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"The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow" Means Nothing.

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on February 9, 2002 16:32:48 UTC


Never mind that it's an anthropically-biased statement (after all, in relative terms the sun doesn't really move; we do). Never mind that our debate on standards of "proof" vis-a-vis "certitiude" will boil down to deduction-vs-induction.

The problem I see is that this 'argument' attempts to pry into a self-sufficient definition, separate the definition's very own components, and then somehow arrive back at the same meaning*.

In a very real sense, the sun "rising" is the event that defines "tomorrow."

Of course, I realize the problem could be solved by changing the question to "can you prove that the earth will continue spinning for at least 24 more hours?" or "can you prove the sun will continue to shine...?" or "can you prove anything that has not yet happened?" etc. But I felt like writing something today, and there isn't much else in here right now to comment on.


* Philosophers have been saying this for millennia. Dick claims to have proved this with math. I'm starting to wonder if Alex really saw fault in Dick's math, or if his pride got in the way (as usual).

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