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

Tony Hindle (
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 15:08:35 +0100

Sorry for the out-of sequence postings lately, my mailer
has been playing up and now I am just catching up.

>Tony Hindle wrote:> From all this I sense that you have a great
>sense of
>>humour. Have you heard any of Bill Hicks' ?<
>Only what you have posted. It is interestingly funny, and I shall have to
>find some more (Item #8785 on the list).
I envy you. I have heard it all and wish I could have it deleted
so I could enjoy the extra-excitement of not knowing what comes next
(actually his last live performances have just been released which I
havent yet seen, but I am in no hurry as I realise it will be the last
new thing of Bill's that I will ever hear.)
>Actually, I thought I had answered, "Would you swallow a happy pill if it
>meant you could disconnect from reality?" with "No, reality would
>probably kill me quickly if I did."

Heres a better version of the thought experiment:
"would you swallow the pill if it meant that in reality you
would die within a minute, BUT your subjective reality would continue so
that you experienced a long, happy fruitfull life and the world was a
much better place"

>><Snip backquote: thought experiment on preventing murder>
>The original post (from April 3) was this:
>/>> Rationalization is
>>>just such a process; because I have a greater good in mind, a minor
>>>is tolerable which progresses me toward that greater good.[JHW]<<
> > Provided that a rational analysis is made I can't see what is
>>wrong with this (example; I would kill a person to stop them from
>>killing two others.)[T H]
>This is a pretty bland description of a situation: I have spent the last
>few posts trying to get sufficient clarification to answer clearly. We
>have so far ruled out any alternatives avoiding death altogether, which
>led me to observe: PERHAPS one death is better than two. YOU changed the
>premise, asking Under what circumstances might two deaths be better than
>one? Which I answered,
Fair comment James, I got sidetracked.
>Would I kill to protect a greater number of persons? No, minor evils do
>not justify greater goods.
This is the question I meant to ask and your answer is the one I
find fascinating. I would say that your decision [to not kill] is an act
of evil. By your actions you cause death.
> Even if I cannot protect a greater number of
>persons from a killer without committing murder myself, I am not
>justified in murdering a killer. This eventually leads, in my opinion, to
>"murder by the numbers"; count the number of persons on each side of a
>conflict, declare the smaller number potential murderers, and kill them
>to prevent a greater injustice.
I can understand how real world practicalities might cause this
to escalate into a net loss of lives, but if this was known to be so
then the decision [to not kill] would be good. (your murder by numbers
brings to mind a quote from some U.S. general during the cold war "if
after a nuclear war there was 2 americans left and one Russian, I would
consider that an American victory")
>Do NOT try this in the US! The greater number of persons will put you in
>jail or inflict capital punishment on you for defending them. If you
>cannot incapacitate the killer without killing him, you must let him
>proceed, hire him a lawyer to keep him from being punished, and
>sympathize with him for having an unhappy childhood. (This may be a
>self-correcting meme; after a sufficient number of persons who hold it
>become victims of murder, the rest of us will return to executing murders
>as per previous practice).
Cards on the table time. I am in favour of the death penalty. I
realise this particular opinion is in apparent conflict with a long list
of apparently liberal opinions but I still hold it and wait to be
convinced otherwise.
>>> Im not sure I understand your meaning of the transient nature
>>>objective reality (subjective reality yes).<<
>Today the river runs here, in a thousand years it will run over there,
>uncovering a rich river bed of mud, drowned shipwrecks & etc. All reality
>is thus, today having such a description, tomorrow a different
>description, continuously changing.
Right, I understand now.
>Giving belief as a starting condition is difficult, since I have no use
>for belief. Given that reality changes, as soon as it changes enough to
>refute X, then I must give up X, as being the product of a misconception.
>Whether or not I die, if X is false, believing X will not make it true,
>and reality will reinforce continually that X is false, therefore I
>cannot believe it any longer.
>Did that help?
Yes I think we have a language difference. I would say that I
hold beliefs but only temporarily until such time as my experience shows
me that its time to change it. I was trying to imagine what how I would
behave if I held a belief that once doubted would cause my death.
Lets try a practical example. Supose that a gun was pointing at
you and the trigger was controled by a device that was picking up
electrical brain activity that was only present when you were scared
(that you would be shot). Would you ever be shot?
I dont think I would be shot until I decided that life wasnt
worth living, only then would I no longer be scared.

BTW thanks for your thoughts on the 3 object universe, I cant
really get any further with it myself. I cant even make my mind up
wether science would be made simpler or more complicated in it.

>> "suppose that objective reality consisted only of the moon. sun,
>>earth. That is to say nothing more was observable because nothing more
>>existed, then what would science have looked like?"
> > I just think this hypothetical helps shed light on the nature of
>Let's see; we would have biology, geology, mathematics and zoology
>essentially as-is, I suppose; astronomy ( and astrology ) would be absent
>or in radically different form; physics would be handicapped with little
>or no light-bending phenomena to observe to validate/disprove
>Alternate-Einstein's relativity theorems. That's all I can come up with
>at the moment.

Also for info. on the state of Japanese culture re. the emperor/war.
Madness, absolute madness thats all I can say (and I believe we will
never reach that state in uk/usa.)
>I understand empathy; I was asking why this particular story struck a
>chord with you, which you answered above quite well. By the way, what are
I was trying to say "organisms of the same spieces, I have read
the expression somewhere, is it co-spe......?
>>I definitely agree with Martz and Mark on this one.<
>I'm not sure I agree or disagree, I just think more is learned than
>instinctual in human childrearing.
>Your story also brings to mind the children of Jonestown, Guyana when the
>People's Temple cult committed suicide. What were those parents thinking
>when they killed not only themselves but their children? Is there a
>deadly toxic-meme such as "There are causes worth destroying yourself and
>your children for?" What kind of counter-meme could we devise to immunize
>against it?
More madness. Now heres a strange memory I have. I remember
seeing a t.v. documentary on a suicide cult which showed a few reluctant
members being injected against their will with a poison that would kill
them within 10 minutes. The look upon the face of one woman will stay
with me for ever, she had been struggling to avoid the injection, but
once she had been given it she just looked so sad, I thought she knew it
was just insane rantings that has caused her life expectancy to drop to
ten minutes. I say this is a strange memory because I wonder how they
got the pictures, unless the cult members took them.

Take care
Tony Hindle.