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grouchymusicologist comments on 0 And 1 Are Not Probabilities - Less Wrong

34 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 10 January 2008 06:58AM

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Comment author: grouchymusicologist 18 October 2011 01:35:36PM 0 points [-]

No, it's not. It's the same fundamental mistake that a lot of religious rhetoric about "faith" and "meaning" is founded on: that wanting something to be true counts as evidence that it is true. There's no reason to think that the universe depends for any of its properties on whether someone finds it stupid or not, or worth living in.

I'd also suggest you try to draw your friend out a bit on what it means exactly for the universe to be "coherent." Can that notion be expressed formally? What would we expect to see if we lived in an incoherent universe?

Obviously, I'm dubious that the "coherence" of the universe is in any proper sense a philosophical or scientific idea -- it sounds a lot more like an aesthetic one.

Comment author: Sarokrae 18 October 2011 03:30:34PM *  0 points [-]

I think he just means "coherent" as "one which we can actually model based on our observations", i.e. one in which this whole exercise (rationality) makes any sense.

He expects that the universe be incoherent with probability zero, and doesn't think there would be any sensible observations if this were the case (or any observation being possible if this were the case).

ETA: Merriam-Webster Definition of COHERENT

1 a : logically or aesthetically ordered or integrated : consistent <coherent style> <a coherent argument> b : having clarity or intelligibility : understandable <a coherent person> <a coherent passage>

So, understandable and consistent: a universe which philosophy, mathematics and science can apply to in any meaningful way.