Is Islam in accordance with rationality and science?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Abdullah, Mar 24, 2010.

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  1. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    The Eleatic argument that motion is impossible because infinite series cannot converge to finite sums was simply a mathematical misunderstanding. This was cleared up centuries ago-- Arab mathematicians understood this quite well. Spengler's claim that this had never been answered simply shows that Spengler's dilletantish knowledge did not include any basic understanding of mathematics.
    Like Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer, he was a master in using lots of bafflegab to express very little, an extraordinarily tedious author to read. He had some useful things to say, or he wouldn't still be remembered, but I don't understand how you can fail to see his thorough wrongheadedness even in the subject of historical patterns where he did have some actual expertise; and to cite him as an "authority" on subjects he knew next to nothing about is an absurdity.
    Here, at least, you are quoting somebody who has some grasp on the topic. YES, the concept of a "BEING IN ITSELF" (noumenon as Kant tagged it) is dead. All beings are inextricably related to all others, and have reality only as part of that universal whole. Spengler doesn't understand how any physics can function without beings that can be plucked out, away from all other beings, and examined as isolated units; but in fact, physics is doing quite well without that old framework.

    What you want is to preserve ONE "being in itself", pretending that God can exist as an isolated reality with or without all the other beings. This is tacking on a fifth wheel-- to a vehicle which has already left the ground and has no use for wheels at all anymore.
     
  2. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    well FINALLY !! what's it been, like 4 months?

    I read over your response (it was quite amusing). But i wont have time to reply until late Feb as im still mobile.

    good 2 see u back in the field though bob (despite whatever delusional excuses you want to put up).

    We'll get into it soon, k?

    Later
     
  3. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    'sOK, see you when I see you!
     
  4. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Ad hominem attacks are for idiots, douchebags & losers, Bob. Guess which category u fall into.

    Fun fact: Sometimes grasping the bigger picture and anticipating the opposition's counterargument is the same thing. Unfortunately 4 u, you failed at both.
    [FONT=comic sans ms,sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    "Following a lead given by Russell (1929, 182–198), a number of philosophers—most notably Grünbaum (1967)—took up the task of showing how modern mathematics could solve all of Zeno's paradoxes; their work has thoroughly influenced our discussion of the arguments. What they realized was that a purely mathematical solution was not sufficient: the paradoxes not only question abstract mathematics, but also the nature of physical reality. So what they sought was an argument not only that Zeno posed no threat to the mathematics of infinity but also that that mathematics correctly describes objects, time and space. The idea that a mathematical law—say Newton's law of universal gravity—may or may not correctly describe things is familiar, but some aspects of the mathematics of infinity—the nature of the continuum, definition of infinite sums and so on—seem so basic that it may be hard to see at first that they too apply contingently. But surely they do: nothing guarantees a priori that space has the structure of the continuum, or even that parts of space add up according to Cauchy's definition. (Salmon offers a nice example to help make the point: since alcohol dissolves in water, if you mix the two you end up with less than the sum of their volumes, showing that even ordinary addition is not applicable to every kind of system.) Our belief that the mathematical theory of infinity describes space and time is justified to the extent that the laws of physics assume that it does, and to the extent that those laws are themselves confirmed by experience. While it is true that almost all physical theories assume that space and time do indeed have the structure of the continuum, it is also the case that quantum theories of gravity likely imply that they do not. While no one really knows where this research will ultimately lead, it is quite possible that space and time will turn out, at the most fundamental level, to be quite unlike the mathematical continuum that we have assumed here."

    Zeno's Paradoxes (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)



    Further reading:





    Fallacy: Straw Man

    For you to say that I am trying to "preserve" a place for God within this dynamic, is downright delusional, considering the content of this thread itself.

    No it isn't. The discussion is ultimately between realism and anti-realism. All the times you tried to substitute Plato with Aristotle (regarding Godel's position) were amusing, because you still haven't understood that Plato/Aristotle are synonymous in this debate (as Aristotle "endowed universals with reality" just like Plato). And when it is pointed out to you that not all systems of thought take such assumptions for granted, you respond by calling the opposition "senseless and stupid"

    yes, the Japanese, it's their own fault the US nuked 'em... nevermind the fact that it was an unnecessary action, according to much of America's own military leadership

    ^^ sarcasm

    so all Muslims are mentally retarded, and anyone who blames the zionists for the riots is an antisemite... rite?

    Btw, I wasn't relying on the Palin Commission; I cited the Eastern Committee which Curzon chaired, which contained: "General Smuts, Lord Balfour, Lord Robert Cecil, General Sir Henry Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, T. E. Lawrence, and representatives of the Foreign Office, the India Office, the Admiralty, the War Office, and the Treasury."

    If u wanna reject them all for being anti-Semites, that's fine. Do whatever u want man.
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    TE Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia, by his own accounts, was certainly not the great Arab friend the epic film portrays him as.

    He makes the point clearly, at the start of "Seven Pillars of Wisdom", something on the lines of how no number of Arab deaths would ever be worth one single British death in the trenches of France.
     
  6. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Epic fail. Saying that the statements you make appear stupid and senseless is criticism, not ad hominem; saying that your opponent is an idiot/douchebag/loser is what ad hominem means.

    It is not only in discussions with me that you have shown this pattern of patting yourself on the back for your failure to convey any point to the person you are talking to, as if this proved that you are a superior mind able to grasp some profundity that lesser people cannot; all it proves is that there has been a failure to communicate, and the problem might be on the transmission end rather than on the receiving end.
    The question of which mathematical structure best describes the actual physical space-time is pre-eminently one for physicists and mathematicians to answer: philosophers don't really have much to contribute here. As the old joke goes, a mathematics department only needs paper, pencils, erasers, and wastebaskets; a philosophy department only needs paper and pens. An excellent example of a philosopher not understanding even the basics:
    Addition applies to disjoint sets: I have five left-hand fingers, and two thumbs; put them together and you get six, not seven; this is not a threat to the definition of addition. The addition of the volumes of the water and the alcohol applies to the case where they are sitting side by side in separate containers. This is the level of error, like your persistent failure to understand 2+2=4, for which "stupid" is not too strong a word. Your links include the "infinity motors" guy who just can't wrap his head around the concept, and someone saying our description of space needs to make "not just mathematical sense, but metaphysical sense" by which he seems to mean that it needs to conform to the "common sense" assumptions of people who have trouble with mathematicians: no, it doesn't; there is no obligation on the part of the universe to be easy for semi-evolved primates to understand.
    I think "quantum gravity" is a fundamentally misguided project: physicists who are more at home with the quantum-mechanical structures than with general relativity want to reconcile them by subordinating general relativity to quantum theory, positing some "graviton" particle that propagates gravity in a quantized fashion; but any model that revives the Pythagorean notion of an indivisible "grain" of space-time does indeed run into Zeno problems, and is therefore wrong.

    Your claim, apparently, is that there cannot be a mathematical model of space and time which deals with Zeno-- and that is just false. We have known of one such model, the continuum, for a long time, and now know of several others (one of your links mentions recent successes in putting "infinitesimal" numbers on a rigorous basis; this may or may not be a better model for space and time than the continuum, but shows that there are multiple possible solutions). And you cited Spengler for the grossly inaccurate claim that the Eleatics had "never been answered": one may question whether a particular answer is the correct answer, but to assert that it had never been answered before was a false claim about the history. Why you put much stock in Spengler is rather a mystery to me, since even in his own field, of discerning historical patterns, his ideas have not aged well: obviously his title "The Downfall of the West" rather missed the basic point that the West was on the verge of entering a prolonged period of peace and prosperity unparalleled in history, although to be sure, inter-war Germany was not the best vantage point from which to see that coming. He insisted that authoritarian government, ethnic purity, and command economies were the wave of the future, and that there would be no role for democracy, tolerance, or the free market: he could not possibly have been more mistaken (although, to his credit, he was quicker than most Germans to recognize that the National Socialism taking power in his latter days was an abomination). The Untergang that was coming was for everything that he thought essential, but which instead was a hindrance.
    I said nothing of the sort. You are tacking on "God" as a fifth wheel, a useless irrelevancy for understanding the actual universe.

    I do not attempt to communicate with you by sacrificing a black dog at midnight, asking its spirit to be my messenger and take my words to you in a dream, burning its body while chanting the appropriate mantras to send my words up with the smoke. I refrain from doing this, not simply out of any moral qualms about doing such a thing to a dog, but because I have no belief that such a communication method would work at all. Instead I use the Internet, because I believe modern physics is true (or true enough: obviously it does not capture 100% of the truth about how the universe works, but enough that the devices it constructs do work). You, also, use the Internet, although on the face of it this is a case of what Sartre calls "bad faith": you profess not to believe that the actual universe is "real", reserving the word "real" for the "God" you construct in your head; you claim not even to believe that the pressure of your fingers causes the keys to go down.

    Buddhist/Taoist religious models are of some use for understanding the essentially interconnected universe depicted by modern physics, in which nothing has existence except in relation to all the rest; the Abrahamic model has been quite useless-- not to say that the Abrahamic model is irreconcilable with it, but that nothing that one would expect to find, on the basis of the Abrahamic model, has turned out to be the case.
    Look, what you have not understood is that Plato and Aristotle are just not all that relevant anymore. They were thousands of years ago, when logic was just starting to be dimly grasped, and nobody nowadays needs to or wants to approach the subject through their antique muddled verbal formulations. What Godel was is a modern mathematician, dealing with issues that the Greeks never got all that close to.

    I cited Aristotle in response to your claim that Godel's perception of an essential distinction between "incomplete" systems (in which truth is distinguished from falsity, but some questions cannot be answered either way) and "inconsistent" ones (in which EVERY statement is true, and EVERY statement is false) proves he was "Platonist": there is of course nothing like that in Plato, but Aristotle's discussion of the "excluded middle" (that calling ANY statement true-and-false simultaneously destroys the distinction between truth and falsehood completely, for ALL statements) was the first formulation of what "inconsistency" implied; the disturbing notion of "incompleteness", that preserving the distinction between truth and falsity necessarily always leaves gaps, was novel in Godel.
    What I have found frustratingly senseless is your inability, or unwillingness, to confront the idea that SOME things are necessary and SOME things are contingent. Plato treated all things as necessary; you treat all things as contingent; is it so difficult to grasp that Aristotle, Godel, myself, and others (just about everybody, really, except you and the ghost of Plato) think differently? Your argument comes across like: "Gandhi thought Abraham Lincoln was a great man; therefore Gandhi was an American nationalist who thought that all Americans are great men; but American nationalism is wrong, because George W. Bush was not a great man; therefore Abraham Lincoln was not a great man."
    The entire war was their fault.
    There was disagreement at the time, because there was great uncertainty about the basic facts: that's the unavoidable "fog of war", and is the fault of the people who started the war. The assumption underlying most of the arguments that the bombing was unnecessary, that the Japanese leadership was on the point of surrendering, was factually erroneous as we now know; even after the bombing, a large faction still wanted to fight to the death, dealing with their supply problems by starving the occupied populaces; there was no choice about whether there was going to be continued death and suffering, just about who would bear the brunt of it. It is because the Japanese historians know perfectly well that the argument "surrender was imminent anyhow" is erroneous that they concoct another scenario, which might sound plausible but has no factual basis in the documentation of the actual arguments and counter-arguments of the time. I am not, to repeat myself, arguing that the decision to use the bomb was necessarily the right one, just that your belief that it was a case of clear-cut wrong is misguided.
    I would use the word "irrational"; you seem to think that is a good thing to be, but a moral system which justifies random acts of murder as an appropriate way of venting emotion is not something I can approve of, to say the least.
    Very much so. I am at a loss to convey to you how profoundly disgusting your blame-shifting here has been from the beginning.
    You do not cite the opinions of any of these people except Curzon. As Brian points out, it is quite doubtful you would find any of the others agreeing: I doubt it because quoting Curzon, and Curzon alone, as a MORAL authority (this is what is so troubling, that he is not cited for any factual point, but from the standpoint that his moral judgments ought to carry weight) seems to be a standard Muslim talking point on this subject (Muslimwoman, too, relies on Curzon). Now, Curzon was just about universally agreed to be the most obnoxious and arrogant ******* the British of that generation produced (despite heavy competition). You should be familiar with his baiting the Muslims and Hindus of Bengal into strife with each other: that dress rehearsal for the Partition had more to do with the sorry way that Pakistan turned out than anything Jinnah ever had in mind. This is who you are putting forward as an unquestionable authority on questions of right and wrong?
     
  7. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    verbose, as always, eh bob?

    Rite, calling someone "stupid" in a debate is okay and not ad hominem (again, sarcasm). That was the real "fail" here (which taken together with the rest of your post makes it "epic").

    ... i'm finding it funny that you have a graduate degree in mathematics Bob. Its just so typical...

    In any case, I'll recommend a BBC documentary "Dangerous Knowledge" to you that should rubber stamp the FACT that the question of elatics remains unanswered. You've already attempted to argue that a respected philosopher I cited in support of my point didn't know what he was talking about. But you'll have a hard time here, because it interviews some of the brightest mathematicians alive. I just can't wait to see what you'll say now. Will you attempt to argue they are all "stupid and senseless" ??

    Here you go: YouTube - BBC-Dangerous Knowledge (Part 1-10)

    Its broken into 10 videos that are all on youtube

    There is one part where one of Zeno's paradoxes is actually mentioned (but the narrator doesn't call out Zeno name) and then says that the question remains a problem to this day for mathematics, physics and our entire concept of "reality" (he also doesnt mention that this paradox has been around since the time of the greeks). It's when the narrator is talking about the moving rocket and the slideshow of its pictures.

    That documentary deals with this. The narrator calls Godel on this (platonic) assumption of his and says that he was never actually able to show any mathematical proof for the reality of his "truths"... and this is what drove him insane.

    God is a "useless irrelevancy" in your system of understanding the world, not mine.

    Actually, I've changed my own opinion on the issue in recent months, since I don't actually consider anything to be clear cut anymore. However, I still think that your position that the blame rests on whichever party started the war is immediately responsible for all the atrocities of all the parties in the war is ridiculous.

    Curzon was the chairmen of the committee. It was the committee's verdict which he was reflecting (as its chairman). If you're saying that he was alone and everyone else disagreed with him, then the burden of proof is on you to show it.

    And I find it funny that on the one hand you're trying to get me to critique Curzon's character, and on the other you continue to say that Muslims are basically stupid and easily manipulated. According to your own argument, I shouldn't listen to you, lolz.
     
  8. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    MW relies on the British Foreign Secretary at the time to ascertain British foreign policy. It matters not a jot whether the guy wore his underpants on his head or personally slaughtered a nation ... HE WAS the foreign secretary, HE WAS kept in his post (and not sacked as you suggested) and HE DID represent the governments foreign policy.

    His papers, public and private are now a matter of public record, so it is easy to ascertain whether he was a lone nutter or representative of many Ministers views.

    If we started negating everything a politician said because they are a bit of a twat the topic of poilitics would be a dead silence throughout the world!!!
     
  9. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    p.s.

    Zeno's Paradox of Motion is actually mentioned right in part one and kick starts the whole documentary. I forgot about that.

    [youtube]Cw-zNRNcF90[/youtube]

    @ minutes 7:30: "And it was infinity which lay at the heart of it all. But there was a problem with it...."

    They first focus on Cantor's attempt at trying to plug the holes in this problem, which led to his insanity. After Cantor, the physicist Boltzmann destroyed the notion of an ordered world (which was supporting your position that God is "unnecessary") and ironically his peers actually rejected him because his ideas sounded heretical. Then came along Goedel, who was actually trying to support Hillbert's attempts at "making maths perfect again." When he landed on the incompleteness theorem it was unexpected and he did not at first realize the implications of it. His later life was spent trying to undo the effects of his own theorem, and solve the "great unsolved problem of mathematics, Cantor's Continuum Hypothesis" but he failed and drove himself to the insane asylum, just like Cantor. (Part 7, minutes 6)

    [youtube]oldUAw2Aux0&feature=related[/youtube]

    The documentary doesn't mention Plato, the Greeks or Zeno by name, but the fact is that Godel was trying to prove the existence of a world of ultimate and absolute "truths" which exists (despite his own theorem saying that such "truths" can never be proved) >> That is PLATONISM << Goedel, was a platonist, for exactly this reason, and this is what I have been trying to tell you (and you have been calling me stupid) for months. He believed in a "world of forms" where actual "truth" exists, in a reality that even supersedes God Himself. >HE FAILED TO SHOW SUCH A WORLD< The funny thing is that the whole documentary itself signifies the "Faustian" mentality (which Spengler actually critiques in depth). As people were driven to doubt when the certainty that mathematics and science provided them was destroyed. Unaware that it's that very uncertainty in which true faith reigns!
     
  10. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    I aim to please :D
    Saying that a statement appears stupid is not the same as saying that someone is a douchebag. I assert that your statement here fails to grasp the nature of ad hominem; this is not the same as saying that you are mentally incapable of grasping it: I believe that you are indeed capable of getting it, although you have not yet done so.
    Which is why I am not in particular need of education from a pop-sci reporter at the Beeb.
    I can play video on my laptops, but not with sound. SO it will be some time before I get to this: however, my experience with you has led me to expect that it is not going to tell me what you think it is saying.
    Zeno was a problem for the Pythagorean model of space. It is not a problem for the Continuum model. There are many other conceivable models, some of which work and some of which don't. Obviously, actual space works according to one of the models that works, and does not work according to any of the models that don't work. The issue of what constraints Zeno imposes on the question of which models are workable is one of mathematics. The issue of what constraints empirical facts impose on the question of which workable model describes actual space is one of physics. For historical reasons, philosophers are interested in these questions, but unless they are well grounded in the mathematics and the physics, they have little to add. The problem at this point is that there are multiple possible solutions which we cannot exclude; your assertion that there are no possible solutions is the opposite of truth.
    I don't know (or care) how respectable that guy is in the philosophy community; he just obviously didn't get it, as far as the mathematics were concerned.
    I bet they are saying things to the effect that "There are many interesting and challenging open questions" and that I will have a hard time seeing how you manage to derive "Everything is hopeless; we have proven that no solutions are possible" out of what they are saying.
    So, there's one place where c0de thinks, although the narrator doesn't, that the reference is to Zeno? I will be curious to see what is actually said.
    If Godel were still alive, this would subject the BBC to a ruinous libel suit (assuming you are accurately representing what is said). He was eccentric, as many bright minds are: but the political beliefs which his friends (like Einstein) thought were rather paranoid (specifically, that the US Constitution does not contain sufficient safeguards to prevent the government from morphing into a dictatorship if someone had the will to go in that direction) no longer seem so; his pet "conspiracy theory" (that some group squirreled away a batch of secret papers from Liebnitz and Descartes) has turned out to be true (these papers are now available); and the chemical imbalance of his later years (which made most foodstuffs intolerable to him) was tragic, but hardly related to his mathematical work.

    But I think the heart of the problem here is with the bolded word: you use "real" in some unusual sense of your own, so perhaps some other neutral words can be introduced so we can at least talk without constantly being at cross-purposes. I have spoken of "actual" space, meaning that physical world we perceive: I know that, to you, the "actual" world is not "real" (whatever "real" means to you) but only "seems" to be-- but it does actually "seem" (whatever "seeming" consists of). Godel was not thinking of mathematical structures as "actual": that is, some kind of "object" made out of aether or Akashic crystal, or whatever; whether Plato did or did not have such a crude conception of things is an issue of history, and not a particularly interesting one. Godel's important work was on what it is to be "necessary": if you say 2+2=5 rather than 2+2=4, you have destroyed the distinction between "true" and "false" completely, not only for those statements but for ALL statements; in this sense 2+2=4 is "necessarily" true and 2+2=5 "necessarily" false (necessary, that is, for the preservation of any distinction). Now, if this sense of "necessary" fit Godel's usage of the word "real", but doesn't fit yours, that is only an issue of linguistics, and not an interesting one.

    But if you do understand that sense of "necessary" but are trying to argue that 2+2=4 is not necessary, you are simply wrong. There is nothing to argue about here; it is not an open question. What Godel did show, really for the first time, was some rigorous way of distinguishing the "contingent" from the "necessary": in any system with no "inconsistency" (that is, in which the distinction between true and false is preserved) there are "incompletenesses", statements which could be either true or false, but are not necessarily true nor necessarily false; there can be no proof either way. The Continuum Hypothesis is known to be one (this is not the empirical question whether the continuum is the correct model for actual space; but the set-theoretic question whether something can be objectively larger than the rationals but objectively smaller than the continuum), and the Axiom of Choice is another: either there is free will, or there isn't, and it could be either way.

    Godel's later work attempted to deal with the question of how to understand what "contingency" means in terms of a "many possible worlds" model (among philosophers, this model is most often associated with Quine). This is not at all like the "Many Worlds" model of quantum physics (associated with Everett) in that it is assumed only one of the "possible" worlds is the "real" one. His belief was that "contingents" become true or false because GOD DECIDES which they will be, and he tried to formulate a logical system in which "God exists" is a necessary truth (this is the part of his work that has not been found rigorous). Ironically, if you want a philosophical pigeon-hole for him, "Abrahamic" is a much closer fit than "Platonist": he insisted (in opposition to Einstein) that God is "personal", saying "I am a theist like Leibnitz, not a pantheist like Spinoza."
    No, in yours as well, as your behavior in posting here demonstrates.

    Apparently I was not clear. I post on the Internet because I believe that the "actual" world is "real", that my finger-pressings cause the keys to go down, causing electrical signals to propagate etc. etc. You go on a mental detour through your conception of the world in which Allah alone is "real" and nothing in the "actual" world "really" has any causation at all, but you persuade yourself that Allah has His inscrutable reasons for pretending AS IF the "actual" world were real, and Allah will cause all the same things to happen AS IF that were the case, so if you behave AS IF the Internet "really" existed, Allah will convey your messages, inshaAllah. The end result? You behave the same as if you had not bothered taking that mental detour in the first place. This is what "irrelevancy" means in my post.
    Well, let's take an example with no Americans or Muslims involved, so we can be a little objective. A Russian soldier raped some woman in East Prussia, and we shall suppose that she never even approved of the Nazis in any way (if that matters). Whose fault is that? The soldier's, first and foremost; not the individual woman's, at all; surely we can agree that far. Blame also attaches to the Russian superior officers who condoned such conduct, or even set the example for it (it happened, often). But I also attach blame to the Nazis for choosing the horrific violence that created the whole situation. And as for militarily necessary actions, the killings of large numbers of German boys to destroy the war machine: there I ascribe ALL blame to the Nazis; the Russian actions to destroy Germany's war-making capabilities were wholly necessary.
    This is not apparent from what you have shown.
    No, if you are claiming there is some official document reflecting the consensus of the committee rather than Curzon's personal opinions, the burden of proof is on you. If you have already met that burden of proof, sorry, I've missed it.
    Of course I would never expect you to adopt a moral position just because "BobX says so" as if I were some kind of unimpeachable authority. Why do you expect me to adopt a moral position because some long-dead Brit (or multiple long-dead Brits) took one side or the other? Argument from authority is particularly weak on moral questions; and is absurd when the "authorities" you choose are such sketchy characters: Curtis LeMay??? Robert MacNamara??? What if I argued to you that "Saddam Hussein was morally responsible for 9/11" by citing statements from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld? Should I expect you to be impressed?
    MW was relying on claims that Chaim Weizman was the official British policy, and was angrily denying that Curzon's position, of utter contempt for Zionists of Weizman's type, had anything to do with British policy.
    On MORAL questions I am not inclined to take the lead of political "twats". In our country, Newt Gingrich touts "family values": is the fact that he served divorce papers on his wife in the hospital while she was dying of cancer, in order to marry the secretary whom he'd been cheating with for years, a woman he would soon cheat on as well, and dump for a third yet-younger wife, at all relevant? To the question of how much attention we should pay to Newt on "family values" issues, I would say so.
     
  11. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    I'm sure you love reading your own essays, Bob. But to me, its just overly flamboyant purple prose. However, it is amusing, since I can watch you just dig deeper holes for yourself. The fact that you wrote all of this without even having watched the documentary which so clearly supports everything I said is just... precious.

    I should also have stated that it rubber stamps the fact that you have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

    I'd love to see you try and show how it wasn't Zeno's paradox restated. The only difference is that the narrator uses a rocket in the analogy and Zeno used an arrow.

    Ah, so a person can say "stupid" stuff and make "senseless" arguments, without actually being stupid himself? (lolz) Well Bob, I think that qualifies as a pretty stupid statement.

    lolz, and how do you know how I would have behaved had I not believed what I do? You don't. Therefore, it's pretty clear that you have no idea what you're talking about on this issue either.

    Are we still on the WWII issue? Oh and btw, Lemay was supporting you, not me. Eisenhower was the one I cited who said the bombing was unnecessary... but whatever.

    In post #178 I provided a quote which clearly stated that Curzon "chaired" the meeting in which the verdict was given i.e. he was the chairman at the meeting convened.
     
  12. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    *shrug* You demanded that I resurrect this thread.
    I can only get Internet in cafe's, where it is rude to turn up the sound; and my most conveniently portable computer doesn't do sound anyway. I will get through it eventually, but look:

    Do you need me to send you some documentaries about what life is really like in Pakistan? Along with my personal interpretations of what the speakers "must" be meaning? And mocking remarks about how you obviously don't know jack about Pakistan?

    When it comes to, say, the circumstances of Abu Bakr's election or Uthman's assassination, I defer to you, since I know that I don't know as much as you. That's "your home turf"; but, as I explained to you (and at that time, you were even willing to acknowledge) when we were going through quantum mechanics as it relates to free-will/determinism, this is "my home turf". This is a subject which I understand vastly better than you do.
    Your track record is that just a few posts ago, you linked to papers explaining the current status of the question: the Continuum was formerly taken for granted to be "the" solution, much as Euclid was formerly taken for granted as "the" geometry, because no-one had considered that there were alternatives; we now know that there is a bewildering variety of possible solutions, so the cutting-edge question is how to distinguish which of the set of solutions represents actual space. Your claims that there exists "no" solution is so far off from what was actually said, that it has to make me wonder whether you even read the sources you gave me, or just Googled for anything mentioning Zeno that indicated there were still questions being investigated. Of course there are still questions, whose answers will be difficult to understand, and will doubtless lead, once they are resolved, to further questions. You cannot hope to even know what the cutting-edge questions now are, if you refuse to understand the answers to the previous questions.

    So when you make claims that this new source "clearly supports" what you are saying, I have no reason to take you at your word. So far it sounds like a "GEE WHIZ" pop-sci presentation, not the most vital thing for me to get to, even if it weren't full of sensationalized slanders against people no longer around to defend themselves.
    Happens all the time. Obama, at the end of the Democratic primary season (which included the capital district and the territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas, plus one for "Americans Residing Abroad") came out with the statement "I've been through 57 states." He meant "I've been through 57 primaries", but he was mocked for being too "stupid" to know that the US has 50 states. Is he that stupid? No. Was his sentence stupid? Obviously.

    Your postings are frequently ill-expressed, so that it is difficult to decipher what point you could possibly be trying to make, while the point that one would decipher by taking your words at face value is so wrong-headed I have to assume you meant something else; such postings appear either stupid or senseless. I assume that you are NOT too "stupid" to understand what is actually going on in the field of foundational mathematics: if I did not assume that, I would not trouble to explain matters to you. But if you are unwilling to entertain the concept that you might have anything to learn FROM me, and simultaneously are unwilling to explain anything TO me, then I hardly see any point to continued "dialogue".
    I was asserting that "believing that the actual world is real" and "believing that only Allah is real, but He always pretends the actual world is real" are functionally equivalent. I was most certainly not asserting that those were the only two alternatives: I was amplifying the earlier discussion, which contained the alternative that, if you or I had a certain set of beliefs, sacrificing a black dog and sending messages through its spirits might seem a reasonable thing to do; but you, and I, both use the Internet instead-- thus, our belief-sets are functionally equivalent.
    No, his position bore no resemblance to either of us. You were the one who cited him, out of incomprehension of who and what he was.
    The "verdict" you quoted back in #168 was from the Palin Commission (on which Curzon did not sit, although he was principally responsible for putting Palin etc. in those jobs in the first place); after which you added "Lord Curzon said..." I pointed out that Palin etc. were fired from the Mandate government; and in #178 you pointed out that Curzon wasn't fired, and in support of the position that he was not a "nobody", you said he "went on" to be Viceroy of India (a minor inaccuracy: his stint in India had been earlier; Curzon "went on" from his Foreign Secretary post to a dismal political twilight with nobody willing to deal with him), and added that he chaired an "Eastern Committee" with a bunch of famous names on it. You did not, in #178, quote anything from that committee; if what you quoted in #168 was actually a committee report instead of an individual expression of opinion by Curzon, you did not say so at the time and your post certainly did not read that way.
     
  13. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    rite... anyways ... so here's the recap:


    • A BBC documentary with professional mathematicians
    • Oswald Spengler, a highly respected philosopher
    • Multiple articles which all said:
    The question of the eleatics remains unanswered.

    And your only response up till now has been (and I'm paraphrasing) "All the sources you provide are invalid because i know more than all of them (and even the BBC documentary I haven't seen yet is probably invalid because you're too stupid to actually understand what the people interviewed in it are saying.)" That's quite a heavy load of BS, bob.

    Pay attention Bob.


    1. You asserted that my actions with or without my beliefs would be functionally the same.
    2. I already know they wouldn't be
    3. So I asked you how you knew I would be doing the same thing had I not believed what I did?
    4. In response you merely repeated your assertion and hoped for the best.
    And u wonder why I don't take you seriously anymore?

    Actually, I got introduced to Lemay when I saw The Fog of War almost a decade ago. Like you, he believed nuking Japan was a necessity.

    Curzon's quote in #168 was separated from the verdict of the Palin commission. Not that it matters, since you have dismissed both sources out of hand anyway and plainly stated that anyone that blames the zionists for the riots is an anti-Semite.

    Only after you started talking crap.

    So is this project goin' as well as you hoped, Bob?
     
  14. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Which, for reasons that are not your fault, nor mine, is not a format I can readily view. I will respond to it when I get a chance to see it.
    His field was not mathematics, nor physics: he quoted Weiszacker, who WAS a physicist, and I attempted to start a discussion from what Weiszacker was saying, but you prefer to hang on to the "authority" of someone who had no particular knowledge in the field. This is like a creationist site citing a respected optometrist who doesn't believe in evolution or a global-warming denier citing a respected civil engineer. (And as to how "highly respected" he is: since within what WAS his field, analysis of historical patterns, everything he said has proven to be so thoroughly opposite of how things turned out, his stock has gone steadily down.)
    As I explain to you now for the third time, they all said that we suffer from an embarrassment of riches as far as answers to the eleatics are concerned: the question has moved on to, how can we distinguish among the numerous possible solutions? Your refusal to grapple with the content is what makes me doubt that you did anything more than skim.
    Concerning Spengler, and ONE of the philosophers in the papers you linked to, I pointed out, correctly, that they did not know the mathematics. I will make no apologies or express any false modesty about the fact that I am a person of unmeasurably high IQ and broad education, who knows more about certain subjects than all but a handful of people on the planet.
    No, I expressed the expectation that the mathematicians they interview are going to turn out to be saying "There are interesting and challenging open questions", which is true, rather than saying "Everything is hopeless and all possible solutions have proven impossible", which is what you want them to say. This is why I am reluctant to respond to your summary of the BBC, prior to seeing what it actually says.
    because you're too stupid to actually understand what the people
    No, I asserted that if you or I had wildly different beliefs about how the actual world works, then you or I would attempt to communicate by whatever wildly different manner we believed to work-- but both of us attempt to communicate by the Internet. Therefore, even though you reach the conclusion that the Internet would be a reasonable means to communicate through a different set of mental steps, none of that makes any functional difference.
    You quoted him as saying it was a "war crime"; the apparent point you were making was that he was somebody who supported your position. Actually, he was mocking the whole notion of "war crime", and never thought that it was even an issue whether nuking Japan was a "necessity", because he did not believe that the concept of morality applied in wartime at all (his response to the Russian raping a German woman would be along the lines of "boys will be boys").
    Precisely. The Curzon quote was given as if it was the personal opinion of Curzon, and Curzon alone. You have since claimed it was the collective opinion of the committee you did not mention until 10 posts later, and then without connecting that committee in any way to the former quotes, or to any particular opinion.
    It's no project of mine; I was content to let this thread die, since the question of whether Islam is in accordance with rationality has been answered in the negative long ago. I only posted here because you insisted.
     
  15. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Neither IQ nor education bestow knowledge, bob. They are only a measure of a person's capacity to mechanically absorb and recall information. Case in point, even a person like you will refuse to change his/her opinion, out of the sheer fear that your (fragile) self image will shatter.

    Wait wait wait.... hold up a sec.

    We're not talking about "all possible solutions" Bob, as some solutions are irrational and illogical, the very things you are fighting so hard against. We're talking about Logic and logical solutions to understanding the world. And one of the "most brilliant" mathematicians alive today, Gregory Chaitin, says, in no uncertain terms, that: Your crusade for reason is indeed, a failure. Since you can't watch the video, I'll transcribe the words for you:

    "Ah but nobody wants to face him, in my opinion no body wants to face the consequences of Goedel. You see basically people want to go ahead with formal systems anyway, as if Hillbert had it all right, you see in my opinion Goedel explodes that formal view of mathematics: That you can just mechanically grind away at a fixed set of concepts, so even though I believe that Goedel pulled out the rug from beneath them intellectually, no one wants to face that fact. So there's a very ambivalent attitude to Godel, even a century after, very ambivalent. On the one hand, he's the greatest logician of all time so logicians will claim him, but on the other hand they don't want people who are not logicians to talk about the consequence of Goedel's work because (get ready for this Bob) the obvious conclusion from Godel's work is that logic is a failure, let's move on to something else, and this would destroy the field."
    (Dangerous Knowledge, youtube, part 7, @ minutes 5)

    Like??? AFAIK, Spengler didn't make any prophecies about the future. He just analyzed what had already taken place. His reputation is still intact, unless you can show otherwise.

    No, you asserted that God is a "useless irrelevancy" in my world-view because the functionality of my actions appears to you (superficially) similar to your own. This was a ridiculous argument as it neither proves nor disproves anything. It seems you were just lashing out emotionally, tryin 2 hurt my feelings or something? (lolz)

    I obviously knew that because that was the whole point of Macnamara's example of Lemay in that documentary. The reason I cited him was to show that the Americans would indeed be tried as war criminals if they had lost, and so your standards of moral equivalence are a joke.

    You're contradicting yourself. Neccessity has nothing to do with morality. Lemay supporting the nuking because he thought it was necessary to achieve their objectives. The kind of man he was, as described by Macnamara, he never said or did anything that he did not think was absolutely necessary.

    Your position is even more ridiculous then Lemay's Bob. Since you try to have your cake and eat it too. You adopt Lemay's position that the bombing was neccessary, but at the same time try to apply moral justifications.

    In any case, I'll still agree with you that nothing is "clear cut" in such situations. As I said, my own views on the issue have shifted in recent months.

    LoLz! I told you those were the words of Curzon, the chair of the meeting of the Eastern Committee. He was speaking as the chairmen. You're the one who keeps hoping that the burden of proof is on me to show anything else, but I've already provided all the quotes necessary to fortify my position. And once again, it doesn't even matter anymore, since you've made it clear that even if he was expressing the opinion of the committee, you would not change your views.

    Only after you asserted that the "internet demons" had robbed you of a fair chance. Now that they have released you from their dungeon, what exactly have you accomplished? We are exactly where we were when we ceased fire months ago. If anything, you've given me a chance to hammer in my point even more. I should thank you for that.
     
  16. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    I don't know what distinction you are drawing between the two. I do believe that you are capable of transmitting and receiving knowledge/information; but you don't seem to be willing. It appears more important to you to "score points"; you fail to convey what you mean, because you think it "scores" for you if you are successful in concealing your meaning from the other party (what this accomplishes is to make you look stupider than you really are, but you also seem to think it is a "score" if you create that impression). I fail to convey what I mean to you, because you won't read with any intent to understand, but only to find some simplistic interpretation that you can "score" on.
    Oh, spare me your amateurish psychologizing. I change my opinion (as to whether the Ubaid period was as violent as the Uruk; or whether Abu Bakr's assumption of the Caliphate was in the nature of a coup d'etat) when I am presented with information.
    His opinions are widely known, and widely disputed. Franzen's "Goedel's Theorem: an Incomplete Guide to its Use and Abuse" does not appear to be available on-line, but here is a relatively accessible article.
    Logic is only a "failure" if you have (as Hilbert did) an unrealistic expectation of its omnipotence. There are irreducibly "contingent" issues whose truth or falsity cannot be established through logic; yes, that is so, but that does not mean that there are not also "necessary" issues whose truth or falsity CAN be logically established. This is a rather simple point, I would think.

    The problem here is that "argument from authority" is so ingrained in you that you do not get it when my response to "Here is an authority, and he says this" is "OK, let's discuss his position" rather than "That's that, then."
    The very TITLE, "Downfall of the West", was a prophecy. He was claiming to be able to discern inevitable cycles in historical development, and to be able to tell us which stage in the cycle we were at.
    Why are you bothering to post on the Internet?
    WTF??? I posted nothing which was either emotional, or which I would have thought anybody would interpret as emotional, or which I would expect to inspire an emotional response.
    Whether or not it is the case that you knew it, it most certainly wasn't "obvious" (that word means that something would indicate it to other people).
    That is "obviously" false: Germans and Japanese weren't interested in holding trials before killing people.
    Shooting someone in the head is generally an immoral thing to do. If we are talking about a gunman firing randomly into a crowd, however, it may be necessary in order to stop him, and that is what makes it an exception to the general moral principle.
    NO, NO, NO. He supported nuking because it was possible: they were the enemy, and in wartime, as he saw it, you do bad things to the enemy, as much as you can. Whether it achieved any objective, or whether it was "necessary" to achieve the objective that way rather than by some less cruel method, was irrelevant in his strictly amoral view.
    MacNamara, as I have explained to you before, was a truly stupid man. He was a businessman, of stereotypical white-bread-American background, who was quite successful as long as he only had to deal with other people who shared his cultural background and mind-set. He was utterly inept at understanding the motivations of anyone unlike himself. Do not take him as an "authority" on how LeMay, or anyone, actually thought.
    All right, then.
    You told me in #168 that those were the words of Curzon: period. In #178 you pointed out that he was, among other things, a Viceroy of India: which did not imply that any particular quote from him represented the official position of the government of India, or that any other officials in the Raj agreed with him; and you pointed out that he was, among other things, the chair of that committee, without implying that the particular quote you had given was from his time at that committee, or that anyone else on the committee concurred with his position.
    Was he? This is the first time you have said so. I don't know whether this is so or not.
    Why would I? Again you seem to be taking for granted the "argument from authority", which is particularly feeble on moral, as opposed to factual, issues. "But... but..." you are sputtering, "these were government officials! How could they be morally wrong?" I guess this derives from your position that "sedition is always a capital crime": I take it that you agree with Qadhafy loyalists strafing the populace of Tripoli, and think that >90% of the Egyptian population should now be exterminated? /sarcasm
    The internet demons were interfering with you, during that same period, and so I did not consider this rather futile dialogue worth the trouble. I said nothing about lacking a "fair chance": I had already said plenty.
    I'm not the one who is trying to accomplish anything. You insisted on hearing more from me, so I obliged you.
    You're welcome! But, what exactly is your point again?
     
  17. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    What discussion have you tried to have? All you've been saying is "no, I'm smarter then this guy, so you should just take my word for it." And now you merely quoted your own authority on the issue, that doesn't even deal directly with Chaitin's quote I provided.

    And here's another perfect example:

    So... here's your argument: MacNamara was a "truly stupid man" and I should just take your word for how LeMay actually was, because you are just so much smarter then MacNamara, even though he worked with the guy for decades.

    Yea, great discussion. Thanks for enlightening me. :rolleyes:

    ... Really? How?

    Cantor and Goedel both drove themselves insane trying to "logically establish" the truth of "necessary issues."

    That's not wiki says. It says "some" philosophers and logicians disagree with Chaitin.

    Err hello?? All civilizations fall eventually Bob. It wasn't a "prophecy" like Nostradamus.

    Yea whatever, in any case, he was the chair of the meeting of the eastern committee. Not that it would matter to you as you think everyone's an anti Semite.

    Sounds like I hit a nerve there Bob.

    Your question assumes a will in which I don't share any belief. Questions like this are trivial.

    Because you insisted on whining about internet demons, and even that, randomly on some thread in the suggestions forum that didn't even have anything to do with this thread.

    The same as Chaitin's... that logic is a failure and your platonic crusade is a joke.
     
  18. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    On Weiszacker, I agreed with him that the "Being in Itself" is dead in modern physics, which can only approach the "actual" universe (to avoid the word "real" so that you will know I am talking about) through a model more Buddhist/Taoist than Abrahamic. This means that the Abrahamic God, if preserved, is either sharply redefined so as to be scarcely recognizable anymore, or else is pushed outside the "actual" universe so entirely, that whether this God is "real" or not in whatever sense of "real" you like, has no actual consequences.
    No, I would not claim to be smarter than Chaitin, but I am smart enough to know his work, and what it does and does not establish. I will summarize, in the expectation that your only response will be "Gee, that's long, ha ha", for the sake of anyone now or in the future who reads this and is sincerely curious what the issue is:

    The analogue in computational mathematics (Chaitin's field) to Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem is Turing's Halting Problem. The "Turing machine" is a formal model whose behavior is functionally equivalent to any computer which can handle arbitrary "algorithms" (an Arabic-derived word for computational processes whose outcomes are completely determined by the inputs). Some computer programs "never halt" (get stuck in an infinite loop); others will eventually get to the answer, but take a lot longer than we might hope; the question is whether we can tell. No algorithmic procedure can answer this question correctly, for any algorithm it is asked to test. Chaitin raised the question: what is the probability (a number between 0 and 1) that a randomly chosen Turing machine will halt? This "Omega" number has the bizarre property that it is rigorously defined, yet completely incomputable.

    This does not just mean that it cannot be computed perfectly, as for example you can extract ten trillion bits of pi, and still not be done. Each bit of Omega is randomly independent of all others: if you had the first ten trillion bits, that would give you no information at all about what the next one is likely to be (whether this is true about pi is an unsettled question); but (unlike with pi), you can't get that first ten trillion bits anyway, not even the first bit (which is 0 if <50% of computer programs finish, 1 if >50% do). And the incomputability of Omega can be translated (like the incompleteness result of Goedel) into an arithmetic problem: Chaitin's equations are hundreds of pages of dense text, involving about seventeen thousand variables and a free parameter "N", such that we cannot tell whether there are an infinite number of solutions, or only a finite number (if we substitute N=17, the question of how many solutions there are to the resulting equation-set is equivalent to the question of what the 17th bit of Omega is). This gives not just a mathematical problem that is known to be insoluble, but an infinite series of them (and further work showed that the Omega number itself is just the first of an infinite series of numbers with the same baffling properties).

    Now, the first reaction to an incredibly long equation-set with thousands of variables would likely be, "Looks like a lot of work; is there any reason we really care whether this solves?" The absolute impenetrability (it doesn't just look like a lot of work; we know that no amount of work would be enough) is, really, the only "interesting" feature about Chaitin's equations; nothing like them arises from any problem we need to know the answer to. The question is: how common are these things? Chaitin expresses the view that Omega "infects everything": that most mathematical problems are really insoluble. That is a "faith" view: it is equivalent to saying that he "knows" that the first several bits of Omega are all zeroes, which is precisely what he has proven we can't know! The alternative view, that Chaitin's equations are a kind of fluke, which most mathematical problems are not like, is equally a "faith" view (that is a belief that the first several bits are ones).

    But is the set of "all" Turing machines really what we care about? What is the set of relevant problems? If we limit ourselves to Turing machines whose bit-string description is up to some finite cut-off, the "delimited Omega" number would be computable (in the technical sense: it would take, say, trillions of googleplexes times the lifespan of the universe, but...) Is there a ToE ("Theory of Everything": the physicists' hypothetical set of equations that describes all interactions in the actual universe)? If so, are the mathematical questions raised by the ToE "mostly" solvable or "mostly" unsolvable? The answer is "We don't know"; which raises the question "CAN we know?"; to which the answer is "we don't know" (which raises the question "can we know whether we can know?" to which the current answer is...)
    No, I'm saying you SHOULDN'T just take MACNAMARA'S word, because there is one thing he was very bad at, and that is describing the motivations of other people.
    No, he worked in the auto industry for decades, and had a few years in Washington-- but never mind. He worked much more closely with, say, JFK and LBJ, yet his portraits of those people are way off the mark as well.
    I told you facts (which you could verify just by going to Wiki) about Goedel's "insane" beliefs, like agreeing with you about the United States, but you prefer to go with baseless slander. Cantor was the victim of a political regime which, like the Soviet Union, used mental hospitals to silence inconvenient people; he had been stalked and heckled for years by Kronecker (a firm believer in the Pythagorean model of space, which had been shown impossible thousands of years earlier), and it is Kronecker who really should have been committed, but Kronecker was politically well-connected.
    Yes.
    He wasn't talking about EVENTUALLY: he was claiming to know which exact stage of historical development the West was in RIGHT THEN.
    No, I did not make any assumption. I asked a question. So, your answer is, "God makes me do it"?
    "Whining"? I said I didn't really care much about this thread anymore, and stopped posting when it became difficult to do so and not worth the trouble.
     
  19. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    "yes" WHAT? "Yes" you agree that you were lying in claiming that Chaitin's views are "widely" disputed?

    First of all, none of this relates to the point that Chaitin made. I can see right through your smoke grenades Bob, and your IQ does not impress me. Secondly, Turing is already discussed in the documentary (he's the last of the 4 figures discussed.)

    And I gave you a BBC documentary, full of facts.

    Here are some more facts for you Bob: MacNamara retired from the US Army Air Forces after WWII at the rank of LIUTENANT COLONEL. During this time he worked on improving the efficiency of LeMay's fleet of B29s which were bombing Japan. This was before he became the Secretary of Defense. So yea, I think he knew much more about LeMay then you.

    Have you even read Spengler? For him, the "decline" was about a state of culture. It was to be followed the RISE of civilization. The actual fall of "civilization" itself could stretch on for thousands of years (e.g. Rome) during which time he advocated power politics. Spengler was a follower of Nietzsche.

    The actual "Abrahamic" God had nothing to do with this model in the first place. It was the West that had always tried to fit in the neoplatonic version of "God" into his view of the ordered universe via an ordered logic. This is what Spengler meant when he used the term "Faustian" for the West and its version of Christianity.

    Of course your question ASSUMES a will, you asked me why do I "bother" as if I had a choice in any of my actions. And yes, God is the only author of our "existence."

    Another one of your self-deceptions. No one asked you about this thread in the suggestions forum when you randomly brought it up. Not only do you care a lot, you are obsessed with this thread.

    This is why you've been so "frustrated". After coming back, you first called me "stupid and senseless". But now, I've shown that: EVEN RESPECTED MATHEMATICIANS ARE SAYING THE SAME THING. At the very most, you can say that you have your opinion, and I have mine. But you can no longer claim that the point of view which I hold is simply invalid.
     
  20. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Yes, Wiki knows of "some" of the mathematicians who disagree with his more farflung interpretations. I know of more. I meet mathematicians in the flesh, you know; I don't have to consult to Wikipedia on this topic.
    No. I KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS THAN YOU DO.
    It was the entirety of the basis for Chaitin's statement.

    You are just copying Harun Yahya's approach to biology: he does not understand the content, just skims through the literature for a scattered quote supporting his propagandistic need of the moment, without knowing the basis for any of the quotes or what they mean in context; and like you, he explains away his inability to impress anybody who does have knowledge of the content of the subject by claiming that they must feel threatened by the profundity of his statements.
    Which I can't watch right now, for reasons that are neither your fault nor mine; give it a rest. Your summary of it, if accurate, indicates that, aside from "facts", it is also full of sensationalized slanders, as you could verify for yourself if you cared to.
    I knew he worked at Willow Run plant (all our tank/plane factories were modifications of auto plants); I did not know he was that high-ranking so young. So OK, he had more occasions to hear Curtis LeMay than I did. But I remember LeMay well: how could I not? He was the "Sarah Palin" of my youth, the running mate who absolutely could not shut up, as subtle as a baseball bat to the skull about expressing his views. The picture of him as somebody who would only support bombing if, after compassionately considering all other alternatives that might spare civilian casualties, he reluctantly concluded that it was a "necessity", is not the LeMay I heard. Possibly, his public statements were political pandering, to the more primitive elements of the population, and he himself was not really so crude in his views. Or possibly, MacNamara could not fathom LeMay being so alien, or it did not suit MacNamara's purposes to portray him so (MacNamara has been trying for forty years to deny that he was part of a clique whose mental lapses bumbled us into a horrific and pointless war).

    Does this matter? You wanted him to cite him as authority for the position that Germans and Japanese conducted "trials" just like Americans did, which is false, and really silly. Remember our discussion of the Nazis systematically dismantling any concept of judiciary or rule of law?
    I told you before, I have tried to read him, found him tedious and not worth slogging through very far.
    Yeah, like a lot of Germans, he thought that combining "nationalism" and "socialism" was the appropriate response to the historical juncture. How'd that work out for them? How much did it have to do with what was really about to happen, none of which Spengler had a clue about?
    They were following the lead of the Arabs, who were once capable of contributing to science. This is what is so exasperating about the current form of Islam and its relentless promotion of emotionalism over reason and ignorance over knowledge, with the inevitable consequences of violence and poverty: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! You are carefully sifting through the different strains of Islam, separating the wheat from the chaff: and keeping all the chaff, throwing away all the wheat.
    But you want long arguments about who is to "blame" for this or that act of war, or for this or that miscommunication within this thread. GOD, obviously, is the only one to blame for nuking Hiroshima, starting the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and muddling the information about the current status of Zeno's Paradox research, etc.
    The topic of this thread was whether other people had experienced glitches preventing posts to this board. You yourself had had trouble posting here at that time; I didn't just have trouble posting, I could not for a long time post at all. I was informing Brian that indeed, some people had had the glitch very badly; but not to worry, I didn't care whether that thread died or not. And I didn't: I left you the last word, but-- apparently-- you didn't want it. You insisted that the glitches could not possibly have been my motivation for not posting any more (you apparently believe that *I* have a will, even if *you* don't!). Oh no, I must have stopped posting because I'm so threatened by the profundity of your gabble.
    I called your posts stupid and senseless: that is, you were insisting that I pick back up where we left off, and where we left off was that you had been posting all this remarks from which I could not tell what the hell you were even trying to claim, and any straightforward interpretation (you were claiming that you were unable to count to four, and did not believe that anybody else could either?) was too stupid to believe it was really what you intended.
    But you don't even know what Chaitin means by what he's saying!

    He is devoting his life to working with extremely subtle problems of logic, although his talents could suit him to many other, more lucrative lines of work. How does this fit with his flamboyant statements about the "failure" of logic? One clue for you: he says the "obvious" implication of Goedel is that logic fails; to mathematicians, "obvious" is often a pejorative; try reading it as "the naive interpretation..." One reason there are not too many people who work in foundational mathematics (aside from the fact that it is a genuinely difficult topic) is that, indeed, the first reaction a lot of people have is "This is hopeless." Chaitin is working on the problem of what does work, and what doesn't, which is a very deep and interesting question, which I would enjoy discussing, if you have any actual interest in the substance.

    What Chaitin shows is that mathematical problems come in "clumps" of solvable and unsolvable questions. His equation-set is a big clump (the free parameter generates an infinite series of equation-sets; related to an infinite series of such infinite series) of impenetrable insolubility. Suppose we calculated the "delimited Omega" number, the probability that a random Turing machine chosen out of those described by a string of no more than 30 bits (that is, the first trillion cases) halts. That would calculate: but we cannot know until we are finished how long that would take; the barrier is that we would need techniques for answering the "Halting Problem" adequate to resolve all the first trillion cases, and cannot know in advance how complicated such a set of techniques would have to get (we know that no finite set of techniques suffices to answer the Halting Problem for all cases). But we can get away with answering just "most" of the Halting Problems if we are content to know just the first bit of the delimited Omega number, the one that tells us whether >50% or <50% of the first trillion computer programs "work". That first bit will not be stable, for a long time: if we move on to 31-bit machines (up to the first two trillion) etc., that bit may flip from 1 ("most programs work") to 0 ("most don't") many times. It will not keep flipping forever: either 1 or 0 really is the final answer (as the bit-length goes to infinity, Omega actually "converges" in the sense of Cauchy!), but we can never know whether it has settled down to the final answer, or has one more flip-flop to make, or trillions of flip-flops. Every flip-flop represents a huge "clump" of working/non-working programs, sufficient to overwhelm the probability established at lower levels.

    What do we actually care about, in this context? As I intimated last time, the "actual" question (in my sense of "actual") is whether the equation-sets for the behavior of the actual world are in a clump that presents "mostly solvable" or "mostly unsolvable" questions. In Goedel's (non-rigorous, in my view) theistic language, he would say that GOD CHOSE to create a "mostly comprehensible" universe. Logic does not require that the universe be mostly comprehensible: logic allows for the possibility of a mostly incomprehensible universe-- but c0de, if you think that the results we have found indicate that logic requires the universe to be mostly incomprehensible, that is just a misunderstanding on your part. As a matter of fact, it turns out that mathematics does actually work, for lots of problems in the actual world: as shown by, for example, the functionality of the Internet (which depends on that intricate mathematics of quantum mechanics, despite the grave difficulty that semi-evolved primates have in wrapping their brains around it).

    You continue to treat this thread as if it were a conversation between you and a wrongheaded person named BobX, when your professed beliefs would imply rather that you should accept these postings as direct revelations from Allah, more precious to you than the Qur'an, since they are addressed to you personally in a language that you can actually read.
    I can say more than that: that my opinion is founded in information about the substance of the subject-matter, while yours is not.
    Well, I would no longer say that your recent posts have "appeared senseless or stupid": at least you have added some clarity about what your point of view IS, which was so difficult to figure out from what you were saying earlier.
     
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