Wake up guys, you're assuming the world

From: Higgo James <james.higgo.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:50:46 -0000

Would you all stop being so anthropocentric? The idea you have of being a
human is just that: an idea. Don't leap to the conclusion that there is a
human, or a person, or a self. All you know is this idea. Anthropic
reasoning is severely constrained because its practitioners invariably make
a host of assumptions, including realism, and that what they see is real,
and that the visible 'reality' is one of them as independent physical beings
in a classical universe.

Please go back a step, and understand that all thoughts exist in the
plenitude; whether they are 'dog' thoughts or 'human thoughts' is
interesting, but it does not set them in different classes in any way.

Consciousness does not exists; time does not exist, as an objective feature
of reality. But all thoughts do exist.

Don't worry, I shan't bother saying this again.

James
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Fred Chen [SMTP:flipsu5.domain.name.hidden]
> Sent: Monday, January 10, 2000 8:17 AM
> To: everything-list.domain.name.hidden
> Subject: Re: The Game of Life
>
>
>
> Marchal wrote (in response to Russell Standish):
>
> > >This touches on a philosophical conundrum I have. Like Bruno, I too
> > >attribute conciousness to some animals. eg a number of dogs I know
> > >seem to be concious at an intuitive level. As the previous discussion
> > >followed, conciousness appears to be reflexive in some manner, even if
> > >indirectly.
> > >
> > >My problem is with the Anthropic principle. If conciousness is all
> > >that is needed to "instantiate" an interesting universe, then why do
> > >we even understand what the anthropic principle is? Presumably dogs do
> > >not wonder why the universe has the form it does. Why do we?
> > >
> > >There has to be some good reason why the reference class must be
> > >human-like, i.e. able to understand philosophical issues such as the
> > >anthropic principle.
> >
> > There are no good reasons, I think, to take human-like reference
> > class in 'scientific' (let us say) matter. And I do not.
> >
> > I appreciate the Anthropic Principle though. I am convinced of the
> > benefit of weak Anthropic-like reasoning.
> >
> > Actually you touch my principal motivation for substituting the
> > human observer by the machine observer.
> >
> > A lot of reasoning can be done with the more vague 'Self-Aware
> > Substructure', (which does not need to be a machine) but as you know I
> > give a special role to the SRC UTM. (SRC = Self Referentially
> > Correct).
> >
> > Why animals does not wonder why the universe has the form it does?
> > I think that animals are SRC in some sense (after all living animals
> > did succeed the "evolution test"). But animals lack some degree
> > of introspectiveness. Animals knows but does not know they know.
> >
> > When you simulate throwing a piece of wood in front of a dog, the
> > dog can show some sense of astonishment though.
> >
> > But religions and fundamental sciences begin with astonishment
> > in front of the banal, when you stop taking for granted the very
> > nature of the apparantly obvious. This need higher introspective
> > power, and higher communication means, for exemple to remember
> > and talk about dreams.
> >
> > Look at Smullyan's description() of advancing stages of
> > self-awareness page 89 (either in the hard or paperback edition).
> >
> > Human-like interrogations begin perhaps with the Smullyan's stage 4
> > where the 'reasoner' is able to know that it knows.
> > More on that modal stuff later ...
> >
> > Regards,
> > Bruno
> >
> > () Raymond Smullyan : FOREVER UNDECIDED
> > Hardback: 1987, Alfred A. KNOPF, New York.
> > Paperback: 1988, Oxford University Press.
>
> Animals can display signs of self-awareness and consciousness. They do not
> possess all the mental faculties that humans have that we may take for
> granted. For example, as mentioned by Bruno, introspection and
> inquisitiveness. But the hard evidence for being human lies in written and
> symbolic language and the ability to generate permanent records using this
> language. Most animals are physically incapable of writing, e.g.,
> quadrupeds. A substitute for written language could be a very good memory
> capacity for communication by sound (oral language). The limitation of
> oral
> language is that it is inherently one-dimensional, while written or
> symbolic language is two-dimensional. Both written language and sufficient
> memory capacity for oral language probably require highly evolved brains.
> Written language also leads to the concept of laws.
>
> An appreciation of the Anthropic Principle by an SAS requires the SAS
> possesses, in addition to introspection and inquisitiveness, a sense of
> laws governing the world. This would entail that the SAS should have
> something equivalent to written language ability. With these abilities, it
> would be natural for the SAS to ask why the laws are the way they are,
> etc.
>
> Fred
Received on Mon Jan 10 2000 - 01:51:22 PST

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