# Is "anything truly possible " ?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by river, Jul 19, 2019.

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1. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Remember; "In English words, the letter "q" is always followed by "u", except in arabic.

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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It is said that speech is a mark of intelligence. You do know that bacteria are bilingual, don't you?

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5. ### NasorValued Senior Member

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Can 1 = 2?
Can 1 + 1 = 3?

No, no it's can't.

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7. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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• Please stay on topic and do not spam sciforums with your pet subject.
Right. Even bacteria know the difference.
They use "quorum sensing" just like humans do when they agree on a shared observation of a mathematical pattern.

8. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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Yes it can. Counting and numbering systems are conventions. You can choose your numbering system.

1. You can easily be counting a variable wherein the only outcome of interest is zero. Any values in your dataset round up to the max value (say, 2). So that if you get a value of 1, it is automatically a 2. So, in this counting system:
0=0
.5=2
1=2
1.5=2
2=2

2. In programming there is what's called a modulo operation.
For the function y = x mod 3, you will get the following results:
y x
0 0
1 1
2 2
3 0
4 1
5 2
6 0

It is a simple matter to arrange a modulo operation so that 1=2.
This is quite common in programming.

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9. ### NasorValued Senior Member

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Oh ffs.

Can 1=2 or 1+1=3 in our conventional base-10 numbering system using the ordinary real numbers that literally every human who isn't disingenuously trying to look clever immediately understands to be what's referred to when they read a statement like "1+1=3"? No, no it can't.

Of course if you arbitrarily define 1 as equal to 2 then it can be true, but 1) you're just pointing out that if you redefine things then anything can be "true" because anything can mean anything and 2) I think you're probably smart enough to understand that I was implicitly loading a bunch of mathematical baggage when I wrote what I wrote. Most people are smart enough to understand that when we use normal English words and symbols we intend them to have the normal English meanings, unless specified otherwise.

My point - which, again, I'm guessing you are intelligent enough to have understood before you went off on a disingenuous tangent about numbering systems - is that it is logically impossible for some things to be true in some circumstances. So "anything" is not possible, because at the very least it is not possible for certain things to be logically true under certain circumstances.

Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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10. ### NasorValued Senior Member

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Hell, let's go full Godel on this thing:

If anything is possible, then it should be possible to correctly disprove the proposition that anything is possible, since such a correct (dis)proof would fall under the umbrella of "anything."

Oh shit!

11. ### river

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Oh shit what ? Exactly

12. ### NasorValued Senior Member

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Oh shit, a complete and consistent set of axioms for all mathematics is impossible.

Therefore, "anything" is not possible, because a complete and consistent set of axioms for all mathematics falls under the umbrella of "anything," and is impossible.

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13. ### river

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Not all thoughts are possible .

14. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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To sum up, then, a lot of different people in this thread have shown conclusively that it is not true that "anything is possible".

I guess that's it for the thread, then?

15. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Right, when an action is not mathematically allowed it cannot be possible.

1 + 1 cannot = 3 .
It is a mathematical impossibility for 2 + 2 = 3 or 5
Unless you want to enter the world of "1984". Any takers?

16. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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Quite the opposite.

You arbitrary defined it as not true.

In a discussion that you started where we are trying to determine the existence from non-existence, broad fiats like "Can 1=2? No." are egregiously sloppy.

But sure. Since you ask the question and define what you would accept as an answer, I would say it was trivially answered before even being asked. So why bother asking?

17. ### NasorValued Senior Member

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I was using the ordinary and custom mathematical assumptions about things like base 10 and common arithmetic operations that any reasonable person would immediately understand to be implied when numbers and symbols are used without qualifiers. My statements were all true in the context of the assumptions that you knew full-well to be implied.
No, you were just being egregiously disingenuous to try to score smart-ass points. Don't even bother trying to pretend that you were confused and thought that I might be using modular arithmetic, no one is going to buy that. Do you really lay out 20 pages of qualifiers about what base you're using and whether or not you're using modular arithmetic when you post some short equations? No, of course not. You trust your audience to understand the mathematical system that you are implicitly referring to.

18. ### Beer w/StrawTranscendental Ignorance!Valued Senior Member

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Maybe I'm not as educated as you?

19. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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That's a novel way to approach scientific accuracy!

Which mathematical system would that be? The Human symbolized mathematical systems or Nature's inherent mathematical functions.

Are you saying that Nature's mathematics are subject to human manipulation and change?

Who trusts their audience to understand which mathematical system is used? There is only one system!

Regardless of the system used, all variations are relatively the same. It is impossible to have two different mathematical results given the same values and mathematical functions, regardless of choice of mathematical symbols.

In short, "something is possible" only if it is mathematically allowed. And that means Nature's mathematics, not human symbolic mathematics.

Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
20. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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And I made those assumptions explicit. Such ambiguities are what this discussion is about. The very question is formed from slippery terms such as "anything", "truly" and "possible".

This is a philosophical question. It's not a black and white issue.

1=2 is false in some circumstances. But it's not categorically false. Thus it is certainly deeply-rooted in the realm of "possible", as the thread title asked.

If you had read from the start you'd see other examples of not-really-impossible claims. River suggested "a mountain can't be water", so I showed him a mountain of water.

Perhaps, like River, you struggle with philosophical concepts - although River is able to control his emotions. If you can't, such topics may not be the place for you.

Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
21. ### just meRegistered Senior Member

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OK. I shall remember that q is always followed by u in English words.

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Not in Fijian....Beqa, an Island on the southern tip of Viti Levu and the capital Suva...pronounced Mbenga....Qio, pronounced Ngio, meaning Shark.

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