Re: virus: Strange attractors and meta-religions (was God and Level-3)

Tony Hindle (
Sun, 6 Apr 1997 16:58:02 +0100

In message <>, "Wright, James 7929"
<> writes
>Reasonable enough. Lying is not a socially popular behavior to claim in
>any circumstances that I can quickly recall, so no one would. I hope that
>I can show that I do not lie to the satisfaction of anyone who asks.
I think its a matter of biulding up credibility over a period of
time. For what its worth my estimate of your credibility rating is
1462.453 plus or minus one.

>>>Who is Kryten the red dwarf?
>> A character from a British Sit com (Red dwarf). It is very very
>>very funny. Watch it if you ever get the chance.<
>I enjoyed the Monty Python shows,
I think my favorite all time film is the life of brian.
> Hitchhiker's Guide,
Seen once on video and liked it. I particularly enjoyed the
Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy reference encyclopedia thing. I think it
had most of the best jokes.
> Beyond the Fringe,
Never seen it but I love Derek & Clive.
>Goon Shows,
Never heard them (sorry I know this makes me a philestine)
> etc. I currently enjoy Terry Pratchett's _Discworld_ books.
Never read any yet. Have had them recomended.

From all this I sense that you have a great sense of
humour. Have you heard any of Bill Hicks' ?
>Personal total bliss through ignorance would likely be short-lived, since
>those around you might not be able to prevent your accidental collision
>with a lethal aspect of reality. I would prefer to raise my longevity by
>remaining aware.
In such a thought experiment it goes without saying that this
would not be the case. Otherwise it would be a trivial question. You
have answered this question:
"Would you swallow the happy pill if it meant you would die
quite soon?"
I wouldnt either.
>>Consider Prof Tim's response.<<Snip backquote>
>This is his personal choice, unless the entire post is a jest (which is
>quite likely!)
I think Tim answered the question I was trying to ask though.
(in an amusing way which is even better.) Probably because he too has
spent many long evenings inventing questions to ask himself and friends
just for fun.
>> I tell you what all this brings to mind. A dialogue between man
>>and God about free will which is near the beginning of "the mind's eye"
>>fantasies and reflections on self and soul. (Dennett & Hofstadter.)<
>More required reading! Will it never end? (VBG!)
Then let me sumarise it for you.
Man speeks to God. Says that he doesnt want free will
because with free will he can choose to do evil and therefore be cast
forever to hell. This is a chance he doesnt want to take. He says to god
that if he didnt have free will then he would know that he could do
whatever he wanted and it would not be a sin since he had never really
chosen to do it.
God responds thus; If I take away your free will because you
choose to ask for it to be taken away, knowing that when it is you will
commit evil without retribution. Then it will be your choosing to have
no free will that is the sin.
Man responds thus; Couldnt you have never given me free will?
At which time God disapears in a puff of logic and man, being so pleased
with himself goes on to proove black is white and gets killed on a zebra

Sorry James the last bit is from HG to the Galaxy. I
cant for the life of me remember how God gets out of the free will
question but the dialogue in the book goes on and is rich with meaning.
I hope that small section helps you to see why our discussion has
brought it to mind.

><Snip backquote: thought experiment on preventing murder>
>>>If you insist there is no alternative to someone dying, then PERHAPS
>>>death is better than two;<<
>> Perhaps? I am intrigued. Without changing the spirit of this
>>thought experiment when would one death not be better than two?<
>The first is a generally law-abiding person under attack by two confirmed
>previous murderers; when he sees no alternative (in his mind) between
>their demise and his own.
Again you have changed the spirit of the thought experiment.
The question you have answered is this:
"would you kill two confirmed previous murdering Natzis to save
the life of one small innocent child whose poor defensless eyes are
filling up with tears? (ok so Ive parodied your position here)
You arn't used to doing these kinds of thought experiments are
you? When one trys to answer the questions in the spirit in which they
were asked it helps one see truths about ones self. (the next step is
admitting them in public VBG).
All this leads me to wonder if you might have answered the same
way as tim (and myself) if you had been answering the question I had
really intended.

><Snip discussion, "There is no TRY">
>> I think that we are programed with beliefs that exapt all our
>>mental energies for their preservation. Some of them can be a real
>>hinderance because they stop us from achieving certain goals. Take as an
>>example a belief held thus:
>> If I doubt X I will die.
>> Unless one decides one can accept dying one cannot
>>doubt X and therefore cannot unbelieve it.<
>Given the transient nature of objective reality I would have difficulty
>maintaining such a belief.
Im not sure I understand your meaning of the transient nature of
objective reality (subjective reality yes). But anyway the starting
conditions for this example was that the belief was held. Maintaining it
is the easiest thing in the world if one believes "if I doubt X I will

Cheers and beers and (cheap) cognac.

Tony Hindle.