# Is the randomness in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle due to inability to measure or actually randomness?

Asked by sunssi (120) March 30th, 2011

Is it just a model to give us accurate outcomes as there isn’t anyway to properly measure or is it due to true randomness in the universe at a quantum level.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

It’s inherent randomness—at least empirically. Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia article on the Uncertainty principle:

Albert Einstein believed that randomness is a reflection of our ignorance of some fundamental property of reality, while Niels Bohr believed that the probability distributions are fundamental and irreducible, and depend on which measurements we choose to perform. Einstein and Bohr debated the uncertainty principle for many years.

Anyhow, a physicist can very precisely calculate the probability of some event (such as radioactive decay) and verify this calculation in the lab with great precision. Yet every event is still completely unpredictable, like the roll of dice.

gasman (11296)

Uncertainty != randomness. Uncertainty is the opposite of precision in this context- it’s the “plus-or-minus” of the measurement. The uncertainty principle states that the product of the uncertainties of the complementary measurements is greater than or equal to h/2, where h is the Planck constant, about 6.26 times 10 to the minus 34, a very very small number.

The Uncertainty Priciple, as I understand it, was initially derived as a result of the limitations of observing electrons with light (photons).

Human beings split the atom and sent a man to the moon based on predictability. If there were no repeating laws of nature, if everything were totally random, these things, and many others would have never ocurred. Clearly the universe is knowable. The Heisenberg principle is merely the extension of Kantian philosophy into physics. In both cases, the operating principle is that we can not be sure of anything, thus our abstract consciousness is worthless, and thus we can believe whatever we want to, or doubt everything, because we can never be sure that we are correct.
The sad end game to this philosophical travesty is, among other things, Marxist materialism and the American public education system. Not to mention the moral confusion demonstrated in about half a century of American foreign policy.

josie (28782)

@josie Um, what? Really? No, it’s not philosophy, because this limit is real. Why it is real is up for debate, as @gasman stated, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Now, people have taken that and extrapolated out to stupid conclusions (which has been done with many, many principles of science, most notably the laws of thermodynamics), but that doesn’t mean the original principle is wrong. The uncertainty principle, as originally stated, has absolutely nothing to do with consciousness. It has to do with our ability to measure things, nothing more or less.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Um, what?
What?

josie (28782)

@josie As far as I can tell, you’re saying the Uncertainty Principle is no more then a philispohical construct via Kant, and not a real thing. And apparently this also has to do with Marxism. That’s just plain false, we’ve witnessed this problem numerous times. Again, why it is is unsure, but it’s not some weird zietgiest that held.

Also, no one is saying everything is random. Please read @koanhead‘s post. All it says is we can’t have an arbitrary amount of precision in our measurements, which is very different from randomness.

Also also, to answer the original question, as far as I am aware it does have to do with the problems in measuring something. The act of measuring changes it, and so makes the measurement imprecise. However, that’s the word of a chemist, not physicist, so I could be mistaken.

BhacSsylan (9522)

@BhacSsylan
Science is a branch of epistemology. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy.
Thus, without philosophy, there is no science.
Humanity lived by philosophy long before they discovered science as a discipline.
If one’s metaphysics is that there is nothing to know, like the existentialists, then there is no need for science.
Our civilization is based on the notion that A. there is something to know, and B. we can know it. Without that there is no science.
Science is a branch of philosophy.
Smarter people than me have already established this.

josie (28782)

And, what does that have to do with the uncertainty principle? You’re saying it’s based off of Kant, and says that everything is random and can’t be known. However, it’s been proven to exist, and does not at all state that things are unknowable.

Also, I simply find your idea that this ‘philosophical principle’, which is a physical and testable and verified theory, has somehow caused the destruction of the American education system. That’s ridiculous. Especially when it doesn’t actually say what you’re saying it does.

BhacSsylan (9522)

@josie Also do you realize that by claiming that the uncertainty principle, despite being tested and verified, is not real, you’re doing the exact same thing you purport to dislike? If this principle is false, then you’re also saying that any scientific principle could be false, as a result of it being no more then a mislead philosophical argument. I.e. nothing is knowable. Are you saying you somehow know that the uncertainty principle is false, despite the evidence?

BhacSsylan (9522)

I am saying that if it were valid to the extent that it made a difference to the human experience, some nukes would go off and burn up Hiroshima, and some would produce a nice floral scent.
Nothing more, nothing less.

josie (28782)

@josie Your saying that “science is a branch of epistemology” does not make it so, and neither does your failed attempt at an argument by appeal to uncited authority.
Science is many things to many people. The word itself implies knowledge. The practice of science is generally that of attempting to discover and accumulate facts about the world. If this suggests epistemology to you that’s fine, and I’m sure many scientist would agree on that point- but that does not suffice to define the discipline.

Your retort about the nukes shows that you don’t understand the principle at all. For statistical, mathematical reasons the Uncertainty Principle does not render the behavior of macroscopic objects unpredictable. h is a very small number.
If you don’t understand the math you shouldn’t attempt to draw conclusions from it; that way lies error.

@josie it’s true that Science began as a type of Philosophy, but what you’re missing is that after Science began to be proved via controlled observation and empirical evidence and testing, then it became it’s own discipline. Also, which work of Kant are you referencing? I’m certainly not an expert and have only studied a small subset of his works, but most of what I’ve read indicated that Kant believed in absolutes.

gorillapaws (22808)

@josie but, noone ever said it did make a difference to the usual human experience. as @koanhead has now had to say twice, the uncertainty involved is very small, so it only makes a difference to small things, essentially. This is not to say that small things do not affect us (as quantum mechanics quite definitely does, if only on the way our proteins work), but the macro effects suffer from such a small degree that it generally doesn’t matter to us.

None of this, however, has anything to do with Marxism, and it being at a small scale in no way invalidates it’s validity or value. Heck, we wouldn’t have atomic bombs at all without the emergence of quantum mechanics.

Also, thanks for arguing the philosophy side, @koanhead. While I’m a philosophy hobbyist, so to speak, i tend to be bad at actually arguing the semantics.

BhacSsylan (9522)

The scientific method works by logical fallacy as all scientific theories, including Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, arise from induction. The problem stems further then this to the problem of criterion.

1. What do we know? or What is the extent of our knowledge?
2. How do we know? or What is the criterion of knowing?

The problem here is that since we cannot have an answer to the first set of questions without first answering the second set, and we cannot hope to answer the second set of questions without first knowing the answers to the first set, we are, therefore, unable to answer either. This has the result of our being unable to justify any of our beliefs.

Some philosophers try first to answer the second set of questions, these are usually the empiricist who answer that we know by the criteria of senses. Those who try to answer the first set of questions are usually particularists, which build from particular cases towards universal cases. Those who claim to possess the criterion of truth have a problem. This criterion is either justified, or it is not. If it is unjustified, then it is not to be trusted. If the criterion of truth is justified by a premise, then that premise has to be justified by another premise, and so on, ad infinitum. In other words, assuming that knowledge is justified true belief, then: suppose that P is some piece of knowledge. Then P is a justified true belief. The only thing that can justify P is another statement – let’s call it P1; so P1 justifies P, but if P1 is to be a satisfactory justification for P, then we must know that P1, but for P1 to be known, it must also be a justified true belief. That justification will be another statement – let’s call it P2; so P2 justifies P1, but if P2 is to be a satisfactory justification for P1, then we must know that P2 is true, but for P2 to count as knowledge, it must itself be a justified true belief. That justification will in turn be another statement – let’s call it P3; so P3 justifies P2, and so on, ad infinitum.

“Self-evident beliefs” or “basic facts” do not exist, but are an invitation to “beg the question”. Begging the question (or “assuming the initial point”) is a type of logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proven is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise. The fallacy of “begging the question” is committed when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof. More specifically, it refers to arguing for a conclusion that has already been assumed in the premise, in effect “begging” the listener to accept the “question” (proposition) before the labor of logic is undertaken. There is a similar, yet a bit different logical fallacy that is used and that is circular reasoning. Circular reasoning is a formal logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises. For example, “Only an untrustworthy person would run for office. The fact that politicians are untrustworthy is proof of this.” Such an argument is fallacious because it relies upon its own proposition (“politicians are untrustworthy”) in order to support its central premise. Essentially, the argument assumes that its central point is already proven, and uses this in support of itself. Circular reasoning is different from the informal logical fallacy “begging the question”, as it is fallacious due to a flawed logical structure and not the individual falsity of an unstated hidden co-premise as begging the question is. Systems are always built upon some sort of assumed axioms which are taken for granted by them with the so called “self-evident beliefs”, but there are no such things, for if something were self-evident, it would have to be circular, proving itself, and there is no fact (A) which proves itself (A because A is not proof for A), but it always needs some other fact (B) to prove it (A because B), and so on, ad infinitum (A because B; B because C; etc).

So, from the problem of criterion emerges the next problem. All justifications of philosophical systems fail because they cannot escape the Munchhausen Trilemma. The three tropes are:

1. The infinite regress, in which any justification for a hypothesis requires another justification and so on ad infinitum (A because B; B because C; etc). Being impossible to justify to infinity, one cannot prove a hypothesis.

2. The circularity of an argument, when the truth asserted is grounded in a circular reasoning. The circular reasoning is closely associated with the begging the question fallacy (A is true because of B, and B is true because of A). They support each other in a vicious cycle.

3. Lastly, we have a suspension of argumentation. A hypothesis which is assumed to be true, common sense argument, appeal to authority (like scientific or religious authority) or “fundamental” principles of “reality” – in doing so, the search for certainty is abandoned, and the theory is attackable and refutable from its premise.

This trilemma destroys any type of certainty in philosophy, from morality to aesthetics to politics. Usually these domains rest upon begging the question reasoning. For example, in politics, the debates are confined by a constitution. In morality, the polemics are confined by the laws (which rest upon politics that he himself said it, or begging the question, or appeal to force, or appeal to popularity in the case of democracy). In aesthetics, the taste is usually confined by morality (which as I’ve shown rest upon politics, etc). These three domains are basically unreasonable.

As for induction, the problem concerns the explanation of how we are able to make inductive inferences. Inductive inference is reasoning from the observed behavior of objects to their behavior when unobserved. It is a question of how things behave when they go beyond the present testimony of the senses, and the records of our memory. We tend to believe that things behave in a regular manner; i.e., that patterns in the behavior of objects will persist into the future, and throughout the unobserved present (this persistence of regularities is sometimes called the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature). The principle of the uniformity of nature is the concept or assumption, fundamental to all physical sciences, that the nature of reality is consistent throughout all of space and time. More specifically, no observer can, under any circumstances, perform a measurement that yields a result logically inconsistent with a previous measurement, under a set of rules that are independent of where and when the observations are made. The argument is that we cannot rationally justify the claim that nature will continue to be uniform, as justification comes in only two varieties, and both of these are inadequate. The two sorts are: (1) demonstrative reasoning, and (2) probable reasoning. With regard to (1), the uniformity principle cannot be demonstrated, as it is “consistent and conceivable” that nature might stop being regular. Turning to (2), we cannot hold that nature will continue to be uniform because it has been in the past, as this is using the very sort of reasoning (induction) that is under question; it would be circular reasoning. Thus, no form of justification will rationally warrant our inductive inferences. Since deduction can no longer be justified by induction, and it would be circular to use deduction to justify itself, it seems that it too is unjustifiable by pure reason.

To understand induction a bit more, I’ll elucidate on causal relations. Causal relations is the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first, which form the basis for “matters of fact.” Causal relations are found not by reason, but by induction. This is because for any cause, multiple effects are conceivable, and the actual effect cannot be determined by reasoning about the cause; instead, one must observe occurrences of the causal relation to discover that it holds. For example, when one thinks of “a billiard ball moving in a straight line toward another,” one can conceive that the first ball bounces back with the second ball remaining at rest, the first ball stops and the second ball moves, or the first ball jumps over the second, etc. There is no reason to conclude any of these possibilities over the others. Only through previous observation can it be predicted, inductively, what will actually happen with the balls. In general, it is not necessary that causal relation in the future resemble causal relations in the past, as it is always conceivable otherwise that the negation of the claim does not lead to a contradiction. If all matters of fact are based on causal relations, and all causal relations are found by induction, then induction must be shown to be valid somehow. The fact that induction assumes a valid connection between the proposition “I have found that such an object has always been attended with such an effect” and the proposition “I foresee that other objects which are in appearance similar will be attended with similar effects”, one connects these two propositions not by reason, but by induction. This claim is supported by the same reasoning as that for causal relations above, and by the observation that even rationally inexperienced or inferior people can infer, for example, that touching fire causes pain. This is a challenge for other philosophers to come up with a (deductive) reason for the connection. If this is correct, then the justification of induction can be only inductive, but this begs the question; as induction is based on an assumption of the connection, it cannot itself explain the connection. In this way, the problem of induction is not only concerned with the uncertainty of conclusions derived by induction, but doubts the very principle through which those uncertain conclusions are derived.

Observing event A, coinciding with event B, for about a thousand times, does not allow us to logically prove that event A, and event B, always correspond. This is the problem of inducing knowledge from particular cases to universal cases. If there is a sense in which humans accrue knowledge positively by experience, it is only by pivoting observations off existing conjectural theories pertinent to the observations, or off underlying cognitive schemas which unconsciously handle perceptions and use them to generate new theories, but these new theories advanced in response to perceived particulars are not logically “induced” from them. These new theories may be wrong. The myth that we induce theories from particulars is persistent because when we do this we are often successful, but this is due to the advanced state of our evolved tendencies. If we were really “inducting” theories from particulars, it would be inductively logical to claim that the sun sets because I get up in the morning, or that all buses must have drivers in them (if you’ve never seen an empty bus).

epoche (26)

@epoche aaaannnnddd… none of that has anything really to do with the uncertainty principle. Well done.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Aaaand, does any of this help with your homework, hon? That’s at the OP @sunssi

Dutchess_III (39522)

@epoche You wouldn’t happen to know someone who calls himself Summum would you?

I think @gasman has it right, but then owing to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle how can
we be certain of Heisenberg;s Uncertainty Principle? :-)

ETpro (34490)

Since you didn’t provide a reason for why it doesn’t apply, I’m going to assume that you don’t understand the premise, and thus, it’s easier for you dismiss that which you do not comprehend rather than to analyze and critique. I think you should read the details of the question before commenting to me, or perhaps try re-reading the first line of what I wrote.

No, I do not.

epoche (26)

@epoche It’s very simple. You’re arguing some premise about the logical impossibility of 100% proof. That is completely different from the uncertainty principle, which is a finite limit on the precision of measurements. They are orthogonal arguments.

BhacSsylan (9522)

I’m arguing the problem of induction which the uncertainty principle rests on. I’m further arguing the fundamental flaw of the scientific model. If you don’t see how that relates to finite measurements, then I can’t really help you. Again, re-read the details of the question.

epoche (26)

No, that it not what the uncertainty principle rests on. The uncertainty principle rests on the inability to accurately measure a quantity, based on the issues caused by the measuring apparatus. Again, this is a physical limitation, not a philosophical argument.

Oh, i see the problem. You’re saying science is bunk. Yah, I got nothing more to say here.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Well let’s take an inventory, @epoche. The scientific methid has given us everything we have in the modern world that works from Apple Computers to Zoom llenses. It’s given us what we know of medicine and evolution and genetics and space travel. And wonder of wonder, all that stuff actually works.

What non-scientific method can boast anything near so impressive?

ETpro (34490)

Theories emerge from the scientific method. Is induction not part of the scientific method?

The theory ultimately rests upon induction. You’re just explaining to me what the theory is, I’m aware of that.

I think you and I are interpreting the question differently.

epoche (26)

What do the practical applications have anything to do with this question?

epoche (26)

@epoche At least as much as questioning the entire underpinnings of the scientific method. I just wondered, if you distrust the scientific method to arrive at something approximating fact, what do you suggest as a replacement?

ETpro (34490)

I’m a skeptic. It’s not my goal to suggest a replacement. I simply debunk all premises as I illustrated. I didn’t write that I distrust it, I wrote that it’s based upon logical fallacy. If you disagree with any point I made, feel free to correct me.

I’ll leave it at that because this is in the general section, and we’re going off-topic.

epoche (26)

@epoche
This is not a philosophical question. I’m sure it’s wonderful for you to believe that nothing can be known and to construct (or quote) elaborate logical justifications for that belief.
However, it’s irrelevant to science whether things can be known or not (except in certain cases, like the Information Paradox, where we attempt to figure out the fate of information in certain extreme cases, or ponder, as in the case of the Uncertainty Principle, whether limits to precision imply lost or missing information). We observe phenomena and we attempt to describe them and to use those descriptions in order to make predictions about the phenomena. If the predictions work, we keep using them. If they don’t, then we change them.
Science makes no claim to infallibility or omniscience. In fact, the history of science is one of intellectual mistakes. They are, after all, the only way to find things out.

@epoche All good scientists are intimately familiar with the discipline’s failings. That is why they rely on peer review and multiple, separate observers testing to see if experimental results are repeatable. Even then, inaccuracies slip throug. But they tend to get caught and corrected. The fact we are looking for something that actually works, and predicts other things that works, makes it difficult for glarig errors to long survive.

Healthy skepticism is a good and commendable thing. Absolute,skepticism is not so good. It leads to the conclusion that nothing can be proven, even your own existence or the reality of the universe—and therefore nothing should be done. You obviously aren’t that skeptical, or you wouldn’t be here trying to convince a bunch of scientists that the scientific method is hopelessly flawed.

ETpro (34490)

Science attempts to explain. If the scientific method is based upon logical fallacy, then explanations can’t be justified. Furthermore, as I pointed out the problem with criterion, you are suppose to justify the criterion (scientific in this case) before putting trust into it. Any premise that can’t be justified is not to be trusted.

epoche (26)

I just scrolled up and I noticed that you guys are arguing like any other religious cult.

You claim that the only way to know is through the scientific method, yet you can’t justify the criterion. Not only that, but you haven’t written a single counter argument to debunk the scientific method from being a logical fallacy.

You still expect anyone to take you seriously?

epoche (26)

@epoche
Science attempts to describe and to predict, not to explain. Explanations are the realm of religion and of philosophy.
The scientific method is not based on “logical fallacy” but on falsification. The scientific method is not a theorem. It is an algorithm for proving things wrong. Science is about finding wrong things, precisely because things cannot be proved correct. Have you read Karl Popper, by any chance?
Trust doesn’t enter into science either. One does not trust one’s premises, one tests them in order to prove them wrong. If it can’t be proved wrong, it’s not science. If it can be proved wrong but hasn’t yet in spite of great effort, then we call it theory.

Science is NOT philosophy; it is an ad-hoc method for gathering data.

@epoche
Now you’ve descended to ad-hominem. You expect anyone to take you seriously?
The ad-hominem attack, by the way, is an example of logical fallacy.
So is the straw man. Neither @ETPro nor I have claimed that the scientific method is “the only way to know”. I don’t make that claim nor need I defend it. Neither do I need to “debunk the scientific method from being a logical fallacy” because that doesn’t even make sense. Once again, the “scientific method” is an ad-hoc algorithm for falsifying hypotheses. It’s logical “validity” is irrelevant as long as it does what it’s supposed to do. When that happens it will be changed, as it has in the past.

And no, I don’t expect anyone to take me seriously- but I find that people generally do if they can understand what I’m saying.

You seemed to have missed the entire point of my premise. That is the point I was making, that you’re not proving anything wrong. If the algorithm is fallacious, how can you be proving something wrong? Same goes for the testing. If the algorithm itself can’t be justified, how can you prove anything wrong?

Let’s see if it’s fallacious or not. I’ll use an example and plug it into my premise. Take the moon controlling the tides as science describes. The scientists rationally tries to justify that the moon controlling the tide will continue to be uniform, as justification comes in only two varieties, and both of these are inadequate. The two sorts are: (1) demonstrative reasoning, and (2) probable reasoning. With regard to (1), the moon will continue to control the tide cannot be demonstrated, as it is “consistent and conceivable” that nature might stop being regular. Turning to (2), the scientist cannot hold that the moon will continue to control the tide because it has been in the past, as this is using the very sort of reasoning (induction) that is under question; it would be circular reasoning. Thus, no form of justification will rationally warrant our inductive inferences. Since deduction can no longer be justified by induction, and it would be circular to use deduction to justify itself, it seems that it too is unjustifiable by pure reason.

Seems pretty clear that this is a logical fallacy.

@koanhead wrote, “They are, after all, the only way to find things out”

What do you call that? Sounds like cult talk to me.

epoche (26)

I think that Uncertainty =/= Randomness pretty much sums it up. It is theoretically possible that things we see as “random” actually follow rules that we don’t understand yet and maybe never will and our inability to measure accurately may be the result of using the wrong tools, just as a micrometer is more accurate than a tape measure.

Now I am going to make some popcorn, pull up a seat, and take bets on @koanhead versus @epoche
I know where I am putting my money!

jerv (31034)

@jerv Ah, but how can you know the outcome? Whose to say that what you’re seeing isn’t the product of your own imagination?

Oh, and pass that popcorn.

BhacSsylan (9522)

@BhacSsylan I don’t know if I will actually win; that is what gambling is about :D
I put extra butter on this, is that a problem?

jerv (31034)

Another straw man, another personal attack. This gets tiresome.

The logical validity of the scientific method is not relevant as long as it helps us find counterexamples.

As long as we’ve been checking, the tides have correlated with the position of the Moon. As soon as this changes (a counterexample is found) then we will know that the idea that the tides result from the Moon’s influence is false. Until that happens, Newton’s theory of gravity is a useful framework for prediction, and that’s all it is. Newton’s theory of gravitation is, in fact, wrong according to other, more subtle experiments we have made. It has been supplanted by Einstein’s General Relativity, which in turn may someday be supplanted by a theory of quantum gravity. Newton’s theory retains its predictive power within certain limits.
Inductive reasoning is only part of the scientific method, and not the most important part. You can question the validity of that part, but it doesn’t change the fact that the method works more or less as intended.

@jerv well played, sir! And sure, butter is some tasty stuff. Well, you know, as far as I tell.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Another personal attack? Where?

You wrote “Neither @ETPro nor I have claimed that the scientific method is “the only way to know”.”

I just pointed out your lie with your following statement. “They are, after all, the only way to find things out”

This is in fact an unjustified claim which is cult chatter.

@koanhead wrote, “The logical validity of the scientific method is not relevant as long as it helps us find counterexamples.”

Key word highlighted. You just ended the conversation with this comment. I’m now talking to an illogical person as you claim logic doesn’t matter. Thanks for illustrating how the scientific community is a cult.

And you’re wrong, induction is the most important part of the scientific method and that is why the entire method is fallacious. Need I remind you of infinite regress? Every point must be justified and you just stated justification is irrelevant to science. I do not trust a criterion that is unjustified and one that claims that logic is irrelevant.

epoche (26)

@epoche my understanding is that the epistemological foundation for the scientific method goes something like this:

Either 1. we can more-or less trust our senses and minds to give us accurate knowledge about our surroundings or: 2. we can’t because we’re brains in vats or something else along those lines.

If 2 is true, then nothing really matters because nothing is knowable except that we are entities capable of doubting. ergo, assume 1 is true (while acknowledging the possibility that it isn’t).

If 1 is true, then the scientific method is useful, because it has successfully produced (some very large quantity) of useful results (via inductive logic). It’s not 100% airtight perfect, but it’s functionally adequate because it seems to produce quality results even under rigorous examination.

In a way it’s like an epistemic version of Pascal’s wager.

Welcome to Fluther by the way!

gorillapaws (22808)

Sigh.

Calling me a cultist is a personal attack.

“They are… the only way to find things out” refers to mistakes, not to the scientific method. My command of English grammar is sufficient that I don’t use “they” to refer to a singular entity.

Perhaps the scientific community is illogical. Certainly science contains many apparent paradoxes. So what? Our knowledge is not complete, nor is it likely ever to be so (vice Kurt Godel). Perhaps the natural world is also illogical. Of what use is logic, then?

You appear to wish to “end the conversation” because you are talking to an “illogical person”. Do you believe, then, that you are a “logical person”?

Claiming that induction “is the most important part of the scientific method” does not make it so. You provide no evidence that it is so, and no useful counterargument against my assertion that is is not so. This is not a logical argument.

I have tried to explain my position. You have countered with nastiness and name-calling. I will no longer follow this question. @gorillapaws has summarized my position pretty effectively, maybe that will have some effect.

@epoche Just to say, all of your arguments require that logic be a tool that works to elucidate the truth of an argument. However, you have yet to prove that that’s true. How do you know logic leads to any truth? And how do you know that what your mind is producing is, in fact, logic, and not random connections you perceive as logic? Just wondering.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Key word if, yes? Justify it first, and then we can trust it. However, in an attempt to justify the criterion, how do you expect to get out of infinite regress? Every point must justify itself, ad infinitum. A because B, B because C; etc.

Quality results? How is illogical fallacy quality results? Did you read my latest example of the tide controlling the moon?

That’s my point. By throwing my own premise back at me, it shows that no one knows anything because we can’t justify.

I know nothing, not even my own ignorance.

epoche (26)

@epoche So why, exactly, do you care to come on here? What’s the point? You are not proving anything at all, then, you’re yelling into a void. You’re screaming “it doesn’t make sense!” while simultaneously saying that sense, doesn’t, and make have no meaning. Yes, sure, we have to start somewhere. Because some of us prefer to live in an understandable universe, which by every possible method of quantification we currently have, we exist in. Your meaningless babble does nothing to counteract the evidence of our senses. Could it be flawed? Sure. And as @koanhead has stated, every good scientist understands this limitation. But it doesn’t mean we can’t damn well try. And I’ll leave it to @gorillapaws to define his argument to that effect.

BhacSsylan (9522)

You meaningless babble does nothing as well, that is the point.

Irrationality vs Irrationality, my word against yours. You want to poison the minds of others with your scientific cult, I simply provide the counter argument.

epoche (26)

@epoche No, see, because we accept rationality and logic. So, i can show to these other fine people that you are being as useful to the world as an eternal two year old. I can showcase your faults, as @koanhead did before me, so that we can logically understand the arguments, and use them later. I can advance our understanding of the world as we understand it to be. All you get to do is babble. We’ll all leave this conversation with more knowledge. You, however, will remain unchanged by your own admission.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Actually, @koanhead said logic is irrelevant.

if you claim to accept logic, then why can’t you debunk my premise?

Show me how science is not a logical fallacy. Debunk the moon example.

Debunk any of my points for that matter.

epoche (26)

@epoche ok, so the justification goes something like:

1. Our senses and minds are reasonable sources of knowledge

2. or: not 1. (since the law of non-contradiciton will prevent both from being true simultaneously)

3. Assume 1 is true.

4. The scientific method generates knowledge (inductively observed from 3)

5. if 2 is true, then the knowledge generated by 4 is false.

if 1 is true, then the scientific method must be useful, if 2 is true than it’s not (but there is no better alternative). Given that we can’t know if either 1 or 2 is true: assume the scientific method is useful because in the cases where it’s not, we have no way of knowing otherwise and it’s no more of a detriment than not assuming it’s true.

By assuming the scientific method is useful we have two possible outcomes (generating knowledge when it’s possible to do so, and not generating knowledge in a universe where it’s impossible to do so). If we assume that the scientific method isn’t useful then the two possible outcomes are ( failing to generate knowledge despite it being possible to do so, and not generating knowledge in a universe where it’s impossible to do so). In a pascal’s wageresque move, it seems the most reasonable to assume that the scientific method produces knowledge, because there is literally nothing to loose by being wrong in this assumption.

gorillapaws (22808)

Assuming is a logical fallacy, sorry. Begging the question, wishful thinking. This is no different then religion, they assume G-d.

I’ll assume the church of the spaghetti monster.

epoche (26)

@epoche actually, it’s not. In game theory, it’s a perfectly reasonable to make assumptions based on potential outcomes. It’s actually quite different than religion in this instance. Again, it doesn’t prove that the scientific method is deductively valid, merely that it’s the most logical position to assume it produces truth.

gorillapaws (22808)

@jerv Be a dear and pass that popcorn over…thanks!

Raven_Rising (2215)

I’ve come late… I haven’t read all the responses but I won’t let such a little thing as that get in the way of me sneaking a quick \$0.02 in! ;)

@koanhead, this principle actually fell directly out of the theory as the result of the physical variables becoming matrices. Matrix multiplication, unlike the multiplication of real numbers, is non-commutative. A times B does not necessarily equal B times A when A and B are matrices. In the instance of quantum mechanics, a fixed residue for AB – BA was found for matrices A and B representing position and momentum, and this is where the uncertainty comes from.

Game theory needs to be justified before I trust it, and whatever justifies game theory has to be justified, and so on, ad infinitum. You have to now justify why this is a more logical position, and after you justify it, you will have to justify your justification, and so on, ad infinitum. You’re trying to put something as a basic belief, as a starting point, however, a starting point needs to be justified, otherwise, why should anyone trust it? Again, religion claims G-d as a starting point, but they have no justification. Instead, they say, G-d proves G-d, logical fallacy…

epoche (26)

@epoche debunking the moon example is easy, frankly. Your entire problem rests on a claim of perfect knowledge. We have made no such claim. Rejected it quite frequently, actually. We can, though, look for the most likely explanations, and then test the theories those explanations bring forth.

For the moon, observation leads to the idea that the moon controls the tides. This theory leads to the prediction that, in the future, the moon’s position will dictate the position of the tides. This is tested, and supported, repeatedly. We make no claim that it will never fail, only that, according to massive information compiled, that it is highly likely to remain so. You’re saying it’s wrong, because we can’t be 100% sure of continued agreement with theory. But we never said that it’s sure, only that it’s probable, and we are consistently right. You have no evidence to the contrary, therefore no way to disprove it except to fall back on logical arguments that a) don’t reduce to anything you can use as proof, either and b) you have rejected as useless.

Also, assuming is not a logical fallacy where it is the only possible choice. We agree that we cannot determine which is true to perfection. However, only one leads to any usable datum, and so we use it. If presented with a choice of something or nothing, something should be taken, because nothing gives no advantage.

And, to your last point, your still using logic, despite it not being justified. Why?

@hiphiphopflipflapflop Ah, thank you. I thought it had something to do with the math involved, but unfortunately my physical chemistry and math education left something to be desired.

BhacSsylan (9522)

You basically said the same thing @koan did, you’re ignoring the logical fallacy. It’s not relevant to you. If you reject logic, I reject you for being illogical.

I use logic to counter your examples. If I’m unjustified, then so are you. I fight irrationality with irrationality. If you want to end this irrational debate, then agree to disagree, however if you insist on poisoning the minds of others with your cultist ideology you call science, I will keep countering it with logic.

epoche (26)

No, I, like @gorillapaws, understand that it is not a logical fallacy to choose the most useful option. Explain this, if you will: why, when presented the choice above, of useful logical extrapolation vs nothing, is nothing the logical choice?

BhacSsylan (9522)

@epoche I’m confident that there is a deductive basis for establishing the epistemic legitimacy of game theory. It’s an offshoot of mathematics and logic and doesn’t even require an external world in order to be true.

gorillapaws (22808)

Nothing is a logical choice. Find a method that is logical first, then move on. I won’t create a God and then move on blindly. That’s complete nonsense.

epoche (26)

Your confidence is fine, but you still need to get out of infinite regress. You’re wishfully thinking. Creating the first basic belief has to be justified. Again,

1. What do we know? or What is the extent of our knowledge?
2. How do we know? or What is the criterion of knowing?

If you claim to have the criterion of truth, then it must be justified, and once you justified it, you will have to justify the premise that you used to justify the first, and so on, ad infinitum. There is no way out of it.

epoche (26)

A thought (or rather, a quote) occurred to me that seemed relevant to the discussion at hand.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

Part of science is that we don’t actually know for a stone cold fact and therefore must assume. Sometimes those assumptions are close enough to the truth to be considered “truth” until something more true comes along. For instance, gravitational attraction is proportional to the masses involved and inversely proportional to the square of the distance. To date, all of our measurements support that and none have refuted it with enough validity (reliable measurements outside of the margin of error of the measurements) so for all practical purposes, F = G ( (m_1 m_2 ) / ( r^2 ) can be considered true even though it really is merely an assumption.

By the same token, I know game theory and have seen it justified far better than you have justified yourself thus far. I don’t feel that game theory needs to be justified any more than Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation does.

Reject us all you want, but you won’t convince us that 2 plus 2 equals Orange.

jerv (31034)

When you counter argue me using logic, we will talk further, otherwise, that’s exactly what i will do, reject the illogical.

Keep creating a new God for yourself. God proves God, makes so much sense!

epoche (26)

@epoche But we do have a logical method. We have something with produces measurable results, vs something that produces nothing. The logical choice is to use the method which produces results. It is, by the rules of logic, completely impossible to prove anything. I will not, and no one has, argued this. But the inability to prove something does not remove that thing’s usefulness, nor does it disallow us from understanding probability of that thing being correct.

A final question, as I must sleep. You need to paint a wall white. You are handed a paint can. Do you use the paint, or stare at your hands and eventually die from thirst?

BhacSsylan (9522)

I’m here to counter the irrational babble you guys spew. If you claim I’m doing the same, then we’re a bunch of fools arguing.

epoche (26)

@epoche And, a refusal to answer. Game, set, match.

I can edit, too, whee! Your answer below is not an answer to the question, plain and simple. It is still a lack of answer. You are no longer countering logic with logic, but with illogical silliness.

BhacSsylan (9522)

@epoche and your understanding of the infinite regress problem is lacking. It applies to observational knowledge and not the types of deductive knowledge such as logic and mathematics. These things can be proven to be true regardless of us being brains in vats or the subjects of evil geniuses. I don’t have the skill, time or desire to establish the proof of all logical and mathematical theory, suffice to say that it has been done and it’s available to look up. These things are certainly within the realm of justified true belief, or first principles or whatever fundamentalist term makes you happy. Feel free to ask your Philosophy 101 professor.

gorillapaws (22808)

I didn’t refuse to answer.. I was writing a side response. Pretty arrogant of you, which is no surprise given the fact that you like to assume things. Actually, as I illustrated fallacious measurements are exactly that, fallacious. You took something over nothing, but hat something is nonsensical, so how does that make you logical?

I can choose to watch paint dry over doing nothing, does that make me more logical?

As for your question. I’ll do neither. I’ll go and do whatever I want.

epoche (26)

If you can’t prove the criterion (math in this case), how can it be provable?

It’s like saying, I created God, and now I can logically prove everything within the religion as long as you don’t ask me questions about God.

epoche (26)

Something I am curious about now…

@epoche How do you define “logic”? What do you consider “logical”? It is near my bedtime as well so I am starting to get a little fuzzy around the edges, but it appears that your definitions and viewpoints do not match with ours on those things and that you not only assume that you are correct, but stop just short of explicitly stating that you are correct because you and only you are logical.

jerv (31034)

By the way, despite of what I said, within the mathematics itself, you have the same problem. Tarski’s undefinability theorem. The theorem applies more generally to any sufficiently strong formal system, showing that truth in the standard model of the system cannot be defined within the system.

epoche (26)

@epoche certain things are self-evident and don’t require a physical universe to be true. A thing cannot be true and not true at the same time. This is known as the law of non-contradiction. It’s true in this universe and would be true on any other possible world. Logic is actually derived from more basic logical principles, but it’s not observational, it’s deductive. Perhaps you’ll learn about it in more advanced philosophy courses.

gorillapaws (22808)
Response moderated

@epoche so you’re stating that the law of non-contradiction isn’t self-evident?

gorillapaws (22808)

@epoche We are, once again, not stating anything as proof. You are the only one claiming this. You keep bringing up “I proved god”, and that everything follows. But we’re not. We accept that there is only one logical course, and that is the acceptance of one of only two possible choices. That’s like saying “Either we have god, or this saw. I need to cut this table, so i shall choose the saw”. And, low and behold, the table gets cut. The axiom of ‘God’ you’re so fond of does not lead to provable and useful results. Neither does your method of “fuck this, i’m going to go wander in a random direction. It’s not like I can make any determination of which is better”. Also, how do you know what you “want” to do?

The acceptance of a logical and understandable universe, despite your claims to the otherwise, provide useful explanations and extrapolations, and we still can measure the results, and they still come up roses. This is useful as long as they continue to do so, and they do. The very device you’re having this debate on uses these rules. How do you claim they are not useful, while using it? If this broke down, it would be discarded. However it has not yet, and so it is still useful.

Also, plagiarism isn’t very nice. Wiki is sad.

BhacSsylan (9522)

@BhacSsylan And after watching this thread for a couple of hours, so am I!

jerv (31034)

If it can’t be justified, then why should I trust this law?

You keep repeating the same thing. Again, what you’re doing is setting up a basic belief system. I told you, it’s sooner logical to do nothing, then to engage in the illogical. If you keep on insisting that illogical fallacy is to be ignored, and that we still know things despite this logical fallacy then I can’t possibly take you seriously as you’re by definition, being illogical. I can only talk to you irrationally.

epoche (26)

How is it plagiarism if I’m crediting the person? I think you’re trying to hard to put me in a bad light, tsk, tsk.

epoche (26)

@epoche because it’s true a priori. You actually believe that the law of non-contradiction is not self-evident?

gorillapaws (22808)

Because the wording is ripped straight from wikipedia. And that wasn’t trying hard.

And sorry, i will not agree that staring at your hands is a logical course of action, when others are available. You continue to act based on logic, using machines built by logic, arguments fueled by logic, and trying to convince people who you only know exist via logical inference, and not simply staring at your hands. Your very involvement in this discussion proves you do not use the principles you espouse, as does your continued existence as more then a hunk of dead tissue.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Yes, I copied it from wiki, I fail to see how it’s plagiarism? I credited the person who created the formula. Wikipedia is an open source encyclopedia…

If my principle is self-defeating then we’re both irrational and thus it’s my irrationality vs your irrationality which is the point of my argument. Knowledge is unknowable.

epoche (26)

@epoche be sure to read up on axioms.

To quote the Persian Philosopher Avicenna:
“Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.”

gorillapaws (22808)

@Dutchess_III
¬_¬ They never asked these sorts of questions when I did physics, it was mostly how to work out this equation after we have told you an example exactly the same but has new numbers in.
But thanks for being annoying and patronizing anyway.

sunssi (120)

@epoche Because when you take large chunks of text directly from another source without crediting the text to that source, it is plagiarism, plain an simple.

And sorry, it’s not. One of use is claiming everything is illogical, while using the fruits of logic in everything they do, and absolutely refusing to admit it. Completely ignoring the point in fact. You say ‘nothing’ is the proper answer, yet you are still doing quite a bit more then nothing. Until you do, you’re a hypocrite, and nothing more.

BhacSsylan (9522)

I took two sentences, how is that a large chunk? The source, is open source, it’s not private. If I didn’t credit Tarski, then that would be plagiarism, but I did. Again, you’re trying to hard to put me in a bad light. Interesting how you can’t argue my points, so you resort to petty attacks. What did I bruise your ego by shattering your ideology? I sense the desperation.

If it’s not self-defeating then debunk it logically. You already said that science doesn’t care that its work is based upon logical fallacy. If you accept logic, then you must think and act logically, since you’re not, you’re the only hypocrite here, which means you’re the only one preaching dogmatic ideologies here. If you were logical, nothing is preferred over a fallacious method. A logical person would create a logical method. Only an irrational person would create something out of thin air and then think that he/she is showing things to be wrong with his/her fallacious “algorithm”.

epoche (26)

I was saying it’s not ‘irrationality vs irrationality’. Your method is self defeating, because you have yet to explain to me how you justify doing something, when by your own admission nothing is the proper choice. The only option you are left with, by your own admission, is nothing. So why are you still doing anything?

I, and everyone else, has explained why choosing the productive option is more rational and logical then either choosing the other option or refusing to choose. I am consistent in that I continue to follow that line of reasoning. You, however, claim the other option, yet continue to act based on reason and logic, despite saying that these are not the correct choice, and therefore are a hypocrite.

I have made the choice, and continue to follow it as long as it gives useful and reproducible results as far as I am capable of understanding them. You claim that it gives no such results, and yet continue to act in a manner which is the result of your own mental assumptions and using machinery built by those using logic, both of which you reject as fallacious.

You have yet to give a straight answer: how do you justify “I told you, it’s sooner logical to do nothing, then to engage in the illogical”, yet here you are, not doing nothing, and in fact engaging in an ‘illogical’ discourse, by your own admission. You are NOT choosing nothing, despite saying it is the proper choice. That is why you are a hypocrite.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Actually, I find it interesting that my question was never answered here. All this talk about logic and yet you never define it. Sounds like it may be a “moving goalposts” fallacy.

jerv (31034)

@epoche Science isn’t based on a logical fallacy, it’s based on an assumption that may or may not turn out to be true. There is a difference.

This assumption is a logical “leap of faith” but is the most rational leap one can make. You yourself have obviously made it by bothering to waste your time entering text into a computer somewhere believing that we are all real and responding back to you and not evil-geniuses fucking with your mind.

I’ll leave you with this warning my philosophy 101 professor imparted to us when we were leaving class after covering Descartes:

“Just remember that even though the cars out there might really be figments of your imagination, they can still kill you, so it would still be wise to look both ways before crossing the street”

gorillapaws (22808)

No one, including myself, can justify anything. This is the point of my premise. Even when I debunk you logically, I can’t fully justify it, because the very same premise is self-defeating. However, the creation of this question was logical. Notice you don’t debunk the premise, but instead, you attack it in a different manner, by asking a question with a question, which is displaying your ignorance.

Just because I can’t justify knowledge does not mean I can’t act. I can act just as irrationally as you can. The point was, is that it’s irrational. It’s not more logical. Creating basic beliefs out of thin air is not more logical and is not more productive because you can’t justify productivity over unproductive.

You’re right, I’m using a machine right now, and this is a practical application. Does this suddenly make the scientific algorithm correct in proving things wrong?

epoche (26)

What question?

epoche (26)

Alright, then the church of the spaghetti monster is a leap of faith as well. What makes your leap of faith any more rational then someone else’s?

epoche (26)

How are you justifying the manner in which you act? Why are you not going around clucking like a chicken? We justify our actions by the reactions produced, in accordance with the logical assumption that the alternative is random action or no action at all. We can justify productivity, because by only measures available to us, it produces positive results, that being the result we expect. Again, this is the only logical choice if the alternative is random behavior or non-behavior. Especially when the methods available to us show those options as detrimental.

And yes, because in order to use that you must concede that you are capable of understanding productivity. Your continued objection to this doesn’t make it any less so. Again, by your measure there is no reason to choose this behavior over lack of action or random behavior, yet you consistently choose this behavior. You’re acting on rational guidelines, and yet saying one can’t. Hypocrite blah blah.

And to answer for @gorillapaws, (though feel free to override me if i’m out of line, good sir), This ‘leap of faith’ is, as has been stated, absolutely necessary to function. Again, it is required in order to determine any useful course of behavior, and therefore a useful one. Random behavior gives absolutely no reproducible positive feedback, while directed rational behavior does give reproducible positive feedback. In the absence of any other way to determine proper course, this is the only rational option. the leap of faith to a god, however, not only is not required, but also may require many other axiomatic concepts which can run counter to those produced by the first path. Therefore, it’s inclusion is unnecessary and irrational.

BhacSsylan (9522)
epoche (26)

Alright, you keep repeating the same counter arguments. I’m only going to keep giving you the same logical debunks, so instead, I’ll stop.

epoche (26)

Why? why stop? why not just spout random gibberish into here? Or start spasming? Why choose any course of action of another? Why continue to eat and drink water and think? According to your arguments there is absolutely no justification for these actions, yet you continue to perform them.

Also, just to be clear, I keep repeating said argument because you have yet to answer my question and justify why nothing is the proper answer, nor have you explained how choosing ‘nothing’ somehow entitles you to act, while the rest of us here have given explanations for why the alternative is rational.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Hence my premise, we’re irrational by definition. We behave irrational, not logically, as we can’t justify knowledge.

epoche (26)

But you are choosing an action where, according to you, no choice is possible. Why are you choosing to repeatedly perform an action over anything else?

BhacSsylan (9522)

According to me all choices are possible, but they’re all irrational choices as they’re unjustified.

I have no problem behaving irrationally and you seem to not have a problem behaving irrationally as well. All logic out the window.

epoche (26)

I am not behaving irrationally, because I am acting in accordance with rational principles to prolong my own life and happiness, all a result of the logical assumption that repeatable positive results are a better choice then alternatives. These things produce repeatable positive results, and so i continue them. You say you have no such guidelines, and yet you continue to act in rational self interest in so much as you continue to live. Again, the question you have once again failed to answer: why choose this? You just say ‘I’m irrational!’ but if that were the case then, once again, you would not currently exist, because you have no method of determining detrimental behaviors from non-detrimental behaviors.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Yes, I’ve heard your argument for the 100th time, and you heard mine. I’m not sure why you keep asking me questions when I’ve already displayed your irrational and illogical behavior which in itself is self-defeating. If you don’t like or in this case don’t understand my answer, well then I have nothing new to add. The minute you claimed logic is a necessary leap of faith, I stopped taking you seriously.

Keep telling yourself that your logical, whatever helps you sleep at night. Whatever keeps that ego of yours going.

I’ll take my leap of faith with the church of the spaghetti monster.

epoche (26)

I think I just figured it out. Logic is what one uses to arrive at a conclusion; you take facts, apply logic to them, and arrive at some form of final answer.

Now, by asserting that nothing can be justified, @epoche, you start with a conclusion and leave no room for logic. You have nowhere to go since you start at your destination.

jerv (31034)

OMG @jerv I think I finally understand something you said. Scary.

bkcunningham (18444)

I can’t justify logic as a criterion. So yes, my premise is irrational because it’s based on logic.

As long as criterion’s can’t be justified, they’re not to be trusted. Leap of faith is fantasy. That is why I don’t see a difference between science and religion. They take the same leap of faith to justify the criterion.

epoche (26)

@epoche And you still haven’t answered the question. Whatev. You keep telling yourself you’re right, that you’re illogical though you keep acting in your own self interest. Whatever keeps that ego of yours going. I’m going to go accomplish something with my time.

BhacSsylan (9522)

I did. Have fun.

epoche (26)

No you didn’t, you can’t accomplish anything by your system.

BhacSsylan (9522)

Yes i did, and neither can you. You only think you can. By your “logic” every religion is correct as the fundamental of religion is the basic belief in God. “A necessary leap of faith” according to you.

Justify your criterion, or stop preaching. After you’re done justifying it, justify the point you used to justify.

epoche (26)

@epoche One of the more common definitions I have seen for “faith” is “Belief without proof”. Taking a theory and experimenting on it by measuring whatever is relevant to the theory is proof; a hell of a lot more proof than, “This is what some guy was thinking when he wrote this book.”.

I think you also mistake “logic” for “truth” when it really is better described as “thought process”. It is possible to use sound logic but arrive at erroneous conclusions due to flawed premises/assumptions. You also seem to have an infinitesimally small confidence interval whereas most people consider anything that is within epsilon of that which is observed to be good enough to treat as true until proven otherwise. To do otherwise is to argue semantics; something that @koanhead is notoriously good at.

Does G not equal roughly 9.8 m/sec^2 where you live? I assume you live on Earth. I think that, until proven otherwise, it is safe to assume that G does equal ~9.8 m/sec^2 where you live, but if you can prove otherwise in a manner that is repeatable by your peers (or prove that you do not live on Earth) then I will change my mind. However, I have a high degree of confidence in my assertion; enough to consider it as fact whether it is or not. By the same token, I assume that when I hit a key on my keyboard that the computer will display the correct character on the screen. There may be some freakish occurrence like a bad button or a software glitch or my monitor fritzing out, but I can say with >99.999% confidence that that assumption is correct. Apparently, you would consider that leap of faith unacceptable, but I have enough faith to take that chance and type.

jerv (31034)

If the algorithm within the criterion is fallacious, why would you think you have “better proof” / “99%” ? If your criterion is unjustified, why would it be any less unjustified then any other?

Unjustified criterion’s and fallacious algorithms are never to be trusted.

All these assumptions are simply fallacious. They’re just different flavors, but never-the-less, fallacious. You’re just begging the question or forming circular reasoning. This is all wishful thinking.

Again, believe what you like, but keep it to yourself. You want to believe that you’re productive, and you know how the world works because a laptop became a practical application, well go ahead…

This entire world is based upon irrationality. That doesn’t mean people stop living. Keep at it. Let people know that you found the multiverse.

epoche (26)

@epoche Prove to me that it is unjustified, and bear in mind that I treat “facts” as merely theories that have plenty of supporting evidence and zero proof to the contrary. You’re not dealing with a normal, average hairless ape here.

So tell me, why is it fallacious to assume that when I hit the “w” key on my keyboard that a w will appear on my screen? What logical error is there in assuming that there is at least a 99.999% chance of that happening in a direct cause-and-effect fashion? Is it irrational to assume that something that has happened before has a high probability of happening again under the same circumstances? How am I unjustified in that “irrational” assumption?

I will believe what I want but I am not going to keep it to myself. Your assumption that I believe that I am productive here is proof that you don’t know me at all (I am fully aware that I would be wasting my time if I actually had anything better to do right now). Then you follow it up with an attempt at snarkiness while continuing got dance around in accordance to the old adage, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit”. that amuses me, and I am here for amusement at this point since I am pretty confident that nothing productive is going to happen here aside from me having a good laugh.

jerv (31034)

The claimer justifies, not the skeptic. I don’t claim to know anything. I don’t know anything, not even my own ignorance.

Read again, slowly, what I’ve written about induction and the examples I’ve used, and then plug in your example and see how it is begging the question and circular reasoning. I’m done repeating myself 100 times.

epoche (26)

I see I’m not the only one @ETpro that has summed up who this jelly was

SpatzieLover (24532)

@SpatzieLover I think I misjudged who @epoche might be. My apologies for that.

@epoche If I can be so presumptuous as to boil down your thoughts to a succinct statement, you seem to be saying that nothing can be proven, and that you can prove it. That seems to me to violate that list of simple a priori truths that we must accept in order to even apply logic. For instance, the statement, “I always lie.” denies itself, and thus cannot be logically true. The same goes for “I can prove you can’t prove anything.”

If I am twisting your words, please explain how without resorting to ad hominem methods to make yourself automatically right and anyone who dares disagree automatically wrong. If not, then I leave you with this thought from Ambrose Bierce, “All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.”

ETpro (34490)

@ETpro No need to talk to @epoche anymore, as he has left the collection

SpatzieLover (24532)

@SpatzieLover Ah, and such a loss. I was so looking forward to the attack my question above would provoke. :-)

ETpro (34490)

or