There is no Death! There is no Life either! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence? – Part II)

Advertisements
Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Some days ago Harmonia Philosophica posted an article about how a Truth Puzzle filled in by a child was amazingly enough indicating something that could be of importance for philosophy (check the “There is no Death! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence?) article”).

Now a new twist was added to the plot.

Some days after the Truth Puzzle was filled in the way it was (missing ‘Death’ as one can read in the above-mentioned article) the same child struck again.

During a discussion about life and what life means, the child simply asked the obvious…

‘How do you know you are alive?’

(silence)

‘But I can eat!’ I answered back.

‘So? You are not alive!” said the child and giggled.

(laughter)

To cut the long story short, to whatever I said the child continued to answer back that there is no proof I am alive. And this discussion brought into my mind the previous Truth Puzzle instance and the lessons learned from that. For the same lesson should be learned from this story as well.

Of course the child was playing. Yet, within that funny game of denying the obvious (that I am alive), it showed something very serious and important: Why should we take for granted anything? Our knowledge about metaphysical questions regarding existence and being is zero. We do not know what the cosmos is, we do not even know what our consciousness is, if such thing even exists. The greatest philosophers and scientists have tried to answer such questions regarding the nature of our life and failed miserably.

So who are we to claim that we are alive?

Is it because we feel something? But what does that mean and how can we interpret it with zero knowledge about the meaning of all this ‘something’ that we feel? How can we even know what we see and sense is real without any objective definition of the the infamous ‘Reality’ to begin with? How can we say that someone ‘is’ alive if we have not even reached a consensus on what ‘Is’ is?

It reminds me of the story with the captive Vietnam general who once told his American interrogator that the Vietnamese did not believe they would win the war. The Americans were so much leased with the answer that did not even bother to check out the rest of the interrogation transcript. Because if they did they would see that the same general, when asked if he thought the Americans could win the war, he also answered No…

Question the obvious we must.

And the most obvious thing is our self.

Are alive?

Are we dead?

(Does it matter?)

All I can hear…

Is laughter…

There is no Death! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence?)

Advertisements
‘No death’ brain map

Harmonia Philosophica has already published articles for the use of brain maps to solve the great philosophical problems of humankind. Check the relative article here.

In summary, the ‘Truth Puzzles’ in Harmonia Philosophica are nothing more than simple brain maps with all the major elements of philosophy (life, death, existence, being, God, truth, phenomena, faith, self, others, knowledge, thinking, consciousness, nothingness, One). Every once in a while we try to draw one new Truth Puzzle (brain map) with all these elements and put random connections between them to indicate the relationship between them. For example an arrow drawn from God to Existence could indicate that God is the source of existence. The connections could be without arrows or with bi-directional arrows as well. There are no rules.

But how are the Truth Puzzles filled in? Based on what thought? Based on what principles?

That is the beauty of it!

The connections in the brain maps are filled in randomly as the writer of the brain map sees fit!

There are no principles!

No thinking!

But could such a random process produce any meaningful result? one might ask…

Sure it can!

Why shouldn’t it?

We know so little about life, death, existence and all the other elements of philosophy, that thinking has not managed to bring us any inch closer to the truth, if such thing ever exists. Our best shot in finding the ‘solution’ to the great philosophical problems of humankind is to just start drawing lines in random based on our instinct or just based on… nothing! Who knows? One of those Truth Puzzles could hold the answer we have been searching for since Plato. And if non-thinking sounds weird to you, read related articles in Harmonia Philosophica about non-thinking (with the tag ‘against thinking’ or ‘non-thinking’) and you will understand what we are talking about here. In short, structured thinking is as good as the principles on which it is based upon. And our thinking about the abovementioned elements of philosophy is based on pure ignorance.

But let us go back to the point at hand.

One day I asked from a child to fill in a brain map. I had entered all the elements and just asked from the child to fill in the relationships between ALL the elements of the Truth Puzzle with whatever way it saw fit.

The child liked the game and started filling in the brain map relationships.

When it finished, it gave the brain map back to me.

To my amazement, this is what it had handed over…

‘No death’ brain map (Truth Puzzle)

The child had put relationships (arrowless relationships to be exact – but having arrows was never a requirement) between all elements of the Truth Puzzle.

Except for one.

The element of ‘Death’ was omitted from the relationships!

After discussing we found out that this was done because the left hand of the child was on top of the ‘Death’ word while filling in the puzzle, something that by itself does not reduce the importance or the amazement element of the coincidence (I would rather say that it increases it, if we see this as a more fundamental way in which the ‘Death’ element was hidden completely from the eyesight of the child). A coincidence that it could alone be the topic of a separate dedicated article. I am sure Jung would be very much interested in such a coincidence had he came upon such.

Yet, I am not talking about the coincidence of omitting only the ‘Death’ element from the Truth Puzzle. What I am talking about is something much more fundamental: The child did not use all the elements in the brain map even though it was told to do so! This might sound mundane to you, but it not. We constantly make assumptions in our thought and based on these assumptions we produce more thoughts. We deduce conclusions, we derive theorems, we build science and cultivate philosophy. However we keep on forgetting that our assumptions are here only to be questioned and replaced by new ones at our own free will!

In the Truth Puzzles I created I made the assumption that all these great words (Truth, Death, Life, Existence, …) should all somehow be connected with each other.

A random (and beautiful) coincidence reminded me of the need to be more vigilant of my own dogmatism. I should never take for granted rules that I myself invented.

This applies to me, to you, to all philosophers, to all scientists, to all thinkers, to all humans. We should constantly question the obvious and make irrational thoughts. Only the irrational is free enough to actually produce valid results without the need for unfounded assumptions.

At the end, I am not certain whether there Death does not exist.

But from now on, I will also keep in mind that I do not know whether Death exists either…

Related Articles

Gödel’s incompleteness theorem: The non-Cretan way out…

Advertisements
Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Gödel’s incompleteness theorem is well known for proving that the dream of most mathematicians to formulate foundations for a complete and self-consistent theory of mathematics is a futile exercise.

Gödel proved that any set of axioms you could posit as a possible foundation for math will inevitably be incomplete; there will always be true facts about numbers that cannot be proved by those axioms. He also showed that no candidate set of axioms can ever prove its own consistency (1).

In essence, the incompleteness syllogism by Gödel starts from talking abour logical propositions (or mathematical propositions if you like) and ends up with a proposition that talks about the validity of… itself. This proposition which we might as well call reads something like “I cannot be proved”.

This leads to a dead-end.

If it can be proved, then it means that it cannot.

And vice versa.

So it is essentially a logically true proposition (since indeed it cannot be proved) but which cannot actually be proved within the axiomatic system at hand.

Hence, the incompleteness.

Essentially this is something the ancient Greeks have thought of thousands of years ago; something which they formulated in the famous Epimenides paradox. Epimenides was a man from Crete who said the following simple thing: “All Cretana are liars”.

Well, this ends up in the same dead-end as the proposition mentioned above. If Epimenides is truthful, then he is a liar since he is Cretan and all Cretes are liars. If he is a liar, then he is telling the truth! And, thus, he is a liar!

A self-reference paradox which essentially destroys the hope of mathematicians around the world for a consistent and full way to formulate mathematics. It is weird, but also important to mention here, that self-reference is the basis of our existence. Consciousness, our ability to speak about our self and our own existence and being, is the foundation of our essence as human beings. Without that, we would be nothing than complex machines.

But how can this dead-end be surpassed or perhaps by-passed?

Well, it cannot actually.

Unless…

You ctu right through it.

I was in a discussion the other day about the above topics and when the Epimenides paradox was mentioned, one immediate reaction that I got was the simple “So the solution is that he is not from Crete” (!)

What?! I answered. But I told you he was a Cretan.

Sure. He was.

But…

What is he wasn’t?

Then there wouldn’t be any paradox!

In the same sense…

What if the logical proposition…

“I am false”

is not a… proposition?

Then all problems would be solved!

But if it is not a logical or mathematical proposition then what is it? Well, as I said above, self-reference is not mathematics per se. It is more of a metaphysical reference to existence and being. A proposition talking about… itself is no more a proposition but an attempt to speak with the abyss. It is more God talking to humans than humans trying to talk with God. Such a thing could be many things, but ‘simply’ a logical (mathematical) proposition not.

But this is gibberish, one might counter-argue.

Sure, it can be.

(Gibberish like the Russel way out of his paradox?)

If you really think a Cretan would ever call himself a liar.

Sure, it can be.

If you accept that a proposion can ever referto itself.

But it cannot.

In a cosmos where only humans can talk for themselves.

Gibberish.

In a cosmos where mathematics cannot prove themselves.

Gibberish.

In a world where endless-loop paradoxes exist.

Paradoxes.

In a life which is full with nothing but them.

Paradoxes were the end of the hopes of mathematicians. They alone can be the ones which will instil hope in the once again.

Look around Cretan.

Tell me.

If you cannot prove that there is a sea…

Will you ever lie that you are swimming?

Old philosophers, science and the poison of knowledge…

Advertisements

A friend recently asked: how can we seriously read philosophers from before the 18th century, now that we know of their lack of knowledge regarding the cosmos and the universe? How can we read them and draw any serious conclusions now that we know that they knew almost nothing that we currently do, based on our supreme technology and modern science?

And my answer was: Actually it is only those philosophers whom we need to read! Because their thought was pure and not yet poisoned by the knowledge we think we have.

My friend was stunned. But what about all this knowledge we have amassed?! All the things stubbiness know for the universe? All the things physics knows about the workings of the cosmos? My friend was not the exception. It is really unfortunate that so many people believe that science today has proved things regarding the truth of our cosmos instead of what it is really doing: formulating theories to model the cosmos based on specific unproven assumptions.

But what do I mean by that?

Let’s take for example the field of astronomy and the infamous cosmological principle. This is a principle which governs astronomy today and which in two words holds the belief that the universe is homogenous and isotropic. This principle is based on observations and on this principle many theories are built by modern astronomers.

So far so good, one might say. Except the fact that nothing of the above is true.

What is true is that there are indeed observations which support the cosmological principle, but there are also observations which refute it. (See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_principle or https://philpapers.org/rec/KAKFGT)

So why do we hold that principle? one might ask. The answer to that would be more shocking to someone not acquainted with epistemology: Science continuously used unproven theses as a starting point of theories! This is not bad nor good. It is just the way science works. What is wrong is to take these starting point as “true” even though they never meant to have any relation to what philosophy calls “truth” or “reality”.

Scientific models are just… scientific models!

Nothing more.

Think of a glass dropping to the floor for example. This is something we all observe. Let’s now try to formulate a theory to explain this observation. The modern atheist will hold the belief that the explanation of why the glass is dropping to the floor is something “objective” and based on “facts” and data. But he would be wrong. For the observational data is just… observational data. The theory to interpret that data is something else. And for the glass dropping to the floor we have many!

Ancient Greeks thought perhaps that Zeus made the glass drop. Then came Newtown. And we explained the observation with the help of an invisible all existing field called gravitational field. And then Einstein changed everything and now we have not a field but curved spacetime!

See?

Same observation, three different theories!

But are those theories equally valid? And do they all adhere to the data equally successfully?

The answer is yes, if we wish so! Even the theory which wants Zeus to bring the glass down to earth can be formulated in such a way that there is full compliance with the observational data in hand. (E.g. by starting that Zeus makes the glass fall with an acceleration equal to g) In the same way the theory of Newton can be also as accurate as the latest theory of Einstein if we make it so. The problem is that scientists rarely tend to update the details of old theories, so people tend to believe that these theories were abandoned because they were less accurate. A grave misunderstanding which is based on the arrogant ideas that we know more than the people before us. And yet the ancient Greeks could easily predict celestial phenomena centuries in the future even while believing that the gods were moving the planets in the celestial sphere…

To the modern atheist all this is crazy of course.

People who believe in scientism today can hear nothing which could refute their perfect idea of science as a method to reach the “truth”. Not even Godel could change their mind.
Going back to the cosmological principle, today’s believers (in science and scientism) truly believe that this is a fact we hold true on the basis of observations. My friend and his friends could not even consider an alternative. So here we are. Men who do not know if Mars had water, but who do know with certainty that the whole universe is isotropic and homogenous! It would be comical if not so terribly arrogant…

At the end it is not a matter of data or knowledge. It is a matter of the ability to think freely without just following what others say.

Today’s atheists and proponents of scientism would be the greatest followers of the institutional church during the middle ages. Because what makes them blind today is not a lack of knowledge for something specific, but the arrogance of a man who does not want to admit that others might be able to see things clearer than him. These people would follow the Pope in whatever he said, in the same way they now follow the opinion of the majority regarding the truth of science.

The same people would swear that you can only draw one parallel from a straight line.

They would argue fiercely in favor of the fifth axiom of Euclid and would mock anyone trying to attempt to utter a different opinion.

At the end, we will discover if Mars has water…
At the end, we will “know” that no parallel lines can be drawn…
At the end we will draw multiple parallel lines…

Do you see?
There is nothing there.
Except for the things you see…

Satellite galaxies. Dark matter. Simulating the unknown…

Advertisements

The mystery of the missing satellite galaxies has bedeviled astronomers for more than a decade. While dark matter has proven to be exceptionally good at explaining the formation of large galaxies and clusters, it routinely runs into trouble when attempting to describe tiny structures such as satellite galaxies.

Dozens of tiny galaxies known as satellite galaxies orbit the Milky Way, but theorists predict there should be hundreds. Now a team of astronomers offers a new resolution to this conflict between observation and theory: Maybe dark matter, the mysterious substance thought to bind galaxies together, isn’t quite so dark. The researchers propose that radiation might have stirred up dark matter in the early universe, preventing the formation of satellites. (1)

We do not know what “dark matter” is.
But we simulate it.

We are so dogmatically stupid.
And nothing can simulate that…