# casebash comments on The Number Choosing Game: Against the existence of perfect theoretical rationality - Less Wrong

-1 29 January 2016 01:04AM

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Comment author: 05 January 2016 05:46:36AM *  0 points [-]

"You are looking for an agent who is capable of choosing The Highest Number" - the agent wants to maximise utility, not to pick the highest number for its own sake, so that is misrepresenting my position. If you want to taboo utility, let's use the word "lives saved" instead. Anyway, you say "Therefore this agent (the perfect life maximising agent) can not exist", which is exactly what I was concluding. Concluding the exact same thing as I concluded, supports my argument, it doesn't contradict it like you seem to think it does.

"Alternately, letting "utility" back in, in a universe of finite time, matter, and energy, there does exist a maximum finite utility" - my argument is that there does not exist perfect rationality within the imagined infinite universe. I said nothing about the actual, existing universe.

Comment author: 05 January 2016 05:56:58AM 1 point [-]

Sorry, I missed that you postulated an infinite universe in your game.

I don't believe I am misrepresenting your position. "Maximizing utility" is achieved by-, and therefore can be defined as- "choosing the highest number". The wants of the agent need not be considered. "Choosing the highest number" is an example of "doing something impossible". I think your argument breaks down to "An agent who can do the impossible can not exist." or "It is impossible to do the impossible". I agree with this statement, but I don't think it tells us anything useful. I think, but I haven't thought it out fully, that it is the concept of infinity that is tripping you up.

Comment author: 05 January 2016 06:07:22AM 0 points [-]

What you've done is take my argument and transform it into an equivalent obvious statement. That isn't a counter-argument. In fact, in mathematics, it is a method of proving a theorem.

If you read the other comments, then you'll see that other people disagree with what I've said (and in a different manner than you), so I'm not just stating something obvious that everyone already knows and agrees with.

Comment author: 05 January 2016 07:54:27AM 3 points [-]

"What you've done is take my argument and transform it into an equivalent obvious statement. That isn't a counter-argument. In fact, in mathematics, it is a method of proving a theorem. If you read the other comments, then you'll see that other people disagree with what I've said" You're welcome? Feel free to make use of my proof in your conversations with those guys. It looks pretty solid to me.

If a Perfect Rational Agent is one who can choose Maximum Finite Utility. And Utility is numerically quantifiable and exists in infinite quantities. And the Agent must choose the quantity of Utility by finite number. Then no such agent can exist. Therefore a Perfect Rational Agent does not exist in all possible worlds.

I suppose I'm agreeing but unimpressed. Might could be this is the wrong website for me. Any thought experiment involving infinity does run the risk of sounding dangerously close to Theology to my ears. Angels on pinheads and such. I'm not from around here and only dropped in to ask a specific question elsewhere. Cheers.

Comment author: 06 January 2016 04:39:10AM 0 points [-]

"Lives saved" is finite within a given light cone.

Comment author: 06 January 2016 05:00:14AM 0 points [-]

A very specific property of our universe, but not universes in general.