(urth) 5HC : Skinner, Turing, Laplace

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 15 15:59:54 PST 2005

Even if you carefully specify that it's completely deterministic, the 
"careless" aspect stipulates just as firmly that it can't be deterministic. 
Because the demon is outside the system, he can't interact with it if it's a 
closed system. If he can interact with it, then you have influences outside 
the universe affecting causality within the universe, and it's not 

If you extend your system to include the demon's interaction, then you've 
effectively placed the demon inside the horizon of your system/universe, and 
thus you get the other problem.

>The way I see it, he is outside your effective universe.
>Your effective universe + Laplace's Demon & his abode = Real Universe
>Now, the Demon can predict the effective universe, because he is 
>omniscient, and we've
>carefully specified that it is completely deterministic, the only possible 
>factor is the self-same Demons deeds.
>However, even if omnisciene didn't suffice for the Demon to know what he 
>will do, and
>what effects that will have,  he knows himself!  He knows what he wants or 
>will do, and so
>can factor himself in, and get a final equation to solve, if you will.
>The problem is how to give data which will have a null effect, or will be 
>An entirely different problem from free will.
>The lesson I draw is that omniscience is impossible.
>Chris wrote:
>>There is a problem with any example that drags in Laplace's demon (well, 
>>granted, he's meant to be problematic). Probably more than one. But 
>>working with what you've hinted at, start by asking if the demon is inside 
>>the universe or apart from it on some higher level? If the latter then 
>>either he's not available for your thought problem or your universe isn't 
>>deterministic, and if the former you run into the whole 
>>drawing-a-scale-map-of-the-universe deal.
>>"[W]hat everyone does not know, so that it counts as differential 
>>knowledge, that is a glorious thing to be concerned with. What everyone 
>>knows on the other hand, so that the difference is the trivial one of how 
>>it is known, that is a waste of effort to be concerned about - for one 
>>cannot possibly become self-important through knowing it."
>>>Laplace's demon is truly omniscience no?
>>>Then he knows you are going to tell me, and has factored that in.
>>>He will also know that you will ask for an updated prediction.
>>>That too will be foreseen by his omniscience right?
>>>Furthermore, he will see you scurrying back to tell me.
>>>But, omniscient being he is, he can see how many times you will be able 
>>>upset the temporary equilibrium of my desires, and indeed, when I will 
>>>begin to ignore
>>>you (or ask what you are smoking and how can I synthesize suma that?).
>>>That number being finite, he can easily  work out what my final desires 
>>>will be, and give the answer
>>>which will both start the sequence and end it.
>>>Even better, in a deterministic universe like this, to the Demon, the 
>>>only unkown will be himself.
>>>So he can easily choose how he will perturb the universe, and make his 
>>>predictions on that basis
>>>or self-fulfilling.
>>>If this is an argument, seems more like one against omnisicence.
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