• Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)
    It's odd to assume time and space are really infinite and discontinuous on one hand, then deny the existence of a kilometer.Nils Loc
    When have I denied the existence of a kilometer or other unint of measurement?
    I feel you didn't get anything from all that I said.
    And I have already said much.
  • What is freedom?
    I wonder how clear everyone is on what we mean by this word and to what extent our understanding of the concept overlaps.Vera Mont
    In its strict and basic sense, freedom is absence of obstacles.
    Most definitions and descriptions of "freedom" can be reduced to that simple truth. Most examples of situations involving freedom can be reduced to that simple truth.

    Now, obstacles can be anything one can imagine and name that stands in front of or counter-forces to an effort in performing an action or accomplishing a purpose in general.

    Based on this one can draw a lot of conclusions and answer a lot of questions. So, let’s see:

    Is it possible for anyone to have total freedom?Vera Mont
    No. Life is plenty of obstacles. There are always counter-forces.

    The best way I believe to see how freedom and obstacles work, is to think of games. Any game, team or individual: sport games, board games, card games, puzzle and brain games, etc.
    In most games you have opponents. They act as obstacles for achieving the goal of the game. And you also have rules about what you are not allowed to do. They also act as obstacles. And you also have rules that allow you to do things. These act as "freedoms", i.e. they are part of your freedom in playing a game. Then there are personal factors that can also act as obstacles and freedoms: both physical and mental. Experience and skills or lack of them can also act as freedoms and obstacles..

    What kinds of freedom can a person have?Vera Mont
    Covered above.

    Indeed, all your questions can be answered based on the freedoms-obstacles equation. I won't do that in this comment though, lest it becomes too loaded.
  • What creates suffering if god created the world ?
    According to your basis, free will always pushes us to commit sins. Only in a predetermined life would we all be perfect then?javi2541997
  • What creates suffering if god created the world ?
    Any other complaints about god …apart from him not existing ?simplyG
    What do you mean "apart from him not existing"?
    If he doesn't exist, how can there be any complaint about him, i.e. about something that doesn't exist? :smile:
    Except if the complaint is about his non-existence. That is, that we are alone, without anyone to protect and guide us. :smile:
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)
    Why is it right to conclude that time and space are really infinite and continuous rather than discrete and discontinuous?Nils Loc
    Because there is no start or end in other of them. Neither any point in the middle. At least we cannot define any of them, therefore we cannot assume that they exist.
    Heraclitus has given the best definition of time --even if the didn't use the concept of "time" itself-- 2,500 years ago, with his famous "Everything flows". This shows the continuous aspect of time. Then, he also descibed change --a basic element in the concept of "time"-- by saying "No man ever steps in the same river twice". This also shows the continuity of things. (Of course, a river has a start and and end, but this is besides the point of the analogy.)

    If you try to think of a finite, descete piece of time or space, you would most probably think something that has to do with a period of a year, month, day, hour, etc. (time) or a distance in kilometers, meters, centimeters, etc. (space). However, all these measurents are arbitrarily set and are only indicative. They do not really exist as such. Neither a year nor a kilometer exists as such, i.e. physically. You cannot perceive them with any sense. They are concepts. They are conventions.

    Defining and measuring time and space are used for description, explanation and comparison purposes only, as in geometry. We can define a point in geometry. But it will exist only "on paper". A point does not really exist. (What is its dimension? Can it be measured?) So, if it doesn't really exist, then "the distance between points A and B" does not exist either. That is, a distance does not really exist. It is a concept used for description, explanation and comparison purposes. And the measurement units and their amount that we use to defiine a distance are also arbitrary and may differ from one place or system to another. Moreover, we can never guarantee their precision: there's no perfect measurement tool either for time or space. In fact, the measurement of a period of time or a distance can never be so precise that we can consider it as "absolute". Measurement tools are created by humans and nothing created by humans can be perfect.

    Either of these abstract properties are just mathematical inventions/conventions which prove to be useful.Nils Loc

    Time and space can obviously be divided (measured in units)Nils Loc
    I talked about "measurement" above.

    If time is infinite, it's still divisible by seconds in relation the diurnal or lunar cycle.Nils Loc
    It's always about "measurement".

    If space is infinite, it's still divisible by length of feet in relation to how much horse food, water or minutes it takes to get to town.Nils Loc
    It's always about "measurement".

    So what am I missing?Nils Loc
    I can't really say. But from what I can easily see, you are using "measurement" as an indication and/or proof of the finiteness and discreteness of time and space. This is a very common mistake or, better, an illusion. We meet all kinds of "measurements" of time and space in millions of things everyday in hour life since eons ago. So they have become substitutes of the concepts of time and space themselves ...
    I believe that ancient people, the lives of whom were much simpler and without such a multitude and amount of measurements, had a better notion of time and space!
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)
    I already answered your question 5 years ago:Benkei
    I undestand that you mean this in a figurative way. But still, you have not answered any question. I have mentioned Zeno's Achilles and the Tortoise paradox as a challenge for "spotting the falacy" which is the motto of this topic. Your message has nothing to do with that. It's just out of place and time.

    In your 5-year old message, you say:

    "A lot of you are missing the point when they start applying Zeno's paradox to real world circumstances. It was an allegory for a mathematical argument he was having with other Greek philosophers."

    I guess "all of us, not just a lot of us" :smile:
    What "paradox"? There are more than one know Zeno's paradoxes.
    Where have you read about this "allegory" stuff? Is it your own idea? Are you confusing maybe some of Zeno's paradoxes with Plato's Allegory of the Cave? Because I have read somewhere that these two were correlated.

    Whatever you think, it is well known that Zeno's paradoxes are basically a set of philosophical problems.

    Anyway, all this does not explain Zeno's Achilles and the Tortoise paradox as such, which is what I set as a chellenge and which is based on a fallacy and it still puzzles --alas!-- a lot of people ... even philosophers, from what I have read ...
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)

    At last! A response to my challenge! Even after one week.
    I can't believe it's a difficult challenge for this place. In fact, expected a lot of responses, since the subject is very well known. However, it's @0 thru 9 who actually invited people in this "game", not me. And think that not even he responded!
    So thanks for responding! :smile:

    What passes as a rigorous explanation for why Zeno's paradox isn't a paradox?Nils Loc
    It is actually very simple. (Describing it sounds more complicated though. :smile:)
    Zeno assumes falsely --but I believe for us only, not for himself-- that time and space are finite and have a discrete (discontinuous) form, and so they are divisible. But this is a fallacy. They are not; they are infinite and continuous, so they are indivisible. Time and space have no start or end or middle or any point. So, his argument or description falls apart as an argument or description if one just realizes this basic logic, truth, knowledge about time and space.

    Now, a paradox is a statement, argument or description that sounds impossible or self-contradictory or absurd but in reality it expresses a possible truth. Also, to be valid, it must be based on sound arguments or, at least, apparently sound. And Zeno's "paradoxes" neither express a possible truth nor are based on sound arguments. That's why I call them "pseudo-paradoxes", together with a lot of other that are based on fallacies or a violation of basic logic, truth or knowledge.

    Remember only that Zeno was a sophist and as such he --as other sophists too-- were paid teachers of philosophy and rhetoric in Ancient Greece, associated with scepticism and specious reasoning. Even today, the term "sophist" means a person who reasons with clever but false arguments.

    One can race a man against a turtle and see that men and turtles traverse finite distances over time.Nils Loc
    This is exactly the point: There are no finite distances or tile periods. It is we who arbitrarily define them as such for the purposes of description or physical phenomena, geometric problems, etc., based on measuring units, which we have arbitrarily created, such as meter, yard, day, hour, etc.
    And we have to use devices like clocks to measure these "finite" distances or periods. But even so, devices can never be perfect, i.e. so precise as to consider a measurement as something absolute.

    This is the dream of some mathematician, who introduces infinity as a problem to a real world scenario. If a finite distance is infinitely divisible in the realm of maths, so be it, but it doesn't apply in a way that makes motion in time impossibleNils Loc
    Exactly, it's just a dream. :smile:
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)

    I was talking about my response to your topic. What the hell has @FrancisRay to do with it?
    That's totally crazy.
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)

    You invited people to participate to your discussion.
    Basic courtesy demands that you reply to someone who has responded. Even with just a "Thanks" ...
  • Metabiology of the mind

    I know that you are on that side, too. :smile:
  • Metabiology of the mind
    So you mean you have a brain and there's still a mind in there?Wolfgang
    Please read again what I said: "Neither is the mind a product of or resides in the brain.

    Even Descartes couldn't find it.Wolfgang
    Not only Descartes. No one can find the find somewhere. Because "somewhere" refers to a place, even ith that place is not specified or determined. But space is physical and, as I mentioned, mind is non-physical. So it doesn't reside in any place. Therfore it can't be found.
    Likewise, no one can find conciousness.

    Or do you think there are two descriptions of the same thing, one physiological and one psychological (or philosophical).Wolfgang
    No. The mind are not two things neither two descriptions of the same thing. But people consider them as one. Scientific materialism is responsible for that.

    If you talk about two levels of description ...Wolfgang
    Again, I don't.

    I think that what I have said in my reply to your topic regarding the brain and the mind was simple and clear. All this should be unnecessary. Maybe it could be avoided if you had looked up and understand well the term "mind" ...
  • Metabiology of the mind

    What does (meta)biology have to do with the mind?
    Biology is physical. The mind is non-physical.
    Metabiology is the knowledge and study of biological principles. Mental principles concern and belong to a totally different realm of knowledge.

    Maybe you confuse or equate the mind with the brain. They are two different things. Neither is the mind a product of or resides in the brain. Just imagine, esp. because we are in a philosophical place, that instead of "Philosophy of the mind", we were talking about the "Philosophy of the brain". It would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?

    Let me please suggest, with no offence, that you look up and understand well the term "mind".
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)
    You;re right - I don't understand your comments. They seem to miss the point.FrancisRay
    I would respect your opinion if it weren't evasive and meaningless: "I don't undestand your comments" means nothing. There's a big difference between us in how we handle comments and debating in general. You would thrive as a (Greek) politician! :smile:
    Anyway, it's better this way. We'll both avoid wasting more time.
  • The Insignificance of Moral Realism

    That's much better. Now there can be a dialogue. :smile:

    if you take it as axiomatic that facts cannot be moral, then you can't have moral facts.Count Timothy von Icarus
    What do you mean by "taking it as axiomatic"? I take it by definition. How else could one take it? Figuratively?
    A fact is something that actually exists or is the case or has happened or is happening.
    But even taking it in the sense of "reality" or "truth", the issue is the same: neither reality or truth can be (im)moral.

    the term facts, or "facts of the matter" often refer to states of affairs which can be assigned a moral ranking.Count Timothy von Icarus
    I don't know what does "facts of the matter" mean, but if it means "states of affairs", i.e. situations, this is a little tricky, or a more subtle case. Because morality may be indeed be involved in a situation, but the situation itself cannot ne moral or immoral. What is happening in the situation can. E.g. drug dealing is immoral, but the situation of drug dealing is a fact. It cannot be considered immoral. See, morality has to do with acts, activity action. A situation is not itself an activity. It is a context, a frame of reference, concerning activities that happen in it. I don't know if this makes sense to you.

    I could see an argument that acts are only good or bad in virtue of the fact that we expect said acts to bring about states of affairs that are more or less just/good (and indeed I think this is a fairly common view in moral philosophy, consequentialism and all). In which case, the morality of the facts is the key player here, the morality of acts is derivative of that.Count Timothy von Icarus
    There. You are talking too about acts, that can be good or bad and that bring about sates of affairs. See, "bring about" means they result into, they produce something. Can that something be moral or immoral? Or only the actions that led to that something?

    the morality of the facts is the key player here, the morality of acts is derivative of that.Count Timothy von Icarus
    OK, I see what is the problem here. You kind of equate "facts" and "acts". Well, although they differ by one letter, they are two totally different things.

    (BTW, I found something interesting regarding the above two words: "In the 15th centurythe Latin factum, was the neuter past participle of facere ‘do’, So, the original sense was ‘an act’, later ‘a crime’, surviving in the phrase before (or after) the fact . The earliest of the current senses (‘truth, reality’) dates from the late 16th century." (
  • The Insignificance of Moral Realism

    Why have you quoted my whole --3 paragraph, 136 words-- message, when you didn't coment on anything in it? In fact, why have you quoted me at all?
    What I can see is that you just presented your own, independent ideas on the topic ... This is how debates between leaders of political parties are carried out in Greece! :grin:
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)
    If we ask whether we have won or lost the lottery then the answer will be yes or no..FrancisRay
    Of course.

    If we ask whether two plus two equals three or five then we are abusing the rule for legitimate pairs.FrancisRay
    This is not about contratictory pair --of the kind of Aristotle's "Of every contradictory pair one member is true and one false"-- that I commented on. It's about alternatives.

    If we ask whether the universe begins with something or nothing then we are assuming one of the answers is correct but do not know this.FrancisRay
    OK, but something and nothing are too vague and abstact. So, I don't think that this can be used as an example in our case, either. Your first example (lottery) was good.

    Logic tells us that neither answer is correct.FrancisRay
    I don't think that logic can enter in the above example. As I said, the contrassting elements are too abstract to be considered as evidence for truth or falseness. So, saying that neither answer is correct has no meaning.

    In metaphysics the second assumption is generally considered to break the laws of logic.FrancisRay
    What is the "second assumption"? That the universe begins with nothing? If so, what rule exactly does it break and why? And what about the first assumption, i,e, that the universe begins with something? Why's not that breaking the rule?

    If we make the wrong assumption in such cases this is either a fallacy or a basic mistake.FrancisRay
    It's just a mistake. Lack of knowledge. A false statement. Not a fallacy. A fallacy is an unsound argument. A single assumption alone cannot consist argument. it can only be part of an argument. "I assume that you are English" is not an argument. An argument would be "The name "Francis" is English. So you must be English."

    For sound reasoning we must know that a contradictory pair of propositions are mutually exclusive and exhaust the possibilities. We never know this for metaphysical questions. .FrancisRay
    Right. But why are you mentioning that? In my example of "1) Man is white. 2) Man is not white" the two elements are mutually exclusive. In a most explicit and direct way.

    But I have explained and described in detailed the factors and difficulties that are involved in such contraditory pairs. How could you miss all that? And how couldn't you comment on any single thing I have written? :gasp:

    In fact, it looks like you have hardly read my message ...

  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)
    Of every contradictory pair one member is true and one falseFrancisRay
    Let's see ...
    1) Man is white. 2) Man is not white.
    Which is true and which is false? Or can they both be true? Or are they both false?
    What is it that decides about their truthfulness or falseness?
    Context. Geography. Logic.

    Concering context and geography:
    Referring to people in Europe we can safely say that "People are white". This does not exclude though that there are people who are not white (elsewhere in the world). Because, referring to people in Africa we can equally safely say that "People are not white".

    Concerning logic:
    Both statements are false. Saying that "Man is white" is false, because there are places where Man is not white. And the other way around: Saying that "Man is not white" is false, because there are places where Man is white.

    This is the input rule for his system, and when it is violated the entire system breaks down.FrancisRay
    Based on the above, has the system been violated? How can a rule be violated if it its validity is not established?
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)

    We meet fallacies quite often. Most of the time in places like this one. Of course, since making philosophical and logical arguments is at the core of the discussions that are taking place in such places.

    But there are different kinds of 'em. My favorite ones are those "hidden" in paradoxes, which for that reason --i.e. because they contain fallacies-- I call them pseudo paradoxes. So here's one. Find why Zeno's Achilles and the Tortoise is such a pseudo paradox ...
  • Let’s play ‘Spot the Fallacy’! (share examples of bad logic in action)
    one common fallacy which occurs too often in Wikipedia and other forums: namely, the assertion that Euclid's Postulate 5 and the parallel postulate are logically synonymous.alan1000
    Common fallacy? It occurs too often in Wikipedia???
    It's the first time I hear about "Euclid's Postulate 5"! And I'm a fan of Math and paradoxes ...
  • is the following argument valid (but maybe not sound)?
    You said this, as ↪L'éléphant pointed out:
    Modus tollens logic is of the form "If A, then B. Not A. Therefore, not B."
    — Alkis Piskas
    I know what I said. I asked what exactly is wrong with that.

    Well, I found out what exactly is my mistake. The correct modus tollens scheme is: "If A, then B. Not B. Therefore, not A".
    And my examples become:
    "If I dream, it means I am sleeping. I'm not sleeping. Therefore I dont dream."
    "If I can write in English, it means I know English. I don't know English. Therefore I cannot write in English."
    "If it rains, the pavement is wet. The pavement is not wet. Therefore it does not rain."
    Which are all valid.

    Thank you @Leontiskos and also for your intervention.
  • is the following argument valid (but maybe not sound)?

    Maybe I did. Can you also explain to me why? What did I say exactly that is wrong and why?
    (I would be obliged. Because rarely people do that!:smile:)
  • is the following argument valid (but maybe not sound)?

    Why are you repeating to me the quote what @KantDane21 has written?
    Do you think that he has not said it loud enough or that I am hard of hearing? :grin:
  • There is no meaning of life
    What I am missing in this OP is the participation of the author. niki wonoto seems to be absent from his own thread...javi2541997
    @niki wonoto has "left the building"!
    ... But he forgot to take his topic with him! :grin:
  • is the following argument valid (but maybe not sound)?
    as far as i can tell this is a modus tollens argument.
    seems perfectly valid. (it does not have the form of a fallacy)
    Modus tollens logic is of the form "If A, then B. Not A. Therefore, not B."
    Let's see ...
    "If I dream, it means I am sleeping. I don't dream. Therefore I'm not sleeping."
    "If I can write in English, it means I know English. I can't write in English, Therefore I don't know English."
    "If it rains, the pavement is wet. It does not rain. Therefore the pavement is not wet."
    Even a 10 year old can see that these are totally invalid arguments ...

    As for Kant's argument, I can't say anything. If it were in English, maybe I could. :grin:
  • There is no meaning of life
    There is no meaning in ... this topic.
  • Quantum Entanglement is Holistic?
    I had imagined quantum entanglement as random noise, and the dis-entangled particle as a recognizable image. It never occurred to me that a tangle of photons would look like a Taoist symbol. :smile:Gnomon
    Interesting idea!

    Can you reproduce that? :smile: (Re-create it, not copy it)
  • Quantum Entanglement is Holistic?
    I doubt that even he, as a physicist, would imagine that entangled photons would graphically resemble an ancient symbol of harmony & balance.Gnomon
    I certainly doubt about that too. As, I believe, most physicists too some years ago. This is a visualization experiment has been produced only "four years after the capture of the first photo of quantum entanglement by physicists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland." (
    Yet, this is not the point. We are talking about just a visualization. Nothing more.

    In Taoism, where the concept of yin and yang originates from, the dualism of yin and yang is an illusion created by the mind. Whatever is the case, it is used only for description purposes. Yin and yang don't actually exist. And certainly, there's nothing scientific about them. So is this holistic visualization is of entanglement.

    BTW, I mentioned Capra --whose work it seems you know well-- to indicate that there are known similarities and parallels between Eastern philosophy and Western science since a long time ago. But that is all. Capra's work was a pioneering one, which has brought East closest to the West, but nothing more. Maybe this relation was further developed, I don't know. But I believe that any development in that area will be just on a theoretical level. As is this visualisation of entangled photons.

    BTW #2, maybe you also know about Capra's maybe more valuable contibution to both science and philosophy by promoting and implementing the Santiago Theory of Cognition ( and his lectures about "Mind, Matter, and Life" (, "The Systems View of Life" (, etc. I'm not a Capra's fan more than other scientists-philosophers. I just find his view quite original and challenging.

    “Physicists do not need mysticism,” Dr. Capra says, “and mystics do not need physics, but humanity needs both.”Gnomon
    Nice! :up:
  • Quantum Entanglement is Holistic?

    Gnomon, Fritjof Capra has talked about this subject extensively since 1975 in his famous book "The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism"

  • Strikebreaker dilemma
    If the workers are angry enough and united in their anger, they overcome their fear and move against the employer in spite of the dangers.Vera Mont
    You make it sound like a simple phsychological game. I'm afraid there's much more to it than just that. One does not risk his job, his income and the support of his family because he gets angry.
    (Except if he's a total idiot, of course.)

    BTW, have you taken on Moliere's defense? :grin:
  • Strikebreaker dilemma
    "working against the company" is a bit of a stretch, I'd say. "the company" is primarily comprised of employees, after all. But the union is for the employees, so it doesn't make sense to say "against the company" from that standpoint. (against management, now...)
    Anger works against fear that management uses in its negotiations
    Not quite clear to me, esp. the last statement, but it's OK.
  • Strikebreaker dilemma

    Ha! I read this after I responding in the Inbox. So you can get a slight idea how it is with Greece. And I me, with Spain. :smile:
  • Strikebreaker dilemma

    All that is very interesting, Benkei. Thank you for sharing. :up:
  • Strikebreaker dilemma
    I'm a trained human rights lawyer. People underestimate the good unions have brought because especially Americans are hung-up on the mob influence on the unions in the past. It's not representative of its history.Benkei
    Oh, then you should tell so --that you are an insider-- from the beginning ... I would have been more careful in the way I expressed my comment! :grin:

    Yet, you have to do justice to me regarding the "income" part, which refers to a regular pay, whereas a compensation is just a special and occasional payment.
    Besides, I don't know if even such compensation exists in most countries. Certainly, not in Greece. Where, BTW syndicalism is considered by many as a permanent ode to the evils of the Greek economy and development. Working for the state and knowning that it is very difficult to get fired, makes for lazy and incometent employees and workers. That is why Greece is so much behind in infrastructures, public services and facilities, etc. than other members of the EU.
  • Strikebreaker dilemma

    OK. I understand that you have valid reasons for saying all that and that you have personally benefited from being a union member ...
  • Strikebreaker dilemma
    the unions are not a guarantee for the worker's incomes if they go on strike.javi2541997
    Yes, this is the central idea, I think.

    I learnt in this thread that it is obvious some unions are more effective than others.javi2541997
    Right. I learned about that too in the way! :smile:
  • Strikebreaker dilemma
    Doesn't the union provide income during the strike?Benkei
    Benkei, my reaction to the payment of the members by the union was too absolute and so in part wrong. I referred to regular payment, income, as you said. I was also referring esp. to Greece. But as I learned on the road, in some cases and countries, there's a kind of compentation by the unions to the workers for their loss of income during strikes. And a compensation is a payment too.
    Sorry about that, anyway.