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Nornagest comments on Probability is in the Mind - Less Wrong

60 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 March 2008 04:08AM

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Comment author: Nornagest 23 September 2011 09:03:42PM *  3 points [-]

At least in its famous context, I always interpreted that quote as a metaphorical statement of aesthetic preference for a deterministic over a stochastic world, rather than an actual statement about the behavior of a hypothetical omniscient being. A lot of bullshit's been spilled on Einstein's religious preferences, but whatever the truth I'd be very surprised if he conditioned his response to a scientific question on something that speculative.

Comment author: dlthomas 23 September 2011 10:02:46PM 6 points [-]

This is more or less what I was saying, but left (perhaps too) much of it implicit.

If there were an entity with perfect knowledge of the present ("God"), they would have perfect knowledge of the future, and thus "not need probability", iff the universe is deterministic. (If there is an entity with perfect knowledge of the future of a nondeterministic reality, we have described our "reality" too narrowly - include that entity and it is necessarily deterministic or the perfect knowledge isn't).