Re: [sl4] Is belief in immortality computable?

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Thu May 21 2009 - 10:43:11 MDT

--- On Thu, 5/21/09, John K Clark <> wrote: > On Wed, 20 May 2009 "Matt Mahoney" <> > said: > > > 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,

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