Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

1,525 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. fifthmonarchyman: Right BB don’t really know anything much at all but they think that they do.

    If we were BB’s , they would need to know how to create the illusion we are not disembodied brains with a finer granular precision than our illusionary human brains are capable of. Where would the energy come from to create such an illusion?

    And since as illusions we have knowledge of BB, a BB would have that knowledge as well of BB.

    No my “argument” is that BB are more likely thermodynamicly speaking than human brains plus the associated structures. That is because BB are simpler

    If the existence of a BB is from the theory extremely unlikely to have happened in the time the Universe has existed, requires thermodynamic equilibrium, so they could be simple but extremely rare.

    Human brains though complicated , roughly 100 billion have existed, in last 14 billion years.

    Likelihood may have to do with how.

    I’m not sure I’d call it an argument though it’s blatantly obvious.

    Certainly not an argument from probability.

    I’m really not concerned about how BB arise.

    Seems a strange position for someone who just asserted that it is blatantly obvious they are more thermodynamically likely to arise.

    The important thing is that they are more likely to arise than human brains

    Then I suggest you just assert it rather than getting all bogged down in an “argument”.

    Yep, if your brain is just a Universal Turing machine then a BB can do everything it can do it just takes a little longer.

    Our brain requires energy, supplied by the body, requires oxygen , where does the Boltzmann Brain get its energy? A human brain floating in space isn’t going to do much of anything.

    We all know of individuals who live their entire lives under one illusion or another. You think my belief in God is just an illusion. It’s as comprehensive as your belief in the outside world if not more so.

    No one thinks your belief is an illusion. Of course, your position is that others have the illusionary belief they do not believe God exists. Strange.

    If I am under such an illusion and my brain is a universal Turing machine then a BB could do it just as well.

    Could you make that into a syllogism?

    Right, that is exactly why BB are more likely to exist than human brains are.

    No matter how they arise or how likely it is that they would.

    peace

  2. Allan Miller: You’re not interested in how they arise, but you are sure they arise?

    No I think they are impossible.
    But I have a very different worldview than you.
    According to your worldview they are more likely to arise than humans speaking thermodynamicly.

    Allan Miller: You may have your own private version of ‘BB’, but you should probably call it something else

    You have lost track of the discussion. I’m not trying to prove BB here. I’m trying to show you that you have reason to doubt the reliability of your senses.

    Allan Miller: It is not at all obvious that a structure which constructs the entirety of its reality is simpler than one which simply perceives and experiences one external to it.

    A BB does not construct anything it merely imagines stuff.

    If you want to argue that actively perceiving something is less thermodynamicly difficult than imagining I’m all ears.

    Allan Miller: What’s God got to do with this?

    For one thing God’s existence makes it impossible that I’m a BB

    Allan Miller: Trying to shoehorn something you appear only to think you understand into the conversation.

    There is no shoehorning. If the brain is a universal Turing machine a simple BB is all that is required.

    If you want to argue that a human brain is more than that I’m all ears

    Allan Miller: If the only known way of making brains is as I outlined, it does not follow that a form of brain made by unknown means is more common.

    There are lots of ways to make a universal Turing machines. If you are going to argue that computers can’t support consciousness I and all of the AI community are all ears.

    It’s quite a claim because it means that Strong AI is impossible

    peace

  3. newton: If we were BB’s , they would need to know how to create the illusion we are not disembodied brains

    nope, it could all be unconscious instinct

    newton: And since as illusions we have knowledge of BB, a BB would have that knowledge as well of BB.

    it thinks it does anyway

    newton: Seems a strange position for someone who just asserted that it is blatantly obvious they are more thermodynamically likely to arise.

    No it’s not strange all you have to understand is that BB are simpler than human brains and the associated structure.

    That is blatantly obvious

    newton: Our brain requires energy, supplied by the body, requires oxygen , where does the Boltzmann Brain get its energy?

    I don’t know. I just know It takes less energy to create and supply a BB than it does to do the same thing for a human brain.

    That is all I need to know

    newton: Could you make that into a syllogism?

    Premise one: BB and human brains are universal Turing machines

    Premise two: Universal Turing machines are computationally equivalent

    Conclusion: A BB could do what a human brain does just as well,though it might take longer.

    peace

  4. Now I really feel like this conversation should have been moved to the BB thread 😉

    peace

  5. Allan Miller: A general thought here: while you may be perfectly OK with it yourself, someone from a school of thought that generally has a massive problem with simple-system abiogenesis can dislocate its jaw and swallow spontaneous brains wholesale. I am perplexed.

    I don’t think Fifth believes BB are possible, he is arguing that his belief of what he thinks you must believe sans God, does not make sense. I think we all agree with that premise ,his belief does not make sense.

  6. newton: I think we all agree with that premise ,his belief does not make sense.

    Glad we established that. What you need to do now is explain why it and everything like it does not make sense given your worldview.

    IOW tell me how you know stuff.

    peace

  7. fifthmonarchyman: we were BB’s , they would need to know how to create the illusion we are not disembodied brains

    nope, it could all be unconscious instinct

    And it is necessary to believe that ,why?

    newton: And since as illusions we have knowledge of BB, a BB would have that knowledge as well of BB.

    it thinks it does anyway

    Like I said, it would be know it was a possibility. Sometimes the knowledge of possibility is enough, right?

    newton: Seems a strange position for someone who just asserted that it is blatantly obvious they are more thermodynamically likely to arise.

    No it’s not strange all you have to understand is that BB are simpler than human brains and the associated structure.

    Is it, human brains require energy to operate, Boltzmann Brains If they actually function , must be far more advanced in the creation of energy than eating cheeseburgers. They would have moved past depending on oxygen, being temperature indifferent. Sounds obvious.

    That is blatantly obvious

    You sure? Sometimes things are obvious and incorrect because one has a simplistic view.

    newton: Our brain requires energy, supplied by the body, requires oxygen , where does the Boltzmann Brain get its energy?

    I don’t know. I just know It takes less energy to create and supply a BB than it does to do the same thing for a human brain.

    Where does it get this less energy from was the question? Space is cold. We have lots of brains in jars, Do you think they are aware? Do you think people who don’t add God to the mix believe they are aware?

    That is all I need to know

    Even less it seems.

    newton: Could you make that into a syllogism?

    Premise one: BB and human brains are universal Turing machines

    Premise two: Universal Turing machines are computationally equivalent

    Conclusion: A BB could do what a human brain does just as well,though it might take longer.

    peace

    Thank you

  8. newton: Again?

    Nope just the first time.

    What we have so far is some sort of burden shift where I’m asked to prove BB before you take them seriously.

    What is necessary on the other hand is for you to demonstrate that they are sufficiently unlikely so you don’t need to take them seriously despite the evidence from cosmology.

    Then you need to explain how you can conclude this with relying on your unreliable reasoning and senses.

    peace

  9. newton: And it is necessary to believe that ,why?

    It’s not necessary but it might not be a good idea to rule out possibilities like that a prori.

    newton: Like I said, it would be know it was a possibility.

    You don’t have to know BB are possible in order to be a BB. You only need to know that in order to know you are a BB.

    newton: Boltzmann Brains If they actually function , must be far more advanced in the creation of energy than eating cheeseburgers.

    why? any energy source will work for Turing machines it does not need to be sophisticated.

    newton: Sometimes things are obvious and incorrect because one has a simplistic view.

    Yes but simplistic views are not wrong because they are simple they are wrong because there are reasons they are wrong.

    What reasons do you have??

    newton: Where does it get this less energy from was the question?

    how about from a star. That is where humans are supposed to get it.

    newton: Space is cold.

    not all of it there are lots of stars in the universe.
    Even if all the universe were cold quantum fluctuation could provide energy from time to time.

    newton: Do you think people who don’t add God to the mix believe they are aware?

    I think that most folks who have thought about it think that awareness can arise from certain types of computation. That is where the idea of strong AI comes from.

    Human brains in jars don’t compute………. BB do.

    peace

  10. fifthmonarchyman: It does need justification in order for you to know it exists.

    Right. As I’ve told you fifty thousand times now. What you’re are agitating about is knowledge that one knows. You’ve denied this many times, but here you are, FINALLY admitting it.

    In the immortal words of Billy Connolly, Jesus Suffering Fuck!

    Hoorah.

  11. fifthmonarchyman: He would be correct that he knows he is typing but he is mistaken to claim he knows anything about the world outside his mind.

    He would not be correct that he knows he is typing. He would not even be correct that he is typing. He would think that he is typing but would be wrong. [See Connolly quotation above]

  12. walto: What you’re are agitating about is knowledge that one knows.

    gezze

    Let it go man. this is so simple it’s not a conspiracy theory.

    You don’t know you know unless you have justification to believe knowledge is possible.

    That is because knowledge requires justification.

    walto: He would not be correct that he knows he is typing.

    You just said we were talking about “Knowledge he knows” Now you are saying that he does not know these things………. Make up your mind he either knows or he does not.

    here is my take.

    He is not justified even though he thinks he’s justified in believing he is typing.

    He does not know he knows because he being a BB has no good reason to think he is not mistaken.

    So when he claims to know he is typing or anything else he is full of crap!!!!!!.

    On the other hand ………………….

    He can say “(implied AFAIK) I know I’m typing” and be perfectly justified but he can’t say “(No implied AFAIK) I know I’m typing” because he doesn’t have good reason for believing that knowledge is possible.

    He can say “I don’t need to know how I know things in order to know things” and be correct.

    But he can’t say

    “I don’t need to have a reason for believing that knowledge is possible in order to be fully justified in claiming that I know things.”

    If you think you can say the above then we just profoundly disagree….

    why don’t you stick to the kids example because this back and forth is getting us nowhere. Ive tried to explain to you a hundred ways and you still don’t get it.

    I’m very tempted to just ask you “how do you know that?” next time this comes up.

    It won’t help you understand but it will show everyone else your error

    peace

  13. walto: Yes.

    So therefore he is not justified in claiming that he has knowledge of anything outside his head…………..Agreed?

    If you don’t have any reason to believe that you know anything outside your mind you are not justified in claiming that you do……….Agreed?

    Of course you will now reset the tape again and claim that I am demanding you must know how you know before you can know anything.

    Let me save you the trouble that is not what I’m saying……

    Let it go man

    peace

  14. fifthmonarchyman: No I think they are impossible.
    But I have a very different worldview than you.
    According to your worldview they are more likely to arise than humans speaking thermodynamicly.

    It’s ‘thermodynamically’. No, it is absolutely not ‘according to my worldview’. I’ve just spent several posts patiently explaining why. But you are fond of telling people what they must think.

    You have lost track of the discussion. I’m not trying to prove BB here. I’m trying to show you that you have reason to doubt the reliability of your senses.

    By suggesting I’m something I don’t think can happen? Good effort.

    A BB does not construct anything it merely imagines stuff.

    Hair-splitting. It is the source of my entire perceived world, if true. I feel entitled to call that ‘construction’. You ever heard of metaphor?

    If you want to argue that actively perceiving something is less thermodynamicly difficult than imagining I’m all ears.

    I don’t know what the heck you are on about here.

    There is no shoehorning. If the brain is a universal Turing machine a simple BB is all that is required.

    If you want to argue that a human brain is more than that I’m all ears

    More gibberish. You haven’t made the case that a human brain is a UTM, nor that a ‘simple BB’ can simulate a perceptual experience of an equivalent richness. It’s even got me imagining I can play the piano, guitar and drums, and speak passable French, and I couldn’t when I started. There are hundreds of languages I might care to learn. I made them up, yet can’t speak them without imagining taking a course. That’s some sim.

    There are lots of ways to make a universal Turing machines.

    Oh ‘lots of ways’ huh? Nope, no handwaving going on here.

    If you are going to argue that computers can’t support consciousness I and all of the AI community are all ears.

    You spend a lot of time being all ears, though significantly less actually listening. I’m sure the AI community could not give a shit what I think (either).

    It’s quite a claim because it means that Strong AI is impossible

    We seem to be drifting away from the argument that I am a BB.

  15. Reset

    Suppose a child holds these two beliefs simultaneously

    1) her father is mad at her at this very minute
    2) her father died 4 years ago.

    Is she justified in saying that she knows both 1 and 2?

    If she gives justification for both 1 and 2 does that mean that she knows 1 and 2?

    I would say that her claim of knowledge for both 1 and 2 is of no value to me unless she explains how both one and 2 are both simultaneously possible.

    Do you agree?

    Notice I am not saying that she needs to know how she knows 1 and 2 in order to know 1 and 2.

    peace

  16. newton: I don’t think Fifth believes BB are possible, he is arguing that his belief of what he thinks you must believe sans God, does not make sense. I think we all agree with that premise ,his belief does not make sense.

    Yes, the penny’s finally dropped on that one. Despite cogent and unaddressed arguments against, here‘s what I must believe. Thanks, fifth!

  17. fifthmonarchyman:
    What is necessary on the other hand is for you to demonstrate that they are sufficiently unlikely so you don’t need to take them seriously despite the evidence from cosmology.

    Given your stated disinterest in the physics of the matter, that’s a big ask. “Explain why you think X unlikely. Bear in mind that I couldn’t care less”.

  18. Allan Miller: I’ve just spent several posts patiently explaining why. But you are fond of telling people what they must think.

    I don’t think you have. I’m sorry if you think otherwise. it’s not me you have to convince

    Allan Miller: By suggesting I’m something I don’t think can happen? Good effort.

    What you think can’t happen is of little consequence if it happened.

    I’ve yet to hear you give a reason why it can’t happen just reasons why it’s unlikely to happen in your opinion.

    Allan Miller: It is the source of my entire perceived world, if true. I feel entitled to call that ‘construction’.

    Only if you believe you construct the world of your dreams each night

    Allan Miller: More gibberish. You haven’t made the case that a human brain is a UTM, nor that a ‘simple BB’ can simulate a perceptual experience of an equivalent richness.

    That is not my position it’s yours. Unless you want to go on record that strong AI is impossible.

    Allan Miller: Oh ‘lots of ways’ huh? Nope, no handwaving going on here.

    how about this way

    https://blog.wolfram.com/2007/10/24/the-prize-is-won-the-simplest-universal-turing-machine-is-proved/

    pretty simple it seems to me

    peace

  19. Allan Miller: Despite cogent and unaddressed arguments against, here‘s what I must believe. Thanks, fifth!

    Not at all.

    instead
    “Here is what your worldview necessarily entails AFAIK”

    To prove me wrong simply explain why BB are impossible given your worldview.

    At that point we can get to the next reason to doubt your senses and reason

    peace

  20. Allan Miller: Given your stated disinterest in the physics of the matter, that’s a big ask. “Explain why you think X unlikely. Bear in mind that I couldn’t care less”.

    Physics can’t be the reason that it’s unlikely.

    If you are a BB you would not have access to the real physical world.

    What you need to do is show me something above physics in your worldview that makes BB impossible.

    I do wish you luck with that

    peace

  21. fifthmonarchyman: I don’t think you have. I’m sorry if you think otherwise. it’s not me you have to convince

    Well, it’s certainly not me.

    What you think can’t happen is of little consequence if it happened.

    It has some bearing on my acceptance of a proposed basis for my perceptual experience.

    I’ve yet to hear you give a reason why it can’t happen just reasons why it’s unlikely to happen in your opinion.

    I’ve not seen you give a reason why it can.

    I have concluded, on the basis of arguments already given, that BBs are impossible. You think they are too, albeit for different reasons.

    Only if you believe you construct the world of your dreams each night

    I think it is a ‘construction’. Not sure where I would place ‘I’ in the chain, as an actor rather than audience.

    That is not my position it’s yours.

    Is it? Learn something new every day

    Unless you want to go on record that strong AI is impossible.

    That, I don’t know. I don’t have a strong position on strong AI. I do, however, have a strong position on complex structure just popping into existence in some vague and unspecified physics.

    how about this way

    Did that pop up out out of the quantum vacuum, or random SM fluctuation? Does it suffer existential angst? Does it imagine itself drunk, or able to knock out a bit of Mozart?

  22. fifthmonarchyman“Here is what your worldview necessarily entails AFAIK”

    But my worldview does not entail that. So you are telling me what I must think, when I do not in fact think it, making you wrong.

    To prove me wrong simply explain why BB are impossible given your worldview.

    Again? Would you listen this time?

    At that point we can get to the next reason to doubt your senses and reason

    Crikey, I can hardly wait.

  23. fifthmonarchyman: Physics can’t be the reason that it’s unlikely.

    So why do you keep saying ‘thermodynamicly’, and talk about UTM’s? These things do not exist, if I am a BB (nor do you for that matter, but I’ll play along).

    What you need to do is show me something above physics in your worldview that makes BB impossible.

    As I say, if you aren’t talking about physics, you need to drop the ‘Boltzmann’. It only serves to confuse. OTOH, if you think my worldview – ‘materialism’- entails accepting I might be something non-physical, that suggests you might not fully grasp it.

  24. fifthmonarchyman: Nope just the first time.

    First time what?

    What we have so far is some sort of burden shift where I’m asked to prove BB before you take them seriously.

    You keep talking about what a BB can or cannot do, just wondering how you know what a disembodied brain in the depth of space at near absolute zero can do. But yes, a little effort on your part might be richly rewarded. Right now ,it just seems like you are going through the motions.

    What is necessary on the other hand is for you to demonstrate that they are sufficiently unlikely so you don’t need to take them seriously despite the evidence from cosmology.

    Really, not sure why a disembodied brain somewhere floating in space merits serious consideration.

    Then you need to explain how you can conclude this with relying on your unreliable reasoning and senses.

    First I need to take it seriously then I have to justify why I take it seriously while relying on the same unreliable reasoning and senses that I am depending on getting me back home in a fast moving ,heavy vehicle surrounded by other fast moving ,heavy vehicles controlled by people talking on phones.

    I guess I just like to live dangerously as The Dead say

    “ like the do-dah man. Once told me “You’ve got to play your hand”
    Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a dime, if you don’t lay’em down,

  25. Allan Miller: As I say, if you aren’t talking about physics, you need to drop the ‘Boltzmann’. It only serves to confuse. OTOH, if you think my worldview – ‘materialism’- entails accepting I might be something non-physical, that suggests you might not fully grasp it.

    Here’s what FMM is attempting to argue (and I grant that I might be getting this wrong, but he’s not great at expressing himself):

    1. If physicalism is true, then there exists a region of space-time — however many billions of years in the future — where the universe is at maximum entropy but quantum fluctuations result in the spontaneous creation of “Boltzmann brains”.

    2. Boltzmann brains are simpler than any living brain because they do not require any organisms, ecosystems, planets, stars, etc.

    3. Simpler structures are more likely than complex structures.

    4. Therefore, when we consider the entire history of space-time, for any brain, it is far more likely that it is a Boltzmann brain than it is an embodied brain embedded in an environment sustained by a star.

    5. But the experiences of a Boltzmann brain could be identical to those of any embodied/embedded brain, and so given infinite time, would be.

    6. So it is possible that you yourself are a Boltzmann brain.

    7. But if you are a Boltzmann brain, then your senses are not reliable.

    8. So, physicalism gives us reasons to believe that our senses are not reliable.

  26. Kantian Naturalist: Here’s what FMM is attempting to argue (and I grant that I might be getting this wrong, but he’s not great at expressing himself):

    Thank you for the summary.

    I would not say I’m trying to “argue” any of this. I really am not that interested in argument one way or the other.

    I would quivel with the focus you put on the far future, I’m not too concerned about the date when BB will occur, they are apparently more likely to occur at any time whatsoever in our universe than human brains.

    Something approaching your summery seems to me to be pretty much the inevitable conclusion of the current understanding of mainstream cosmology though. To deny it would seem to require denying some of the present scientific consensus. Given the overall tenor of this website that is something that I would expect you all to resist.

    And this is just the BB part of the equation.

    When you add it to all the other reasons to doubt our senses and reason I don’t see how you could not doubt them.

    However it seems to me that your worldview is such that you must rely on your senses and reason for knowledge.

    It’s that apparent contradiction that really interests me here not the process that gets us there.

    I am intrigued at the effort that is exerted to try and avoid seeing a contradiction that is so obvious to those of us who don’t share your worldview.

    peace

  27. fifthmonarchyman: Thank you for the summary.

    I would not say I’m trying to “argue” any of this. I really am not that interested in argument one way or the other.

    I think there is one way or you would not have spent time not arguing it.

    Something approaching your summery seems to me to be pretty much the inevitable conclusion of the current understanding of mainstream cosmology though.

    And like all conclusions it is provisional on our current understanding, any revelatory help you could provide?

    To deny it would seem to require denying some of the present scientific consensus.

    That is the best part, you can do whatever you want. You actually learn things by questioning. As long as you are not being a dick about it, most people like to help.

    Given the overall tenor of this website that is something that I would expect you all to resist.

    Of course, given your worldview no one would expect anything else. I guess you need to recalculate.

    And this is just the BB part of the equation.
    When you add it to all the other reasons to doubt our senses and reason

    Scary isn’t it. But hey, you found a way around that doubt.

    I don’t see how you could not doubt them.

    Often, but then I get hungry and forget all about it.

    However it seems to me that your worldview is such that you must rely on your senses and reason for knowledge.

    You are only a step away from being in same boat if God chooses not to reveal stuff. It is not too bad, there is this thing called learning and writing. That way you don’t have to start from scratch. Some things are blatantly obvious for most any worldview.

    It’s that apparent contradiction that really interests me here not the process that gets us there.

    More of a process guy, myself.

    I am intrigued at the effort that is exerted to try and avoid seeing a contradiction that is so obvious to those of us who don’t share your worldview.

    Funny, it seems so effortless from this side, plus you have Sundays free.

    Seems like a win /win. Your life is free from messy contradictions and doubts. And there is something that intrigues you.

    peace

  28. Kantian Naturalist,

    The problem is that fmm keeps flip-flopping, as I pointed out in the ‘Boltzmann’ comment you were responding to. Your summary was more along conventional lines, which fmm both embraces (‘cosmology’, ‘thermodynamicly’) and expresses disinterest in, demanding something ‘beyond physics’. People also frequently confuse the quantum with the statistical-mechanical. If we are talking of quantum fluctuation, the entropy of the already-existing material is not relevant, but different objections arise. So it’s important to not keep flip-flopping among different versions of the physical too.

    Whether BBs can form or not is clearly a relevant factor if one is to regard them as an entailment of a given stance. My basic objection to the ‘physicalist’ approach of Carroll is that I can’t see any plausible high-entropy future in which complex structures can form, however much one might appeal to the statistical, nor can I see condensed matter arising from the quantum vacuum – actually two separate arguments.

  29. fifthmonarchyman:
    Something approaching your summery seems to me to be pretty much the inevitable conclusion of the current understanding of mainstream cosmology though. To deny it would seem to require denying some of the present scientific consensus. Given the overall tenor of this website that is something that I would expect you all to resist.

    Well, let that be a lesson to you. Don’t presuppose! Slavishly following the consensus is not a stance that gains much traction in science class. You learn the consensus, and why it is, but science would not progress if no-one questioned. I am perfectly happy to be on the opposite side from PhD cosmologists. I give my reasons. I’m outside the mainstream on a couple of biological matters too. Again, I can articulate my reasons, even if I convince no-one else..

  30. Kantian Naturalist: Therefore, when we consider the entire history of space-time, for any brain, it is far more likely that it is a Boltzmann brain than it is an embodied brain embedded in an environment sustained by a star.

    5. But the experiences of a Boltzmann brain could be identical to those of any embodied/embedded brain, and so given infinite time, would be.

    6. So it is possible that you yourself are a Boltzmann brain.

    7. But if you are a Boltzmann brain, then your senses are not reliable.

    8. So, physicalism gives us reasons to believe that our senses are not reliable.

    Even with this argument, you could still be a BB since by definition BBs would be wrong in their beliefs about their experiences. Physicalism could still be true but the BBs belief about its origin and spacetime location would be false.

    You need to add the cognitive instability argument to argue that you are not a BB.

    An argument which, as far as I can see, is not available to Allan, who it seems to me who could be a BB since he believes they are impossible! Although I would have to be part of BB Allan’s false memory to even start to make that statement coherent.

  31. fifthmonarchyman,

    Seems like you have been keeping busy 😉

    1) I would be interested in knowing why exactly given your worldview conscious observers can’t emerge
    2) I would be interested in knowing what the independent evidence was for a cosmological model that prohibits BBs and why you feel confident in rejecting the consensus of cosmologists a prioi in this regard

    1) They might, but I simply don’t know whether that is possible.
    2) My knowledge of cosmology is superficial, but I gathered from Caroll’s paper that the issue was not conclusively settled yet. You can read his reasons in the paper yourself.

    You seem to be pushing the idea that, just because I am unable to completely exclude the possibility of BBs, this should send me in some sort of existential crisis. Yet there simply is not enough known to compel us to accept the possibility of Boltzmann brains. Hence, I don’t see why I can’t provisionally accept that my senses are working just fine.

    Yet we don’t seem to doubt that we can trust them
    I find that to be interesting and very telling. Our trust calls out for explanation.

    I can explain my trust by appealing to a loving God I want to know how you explain it.

    You are falling into your black-and-white thinking again, Fifth. Just because we can’t trust our senses 100% doesn’t mean we can’t trust them at all. I get by fine, assuming my senses and reasoning work pretty well (voila, there’s your justification), and simply accept that I get things wrong once in a while. Scary, huh?!?

  32. newton: You are only a step away from being in same boat if God chooses not to reveal stuff.

    That is the beauty of it. Since God loves me he will always reveal the stuff to me that I need to know.

    I think about that and can’t help but worship out of shear gratefulness.

    peace

  33. Allan Miller: Again, I can articulate my reasons, even if I convince no-one else..

    Spoken like an IDer 😉

    Now if we could just get the folks here to harass you because you haven’t published yet or to mock you because you think you are smarter than the real scientists or laugh at you because you deny the consensus just because you don’t like the implications to your outdated belief system.

    My day will be complete. 😉

    peace

  34. Corneel: You are falling into your black-and-white thinking again, Fifth. Just because we can’t trust our senses 100% doesn’t mean we can’t trust them at all.

    This is an important point. I’m not arguing that every single conclusion you come to using your senses and reason is incorrect.

    I’m only sugesting that those conclusions that conflict with revelation are incorrect. There is nothing wrong with the rest.

    In fact I would say that conclusions that cohere to revelation are also revelation but that is a different conversation.

    peace

  35. fifthmonarchyman: Now if we could just get the folks here to harass you because you haven’t published yet

    We did.

    In the comment thread you can see that my first baby steps at TSZ involved harassing Allan (or at least asking pesky questions). John Harshman added his 2p as well.

    Also note how Allan did not whine about the Darwinian mafia trying to suppress his ideas.

  36. fifthmonarchyman: I’m only sugesting that those conclusions that conflict with revelation are incorrect. There is nothing wrong with the rest.

    But I have no experience of God revealing knowledge to me, so there is no conflict.

  37. fifthmonarchyman: This is an important point. I’m not arguing that every single conclusion you come to using your senses and reason is incorrect.

    I’m only sugesting that those conclusions that conflict with revelation are incorrect. There is nothing wrong with the rest.

    Then the answer to “ How do you know?” could be because my senses tell me?

  38. fifthmonarchyman: That is the beauty of it. Since God loves me he will always reveal the stuff to me that I need to know.

    I think about that and can’t help but worship out of shear gratefulness.

    peace

    Glad for you, it is good to have faith. Though I expect whether God revealed stuff or not ,you would feel the same way. There would always be something to be grateful for.

  39. Corneel: note how Allan did not whine about the Darwinian mafia trying to suppress his ideas.

    I’m not much a fan of whiners.

    I wonder if you think it would be it would be ok for Allen to discuss his unorthodox view in his classroom?

    peace

  40. Corneel: But I have no experience of God revealing knowledge to me, so there is no conflict.

    You do if you know anything.

    A conflict will arise if your senses and reason lead you to a conclusion that contradicts something else you know.

    A conflict would also arise if you claimed to know stuff while simultaneously holding that the only possible way for you to gain knowledge did not exist.

    Therefore a possible conflict will arise if you claimed to know stuff and also that the only established way to know stuff did not exist without being able to offer another way.

    It’s that possible conflict that interests me

    peace

  41. newton: Glad for you, it is good to have faith.

    We both have faith

    I have faith in a loving God based on my lifetime of experience with him always doing good for me and never letting me down.

    You have faith in your reason and senses despite the evidence gained from your reason and senses.

    newton: I expect whether God revealed stuff or not ,you would feel the same way.

    I don’t think so. In fact If God did not reveal stuff to me I would disrepair because I know of no other way to know stuff.

    peace

  42. newton: What level?

    Guillermo Gonzalez was at the university level when his problems arose but I don’t think he actually mentioned his ideas in the class room.

    It was enough that he wrote about them on his own time like Allen is doing here.

    peace

  43. BruceS: Even with this argument,you could stillbe a BB since by definition BBs would be wrong in their beliefs about their experiences.Physicalism could still be true but the BBs belief about its origin and spacetime locationwould be false.

    You need to add the cognitive instability argument to argue that you are not a BB.

    An argument which, as far as I can see, is not available to Allan, who it seems to me who could be a BB since he believes they are impossible!Although I would have to be part of BB Allan’s false memory to even start to make that statement coherent.

    Yup. I don’t know why these figments of my imagination keep bugging me about this!

    I could be a BB-like entity arising outside of physics, I guess, or in some completely unknown physics. But that’s not what Carroll’s pushing. He’s saying that fluctuations (QM or SM) in my perceived world should give me cause to doubt my belief that I am actually an OO inhabiting a ‘real’ world, and therefore the cosmology that gives rise to this paradox should be rejected. That seems awfully like pulling oneself up by one’s own bootstraps. Taking the physical argument at face value, neither high-entropy states (black holes or distributed mass-energy) nor quantum fluctuations (particle-antiparticle pairs) seem plausible sources of BBs, to me. That doesn’t mean I’m not ‘imagining things’ due to some other (unimagined!) cause, but that’s not the argument.

  44. fifthmonarchyman: Spoken like an IDer

    Now if we could just get the folks here to harass you because you haven’t published yet or to mock you because you think you are smarter than the real scientists or laugh at you because you deny the consensus just because you don’t like the implications to your outdated belief system.

    My day will be complete.

    That has happened. On talk.origins I made some lay speculations about the evolution of sex. The reaction from pro-evolutionists was ludicrously hostile. However, it prompted me to educate myself. I still think I was fundamentally right, but the criticism – that part which was constructive – focussed my thinking. I read and learnt a huge amount about the subject, and wrote a dissertation, trying to address objections as well as positive evidence. I didn’t just keep buzzing against the glass like a blowfly, all arrogance and ignorance, like most of the ‘antis’ here.

    eta – I see, scrolling on, that Corneel has alluded to my more recent attempts to solicit peer review!

  45. fifthmonarchyman: I wonder if you think it would be it would be ok for Allen to discuss his unorthodox view in his classroom?

    In a high school science class? Bad idea, that’s way too advanced.

    Funny how you try to create symmetry here. Allan’s dissertaton is quite a different beast than Intelligent Design Creationism.

    Allan Miller: eta – I see, scrolling on, that Corneel has alluded to my more recent attempts to solicit peer review!

    Yup, got me out of lurking here.

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