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Clairvoyant's Son Paradox

Vox_Veritas
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6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.
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ironslippers
Posts: 513
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6/18/2015 4:20:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

remindes me of Greek myth Oedipus (or at least the part where the oracle sees Oedipus's future.... then the story gets crazy)

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

I'll take Quantum Mechanics the "observer effect" or maybe "schroedingers cat". Might be: Paradoxical intervention - the boy likes red, the father likes blue.
I think blue smells funny
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Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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6/18/2015 8:02:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

Well,,if the father was truly clairavoyant then the sun would have to pick the car that the Dad predicted. For whatever reason. If the son does as you explained in the OP and goes against the foreseen Father's choice, then it disproves Clairavoyance.

Think about this: your OP reminded me of an aspect of Quantum Mechanics that has a famous nickname called "Schroedinger's Cat." (named after German physicist ERwin Schroedinger who first postulated it.)

It has to do with the QM theory that a particle can actually be in TWO states at once. And it is not untul the observer actually looks at it--observes it, that the particle has to finally be in one certain state.

So the metaphor is used of a cat in a box that will BOTH alive and dead until somebody opens the box. It is then and then only that the cat will certainly either be one or the other.
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Vox_Veritas
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6/18/2015 9:18:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 8:02:55 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

Well,,if the father was truly clairavoyant then the sun would have to pick the car that the Dad predicted. For whatever reason. If the son does as you explained in the OP and goes against the foreseen Father's choice, then it disproves Clairavoyance.

Think about this: your OP reminded me of an aspect of Quantum Mechanics that has a famous nickname called "Schroedinger's Cat." (named after German physicist ERwin Schroedinger who first postulated it.)

It has to do with the QM theory that a particle can actually be in TWO states at once. And it is not untul the observer actually looks at it--observes it, that the particle has to finally be in one certain state.

So the metaphor is used of a cat in a box that will BOTH alive and dead until somebody opens the box. It is then and then only that the cat will certainly either be one or the other.

Basically I'm trying to prove that seeing into the future (in contrast to merely making an estimated guess) is impossible.
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Surrealism
Posts: 265
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6/18/2015 10:34:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

I think I can make this a formal proof.

Px denotes that x is predicted.

Hx denotes that x happens.

Cy denotes that y is clairvoyant.

Ry denotes that y is rebellious.

1. (Axy)(Cy->(Px->Hx))
2. (Axy)(Ry->(Px->~Hx))
3. A_(Ey)(Ry)&(Ey)(Cy)&(Ex)(Px)
4. A_(Px->Hx)
5. A_(Px->~Hx)
6. A_Hx
7. A_~Hx
8. ~((Ey)(Ry)&(Ey)(Cy)&(Ex)(Px))

So, on a formal level, all we've proven is that one of the following is false:

1. The father is clairvoyant.
2. The son is rebellious.
3. The father predicted the son would pick the red car.

I'm too lazy to go any further with this, so anyone versed in Predicate Logic can step in finish where I left off.
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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6/19/2015 1:20:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

If he were truly clairvoyant, however, he'd know the result of his saying which car the son would pick. Knowing that, he would know that any statement he made indicating a fixed choice would result in the statement being false, which would make him knowingly say something false. So he would only say it knowing it was false. Of course, the son would know that too--meaning, only a clairvoyant would know whether the son would pick the alternative car, or pick the stated car in response to what might be perceived as essentially reverse psychology.

It's akin to the Pinocchio paradox: If he says "My nose will grow", he's lying, so his nose will grow, which makes the statement true, which means it won't grow. I don't think it invalidates clairvoyance necessarily, but rather deals with linguistic paradox regarding truth-value.
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Saint_of_Me
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6/19/2015 1:38:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 10:34:51 PM, Surrealism wrote:
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

I think I can make this a formal proof.

Px denotes that x is predicted.

Hx denotes that x happens.

Cy denotes that y is clairvoyant.

Ry denotes that y is rebellious.

1. (Axy)(Cy->(Px->Hx))
2. (Axy)(Ry->(Px->~Hx))
3. A_(Ey)(Ry)&(Ey)(Cy)&(Ex)(Px)
4. A_(Px->Hx)
5. A_(Px->~Hx)
6. A_Hx
7. A_~Hx
8. ~((Ey)(Ry)&(Ey)(Cy)&(Ex)(Px))

So, on a formal level, all we've proven is that one of the following is false:

1. The father is clairvoyant.
2. The son is rebellious.
3. The father predicted the son would pick the red car.

I'm too lazy to go any further with this, so anyone versed in Predicate Logic can step in finish where I left off.

You needed to add the"Cy" factorial in step #4, shouldn't you?

Also...your "proof" groundlessly pre-supposes that "Cy" by proxy supersedes "x".

But why should it if "Cy" is given as an equally viable factor?

Just curious...my math could be off, so I would like feedback.

Thanks!
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,072
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6/19/2015 2:00:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 1:20:11 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

If he were truly clairvoyant, however, he'd know the result of his saying which car the son would pick. Knowing that, he would know that any statement he made indicating a fixed choice would result in the statement being false, which would make him knowingly say something false. So he would only say it knowing it was false. Of course, the son would know that too--meaning, only a clairvoyant would know whether the son would pick the alternative car, or pick the stated car in response to what might be perceived as essentially reverse psychology.

It's akin to the Pinocchio paradox: If he says "My nose will grow", he's lying, so his nose will grow, which makes the statement true, which means it won't grow. I don't think it invalidates clairvoyance necessarily, but rather deals with linguistic paradox regarding truth-value.

However, what if he saw the future involving the red car and intentionally told his son that to change the future?
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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bladerunner060
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6/19/2015 2:13:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 2:00:17 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 6/19/2015 1:20:11 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

If he were truly clairvoyant, however, he'd know the result of his saying which car the son would pick. Knowing that, he would know that any statement he made indicating a fixed choice would result in the statement being false, which would make him knowingly say something false. So he would only say it knowing it was false. Of course, the son would know that too--meaning, only a clairvoyant would know whether the son would pick the alternative car, or pick the stated car in response to what might be perceived as essentially reverse psychology.

It's akin to the Pinocchio paradox: If he says "My nose will grow", he's lying, so his nose will grow, which makes the statement true, which means it won't grow. I don't think it invalidates clairvoyance necessarily, but rather deals with linguistic paradox regarding truth-value.

However, what if he saw the future involving the red car and intentionally told his son that to change the future?

Then he'd have seen that future: The future in which he tells the son that he saw the red car in order to have his son get the blue car. This is one of those thought experiments that attempts to explore a concept that we don't know enough about to understand the logic of. Can the clairvoyant see changing futures? Would the clairvoyant see B future from his R statement? In the end, the son's actions are a result of the clairvoyant's actions, which he has 3: Say nothing, say Blue, say Red. What he decides to say will always be false, and he knows it'll be false.

But how does the future work? The son is an extraneous detail--the son is not clairvoyant. The question is whether the clairvoyant's knowing affects the future; his saying things immediately takes it out of the realm of true "knowledge". The clairvoyant can purposefully lie, or be mistaken, or the son could think those things even if they aren't true.

But if the clairvoyant knows the future, then he knows what he'll say, and he'll know the consequences of saying it. So he knows he'll either make a false statement (B when actually R, R when actually B) or he'll make no statement at all. In the end, if we accept he's clairvoyant, he'll already know which of those things he picks, and the consequences of it. The question then becomes "Is it possible for the clairvoyant to see a future in which he says "B" and the son picks "R", and then decide to say "R" and have the son pick "B"?"

If that's a decision he'd make, his clairvoyance should show him that. We start having to question how clairvoyance would work, and the nature of free will--but since we can't definitively assign rules on that, we can only input assumptions, and get the results of those assumptions back. Is clairvoyance the ability to see all possible futures, with non-possible futures vanishing when their possibility is excluded? Is clairvoyance only to see that which is going to happen? If the latter, then his decision is already made, and he can't change it definitionalliy, which means that he'll say whatever he says, but there's no paradox because he already knows the consequences of his saying it. If he sees all 3 futures until one of them becomes actual by his action, then there's no paradox because he knows what the consequences of his saying any of them individually will be, and is simply choosing which future will happen.
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Surrealism
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6/19/2015 2:16:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 1:38:57 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 6/18/2015 10:34:51 PM, Surrealism wrote:
At 6/18/2015 3:49:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Let's imagine that there's a man who can see the future. He has a rebellious son, who hates the idea of his destiny being written in stone.
When the son turns 18, the clairvoyant takes him to a car lot to buy him a car. After some discussion, the son narrows the choices down to 2 cars. Both are of the same brand and model, but one is red and the other is blue.
"I have foreseen it," his dad then said truthfully. "You will pick the red car."
Upon hearing this, the son immediately picks the blue car.

That is, a "reading" of the future may result in that future being changed, making that reading false. Discuss.

I think I can make this a formal proof.

Px denotes that x is predicted.

Hx denotes that x happens.

Cy denotes that y is clairvoyant.

Ry denotes that y is rebellious.

1. (Axy)(Cy->(Px->Hx))
2. (Axy)(Ry->(Px->~Hx))
3. A_(Ey)(Ry)&(Ey)(Cy)&(Ex)(Px)
4. A_(Px->Hx)
5. A_(Px->~Hx)
6. A_Hx
7. A_~Hx
8. ~((Ey)(Ry)&(Ey)(Cy)&(Ex)(Px))

So, on a formal level, all we've proven is that one of the following is false:

1. The father is clairvoyant.
2. The son is rebellious.
3. The father predicted the son would pick the red car.

I'm too lazy to go any further with this, so anyone versed in Predicate Logic can step in finish where I left off.

You needed to add the"Cy" factorial in step #4, shouldn't you?

Also...your "proof" groundlessly pre-supposes that "Cy" by proxy supersedes "x".

But why should it if "Cy" is given as an equally viable factor?

Just curious...my math could be off, so I would like feedback.

Thanks!

It's been a few years since I studied Predicate Logic, so I might be forgetting something, but I don't remember using factorials or factors at all.

I believe that Line 4 follows by conditional syllogism from Lines 1 and 3.
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