# Re: Resent: God (ABOUT NOZICK's..)

Michael Lorrey (retroman@together.net)
Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:38:54 -0500

Prof. Gomes wrote:

> >At 00:15 13/01/98 +0000, you wrote:
> >...................
> >>Philosopher Nozick mentions the following argument in one of his
> >>books (Philosophical Explanations 1981): There are infinitely many
> >>ways for there to be something, but only one way for there to be
> >>nothing. Therefore, assuming each way is equally probable, the
> >>probability that there is something equals 1.

The error is in equating numbers of ways with probability. The opposite is more
true: Since there is, as far as we can tell, only one way for a universe to be
created, whatever the odds are will determine how many initially are or aren't,
and the conditions of that first something will determine whether there will be
more somethings.

All of that however, is equally irrelevant, as only those universes that are
capable of pondering their own existence really count (under the old tree in the
woods dillemma), so even if there is merely one universe with life, and the odds
of such universe developing are one in 10^^^10, and all universes outside that
one are unreachable, then Nozicks result is valid, just not for the reason he
claims.

> >>
> >>
> >>________________________________________________
> >>Nick Bostrom
> >>n.bostrom@lse.ac.uk
> >>
> >> *Visit my transhumanist web site*
> >> http://www.hedweb.com/nickb
> >>
> >
> >
> >I would like to comment the following about Mr. Nozick's affirmation:
> >
> >
> >First: an infinite set of *discrete* events, can never be equiprobable,
> >since sum(p)=1. So any individual p=1/n >>> when n=oo...p=0...and
> >
> >Second: If we consider (continuous) probability distribuction function
> >(p.d.f.'s) modelling,
> >any individual point has correspondent probability zero... non-zero prob's
> >arises just for intervals... So, Mr. Nozick's, maybe involuntarily, also
> >affirmed :
> >
> >The ways for there to be something are not just infinite but also
> >CONTINUOUS... (or it denies quantum theory...or a quantum universe would be
> >just a subset of the whole complete universe ??? >>> it is better not
> >taking philosophical wanders very seriously... :-) )
> >
> >Last: Since the probability that there is _nothing_ is zero, a question
> >arises>> nothing: exists or not ??? ( I always laugh a lot with certain
> >philosophical questions... just based on NOZICK's affirmative, such
> >question has no sense... )
> >
> >
> >Gomes.
> >FMHPV ( from my humble point of view...)
> >
> >