Re: Justifying the Theory of Everything

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2007 12:39:21 -0700

Jason wrote:
> I have seen two main justifications on this list for the everything
> ensemble, the first comes from information theory which says the
> information content of everything is zero (or close to zero). The
> other is mathematicalism/arithmatical realism which suggests
> mathematical truth exists independandly of everything else and is the
> basis for everything.
> My question to the everything list is: which explaination do you
> prefer and why? Are these two accounts compatible, incompatible, or
> complimentary? Additionally, if you subscribe to or know of other
> justifications I would be interesting in hearing it.

These two justifications are about equally attractive to me. I also have a
couple of other justifications.

Aesthetic: If anything doesn't exist, it's non-existence would constitute an
element of arbitrariness, given that anything exists at all. We shouldn't
accept arbitrariness unless there's a good reason for it, and there doesn't
seem to be one.

Pragmatic: We have to accept that there is at least a non-zero probability
that all possible universes exist. Unless there is reason to believe that
the probability is so small as to be negligible (and I don't see such a
reason), we will need to consider the everything ensemble when making
predictions and decisions. Given that, why not believe that the probability
is one? The probabilities for all other possible collections of universes
can be "folded" into the measure over the everything ensemble in such a way
that all of the predictions and decisions come out the same way as before.

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Received on Sun Jul 08 2007 - 15:40:38 PDT

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