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Human Concepts

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Posted by Harvey on August 29, 2001 21:22:44 UTC

Hi Richard,

The problem is that intelligence and consciousness are human concepts. When we speak of intelligence we usually mean something capable of comprehension and communication of new meaningful concepts. For example, if X=Y, then intelligence is required to conclude that Y=X. Intelligence is required because to understand that X=Y is not to understand that Y=X. So, some level of understanding is needed to exemplify intelligence. This, from all of our experience with nature, requires some machinary (either biological or electronical) to make even have the appearance of being capable of such understanding (I say appearance since 'understanding' is not something a computer actually has at the moment but computers can give that appearance by defeating chess masters, etc).

With God it is not necessary that he possess machinery to 'think'. That is, for God X=Y means that Y=X from logical necessity. Intelligence is not an issue, God just 'knows' it because if he didn't 'know' it then it would not logically follow that X=Y is not equivalent to Y=X (thus an intelligent agent would be amiss thinking that it did - a lack of intelligence if you will).

As for consciousness, we don't know much about what consciousness is, so it is difficult to say what quality God is supposed to possess. Generally speaking, consciousness is a deduction of individuality. That is, I exist, I interact with my surroundings, therefore I know that I exist. I am 'fully' aware of me. Well, this is not any different in terms of there being divine order to the world. Anything that affects the approximation of this monad must be accounted for and be 'aware' of. In this case, an approximation of the monad would hypothetically include an awareness of itself.

Here, let me give an example. In category theory there is recent interest in self-similar categories. Self-similarity is apparent all over the universe, and yet it is intrinsically mathematical. So, how does nature know to be self-similar at many different and supposedly unrelated levels? Nature doesn't 'know', rather nature just can't be anything but self-similar when it conforms to certain categories of structure. There is, if you will, a rudimentary 'awareness' by mathematical structure that requires certain natural structures to conform to certain features even when those natural structures are only vaguely mathematically related to those other distant structures that they should somehow be connected. Similarly, I believe there arise conflicts between which structure takes priority over other structures (e.g., randomness versus self-similarity) and this 'decision' of which structure should 'win out' should be made based on the best approximation to the Monad (I'll use caps to differentiate this undefined monad from other monad collections in the universe).

The best decision is possibly a conscious decision (i.e., I know that I know decision) since it is the only approximation of the Monad that could possibly 'decide' such a complex issue. In essence, decision theory is a fundamental theory since within this mathematical discipline is the processes of 'best decision' are analyzed. Each possible outcome needs to be evaluated and decided upon, and the right choice is the one that is given a higher weight or probability to occur.

Unfortunately many of the words I am choosing are anthropomorphic and anthropopathic in nature, so it only gives the illusion that God (or this Monad) is like a human. But, this is very much a misunderstanding. Decisions of this Monad 'just are' and they don't get carried out as if God is thinking. There is simply a requirement for certain actions to be carried out (e.g., symmetry breaking) and these decisions are made high up in the hierarchy of heaven.

I imagine this will sicken the stomachs of many. I could present this story in completely dry and technical terms, but to do so would short change the beauty and simplicity of this whole view.

Warm regards, Harv

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