Re: Contradiction. Was: Probability

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2008 18:56:40 -0800

A. Wolf wrote:
>> What is your objection to the existence of list-universes? Are they not
>> internally consistent "mathematical" structures? Are you claiming that whatever
>> the list is, rules of inference can be derived (using what process?) and thence
>> they will be found to be inconsistent?
> You're reeeeally confused here.

I doubt it.

>I don't suggest your list-universes
> are inconsistent; quite the opposite.
> I thought you brought up the list-universe example as if to say "if we
> look at any universe as a list of states, then how can it be
> inconsistent".

Well by your definition a universe is consistent (the inconsistent ones don't
exist). So given a universe we could look at it as a list of states if it could
be foliated by some parameter (which we might identify as "time").

>To which I responded with "that's not a good example
> because most universes can't be discretised to a simple list of
> states".

Certainly not all - but I'm not sure what measure would justify "most".

>In other words, I can't come up with an simple example of an
> inconsistent list-of-states-universe, but that doesn't mean all
> universes are consistent,

That's not quite what you mean - since you've defined them as consistent they
all are. But I understand what you mean; just giving some specification of a
universe may very well result in inconsistency and hence failure to actually
specify one.

>because most universes aren't like your
> simplified example.

But the question of measure, what makes up "most", is the crux of the question.
  Assuming everything exists in some sense, why do we experience this particular
one? If we say "just because" then the everything hypothesis is empty. To say
something more informative we need some measure on "universes". And then we a
justification for that measure rather than some other.


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Received on Sat Nov 08 2008 - 21:56:47 PST

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