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Re: [ontolog-forum] Presentism etc

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2011 09:10:58 -0500
Message-id: <4D4D5A72.9020502@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 2/5/2011 3:09 AM, doug foxvog wrote:
> A 4D ontology which does not include predestination would be more
> acceptable to many, especially with mechanisms to convert statements
> to 3+1 D statements.    (01)

I'm not assuming any knowledge about the future.  My only assumption
is that the future exists as one possibility among infinitely many.
Note that I used the term 'God's eye view', but I'm not making any
assumptions about theology -- i.e., whether God exists, whether he
pays attention to any or all of the things He might see, whether he
coincides with the universe (pantheism), or even whether he might
coincide with the totality of all universes (hyperpantheism).    (02)

I stated my assumptions in a way that could stand up to skeptics
like Quine who try to minimize the ontological assumptions, while
still trying to preserve all of mathematics as a legitimate realm
of quantification.    (03)

If you like, I could restate exactly the same ontology in the
following way:    (04)

  1. Assume an uncountable infinity of 4D universes, each extended
     as far as it can go in all dimensions.    (05)

  2. Exactly one of them is the actual universe in which we live,
     and all the others will be called 'virtual'.    (06)

  3. There is no way to distinguish any virtual universe from
     the actual universe except by observation of the usual
     scientific and historical kind (which may be fallible).    (07)

  4. There is no limit on the amount of mixing of virtual and
     actual universes.  Some parts of the actual universe may
     coincide with parts of any number of virtual universes.    (08)

  5. I treat any 3D+1 ontology as a mapping to one or more
     of these actual + virtual universes.  (Think of a 3D+1
     ontology as a movie script for a sci-fi movie that mixes
     the real world with any amount of virtual reality.)    (09)

When stated in this way, it sounds like an extremely extravagant
ontology, which would cause Quine to turn over in his grave.    (010)

But all my virtual universes and any mixtures of them with the
actual universe are sanctioned by Quine's willingness to admit
set theory into his ontology.  Given that, the usual mathematical
methods for programming VR simulations can create as many virtual
universes as any movie producer could imagine.    (011)

John    (012)

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