Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 14:52:23 +0100

Le 26-janv.-07, à 15:13, Mark Peaty a écrit :

> Bruno:
> " 4) Mark Peaty wrote (to Brent):
>> As I say, the essence of evil is the act of treating other persons as
>> things.
> I so agree with you. And then, with Church thesis (less than comp,
> thus) you can understand the reason why even some (relative) machine
> and some (relative) numbers should not be confused with any of their
> third person description. "
> MP: There is too much packed in this for me to be clear of the scope.
> For example: by 'machine' do you mean, generically, any hypothetical
> self-referencing, sufficiently complex device - or virtual emulation
> of such - smart enough to think it knows who it is?
> and
> Which numbers have anything BUT a third person description?

I can explain (see UDA) why if you assume comp, numbers get private
first person relation with respect to other numbers or with unameable,
from their point of view, set of numbers. I have to use the Wi and Fi
to explain this. I do identify machine and their godel numbers (or any
finite description of the machine) at some point.

> I am of course very ignorant about higher mathematics, so the way I
> use words is that a number is a mathematical object that has/is a [or
> of a] particular value. I guess that means that a number, for me
> anyway, is a thing not a process. People use processes to generate,
> define and compare numbers. These processes are to mathematica what
> verbs, adverbs, adjectives, complex nouns and all the phrases [noun
> phr, adjectival phr, etc.] are to natural languages. Because of the
> precise specifications required for such mathematical processes, which
> I suppose means their algorithmic qualities, many of them are
> mathematical objects in their own right,

All right.

> so they do what they do and not anything else.

Universal machine can mirror all machine, and nobody can built a theory
predicting, for any of their inputs, what they will or can do.

> Bruno [quote continued]:
> Do you agree that those who believe in a primitive physical universe
> could be deluded in the same manner than those who believe in some
> notion of God. Perhaps even in a worse manner, because many people
> believe that the existence of a primitive material universe is a
> "scientific fact". Of course not. At least in many theological text,
> the word "God" is used in a more axiomatic way than "Matter" is by
> some scientist (at lunch or during the week-end). Most religious
> people will never say that the existence of God is a scientific fact,
> and in that sense are less deluded than many materialist. "
> MP: I don't see how people who believe in 'some notion of God' can
> honestly get past the intelligent child's question of 'Well alright,
> where did G/god/s come from then'. It is a simple question without an
> answer except something like: 'Shut up you little smart a*se!' or
> 'BLASPHEMY!! Thou deservest to be burnt at the stake!'

I don't see how people who believe in 'some notion of Primary Matter'
can honestly get past the child's question of "Well all right, where
did that Physical Matter come from then' It is a simple question
without an answer except something like: 'Shut up you little smart,

Mark, what I say is that if someone say "the physical universe exists
in some primitive sense" I call it a theologian. If he acknowledge it
is an assumption, I call it "honest theologian", dishonest, if not.

> For me a very important aspect of this latter issue is that any
> purported supernatural being cannot have a coherent explanation in
> terms of natural science and,

I agree there is no need for assuming supernatural. But pretending
"Matter" *is* primitive, makes Matter and Nature already supernatural.
It is an extrapolation from our most old animals instinctive guess.

> if taken of itself to be an explanation for any of that which is
> and/or that which transpires, it disempowers the believers concerned
> and any of those in their care.

I think we agree, at some level.

> Why? Because, as I think I said before, one of the several Earth
> shaking things that the advent of scientific method has brought to the
> human race is the objective demonstration that no publicly stated
> belief or public assertion of the nature of things is immune from
> sceptical examination which is conducted in an ethical manner.

OK. I prefer not to believe in science but in scientific attitude (this
is field independent). To say "science has prove the existence of a
physical universe" can only come from an unscientific attitude.

> That said, I can now return to the deeper question which is: Is it
> coherent to assert that there is no universe?

Actually it could be, according to the lobian machine, but ok, it would
be not really interesting. But primarily physical or not, it is an
assumption, at some level.

> In common sense, plain English terms that is pretty much like saying
> that 'Nothing really exists!'

You know I believe in many things. The point is just that if comp is
true then physics has to be derived from number theory. It is a
technical point, not a personal opinion.

> ... which Does not compute!

No. Comp entails that not only uncomputable things exists, but that
uncomputable things interfere in a verifiable way with "me", assuming
"me" is locally computable.

> Like dividing or multiplying by zero, you either lock up your system
> or get no useful extra result. It is therefore necessary to accept
> that one exists, with the bookmarked proviso that 'exists' needs
> further research, and accept that for the time being there is no
> really coherent substitute for taking as given one's own existence in
> a world of some sort.

I agree 100%. But many concludes for this that PRIMARY MATTER exists.
Like if we knew Aristotle correct and Plato wrong. It is prematured to
say the least.

> In fact as I said somewhere else it is one of only two completely free
> things in life. [The other if you remember is the benefits which come
> from saying 'Think positive, it is better for you' and acting as if
> you believe it.]

I agree. Actually I can prove to you that somehow "lobianity" is a form
of self-positive thinking.

> My point in harping on in this way is simply so as to point out that:
> whilst it IS necessary to assert an assumption of existence beyond
> oneself, and to be ethical it is necessary to acknowledge the
> independent existence of the other people one meets, ...


> ... there is no such more-or-less a priori reason for positing the
> existence of supernatural beings of any sort whatever.

I agree. Completely. That is why I do not posit "nature" which in many
philosophical text play the role of the old "supernature".
As scientist we have to be agnostic on things like GOD, PRIMITIVE

> The assertion of the existence of G/god/s is gratuitous, and the very
> concept is characteristically pre-scientific.

Well, it all depends what you intend to mean with "universe", God" etc.
With comp, Plotinus's God is more coherent with the facts, that the
Aristotelian primary matter.
If we decide to keep the scientific mind/attitude, let us not stop on
the half of it.

> Furthermore, the very concept of an omniscient being, never mind
> omnipotent, depends for its credibility upon the acceptance of some
> kind of naive realism.


> That is to say, the truth concerning the types of awareness we
> actually experience and for which credible sceptically proficient
> observation has been made, always entails a very limited,
> circumscribed apprehension of self and world.

... relative to some theories.

> This is consistent with the most reasonable conceptions of
> consciousness and sentience which entail the absolutely necessary
> activity of some kind of neural network, however instantiated.

I do agree with this. I am interested in the question "where does those
neural things come from?".

> In other words, the only real evidence we have that stands up to
> reasonable scrutiny, supports only the idea that consciousness is
> either embodied or it doesn't exist! 

I agree. Completely. Consciousness is mainly (instinctive) belief in a
reality. It needs a "body", which means a relative interpretation. It
does not mean neural nets have an eventually real substrate. That would
be a non rational jump.

> I will go yet further and assert that not only is embodiment essential
> for the occurrence of consciousness but the process REQUIRES the
> representation in some form of both the observer and the observed plus
> representation of the current salient relationships between them.

Yes. But machine cannot specify which machine they are, still less
which computational story they belong to. This entails some testable

> When this occurs then, and only then, is there something [or a
> somethinggoingon, for the purists] which can be 'like being
> something', as opposed to simply being it without knowing it.


> The radical and apple cart damaging entailment of this is that by the
> very nature of the process - by definition if you like - the
> subjective experience which occurs cannot possibly be all of simply
> being the entity in question.

That is the essence of not confusing the third person description of a
machine, and her personal first person view the machine can have about

> The process is one of construction,

Exactly. This is what the lobian machine can prove about some third
person description of the notion of first person.

> in fact I think the word 'updating' has an important place here too,
> and this process involves overheads, in the form of structures and
> processes which must be and occur just to keep the system running,
> adapting to its environment and repairing itself.

As far as you don't reify the environment (which with comp is just the
most probable mathematical computational history), I continue to agree.
Well said!

> From this it follows that even the biggest brains in the universe,
> wherever they may be and however old, will share with us the
> limitations of not being able to see the backs of our own eyeballs or,
> as George Gurdjieff put it: they too cannot jump over their own
> knees!   :-)     Who needs G/god/s like that!

To be sure the lobian machine-itself (G), here, is mute. But its
guardian angels (G*) says something like that. The machine can say: as
far as I am consistent I will share those limitations of not being able
to see the backs of our own eyeballs. But the machine says more; she
says she can see the border of the blind spot, and that if comp is
correct the physical laws emerge there, even in a arithmetical sort of
darwinian way, and actually in a completely verifiable way.


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Received on Sat Jan 27 2007 - 08:54:09 PST

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