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  Topic: Was the Oracle right?, Let's get philosophical.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Thought Provoker

Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 02 2010,14:14   

Around 400 BC the Oracle of Delphi proclaimed that no one was wiser than Socrates who basically claimed knowing he didn't know the Truth.

Was the Oracle right?
Does the Oracle continue to be right?
Has anyone ever been wiser than Socrates?
Will anyone ever be wiser than Socrates?

To preempt Doc Bill, this is bullshit and the entire thread will be bullshit because I suggest philosophy, religion, metaphysics, etc are inherently illogical.

But before we get started, we need some definitions to have any hope of communicating.

Truth, True (capital T) = a statement that is accurate for all conscious entities for the given universe.
Assumption, assume =   a statement held to be True by one or more conscious entities.
Presumption, presume = a statement held provisionally True until something better comes along.
FAPP = For All Practical Purposes – can be used when needed to talk in generalities.
NOMA = Non-overlapping magisteria
Consciousness, conscious = to be determined
Reality, Real (capital R) = to be determined as the point of the exercise.

There are so many choices as to where to start....
What to choose?...
I know...

Let’s start with Monopoly!

I used to love to play Monopoly (I still like it).  It had well defined rules.  It was logical.  It was easy to determine the right from the wrong way to play.  If I played the right way, I won (which I did most of the time).

The game is its own universe that has a beginning and an end.  It is only “Real” within the confines of the game.  Imagine the tokens becoming conscious.  They could notice how the game is evolving over time.  They could even figure out how long ago their universe started and estimate when it will end.  Some of the conscious entities could worship the deity called “Community Chest”.  They would of course be at odds with those who worship “Chance”.  One token might say something like “I think it would be kind of neat if there are supernatural beings running the universe”.   Of course, he will be quickly dismissed as a simpleton even though he is considering a larger and more interesting Reality.

If it isn’t obvious by now, this is how I view our universe and science.  I like science for a lot of the same reasons I liked Monopoly.  It doesn’t matter whether it is Reality or not, it has rules and is consistent.  It is fun to learn.  

Granted, the FAPP universe is a lot more complicated than the Monopoly universe, but on the up side FAPP money can buy more interesting things compared to Monopoly money.  For example I can use FAPP money to buy FAPP food to feed my FAPP stomach.

But what is Reality?

Since the only conscious entity I truly know exists is me, it isn’t difficult to get a unanimous consensus of all known conscious entities.  Therefore, I presume the Truth is what I think which defines my Reality.

I suggest even if the universe and scientific “facts” are the same for all conscious entities, the FAPP reality is unique to each individual.  As a practical matter, NOMA makes sense.  It allows individuals to explore their individual Truths while science explores common knowledge (i.e. “facts”).

However, let’s continue and stick with my individual universe for a moment (I will let the rest of you in shortly).  As an individual, all my assumptions are Truths since the given universe has only one conscious entity.  But is it “accurate”?  If I assume every day will be bright and sunny, a conflict occurs on those days when it is raining.  Did I forget to mention Truth is not necessarily constant?  Since I am the sole judge of what is accurate or not, all my assumptions are both accurate and True even if they change.

However, since it is a bother to constantly change my worldview every time it rains, I quickly decide to presume Truths are accurate only when they are constant.  I am making it only a presumption because under extraordinary situations I’m willing to modify this.

So what assumption should I make about whether or not days are going to be sunny?  This is when I remember that female voice told me it was going to rain on that day it rained (she even suggested I take an umbrella).  Ah yes, I have a wife.  And for my own good, let’s just skip to the part where I assume she is also a conscious entity.  I don’t know if it is True or not, but since we are the only judges of accuracy, for all practical purposes it is True.

By the same type of logic, we can expand to number of recognized conscious entities in the given universe to at least encompass the world population.  However, getting consensuses from more than 6,811,988,144 individuals is difficult to the point of impossibility.  Therefore, I suggest we limit the given universe to the participants in this forum.

What is the Reality in the universe called After the Bar Closes?
Can we agree on anything that is True?
Can we even hold True the self-contradicting statement “We don’t know the Truth”?
Does the Oracle of Delphi continue to be right?

Is the Truth that “We don’t know the Truth”?

This is a basic illogical conclusion of holding Gould’s NOMA to be True.

I doubt anyone will be surprised by me invoking Gödel's incompleteness theorems, so I might as well get it over with. I suggest Gödel's first incompleteness theorem shouldn’t be that difficult to accept. If I had defined a Truth as “a provable statement with no underlying assumptions”, how could that even be possible?

Logic and consistency are assumptions.

Therefore, the Truth is we can’t know the Truth but we can’t even know that because that would also be a Truth so….

“ Nomad... Tan Ru... Error... flaw... imperfection... must sterilize...”

  18 replies since April 02 2010,14:14 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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