From: Matt Mahoney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu May 21 2009 - 10:43:11 MDT
--- On Thu, 5/21/09, John K Clark <email@example.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 20 May 2009 "Matt Mahoney" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > I assume as higher beings, that:
> > (1) we would want to be rational,
> > (2) we would want to be immortal,
> > (3) we would want to know that we are immortal.
> > And I claim you can't have both (1) and (3).
> Well, even if we prove that immortality is possible we won’t know that
> WE are immortal; but can we even do that?
> As I said immortality depends on Physics and Cosmology but as Gödel
> proved there is not even a complete theory of consistent mathematics, so
> there is probably not a physical theory of everything either.
> And even if there is such a theory figuring out all the implications of
> it is almost certainly not possible; you
> can learn the basic laws of the game Go in a few minutes but it takes a
> lifetime to get good at it and nobody is even close to being perfect at it.
> And even if you know all the implications of the theory
> Cosmology also depends on initial conditions,
> the point where you start the game, and we will almost
> certainly never know that in sufficient detail
> to work out the future of the universe for infinity.
> For these reasons I think your above statement is true but we will never
> be able to prove it true.
> However I can’t prove that either.
Not to mention that Benja also showed that my claim was wrong. It is in fact possible to distinguish the 3 possible beliefs (mortal, immortal, don't know) for rational agents.
-- Matt Mahoney, email@example.com
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