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math is absolute

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 426 times Debate No: 76224
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
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if you take a stone in your hand, and again put 1 more stone in it, and now you have added 3 stones to your hand, is math then true?


Math is a language we use to express our understanding of reality.

Sure 1 + 2 is absolutely 3.

But that's only within the language. To take your example of stones, those three stones are not exactly equal. Yet within the language they are all represented with the number 1, exactly the same.
Debate Round No. 1


i was trying to be clear.. but im plainly and simply saying, if 1+1 equals 3, is math then true? but in comparison to stones in my hand



If 1+1 = 3, then we would have defined our math differently.

Humans have defined the meaning of the symbols 1, +, = and 3.
So within that system, assuming the generally accepted meaning of those symbols 1 + 1 = 3 is incorrect.

Math is not about 'truth', we can use it to formulate statements representing our understanding of reality.

Those statements can be correct, incorrect or not even make sense.
G"del proved that in any logical system that is useful you can make illogical statements.

The simplest one is:
p = !p

p: Any logical statement
=: Both sides are the same
!: The opposite statement

In English this means:
statement is the same as the opposite of statement

This can never be resolved logically, so even while following the mathematical rules you can make nonsense statements.
Debate Round No. 2


you cant make illogical statements from knowldge, you need imagination, as there is no logic in fantasy

i dont know what you mean by the opposite of statement


The opposite is the not of a statement, the negative or everything that the statement is not.
- !3 means any number except 3.
- if statement 'p' is the statement 'I am 25' then '!p' is the statement 'I am not 25'

'you cant make illogical statements from knowldge'
I just gave you an example of an illogical statement in math, we haven't even gotten to knowledge. People make illogical statements all the time, sometimes on the basis of incorrect knowledge and sometimes on purpose. I don't understand where you get the notion that this would be impossible.

'you need imagination'
I don't know that, but it could be true. What does it matter? Everyone has imagination anyway.

'as there is no logic in fantasy'
Where did you get this? We often use fantasy to make predictions about reality and what might happen when we behave in certain ways. Sure fantasy allows us to ignore logic, but if we are using it to make predictions about the future, why would we?
Debate Round No. 3


you are either 25 or not, the not is imaginary if you are 25. this is math not knowledge, not truth, because its either true you are 25 or not..

math is true or false, not truth.

there can be no illogical statement from knowledge, there is no supernature in the past.

predictions are false, im not really talking about predictions as they are false by default



Roodvlees forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Sorry for missing the fourth round.

I am of a certain age, there is an absolute truth there. The problem is in finding out what that truth is, we humans are not perfect, thus we cannot trust absolutely that we have found that truth.

Reality is continuous not discrete, like math often is.
Ex: I'm not exactly 25 years old, but a few months more and that increases all the time. So while saying "my age is 25" is not absolutely true, even though it's good enough for normal conversation.

Also we are limited in our ability to measure nature, so we divide everything into discrete boxes that we are able to measure.

"math is true or false, not truth"
Not all math statements can be resolved into true or false (or a number).
The example I gave you of p = !p cannot be resolved.

This is a huge problem, as a computer programmer I'm keenly aware of this, because it means we cannot be certain a computer program will work. There's rockets of billions of dollars who turned around in flight instead of going to the moon (or whatever), because the computer program made an error. Really if all math statements could be resolved things would be a lot better.

"there is no supernature in the past."
What do you mean by supernature?

"predictions are false, I'm not really talking about predictions as they are false by default"
Math can be used to make predictions, I'm talking about expressions of understanding.

Know can be about the past, present or future.

It seems like you are trolling me.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
random cause+effect=Chaos(any non intended cause in eternity)

this.. is math
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
if science makes it
Posted by Roodvlees 1 year ago
Math does not directly map onto reality.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
reality is true, not in the past
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
This is actually an easy resolution for you to affirm, Spex
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