From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Sat Aug 14 2004 - 02:27:12 MDT

--- David <> wrote:
> I sent you some thoughts about why your main themes
> were incorrect or at least not supported by any
> argument. It is one thing to hold some opinion but
> those opinions can only have weight if they have
> persuasive arguments to back them up. I see very
> few arguments to back up some very huge "jumps in
> logic". If I believe that "gravity forces all
> things to rise above the earth unless those things
> are tied down." any simple experiment will prove
> that this is incorrect. My belief that this
> proposition is correct has no merit whatsoever
> without valid reasons to back it up.

Yup I got your comments, thanks for those. Didn't you
read what I said: Most of the final theory is not
mine. I just pulled a lot of different bits and
pieces of other people's work together and tied it all
together with a few extra ideas of my own.

The Intro to the theory now has lots of links
referencing the evidence for each claim, and if you
click on all the links and read the work of all the
thinkers referenced, the evidence is all there. It's
only a few extra 'big ideas' of my own that need

> My main problems with your "Philosophical Platform"
> is your professing people should be free to think,
> act etc on the one hand, and advocate that there is
> absolute truth on the other. Absolute truth in
> ethics and morality and "rational people will come
> to the same (your) conclusions eventually" would
> allow you to decide who is a rational thinker and
> who is not. Who appointed you, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> or anyone else to be the judge of what is right,
> wrong, the truth or not. There is no truth but only
> sets of arguments that have varying degrees of
> weight depending on a person's basic philosophies.
> State your arguments are then lets see what
> conclusions stand or fall. Conclusions without
> arguments remind me of religion which forces people
> to turn off their brains and "believe".

See what I said above. Most of the final theory is
not mine. The referenced thinkers have already
published the evidence for nearly every step of the
argument. You just need to clik through on to the
links and research it.

As to truth, reality is what it is. The fundamental
principles of reality are what they are, just like the
statement 2+2=4 is what it is. I am not some
'appointed judge' and I'm sure Eliezer doesn't think
of himself that way either. The truth simply is what
it is.

Besides which I am not now proposing objective truth
for morality (I did until quite recently, but I now
realize that Eli was correct - there is no objective
morality). What I actually suggested was some general
'universal' morals stemming from our nature as
rational beings. Universal morals, not objective
> Without arguments, there is no basis for
> conversation on any topic and I won't waste any more
> of your or my time.

See above. Most of the arguments have already been
made by various thinkers. You just need to click on
the links in my doc to read up on their work.

> You make the contention that "The three fundamental
> realms of existence are the mathematical, the
> physical and the mental.". In mathematics one of
> the first concepts taught in about grade 5 is the
> difference between a number and a numeral. A number
> is a count of something (real or otherwise) and a
> numeral is a label that is assigned to that number.
> The assignment of the numeral is arbitrary but
> normally agreed to for the purposes of conversation
> with other humans. A number in mathematics exists
> for all humans regardless of their own language but
> the numeral for the number 1 can be 1, I, one, or
> any other numeral. Mathematics is a numeral. No
> mathematics affects or changes anything that exists
> in the real world. Mathematics was invented by many
> human beings over a great many years and even though
> experiments and information in it's creation came
> from a study of the real world, it is still just a
> numeral. A label. A simulation in some cases. The
> physical universe might inspire parts of mathematics
> but I have first hand knowledge of parts of
> Mathematics (Lattice Theory) that have absolutely no
> connection with the real world. How can you say
> that the physical world and mathematics are
> equivalent, faced with the previous undeniable fact?

Aren't you contradicting yourself when you say that
there is a difference between a 'number' and a
'numeral' yet mathematics is just invention? If maths
is just invention, what is difference between a number
and a numeral? You say that maths is a numeral, I say
it's number ;)

As to Lattice Theory, what you meant to say was that
you are not aware of any KNOWN connection with the
real world. Of course I would claim that there is a
connection, you just haven't found out what it is yet.

> How can the mind which is obviously not physical
> (the brain is but it only manifests the mind. It is
> not the mind itself.) be the same as all physical
> reality. Even to talk about reality and mix the
> idea of abstract reality (something that is only
> real in our mind) and physical reality in the same
> sentence seems to require a huge amount of
> justification and rational argument. To consider
> all the physical universe (stars, galaxies, earth
> and plain old dirt) to be equivalent to human minds
> seems to place an impossible importance on the human
> race, that I see absolutely no evidence of.

I didn't imply that of the physical universe was
equivalent to 'human' minds at all! I implied that
all of the physical universe has some general
'mind-like' properties.

You may like to read the section I wrote in the
Epistemology section: 'The Fallacy of Logical
Positivism'. The distinction abstract/concrete is
just an artifical human classification system. We
can't presuppose in advance what is 'abstract' and
what is not. The nature of reality is what we are
trying to find out.

> Show me where my arguments are incorrect!
> It is easy to state conclusions backed by no
> arguments and it is not ok just to quote someone
> else, famous or otherwise.

It is perfectly O.K to quote someone else. Scientists
do that all the time. The links in the doc are there
you to follow up the arguments already made the
referenced thinkers.

> Conclusions backed by no arguments are the same as
> no conclusions at all. (So much for rational
> thought.)
> I wish you all the best in your quest.

You'll have to wait for my book to come out, in which
I'll try to lay down some detailed arguments for you.
But that book is going to be 1000 pages and take 2
years for me to research and write.

> Sincerely
> David Clark
> P.S. I have a web site at have
> a look at my new in-progress computer language.

I'll be sure to check out your web site. Cheers!

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