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entirelyuseless comments on The map of ideas how the Universe appeared from nothing - Less Wrong

7 Post author: turchin 02 September 2016 04:49PM

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Comment author: entirelyuseless 04 September 2016 04:43:38PM 1 point [-]

By the way, I strongly disagree with many of your colorings. For example, it seems very likely that human beings are incapable of knowing the answer in any clear way, but you classify that as red. Likewise, "existence exists by definition" seems to me definitely true no matter what the rest of the answer is, but you classify that as red. And you have "existence is an illusion" as green, which I and most people would put as red. There are a bunch of others too.

Comment author: turchin 05 September 2016 12:07:41PM *  0 points [-]

Thank you for your input. Probably I should gave explanation to any estimation I did.

  1. May be we are incapable but we can't know it now. That is we are incapable to know that we are incapable until very large research of the topic will be done. So it is too early to give up. And any way we could create at least a field of plausible hypotheses.

  2. "Existence exists by definition" doesn't explain anything as we didn't provide this definition of "existence". So it looks like sophism or show stopper in style "God is eternal". So it looks like explanation but is not explanation at all.

  3. In case "existence is illusion" I show my belief that we need explanation of subjective experience reality and nature of qualia, and that such explanation also will have ontological meaning.

But it is great that other people have different opinions, because we could later use some kind of voting mechanism to try to get "market knowledge". ))

Comment author: entirelyuseless 05 September 2016 02:06:56PM *  0 points [-]
  1. I agree with you that we don't know in advance what we can or can't know, and that we shouldn't give up. That is why I just said it is "very likely" and in particular "incapable of knowing the answer in any clear way," not of knowing the answer at all. It seems to me that this is not judging in advance, but we actually have pretty good evidence that we can't know in such a clear way, namely that people have tried this for a long time and failed, at least in knowing clearly, even if maybe not in knowing at all.

But even there, I agree that we should keep trying and shouldn't take that as a reason for giving up at all.

-2. Anything you can mention either exists, or it doesn't. That means that any answer to "why does anything exist rather than nothing" must exist, or not exist. If it exists, it is not an explanation, since the answer in this case presupposes something existing. If it does not exist, it cannot be an explanation for existing things, since there is no such thing (as the thing that doesn't exist.)

This is not sophistry: it actually proves that in some sense there is no explanation. But it only shows that there is no explanation in a certain way, not there is no explanation in any way. And your coloring suggested to me that you consider it more reasonable for the final explanation to be something non-existing, rather than something existing. That seems unlikely to me -- it seems quite a bit more likely that the final explanation will be something that exists. If that is true, it will have to be something that exists "by definition," since it won't have something else explaining why it exists. It is true that that could not be a perfect explanation, but we already know (from the argument above) that there is no perfect explanation.

-3. I agree with you about qualia, I am just saying it is very very likely that there are other things besides qualia.

Comment author: turchin 05 September 2016 02:49:11PM 1 point [-]

I have another example in obviously true explanation, which looks like this one: "Causality exist without cause". It is almost the same as "existence exist". I was satisfied with it for a long time.

But now I think we should make them more rigorous to work. We may ask what kind of objects "can't non exist". And starting from it we could name several types of objects which exist anyway (Logic, math, and probably observer and qualia). And now we could try construct from them our reality.

So my point is that we should give definition of existence and see how it works in our case.

Maybe I should consider yellow there and give this explanation.