From: Marc Geddes (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Dec 01 2002 - 21:09:58 MST
--- mike99 <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Mitch's
post (excerpted below), together with his
> earlier response on this
> topical thread, point to the key reason, IMO, why
> materialism is essential
> to any realistic worldview. I would put it this way:
> No software without hardware.
Let me ask you this question: Where does the
'hardware' exist? How could the 'hardware' be
explained? The moment you have an explanation about
something which is understandable to a rational mind
the thing being 'explained' becomes indistinguishable
> I think many people, especially intellectuals, can
> be seduced by the meme of
> idealism. The idealist (or Platonic) concept that
> information (or Forms)
> precede material manifestation is very attractive to
> people whose lives
> revolve around theorizing, computation, and
> programming. Many philosophers,
> mathematicians and logicians succumb to this point
> of view (Raymond Smullyan
> and Saul Kripke, for instance). Some physicists do,
> too (e.g., Frank
> Life, the universe and everything may be
> implementable on a variety of
> different material platforms under a range of
> different physical parameters.
> But they cannot be implemented without SOME material
> platform. The lowest
> level of implementation of any computational system
> finite-state machine) must be material. At the
> bottom of any chain of
> systems emulating other systems is a fundamental
> physical platform that is
> independent of anything else.
> So, to borrow and modify an old analogy: It's
> turtles **almost** all the way
> down, but at bottom it's physics.
> Michael LaTorra
But what explains the existence of 'physics' ?
Postulating the existence of 'hardware' at the bottom
always leaves something unexplained.
Either one is forced to conclude that certain aspects
of reality are simply unexplainable (which actually
leads to logical contradictions) or else one has to
dispense with the idea of 'hardware'.
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