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3 comments

Comment from: vitalie [Visitor] · http://spranceana.blogspot.com/
visiglyphpana la urma, fiecare adevar uman trebuie nuantat, astfel ca teza ar suna: exista adevar absolut, doar in condtiile X si Y... in fapt, adevar absolut ar insemna o stare de lucruri, eveniment, efect care se va produce ori de cate ori sunt intrunite conditiile x si y...
sunt deacord ca adevarul absolut, valabil in orice context e o himera...
2008-Feb-19, Tue @ 10:45
Comment from: freemind [Visitor] · http://freeyourminder.spaces.live.com
visiglyphYou're talking about absolute truth ambigously. My impression, after reading your post, is that you're considering absolute truth only in the context of humans. For me, 'absolute truth' would rather be a theory fully explaining everything, that is, a 'valid' T.O.E href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Everything

I have too little knowledge (anyone has enough?!) about the topic (both mathematical and philosophical knowledge) to accept a certain theory that I could thouroughly, not intuitively, support. What I mean is that I tend to think that a Mathematical Structure, explaining everything, exists (hence it would be an 'absolute truth')... but I have no clear arguments,
An interesting paper is http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0704/0704.0646v2.pdf
which is neither too mathematical, nor too weak, i.e. it has substance.

BTW... the point can be defined. :) Primitively, a point is merely an element of a set which has some properties assigned to it. You may check any Linear Algebra book to see how Affine Spaces are defined based on Vector Spaces.

Also '1+1=2' is also true. Natural numbers have been defined (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_number#Formal_definitions). Or, to be short, 1+1 is always two in the monoid of natural numers with the standard binary operation addition. You might say, what if we're not speaking about natural numbers. But then the question has no basis, that is it's not anymore a valid question. It's like asking: book + pen = ?

It was pleasant reading your article. I didn't figure out how to properly insert links. Feel free to edit my comment.
2008-Feb-20, Wed @ 18:26
Comment from: Alex [Member]
visiglyphI am not tying the discussion to the perspective of humans, but it has to be done, because things like "quality" or "truth" only make sense to us. Otherwise everything is just there - perfect and true.


The point about the theory of everything is right on, in my opinion. Imagine that the universe is a simulation, which we can temporarily pause, then "dump" the state to a file. A theory of everything would be able to go through all the data and confirm that the state is a valid one; i.e. "all the variables and their values were reviewed, and found to be consistent - therefore this is a valid snapshot".

Now, we can simplify that - no need to pause or to save a snapshot, do it on-the-fly. A theory of everything is my #1 candidate for something that qualifies as absolute truth, because it takes into account the context, which is the universe itself.


"1+1=2" is not a good candidate for absolute truth; you've specified yourself that if we are dealing with natural numbers, and that we do arithmetic addition. First of all, try to argue that "1+1=2" without first defining '2' as the successor of '1' (in terms of Peano's arithmetic). And then, how about "1+1=10" and "1+1=1"? (the first is addition in base two, the second is a logical OR) So, this one requires a context before one can evaluate whether the expression is true or not. A better candidate is "1=1", but it doesn't work in imaginary worlds which were defined as "imagine a world in which one is not equal to one" :-) or worlds in which the symbol '=' is assigned the meaning of "not equal".

The problem here, in my opinion, is that we are using language, and this applies some limitations to our freedom. As discussed in the article, language takes the "absolute" out of it, making it only "local". Dumping the languages and switching to a pure symbolical/conceptual line of thought should do the trick - adding one and one (as defined in "sum") gives two, whether you are a christian, a communist, a zombie, a squirrel, or an agnostic theocratical overlord on the other end of the universe :-) But as soon as I start putting this into words, a nitpicker's heaven is created! Define "define", define "and", etc.




Thanks for the reference to the paper on arxiv.org, I will try to understand it, the pictures look promising :-)

Switching to points; I knew I wouldn't get away with this one easily. I have no problem with treating a point as "a tuple of coordinates". But it is a bit uncool to accept Euclide's(?) definition of "the smallest trace the pencil can leave on the canvas", because this definition is highly "platform dependent". Hmmm... maybe this is worth being discussed in a separate story; sometimes a point is a dot, sometimes we mean 'coordinates', and.. that's beyond the scope of this comment.


Thank you for your time, and I'm glad you liked reading the story.

p.s. The links are ok as they are; actual A tags are prohibited, to give spammers no incentive to post comments.

And here is a nice comic.
2008-Feb-20, Wed @ 23:03

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