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Friday, February 12, 2010

Occam And Church-Turing Thesis

Since I explored Occam's Razor below, it may also be necessary to discuss something called the Church-Turing thesis in regard to the human mind and computers.

The Church-Turing thesis is named after Alonzo Church and Alan Turing, who arrived at the same general conclusions separately. Very roughly, it says this:

The human brain is nothing more than a computer, since it is subject to the laws of physics. If there is anything more than the laws of physics governing the brain, we have no evidence of it.
Therefore, mathematicians will someday be able to model the human brain so that a computer will be equal in every sense to the brain.

However, since we have no knowledge of anything outside of or "higher" than the brain, we would not be able to program or model any possible concept of that "higher" awareness. Everything that the brain is, as far as we know, will be the same as a computer.

Turing once proposed something called a Turing test, when he was playing with his idea of a universal Turing Machine, his mental creation that was the forerunner of a computer.

Turing proposed that if at some point in the future we could place a computer and a human behind a wall so that a questioner could not tell whether he was posing questions to a human or the computer, and the questions were printed out, given to the computer or person behind the wall, and a printed response was given back, then at some point, if the computer could respond to the questions so that the questioner could not tell the difference between human and computer, the computer would be, in every definable sense, the same as a human regarding knowledge and communication.

Let's take this analogy and suppose we are asking the computer questions about God. Assuming the computer can respond exactly in a way the human can respond, then there would be no possible way for any human to determine any difference between a human "soul" and a computer "soul".

You might say, "Oh, but God can tell the difference". Yes, but God isn't asking the questions. Humans beings are.

Based on that same example of the Turing Test, which religious organization or church actually does represent God? If all of them can give satisfactory answers, if all of them can show truths consistent with human knowledge about God, which one of them would actually be the true representatives of God?

Keep in mind, if you can make that definition, you can then take that same knowledge and program it into a computer, so that the true church of God can be completely computer generated. But if the true church of God can be computer generated, what, really, is the difference between the computer and God himself?

This would follow Occam's razor, since it would reduce all possible answers to one system of thought, and that system can be reduced completely to a mechanical, finite, logical process.

Do you begin to smell a rat in the form of church and state? What is the state? A system of finite, logical, mechanical rules by which we organize human lives.
What is a religion? A system of logical, mechanical, finite rules by which we organize human lives.

And where do both systems come from? The human mind. They would therefore be "Attila and the Witch Doctor" as Ayn Rand calls them, or the "Beast and False Prophet" as the bible calls them.

If you belong to either system, in any definable form, it is a certainty you are not following the truth. How do I know that? Godel's theorem. In any axiomatic formulation of number theory, there exists an infinity of undecidable propositions. That applies to laws as well as numbers. There exists no formal system of knowledge such that it leads to a complete, consistent definition of truth.

And thanks to Byker Bob, what is "God" telling you in regard to truth? Basically, there is only one possible conclusion: you are the final authority in the matter, you and you alone.

There is no government that can prove legitimate authority, and there is no religion to prove legitimate authority, and that's exactly what both Jesus and Paul told us.

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