Re: ODP: Free will/consciousness/ineffability

From: George Levy <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 21:21:31 -0700

rwas wrote:
> --- Marchal <> wrote:
> > Brent Meeker wrote:
> >
> >
> > >On 10-Oct-01, Marchal wrote:
> > >> You talk like if you have a proof of the existence of matter. Like
> > if
> > >> it was
> > >> obvious subtancia are consistent. But you know substancia only
> > appears
> > >> in Aristote mind when he misunderstood Plato doctrine on
> > intelligible
> .
> .
> .
> > You mean "as is everything is material. "?
> > Be careful. I certainly does not believe everything is computational.
> > Quite the contrary, IF I am the result of a computation then I can
> > expect
> > to be confronted with many non computational things.
> > Perhaps you were meaning "everything is immaterial"? That's is
> > indeed a consequence of the computational hypothesis.
Rwas wrote
> I am confused with this. Not to be "combative" but how can one know
> they are not in a simulator, ie., arcade game or virtual reality?

Good question! In fact you are superposed in multiple "environments"
some of them could be simulators, others very large and complex
Hollywood type sets and so on. Your environment is subject to the
indeterminacy principle just like anything else you may want to know.
One way to find out in which environment you actually are is to make a
measurement. Depending on which interpretation you prefer, your
measurement collapses the wave function of your environment (Copenhagen
school) or selects you and your environment from the multiverse (MWI).

An interesting question that we have been discussing in many forms is
what is the meaning of consciousness when you are in a superposition. Is
a superposition of conscious states one single consciousness or many?
Does it make sense to claim that there could be many consciousnesses
when these consciousnesses themselves cannot distinguish themselves
from each other? I believe not.

This brings us to the perception of consciousness which I believe to be
a relativistic issue. Perception of conscious self and perception of
conscious others can vary in kind depending on who does the observing.
Free will is also relativistic. A consciousness gives the impression of
having free will if its behavior is unpredicatble (ineffable -
unprovable) BY THE OBSERVER. The self gives the impression to the
OBSERVING SELF of having free will because the self cannot predict what
its own behavior will be.

And when a measurement is performed and a branching occurs, does it make
sense to say that there occur an sudden increase in the measure of the
consciousness involved in this process. I do not believe so. There is a
diversification of consciousness but no increase in measure.

Received on Mon Oct 15 2001 - 21:24:26 PDT

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