The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Everything we know may be wrong...  (Read 2104 times)

Offline Ricardo Pedri Lopes

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Everything we know may be wrong...
« on: 05/05/2010 21:57:09 »
1. It's not conceivable to logical thinking that something comes from nothing;
2. It's not conceivable to logical thinking that something has always existed.

But still, here we are discussing in this forum.

If we can't conceive something that is real (our existence):

1. Our logical thinking is flawed;
2. Everything that we conceive using our logical thinking may be wrong;
3. We know NOTHING for sure (including this very statement).

 ;D ;D ;D


 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Everything we know may be wrong...
« Reply #1 on: 07/05/2010 12:35:31 »
I disagree with your two premises but I agree with your three conclusions.
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
Everything we know may be wrong...
« Reply #2 on: 07/05/2010 12:51:36 »
3. We know NOTHING for sure (including this very statement).
Aren't we getting into circular contradictions here?

Also, what ever happened to "I think therefore I am"?
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Everything we know may be wrong...
« Reply #3 on: 07/05/2010 20:06:14 »
Hm... I agree with the first premise but disagree with the second premise and all of the conclusions.

Premise 1:
Quote
It's not conceivable to logical thinking that something comes from nothing

The issue here is that if something comes from nothing, but not everything comes from nothing, what is the reason that only something can come from nothing when everything else cannot?  Logically then, if we can find no reason why only a sub-set of everything can come from nothing, as opposed to everything coming from nothing then either all things, or no things come from nothing.

In view of the fact then, that we cannot differentiate between things that do come from nothing and those that do not, and that we seem to be able to say where some things do come from i.e. they do not appear to come from nothing but come from something, then it would seem that everything comes from something.


Premise 2:
Quote
It's not conceivable to logical thinking that something has always existed

I can see no logical reason why this premise is true.  It seems more a failure of imagination than logical deduction.


Conclusion 1:
Quote
Our logical thinking is flawed

This is an oxymoron, for by definition logic is all about causality i.e. if this condition then that consequence.  It is certainly possible for individual people to overlook factors in their logical deductions but this doesn't mean that all logical deduction is therefore flawed.  By definition, the process of logic is not flawed, but if all factors are not taken into consideration then the execution of logic is incomplete and the result likely to be flawed.


Conclusion 2:
Quote
Everything that we conceive using our logical thinking may be wrong

This is a null conclusion, for without qualifying why it may be true the opposite may be equally true.  In the end, I'm afraid it just says nothing.


Conclusion 3:
Quote
We know NOTHING for sure (including this very statement)

We know many things for 'sure'.  For example, the output of a logical AND operation with two true inputs will always result in a true output, and must do so for that is the definition of how the logical AND operation works.  Just this one example is enough to disprove any statement of totality i.e. one that claims exclusively that all cases, or no cases are true.


Having said all that however, the only real flaw in most of the the conclusions is that they're presented as being exclusively true rather than partially or possibly true.  For example, we can say that because we do not know everything there is a risk of omitting vital (and unknown) factors in our logical reasoning, and where this is the case our logical deductions must be wrong as they fail to take every factor into consideration.  What we cannot say though, is that we know when we are missing an unknown factor, and when we are not, so unless we assume that a factor will be omitted in every logical deduction (an assumption for which there is no logical basis), some of our logical deductions must be correct.
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Everything we know may be wrong...
« Reply #4 on: 07/05/2010 22:53:45 »
See Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Everything we know may be wrong...
« Reply #4 on: 07/05/2010 22:53:45 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums