Dason,

- OK. I wasn't sure which way would be better...

- Here's most of the rest -- the site wouldn't allow me to post

all the rest of the paper.

- I'll add the rest of the rest in my next post.

- I somehow highlighted all the "the's" in this post, and don't know how to remove the highlights without starting all over... Hopefully, someone will be able to remove them for me...

FOR DOUBTERS AND MATHEMATICIANS

Doubts?

57. “But,” you may ask, “how can your existence be so unlikely if you’re already here -- the likelihood of your current existence should be 100%.”

58. Unfortunately, to answer that, I need to go back to the beginning where I addressed statisticians with the following: the probability of drawing a particular sample from a particular population has mathematical implications re the probability that a particular sample was, in fact, drawn from that population.

59. The new probability (after the new sample has been drawn) that the population is, in fact, as the old hypothesis held, depends, in part, upon the probability of drawing the new sample from the hypothetical old population.

60. In other words, the appropriate entry here does not represent the actuality/fact that I do currently exist (which would be 100%) -- it represents only the probability that I would currently exist if our old hypothesis is true.

61. Here, we simply do not take into account the fact that I AM currently here.

62. “Likelihood” is the term used for this kind of “probability.”

63. So again, doing so, the likelihood that I, personally, would currently exist is virtually zero if our well-educated belief is correct!

64. But then, we notice an “escape clause” (our other major doubt) for still using 100% as the likelihood of my current existence…

65. We realize, or remember, that specifically unlikely things have to happen.” E.g.,

a. Somebody has to win the lottery.

b. Somebody has to win the critical poker hand.

66. And consequently, we shouldn’t be basing our conclusions upon the likelihood of a specific outcome in these cases – we should treat the specific case as someone/anyone.

67. And, the likelihood of someone/anyone eventually winning is essentially 100%.

68. And, we accept that the winners were just lucky.

69. And, we’re right – most of the time…

70. But what if the poker winner is a friend of the dealer, and they have been separately suspected of cheating in the past?

71. Comparing the lottery situation to the poker situation,

a. Knowing what I do about the lottery system, I’m pretty much stuck with luck as the explanation.

b. But, for the poker situation, there is another possible – and, possibly more probable -- explanatory model than luck…

72. I can reasonably eliminate cheating as an explanation in the lottery situation; but, I cannot do the same in the poker situation.

73. In the case of my own existence, I cannot reasonably eliminate the possibility that our explanatory model is wrong – and, in other words, that I do not have but one, finite, life to live.

74. That’s the key.

75. There are two more potential doubts (of which I am aware) [Actually, I'll need to add a couple more at the end]:

a. That the self is a “process,” rather than a “thing.” And,

b. That the self is an “illusion.”

76. But in my opinion, these have no impact upon the probability to which I’m referring.

77. I don’t care if what I have is a process or illusion – so long as whatever it is doesn’t exist for just one, finite, time.

78. And, these doubts seem to be just “straw dogs.”

COMPARING PROBABILITIES

79. Not being stuck with the old belief, I am stuck with more work – I am stuck with comparing the new probability of the alternative hypothesis to the new probability of the old hypothesis.

80. I do this in order to determine which hypothesis is (probably) correct.

81. And (to repeat myself), I do this after the new evidence has been added to the scale…

82. So, which is more probable – 1) I am VERY lucky, or 2) the old belief is wrong?

83. Certainly, we have lots of reason to believe that the old belief is not wrong.

a. We don’t remember any previous lifetimes.

b. We don’t know any sane person that remembers previous lifetimes.

c. The stories we’ve heard or read about previous lifetimes sound far-fetched, or simply invented.

d. We’ve never seen any ghosts.

e. We’ve never experienced anything “supernatural.”

f. Science questions the existence of anything non-physical.

g. We’ve never had any “out of body,” or “near death” experiences.

84. But then, we don’t KNOW that it isn’t wrong.

85. And then, there is at least some evidence that the old belief is wrong.

a. It could just be that previous lifetimes are naturally forgotten…

b. Consciousness

seemsnon-physical.

c. Some of the stories seem credible.

d. Some of the tellers seem credible.

e. A lot of scientists, and otherwise well-educated people do believe in previous lifetimes.

f. A lot believe in the supernatural in general.

g. The fact that many well educated, or otherwise intelligent, people do believe in these things should make doubters -- if they be open-minded at all -- worry that they (the doubters) may be missing something…

h. We individual humans tend to be dominated by either reductionistic thinking, or by holistic thinking, and reductionistic thinking appears to be blind to what we call “transcendence” (the hallmark of religion) – whether transcendence is for real or not.

i. There is a strong tendency among scientists to be reductionistic thinkers – in part, because western schools focus upon reductionistic thinking.

j. Something inside many (most?) of us tells us we’re missing something…

k. Quantum Mechanics

l. And then, time may not be what we think it is.

86. So far, so good – we cannot reasonably eliminate the possibility that the old belief is simply wrong…

87. Now, we just need to actually compare the probabilities (using Bayesian Statistics).

THE OTHER EXPLANATIONS

88. Stepping back a bit -- #44 -- we had the results of the “bio-chemical explanation” with its virtually zero likelihood of my current existence.

89. Next, we have the “bio-chemical-physics explanation.”

90. Here, it isn’t just the DNA that determines your identity – here, the space/time coordinates finish the job.

91. And, if we could replicate the DNA and the space/time coordinates of my conception, we could roll my film back and re-run it (so to speak), giving me my own “Groundhog Day” -- except that absolutely nothing would change.

92. What seems like the obvious explanation for different consciousnesses is that we each have different bodies, different brains – it’s only natural that we would be seeing out different sets of eyes, with different selves.

93. But, that obvious explanation has “unwanted” consequences for our well-educated belief.

94. I’ll call this apparently obvious explanation, “the cosmological explanation.”

95. In this explanation, a “brand new” self is created “on the spot,” out of nowhere and thin air.

96. A certain kind of physical event/situation (Neurosystem? Animal life? Life?) occurs, producing the “emergent property” (

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence) of consciousness, and this bit of consciousness inherently, naturally, takes on, creates, a self -- a brand new experiencer.

97. You might need to read that a few more times in order to see that it really is the “obvious” explanation.

98. If “emergent property” is a problem, just forget that I mentioned it.

99. In the cosmological explanation, there is no limited pool of pre-existing “potential” selves…

100. The possibilities are not limited by the natural sciences.

101. That being the case, the “number” (technically, infinity is not a number) of potential selves is infinite.

102. And, given the hypothesis that a potential experiencer has only one, finite, life to live – at most -- my likelihood of currently existing, under this approach, approaches zero.

103. I.e., one over infinity.

104. From this perspective, if our well-educated belief is true, I simply shouldn’t be here.

105. But, I am here.

106. So this time, our well-educated belief

must be incorrect.

107. Again, that’s what I would call the “cosmological explanation.”

108. Whatever, it would appear that the likelihood of my current existence is virtually zero, given any of the possible scientific explanations – and consequently, the probability that I have but one, finite, life to live is virtually zero as well…

THE MATH

109. Before actually getting into the statistics -- by acknowledging the existence of potential, but unrealized selves (starting with #44 again), I need to revise the old well-educated belief.

110. For the formula, I’ll call this revised belief, the “WEBR.”

111. And, the WEBR is that each potential self will have either no life at all, or just one finite life.

112. (And, the VAST MAJORITY will have the former!)

113. Also, the appropriate Bayesian formula here involves a “binary variable,” and requires using the complement of our WEBR.

114. For formulaic purposes, the complement is given as “~WEBR.”

115. The complement to our WEBR is, simply, that the WEBR is incorrect.

116. The underlying logic of our thought experiment now is that we need to compare the probability of our WEBR with the probability of our ~WEBR.

117. And, to do that, we basically compare the product of the currently acknowledged probability of WEBR (.99), times the likelihood of my current existence, given WEBR, with the product of the acknowledged probability of ~WEBR, times the likelihood of my current existence, given ~WEBR.

118. And, using my numbers (as you’ll see below), ~WEBR wins!