Re: virus: MEME UPDATE: To Censor Or Not?
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 12:13:22 -0600 (CST)

On Wed, 11 Dec 1996, Matt Waggoner wrote:

> At 17:14 12/11/96 -0000, you wrote:
> >Matt Waggoner wrote:
> >>I agree that memes do influence us, the way we act and think,
> >>but to say that we have no free will whatsoever implies that we have no
> >>soul. I'm sure you can see the problems inherent in adopting that
> >>particular philosophy.
> >>
> >>I know I don't like being told I have no soul.
> >
> >In what sense do you use the term "soul"? If you mean a spiritual entity
> >that survives after death and all that, then I'm afraid you might be told
> >the very thing you don't like being told quite often on this list.
> >=====
> >Andy Cheyne {}
> >=====
> Yes, by "soul" I mean all that. And I may be told that, but they can't
> prove it.
> Besides, if there is no free will, then there's no point to existence
> because everything's already predetermined and we should all just kill
> ourselves right now. Why not?
> /----- Matt Waggoner - Maelstrom -----\
> | - |
> | Real Genius Software: "It isn't really genius if it isn't Real Genius." |
> | -- |
> \----- No Bothans were harmed in the bringing of this information. -----/

Delete free-will from the equation, momentarily.

Obvious sources of nondetermination:
Quantum mechanics. [Granted, magnifying it to macroscopic level is
difficult. But not impossible--cf. Schrodinger's Cat.]
Badly posed Differential Equations. [Nonunique solutions to
problems can just ruin the determinists' day, even in a classical
universe.] "You need to learn Diff Eq so this doesn't happen: you
design the space probe for Venus, send it up only to see it crash into
the ocean, and *then* have some smart-mouth mathematician walk up and
say, 'Oh, those equations had five different solutions from those
initial conditions.'"


I currently suspect that modern computers have souls, but not spirits.
Under this metaphor, a successful implementation of Strong AI would endow
the machine with a spirit.

I am reluctant to describe a "soul" as "spiritual", obviously.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd