# Achilles and the Tortoise.

manored

Thu 1 Jan, 2009 08:19 am
@ogden,
ogden wrote:
Yes I understand that, I was just using it as an example of sorts. Just because we cannot see the begining or the end of time doesnt mean they are not posible. Would we be able to realize it if we were in a giant time loop?

The idea of infinity is not gained by empirical means. Finding the end of it is its distruction, just as the end of the race spoils the totoises argument! :shifty:
No, but since things are not repeating thenselves in a sensible manner, the repetition of time either doesnt means everthing will happen like it did, making the repetition not matter, or we live to little to give a "full spin" on time, meaning that it doesnt really matters if it is a loop or not.

That example doesnt finds the end, it gives a beggining, and begginings are necessary to observe things.

ogden

Thu 1 Jan, 2009 11:13 am
@manored,
manored wrote:
No, but since things are not repeating thenselves in a sensible manner, the repetition of time either doesnt means everthing will happen like it did, making the repetition not matter, or we live to little to give a "full spin" on time, meaning that it doesnt really matters if it is a loop or not.

That example doesnt finds the end, it gives a beggining, and begginings are necessary to observe things.

Exactly! Infinity cannot be proven it can only be disproved by demonstrating a start or a stop. The story is demonstrating the concept of infinity through mathematical logic, and logic sometimes has little concern for reality or practicality. Do you agree?

How do we come up with ideas that are not from empirical evidence? Math itself is a-priori; that is, it comes purely from concepts. You cannot show evidence of the number four, and yet we so easily conceptualize it! Time is likewise a representation or concept of succession. It is so real to us and yet its reality is not gained by observation.

Perhaps that is what Poseidon meant when he alluded to this story as indicating "soul". Where does a-priori knowledge come from?

manored

Fri 2 Jan, 2009 02:21 pm
@Poseidon,
Indeed logic needs no relation to reality.

Perhaps it came through evolution: We developed creativity to invent solution to our problems and survive, what gave us the ability of imagining situations that dont, or dont yet, exist and how their outcome would be. With this, after inventing the concept of beggining and end, we could imagine "what if there was something with a beggining but not a end? "

schloopfeng

Fri 2 Jan, 2009 04:24 pm
@Poseidon,
Perhaps the distance of the race was only 10.5 meters anyway, surely a clever tortoise would know its limitations:shocked:, as for the soul bit .....i'm lost there:shocked: ..... need a cuppa to contemplate this one.

manored

Sat 3 Jan, 2009 11:13 am
@Poseidon,
The soul bit is that if it is logically impossible to travel, but we travel, it means that this logic saying its impossible to travel must have came from outside this world. I personally believe its a possibility but not assured.

schloopfeng

Sat 3 Jan, 2009 01:51 pm
@Poseidon,
ahhhhhh well that gives me something to munch on now ...thank you:shocked:

Poseidon

Sun 4 Jan, 2009 06:48 am
@Poseidon,
How is it possible to conceive of something we have not observed?
Our ability to conceptualise must have some element in it which is outside of experience. In this example infinite divisibility.

If space and time where infinitely divisible, then nothing would be able to move as each movement would need to move an infinitely small amount, as Xeno's paradox shows.

Try and think along the lines of a computer animation moving across the screen. It looks like a fluid movement, but the animation moves in pixels, or quantums of space, and quantums of time. If the pixels were infinitely small, we would not be able to move as we would always be trying to move an infinitely small amount, which would always be diminishing before we could move it.

Thus :
(A) Space and time are not infinitely divisible, quantum mechanics is correct.
&
(B) For us to concieve of infinity, we could not have attained such an idea from the world, as infinity does not exist in the world (because of A).

Where do a priori concepts come from?
This is a contradiction as a priori means : 'logically and necesarily prior to'.
If we could answer the question, they would not be a priori concepts,
they would be a posteriori (acquired).

So the a priori ideas, such as math and infinity are 'not of this world'
proving that the mind is not born a 'blank slate', and thus the mind exists beyond our experience of it in this world.

We call this 'soul', rather than 'mind' in order to differentiate between
inherent knowledge (a priori or soul), and acquired knowledge (a posteriori or mind)

ogden

Sun 4 Jan, 2009 09:57 am
@manored,
Bear with me please as I relate a story that questions this premise of a priori = soul. The events did take place but the conclusions I draw from them are not really scientific so I pose the question as hypothetical.

I purchased two small birds from the pet shop (Zebra Finches). In their large cage I provided a tree branch and plenty of nest building grasses. The finches laid the grasses clumsily on the branches and even laid an egg that fell to the floor and cracked. I then provided a woven basket nest box and the birds had several clutches in it. The birds (original pair or offspring?) continued to build their own nests. The nest quality got better with each attempt until they were building beautifully shaped nests. I removed the nest box because they no longer used it and even built a nest on top of it.

Now you could argue that the original birds where captured from the wild, but I doubt it. It's much easier and cheaper to raise them locally in captivity. So if the birds had never seen a real nest how did they "know" how to build a nest? Do you think they just figured it out by trial and error? Where they born with some inherent desire or ability to weave grass?

So if they where born with it, was it a priori, and would they then have souls? Are instinctual abilities different from a priori knowledge? Seams to me that imagination serves man well and it could be explained that it is our instinct to imagine.

manored wrote:

Perhaps it came through evolution: We developed creativity to invent solution to our problems and survive, ... "

manored

Sun 4 Jan, 2009 03:51 pm
@Poseidon,
Poseidon wrote:
(A) Space and time are not infinitely divisible, quantum mechanics is correct.
&
(B) For us to concieve of infinity, we could not have attained such an idea from the world, as infinity does not exist in the world (because of A).
There is one flaw here: The fact that space and time arent infinitely divisible doesnt means they arent infinite in number... and also, due to the infinite nature of the universe its likely that they are actually divisible.

Poseidon

Sun 11 Jan, 2009 01:34 pm
@ogden,
ogden wrote:

So if they where born with it, was it a priori, and would they then have souls? Are instinctual abilities different from a priori knowledge? Seams to me that imagination serves man well and it could be explained that it is our instinct to imagine.

I agree. Birds have souls.
It seems that instincts are at least some of the time the same as a priori knowledge.
....
Quote:

There is one flaw here: The fact that space and time arent infinitely divisible doesnt means they arent infinite in number... and also, due to the infinite nature of the universe its likely that they are actually divisible.

Well, we have NOT observed infinity at any point, in any way.
How could we?
So the concept must be a priori.

When we look at the night sky, it is mostly black. If the universe were infinite in size, or if time did not have a beginning then the sky would be full of the light of forever.

manored

Sun 11 Jan, 2009 04:03 pm
@Poseidon,
Infinity is something far too vast for any intelligence, no matter how great, to observe. This means that the concept was not created by observation, what invalidates the idea of that it would be necessary to observe infinity to understand it, what invalidates the idea of that the concept must be a priori. At least that is the logic I follow.

If the universe was infinite in size, it wouldnt make a difference for the ilumination because light takes eons to travel from distant stars to earth and these stars thenselves dont last forever.