#141 An Inglourious Proof

#141 An Inglourious Proof

Uh-oh, this looks like a problem that even the zombie theodicy can’t handle…

By the way, if you haven’t seen Inglourious Basterds yet, you really must. It is amazing. So go. Now!

Discussion (17)¬

  1. LEGION says:

    I disagree, there is NO problem zombie theodicy can not handle.

  2. Wm Tanksley says:

    Legion, that looks like a challenge to me. Can you propose a solution to this elaboration on the “best world” argument that solves it by using philosophical zombies, or prove that a solution exists?

    I suspect that one does exist — for example, it might be true that anyone who momentarily believes that this isn’t the best of all possible worlds is, for the duration of that suspicion, replaced with a zombie, thus making no actual conscious person suffer through that doubt — but can you elaborate on one?

    (Oops, I may have just given one.)


  3. Ben says:

    I like that about half of this is taken verbatim from our conversation on the way out of the theater.

  4. LEGION says:


    Either that or we live in a perfect world as zombies, but to not remember it as such.

  5. chaospet says:

    Ben: Yep. So many of our conversations seem to translate well into comics.

    Wm: Hah, nice. But still, even if we never suffered from the knowledge that such a vastly awesomer world was possible, it would still remain the case that we weren’t in the awesomer world.

    Legion: Wouldn’t the truly perfect world involve our remembering it as such?

  6. Canuovea says:

    Love it… but… does much more interesting/awesome actually equate better? Especially from the point of view of what could be a supreme being? I mean so much awesomeness might make heaven boring by comparison or something… right?

  7. chaospet says:

    Canuovea: An interesting point. It is hard to imagine a heaven that is any better than the world in which Hitler gets blasted in the face by a machine gun. Unless it’s the eternal Mario Kart heaven, of course.

  8. Wm Tanksley says:

    Legion, I was hoping you’d provide a proof yourself. Mine, I now realize, doesn’t work; not only is it not the most awesomest world, but it also doesn’t really use the zombies to acheive the awesomeosity — it merely removes a certain type of suffering from conscious experience.

    chaospet, I began constructing a non-zombie proof, but I’m afraid that only proves your point. A world in which there exists a proof for the existence of God that doesn’t use zombies is not a perfect world.

    Oh… By the way… I noticed the new avatar. Do you find that the pirate zombie mask hides your fangs effectively? Does the black cloth mask bloodstains as well as it looks like it would? If so, nicely done. You can probably get a lot more undergrads into the lecture hall with that on.


  9. Emil says:

    Here’s a logically possible zombie defense. This is the best of all possible worlds where humans exist. Recall that God presumably has some special interest in humans. A human who also happens to be a zombie is not a contradiction. Zombies don’t suffer. The actual world is the best of all possible worlds. All humans who appear to suffer are zombies and so they don’t really suffer, they just appear to do so. There is no contradiction in this scenario and yet there is no suffering only happiness.

    Hmm. Even if it is not the best of all possible worlds there is still no suffering in it, so the logical problem of evil doesn’t work.

  10. Abeo says:

    Unless Hitler is a zombie made to represent evil. Not a true conscious being that personifies evil, more like a really sinister puppet.

    It would still be “way more awesomer” if he got shot in the face a bunch though.

    I posit that anything is “way more awesomer” when it is shot in the face repeatedly.

  11. Abeo says:

    Alright, the comment above had several more paragraphs in it ranting about how philisophical zombies, as I understand them, can’t be used in any meaningful way.

    I deleted those paragraphs because trying to manuever around all of the logical pitfalls in my examples of how they don’t make sense proved too difficult.

  12. LEGION says:

    Everyone is a zombie none of this is real!

    … did I just do the philosophical equivalent of “LOL BUTTS’ ?

  13. Canuovea says:

    Wm Tanksley: Interesting point. It seems that Chaospet has inadvertently (or intentionally? I don’t know!) maybe created something more awesome then just a ninja-pirate. A vampire ninja-pirate.

    Being a ninja he can hide in the shadows during broad daylight, so no bursting into flames! And maybe a parrot that could also be a vampire parrot, or maybe zombie parrot is better, because then it won’t burst into flames (it isn’t a ninja parrot so it can’t hide from sunlight… Hmm… Ninja zombie parrot…). There could be one problem though… does the ocean count as running water? Because if so that could mean no sailing for the VNP (I am NOT writing that out again), after all vampires cannot cross running water. But sailing isn’t crossing… and… you know what? I’ll stop. English just isn’t specific enough. And I am not going to try writing that in First Order Logic.

  14. LEGION says:

    Canuovea, I refuse to believe a language with a vocabulary of over two million words is not specific enough.

    As for your VNP, what if we added cyborg? The VNCP! Vampires can not cross running water, the bottom of a ship movies though it, so if he stayed down there he would be fine.

    Out of curiosity, what is your native language?

  15. Canuovea says:

    I should have said English was too confusing and ambiguous. That was partially my fault though. I was writing in stream of consciousness (or trying). That is… definitely confusing.

    VNCP… Awesome. Can the parrot be cyborg too? And can this VNCP get to shoot Hitler in the face?

    English is my native language, but I am taking a symbolic logic course. And now I cannot stop thinking about First Order Logic. Awesome(vampireninjapirate). NinjaZombieParrot(parrotpolly(zombieninjapirate)). Evidently I still need to get the hang of it.

    And I bet that there are some things we do not have proper words for, and remember of those 2 million, there are basically some repeats, with slightly different connotations, or even meaning exactly the same thing.

  16. LEGION says:

    The VNCP kills Hitler, then takes over and conquers the world! Also the beauty of English is that you can make up words as you go along

  17. Emil says:

    Isn’t that the beauty of a great many (general) languages?

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