OpinionLogical absolutes are an example (or perhaps the only example) of non-physical, non-conceptual premises - they do not have to be conceptual, nor require any mind to exist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb1mfKJU6bo
      – Lee J Haywood, 2009-09-07 at 16:53:35   (16 comments)

On 2009-09-07 at 17:09:07, Lee J Haywood wrote...
So this is a tricky one, partly because of problems with language and partly because there are opposing views. The question, essentially, is whether or not logical absolutes can 'exist' but in a non-physical, non-conceptual sense. In other words, is the opposite of physical, conceptual... and is the opposite of conceptual, physical? Or is there a third option, where logical absolutes 'exist' independently all possible realities and logic systems?
On 2009-09-07 at 18:40:32, Thelevellers wrote...
I'm gonna need a while to think on that - infact as I'm off 'team building' tomorrow, I'll see if I can digest that vid enough tonight to have a think while roaming the Lake District... :)
On 2009-09-07 at 18:44:34, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Thelevellers: I should point out that it's a 5-part video totalling 53 minutes.
On 2009-09-07 at 19:58:02, Thelevellers wrote...
Ah... Yeah, I must pack tonight, so maybe not time today - bah! No deep thoughts to think in the wilderness then :P
On 2009-09-07 at 20:05:11, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I guess it's too late to say that only the first part counts and the rest is the same argument rehashed with neither side getting anywhere. Although what you read here somewhat negates the need to watch the video, of course.
On 2009-09-08 at 05:11:00, BorgClown wrote...
I may be speaking out of ignorance (philosophy has never been my favorite), but the world seems divided in real things and conceptual things. Any kind of logical abstraction seems to be simply a concept. Opening a second class of abstract entities is an unnecessary complexity IMHO.
On 2009-09-08 at 05:12:12, BorgClown wrote...
Hey Longcat, that was my line!
On 2009-09-08 at 08:54:22, Lee J Haywood wrote...
But that's the point of the question. Do logical absolutes only exist with a frame of reference (or a mind to conceive of them), or would they 'exist' anyway? It's not so much about classification, it's about what 'is'. For example, all logical analysis begins with a set of axioms, and different logic systems can be derived. But the axioms are discovered rather than conceived, so technically the axioms exist independently from the conception.
On 2009-09-09 at 01:49:38, BorgClown wrote...
Your question is the abstract equivalent of asking if the laws of physics can exist without a universe. Concepts need a brain or equivalent to exist. I might be missing something, though.
On 2009-09-09 at 09:05:17, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's not quite the same because the laws of physics do not have to be the same in every universe (although what are the 'laws', other than a description of the limitations of our measurements?) And, yes, concepts need a brain to exist - which is why I said that logical absolutes are non-conceptual. Really, though, I'm not sure why it matters other than from the religious perspective in the video. It seems to be a question of semantics more than anything else.
On 2009-09-10 at 02:18:07, BorgClown wrote...
I'd still go with logical absolutes as concepts. They are approximate abstractions of reality, so if reality permanently changes someone has to be there to think a patch.
On 2009-09-10 at 02:25:45, BorgClown wrote...
For example, take "something can't be A and Not A". It seemed a logical absolute in classical physics. Another one, "In a closed system, entropy does not decrease". What happens if our universe turned out to be cyclic after all? As weird as it sounds, there isn't a consensus about if time would flow backwards, and hence entropy. As I've said, I might be missing something. Can you post a logical absolute example?
On 2009-09-10 at 09:56:57, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Entropy depends on a universe with a particular set-up, whereas 'something cannot be A and not A' ought to be true no matter what, even if no universes exist at all. A related issue, not covered in the video, is what does it mean to exist? Existence is a construct because we know intuitively that things either exist or don't exist in relative terms, but only because that's the way our universe is set up. It's a question neither science nor religion can answer - why does anything exist at all, fundamentally? Given no space, no time, no gods, why would anything 'pop' into existence? Why would existence itself exist?
On 2009-09-10 at 14:57:45, Baslisks wrote...
need to watch the video.
On 2009-09-11 at 00:59:42, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Something can be A and Not A. It started with electrons behaving as a particle or as a wave, depending on how you measured them. But Ok, let's say a electron with all its dual properties cannot be and not be an electron. We don't know if this is true for every conceivable outcome of our Big Bang, or even alternate universes, if such things exist. It cannot be absolute because it can't be proven, and it isn't evident enough to be an axiom. It is just a concept.
On 2009-09-11 at 01:05:55, BorgClown wrote...
But your point about why existence exists is good, it shows the limits of what can be knowledgeable. We probably cannot know what was there before our universe, or even what's outside it. Kinda like the holodeck characters wondering what was like outside the holographic projector.