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Posted by Harvey on September 24, 2003 22:21:39 UTC

I find it strange that Paul is a theist and that Dick is an atheist, and yet they seem to agree on a fundamental view of the universe. Although, I have reasons to think that there really is no agreement between Dick and Paul. Dick puts up with Paul's views because Paul holds the power of the customer (i.e., Dick 'sold' to Paul his model of reality and he needs to keep Paul happy as a consumer of his 'product'), and Dick has the power of the vendor over Paul (i.e., in order for Paul to understand and use the 'product', he must be certified by the 'patent holder' which happens to be Dick). So, the question is, what is so harmonious about each other's views that a theist like Paul and an atheist like Dick can find harmony?

Well, it's obvious to me how an atheist can prefer to think like Dick. In his view, all of our knowledge of the world is limited by his 'model of reality' (or F=0), and therefore all of causality is just a sham. There is no cause to events, just statistical relationships that bear themselves out as F=0. You don't need to ask what caused the universe, since whatever answer you obtain is bound in the answer F=0. The only thing left in life to find meaningful is to have fun, and we find Dick leaving us those words in every post. Atheism comes full circle to a kind of solipsism, or, at least, being agnostic about the true nature of reality. Solipsism certainly cannot be discounted!

Paul, on the other hand, is an absolute idealist. He sees God as everything, even our thoughts are God thinking in us. He holds a slightly different interpretation to F=0 than Dick. Whereas Dick sees it as a sign that we can no nothing of reality because our subconscious prevents that from happening, Paul wants to say that F=0 somehow means that Thought is primary in the world, and this Thought is God who constructs a world of a multi-dimensional universe where he 'experiences' the universe.

I remember fondly when Paul first gave the brief side comment that he met Dick by coming across his webpage. His interest at the time was the necessity of mathematical law in determining the laws of physics. This jived with Paul's perspective since, in Paul's view, God created mathematics by doing math. A math statement became true after God had completed the theorem, and therefore it became part of a Platonic world where Thought created math.

Here is where a fundamental difference arises between Dick's view of F=0, and Paul's view of F=0. In Paul's mind, Dick is offering a mathematical theorem. As a mathematical theorem, it exists because God thought of it. Hence, the truth of the world, F=0, meaning the laws of physics in completed form, is due to a mathematical theorem being true, which is true because God thought it.

Hence, we see a fundamental and major conflict between the two interpretations. Dick - atheist - who sees F=0 as true because it is true of our subconscious, eliminating causal structure of hte world and instituting a statistical relationship of things; and, Paul - theist - who sees F=0 as true because God thought of it and therefore reality is solipsist not from our perspective, but from God's perspective: the absolute idealist perspective. God experiencing his own thoughts as 'us' in a solipsist reality that he creates.

Dick and Paul are like two politicians who join forces out of convenience with common interest. Paul, to advance his views of absolute idealism (which is a kind of solipsism), and Dick, to advance his views of a kind of relative idealism. Idealists joining forces to fight the evil forces of scientific realism (e.g., Alexander), constructive empiricists (e.g., Richard), philosophical agnosticism (e.g., Luis), general relativist (e.g., Bruce), modal realism (e.g., myself), and extreme solipsism (e.g., Alan).

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