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No Harv, I Think You Are Making Some Major Unwarranted Assumptio

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on October 19, 2002 15:08:19 UTC

Hi Harv,

I thought posting over here would get us into a place where we could have a quite conversation but the volume appears to have gone up by an order of magnitude. Maybe it would be advantageous to move this to an inconvenient forum? Check out:

I have posted this entry there also. You may answer at either forum. I will take your choice as my direction.

Harv, please notice that the phrase in the points I have asked you to accept as reasonable is "it is possible", not "it is possible for us"! Again, you are reading things into what I am saying which are not there! I suspect very strongly that the problem is that you think you already know where I am going when in fact you don't. You keep putting up straw men to knock down. The straw men are invariably not in my presentation but only in your mind. The only explanation of your reactions is that you truly do not understand what I am setting up.

Harv: we aren't talking about plural objects since we don't know enough about 'Ultimate Reality' to know if plurality of objects even makes sense.

We don't know "enough"? Harv, we don't "know" anything! You don't seem to understand that right here you are making an assumption that plurality of objects does not make sense. My position (that the things which make up "Ultimate Reality" can be labeled with the same symbols which label numbers) makes no such assumption. It is possible you are correct and, in that case 'Ultimate Reality' consists of something which need only be referred to with one label; however, it is also possible you are wrong and that multiple labels are reasonable. My picture takes in both possibilities whereas yours does not.

Harv: All we know about 'Ultimate Reality' is the concept of 'Ultimate Reality' which we must assume is a valid concept.

No, we don't even have to assume that. The set of labels which might represent 'Ultimate Reality' might be an empty set. Also, as far as my putting quotes around "things", there is no real significance to it other than the fact that I am trying to attract attention to the word. As I said earlier, I leave the meaning in your hands with one exception: I simply request that there is nothing you can refer to (i.e., no thing) which cannot be referenced by the word "thing".

Harv: To get away from this, we cannot identify the true concepts underlying Ultimate Reality as anything more basic than the concept itself.

I am not concerned with what "we" can identify. In fact, what we can identify is of no consequence at all. On the other hand, what you want essentially assumes that it is impossible to do so; forever and ever by any entity. If we are going to include all possibilities, you need to present a proof that Ultimate Reality cannot consist of multiple elements. It should be clear to you that my position is to include all possibilities.

Harv: (6). It is possible to label 'Ultimate Reality' with exactly the same symbols commonly used to label numbers. This requires only one number.

If you understood what I am proposing, you would understand that suggestion is clearly not valid! If you are going to insert the constraint that "this requires only one number", you better be prepared to prove one number is sufficient to cover all possibilities. I don't think you have any reason to restrict "all possibilities" to the single case where 'Ultimate Reality' consists of no sub categories of any kind. That strikes me as a rather insupportable assumption and, if you are rational, you should agree with that position.

Harv: The phrase "that portion of true 'Ultimate Reality'" is meaningless since we cannot talk about 'portions' or 'true' with respect to our concept which we labeled 'Ultimate Reality' (or by a number as in (6)).

The issue is not what "we" can talk about but rather "what can" be talked about. If an analysis is to be applicable to any possible situation, that analysis cannot be constrained to the concept that 'Ultimate Reality' cannot be expressed in terms of 'portions'. Not unless you can prove that is a fact of 'Ultimate Reality'. Essentially you are assuming that your constrained concept of 'Ultimate Reality' is "the valid concept".

Harv: Any further breakdown of 'Ultimate Reality' is an assumption based on our experience of the world we experience, and we have no way to know if this experience extends to the concept of 'Ultimate Reality'.

At this point it is very clear that you do not understand what I am setting up. I am not performing a breakdown at all. I am setting up an attack which includes the possibility that such a breakdown might be possible; that is quite a different issue. My analysis applies equally well to the case where such a breakdown is not possible as it does to one where the breakdown is possible. It is you who is making an assumption. You are assuming that such a breakdown simply is not possible by anybody for all time. My question is, how did you come to know that?

Harv: I don't think understanding 'Ultimate Reality' is as analogous as you think.

You don't think that because you do not understand what I am saying. At this point, that comment is nothing more than an opinion concerning something you simply do not understand.

Harv: You can label 'it', but it is one label or one number. You can use '1', '0', 'things', etc.. etc...

You are confusing two very different issues. "What I can do" is quite different from "what can be done". If I am going to examine the entire problem, my analysis must be concerned with "what could possibly be done", not with what I can do.

Harv: Dick, you are using classical logic to decipher Ultimate Reality

No Harv, I am not deciphering anything. I am proposing a procedure for analyzing the problem of deciphering Ultimate Reality. As I have said a number of times, I am using our common agreement (as far as it goes) as a rude rudder to direct your thoughts. If you wish to deny me the use of classical logic as a direction mechanism so be it but, without logic, I see little possibility of communication of any kind. In the discourse we are currently having, I have yet to define a single exact concept.

Harv: .. but we don't know if classical logic applies to 'Ultimate Reality'! This is the reason we cannot say more about 'Ultimate Reality' than the label itself implies. Can't you see the obstacle in what you are doing?

The only obstacle to what I am doing is your refusal to think about the issues I present to you.

Consider my comments carefully please -- Dick

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