5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  10:36AM #381  
One could indeed argue that Hatcher's logic allows for the existence of multiple selfcaused Gs which together cause the rest of V (each G causing a portion of V). So far I haven't found a sound logical basis to deny that. It also allows for the existence of one selfcaused G causing all of V, and for the existence of one selfcaused G that is the only thing that exists despite our illusions of compositeness. In other words, polytheism, Abrahamic monotheism as well as Hindu monistic theism could all find support in Hatcher's proof. Not atheism.
The notion that "stuff" always existed is not in conflict with Hatcher. The notion that "stuff" always existed logically assumes that this everexisting "stuff" contains a sufficient reason for its own existence since "stuff" cannot be born from a state of nothing prevailing at a certain earlier point in time. Since ex nihilo nihil fit, hence "stuff" is not uncaused. Since "stuff" is deemed composite, Hatcher's logic still holds, bringing us to G as I described earlier. You are not disputing any of Hatcher's ifs but in fact inadvertently employing them in your own argument. Dec 14, 2011  10:09AM, F1fan wrote: The only reason to reject the idea that everything has always existed is to force the idea of a creator through the use of language.
With kind regards, LilWabbit
"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."


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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  11:37AM #382  
Platonism is untenable as a statement about reality. So is mathematical Platonism. Bald assertion. Dissmissed promptly! Numbers and other mathematical objects (as such) do not have objective existence. If they did, it would be possible to demonstrate them independently of their instantiations. Category mistake. Concepts are instantiated. Numbers arent. All instantiations depend on a selection made by an onlooker. They're an interpretation that the onlooker makes about the external world. Non sequitur. 'Two sticks' is no more or less valid a selection than 'a stick and the ground' for twoness. No kidding. Numbers instead exist as concepts in the onlooker's brain. Bald assertion. Argument? We're born with the ability to take in specific numbers at a glance, up to four or five as a rule. Studies of children show they have the concept of quantity instinctively (ie genetically) from a very early age, so that, for example, if ten objects and then ten objects are placed behind a screen, they are unsurprised to see twenty objects when the screen is removed, but surprised to see forty. No precise counting is involved, of course; it's a matter of impression. Faustus recently linked an article on brain research showing that numbers further exist as rotelearning which the brain can manipulate. Yes, we can spot 4 to 5 items and our short term memories can keep 5 to 7 items. Abracadabra! Mathematical realism is wrong! Argument 2: we now know where the brain does some mathematical manipulations. Abracadabra! Numbers are brain states! Mathematical realism is wrong! Most impressive  if you dig magic acts and olympic leaps of logic! All mathematical models of reality are inductively derived  that is, we accept them because they fit what we observe, not because of any quality in maths. The model is not reality. Thus Newton's equations are modified by relativity, and relativity may need to be modified if neutrinos are shown to travel faster than c, and so on into the future, since nothing stops us discovering something tomorrow that will demand further modification. Yes, mathematical models are replaced by improved mathematical models restricted to an appropriate domain of application. Abracadabra! Mathematical realism is wrong! All inductive conclusions are tentative, never absolute. That is, much as certain physicists have expressed awe at the power of mathematical theories to predict outcomes in physics &c, no ultimate truth, no magic, is there  and if it were, we'd have no way of knowing it. Irrelevant. The function of inductive arguments is to provide predictions given current knowledge and background beliefs. If you disagree, then it won't suffice to run off a list of folk who have expressed thoughts either endorsing or suggestive of mathematical Platonism. Be warned! Peer reviewed scholarship will not be able to impact Blu's predjudices. Instead you'll need to show us eg the abstraction 'two', free of any particular example of twoness, running around in objective reality. The number two is not an abstraction. It's a number. Reference to it is semantically but not ontologically dependent on whatever particular example of twoness one may choose. Your steadfast confusion on this point is a reflection of your level of education. Not of the faults of mathematical realism. If mathematical Platonism is correct, this will be easy. If it is not, you won't be able to do it. Good one. Because the truth of a theory is obviously proportional to how easy it is to demonstrate it...! 

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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  11:44AM #383  
Dave  Just a Man in the Mountains.
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of antiintellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge. Isaac Asimov 

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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  11:48AM #384  
If stuff always existed, cause in relation to it is irrelevant.


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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  11:53AM #385  
I will happily plead guilty to thatif someone will explain to me in clear terms what mathematical Realism is, instead of what it is not. I have not been much exposed to Realism nor in any way that makes it seem to be either sensible or necessary. That could well be a fault of my education. If I do not understand you correctly I would appreciate a clear, noncondescending explanation of what it is you do believe. Is it possible that the mathematics that we "know" is not the same as the mathematics of which you believe that objective reality consists?
This post contains no advertisements or solicitations.


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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  12:36PM #386  
Good luck with that. 

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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  6:59PM #387  
Yes, the composite entity strickly implies a noncomposite source. But why not both the uncaused with sufficient reason [selfcaused existence] and the uncaused without sufficient reason [causeless existence]? The causeless (noncomposite) with the selfcaused (noncomposite) create other causation (compositness).
kind regards, TransJ P.S. Yes indeed it is attractive! And I thank you for posting it in that form. 

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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  9:36PM #388  
James You assert that numbers exist independently of the concept of them in brains. So win the argument. Show them to us. Not instantiations, just the numbers. I too will look forward to your noncondescending explanation to amcolph. 

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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  10:58PM #389  
Sounds like a guy getting ready to try and sell us all on logical positivism. You know, as hellbent against anything resembling nonRealism as you seem to be, I've no doubt you'll still deposit a logical reason for being so.
"Sometimes you gotta step into the ring and throw a few punches for what you believe in."
Ernest Hemingway 

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5 years ago :: Dec 14, 2011  11:10PM #390  


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