* [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
   Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
Tom Caylor writes:
  
Brent Meeker
It does not matter now that in a million years nothing
 we do now
will matter.
--- Thomas Nagel
  
   We might like to believe Nagel, but it isn't true.
  
   Tom
  
  That is, it isn't true that in a million years nothing we do
 now will
  matter.
  
Why do you say we might like to believe Nagel? Why would
 anyone want
it to be the case that nothing we do now will matter in a
 million years?
 
 In order to think in terms beyond a few generations, we need a basis
 for meaning that is more universal than explaining and controlling
 things in our immediate sphere of care abouts, like our animal
 instincts.  

But what we care about right now, may include anything we think of - including 
how things will be a million years from now, including an abstract principle, 
even including a fine point of theology.

(Such a local basis does not support doing things like
 sacrificing your life for others even a couple thousand years in the
 future.)  

For the very good reason that one cannot foresee the benefits of such sacrifice 
so far in the future.   But people sacrifice for others that they know all the 
time.

 But if we reject the ultimate basis, then it feels good to
 say that it doesn't matter.
 
 Tom
 
 
 If we discovered some million year old civilization today I think wonder 
 at its achievements, however paltry, would far outweigh dismay at its 
 wickedness, however extreme. I'm not sure what the significance of this 
 observation is.

I don't think it's true.  My exhibit A is the Aztecs.

Brent Meeker
There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself
to be burned for an opinion.
-- Anatole France

--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-09 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 08-févr.-07, à 23:42, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

  John,
   
  I agree: being open-minded is more important than being right.


OK, but being open-minded would be meaningless if the notion of being 
right was meaningless. Being open-minded means being open to the idea 
that someone else can be right (independently of the fact that in 
practice we can only judge personally someone to be interesting or not, 
but the notion of being right has to be implicit in the background. To 
be right entails we *could* be wrong.

Bruno







 Stathis.
   
  From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
 Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 17:09:25 -0500

 Thanks, Fellow Uncertain (agnostic...). Let me quote to your question 
 at the end the maxim from Mark's post:
 I think therefore I am right! - Angelica  [Rugrat]
 (whatever that came from. Of course we value more our (halfbaked?) 
 opinion  than the wisdom of others.People die for it.
 With the religious marvels: I look at them with awe, cannot state it 
 is impossible because 'they' start out beyond reason and say what 
 they please.
 The sorry thing is, when a crowd takes it too seriously and kill, 
 blow up, beat or burn live human beings in that 'belief'. Same, if 
 for money.
  
 John M
 - Original Message -
 From: Stathis Papaioannou
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 6:49 PM
 Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life

 I don't know a right position from a wrong one either, I'm only 
 trying to make the best guess I can given the evidence. Sometimes I 
 really have no idea, like choosing which way a tossed coin will come 
 up. Other times I do have evidence on which to base a belief, such 
 as the belief that the world was not in fact created in six 24-hr 
 days. It is certainly possible that I am wrong, and the evidence for 
 a very old universe has either been fabricated or grossly 
 misinterpreted, but I would bet on being right. Wouldn't you also, 
 if something you valued depended on the bet?
  
 Stathis Papaioannou

  From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
 Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 18:28:25 -0500

 And you, Stathis, are very kind to assume that I know' a right 
 position from a wromng one. I may be in indecision before I 
 denigrate...
 On the contrary. if someone 'believes' the 6 day creation, I start 
 speculating WHAT days they could have been metaphorically, 
 starfting before the solar system led us to our present ways of 
 scheduling. Etc. Etc. Accepting that whatever we 'believe' is our 
 epistemic achievement, anything 'from yesterday' might have been 
 'right' (maybe except the old Greeks - ha ha). in their own rites.
 Sometimes I start an argument about a different (questionable?) 
 belief just to tickle out arguments which I did not consider 
 earlier. But that is my dirty way.
 I am a bad judge and always ready to reconsider.
  
 John M
 - Original Message -
 From: Stathis Papaioannou
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:54 PM
 Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life

 John,

 Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple 
 inconsistent belief systems, but to me that makes it clear that at 
 least one of their beliefs must be wrong - even in the absence of 
 other information. You're much kinder to alternative beliefs than 
 I am, but in reality, you *must* think that some beliefs are 
 wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if you 
 say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six 
 days, but respect the right of others to believe that it was, what 
 you're really saying is that you respect the right of others to 
 have a false belief. I have no dispute with that, as long as it is 
 acknowledged.

 Stathis Papaioannou

  From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
 Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 11:07:52 -0500

 Stathiws,
 no question about that. What I was trying to stress was the 
 futility of arguing from one belief system (and stressing its 
 solely expanded truth) against a different truth and evidence 
 carrying OTHER belief system.
  
 BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) accept 
 (alternately) ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking 
 the professional).
 IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with our 
 rather elastic ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est 
 onetrackminded..(the 9th beatitude).
  
 To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria of 
 your beliefs) that TWO people may have absolutely identical 
 beliefs? I am almost certain that as your immune system, DNA, 
 fingerprint and the other zillion characteristics are not 
 identical to those of other animals, the mental makeup is 
 similarly unique.
 We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized 
 machine-identity (Oops, no reference to Loeb). Duo si

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-08 Thread John M
Thanks, Fellow Uncertain (agnostic...). Let me quote to your question at the 
end the maxim from Mark's post:
I think therefore I am right! - Angelica  [Rugrat]
(whatever that came from. Of course we value more our (halfbaked?) opinion  
than the wisdom of others.People die for it. 
With the religious marvels: I look at them with awe, cannot state it is 
impossible because 'they' start out beyond reason and say what they please. 
The sorry thing is, when a crowd takes it too seriously and kill, blow up, beat 
or burn live human beings in that 'belief'. Same, if for money. 

John M
  - Original Message - 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 6:49 PM
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life


  I don't know a right position from a wrong one either, I'm only trying to 
make the best guess I can given the evidence. Sometimes I really have no idea, 
like choosing which way a tossed coin will come up. Other times I do have 
evidence on which to base a belief, such as the belief that the world was not 
in fact created in six 24-hr days. It is certainly possible that I am wrong, 
and the evidence for a very old universe has either been fabricated or grossly 
misinterpreted, but I would bet on being right. Wouldn't you also, if something 
you valued depended on the bet?
   
  Stathis Papaioannou




From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 18:28:25 -0500


And you, Stathis, are very kind to assume that I know' a right position 
from a wromng one. I may be in indecision before I denigrate...
On the contrary. if someone 'believes' the 6 day creation, I start 
speculating WHAT days they could have been metaphorically, starfting before 
the solar system led us to our present ways of scheduling. Etc. Etc. Accepting 
that whatever we 'believe' is our epistemic achievement, anything 'from 
yesterday' might have been 'right' (maybe except the old Greeks - ha ha). in 
their own rites. 
Sometimes I start an argument about a different (questionable?) belief 
just to tickle out arguments which I did not consider earlier. But that is my 
dirty way. 
I am a bad judge and always ready to reconsider.

John M
  - Original Message - 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:54 PM
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life


  John,

  Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple inconsistent 
belief systems, but to me that makes it clear that at least one of their 
beliefs must be wrong - even in the absence of other information. You're much 
kinder to alternative beliefs than I am, but in reality, you *must* think that 
some beliefs are wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if 
you say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six days, but 
respect the right of others to believe that it was, what you're really saying 
is that you respect the right of others to have a false belief. I have no 
dispute with that, as long as it is acknowledged.

  Stathis Papaioannou




From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 11:07:52 -0500


Stathiws,
no question about that. What I was trying to stress was the futility of 
arguing from one belief system (and stressing its solely expanded truth) 
against a different truth and evidence carrying OTHER belief system.

BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) accept 
(alternately) ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the 
professional). 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with our rather 
elastic ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est onetrackminded..(the 9th 
beatitude). 

To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria of your 
beliefs) that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am almost 
certain that as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other zillion 
characteristics are not identical to those of other animals, the mental makeup 
is similarly unique. 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized machine-identity 
(Oops, no reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) idem, non est idem. 

John M
  - Original Message - 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 AM
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life


  John,

  You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different 
criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, those old Greeks sang

RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-08 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

John,
 
I agree: being open-minded is more important than being right.
Stathis.
 


From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Thu, 8 
Feb 2007 17:09:25 -0500



Thanks, Fellow Uncertain (agnostic...). Let me quote to your question at the 
end the maxim from Mark's post:
I think therefore I am right! - Angelica  [Rugrat](whatever that came from. 
Of course we value more our (halfbaked?) opinion  than the wisdom of 
others.People die for it. 
With the religious marvels: I look at them with awe, cannot state it is 
impossible because 'they' start out beyond reason and say what they please. 
The sorry thing is, when a crowd takes it too seriously and kill, blow up, beat 
or burn live human beings in that 'belief'. Same, if for money. 
 
John M

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou 
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 6:49 PM
Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
I don't know a right position from a wrong one either, I'm only trying to 
make the best guess I can given the evidence. Sometimes I really have no idea, 
like choosing which way a tossed coin will come up. Other times I do have 
evidence on which to base a belief, such as the belief that the world was not 
in fact created in six 24-hr days. It is certainly possible that I am wrong, 
and the evidence for a very old universe has either been fabricated or grossly 
misinterpreted, but I would bet on being right. Wouldn't you also, if something 
you valued depended on the bet? Stathis Papaioannou


From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Wed, 7 
Feb 2007 18:28:25 -0500


And you, Stathis, are very kind to assume that I know' a right position from a 
wromng one. I may be in indecision before I denigrate...
On the contrary. if someone 'believes' the 6 day creation, I start speculating 
WHAT days they could have been metaphorically, starfting before the solar 
system led us to our present ways of scheduling. Etc. Etc. Accepting that 
whatever we 'believe' is our epistemic achievement, anything 'from yesterday' 
might have been 'right' (maybe except the old Greeks - ha ha). in their own 
rites. 
Sometimes I start an argument about a different (questionable?) belief just 
to tickle out arguments which I did not consider earlier. But that is my dirty 
way. 
I am a bad judge and always ready to reconsider.
 
John M

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou 
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:54 PM
Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
John,Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple inconsistent 
belief systems, but to me that makes it clear that at least one of their 
beliefs must be wrong - even in the absence of other information. You're much 
kinder to alternative beliefs than I am, but in reality, you *must* think that 
some beliefs are wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if 
you say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six days, but 
respect the right of others to believe that it was, what you're really saying 
is that you respect the right of others to have a false belief. I have no 
dispute with that, as long as it is acknowledged.Stathis Papaioannou


From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Tue, 6 
Feb 2007 11:07:52 -0500
Stathiws,
no question about that. What I was trying to stress was the futility of arguing 
from one belief system (and stressing its solely expanded truth) against a 
different truth and evidence carrying OTHER belief system.
 
BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) accept (alternately) 
ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the professional). 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with our rather elastic 
ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est onetrackminded..(the 9th 
beatitude). 
 
To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria of your beliefs) 
that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am almost certain that 
as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other zillion characteristics 
are not identical to those of other animals, the mental makeup is similarly 
unique. 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized machine-identity (Oops, no 
reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) idem, non est idem. 
 
John M

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou 
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 AM
Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
John,You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different 
criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, those old Greeks sang songs 
about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in them, and on 
top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the Iliad and Odyssey 
must be true, then they would be consistently applying the standards they 
apply to the Bible. Of course

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-07 Thread John M
And you, Stathis, are very kind to assume that I know' a right position from a 
wromng one. I may be in indecision before I denigrate...
On the contrary. if someone 'believes' the 6 day creation, I start speculating 
WHAT days they could have been metaphorically, starfting before the solar 
system led us to our present ways of scheduling. Etc. Etc. Accepting that 
whatever we 'believe' is our epistemic achievement, anything 'from yesterday' 
might have been 'right' (maybe except the old Greeks - ha ha). in their own 
rites. 
Sometimes I start an argument about a different (questionable?) belief just 
to tickle out arguments which I did not consider earlier. But that is my dirty 
way. 
I am a bad judge and always ready to reconsider.

John M
  - Original Message - 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:54 PM
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life


  John,

  Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple inconsistent belief 
systems, but to me that makes it clear that at least one of their beliefs must 
be wrong - even in the absence of other information. You're much kinder to 
alternative beliefs than I am, but in reality, you *must* think that some 
beliefs are wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if you 
say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six days, but respect 
the right of others to believe that it was, what you're really saying is that 
you respect the right of others to have a false belief. I have no dispute with 
that, as long as it is acknowledged.

  Stathis Papaioannou




From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 11:07:52 -0500


Stathiws,
no question about that. What I was trying to stress was the futility of 
arguing from one belief system (and stressing its solely expanded truth) 
against a different truth and evidence carrying OTHER belief system.

BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) accept 
(alternately) ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the 
professional). 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with our rather elastic 
ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est onetrackminded..(the 9th 
beatitude). 

To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria of your beliefs) 
that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am almost certain that 
as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other zillion characteristics 
are not identical to those of other animals, the mental makeup is similarly 
unique. 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized machine-identity (Oops, 
no reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) idem, non est idem. 

John M
  - Original Message - 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 AM
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life


  John,

  You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different 
criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, those old Greeks sang songs 
about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in them, and on 
top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the Iliad and Odyssey 
must be true, then they would be consistently applying the standards they 
apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples' religious beliefs are 
subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found wanting, but their own 
beliefs are special. 

  Stathis Papaioannou




Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life

Stathis:

is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system 
ONLY with a person 
who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout 
catholic and an excellent
 biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, 
he answered:
I never mix the two together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist 
and has brilliant 
arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - 
what he, quite 
inderstandably - does not want to give up. 
We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of 
intelligence. 
Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your 
profession. 
Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?

John M



--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list

RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

I don't know a right position from a wrong one either, I'm only trying to 
make the best guess I can given the evidence. Sometimes I really have no idea, 
like choosing which way a tossed coin will come up. Other times I do have 
evidence on which to base a belief, such as the belief that the world was not 
in fact created in six 24-hr days. It is certainly possible that I am wrong, 
and the evidence for a very old universe has either been fabricated or grossly 
misinterpreted, but I would bet on being right. Wouldn't you also, if something 
you valued depended on the bet?
 
Stathis Papaioannou


From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Wed, 7 
Feb 2007 18:28:25 -0500



And you, Stathis, are very kind to assume that I know' a right position from a 
wromng one. I may be in indecision before I denigrate...
On the contrary. if someone 'believes' the 6 day creation, I start speculating 
WHAT days they could have been metaphorically, starfting before the solar 
system led us to our present ways of scheduling. Etc. Etc. Accepting that 
whatever we 'believe' is our epistemic achievement, anything 'from yesterday' 
might have been 'right' (maybe except the old Greeks - ha ha). in their own 
rites. 
Sometimes I start an argument about a different (questionable?) belief just 
to tickle out arguments which I did not consider earlier. But that is my dirty 
way. 
I am a bad judge and always ready to reconsider.
 
John M

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou 
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:54 PM
Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
John,Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple inconsistent 
belief systems, but to me that makes it clear that at least one of their 
beliefs must be wrong - even in the absence of other information. You're much 
kinder to alternative beliefs than I am, but in reality, you *must* think that 
some beliefs are wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if 
you say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six days, but 
respect the right of others to believe that it was, what you're really saying 
is that you respect the right of others to have a false belief. I have no 
dispute with that, as long as it is acknowledged.Stathis Papaioannou


From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Tue, 6 
Feb 2007 11:07:52 -0500
Stathiws,
no question about that. What I was trying to stress was the futility of arguing 
from one belief system (and stressing its solely expanded truth) against a 
different truth and evidence carrying OTHER belief system.
 
BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) accept (alternately) 
ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the professional). 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with our rather elastic 
ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est onetrackminded..(the 9th 
beatitude). 
 
To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria of your beliefs) 
that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am almost certain that 
as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other zillion characteristics 
are not identical to those of other animals, the mental makeup is similarly 
unique. 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized machine-identity (Oops, no 
reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) idem, non est idem. 
 
John M

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou 
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 AM
Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
John,You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different 
criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, those old Greeks sang songs 
about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in them, and on 
top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the Iliad and Odyssey 
must be true, then they would be consistently applying the standards they 
apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples' religious beliefs are 
subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found wanting, but their own 
beliefs are special. Stathis Papaioannou


Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: 
Re: The Meaning of LifeStathis:is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one 
set of belief system ONLY with a person who carries two (or even more)? I had a 
brother-in-law, a devout catholic and an excellent biochemist and when I asked 
him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he answered:I never mix the two 
together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist and has brilliant arguments in 
it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he, quite 
inderstandably - does not want to give up. We all have 'second belief bases' in 
our multiple schizophrenia of intelligence. Some have 'Platonia', some 
'primitive matter view' - it is your profession. Do you really think you can 
penetrate

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread John Mikes
Stathis:

is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY
with a person
who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic
and an excellent
 biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he
answered:
I never mix the two together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist and
has brilliant
arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he,
quite
inderstandably - does not want to give up.
We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of
intelligence.
Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your profession.
Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?

John M


On 2/5/07, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]  wrote:


 Tom Caylor writes:

  On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   OK. But in that case your question is just half of the question, Why
 do people have values? If you have values then that mean some things will
 be good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a place you don't
 want it. You must already know the obvious answer to this given by Darwin.
 And it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas have values. I suspect you
 have a set answer in mind and you're looking for the question to elicit it.
  
   Brent Meeker
  
  Also Stathis wrote:
   Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value of
 weeds or anything else. You need a person to come along and say let
 x=good, and then you can reason logically given this. Evolutionary theory
 etc. may predict what x a person may deem to be good or beautiful, but this
 is not binding on an individual in the way laws governing the chemistry of
 respiration, for example, are binding. Unlike some scientific types, I am
 quite comfortable with ethics being in this sense outside the scope of
 science. Unlike some religious types, I am quite comfortable without looking
 for an ultimate source of ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this
 conclusion made me very unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception,
 but it has no bearing on the truth.
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
  
 
  Brent and Stathis exemplify two possible answers to meaning. Brent
  reduces meaning to something based on mere existence or survival. Thus
  amoebas can have such meaning.
  Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered (unanswerable?) mystery.
  We just somehow self-generate meaning.
 
  My introduction of the Meaning Of Life thread asked if the
  Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question.
  Looking at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is
  apparently not. This is what I expected. Thus, meaning is either
  limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is without basis (the
  Noble Lie). If you really read the modern philosophers seriously this
  is their conclusion. Of course there is a third possible answer to
  this question: Meaning is based on a source outside of ourselves, by
  making connections with others based on such ideals as honour and
  obligation (a quote I read from Dr. Laura Schlesinger off of a
  Starbucks coffee cup this morning!) Of course people can poo-poo such
  ideals as simply sentiments, debunking them on a surface level
  (which is the only level there is without them), just as C.S. Lewis
  pointed out in his lectures on The Abolition of Man. And indeed,
  without such ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial skeleton
  of his true self.
 
  Tom

 You seem to keep arguing that it wouldn't be very nice if there were no
 ultimate meaning. Is there any actual evidence that this alleged meaning
 exists? For example, suppose a society believes that the Sky God provides
 ultimate meaning and live their lives happily, whereas it could be shown
 that they would all be miserable and kill each other if they believed it
 were not true. On this basis there may be reason to think that belief in the
 Sky God is useful, but is there any reason to think that belief in the Sky
 God is true?

 Stathis Papaioannou

 --
 Live Search: New search found Try it!http://get.live.com/search/overview+
 


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

John,You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different 
criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, those old Greeks sang songs 
about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in them, and on 
top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the Iliad and Odyssey 
must be true, then they would be consistently applying the standards they 
apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples' religious beliefs are 
subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found wanting, but their own 
beliefs are special. Stathis PapaioannouDate: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 
-0500From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeStathis:

is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY with a 
person 
who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic and 
an excellent
 biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he 
answered:
I never mix the two together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist and has 
brilliant 
arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he, 
quite 
inderstandably - does not want to give up. 
We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of 
intelligence. 
Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your profession. 
Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?

John M
On 2/5/07, Stathis Papaioannou 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
 wrote:




Tom Caylor writes:
 
 On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 OK. But in that case your question is just half of the question,
Why do people have values? If you have values then that mean some
things will be good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a
place you don't want it. You must already know the obvious answer to
this given by Darwin. And it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas
have values. I suspect you have a set answer in mind and you're looking
for the question to elicit it.   Brent Meeker  Also Stathis wrote:
 Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value of
weeds or anything else. You need a person to come along and say let
x=good, and then you can reason logically given this. Evolutionary
theory etc. may predict what x a person may deem to be good or
beautiful, but this is not binding on an individual in the way laws
governing the chemistry of respiration, for example, are binding.
Unlike some scientific types, I am quite comfortable with ethics being
in this sense outside the scope of science. Unlike some religious
types, I am quite comfortable without looking for an ultimate source of
ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this conclusion made me very
unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception, but it has no
bearing on the truth.   Stathis Papaioannou   Brent and Stathis 
exemplify two possible answers to meaning. Brent reduces meaning to something 
based on mere existence or survival. Thus
 amoebas can have such meaning. Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered 
 (unanswerable?) mystery. We just somehow self-generate meaning.  My 
 introduction of the Meaning Of Life thread asked if the
 Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question. Looking 
 at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is apparently not. 
 This is what I expected. Thus, meaning is either
 limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is without basis (the Noble 
 Lie). If you really read the modern philosophers seriously this is their 
 conclusion. Of course there is a third possible answer to
 this question: Meaning is based on a source outside of ourselves, by making 
 connections with others based on such ideals as honour and obligation (a 
 quote I read from Dr. Laura Schlesinger off of a
 Starbucks coffee cup this morning!) Of course people can poo-poo such ideals 
 as simply sentiments, debunking them on a surface level (which is the only 
 level there is without them), just as 
C.S. Lewis pointed out in his lectures on The Abolition of Man. And indeed, 
without such ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial skeleton of his 
true self.  Tom


You seem to keep arguing that it wouldn't be very nice if there were no
ultimate meaning. Is there any actual evidence that this alleged
meaning exists? For example, suppose a society believes that the
Sky God provides ultimate meaning and live their lives happily, whereas
it could be shown that they would all be miserable and kill each other
if they believed it were not true. On this basis there may be reason to
think that belief in the Sky God is useful, but is there
any reason to think that belief in the Sky God is true?
 
Stathis PapaioannouLive Search: New search found Try it!





_
Get connected - Use your Hotmail address to sign into Windows Live Messenger 
now. 
http://get.live.com/messenger/overview

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread John M
Stathiws,
no question about that. What I was trying to stress was the futility of arguing 
from one belief system (and stressing its solely expanded truth) against a 
different truth and evidence carrying OTHER belief system.

BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) accept (alternately) 
ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the professional). 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with our rather elastic 
ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est onetrackminded..(the 9th 
beatitude). 

To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria of your beliefs) 
that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am almost certain that 
as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other zillion characteristics 
are not identical to those of other animals, the mental makeup is similarly 
unique. 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized machine-identity (Oops, no 
reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) idem, non est idem. 

John M
  - Original Message - 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 AM
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life


  John,

  You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different 
criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, those old Greeks sang songs 
about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in them, and on 
top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the Iliad and Odyssey 
must be true, then they would be consistently applying the standards they 
apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples' religious beliefs are 
subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found wanting, but their own 
beliefs are special. 

  Stathis Papaioannou




Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life

Stathis:

is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY 
with a person 
who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic 
and an excellent
 biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he 
answered:
I never mix the two together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist and 
has brilliant 
arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what 
he, quite 
inderstandably - does not want to give up. 
We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of 
intelligence. 
Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your profession. 
Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?

John M



On 2/5/07, Stathis Papaioannou  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  wrote:

  Tom Caylor writes:
   
   On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
OK. But in that case your question is just half of the question, Why 
do people have values? If you have values then that mean some things will be 
good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a place you don't want 
it. You must already know the obvious answer to this given by Darwin. And it 
doesn't even take a person; even amoebas have values. I suspect you have a set 
answer in mind and you're looking for the question to elicit it.
   
Brent Meeker
   
   Also Stathis wrote:
Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value of 
weeds or anything else. You need a person to come along and say let x=good, 
and then you can reason logically given this. Evolutionary theory etc. may 
predict what x a person may deem to be good or beautiful, but this is not 
binding on an individual in the way laws governing the chemistry of 
respiration, for example, are binding. Unlike some scientific types, I am quite 
comfortable with ethics being in this sense outside the scope of science. 
Unlike some religious types, I am quite comfortable without looking for an 
ultimate source of ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this conclusion made 
me very unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception, but it has no 
bearing on the truth.
   
Stathis Papaioannou
   
   
   Brent and Stathis exemplify two possible answers to meaning. Brent
   reduces meaning to something based on mere existence or survival. Thus 
   amoebas can have such meaning.
   Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered (unanswerable?) mystery.
   We just somehow self-generate meaning.
   
   My introduction of the Meaning Of Life thread asked if the 
   Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question.
   Looking at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is
   apparently not. This is what I expected. Thus, meaning is either 
   limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is without basis

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread Brent Meeker

John Mikes wrote:
 Stathis:
 
 is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY 
 with a person
 who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout 
 catholic and an excellent
  biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, 
 he answered:
 I never mix the two together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist 
 and has brilliant
 arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what 
 he, quite
 inderstandably - does not want to give up.
 We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of 
 intelligence.
 Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your profession.
 Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?
 
 John M
 
 
 On 2/5/07, *Stathis Papaioannou*  [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 Tom Caylor writes:
  
   On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
OK. But in that case your question is just half of the
 question, Why do people have values? If you have values then that
 mean some things will be good and some will be bad - a weed is just
 a flower in a place you don't want it. You must already know the
 obvious answer to this given by Darwin. And it doesn't even take a
 person; even amoebas have values. I suspect you have a set answer in
 mind and you're looking for the question to elicit it.
   
Brent Meeker
   
   Also Stathis wrote:
Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value
 of weeds or anything else. You need a person to come along and say
 let x=good, and then you can reason logically given this.
 Evolutionary theory etc. may predict what x a person may deem to be
 good or beautiful, but this is not binding on an individual in the
 way laws governing the chemistry of respiration, for example, are
 binding. 

True.  But evolution does predict that an individual of an evolved species will 
have values, will find some things good and some bad, and further that, with 
high probability, these values will comport with reproductive success.  You 
could for example fairly easily distinguish a race of robots who were 
engineered to serve human beings (angels?) from an evolved race of robots 
simply by their behavior and implied values.  

The former do have lives with meaning - their purposes refer outside 
themselves.  The later have their own purposes.  I'm content to be one of the 
latter.

Brent Meeker


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread John Mikes
Stathis,
maybe I shoot too high, but I was expecting something better from you, at
least referring to what I said.
John

On 2/6/07, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  John,

 You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different
 criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, those old Greeks sang
 songs about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in
 them, and on top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the
 Iliad and Odyssey must be true, then they would be consistently applying
 the standards they apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples'
 religious beliefs are subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found
 wanting, but their own beliefs are special.

 Stathis Papaioannou

 --
 Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500
 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life

 Stathis:

 is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY
 with a person
 who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic
 and an excellent
  biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he
 answered:
 I never mix the two together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist and
 has brilliant
 arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what
 he, quite
 inderstandably - does not want to give up.
 We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of
 intelligence.
 Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your
 profession.
 Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?

 John M


 On 2/5/07, *Stathis Papaioannou*  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  wrote:


 Tom Caylor writes:

  On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   OK. But in that case your question is just half of the question, Why
 do people have values? If you have values then that mean some things will
 be good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a place you don't
 want it. You must already know the obvious answer to this given by Darwin.
 And it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas have values. I suspect you
 have a set answer in mind and you're looking for the question to elicit it.
  
   Brent Meeker
  
  Also Stathis wrote:
   Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value of
 weeds or anything else. You need a person to come along and say let
 x=good, and then you can reason logically given this. Evolutionary theory
 etc. may predict what x a person may deem to be good or beautiful, but this
 is not binding on an individual in the way laws governing the chemistry of
 respiration, for example, are binding. Unlike some scientific types, I am
 quite comfortable with ethics being in this sense outside the scope of
 science. Unlike some religious types, I am quite comfortable without looking
 for an ultimate source of ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this
 conclusion made me very unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception,
 but it has no bearing on the truth.
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
  
 
  Brent and Stathis exemplify two possible answers to meaning. Brent
  reduces meaning to something based on mere existence or survival. Thus
  amoebas can have such meaning.
  Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered (unanswerable?) mystery.
  We just somehow self-generate meaning.
 
  My introduction of the Meaning Of Life thread asked if the
  Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question.
  Looking at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is
  apparently not. This is what I expected. Thus, meaning is either
  limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is without basis (the
  Noble Lie). If you really read the modern philosophers seriously this
  is their conclusion. Of course there is a third possible answer to
  this question: Meaning is based on a source outside of ourselves, by
  making connections with others based on such ideals as honour and
  obligation (a quote I read from Dr. Laura Schlesinger off of a
  Starbucks coffee cup this morning!) Of course people can poo-poo such
  ideals as simply sentiments, debunking them on a surface level
  (which is the only level there is without them), just as C.S. Lewis
  pointed out in his lectures on The Abolition of Man. And indeed,
  without such ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial skeleton
  of his true self.
 
  Tom

 You seem to keep arguing that it wouldn't be very nice if there were no
 ultimate meaning. Is there any actual evidence that this alleged meaning
 exists? For example, suppose a society believes that the Sky God provides
 ultimate meaning and live their lives happily, whereas it could be shown
 that they would all be miserable and kill each other if they believed it
 were not true. On this basis there may be reason to think that belief in the
 Sky God is useful, but is there any reason to think that belief

RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

John,Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple inconsistent 
belief systems, but to me that makes it clear that at least one of their 
beliefs must be wrong - even in the absence of other information. You're much 
kinder to alternative beliefs than I am, but in reality, you *must* think that 
some beliefs are wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if 
you say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six days, but 
respect the right of others to believe that it was, what you're really saying 
is that you respect the right of others to have a false belief. I have no 
dispute with that, as long as it is acknowledged.Stathis PapaioannouFrom: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Tue, 6 Feb 
2007 11:07:52 -0500








Stathiws,
no question about that. What I was trying to stress was 
the futility of arguing from one belief system (and stressing its solely 
expanded truth) against a different truth and evidence carrying OTHER 
belief 
system.
 
BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) 
accept (alternately) ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the 
professional). 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with 
our rather elastic ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est 
onetrackminded..(the 9th beatitude). 
 
To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria 
of your beliefs) that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am 
almost certain that as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other 
zillion characteristics are not identical to those of other animals, the mental 
makeup is similarly unique. 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized 
machine-identity (Oops, no reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) 
idem, non est idem. 
 
John M

  - Original Message - 
  From: 
  Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 
  AM
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
  John,You shouldn't have one criterion for your own 
  beliefs and a different criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, 
  those old Greeks sang songs about their gods' miraculous exploits, really 
  seemed to believe in them, and on top of that were pretty smart, so I guess 
  everything in the Iliad and Odyssey must be true, then they would be 
  consistently applying the standards they apply to the Bible. Of course, they 
  don't: other peoples' religious beliefs are subjected to rational scrutiny 
and 
  (rightly) found wanting, but their own beliefs are special. Stathis 
  Papaioannou
  

Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of 
LifeStathis:is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one 
set of belief system ONLY with a person who carries two (or even more)? 
I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic and an 
excellent biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two 
in one mind, he answered:I never mix the two together. Tom is an 
excellent natural scientist and has brilliant arguments in it, as long 
as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he, quite inderstandably 
- does not want to give up. We all have 'second belief bases' in our 
multiple schizophrenia of intelligence. Some have 'Platonia', some 
'primitive matter view' - it is your profession. Do you really think you 
can penetrate one by arguments from another?John M
On 2/5/07, Stathis Papaioannou  [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 wrote:

  Tom Caylor writes:  On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent 
  Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
  wrote:  OK. But in that case your question is just half of the 
  question, Why do people have values? If you have values then that mean 
  some things will be good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower 
in 
  a place you don't want it. You must already know the obvious answer to 
  this given by Darwin. And it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas 
have 
  values. I suspect you have a set answer in mind and you're looking for 
the 
  question to elicit it.   Brent Meeker 
   Also Stathis wrote:  Sure, logic and science are 
  silent on the question of the value of weeds or anything else. You need a 
  person to come along and say let x=good, and then you can reason 
  logically given this. Evolutionary theory etc. may predict what x a 
person 
  may deem to be good or beautiful, but this is not binding on an 
individual 
  in the way laws governing the chemistry of respiration, for example, are 
  binding. Unlike some scientific types, I am quite comfortable with ethics 
  being in this sense outside the scope of science. Unlike some religious 
  types, I am quite comfortable without looking for an ultimate source of 
  ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this conclusion made me very 
  unhappy, that might be reason

RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent meeker writes:Also Stathis wrote: Sure, logic and 
science are silent on the question of the value  of weeds or anything 
else. You need a person to come along and say  let x=good, and then you 
can reason logically given this.  Evolutionary theory etc. may predict 
what x a person may deem to be  good or beautiful, but this is not 
binding on an individual in the  way laws governing the chemistry of 
respiration, for example, are  binding.   True.  But evolution does 
predict that an individual of an evolved species will have values, will find 
some things good and some bad, and further that, with high probability, these 
values will comport with reproductive success.  You could for example fairly 
easily distinguish a race of robots who were engineered to serve human beings 
(angels?) from an evolved race of robots simply by their behavior and implied 
values.The former do have lives with meaning - their purposes refer 
outside themselves.  The later have their own purposes.  I'm content to be one 
of the latter.  Brent MeekerI don't know that the purpose supposed to be 
provided by God is as coherent as your robot example. As I understand it, God 
did not program us to be good or to believe in him because he wanted us to 
arrive at the right answer freely. However, he must have programmed us to an 
extent, because our values are at least partly the result of evolution, as you 
suggest. What formula he used to set how much of our values would be determined 
and how much free is not clear. Stathis Papaioannou
_
Live Search: New search found
http://get.live.com/search/overview
--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



RE: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Sorry, I thought I was replying to what you said. It's possible of course to be 
right about one thing and wrong about another, and people do keep different 
beliefs differently compartmentalized in their head, like your brother-in-law. 
However, this is *inconsistent*, and inconsistent is even worse than wrong. 
Stathis PapaioannouDate: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 16:03:05 -0500From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeStathis,
maybe I shoot too high, but I was expecting something better from you, at least 
referring to what I said.
JohnOn 2/6/07, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:





John,You shouldn't have one criterion for your own
beliefs and a different criterion for everyone else's. If Christians
said, those old Greeks sang songs about their gods' miraculous
exploits, really seemed to believe in them, and on top of that were
pretty smart, so I guess everything in the Iliad and Odyssey must be
true, then they would be consistently applying the standards they
apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples' religious
beliefs are subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found wanting,
but their own beliefs are special. Stathis PapaioannouDate: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 
09:17:57 -0500
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeStathis:

is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY with a 
person 
who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic and 
an excellent
 biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he 
answered:
I never mix the two together. Tom is an excellent natural scientist and has 
brilliant 
arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he, 
quite 
inderstandably - does not want to give up. 
We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of 
intelligence. 
Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your profession. 
Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?

John M
On 2/5/07, Stathis Papaioannou 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
 wrote:




Tom Caylor writes:
 
 On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 OK. But in that case your question is just half of the question,
Why do people have values? If you have values then that mean some
things will be good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a
place you don't want it. You must already know the obvious answer to
this given by Darwin. And it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas
have values. I suspect you have a set answer in mind and you're looking
for the question to elicit it.   Brent Meeker  Also Stathis wrote:
 Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value of
weeds or anything else. You need a person to come along and say let
x=good, and then you can reason logically given this. Evolutionary
theory etc. may predict what x a person may deem to be good or
beautiful, but this is not binding on an individual in the way laws
governing the chemistry of respiration, for example, are binding.
Unlike some scientific types, I am quite comfortable with ethics being
in this sense outside the scope of science. Unlike some religious
types, I am quite comfortable without looking for an ultimate source of
ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this conclusion made me very
unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception, but it has no
bearing on the truth.   Stathis Papaioannou   Brent and Stathis 
exemplify two possible answers to meaning. Brent reduces meaning to something 
based on mere existence or survival. Thus
 amoebas can have such meaning. Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered 
 (unanswerable?) mystery. We just somehow self-generate meaning.  My 
 introduction of the Meaning Of Life thread asked if the
 Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question. Looking 
 at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is apparently not. 
 This is what I expected. Thus, meaning is either
 limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is without basis (the Noble 
 Lie). If you really read the modern philosophers seriously this is their 
 conclusion. Of course there is a third possible answer to
 this question: Meaning is based on a source outside of ourselves, by making 
 connections with others based on such ideals as honour and obligation (a 
 quote I read from Dr. Laura Schlesinger off of a
 Starbucks coffee cup this morning!) Of course people can poo-poo such ideals 
 as simply sentiments, debunking them on a surface level (which is the only 
 level there is without them), just as 
C.S. Lewis pointed out in his lectures on The Abolition of Man. And indeed, 
without such ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial skeleton of his 
true self.  Tom



You seem to keep arguing that it wouldn't be very nice if there were no
ultimate meaning. Is there any actual evidence that this alleged
meaning exists? For example, suppose a society believes that the
Sky God 

Re: The Meaning of Life

2007-02-06 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Sorry, I thought I was replying to what you said. It's possible of 
 course to be right about one thing and wrong about another, and people 
 do keep different beliefs differently compartmentalized in their head, 
 like your brother-in-law. However, this is *inconsistent*, and 
 inconsistent is even worse than wrong.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

I'm not sure I agree with that last.  Being consistent means you're either all 
right or all wrong.  :-)

Brent Meeker


--~--~-~--~~~---~--~~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
Everything List group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~--~~~~--~~--~--~---



  1   2   3   >