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Author Topic: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion  (Read 36786 times)

GoblinCookie

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #60 on: August 30, 2018, 08:39:36 am »

This is a factual falsehood which you are only able to maintain because you don't know (because nobody yet knows) how consciousness works. If consciousness is physical, then it is necessarily the case that there are some things a conscious lifeform can do, at least on the microscopic level, which a nonsentient being simply cannot. You may not think that the things you observe require consciousness to explain Ś you may believe that you are perfectly capable of imagining a nonsentient being which can do those things Ś but if consciousness if physical, then you would simply be wrong.

If consciousness is eliminated by it's redundancy then there is no need for anyone to determine how consciousness works.  There is no consciousness to study.
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #61 on: August 30, 2018, 08:47:26 am »

That statement is false, even if interpreted charitably. It is not the case that KittyTac's philosophy bars conscious beings from existing. Instead, KittyTac has a different operational definition of consciousness.

From KittyTac's perspective he is the one that exists and not the rest of us.  Unfortunately there is no KittyTac perspective, since I am the only consciousness if he is right.
Wrong. Just plain wrong. Physical consciousness and the existence of other people are not mutually exclusive. It just means that their consciousness is also physical. And my definition of consciousness is different (clarity of thought), as a consequence of my disbelief in free will.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 08:50:28 am by KittyTac »
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Fleeting Frames

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #62 on: August 30, 2018, 09:15:57 am »

That's pretty long post, GoblinCookie, but I think it all rests on the assumption that you have evidence of your own consiciousness that you don't find in others.

If it is thinking, given that all things you think about are words or can be put into words, what distinguishes it from merely a logical machine?
In a conversation between you and someone else where both participants can follow the train of logic, what's the difference?

@Ispil:

I'm reminded of how one comes to a decisions second before actually acting on it.

I'm also reminded of how code doesn't necessarily include comments on why it is doing something.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 09:18:20 am by Fleeting Frames »
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #63 on: August 30, 2018, 10:11:50 am »

Here's a lesson: Don't stab people with Occam's Razor too much. It's only good when used sparingly.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #64 on: August 30, 2018, 12:04:38 pm »

As for the Boltzman brain argument, that one fails by its own construction- these brains don't last long enough to have the physical processes necessary (under any hypothetical construction of consciousness or brains or anything) such that you could say that anything happened at all.
Er, the amount of time they can last is unbounded. They can last as long as you need as long as you are prepared to jack up the rarity.
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #65 on: August 30, 2018, 12:24:39 pm »

Then you could say that all matter could spontaneously form into another Big Bang, with the same argument. You have infinite time, after all.
Well, yes.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #66 on: August 30, 2018, 12:27:10 pm »

Well, no, because space is expanding too fast. No amount of time will ever be enough. That's a completely different physical issue, though.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #67 on: August 30, 2018, 12:40:53 pm »

I will admit, I am no physicist. The fact that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, at least as far as I can tell, would mean that there is a point at which the universe would be expanding so fast that even if a Boltzman brain did spontaneously appear, it would cease to be meaningful due to the expansion of the universe around it rendering what was originally a small distance between each component immensely vast (since the metric of distance between each component would be growing at an infinitely accelerating pace).
Nope, or else the same thing would be happening to the Earth. Gravitationally bound systems don't expand, only the space between them Ś so the "components" of everything remain at the same distance from one another. Formally, it's possible to describe gravity as a process of space contracting between massive objects.
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Putnam

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #68 on: August 30, 2018, 01:04:09 pm »

When matter becomes diffuse enough, which might happen if all the dark matter gets sucked into black holes and all the black holes decay. If there's clumps of dark matter left after all black holes decay (quite unlikely), then gravity will prevail. If not, expansion will.

This is all something like 101010120 years out, if I recall.

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2018, 01:06:49 pm »

Right, but would there not be a point where the expansion overtakes the counter-force of gravity?
Short answer, we can't tell, but it doesn't look like it.

That's actually the so-called "Big Rip" theory of the future of the universe, where expansion accelerates enough that gravity cannot compensate and everything comes apart at the level of fundamental particles. Broadly speaking, if a certain parameter of the universe is less than -1, a Big Rip happens; more than -1, and a Big Crunch happens where gravity overcorrects and everything does collapse back into a singularity eventually; and at exactly -1 things can pretty much just keep going. Current observations show that the parameter is close enough to -1 that we can't tell which of the three scenarios is the case, and, if it is greater or less than -1, it would take an incredibly long time for the corresponding destructive end to take place.
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Tilmar13

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #70 on: August 30, 2018, 03:16:10 pm »

...what have I done?
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Putnam

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #71 on: August 30, 2018, 04:54:09 pm »

Wait, I should note: Occam's razor implies that everybody else has consciousness because "I am perfectly unique" makes fewer assumptions than "most humans is the same as me in most regards".

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #72 on: August 30, 2018, 05:07:31 pm »

Wait, I should note: Occam's razor implies that everybody else has consciousness because "I am perfectly unique" makes fewer assumptions than "most humans is the same as me in most regards".
Instead, it's better to note that Occam's razor says different things to different people because different people have a different understanding of what a "qualifying" assumption is.

In a perfectly literal sense, all arguments require exactly the same number of assumptions: all of them.

Of course, in the original formulation, Occam's razor makes reference to entities, not assumptions, which may or may not be a whole different kettle of fish depending on your philosophical prejudices.
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Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #73 on: August 30, 2018, 08:59:33 pm »

Yudkowsky even argues that the metric that theories should be judged by with Occam's razor is the complexity of their laws, not the number of things. That's a third interpretation, and I think I prefer it to the things-formulation, as the known universe has expanded dramatically in size over the course of scientific history. Law-Occam would have said "yeah, that could happen", whereas Things-Occam would have predicted the opposite. Predicting the past accurately should be a good indication of being possibly true.

And Law-Occam doesn't just not disallow an expanding known universe, it also predicts that seemingly unrelated phenomena will tend to be produced by the same fundamental laws, and that unification is generally possible. The former is definitely true (electricity and magnetism, heat and motion, etc.) and the latter... well, that's a true prediction, isn't it? All the other predictions were after the fact, but we haven't found a Grand Unified Theory yet.

So yes, Occam's razor can mean vastly different things to different people.
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Putnam

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2018, 10:27:19 pm »

Yudkowsky even argues that the metric that theories should be judged by with Occam's razor is the complexity of their laws, not the number of things.

Uh, if I recall from the book, I'm pretty sure he means proper information-theoretic complexity, i.e. how many bits of information are required to state the whole thing. It's a bit too concrete (or abstract, I guess?) to apply in any useful way to discussions, even with other people who have this knowledge, so I sort of forgot about it completely until you mentioned it just now.
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