It’s years since this thread came up, but just my two cents on this suggestion.
Correct me if I’m significantly wrong, but I think your premise is that overwhelming evidence is first assembled in a good theoretician’s brain, is logically processed into a theory, and then the correct theory is presented and found correct by virtue of this process. The crucial process was that they had to accumulate enough pieces of evidence in accord with the theory to select it, since you believe information theory prohibits any other ways of going about this business.
The thing is, if we follow the line of argument that the number of pieces of information must correspond to the number of possible hypotheses, then surely you would need an infinite number of pieces of information because the number of possible hypotheses (possible statements about the universe) is infinite too.
If you argue that it is a finite number, surely you are suggesting that a gigantic number of hypotheses have been removed in pre-selection based on how relevant they appear. If pre-selection occurs, you must also be open to the possibility that the number of possible hypotheses is far less than an arbitrary 100,000,000 and even single-digits. I think the whole accumulated mountain of science actually exists such that you do not need to generate your entire theory from an infinite number of possibilities, but judge from between a grossly-reduced number, the reducing of the vast number of other possibilities having been done by the work of your predecessors.
So if it satisfies you more, there may have been a huge number of possible theories at the start of humankind, but the combined weight of human experience and endeavour has whittled them down in certain areas to numbers which can be distinguished between by great scientists. In other areas, such as the precise nature of consciousness, we are just as baffled as before!
True, in the positive/negative dichotomy it is a Pascal’s Wager.
Probably what makes the sell harder for cryonics is that it promises not an infinitely good future but merely one of uncertain quality, though one that it is possible to hypothesise about based on well-discussed inferences from the very fact you were woken up.
As things stand right now I have to admit it’s hard to see where you would get a big jump in takeup, because it seems conceded that the science is a very long way away and thus the probability of it working will not appear to rise for a very long time, and also the impression of a future world where it does work will probably remain roughly constant for the same reason of the time gap. As these two factors seem to be the biggest factors in a decision, they seem too inert for cryogenics’ liking.
Any ideas of a “game changer” that would persuade people that it were as natural a thing to plan as making a will, buying life insurance or having a donor card?
Is your position a kind of unfunny joke, like you were put up to say this? It is only because I am open enough to the possibility that this is actually your opinion that I feel forced to bother with a rebuttal.
It is unreasonable in the extreme, given current knowledge about cryonics, to force your own beliefs of what every child that is born in the world should have, almost as unreasonable as your comparisons above: “Is it acceptable for the father in the ghetto to beat his child to death, because he’s too poor to afford a psychologist?” Why? Because it is yet not even remotely a proven technique, and explicitly acknowledges so in the hope of a smarter future, you are not to go about slinging moral outrage based on the presupposition that it is. For the average person, there are a million things they could spend the money on for a kid, and you bet that the certainty of them seeing a return on 99% of them are better.
To suggest people having kids are “endangering the lives of children” is so ironic that humour seems the only explanation to me. In addition to the fact that everyone, regardless of cryonics, will have to die, you appear to have myopically discounted the entire value of a life once lived.
I am not discounting cryonics being theoretically possible. I am saying that it remains exactly that, unproven, and until it is you can implore people to try it, but you are ridiculous to -demand- that they do.
I’m a casual observer who came across this advocation of cryonics—I have no objections to the idea and it interests me on a theoretical plane.
The general impression I receive of the promotion of cryonics quite a simple and effective argument:
“Cryonics offers a non-zero possibility that you may be able to continue your existence beyond your first death, the choice of which during your first life has minimal cost or even possible benefits to yourself.”
Interestingly enough, and I quite happily mention this in good faith despite the inevitable flame risks of mentioning un-kosher topics in public (though that sort of blanket disregarding would be regrettable), this bears intriguing parallels with one suggested argument of a more metaphysical nature: substitute “belief in a higher power” for “cryonics”.
I think the other respective elements of the sentence tally—given the lack of a strict disproof of such deities, the only part I can see possible challenge is the second half, but given it has immediate lifetime wellbeing benefits to some people, I don’t see such challenges standing.
Anyway, the point I am making is that given its superficial similarity to investing an afterlife, even though I am quite friendly to the idea of cryonics (it costs little and if real has gigantic benefits to oneself) I can see why it is a hard sell to people, not because they think you are a religion but because it involves the same concepts of investment in an uncertain outcome.
Although being even stricter, Occam’s Razor is a heuristic and not a (dis)proof.
That’s very interesting to read—I have the same trait and surely it must be fairly widespread and not particular to us. Essentially a trait to subject highly favoured, especially very trivial hypotheses to burdensome checking, for the sake of intellectual integrity or ‘epistemic hygiene’ which you intriguingly coin. Maybe this trait is called OCD.
For example, in the post above: it is referenced that the woman suggests magic exists because science does not know everything, it is replied that lack of knowledge does not imply non-existence, and the woman is said to have ‘clicked’ by concluding that magic is inconsistent. While this final conclusion sounds very reasonable, for completeness I still felt the need to question: “inconsistent with what?”
First let’s lay out the reasonable premise:
I think the unspoken implied principle here here is that magic is defined to be what is unknown.
So we can test the consistency of this principle. If one person does not know something, and the other person does, then regarding this something, magic would have to exist for one but not exist for the other, respectively. Therefore there is a logical inconsistency in this principle (unless we accept solipsism, but then we would have difficulty talking about real ‘other people’, would we?)
However, I do suppose that if only one person existed, there would be no other person to create a logical inconsistency and in a strict sense magic would be consistent. It would merely constantly change based on your epistemological state, and you would probably need Occam’s Razor to dispense with it.