I didn't expect you to agree with me at first. It's extremely hard to convince you of anything, which means if I can convince you of an idea then I'm probably not fooling myself.
" I have absolutely no idea what reality is; however, what ever it is, if a communicable description of it exists, it can be expressed in a numerical code. So why not work with a completely general sample of a numerical code and see what can be said about that. "
This is jumping ahead, I haven't said I know what reality is. We need to go through this v e r y s l o w l y.
" A: 1. Reality exists
D: Not really; my attack works whether or not it actually exists! If you do not understand that, we need to discuss it. "
Then let me rephrase it:
1. ____ exists
How does it sound?
" A: 2. Some aspects of reality can be cast in the form of a theory
D: Then I do not know what you mean by "a theory". In my head, a theory begins as a proposition which might or might not be true. "
2. It's possible to make propositions about some aspects of ____ which might or might not be true
Can you accept that?
" Before we can even think about such an idea we must first consider how we are going to represent the information we have to work with. How can we make a proposition about something the representation of which we haven't yet defined? "
Gotcha! That's where the trick is. Before we can talk "representation" we have to talk "proposition". More in a future post.
"A: 3. It's possible, but not known until our theorizing process is complete, that some aspects of reality cannot be theorized
D: Now that line is completely beyond me! "Some aspects of reality cannot be theorized?" We cannot make any propositions to consider? "
That's exactly what I'm saying:
3: It is possible, but not known beforehand, that the limits imposed on the way we make propositions about ____ are not limits on ____ itself
" In my head, theorizing about anything is way down the road somewhere; certainly not of any concern to me at this point! "
I'm not theorizing! All I'm doing is trying to understand the difference between ____ and any theories about ____!
" As an aside, it appears to me that you are trying to coerce me into using a model of reality created by my subconscious. "
I'm not trying to coerce you into anything, just trying to find a way to communicate an extremely abstract concept.
" I am willing to do that but I insist that only those logical constructs which can be exactly defined be used. Otherwise, one has major problems defending any perspective. "
We haven't advanced far enough for you to be concerned about that. Think of this as a preamble to any discussion on any subject. If you are going to give me a huge sequence of symbols (words, numbers, equations), I want you to understand that the relationship between those symbols and the ideas you have in your head is not as straightforward as you think they are. That's the subtle issue I think you fail to understand, but I don't think it's beyond you at all.
One final note on my three assumptions. All I need to know is whether you agree we can assume them or not. That's all there is to it, the rest is just a matter of working out the consequences.
" Sorry about that "
What's to be sorry about???