Re: The Unfathomable

John Clark (
Sun, 7 Nov 1999 00:50:34 -0500


 >> If ALL people have this property, being a sinner, then there is no contrast.

>> If there is no contrast then the statement has exactly the same meaning
>> as "all people are saints", and that is no meaning at all.

>Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <>
> Oh, give me a break. Are you saying the statements "All people are made
> of atoms" or "All atoms obey the laws of physics" are not meaningful?
> [...] all tangerines are not sinners, so "sin" is less general than "atomic substrate".

There is a difference, all atoms are not in people and not all the laws of physics involve atoms; I was assuming (it's not implicit in the original post I admit) that not only are all people sinners but all sinners are people. But now that I come to think about it, that's equivalent to "all non sinners are non people" so your example of a virtuous tangerine is a little bit of evidence helping to prove the proposition that all people are indeed sinners. Perhaps the original poster was right after all.

>I think you're objecting to the fact that "sin" lacks a clear definition,

No, that's not the problem, nearly all the really important things in life have no clear definition. My objection is that the idea is pointless.

John K Clark