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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on June 17, 2002 19:20:14 UTC


>>>"I believe this is a SAP account..."

Bostrom: "WAP then says that, within a universe, observers find themselves only at spatiotemporal locations where observers are possible. SAP states that observers find themselves only in universes that allow observers to exist." Our positions seem fairly obvious to me.

Presuming there's 'meaning' beyond the ways we describe (and approximate for each other) reality is presuming an outside force to contemplate reality. From the position of the SAP, "meaning" hints at the same thing Bostrom describes as "universes that allow observers..."

>>>"my arguments do not have to show there exists something beyond the material level..."

Obviously this was my point. That pure inference is legless is fine, since it needs only to support itself.

>>>"Once we begin to doubt an oversimplified material perspective, then we doubt the premises by which many accept materialism."

Only if you consider materialism's known explanations, and not materialism itself.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Key to self-preservation is the notion that I'm on top of things. I've got it all outlined, right here, in these little, mental blocks... Trouble is, when an object doesn't exactly fit into one of these blocks, the mind experiences conflict. "I'm fine it's just that there's a deeper level than my feeble senses can detect" is a very common way out of this cognitive conflict. It's easy to dismiss our own confusion as an indicator of "something" beyond our senses, but the more we project our descriptive inconsistencies beyond the domain of our own inventions, the longer our path to a more accurate understanding becomes.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

>>>"if making valid logical inferences is invalid..."

Big, and incorrect, if. An inference supported by one observation is infinitely more valid than an inference supported by no observations. Pure inference is pure illogic.

(BTW, I admire your attempts to equate inter/extrapolation to pure inference.)

>>>"A materialist is someone who believes that 'meaning' is not something that actually has material existence since 'meaning' is not a material thing."

Then I'm no materialist, and I disagree with your conclusion that 'meaning' is not a material thing. Everything is material.

>>>"why does this fundamental stuff act in a manner to cause nuclei, atoms, molecules, planets, stars, etc to form?"

I think that you cannot see my point of view because the anthropic bias is inextricably ingrained in your way of thinking; you actually consider the consideration "why" -- re the universe -- to be a fair and objective consideration! I know you well enough to see you'd not throw this concept of "why" around as mere tautology; you actually think this is a valid and objective question!

If I ask "why," I'm seeking to understand the motives of a being. To ask "why" in the context you do presupposes a universal sentience.

>>>"Do you not agree it's more sensible to examine the fallibility of our senses than to simply accept our desire to mindlessly accept them?"

How might you suggest we "examine the fallibility of our senses"? Through instincts and "gut" feelings? Isn't it possible indeed, a much more parsimonious possibility that these instincts and "gut" feelings are also material phenomena?

Clearly, the more we explain, the more we seek to explain. Confusing the not-yet-understood with something beyond what we will ever be able to detect is ignorant.

>>>"It is natural to cling to meaning."

Absolutely, it is natural to maintain a sense of importance.

>>>"Are you suggesting that mathematics that goes through some type of Darwinian natural selective process where we reject the math that doesn't work in nature (i.e., there is no pure abstract mathematics)?"

I'd agree to the parenthetical i.e., but I do not see how this is derived from the first part of your question. I mean, the idea that we might somehow reject "the math that doesn't work in nature" makes us sound like quite an influential force in nature, and dismisses the key idea that we are nature.

>>>"rather than inch closer to a theist stance, the mathematical antirealism is much more of a pleasing alternative. Could that be in any way correct?"

Could be, but I honestly don't think so. In my limited view math is a manmade concept, and nature just is. Sounds circular because to me the whole idea of "why" is circular.

Why are we here? Because we're here. To you, the answer is useless. To me, the question is useless.

>>>"If true, it means that whatever relationships you have in this world are finished at the time of death like the trash you threw away last week" (and so forth...)

It's a very scary idea, and I'd LOVE it if we could see once and for all that a part of us continues after death, but I'm afraid reality doesn't always conform to something simply because we all want it to.


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