January 28, 2008

The Futility of Knowledge and its Consequences

Gödel’s incompleteness theorem is a mathematical formalism of a proposition on recursivity in knowledge that has been expressed by influential and, doubtless, lay thinkers throughout history.
It states that, within a complete set of true axioms that describe all observable phenomena, there must exist the statement, which is here arbitrarily called G, thus: “G = G is not true”. Thus for G to be true, it must not be true. Indeed, if G is not true, then G must be true. Here it can be seen that for the axioms to be complete, then G must be true. From this arises the inconsistency in that G is therefore not true. Likewise, if G is to be consistent with all other axioms, then one cannot include G in the set of true axioms, such that the set is incomplete.

The recursivity of G is quite difficult to comprehend and, as such, I here provide a thought experiment with interesting consequences.

A person, P, attempts to learn and know all things. Only this way can P ascertain that there is no axiom which lies outside of a complete set of true axioms. Clearly, there is a lot to learn not only for the time in which P exists but also for all other times in the universe such that P can acertain that the axioms are reliable in time. It is thus required of P to have lived for eternity and to have experienced all things. To encompass all things that have existed, or are to exist in the future, P must be omniscient, i.e. P must actually be the complete set of axioms, i.e. P completely encompasses and describes existence, i.e. P is existence itself. I, for one, know of no one who can claim to be existence in its entirity!

What this states, like in Gödel’s theorem, is that no individual entity can know the complete truth, i.e. it cannot know all things. By individual, I mean comparable to another entity, both individuals/entities being incorporated in existence. By existence, I mean a set of complete AND consistent axioms. Obviously, there must be a truth such that existence can exist! Gödel’s theorem can only apply to what an individual can know about the truth/existence. For something to know all things, i.e. the truth, it must itself be the truth and be existence itself. Existence is unity, i.e. there must not be any other form of existence. To prove this, let existence be divided into two, existence(A) and existence(B). From the previous thought experiment, existence(A) can only know all things in existence(B) if it incorporates/encompasses existence(B), and vice versa. If existence can be described by two entities that do not understand eachother such that there is an incomplete set of true axioms, then there is no absolute truth and it can be argued that we in fact don’t exist! This is somewhat problematic.

So, in order for existence to exist, as it must do for me to be writing this statement (analogous to Descarte’s “cognito ergo sum”: “I think therefore I am”) there can only be one truth, i.e. only one existence (unfortunately, the restriction of language makes this difficult to explain, as even the number “one” is comparable to other numbers. Such is the reason that I prefer to use the word “existence”, by which I not only mean “all encompassing” but “being all”). All things, including us as individual people, are encompassed by this unitary existence. In fact, all things are the existence! The only useful description of our individuality is as manifestations of existence.

I urge you here to not be put off by connotations with hippy culture or religious postulates: we are all of the same source, manifestations of the truth which is existence. We are all, for want of a better word, one.

One might ask how existence can incorporate that which does not yet exist physically. To answer this, I take an analogy from concepts in physics (although an analogy in its own right is no grounds for proof, the best we can hope for as individuals is an extensive set of analogies which explain existence to the best of our ability by coherence among the analogies). Energy, better described as potential energy, is a quantified measure of information stored for a system/body: it is very simply the potential to impart energy/information from one body to another by way of a force. Force is a description of the action of communication of information between the bodies (I might add that the commuication is mutual, i.e. every action has an equal and opposite reaction – Newton’s 3rd law. This states conservation of information. For this reason, I do not support the theory of the big bang, that something came from a singularity). A potential to impart information relates to the informatic existence of the two bodies at a later time. Thus potential, i.e. future information and knowledge, is contained within the current state of potential energy. This is in agreement with quantum mechanics as an observable state can be described as a linear combination of possible states. As such, existence encompasses all that is observable and knowable AND all that is to be observed and known.

In conclusion, hopes for a theory of everything are futile. Ultimately, any advancement in knowledge is futile. Of course, something must exist and the information contained within that existence is a sort of knowledge of it’s existence (again from Descarte’s famous conclusion). It is only natural for us to want to maintain existence and a good, proven way of doing this is to search for new knowledge. In fact, being of the same existence as those who are to live in the future, it seems only reasonable that we provide the best possible world in which they can live. Why bother thinking of them, especially if they do not yet exist? Because although they are a different manifestation to us, we are the same: of the same unitary existence.

So what is left for us, as manifestations of existence? We are all bound in unity by existence. We are of the same source. If the term consciousness could be coined to convey a means of communication of information, or the potential thereof, then consciousness permeates all things in existence. We ultimately share the same consciousness.

There are only two solutions for exiestence to be unitary and encompass all individuality in being. One is that in fact nothing exists. Non-existence is also unitary and encompasses all things that do not exist. However, as Descarte so rightly put, the fact that I am even thinking of this possibilty necessarily refutes it! The other solution is that we are all bound into a unitary existence. This binding must be a phenomena with a net attraction, such that existence is in a stable state. It must be advantageous for all individual bodies within existence to incorporate this binding phenomena. I would call this binding “love”.


November 27, 2007

The neurometer

Neuroemeter - for measuring electrophysiology of cells

Looking at possible PhDs to undertake after I graduate, I have been confronted with an ethical hurdle as my interests sway towards the neurosciences. I have, as such, been compelled to write a new entry, with a new question (please note that this isn’t necessarily the same question that confronts me, although it may be one – indeed it is one for any academic to consider).

A scientist, Dr. Science, manages to construct the first reliable neurochip – that is an electronic device that includes neurons (the cells in you brain that, via many electrical impulses, receive, compute and send information to your muscles upon various external stimuli) as electronic components, among the standard known components (e.g. resistors, diodes etc.). This neurochip enables the processing of specific neuronal activity that correlates to thought, such that the electrical signals can be reprocessed and displayed by a computer.

To me, there appear three significant implications to this:

1) That the mechanisation of thought (and thus the mind) can be interwoven directly with the laws of physics such that, upon realising that we must all “be one” due to the nature of our origins and having no soul (i.e. that we are all a result of physical laws e.g. thermodynamic equilibria, the quantum mechanics of atomic bonding, the photoelectric effect of vision etc.), we live in harmony and peace.
2) We realise that there are no consequences for what appears to be our “self” and society becomes “all-for-all”, resulting in the demise and probably extinction of the human race.
3) We don’t care what the philosophical implications are but we exploit the new technology as a means to socio-economic superiority.

Now, Dr. Science developed this device not to earn money for himself by selling them to those rich enough to afford them, not even for it to be applied to therapeutic treatments of ill patients, but to aid the realisation of implication 1) – i.e. harmony and peace.
However, despite his hopes, reasonable or delusional, implications 2) and 3) follow from the release of this product into the public domain.

The question is: were Dr. Science’s actions ethical or unethical?

I suppose the bulk of this question lies in a simpler, more general question: are ethics grounded in intention or consequence?


November 13, 2005

Creationist Theory flaws itself

Basically, nature only exists by survival of the fittest, ie. if one species is not stronger than another, threatening species, then it is likely to die out and obviously not exist. This is also seen within a species – take a pride of lions for example.
Now, there is a part of the Bible (I cannot remember for the life of me where in the Bible, but it is there….Revelations maybe??) which says that at the second coming of Jesus, the lion will lie with the hare, ie. it won't try to eat it to stay alive. I think this is meant to be generalised to all species, ie. no species will try and survive over another. Well then, surely they will die out. So, it appears that the only way for life to exist is for it to have a certain element of selfishness, exploit certain situations and kill other lives in order for it to survive.
Now, if God made life perfect to start with, and if it had remained perfect rather than giving in to sin, then it would surely have died out almost immediately. You would have thought God would think of this, as He is God and all.
So, it appears that for life to exist in the first place, is has to do so sinfully and be a result of sin.
Thus God couldn't have created life.
What implications does this have for Christianity, or any other God worshipping religion? Many, I would think.

September 30, 2005

Perfection

Basically, what are the implications of a perfect God?
I ask this for 2 reasons:
1) If we, with individual souls (and I use the word soul losely), are seperate to a God, then, rationally, we are comparable to Him, just as good is comparable to not good. If we are comparable, then God cannot be perfect as perfection is like infinity in that it is illogical to compare it to one finite number in a different way to another finite number.
2) So, if God is perfect, and He wouldn't be God if He wasn't, then He is all encapsulating such that there is nothing individual to be compared to God. This means no Devil, no souls, just a oneness (here I use the word oneness losely as even the number one is comparable to other numbers) that permeates existence and is existence. This begs the question of why we feel individual. Also, what does this non-individuality mean for what appears to be our free choice? Are we all simply a manifestation of this ism with the same underlying "essence" of oneness to us? This ism may have free choice, and what we consider to be our own free choice is actually that of the ism.

Not sure how well that was explained, but what are your thoughts on this?


September 04, 2005

Disclaimer

Thought it would be a good idea to say that I don't endorse anything I've written on this blog – they're just ideas to discuss. Thanks for looking :)

May 05, 2005

Lust?

A question for Christians mainly, but open to anyone.

The sole purpose of marriage as a sacrement of Christianity is to provide a foundation to procreate and raise new generations.

Firstly, why do we need to do this. Well, it's naturally survival of the fittest. But then, shouldn't a Christian promote the survival of others rather than him or herself, thus putting everything before the passing on of their own genes?

Secondly, why do we not employ a systematic approach to marriage, like Muslims do, to ensure that procreation is achieved? Why is it acceptable for Christian marriage to based more on whether you personally find your partner attractive and/or with a nice personality, when this surely stems from one's own lust or greed to have someone who likes them back? A Christian should surely strive to be confident and outward in all aspects and not need the return of their love.

Yet then, if we follow Jesus in fully devoting ourselves to others (both human and non-human) and do not form sexual relationships, then the human race would die out. If, as it says in the Bible, the Lion will lie with the Hare, then surely those animals will also die out. In fact, there will not be life as we know it, so what was the point in the first place? And how did life manage to form from a spiritually pure universe if it required a certain level of selfishness in order to survive?


January 18, 2005

Are we ants?

Did anyone see the documentary exploring the physiological reasons as to why Einstein was so clever yesterday?
If you didn't, then in short, he had lots of extra neorone things that made the communication of thoughts in his brain work more efficiently, thus allowing him to learn faster and develop ideas faster. The same condition has been found in idiot savants – autistic people with communcation difficulties but also with an natural gift for things like maths or memory and the like.
If the level of our intelligence is determined largely by how our brain grows from birth rather than the input we feed it, then why dont we just look at this, tell people what they're gonna be best at in life cos we know they're gonna suck at some things and not at others and encourage them to lead a certain life that will benefit lotsa other people, just like how ants do by judging the size of the larvae at birth.

November 05, 2004

What is Free Choice?

OK - here's something that I've asked both RE and Philosphy teachers, along with lots of other people, and no one has been able to give an answer that doesn't simply raise the same question:

If God knows everything, then God knows the future. So how do we have free choice over what happens in the future if the future is already known and thus set in stone?
Feel free to get your heads around this, or just confuse yourself into a frenzy of non existence and spontaneously implode. Either way…....


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