The Reasoning Show - Miscellaneous Discussion

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Re: The Nature of Knowledge

Postby vicdan » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:51 pm

Bondi wrote:On the other hand, no matter how much I understand what Viktor is trying to convey, I do agree with you. Some words are philosophically very important, and are pretty much abused these days (they have been abused for centuries anyway). ‘Infinite’ (or infinity) is probably the most abused word. Viktor wants to state it as an example, but he can’t (or isn’t able to) see the difference between his mathematical concept of an “infininite” and the philosophical infinite. The mathematical concept is in no way should be called infinite. We can simply understand the underlying absurdity of that: if you call a line (as Viktor set it out) “infinite” just because it is endless in both of its directions, then what do you say when you make up two or more lines endless in both their directions? Obviously, they can’t be “infinite” as two or more “infinities” would necessarily set limit to each other, therefore they can’t be infinite.
Come again? How would the infinite of one line set the limit to the infinity of the other line?

BTW, this is where math comes in very handy. For example, it is mathematically provable (via diagonalization proof) that any countable infinity is as large as any other countable infinity -- e.g. one infinite line, of integers, is exactly the same size as two intersecting infinite lines, of real and imaginary integers. Similarly, the set of all integers is exactly as large as the set of all rational numbers (i.e. all fractions expressible as a ratio of two integers).

Think about it. If you start writing out a set of all rational fractions -- 1/2, 2/15, 89017985/3709817, etc -- this set will be exactly as large as the set of all integers. In fact, the set of all polynomials (with integer coefficients) is still as large as the set of all integers. On the other hand, the set of all numbers (rational and irrational) is larger, and thus is also larger than the set of all polynomials with integer coefficients.

Since Universe is quantized, it is in fact trivially demonstrable that the infinity of the Universe is exactly as large as the infinity of any countably infinite set such as integers. :)

A line (or anything) is always limited by its own being. Viktor says that “black holes are infinite”—so then there are who knows how many “infinites” around us in the Universe? One could hardly say any more absurd thing than that!
No, one simply needs to understand more about transfinite mathematics.

To cut it short, that’s exactly why I agree with you. Reasoning means, in part at least, that one is careful enough with their using of words.
And at the end, one ends up with exactly the same thing they started with, but stated in a slightly different form. E.g. "all things are finite" means exactly, and nothing more than, "anything which is less than the totality, is less than the totality" -- which is a vacuous tautology (as opposed to contentful tautologies, such as mathematical proofs, which explicate the unobviously implicit).
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge

Postby Bondi » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:53 am

Hello,

it was quite a surprise to see you round here again. If I remember well, you left because of this same thing you all discussed in the R. Show as well. And don't get me wrong, I understood your point from the show. What I say is that mathematics abuses the word. What mathematicians speak of is really the indefinite, not the infinite.
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tech. stuff

Postby Bondi » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:56 am

Least I forget, about the weird echo: it happens usually when one of the participants has the speakers too close to the mike, or the speakers are simply too loud - i.e. the voice of the other participants from the speakers goes through the mike again and again.
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Postby David Quinn » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:57 am

We were all wearing headphones, so that wasn't the cause.

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Postby Kevin Solway » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:49 am

Jamesh wrote:
Being able to differentiate forms gives us a better chance of passing on our genetic material to the next generation. That's why there is a differentiation of forms.


I can tell you straight up that differentiation logically must reside at the fundamental level.


I don't know what you mean by "fundamental level".

Only beings of a certain level of complexity are capable of any kind of differentiation at all. The more highly complex the being, the more differentiation. So it would appear that differentiation doesn't happen at the "fundamental level".

Perhaps you mean, "Why are we able to differentiate at all?".

And the only real answer is that we are caused to.
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Postby Jason » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:59 am

David,

Jason wrote: I could go back and show you where I may disagree with certain ideas in your "The Wisdom of the Infinite" that lead to your idea of objective existence being an illusion.


David Quinn wrote:
I would love to hear your objections. To my mind, "objective existence" is a contradiction in terms.


After some consideration, and rereading of your "Wisdom of the Infinite", I think our current discussion is probably going to devolve into meaningless disagreements. Meaningless because we're likely discussing ideas which are too far up the hierarchy of understandings/realizations, whilst there are probably some fundamental disagreements, misunderstandings or outright delusions, which are holding all the rest up, but are themselves going uninvestigated(don't you love run on sentences?)

This type of thing seems to have happened every time I have come back for a stint on genius recently. I really want to try to get the bottom of this, so I'm taking it to a new thread, and starting anew right from the very basics.
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Postby Jamesh » Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:22 pm

Victor wrote: Since Universe is quantized, it is in fact trivially demonstrable that the infinity of the Universe is exactly as large as the infinity of any countably infinite set such as integers. :)


IMO the universe is not really of a quantum nature, although it appears to be so. Universal constants support this illusion, but again I do not believe the bulk of universal constants are really actually constant. Nonetheless there are two absolute constants - the power of the expansionary force to expand and the power of the contracting force to contract. Discreet quantities such as a photon occur only in relation to near balanced sets of lower level expansionary/contracting combinations that cause the overall spatial territory to curl and spin as an overall balanced unit, that in turn has the effect of strengthening the ability of this unit to repel potential external interferences from other similar patterns of existence.

At no point however are there distinct unchanging solid quantum units of anything or anything in a perfect permanent balance. This is needed for everything, not just larger things, to be inter-connectable and able to change form. Quantisized permanent, solid units of existence AND any form of nothingness in between each unit could not possibly be caused to exist. How can a cause affect nothing? What would cuase the magical existence of something absolutely solid? How could something of such a nature interact with anything else - it would have no parts that could interact.

Replace "solidness" with the fundamental contracting force and "nothingness" with the expansionary force and things as everything that is a combination of these two forces and then everything makes sense - to me at least.
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Postby Jamesh » Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:58 pm

Kevin wrote: I don't know what you mean by "fundamental level".


Dan wrote: Haha, what a phrase - "penultimate fundamental cause". Differentiation is what consciousness is. It is duality. Duality doesn't have a cause - it is causality.


The penultimate fundamental level is the dualistic causal forms of existence that cause things to appear in the universe. It is the cause of there being differentiation between spatial areas of the universe.

The fundamental level, the void, is rather tricky. It is either uncaused (illogical), singularly self-causing (godlike, thus illogical) or dualistically self-causing.

To be dualistically self-causing would mean something along the lines of "if Force A did not exist then its opposite force B must exist and vice versa, but then if force B exists then it causes Force A to exist merely by Force B's existence"

The first two paragraphs above are rational, however I accept that the third paragraph is quite meaningless. Any attempt to define how the voids existence is doomed to fail. Thats why I added the word penultimate.

Kevin wrote: Only beings of a certain level of complexity are capable of any kind of differentiation at all.


The above statement is simply not true. Even a photon can distinguish between another photon and a muon, or a planet can distinguish between it and its surrounding space. They merely distinguish in a non-conscious manner - for them it is causal differentiation, they are distinguished by differing degrees of causal power to affect other things.

Kevin wrote: The more highly complex the being, the more differentiation. So it would appear that differentiation doesn't happen at the "fundamental level".


No, the more highly complex the being, the more tools it has to take different perspectives and thus it can notice an increased number of appearances of such differentiation. There is no change to the amount of underlying differentiation (or relativity) of the things themselves, but there is an increase in perspectives due to the existence of a third level of relativity, namely that between the observer and the things in question - the observer can move around the thing or take it apart, or delve into a thing using microscopes and so on. The observer is also constantly changing which may produce different perspectives as it changes.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:13 pm

Jamesh wrote:Even a photon can distinguish between another photon and a muon


I think you'll find that a photon can't distinguish between these things, but that we can distinguish between a photon and a muon.

or a planet can distinguish between it and its surrounding space.


Likewise it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself.

In fact there is no upper limit to the atmosphere. It extends endlessly, with gases becoming progressively thinner and thinner. There is thus no real end to the "planet", other than what we impose on it.
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Postby Jamesh » Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:05 pm

Jamesh wrote: Even a photon can distinguish between another photon and a muon

Kevin: I think you'll find that a photon can't distinguish between these things, but that we can distinguish between a photon and a muon.


A photon will act differently in the vicinity of a muon than another photon, so therefore it "knows" - from a causal perspective not a conscious one - of those attributes of the muon or another photon, that affect the photon. It knows this only because it is affected by it.

The way our "knowing" works is hardly different, consciousness is just complex multi-layered causality. We only know of other things because they causally affect us in DIFFERENT manners.


Quote:
or a planet can distinguish between it and its surrounding space.

Likewise it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself. In fact there is no upper limit to the atmosphere. It extends endlessly, with gases becoming progressively thinner and thinner. There is thus no real end to the "planet", other than what we impose on it.


A planet ort whatever is just a named thing. I don't care so much about that. I've long known the semi-arbitrariness of the names we place on things.

I am just seeking you to recognise that there is REAL differentiation in form between one spatial area and another, regardless of the limitations of our human names and definitions, and if there is differentiation in form, then there is causal differentiation, and if there is causal differentiation at the higher level that causes different appearances to us, then there must also be some form of fundamental differentiation that causes this.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:36 pm

Jamesh wrote:if there is causal differentiation at the higher level that causes different appearances to us, then there must also be some form of fundamental differentiation that causes this.


Yes, different causes cause the appearance of different things. So on the fundamental level, there are various different causes that we can differentiate.
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Postby Carl G » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:32 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
Likewise it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself.

In fact there is no upper limit to the atmosphere. It extends endlessly, with gases becoming progressively thinner and thinner. There is thus no real end to the "planet", other than what we impose on it.


These are beliefs, and not necessarily facts. A planet may indeed make distinctions. A planet may have a real end. We don't know. We currently, as far as I know, have no way of knowing.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 29, 2007 1:33 am

Carl G wrote:
Kevin Solway wrote:Likewise it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself.

In fact there is no upper limit to the atmosphere. It extends endlessly, with gases becoming progressively thinner and thinner. There is thus no real end to the "planet", other than what we impose on it.


These are beliefs


It is not a belief that the atmosphere extends endlessly. It simply does. The gases just become increasingly thinner as the pull of gravity diminishes.

A planet may indeed make distinctions.


Well we are part of the planet, and we make distinctions. So it could definitely be said that the planet is making distinctions - through us.

A planet may have a real end. We don't know. We currently, as far as I know, have no way of knowing.


We know that an "end" is wherever a line is drawn, and that senses and consciousness play a major part in the drawing of those lines.
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Postby Carl G » Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:10 am

Kevin Solway wrote:K: Likewise it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself.

In fact there is no upper limit to the atmosphere. It extends endlessly, with gases becoming progressively thinner and thinner. There is thus no real end to the "planet", other than what we impose on it.

C: These are beliefs

K: It is not a belief that the atmosphere extends endlessly. It simply does. The gases just become increasingly thinner as the pull of gravity diminishes.


Jamesh said "a planet can distinguish between it and its surrounding space." This is a belief. You replied that "it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself." I'm pointing out that this is also belief.

I thought we try to to facts here at Genius, but maybe logic and fact are two different things.

You also stated that "there is thus no real end to the "planet", other than what we impose on it." This is belief, as well. How could we measure where the planet actually ends? Does it end with the physical body, or is the atmosphere included, and if so, to what altitude? This may not be arbitrary and open to our interpretation. There may be an objective answer, with we being unaware of it.

However, I suspect you switched gears when you put quote marks around the word "planet", and maybe now you are considering things on the ultimate level. At that level everything is one, certainly, and we are free to make distinctions where we wish.

C: A planet may indeed make distinctions.

K: Well we are part of the planet, and we make distinctions. So it could definitely be said that the planet is making distinctions - through us.


You stated "it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself." I'm saying that this is your belief. You don't know that the planet doesn't make distinctions. You don't know if the planet is alive or not.

C: A planet may have a real end. We don't know. We currently, as far as I know, have no way of knowing.

K: We know that an "end" is wherever a line is drawn, and that senses and consciousness play a major part in the drawing of those lines.

You're saying we get to choose where something begins and ends? That's what I would call art, and I have nothing against that, but might there not be an actual boundary for a planet, speaking within the material realm, and leaving aside the intrinsic oneness of all?

And if all boundary is arbitrary and subjective in light of the overarching oneness, why discuss distinction at all?
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Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:32 am

Carl G wrote:"it is we who make these distinctions, not the planet itself." I'm pointing out that this is also belief.


Yes, by "we" I meant conscious beings. If the planet is conscious then it will make distinctions just as we do.

And the planet may indeed be seen to be conscious through us, since we are part of the planet.


How could we measure where the planet actually ends?


It ends wherever we decide it does. And the boundaries may change from one day to the next.

Does it end with the physical body, or is the atmosphere included, and if so, to what altitude? This may not be arbitrary and open to our interpretation. There may be an objective answer, with we being unaware of it.


There cannot be an "objective answer", since we will naturally use whatever boundaries that suit us.

Different contexts and different purposes produce different boundaries.

K: We know that an "end" is wherever a line is drawn, and that senses and consciousness play a major part in the drawing of those lines.


You're saying we get to choose where something begins and ends?


Certainly. For example, a powerful country will choose for itself where its borders begin and end - and enforce those borders through military force if need be.

Also, if we had entirely different senses to the ones we now have, and could see into the infra-red, and x-rays, and ultra-violet, then we would tend to draw boundaries in different places.


That's what I would call art, and I have nothing against that, but might there not be an actual boundary for a planet, speaking within the material realm


"An actual boundary" for a physical thing doesn't really mean anything. A boundary needs a context for it to have any meaning, and that context needs to be supplied by something else - namely a conscious being.

And if all boundary is arbitrary and subjective in light of the overarching oneness, why discuss distinction at all?


Consciousness makes distinctions because that is what it is designed to do. It gives the conscious being a survival advantage over its competitors. We discuss distinctions because it's not possible to discuss anything else.
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Postby clyde » Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:13 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:Consciousness makes distinctions because that is what it is designed to do. It gives the conscious being a survival advantage over its competitors.

In other words: Consciousness makes distinctions (such as self and other) to give consciousness an advantage over the distinction consciousness makes.

That brings a smile to my face.
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Postby Jamesh » Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:18 pm

Kevin
Yes, different causes cause the appearance of different things. So on the fundamental level, there are various different causes that we can differentiate.


Ok good, but now I am questioning the word you used above, "various".

The trouble with this word is that it implies that there could be more than two fundamental causes. At the fundamental there can be either one cause with two attributes OR two causes with opposite singular attributes.

I always opt for the latter because if a singular cause had two attributes, then that would indicate it was somehow divisible. Nothing fundamental can be divisible as it has no parts. It is not even possible that a singular cause could be of a pulse action, as is it" Expands then Contracts" or "Is on then Off", as what would it be pulsing within/into? (not "nothingness", as nothingness is un-causable)

If there more than two fundamental causes, as in the term "various", then one must ask how they react together and how they would be caused in the first place. This problem does not apply to two fundamental causes that are opposite in their entire nature, as absolutes can only ever exist or be conceptualised dualistically.

We can note a plethora of different seemingly fundamental causes in things - for instance Strong and Weak Nuclear forces and gravity - but they can always be reduced to a dualistic fundamental level, ie for this example - "the force that pulls existence inward".
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Postby Jamesh » Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:24 pm

Also, if we had entirely different senses to the ones we now have, and could see into the infra-red, and x-rays, and ultra-violet, then we would tend to draw boundaries in different places.


Agreed, but to be pedantic, it would be impossible to draw a boundary for anything that moves at the speed of light emmanating from an object - it is false that light only comes from nuclear occurances such as the action of the sun, it comes from all complex objects - as it would expanding at the speed of light as you are measuring it.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 29, 2007 9:47 pm

Jamesh wrote:Kevin
Yes, different causes cause the appearance of different things. So on the fundamental level, there are various different causes that we can differentiate.


Ok good, but now I am questioning the word you used above, "various".


There are as many fundamental causes as we are caused to differentiate.

Sometimes we may be caused to differentiate only one fundamental cause "Nature".
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Postby Cory Duchesne » Tue May 01, 2007 1:19 am

Kevin Solway wrote: Sometimes we may be caused to differentiate only one fundamental cause "Nature".


The uncaused cause.
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Postby Jamesh » Tue May 01, 2007 10:56 am

The uncaused cause.


Yeah which makes Cause and Effect non-absolute, unless nature is a circular causal process, which we can see that is is via the action of things - they evolve/grow then devolve/dissipate. This means that the so called "first cause" is a permanently acting "creationary cause" that exists at all times at all points within nature's circular flow.
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Postby Cory Duchesne » Tue May 01, 2007 10:03 pm

Jamesh wrote:
The uncaused cause.


Yeah which makes Cause and Effect non-absolute, unless nature is a circular causal process, which we can see that is is via the action of things - they evolve/grow then devolve/dissipate. This means that the so called "first cause" is a permanently acting "creationary cause" that exists at all times at all points within nature's circular flow.


Although I don't think we can say for certain that the totality of nature is circular. There are certainly circular systems within the totality, but the totality may expand in all directions infinitely. (and this really isnt possible to conceptualize - one can only apprehend it)
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Postby Dan Rowden » Wed May 02, 2007 1:34 pm

The show now has an RSS feed that you can subscribe to via your podcast software (including iTunes). Hopefully it's working; let me know if it isn't :)

http://geniusrealms.com/reasoningshow/feed.xml

For help, go here.
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Guest Suggestions

Postby BMcGilly07 » Tue May 08, 2007 3:49 am

What about Rich Zubaty? Or Esther Vilar? I think they would make for some interesting discussions.
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Re: Guest Suggestions

Postby Kelly Jones » Tue May 08, 2007 8:51 am

Bryan McGilly wrote:What about Rich Zubaty? Or Esther Vilar? I think they would make for some interesting discussions.


How did you go with the feminist group you were trying to invite onto the Reasoning Show, Bryan? Or did I miss your update?

Also, what about getting Dave Sims in for a chat. It's a shame the audio quality goes down with more than a few people in conference calls. I'd be really interested in a show with several expert panellists discussing the intellectual inferiority of women.

I'd like to ask Dave S what he means by his respect for a "common God" worshipped in Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, etc. That's what he seems to be on about. I'd also like to know whether this respect is his response to the Merged Void.

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