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Author Topic: Objective truth
seagull
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On page 5 of the Rational, informed and conservative thread. seekingprometheus writes:
quote:
I found your posts on the linked thread about objective truth to be keenly interesting and indicative of a deep grasp of logic as well as nuance, but it seemed that the point of it all within a greater context was to find ways to discount the importance of conclusions derived from relatively sound and well structured logic through the use of an interesting distraction--instead of acknowledging that an interlocutor has a compelling point that appears to be as sound as 1+1=2, you seem to think it better to simply undermine the point by discussing the discursive impossibility of translating arguments about issues into perfect formal logic.
I think seekingprometheus is missing the point.

"sound and well structured logic" can be the basis for a rational discussion only when the premises are shared. Rational people can agree to disagree about which premises they accept and when they do that they move beyond the realm of rational discussion.

I have no problem acknowledging that an interlocutor has a compelling point that appears sound (within their own context) but I don't see a point in going out of my way to do so. My problem is with people who refuse to acknowledge that their premises exist and then claim that making a compelling point or rational argument is enough to prove that people who do not accept their premises (and reach different conclusions) can not be rational.

Claiming that something is "as obvious as 2+2=4" is not a rational argument (if anything it is meta-Rational). Trying to analyze the logic of an argument before the context is defined is meaningless. Demostrating that even a statement that sounds "as obvious as 1+1=2" depends on context makes that point.

When the premise that it is possible to be rational and conservative is challenged on a thread titled "Rational, informed and conservative" defining the context is on topic and the specific arguments and compelling points (as interesting as they might be) are the distractions.

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seagull
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quote:
746.30 K - 273.15 = 473.15 degrees C
So that's almost okay.

OOPS, my mistake. Thanks for the correction.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
I think seekingprometheus is missing the point.
I disagree.
quote:
"sound and well structured logic" can be the basis for a rational discussion only when the premises are shared.
How to respond to this?

This doesn't seem to fully grasp the nature of "sound and well-structured logic" or "rational discussion." Premises can be subjected to the same examination that conclusions can.

To use as an example the specific argument which occasioned this thread:

originally by velcro:
quote:
1)Cheney said there was classified evidence
2a)Trusted people checked ALL the evidence and found none
2b)Cheney was capable of showing the alleged evidence to certain people, but never did.
3)Cheney lied

You responded by rejecting one of the premises:

originally by seagull:
quote:
I do not trust any of the people you refer to in 2a.
But you don't seem to grasp that this premise can be re-framed as a conclusion and examined. You seem to think that once a premise has been disagreed with, the argument stalls.

Instead of questioning velcro regarding his reasoning for why these individuals should be trusted, or providing reasons that rational individuals should distrust them, you took the occasion to create an diversionary argument as to why the difficulties in translating arguments to logical form precludes the possibility of obtaining valid results through logic. (Which doesn't follow, by the way).
quote:
When the premise that it is possible to be rational and conservative is challenged on a thread titled "Rational, informed and conservative" defining the context is on topic and the specific arguments and compelling points (as interesting as they might be) are the distractions.
If you'll recall, I objected to velcro's framing of that issue in the initial thread, some three thread-bounces ago.

Nonetheless, engaging in the arguments themselves affords the opportunity to present rational and informed opinions on the topic.

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seagull
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quote:
you don't seem to grasp that this premise can be re-framed as a conclusion and examined. You seem to think that once a premise has been disagreed with, the argument stalls.
I think I can see where the confusion is coming from so let me clarify.

I agree that SOME premises can be re-framed as a conclusion and examined. In formal logic statements that can be proved from other axioms are classified as theorems rather than axioms. For many centuries, people tried to prove that the Euclidian axiom of parallel lines is a theorem rather than an axiom but no one ever succeeded. Stating that something is a premise (or an axiom) places it beyond the realm of rational discussion. You can try to rationally prove to me that there is a contradiction between the axiom I stated and some of MY other axioms and that would force me to revise my belief system and concede the point. There is also room for interesting meta-rational discussions about the practicality of believing or not believing in some premises.

But trying to prove the opposite of my axiom based on premises that I did not accept is as futile as trying to prove the Euclidian axiom of parallel lines in spherical geomery (which postulates different axioms that contradict the Euclidian one). It is a non starter.

quote:
Instead of questioning velcro regarding his reasoning for why these individuals should be trusted, or providing reasons that rational individuals should distrust them, you took the occasion to create an diversionary argument as to why the difficulties in translating arguments to logical form precludes the possibility of obtaining valid results through logic. (Which doesn't follow, by the way).
It seems that you are still missing the point.
My position in this discussion is that "politician lie" is an axiom. At the meta-Rational level I am willing to concede that not all politicians lie all the time but if you want to take that approach the burden of proof that any specific politician is not lying would be on you.

"I do not trust politicians" is my premise. You can trust them if you want but that does not make my position irrational. To show that my position is irrational velcro would have to show a contradiction between that premise and other premises that I accept.

Can you see that this argument is independent of the distraction/diversion about what can or can not be translated into formal logic?

[ November 20, 2009, 06:57 AM: Message edited by: seagull ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
You can trust them if you want but that does not make my position irrational.
No. But it makes your position redundant, in that the argument becomes unnecessary. If you assume from the beginning that all politicians lie all the time, the rest of this conversation is pointless.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Especially since Cheney is, you know, um, a politician. Seagull's argument perspective is then not only redundant but absurd, a hoary non sequitur.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Well, not really a non seq. Not sure what you;d call the logic whereby one defends a politician from pert near overwhelming evidence that he's lying because some of the evidence comes from politicians, and one believes politicians are liars.
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seagull
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Funny,
The Non Sequitur here is the claim that I defend Cheney.

Seagull: (on page 3 of the Rational, informed and conservative thread):
quote:
Why bother with all the heaping steaming (and cursing). You don't need all that to convince me that he lied.

1. Politicians lie.
2. Cheney is a politiciam
3. From 1 and 2 we can conclude that Cheney lied.

This rational argument is enough to convince me that Cheney lied but I find it rather trivial.
I also think it is irrelevant to the question of whether I should think of myself as a conservative.

Kenmeer, if you are making a point, I must have missed it, care to clarify?
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
It seems that you are still missing the point.
As I've said, I don't believe I'm failing to understand to your point. I do seem to be responding to what you're saying in a way that leaves you unconvinced that I grasp what you want to convey.
quote:
"I do not trust politicians" is my premise. You can trust them if you want but that does not make my position irrational. To show that my position is irrational velcro would have to show a contradiction between that premise and other premises that I accept.

I'm relatively disinterested in your argument with velcro per se. I think that demanding a comprehensive defense of cherry-picked issues framed in a biased way is likely to generate little more than a showcasing of spectacularly biased opinions whistling impactlessly past each other.

I am interested in how and why you choose to respond to such a conversation-opener, and how you respond to the flow of the conversation.

I've understood your solipsistic pose from the beginning, and I can appreciate it for what it is. (Personally, I love solipsists--I've been trying to find a suitable club to join for some time now).
quote:

Can you see that this argument is independent of the distraction/diversion about what can or can not be translated into formal logic?

Yup. But my interest and how I've responded is not concerned with the exclusivity of these issues. I've been talking about how they are related--why one should follow from the other in the flow of your responses, in the context of the conversation.

One may start a new thread in order to create the impression of a new topic whose framework has yet to be determined, but if such threads are clearly responsive to a conversation already in progress, changing venues doesn't obliterate the context in which the new "statement" is also a response.

p.s. The paragraph immediately above refers more specifically to the thread from which this one sprang than it does to this particular thread.

p.p.s. De-railing tangents may be frowned upon, but I think that they are less confusing than title-bouncing-conversations. [Smile]

[ November 21, 2009, 01:51 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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velcro
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Seagull,

All the mental gymnastics are very interesting, but when you say 1+1 does not equal 2, it is because you are using non-standard assumptions, like base 2 instead of base 10.

With agreed upon assumptions, and agreed upon rules of reasoning, there is a "right" conclusion.

In the real world (do you agree to the assumption of a real world, if only for purposes of argument?), the assumptions are fairly standard, for example when you hit your hand with a hammer, it hurts. Now I might have to difine "hit", "your", "hand", and "hurt" for you if you are trying to play a game of avoiding the truth, and I would have to stipulate that you hit it hard, without anesthesia, you have no neurological damage, ad nauseum to counter all the exceptions you would come up with. But when all the assumptions are covered, it would indeed hurt.

That is objective truth.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I recommend you just slap me preemptively, seekprom, for I am about to meddle:

"I think that demanding a comprehensive defense of cherry-picked issues framed in a biased way is likely to generate little more than a showcasing of spectacularly biased opinions whistling impactlessly past each other."

shows all the qualities needed for a whizbang sentence, but they are not fully integrated. 3 things:

a) the opening ending in "biased way" is of itself superb

b) "whistingly impactlessly" WANTS to be terrific trope but "impactlessly" lacks adequate, um, impact even though it is the properly correct word (that's language for ye)

c) the "showcasing" bridge uses both the proper word that also will work just swell, but the fittings need adjusting.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rewrite this hummer so that we can hear those "spectacularly biased opinions" whistling past each other and register their lack of meaningful impact without being told to.

The *other* cheek, too? Damn Xtian!

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seagull
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quote:
you are using non-standard assumptions, like base 2 instead of base 10
Kenmeer, as the above quote demonstrates, velcro did not bother to read my earlier posts on this thread. As a result, his "spectacularly biased opinions" are "whistling impactlessly past" the discussion between seekprom and me, thus completing your mission preemptively. [Smile]

quote:
a comprehensive defense of cherry-picked issues framed in a biased way
ROTFL [Big Grin]
But seriously, the indirect reference to cherrypoptart's informative post on the third page of the Rational, informed and conservative thread is extremely relevant (even if it was unintentional) to both to the rational argument on that thread and the meta rational argument on this thread.

I can't figure out if the reference was:
1. Unintentional
2. Humorous
3. Serious
4. Any combination of the above.

I'll try to respond on the other thread (where it belongs).

I'll respond to the solipsism argument later.

[ November 21, 2009, 11:06 AM: Message edited by: seagull ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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The mission is to achieve this sensorial/logical concept ("comprehensive defense of cherry-picked issues framed in a biased way...(in) ...a showcasing of spectacularly biased opinions whistling impactlessly past each other" in words that do their job so well one scarcely sees the words for the impressions and ideas emanating from them.

I confess I grew bored with the abstract logics awhile back.

Metaphysics are, in my realm, for two purposes: to crack real physical mysteries and pry from their shells principles of physics that engineers can then apply to make me a real true flying carpet afore I die, and to provide conceptual space for mystery of a highly aesthetic nature, in which aspect I join with the metaphysicians of Tlön:

"The metaphysicians of Tlön do not seek for the truth or even for verisimilitude, but rather for the astounding. They judge that metaphysics is a branch of fantastic literature. They know that a system is nothing more than the subordination of all aspects of the universe to any one such aspect. Even the phrase "all aspects" is rejectable, for it supposes the impossible addition of the present and of all past moments. Neither is it licit to use the plural "past moments," since it supposes another operation... One of the schools of Tlön goes so far as to negate time: it reasons that the present is indefinite, that the future has no reality other than as a present memory. Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified and mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process. Another, that the history of the universe - and in it our lives and the most tenuous detail of our lives - is the scripture produced by a subordinate god in order to communicate with a demon. Another, that the universe is comparable to those cryptographs in which not all the symbols are valid and that only what happens every three hundred nights is true. Another, that while we sleep here, we are awake elsewhere and that in this way every man is two men."

For me, these disquisitions of whether 2=2+4 or not are just so many null integers. [Wink]

[ November 21, 2009, 10:58 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Crepuscular is such an ugly word for the thing it connotes, so it rarely achieves its aim but instead serves as embellishment that really only works when one wants a touch of the ungainly or grotesque in one's twilight depictions, but here its use is apt:

"Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified and mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process."

Borges makes the Alzheimerian word search, that most of us do when confronted with the word crepuscular ('is that about blood? fabric? oh, wait, I remember: twilight!'), serve the story's aims by linking it to a memory of an already transpired reality now fading in our "mutilated memory".

Well, Borges' translator does. I don't read Spanish.

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seagull
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quote:
Personally, I love solipsists--I've been trying to find a suitable club to join for some time now
Solipsism has its limitations [Wink]
My meager attempts to define a "formal language" in which "1+1=2" is not obvious are also too limited to be practical for most applications. I presented them in order to demonstrate that even that seemingly obvious statement depends on the context.

quote:
I am interested in how and why you choose to respond to such a conversation-opener, and how you respond to the flow of the conversation.
I started the "Rational informed and conservative" thread to call velcro's bluff. The rational discussions by other people on that thread turned out to be much more interesting than I anticipated based on velcro's initial taunt.

I started this thread to address the meta-rational issues that would (in my opinion) have been a distraction from the interesting rational discussions on the original thread.

I believe that when a discussion boils down to:
Person A: "I trust X"
Person B: "I do not trust X"
Where both people honestly believe in their own statement, they are obviously operating in different contexts (Euclidian and Spherical geometries serve as a good analogy) and that both people can be rational within their own context. At that point the discussion could deteriorate into Solipsism but it does not have to. There is still much room for an interesting meta-rational discussion about why each side chooses to adopt their axiom and why adopting each axiom can lead to useful and meaningful models of reality.

I believe that the axiom "politicians lie" is realistic enough to be shared by more than a few isolated solipsists. I believe that it can form a basis for a useful and rational model of reality that explains real world events without resorting to unfounded and untestable assumptions about motivation. Models based on this axiom may not be able to reflect everything in the real world (just like Newton's laws), but they are good enough for many practical purposes.

I acknowledge that other models of reality exist which are inconsistent with the axiom "politicians lie" and that other people may find those models more useful than mine. I see nothing inherently wrong with switching to another context. I do prefer to be informed about what the context is and why it may be better suited to a specific topic before I enter such a discussion.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I believe that the axiom "politicians lie" is realistic enough to be shared by more than a few isolated solipsists. I believe that it can form a basis for a useful and rational model of reality that explains real world events...
I think it's hysterical that you'd consider that axiomatic, though, knowing as you apparently do what "axiom" means.
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kenmeer livermaile
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I liked the combination of "few" and "isolated" and "solipsists".

I imagine two of them bumping into each other on the street and realizing with shock that They Are Not Alone...

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seagull
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Thanks Kenmeer, [Wink] It is not intentional but the image you present is indeed funny.

Tom, why exactly do you find it hysterical?

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kenmeer livermaile
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Solipsism is perhaps my fave paradox. I like this guy's perspective on some of the issues surround solipsism:
Wittgenstein and Private Language

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TomDavidson
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quote:
why exactly do you find it hysterical?
Because as an axiom, it's exactly as useful as "I am always right."
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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by seagull:
"I do not trust politicians" is my premise. You can trust them if you want but that does not make my position irrational. To show that my position is irrational velcro would have to show a contradiction between that premise and other premises that I accept.

Can you see that this argument is independent of the distraction/diversion about what can or can not be translated into formal logic?

If making a consistent argument were your goal then you would get an A but presumably you also want your argument to be convincing. Concluding that Cheney lied because politicians lie is a pretty lame argument since you take the only part of your argument that requires actual substance and shove it into a premise.

As a rule of thumb, if we have the capabilities to evaluate the truth of a claim then the claim should probably not be taken as a premise.

[ November 22, 2009, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: threads ]

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seagull
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quote:
Cheney lied because politicians lie is a pretty lame argument
As lame as it is, it satifies Occum's razor much better than arguments that try to second guess someone else's motivation or assume access to classified information.

quote:
presumably you also want your argument to be convincing
The argument that "Cheney lied" was not my argument and I could not care less if it was convincing. My point was that if you want to prove to me that Cheney lied, you do not need to make unnecessary assumptions that violate Occum's razor. I am willing to accept that "Cheney lied" based on the much simpler axiom that politician lie.

I like "politicians lie" as a starting premise because it is not biased. It is also representative of the real world because:
  • A politician who can not lie effectively (to enemies) is not qualified for the job (IMHO).
  • It is hard to rise to power without lying somewhere along the way.
  • Most people do not even expect their politicians to tell the truth.
People who want to trust some politicians and vilify others find it much harder to argue their cause without a set of biased axioms to support their agenda.

quote:
if we have the capabilities to evaluate the truth of a claim then the claim should probably not be taken as a premise
The truth of a claim depends on the context (that's the whole point of this thread). If something as basic and formally defined as the axiom of parallel lines can be true in one context and false in another context, what makes you think that the claim "Cheney lied" can be evaluated without clearly defining our premises.

If your "capability to evaluate the truth" relies on any of the following premises:
  • any human has access to ALL the information
  • People who have access to information that needs to be classified would be willing to post it in a public forum accessible to us
  • People willing to reveal classified information will be given access to it.
You are willing to take a much larger "leap of faith" than I am with the simple premise that "politicians lie" and we are clearly operating in different contexts.

It really doesn't matter what we think of each other's premises (unless one of us is trying to convince the other to accept a premise). We can agree on the truth of the statement "Cheney lied" but let's not pretend that we got to it in the same way.

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by seagull:
quote:
Cheney lied because politicians lie is a pretty lame argument
As lame as it is, it satifies Occum's razor much better than arguments that try to second guess someone else's motivation or assume access to classified information.
Without going in to whether it does or doesn't, I don't see why it matters. The opposite argument (politicians never lie -> Cheney never lied) satisfies all of the same criteria. Clearly we're looking for more than just a sound argument.

quote:
Originally posted by seagull:
quote:
presumably you also want your argument to be convincing
The argument that "Cheney lied" was not my argument and I could not care less if it was convincing. My point was that if you want to prove to me that Cheney lied, you do not need to make unnecessary assumptions that violate Occum's razor. I am willing to accept that "Cheney lied" based on the much simpler axiom that politician lie.

I like "politicians lie" as a starting premise because it is not biased. It is also representative of the real world because:
  • A politician who can not lie effectively (to enemies) is not qualified for the job (IMHO).
  • It is hard to rise to power without lying somewhere along the way.
  • Most people do not even expect their politicians to tell the truth.
People who want to trust some politicians and vilify others find it much harder to argue their cause without a set of biased axioms to support their agenda.

This is fine but I think your terminology is muddled. If you've concluded that politicians lie then it isn't an axiom. You can use it as a premise for other arguments but premises need to be defended so I don't have an issue with that.

That said...
quote:
Originally posted by threads:
if we have the capabilities to evaluate the truth of a claim then the claim should probably not be taken as a premise

I'm guilty of muddling terminology as well. I should have said "axiom" in place of "premise".
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seagull
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quote:
If you've concluded that politicians lie then it isn't an axiom.
There is a world of difference between adopting a statement as an axiom and concluding (or proving) that it is true in a specific context. Axioms like Newton's laws, the five axioms of Euclidian Geometry and Peano's axioms are accepted as a premise because we believe that the models generated from them are useful even if the axioms are NOT true in all contexts.

Newton's laws are false in a universe that follows Einstein's theories. Euclid's postulate of parallel lines is false on the surface of a sphere. But that does not make the models based on those axioms any less useful.

Accepting an axiom does not make it true, all it means is that I find it to be a useful premise for a rational discussion. Concluding that a statement is true requires proof based on axioms and rules of inference already accepted in the context of the discussion.

I have not "concluded that politicians lie". Saying that I believe it as an axiom or premise is a weaker statement than claiming that I can prove it.

quote:
I'm guilty of muddling terminology as well.
In the context of this thread I have been using premise and axiom almost interchangably as well so you have no reason to geel guilty. This kind of muddling terminology is bound to happen in a meta-rational discussion where we discuss the merits of the premise/axiom rather than our ability to prove it.

I have been trying to use "axiom" to refer to a premise in the context of a "formal language" that includes clear definitions of "well formed" statements and rules of inference. I use "premise" when the context is not clear but the conventional meaning in English is (hopefully) enough for both sides to understand the concept even if they do not agree on its truth.

[ November 23, 2009, 06:29 AM: Message edited by: seagull ]

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seagull
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quote:
if we have the capabilities to evaluate the truth of a claim then the claim should probably not be taken as [an axiom]
The axioms of set theory can be used to construct a model for which the axioms of number theory can be proved.

There are other useful models that can be constructed in which the axioms of number theory are either unprovable or false. There are also useful models that do not originate in set theory where the axioms of number theory are accepted on faith rather than proved.

Our ability "to evaluate the truth" of the number theory axioms in a specific model does not detract from their status as one of the most useful axiomatic systems in mathematics.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Peano's axioms"

I thank you deeply for this. Never heard of Peano before, and if ever a name was delightfully hilarious in possession of a set of axioms, Peano it was.

I also rather enjoyed your explication of your sense of the word 'axiom'.

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seagull
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quote:
I thank you deeply for this.
You are very welcome.
quote:
Never heard of Peano before
The Peano axioms were mentioned (with a link) in the first page of this thread to explain the context in which "1+1=2" can be proved to be true.
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threads
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seagull, I don't disagree with you on the usefulness of different axioms in different contexts. My point is that "axiom" and "premise" should not be used interchangeably. An axiom can be a premise but not vice versa. I tried typing up a technical explanation of the difference but I'm not confident enough in my abilities to do so without accidentally making a statement that's either too broad or too narrow so I'll try to illustrate the difference through an example.

Here's a very simple argument:
Premise: If a person has never lied then they are not a politician
Conclusion: If a person is a politician then they have lied

To get from the premise to the conclusion I used an axiom of propositional logic* ((-q -> -p) -> (p -> q)) (in english: (not q implies not p) implies (p implies q)). However, the premise is not an axiom. For my argument to be convincing to anyone who accepts the same logical axioms that I do, I need to be able to show that the premise is derivable from those axioms. In practice, political arguments are relatively informal since we are reasoning using objects and concepts that are so far abstracted away from basic logical axioms that any attempt to make them purely formal would likely fail.

I suspect the difference between an axiom and a premise is what prompted Tom's comment that "Because as an axiom, ['politicians lie' is] exactly as useful as 'I am always right.'" "Politicians lie" is certainly not an axiom in any serious logic system though it can be used a premise provided that it is well-supported.

Overall I think we agree on most of the points in this thread.

* Technically there are different equivalent sets of axioms for propositional logic but the axiom I used is commonly used as an axiom.

[ November 23, 2009, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: threads ]

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seagull
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"An axiom can be a premise" is somewhat of an understandment. In the context of a specific formal language, only axioms (or theorems derived from them) can be used as a premise for deriving a proof.

"A premise can not be an Axiom" is not necessarily true. There is nothing preventing a premise from just happening to be an axiom in some formal language.

But that's not the point. The point is that when we construct a context (a meta rational process) any premise can be chosen as an axiom as long as there is no contradiction between the set of axioms that are chosen.

There are too many ways to choose axioms that have no meaning and even if we choose axioms that do mean something, there are too many combinations of axioms that are practically useless. What makes it all interesting (and worthy of study and discussion, at least for me) is when we choose a set of axioms that can help us better understand the world that we live in.

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TomDavidson
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I submit that the axiom "politicians lie" is not useful in a world in which politicians may or may not lie.
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velcro
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I just came across a very relevant quote from Richard Feynman.
quote:

We can not define anything precisely! If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers, who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, "You don't know what you are talking about!" The second one says, "What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? and so on. In order to be able to talk constructively, we just have to agree that we are talking about roughly the same thing.

I apologize if some of my posts were too confrontational. But I agree with Feynman, that in order to talk constructively, you just have to agree that we are talking about the same thing. Denying 2+2=4 because we don't agree on the definition of 2 is just a way to weasel out of a conclusion that you can not find a way to accept.
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PSRT
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In order to practice what I preach a little bit:

Velcro, I agree with you about objective truth, but you are speculating on seagull's motives. That can't go anywhere good, aside from being against site rules.

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seagull
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PSRT, I happen to agree with Feynman too.

The issue I tried to raise in thread is that when people do not "agree that we are talking about roughly the same thing" it is pointless to try to get through the paralysis by convincing the other party to talk about the same thing that you want to talk about.

People can accept some disagreement and identify where there is common ground about "roughly the same thing". In those situations discussions can be interesting and meaningful. But when one side (and it takes only one) tries to force their axioms on the other, discussion become a waste of time.

The Feynman quote just highlights that fact.

Tom,
I find the axiom "politician lie" to be useful (in some contexts) but I can see your point as well and willingly concede it in some contexts. I have no wish to force you to accept my axiom and I am sure that when we want to we can still find common ground on other matters.

[ December 07, 2009, 01:07 AM: Message edited by: seagull ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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We cannot define precisely whether or not we can define anything precisely.
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