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You Simply Do Not Answer The Questions As Put Forth

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Posted by Harvey on May 13, 2003 12:06:17 UTC

Dick,

I know you think you're a genius and us grubs know nothing. But, if you won't even define your terms - the most basic of all requests - then how can you expect non-grubs to take you seriously? Okay, you don't expect to be taken seriously, then why embarrass yourself as you are doing? Let me ignore the fluff and get right to the heart of your counterargument to the problem of definition:

***I have continually answered this question with the fact that my deduction does not depend at all on the exact details of the definition of truth but merely on the characteristic that, "what is true cannot be left to opinion and must be fixed by the nature of reality itself".***

You cannot use a term that you are not willing to put forth a definition to what you mean. The mere fact that you say it cannot be left to opinion suggests that truth has definite properties, but I don't know this is the case. For example, is it true that there are actually no large size objects in the world? If you say false, then I could argue that large size objects are made of atoms, and therefore there are only collections of atoms - no large size objects in the technical sense. Truth is entirely based on context (language) to what we are talking, and we have no idea if there is enough language to make something 'true' in the manner that you have characterized the term. Therefore, even this characteristic of truth is based on things you do not know that you are talking about when it comes to how the world is. You simply want to enforce your pre-philosophical view of the world, and get resentful when challanged.

***If you had taken even the slightest trouble to follow my proof, it would be quite clear that the proof depends not at all on being able to identify the truth; no more than Alexander's parting of the Gordian knot depended on the paths of the threads making up that knot. Abstract thought and the concept of working with "unknowns" seems to be beyond your comprehension. You have not apparently learned to add two and five without asking "Two and five what?"***

Well, you slip right back into mathematics, and if all you had to talk about was a mathematical proof, then I'd have no argument here. But, you are doing applied mathematics where you are talking about perceptions, knowledge, and lack of knowledge, etc. Your terms therefore need to be defined in order to properly apply these terms. You can't just mention terms in applied mathematics without defining those terms and making them relevant to your math application. This simple, simple fact just is above your head. It's as if you spent way too much time aloft in your ivory tower room at Vanderbilt and had no idea what was going in peasantville and had the guts to write sociology books of the townspeople. If you want to write math books in your ivory tower, I have no objection. But, you are referring to what is going on outside your ivory tower, and this just won't do without defining your terms.

***Then you are trying to say that the concept "truth" as held by the common public is meaningless? I repeat, the heart of the matter is that you simply can not accept the fact that anything can be logically deduced from the unchangeable characteristic alone; it cannot be possible, so you choose not to look! A definite sign intellectual brilliance!"***

No, the manner you use all of your terms are meaningless unless you define them. You are talking about applied mathematics about reality and therefore you need to define your terms - simple as that. How the general public uses these terms has little to do with your approach since most people talk in pragmatic terms. You are not talking in pragmatic terms, and your definitions are not pragmatically based. This is why I want you to define them better. Philosophers cannot agree on what is 'known' data or 'unknown' data, yet you just assume that these terms have some kind of meaning that should impress us. Your accusation is built on ignorance of confusing math with applied math. If you want to produce a math theorem, then do it, but remove terms like 'known' data and 'unknown' data. You get to keep 'true' since in mathematics this terms has a well-defined meaning with respect to the basic principles of math. It's only when you venture into applied mathamatical applications that your 'truth' term becomes problematic.

***In my proof, I do not treat "knowable" and "unknowable data" differently in any way. The only characteristic I require is that "knowable" (the things which are true) are not open to my opinion but are fixed by reality.***

This is not a definition since you haven't told me what you mean by true. Do you mean that the observations obviously match the theory to what we should be observing and these observations are not open to opinion? Obviously you are trying to define 'knowable' data in a way that undercuts your premise (i.e., that scientific observations and theory are not based on any firm foundation). Of course, what I just said goes completely over your head!

***This statement is totally false! At the end of part 3 of chapter 1, I state that "in accordance with the world view of modern science, under the constraints I have placed on myself, I should be able to deduce absolutely nothing of significance!!" Yet all kinds of things are in fact deduced and anyone who does not find that fact astonishing, has no understanding of science at all.***

This is just ridiculous. You haven't deduced new science. In fact, in 500 years your paper will look like a comedy act. If will be like reading the fella who lived right after Kepler and deduced Kepler's laws using first principles. Such statements that "yet all kinds of things are in fact deduced" wouldn't even include Newton's laws, not too mention Einstein, etc. Basically, you are hoping that science stops soon, otherwise you'll be deducing less and less of science as the years go by. Haven't you even considered that very obvious fact?

***You are no more than a front row heckler with absolutely nothing of significance to say. In fact, I have serious doubts that anyone here has anything of significance to say. If anyone does have any interest in understanding anything, I will occasionally browse this forum and answer any intelligent questions I see.***

Well, I'm sure that's what many magicians who believed in their magic were saying to those who exposed them. But, look at this way Dick, it is still magic, you are an entertainer and you have entertained the crowd. We didn't pay to get in, so I guess in that sense I feel like you are due $10 from each of us. Good luck on attracting a crowd a few miles down. Maybe I'll find you there and drop in just for kicks. While you're wowing the crowd I'll infuriate you by asking for exact definitions of your terms. The request is so basic and with your refusal that crowd will get a laugh. Make sure next time you charge an admission fee...

Harv

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