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What would you ask a person who knew everything?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by JohnRM, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    He made it pretty clear that the difference is conceptual rather than concrete, so I don't know why you're asking again.
     
  2. Global Skeptic

    Global Skeptic King

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    Thank you for your answer. But that only confuses me even more. :) The universe as it stands here is a concept of the set of interconnect stuff or what ever we should call it. So how can a concept, the laws of nature, "control" something, which is not a concept; i.e the universe as the universe?
     
  3. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    1. How do I earn a Trillion dollars in 5 seconds, legally and morally, and how do I keep the profit from being immediately erased by inflation?

    2. How do I keep the above profit without losing my soul?
     
  4. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    They don't. The "laws of nature" are a descriptions of how the universe invariably and inevitably functions, they don't precede it. We call them "laws" not as a direct analogy to human laws, but as a way of emphasising the invariance.
     
  5. Global Skeptic

    Global Skeptic King

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    That assumes that there is no universally induction problem, right? :)
     
  6. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    That's why it's important to remember that the laws are human constructs, our best attempt to describe the universe in terms that are intelligible to us, rather than direct and unerringly faithful reflections of the universe itself. If they turn out to be wrong, as they often do, it's not because "natural law" has been broken, but because our description was faulty.
     
  7. Global Skeptic

    Global Skeptic King

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    We agree. :)
     
  8. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Bear in mind that all science is essentially the making of models - we don't know if it really looks as we think it does; all we know is that if we model it as if it did, we can make predictions which so far seem to be accurate.
     
  9. Souron

    Souron The Dark Lord

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    It's the difference between me and posting on CFC. I'm me. Post on CFC is something I do. The univerce is, and the laws of nature are what it does, how it behaves.
     
  10. Souron

    Souron The Dark Lord

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    You're right, there is a problem of induction that applies to my question. But it's the same one that applies to any question about nature, including questions like asking for tommorow's lottery numbers.
    Laws are human constructs in so far as the currently "known" laws are the product of scientists. However the "laws of nature" can refer to the actual rules nature follows, which are not human constructs. Modern science may be wrong, but the premise of science -- that laws exist -- it is hard to imagine that being wrong.
     
  11. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I don't think that's the "premise of science" at all. What is claimed is that the nature of the universe is such that there are necessary patterns of behaviour, necessary and invariant ways that physical substances interact with each other, but that does not in itself imply that there are actual "laws" prior to these interactions. That's an ontological question, not a scientific one.
     
  12. Souron

    Souron The Dark Lord

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    I don't get what you're trying to say at all.
     
  13. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    To claim that that there exist physical "laws" independent of our observation of them is to claim there exist certain universal principles which are ontologically prior to the physical processes they describe. Whether or not that is the case is a question of ontology (specifically I think the problem of universals, but I might be wrong about that), not of science, the practice of which does not rest on any assumptions one way or the other.
     
  14. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    How do you prove that you are right?
     
  15. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I would say that you cannot, and that you can only hope to provide an account of greater or lesser coherence.
     
  16. Souron

    Souron The Dark Lord

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    I don't quite understand what you mean by onthologically prior, but I disagree. (prior suggests time, but the univerce and it's laws are not in a temporal relation with each other). Laws are a concepts. If they describe nature, then they are true and therefore exist. This is independent of humans asserting those laws.
     
  17. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    Well, after much deliberation I've come up with
    "What am I?"
     
  18. Dann

    Dann Green bug

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    I have but one question, and only one question:

    "If you already know everything, then...
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    WHY THE FRAK ARE YOU STILL HANGING OUT HERE WITH US LOSERS?! YOU SHOULD BE TAKING OVER THE WORLD AND SOLVING ALL ITS PROBLEMS INSTEAD! NOW GET TO IT! SHOO! SCRAM! GO GO GO!"
     
  19. Global Skeptic

    Global Skeptic King

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    Well, as a skeptic I like that one. :)
     
  20. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    Your question is full of presumptions. May be we arent such loosers and the world problems are being solved.
     

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