Is Islam in accordance with rationality and science?

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

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  1. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Actually, you're the one who doesn't know what Chaitin meant, since the BBC linked that quote DIRECTLY to Goedel's attempt at the Continuum theorem, not anything else.

    I'm gonna call Bullsh*t on this one, bob. Chaitin's opinions are not "widely" disputed. And compared to him, you're a nobody (sorry).

    So the BBC risked making a slanderous documentary?? LoLz. And don't try and shift the burden of proof on me, buddy. That's your ridiculous theory, not mine.

    Spengler distanced himself from National Socialism, as he knew they were idiots and would lead to disaster for Germany. Guess he had that one right.

    In order to make such statements mean anything, you'll have to have a formal system of logic in which truth can be objectively distinguished from falsehood.... too bad, you don't. As it stands now, if I say that God is only responsible for good, while at the same time He is the author of evil, such illogical and irrational statements are as valid as 2+2=4.

    That's one point of view (that I reject). Also, give the flamboyant prose a rest there chief.

    yep, i guess you were/are. Since you say you don't care about this thread, than you post entire essays (that don't even relate to the objections, btw.) Seems like quite a contradiction. So what exactly are you doing here? Who r u tryin' to impress with these lectures and diatribes about your high IQ & "broad education"?
     
  2. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Sure I know what he meant: I explained to you before that he is saying, people tend to have the simplistic reaction to Goedel's work, "This is all hopeless; let's not even bother with logic any more", which is a big part of why not many people go into foundational mathematics as a field. He, however, "obviously" does not believe logic is all a failure and a waste of time, since he devotes his life to it; you are quoting him in the belief that he means "Goedel definitively proved that all logic is useless", and that is not what he is saying.

    It also appears that you do not understand what the "Continuum Hypothesis" is. I am guessing (you are, as usual, not really very clear) that you think it means the proposition that the continuum model of space resolves Zeno's paradoxes. That's not at issue: that question was resolved by the Arabs a thousand years earlier (al-Khworizmi published some on this, but I doubt he was the first), although Cauchy and Dedekind are credited with making the definitions rigorous. Cantor's conjecture, which Goedel tried to prove, was that the continuum was the only solution: any expansion beyond the Pythagorean space ("denumerable infinity" as Cantor called it; the space where Zeno's paradoxes live) "must" lead to the continuum. Instead, Goedel found that this is not necessary: but that means that there are MANY solutions, not that there are NONE (as your own sources should have told you-- except that you don't seem to have read them with any care). Whether the continuum, or some other of the bewildering variety of possible solutions, is the correct model for actual space is as contingent as whether Euclid is the actual geometry: Goedel would say, therefore, that if it is so, it is because GOD DECIDED to make it so (his position was really a lot closer to yours than you appear to understand).
    How many mathematicians do you know? Any?

    On the narrow issue of whether "Omega infects everything" (his frequently expressed interpretation of his results as indicating that clumps of impenetrable insolubility, like the one he discovered, are probably riddled throughout mathematics), you won't find too many supporters. The basic objection I gave you, that this amounts to pretending to know what the value of Omega is, when that is what he can't know, is not original with me.
    Compared with me, what are you? In the field of mathematics, Chaitin has published important and widely-cited papers, and I have not; true. I have been cited for my work in philosophy of mind, and my work in digitizing the Hebrew Tanakh guarantees that my name will be preserved in footnotes for as long as scholars study the Bible-- that's about as much "immortality" as an academic can hope for. I am what I am. I have no reason either to overstate or understate what I am.
    As I told you, if Goedel were alive, statements about how his mathematics drove him insane would indeed subject them to a ruinous suit; but the law does not permit anyone to bring a libel case on behalf of the dead. I do not approve of the sensationalism: they are using the mental troubles of people no longer around to defend themselves to hype their subject matter, make it sound as if studying in this field has some kind of magic powers; actually, most mathematicians who work on foundational logic are rather staid people who contemplate these subjects with equanimity and are not waking up in the middle of the night with demon-haunted cold sweats.
    The burden of proof is ALWAYS on someone making a "causation" claim. And your claim that the mathematical work caused the mental difficulties is particularly odd coming from you, since you usually are at pains to deny that causality works at all.

    Now, high intelligence itself is not a "normal" state of the human brain, and it is often accompanied by other abnormalities. Renowned Islamic scholars are often a wee bit nuts too, not so? I explained to you Goedel's eccentricities (facts you could verify just by looking in Wiki, if you cared). Cantor is often now thought to have been bipolar, a syndrome which is genetic, inborn, not to be attributed to anything he did in life; but that post-mortem diagnosis suffers from the problem that nobody making it has examined the patient; at the time it was considered a case of situational depression, resulting from his relentless persecution by people calling him a secret Jew plotting to destroy faith in Christianity and the German Empire and blah blah blah. Turing was subjected to hideous medical experiments in chemical castration as a "cure" for homosexuality.
    As I said earlier: "to his credit, he was quicker than others in Germany to recognize the actual National Socialism which took shape in his later years as an abomination."
    It proved that he was completely wrong about thinking that what you call "power politics" (authoritarian as opposed to democratic governance; ethnic purity as opposed to toleration; command economies as opposed to free markets) was the only path forward: it was the opposite. He lived long enough to see how wrong he was, although he wouldn't admit it.
    No they're not, nor have you done anything to make them appear so.
    They have EVERYTHING to do with the objections. You are just mimicking Harun Yahya again, when he thinks that grabbing a stray quote here and there is an adequate substitute for understanding the subject matter, because he has no point except to claim that understanding the subject matter is useless.

    If you really don't think Chaitin's work is worth anything, then what is the point in quoting him as an "authority"? And how can you pretend to be a good interpreter of what his statements mean, when you do not understand anything about the context? You cannot hope to impress anybody by citing Chaitin except those who know and respect his work-- but unfortunately, such people would know what he is really talking about.
    You demanded, in very rude tones, that I resume posting here. I am politely complying.
    I don't need to "impress" anybody. But I put in these lectures about the true state of foundational mathematics in case anybody reads who has sincere desire to know; I would not want to leave the impression that things are as confused as you make them out to be, or that the subject cannot possibly be explained in layman-accessible terms.
     
  3. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    LoL! Bob, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS BELIEVES! The "obvious conclusion from Goedel's work is that LOGIC IS A FAILURE". He said it exactly in these words: plain as day. It doesn't get any clearer.

    Chaitin does not "devote his life" to philosophy and logic itself. He is a computer scientist as well and most likely a functionalist who does not like to waste time with defending hopeless theoretical systems, like you.

    You are directly contradicting the BBC documentary, as in it Godel was not even able to show how a single solution is possible, let alone "many".

    I don't see anyone besides you critiquing the documentary on these grounds.

    The sources I provided put those quotations in context for me. I don't have to have a graduate degree in mathematics to trust the BBC over YOU.

    I believe that you are a dishonest and/or delusional person bob. I also highly doubt that you understand the field of mathematics as much as you claim.

    Ridiculous argument. Once again you are begging me to take your word (which I won't, because I don't have a low opinion of you). But I do have a higher opinion of the BBC.

    An equal in this debate, that's what. If you think your authority extends over me here, you're sorely mistaken. If I provide a credible source like the BBC, you can't just dismiss it. For all I know you're even lying about not having seen the documentary.

    Exactly. You're a nobody bob, deal with it.

    You are also apparently a plagiarist, who is ripping of God.

    Hypocricy, plain and simple. You cite wiki when you think it supports your point of view, but when it clearly contradicts you, you're like "I don't need wiki", LoLz

    As if I'm to believe you know "most" mathematicians in the field? I don't think so.

    The claim that the BBC is lying is YOUR claim. And yes, I do deny causality, but since you don't go ahead and bring your evidence.

    As if the West has been avoiding power politics when dealing with the rest of the world?

    Yes I have, you've just been too stubborn to admit it.

    Yea keep tellin' yourself that bob. I didn't ask you to abandon the thread and months later start whinning about it.

    Yea, and I wonder who the audience will take on their word, you or the BBC. I mean seriously, who do you think you are? You don't even have a single published piece on the issue and you think you can just pretend like you have personal authority here?
     
  4. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    p.s.

    Too clarifications:

    #1: Regarding Chaitin's quote he was talking about logicians themselves, who refuse to accept the "obvious" conclusions of Godel's work, not the laymen (as you claim).

    #2: The sentence "I don't have a low opinion of you" that was a typo. The original sentence was "I don't have a high opinion of you" which I wanted to change to "I have a low opinion of you", but forgot to take out the "don't"
     
  5. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    He said "Goedel is the greatest logician of all time, so logicians want to claim him; but logicians do not want non-logicians to talk about Goedel's work, because the obvious conclusion is..." You are assuming that he believes "obvious" = "true"; but he devotes his life to working out things which are far from obvious (in the context, "obvious" means "what someone not acquainted with the subject would immediately conclude"). I summarized his work for you; but if you do not trust anything I say, it would not be hard for you to Google "Chaitin" and look for yourself at what he does.
    who studies the logical questions around the topic of, "Under what conditions can a computer program work (that is, finally come up with an answer) and under what conditions can a computer program never work (that is, it will inevitably dither forever and never HALT in the Turing sense)?" This is the analogue in the field of computational mathematics of the Goedel incompleteness issue; your position "logic is a total failure" would translate in this field to "computer programs never work, never give correct answers" and you should know better than that. Of course we know that "computer programs are often hopelessly inadequate to solve a problem" and Turing showed worse, that sometimes we can't even find out whether or not a computer program is going to be able to solve a problem.
    Instead of hypothesizing in a vacuum about what he "most likely" does, why don't you try looking at what he actually does? And how could you expect that he would work as a "functionalist" if, as you assert, he believes that no computer programs could ever function?
    You don't understand what "solution" he was looking for. As I have tried to explain many times, he was not asking whether a solution to Zeno's Paradox exists: we got past that a thousand years ago; the Continuum is such a solution. He was trying to prove the uniqueness of the Continuum as a solution: Cantor conjectured that the only possible move up from the Pythagorean space was to the Continuum. Goedel was trying to prove, therefore, that the Continuum was necessary in this sense; and of course he failed to prove it, because it isn't true. He and a colleague eventually succeeded in proving the opposite of what he had set out to show.
    The hallucinatory sequence in which Goedel sees his fingers melting, etc. is just fantasy and hype, I'm sorry. After this implication that it was the frustrating mathematical work that drove him to a rest-home, the documentary mentions, as if it was merely coincidental, oh by the way, this was also while Hitler was taking over Germany. Now this was what was going on in Goedel's life in 1934, aside from the continuum work: Einstein and other friends were trying to get him to flee Germany for the US, and he was studying the US Constitution. Franzel (whom I cited for you above) is of the opinion that "Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem just does not apply to systems like the Bible or the US Constitution" (like Chaitin, he thinks that non-logicians looking at Goedel's results tend to draw "obvious" implications which really aren't there). However, Goedel did think that systems like the US Constitution are also subject to the constraint that there must be either some inconsistency, or some incompleteness, and if he was going to trust his life to the US, he wanted to know which: and concluded that the US suffered from inconsistency, and could morph into a fascist dictatorship just as bad as Nazi Germany. Do YOU think he was being "crazy" to worry about such a thing?
    You don't understand what your sources are saying.
    You would need some education in mathematics to understand the BBC.
    Not much point in continued dialogue, then.
    I have gotten through some segments by now. It is better than your summary led me to expect, although I still have some disagreements with it.
    I'm somebody. I have no problems with dealing.
    I am in the "chain of transmission" now, in the same way that names like "al-Bukhari" etc. will continue to be cited as long as anyone studies hadith. The JPS Tanakh, 1999 edition, mentions me on p. xii for the same reason that they mention ben-Asher (renowned medieval "Masorete" who produced some very clean manuscripts) and Kittel (early editor of scholarly printed editions): all on-line Tanakhs are based on the Michigan file, and printed editions now depend on computer assist, so academic courtesy requires that my name be there.
    You are speaking to me as if I had never heard of Cantor, Goedel, and Turing before you turned me on to them. I know a great deal about them, but you won't hear it from me-- and now you won't look at any other sources either.
    A sufficient sample.
    If you deny causality, then we are agreed that studying foundational mathematics did not "cause" the mental problems of Cantor, Goedel, and Turing. The burden of proof would be on anyone who claims causality to bring forward evidence; it is never on the negative side.
    Spengler's specific prescriptions were for particular types of "power politics": structure the government in authoritarian, rather than democratic, style; preserve ethnic purity, rather than tolerating other cultures; command the economy, rather than letting markets operate. He believed that otherwise "civilization" (the preservation of a sufficient control over violence and poverty) could not continue. He could not possibly have been more mistaken.

    Here is a BBC documentary full of facts that you might enjoy.
    I was preventing from posting for weeks, during which you also had difficulties posting. I let it die. The subject of whether others had had difficulties posting came up, and I mentioned my experience. The emotionalism since then has been entirely on your side.
    Most people who watch the BBC documentary will find the subject matter difficult to understand, and if they want to know what is actually going on, they might appreciate a summary from someone who does understand it.
    You are mistaken, again.
    I managed to figure that out for myself, just as I managed to figure out that you are making "two" clarifications, not "too" clarifications. But thanks for your concern: I know you are always worried that I am not going to understand you thoroughly.
     
  6. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    I will add a few things and then let you have the last word, if you want it; if instead you want me to keep this thread going, you will have to ask nicely.

    A basic impasse is over the "argument from authority" style you are accustomed to. The stereotypical Islamic argument is: here is a one-liner quote from "scripture"; here is what it "obviously" means; now shut up, or go to hell. It is not unique to Islam, of course: Christian creationists are identical to Harun Yahya in the way they assume biologists treat academic papers as "scripture", and think they are accomplishing something by quoting a one-liner. Now, authority is a useful shortcut if you don't care enough about a subject to investigate for yourself: say I am curious whether ticks are more like fleas, or more like lice? Wow, biologists say they are not like either, not even insects at all but arachnids more like spiders or scorpions; I wouldn't have guessed! Well, if I cared, I could examine the little bodily features for myself, but that would require much more time educating myself about bugs than I care to spend, so I leave it up to those who have already devoted the time, and take their word for it.

    But if you care, then every statement needs to be examined for its own merits. A false statement does not become truer because Einstein or Confucius said it. I am not about to start believing the US has 57 states because a tired Obama blurted that out; and the fact that Obama went on to be elected President does not make his gaffe any less silly. So all of your arguments about WHO is respectable enough to count as an "authority" (in particular, attacking me as a non-authority) just really don't matter to me. I don't accept arguments from scripture-snippets in the first place.

    Examining the content of the subject is something you are just unwilling to do. You lump all questions together, not getting the idea that resolving one question leads to raising a new question, and that you need to understand what came before. No, when the BBC guy was talking about approximating a curved path by a series of tiny lines, and asking what happens as the lines shrink to "infinitesimals", that was NOT the same as Zeno's Paradox. It is a subtler question than Zeno could have raised within his crude language; you have to get past Zeno before you get to this question, which Newton and Liebnitz argued about a lot, and which Galileo and Fermat also raised (the BBC only mentions Galileo here, I believe, because he famously got into a lot of trouble for difficult questions, and their theme, to entice viewers to be interested, is how "dangerous" this all is; Fermat, Newton, and Leibnitz lived placid boring lives, like a lot of mathematicians, which would not have fit their theme). And the "infinitesimal" question was resolved by Cauchy and Dedekind (and Cantor's early papers also contributed; but Cauchy and Dedekind lived placid boring lives); it was necessary to get past it, to get to the question which stymied Cantor, and was resolved by Goedel in the opposite direction from what he expected. It is in turn necessary to get past Goedel's questions in order to reach the kinds of questions investigated by Chaitin (who lives a rather placid boring life).

    SO try to get this straight: every time someone said, "But there was a problem here..." they are not talking about the same problem every time. When a problem is described as difficult and baffling, that does not necessarily mean it was never answered. The results have been the definitive result "Logic cannot possibly answer everything"; but this is not the same as "Logic cannot possibly answer anything". You think that if I cannot tell you whether Chaitin's 400 densely printed pages of equations in 17,000 variables have a finite or an infinite number of solutions-- then that means I cannot even tell you whether 2+2 adds up to 4 or 5. That doesn't follow, not even slightly. I have difficulty imagining why you thinks it follows, or why you cannot see that nobody besides yourself believes that it follows, or why you think anything you have said would have the effect of persuading anyone that it follows.

    It's like you're telling me general relativity is an inadequate theory of gravity, because it doesn't answer the question: "If the elephants that hold up the world are standing on a turtle, what holds up the turtle?" I try to explain to you what is really going on, but you only come back with, "OH YEAH? Well what about the turtle?"
     
  7. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    You've put yourself in an awkward position Bob, since I'm not gonna show you any respect (since you've been calling me "stupid and senseless" this whole time) but if you still continue to post on this thread you'll be going against your own word here.

    But in any case, since we've reached this point, I'll only bother with the "wheat" and leave the "chaff", since you might not even respond to this post.

    LoL! Yea, silly me, rite?

    Chaitin says: "The obvious conclusion from Godel's work is that logic is a failure" and how logicians "don't wan't to face this conclusion", How craaaaazzzzzzy of me to think he actually believes that logic IS indeed a failure??? :rolleyes:

    The whole point of the monologue was to prelude Godel's FAILURE in his work on the continuum. Yet you claim that the continuum "is such a solution"?? This is why I have said that you are either delusional or dishonest, or sorry, here's the same sentence stated in your own language: "your statements appear to be delusional or dishonest."

    Another apparently dishonest/delusional statement.

    What you should realize bob, is that all you've done over the past month is tell me to just trust you, take your word for everything and then "shut up". You're pretending to be your own ultimate authority (as if you've promoted yourself from a mere prophet to a god) which is comically facile and completely unacceptable in an academic debate, especially considering you don't have a single published paper in the field.

    I assume you came across the paradox of motion in the first part of the documentary by now. When and where did he say there was actually a solution or was ever adequately answered? He never did. In fact, that was the preface for the entire documentary for a reason, bob. And that is what I've been telling you: that the question of the eleatics remain as much a problem today as they did thousands of years ago, EXACTLY AS SPENGLER SAID, when he called the problem "unanswerable".

    You're the one who brought emotionalism to the picture when you wrote a self-righteous speil about how you knew you were right. That wasn't relevant to that thread or that discussion. That is why I asked you to say your peace, if you thought you didn't get a fair chance.

    As I suspected, you had nothing worthwhile to add in the first place.
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    So from what I've read, especially in the last couple of posts, is that the BBC is a big authority on science, but if you're not within the field being covered by the BBC, then be careful about taking snippets of a quote and applying it out of context.

    In the meantime, I think this thread has clearly run its course, not least as I don;t like to see people making personal insults a part of the discussion, so I'll leave any interested readers out there to determine what value they most perceive from this discussion. :)
     
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