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Old 01-21-2007, 08:17 PM   #1
Elahrairah
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Default Do Paradox's exist?

No, I'm not trying to cause one by asking....I'm serious.

I was just told of the paradox of the "Town where everyone tells the truth"....

You walk into a town where everyone tells the truth. Someone comes up to you and says "I'm Lying"......instant paradox...

I say, no way, where is the proof this town has no liars? I am told I must simply accept it as fact.....there is the answer to the paradox, accepting as fact what isn't known or proven and using that to base a conclusion...paradox solved. The answer? You're an idiot for thinking nobody can lie in that town.

Another example: This was in a letter to National Geographic magazine a couple of months back....

Someone wrote in saying something along the lines of: "I love it when scientists scratch their heads trying to understand the meaning of life, I have always had the answer, God."

No, I am not trying to start a "is there a God thing again"....but how can you accept an answer with no evidence, yet, put down those that don't understand but try to find an answer?

I mean, his same response can be used for finding out the Earth wasn't the center of the universe....before we knew the truth, we thought we knew the truth...."I always knew the Earth was the center of the universe, until someone showed me that it wasn't"

I say all paradox's are really misunderstandings....we are not smart enough for the answer....so we assume paradox...and using God as a band-aid answer isn't good enough.

Don't start with the "Can god make a rock he can't lift?" response. Of course he can, until he proves he can't.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:08 PM   #2
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Of course paradoxes exist: "This statement is a lie."

See also Gödel's incompleteness theorems. All explanations of number theory (and everything built on it) must be incomplete or contradictory.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:10 PM   #3
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from dictionary.com

1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in
reality expresses a possible truth.
2. a self-contradictory and false proposition.
3. any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.
4. an opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion.

these 4 definitions are a little bit different. so dont be surprised if people use that word differently from one another. statement one suggests that the statement could be true, even though it sounds false. whereas statement 2 says that it is false.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:27 PM   #4
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Paradox = Global Warming
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:47 AM   #5
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so, does that express a possible truth, or is it a false proposition ?
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:48 AM   #6
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I like the old... Which came first.. The Chicken or the Egg

- Chickens come from eggs.

- If the first chicken came from an egg, where did the egg come from?

- If the first egg was laid by a chicken, where did the chicken come from.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt873
I like the old... Which came first.. The Chicken or the Egg

- Chickens come from eggs.

- If the first chicken came from an egg, where did the egg come from?

- If the first egg was laid by a chicken, where did the chicken come from.
evolution dude. I heard a while back that scientists actually think chickens may have evolved from the lizards (dinosaurs?)

But yeah, I know whatcha mean
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:43 AM   #8
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That chicken argument makes a great debate if you think about it. Evolution takes a long time. How did the species propogate and survive to get to the point where they can self replicate an entire organism?? Let alone humans who are primates and have to care for their young for years before they can sustain their own life.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:44 AM   #9
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All paradox are the result of written or spoken representations of reality that are fundamentally flawed, in that they assume that they are inherantly correct, always have been, and always will be.

Like, in jwt's example, there is a built-in assumption that only chickens can lay chicken eggs.

The 'I'm lying' annecdote never bothers to mention what the self-proclaimed liar is lying about.

Even scientific paradox are usually just the result of observations of something that isn't fully understood. Often, simply expanding the frame of reference illustrates the misconception.

I suspect people collect paradox just to impress other people, or for their own titillation, ignoring their fundamental flaws. I also think it's harmless, like believing in UFO's. So, go for it.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
All paradox are the result of written or spoken representations of reality that are fundamentally flawed, in that they assume that they are inherantly correct, always have been, and always will be.
So you think all mathematics, logic, physics, etc., are just fundamentally flawed? How else do you reconcile your position with Gödel's theorem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
The 'I'm lying' annecdote never bothers to mention what the self-proclaimed liar is lying about.
Sure it does: "This statement is a lie." That statement lies about itself.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:21 AM   #11
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Perhaps flawed is the wrong word. That would be like calling the younger version of yourself flawed because you matured and developed a more sophisticated and pragmatic outlook. From what you've posted, Gödel's theorem does not seem to contradict my opinions.

That statement is sohpistry.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
Perhaps flawed is the wrong word. That would be like calling the younger version of yourself flawed because you matured and developed a more sophisticated and pragmatic outlook. From what you've posted, Gödel's theorem does not seem to contradict my opinions.
If "flawed" is the wrong word, what is the right word?

Gödel's theorem shows that any complete formal system capable of representing basic arithmetic is inconsistent. (By "inconsistent", he meant there is a valid [true] statement equivalent to "A is not A", which is the core of all logical paradoxes.) This isn't a flaw in logic or lack of understanding, it's a fundamental property of logic. It sounds like you think all paradoxes can be resolved with more effort or knowledge. Gödel showed that isn't true, so I'm asking how you reconcile your position with that.

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That statement is sohpistry.
Regardless, it is a paradox. The original poster asked if paradoxes exist, and that one does.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:03 AM   #13
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I'm not sure. I'm not a semanticist.

You've got me wrong. Knowledge does resolve paradox, often enough, but that is a cure, not the symptom, much less the disease. Paradox results when intellectual arrogance overrules reality. We confuse the name with the object named. If I type 'elephant', you don't automatically have a five ton mammal standing on your computer, do you? Chances are we agree with what the word 'elephant' means to each of us, though. Language is a working system, not a perfected one. Paradox is a side effect.

An argumentative, self-confessed falsehood is proof? How can you think that way and be an athiest? Anybody who considers that anecdote to be a real paradox has probably watched too many 'Star Trek' reruns.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
I'm not sure. I'm not a semanticist.

You've got me wrong. Knowledge does resolve paradox, often enough, but that is a cure, not the symptom, much less the disease. Paradox results when intellectual arrogance overrules reality.
Huh? I think you may have paradox confused with something else. Here's a list of some paradoxes: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Paradox.html. They don't result from intellectual arrogance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
We confuse the name with the object named. If I type 'elephant', you don't automatically have a five ton mammal standing on your computer, do you? Chances are we agree with what the word 'elephant' means to each of us, though. Language is a working system, not a perfected one. Paradox is a side effect.
No, paradoxes are fundamental to logic. See Gödel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
An argumentative, self-confessed falsehood is proof? How can you think that way and be an athiest? Anybody who considers that anecdote to be a real paradox has probably watched too many 'Star Trek' reruns.
Perhaps, but the statement is an example of a paradox (see Liar's Paradox). What does that have to do with being an atheist?

Why do you seem so hostile to the paradoxes?
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memebag
Huh? I think you may have paradox confused with something else. Here's a list of some paradoxes: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Paradox.html. They don't result from intellectual arrogance.

No, paradoxes are fundamental to logic. See Gödel.

Perhaps, but the statement is an example of a paradox (see Liar's Paradox). What does that have to do with being an atheist?

Why do you seem so hostile to the paradoxes?
That arrogance is the basis of all language and science. Of all human thought. It is the assumption that what we think, perceive, and communicate is actually reality.

If logic results in a paradox, wouldn't logic suggest that something, the facts, the circumstances, the reasoning, or the conclusions, were incorrect? Many paradox were conceived to illustrate precisely that point. The Schrödinger's cat though experiment is an example that comes to mind.

You allow a self-confessed liar to define a fact for you. If I said I was a god, would you believe me? Since I am not saying I'm a liar, I should be that much more believable.

I am not hostile to paradox. I posted earlier that I thought it was harmless. I skimmed those links you provided. Did you notice this?
Quote:
Such paradoxes are often analyzed by creating so-called "metalanguages" to separate statements into different levels on which truth and falsity can be assessed independently.
Doesn't that basically suggest that, since a 'metalanguage' is often required to resolve a paradox, that the language itself is either the source or inadequate to deal with paradox, or both.
Quote:
A statement which appears self-contradictory or contrary to expectations... (emphasis added)
That website doesn't even go farther than 'appears'. Not a very convincing proof of your argument, I would say.
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