Philosophy: Do numbers exist?

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Post by Bob Boblo on Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:31 pm

Its times like this when I wish I'd taught my dog to measure electromagnetic waves.... Razz
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Post by Pete1 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:57 pm

Numbers do exist. By using the same logic Descarthes did: I think therefore I am, there are thoughts so thoughts do exist. Numbers are a concept, a thought. Numbers have existed at least since anyone or anything invented this imaginary tool called numbers. Therefore I see it strange that it is discussed whether numbers are perfect or not as no one has defined what they should be perfect for. For instance a spoon is a tool, which I find if not perfect at least pretty handy for eating but I wouldn't use it for mining.PS. Sounds are not electromagnetic wawes, they are mechanical wawes and need matter to travel whereas electromagnetic wawes can also travel in a vacuum.

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Post by twaters on Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:24 pm

Yeah, but Descartes was wrong...
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Post by kingofapples on Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:17 am

This could go on for ever

Why did god/evolution give the human raise opinions?

New question for ya
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Post by shadow on Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:32 am

kingofapples wrote:Why did god/evolution give the human raise opinions?

we don't have opinions, just twists and electrical impulses in our brains
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Post by tim09 on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:47 am

Gahh more of this what is it to be human..

Read Brave New World and Watch Bladerunner. Then sit through a term of HSC english that I never have to do again. EVER!!!!

WooT
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Post by Orranis on Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:13 pm

Look at the problem this way. If numbers do not exist, then everything is in fact one unity (in that everything is the same since there is no way to distinguish one thing from the other by saying that there are two things).

Yet, if everything is one (and ergo there are no differences) it is impossible for someone to not see the truth because if illusion (something that is not the truth, yet appears to be the truth) exists then there are in fact TWO existences in this universe, which necessitates the existance of numbers.

In conclusion, either nothing exists, since people hold contradictary opinions each believing theirs is truly right (which is not possible if numbers do not exist). Or numbers exist thus allowing for truth and illusion to exist.
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Post by Shul Cooper on Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:07 pm

Proof 1
Given: The Earth, at the very least, exists as we (humans) think we know it. (and thus) We accept the definition of numbers to be: abstract concepts that are used to represent different values, be they positional, temporal, or otherwise.
Prove: (as posted by Orranis) that the existence of numbers can be derived from the existence of some sort of "rational" universe
Steps
1) Multiple identical things must exist.
2) These things are indistinguishable, except for their positioning, or perceived value (of any sort).
3) Since space is relative, their positions are meaningless.
4) The only way to tell any two identical objects apart is to assign them values.
5) They must have different values, implying that numbers exist
Reasons
1) Given (Two or more atoms, sets of DNA)
2) Definition of identical
3) Einstein (for those not familiar with his work, I suggest a very basic physics course)
4) As stated in #2
5) Given (Further explanation follows for those who want to debate)
Note: There must be a difference between the two objects, because there are two of them. If there is no way to tell them apart, then everything dissolves into the formless oneness described above by Orranis. Inherent different values must imply my definition of numbers, because even two distinct values as interpreted by humans. beat

[Anyone for something like Prove: Black=White?] uk uk uk

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Post by Orranis on Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:32 pm

Oh, as to colors, they're relative. The shades of electromagnetic radiation that we see in the bands of visible light and asign names to may be seen differently by other animals or even some humans. So what we call orange may be seen as what we call red because another human's or animal's optic nerve is formed slightly differently than ours.

It's the interpretation of the electromagnetic radiation into a picture that creates colors.
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Post by THE PM on Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:25 pm

Just to confuse Anybody in the forum, I would like to apply to every one that there is only one from of truth. math. Even though maths is not real

(it does not exist in nature even if there are muitable things that 'could' be counted the fact that they need to be counted means that they don't exist, because they require a being which a consciness (the ablitly to think) to make them into a logical order. So math is no more real then a idea or a character in a book, even if you can repersent them in real life by counting with your hands, but this is not really math made the counting is still in your head)

Math is logiical = 1+1=2 while everything that we know and see in life is based on past expensice. For example if one man kill a women with a knife and the man's DNA is on the knife then in court, then we would take from are past expenices and we would sent that men to jail. Even though it is mathmathical possiable that a diffrent person had the same DNA (although this unlikly it is still possiable) so therefore even though there is no such thing in nature as Maths it is the only form of truth... beat


Next question in a logical world (e.g. 1+1 =2) is God presumign there is one which is a question in is self, if God made the uniserve.. Have fun!


soz for the type-o's
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Post by Orranis on Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:53 pm

expenices, presumign, and uniserve

Awesome point.

lol
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Post by intrepid132 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:02 pm

Numbers exist, but only in the way any other language exists. It is simply a structure to easily convey quantity.

And here's something really trippy with math, that shows that math, while based in logic, can be completely illogical.

Take the series:
1+2+3+4+5...+n, where n is infinite. If you add it all together, it should be infinite, right?

Well, an Indian mathematician, Ramaujan, proved that using some very trippy functions (that I don't really understand) that that series, listed above, is actually equal to -1/12. This is the whole basis for string theory in physics, which I only understand at the most basic level, but which seems to be not only the future of physics, but a possible explanation for almost everything.

Here's the Wikipedia article, if you want to know more about this series.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_%2B_2_%2B_3_%2B_4_%2B___
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Post by Orranis on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:37 am

The existence of quantity(varying amounts that are talked about using math) is undisputable though. I hope we can all agree on that.
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Post by Orranis on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:48 am

"Ramanujan summation essentially is a property of the partial sums, rather than a property of the entire sum, as it doesn't exist"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramanujan_summation

I have no idea what the -1/12 actually stands for or indicates, but it appears it's just a handy term of reference for the most part.
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Post by intrepid132 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:22 am

The way I understand it, and I really don't understand it all that well, is that when you solve the series using the zeta function that Ramanujan used (which one that is, i don't know), then that is the answer that you get. So, it is a solution, but it just isn't a logical one, based on mathematic's current logic framework. But it is, in it's own way, possible, because infinity represent any possible quantity. It is quite possible that at some infinitely large number, it suddenly merges into a negative number or something. Again, this isn't logical based on current accepted mathimatics, but is could be true, in some alternate universe or something... string theory is just that messed up.
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Post by MidniteXpress on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:32 pm

StanWephen wrote:...Nevertheless, it is a fact that the Sun is a burning ball of gas. It is a fact the world is round. In the same way, it is a fact there are 10 bottles.

Therefore, numbers must exist.

Stan and I have already had a difference of opinion today, so to keep it going...
the sun is actually a burning ball of semi-fluid plasma and the earth is egg shaped.
At least that's what NASA says
lol

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Post by MidniteXpress on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:40 pm

Bob Boblo wrote:
Sound is a series of electromagnetic pulses, the human brain has nothing to do with it

Sorry for posting twice in a row, but sound is actually atmospheric pressure waves. Hence no sound in space.

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Post by Lee Marshal on Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:08 am

MORE TO THE POINT

Do i exist???? Laughing
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Post by THE PM on Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:49 pm

No your just a fragment of MY imagination pale
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Post by Orranis on Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:08 pm

I think, therefore I am. Sorry guys, but I'm pretty sure that I'm the only real one here. Or at least the only one I can prove to be real to myself.

by the way, I actually did read Descartes and if you haven't read his Principles of Philosophy I highly recommend that you do. It provides one of the most useful philosophical bases for the existence of the universe.
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Post by twaters on Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:53 pm

twaters wrote:yeah, but Descartes was wrong...
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Post by THE PM on Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:53 pm

@Orranis: how do you know that you are thinking for your self, could it not just be a large computer feeding your impluses and emotions (matix lol)
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Post by Lee Marshal on Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:52 pm

I AM NOT A MACHINE, STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!!!!!

Yes, i'll have a big mac please
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Post by Orranis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:12 pm

Well, stimuli and emotions (et al.) could (theoretically) be provided by some sort of outside source, but for there to be awareness some sort of control (i.e. the ability to sort the information on our own and come to conclusions based on the provided information) has to be given to the object of the stream of information (in this case, humans).

If humans were merely intricately programed robots that reacted in ways specified by programs the question of "knowing" could not truly be asked, but only referred to in the same way that a bot on AIM would refer to friendship or anything else.

Or, on the other hand, if humans were puppets that are completely controlled by some force, then awareness is out of the question since (as DeCarte stated), the illusion of awareness does not exist since to be decieved one must first be aware.
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Post by Orranis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:13 pm

By the by, that Guinness is looking very tasty, thank you very much.
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