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Anonymous

Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe
    #2344332 - 02/17/04 02:51 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Is our universe inherently logical? Why or why not?

I say no. The universe, in terms of existence of the whole and its parts, is not based on logic. There exist predefined laws of phyisical matter that operate on "logic", but what are the bases for these laws? Why are the force of gravity or speed of light measurable as what they are and not something else?

Are mathematical values, numbers, and counting, the absolute basis of logic? It would appear so. But the basis of mathematics, the numbers themselves, are not logical, and here is why. Prime numbers. Think about that. "Prime." These numbers are literally the first numbers. All other numbers can be derived from them. Take away our symbols and names of these numbers and they still exist as values that universal physical laws are based on. Yet, scientists and mathematicians have been unable to find a pattern in the prime numbers. They appear to be, at this point in time, slightly random. Random? Then the basis of these numbers must be subjective, and thus not inherently logical. The prime numbers are then a result of some creative force (which for simplistic purposes I'll equate with emotion, since they seem to be one and the same).

Then again, maybe my logic is flawed.  :smirk:


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: ]
    #2344336 - 02/17/04 02:54 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

:thumbup:

the cycle of cause and effect has no beginning and no end...


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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Offlineteen
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2344527 - 02/17/04 06:04 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

There exist predefined laws of phyisical matter that operate on "logic




There does? As far as I know logic is just a means by which we can evaluate statements based on assertions. Logic isn't based on numbers and counting at all, but it is a different kind of mathematics that can deal with any values, including non-numerical, and even values that don't semantically make sense to human beings.

Quote:

But the basis of mathematics, the numbers themselves, are not logical, and here is why.




Your statement doesn't really make sense. A number is not something that can have the property of being 'logical' without any other information.

Quote:

Prime numbers. Think about that. "Prime." These numbers are literally the first numbers. All other numbers can be derived from them.




First numbers?

Quote:

Take away our symbols and names of these numbers and they still exist as values that universal physical laws are based on.




See you're assuming here that numbers exist without humans to have invented them. Many philosophies argue that an equation like "1+1=2" is not a universal fact, but a convention invented by humans, and since we are taught things like this at a young age, we accept them as being the laws of nature.

Of course that depends on your philosophy. Some people argue that numbers must have been made before humans with "2 legs" could ever be conceived.

There's no denying, that when I see 7 objects, I KNOW that there are 7 of them, regardless of what mathematical notation I am using. And I know that they the 7 discrete objects can not be evenly divided without breaking the objects up.

But how can I be so sure those 7 objects are only my mind's interpretation of the signals it's receiving, and is assimilating them into it's own understanding of mathematics?

Quote:

Yet, scientists and mathematicians have been unable to find a pattern in the prime numbers. They appear to be, at this point in time, slightly random. Random?




I wouldn't say random just yet. A lot of mathematicians believe that 'random' is just a word we use for describing patterns we don't understand. There is no such thing as a random number. Even computers use an equation/algorithm to generate random numbers. If you studied a computer program that generates random numbers for long enough you would figure out the pattern.


--------------------
Don't give me that load of bunk~!


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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
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Registered: 07/31/03
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: ]
    #2344530 - 02/17/04 06:05 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Er.
There are lots of ideas about prime numbers. To say that we've been "unable to find a pattern in the prime numbers" is a gross exaggeration. Do we have a complete understanding of all of the properties that we might be able to ascribe to the prime numbers? Not as far as I know. But this hardly means that we haven't found patterns of various kinds.

I'm also not quite sure what you mean by "all other numbers can be derived from them". Also, your seeming acceptance of materialism as intuitively true, while perhaps _more_ acceptable these days, is hardly above reproach. There are some very good ideas here, especially w.r.t. how mathematical "truths" inform on "physical world" truths.

In fact, to say that mathematics are the absolute basis for logic strikes me as a little backwards. Our formal logical systems were made rigorous (or at least moreso) in part to allow for an axiomatization of arithmetic. This project proved slightly more difficult than anticipated...

I think that these are very good ideas that you raise---specifically, you seem to touch on the idea of "true in this world" vs. "true in all possible worlds" with your "Why are the force of gravity and the speed of light...what they are and not something else?"

I don't get what you mean by "the basis of these numbers must be subjective", either.

Are you saying that, given the defintion of the natural numbers and the definition of what it means for an element of the set of natural numbers to be prime, that determination is somehow subjective? I don't think you could possibly be saying that.

Are you saying that the set of prime numbers vs. the set of natural numbers is somehow arbitrary? Well, this is a matter of definition. I think we're saying that there are certain numbers which, insofar as our definitions are internally consistent, have certain properties. is this subjective? Oh, I just don't _know_!


--------------------
----
"Better Dead than Red."


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: ]
    #2344549 - 02/17/04 06:23 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Logic is a formal set of rules that thought must satisfy if it is to be judged rational. But logic in its essence is not creative, that is, it can only follow linear thought patterns, and is such an efficent way of exploring a certain line of thought. However human intelligent perception goes beyond logic as a creative perception does not pertain to a certain line of thought, but sees things as they are trough a flash of insight. Afterward we can crystallize the insight into logic that follows the terms of this line of thought.

Logic can measure the consitence of a line of thought but are unable to "invent" new lines of thought. Logic can be applied to the universe, but since (as Doctor says) "the cycle of cause and effect has no beginning and no end" there is no grand Logic that would fit all aspects of the Cosmos (such as a Theory of Everything).

As with prime numbers: i think there is a logic to them yet undiscovered. The generation of prime numbers can not be creative since i dont think that we create a new prime number by finding one, we merely discover what was already there.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: ]
    #2345049 - 02/17/04 11:45 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

The universe just is. Logic is a system of reasoning used to determine the validity of ideas.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Anonymous

Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2345194 - 02/17/04 12:27 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

You all raise good counterpoints. I may have confused you a little by my use of the words random and subjective, when I should have said arbitrary. My point was more towards the fact that physical laws and the prime numbers are arbitrary, as opposed to necessary. Now you're right that it's a little ignorant to say there's no pattern in the prime numbers, since we don't have a full understanding of their properties yet. But if there is a pattern, then that pattern would be arbitrary as well.

Where I am going with this is, the universe is not based on logic first and emotion second. Logic cannot account for biological evolution, because evolution isn't necessary. Logic explains only that which is necessary, and depends on arbitrary constants, which in turn are the result of the creative principle (ie. emotion). I think DoctorJ got my point immediately, which is that logic ultimately depends on emotion and also vice versa. Now for the real brain teaser: is arbitrariness necessary, or is necessity arbitrary? ....Just kidding. I don't want anyone to go insane thinking about that.


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: ]
    #2345993 - 02/17/04 03:49 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

>>the universe is not based on logic first and emotion second:

This is what contemporary science wants us to belive, though they are of course wrong :grin:

Matter affects thought and feelings, but thought and feelings affects matter as well (as over 20 years of research at PEAR-lab, Princeton University, is demonstrating). Thus consciousness and matter as two sides of an unbroken whole which we in our lower-dimensional insanity tends to think of as separate.
(See http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/bohmphysics.htm for a suggested explanation by late quantum physicist David Bohm.)

As for randomness:
A the directions that a ball rolling down a bumpy hill will take may seem completely random, but this is just so because we lack information of the exact topology of the hill. If we had taken this into consideration we would no longer say that the motion of the ball is random. So randomness is context dependent. Similarly the prime numbers may seem random, but with a further development of mathematics the randomness may be explained within a context, so that they are no longer random.

A belief in causality is not the same as a belief in strong determinism.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346221 - 02/17/04 04:59 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

:thumbup:


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346254 - 02/17/04 05:06 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

A belief in causality is not the same as a belief in strong determinism.

No...but a belief in causality without a belief in inherent randomness is the same as a belief in strong determinism.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: trendal]
    #2346281 - 02/17/04 05:11 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

My reasoning:

Determinism grew out of Newton's perfect clockwork-Universe and the concept of Causality it enforced. Determinism was "overthrown" with the quantum revolution when Heisenberg and others found that on a sub-atomic scale our universe appears quite random - and thus unpredictable.

Now, if we do away with the concept of randomness...what are we left with? Causality alone...and Newton's clockwork-Universe. In such a system, free-will does not exist and there is a pre-determined future which cannot be changed. We may not have the ability to determine this future ourselves due to measurement innacuracy...but it remains predetermined.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisiblemuhurgle
Turtles all theway down

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 299
Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346288 - 02/17/04 05:12 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Matter affects thought and feelings, but thought and feelings affects matter as well (as over 20 years of research at PEAR-lab, Princeton University, is demonstrating).

The PEAR-lab research is highly questionable. About half of their positives are credited to one test subject, and that person is part of the PEAR staff.


--------------------
"To make this mundane world sublime
Take half a gram of phanerothyme."

Aldous Huxley


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: trendal]
    #2346430 - 02/17/04 05:48 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

>>No...but a belief in causality without a belief in inherent randomness is the same as a belief in strong determinism.

Well, strong determinism preaches that all that happens has to happen, and can be no other way. I belive in a creative principle, but do not think this has anything to do with randomness. I think we agree that the Cosmos is ultimately an unbroken whole. What does it mean then to be determined by the whole if you yourself are part of it? What does it mean to make a 'free' choice, and from what unaffected and free position would you make such a choice? Is a random choice a free choice?

I like to say that the human being sound the depths of the Cosmos. This means that we really have many layers (or densities or dimensions) to operate within. However these are not separate from each other. Think of Mr.Flat in Flatland, a 2-dimensional being walking around in his house. When we drop a ball into the area of his house the ball will first appear as a dot, then expand to its full radius, before diminishing to a dot again (as it falls trough the 2-dimensional surface). For Mr.Flat such an experience would seem quite acausal (with no apparent source), but only seemingly out from his Flatland perspective.

If we think that there is an infinity of orders (you reading this within your mindframe is an order, the function of the internet is an order, the moneysystem by which you have gotten hold of your PC is an order, etc.) which interpenetrate and affect each other, together making up the whole of creation (which is also infinite), then strong determinism would not make any sense at all as it preaches that all of existence has to follow a single line which "beforehand" has been written.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: muhurgle]
    #2346548 - 02/17/04 06:10 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

The PEAR lab has conducted thousands upon thousands of experiments, so half of that would still be quite impressive. And of course they have to use their own staff as guniea-pigs. They hardly get any funds for their reasearch due to the mind-expanding and thought provoking nature of their work.

But the PEAR lab is of course not the only ones that conducts such reasearch. The Ganzfeldt experiments (thelepathy) are worth mentioning, and became famous because the sceptics had been with the team to frame how the experiements should be conducted in an acceptable way.

There is of course many more, along with a neverending story of anectotal 'evidence' along with a 50.000 years long shamanistic tradition. The current physicalistic western society is uniqe in its singlemindely material approach to the world. Who are the superstitious ones?

American intelligence (CIA) have spent a lot of money on paranormal reasearch by the way. They now wants us to believe that this was just a flopp and that the project is terminated. I would rather think that it has gone underground for obvious reasons.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346607 - 02/17/04 06:18 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

On a tangent: Flatland is a wonderful story! I've been looking for a copy of it for quite a while now, though :frown:


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisiblemuhurgle
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Posts: 299
Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346677 - 02/17/04 06:31 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

http://www.btinternet.com/~neuronaut/webtwo_features_psi_two.htm

"operator 10 has been involved in 15 percent of the 14 million trials yet contributed a full half of the total excess hits. If this person's figures are taken out of the data pool, scoring in the "low intention" condition falls to chance while "high intention" scoring drops close to the .05 boundary considered weakly significant in scientific results"

Seems bunk to me. The guy who wrote that article (science writer for The Guardian) also got a rather positive article on the ganzfeld experiments:

http://www.btinternet.com/~neuronaut/webtwo_features_psi_one.htm

Hei forresten :smile:


--------------------
"To make this mundane world sublime
Take half a gram of phanerothyme."

Aldous Huxley


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346689 - 02/17/04 06:34 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

American intelligence (CIA) have spent a lot of money on paranormal reasearch by the way. They now wants us to believe that this was just a flopp and that the project is terminated. I would rather think that it has gone underground for obvious reasons.

The Army and CIA spent a long time with their "Stargate" program studying the use of Remote Viewing as a source of information gathering. Apparently you (any American citizen) can request the "declassified" documents from the government if you want.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
Torch

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 111
Loc: Indra's Net
Last seen: 8 years, 9 months
Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: trendal]
    #2346772 - 02/17/04 06:47 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Yes the latest verison is half a century old. I have not read it, just excerpts.

ABOTT, Edwin A. 1952 Flatland. A romance of many dimensions (original 1884)

You know that there exists an alternative to the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics? Developed by David Bohm 1952. The reason QM turned out the way it did is due to political and philosophical trends in Europe at that time. There was a strong leaning towards positivism and operationalism, what cannot be measured does not exist. But Heissenbergs uncertainty realtions can easily be explained by common logic. If you are to measure the position of a particle the measuring instrument has to be rigidly bolted to a space-frame so that it is not affected by the impact of the particle. Then there would be no elastisity in the measuring instrument to measure the momentum. Similarly if you have an elastic measuring device you are able to measure the momentum, but the position will not be determined since the measuring apparatus is affected by the impact of the particle and will thus be set in motion.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
Space Monkey

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 132
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346789 - 02/17/04 06:50 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I don't see a refutation of strong determinism or inherent randomness ever coming from within the system, and as unfortunate as that is, this is where we live.

And yes, these wacky physicalist/meterialists scientists. I mean, I'm sure those people within the shamanistic tradition were mere decades away from inventing, you know, cars and antibiotics and all sorts of wonderful things that this wacky, superstitious materialism which asserts "we can gain a decent if not perfect picture of the external world" has given us.

I don't know that I want to advocate for a super-strong scientific realism, but at least with science you get a relatively small set of presuppositions from which you, you know, prove things to people whereas this "shamanistic" tradition is not a wit better than "[the] proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures."

Dogma dressed up in fancy language and pseudo-science is still dogma. And I think that you're never going to get completely away from some dogma, but it really seems that not all dogmas are created equally. If not necessarily useful, science has at least demostrated itself to be contingently useful, and that, it seems to me, ought to be enough to suggest that the scientific dogmas if not "More True" than whatever these "Shamanistic" dogmas might be, well, they're certainly more useful in terms of doing the sorts of things that we want to do.

Ought we want to do them? In most cases, I think that the answer is "yes".


--------------------
----
"Better Dead than Red."


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
Torch

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Loc: Indra's Net
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Re: Logic, Emotion, Mathematics, and the Universe [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2346809 - 02/17/04 06:53 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Hah! Declassify my ass! Tricks behind tricks...


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