TED Conversations

Casey Christofaris

Owner, CS3 Inc

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

How do we prove an answer

that it How do we prove an answer


I just want to clarify that I do love science and the understanding of the universe that it has brought us. As well as the tech

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 8 2013: In my opinion, the fundamental step is to contextualize it.

    Each and every statement is the result of a set of axioms/assumptions, a set of preferences determining the way in which raw data should be evaluated (what is important? what is the criteria? on what focus the attention? what can be known and which are the questions that are "important" in this representation of the reality? etc.), a set of (possibly) unchecked sources of knowledge and by induction a set of third party actors over which we rely on the truthfulness/faithfulness of the knowledge itself (is it (subjective) experience? is it "well-known" fact? who did the experiment I'm referring to? Am I referring to the original results or to text/references/words of (how much?) trusted mediators? Who would lie on purpose? Who would lie unconsciously? Who would take for granted? What would I want to hear and take for granted? Did I check any reference? With what? What is the criteria with which I evaluate contradicting references?).

    Once you have completely contextualized an answer, the magic is done, and your "answer" is proven within the so called "model" in which it lives.

    (Actually, if you provide a model in which the answer can not live, you have proven that in that model its value is "wrong", but it is still.. proven. And that was your question.)

    (And yes, mathematical approaches - when applicable - are much more fun, but have even been already listed)

    (And no, this is not the (very specific) scientific method of Galileo Galileo (living in a very specific model of the cognizable reality), you don't do science this way.. that isn't my claim, of course.)
    • thumb
      Feb 14 2013: But we have to start with the same assumptions right? Do you know what happens when you assume?
      • Feb 15 2013: Well, it happens that I answer "yes" to this question, for example.

        Please, if you'd like to give your own opinion I'll be willingly to read it. ;)
        • thumb
          Feb 15 2013: I know you did and I wasn't trying to come off as saying you were wrong in anyway. It's just I have been told my whole life that assuming makes an ass-u-me. And that my actions should be based on logic reasoning and knowledge. Then I grow up more and learn knowledge and I am told that anything I will ever be told will eventually be wrong and that this is called Science (which I love) but then science tells me that all knowledge is based on assumptions and that if we both don't assume the same assumptions the model wouldn't work. How does this make sense to you. Because it doesn't to me

          as·sume [uh-soom] Show IPA verb, as·sumed, as·sum·ing.
          verb (used with object)
          1.
          to take for granted or without proof: to assume that everyone wants peace. Synonyms: suppose, presuppose; postulate, posit.
          2.
          to take upon oneself; undertake: to assume an obligation.
          3.
          to take over the duties or responsibilities of: to assume the office of treasurer.
          4.
          to take on (a particular character, quality, mode of life, etc.); adopt: He assumed the style of an aggressive go-getter.
          5.
          to take on; be invested or endowed with: The situation assumed a threatening character.
      • Feb 15 2013: Thank you for your kind reply. :-)

        Well, if you think of it the first time this looks like a paradox, really. In my opinion, all those things are part of the awesome human wisdom of recognizing the limitations of his capability of knowing the environment. As instinctive and primordial creatures, we are lead to use inner knowledge (= Truth) as if it was a perfect mirror of Reality outside. On the other side, sometimes in the highest peaks of our consciousness or in some particular instants of life, we are able to jump out of the pond and feel shame for the nudity of our human brain limitations.

        As a relativist, I live in the constant paradox that I recognize every piece of (achievable) knowledge truth value subject to a particular context/model/assumptions/tastes/individuality - thus portraying the human as a being completely unable to tell which of the many reflections in the mirrors of reality is the right one - while at the same time I constantly break this rule, since as a human being I'm acting and speaking as if I ever really knew something certain of reality anyway. Of course there are degrees of certainty, but one can never be totally relativistic without be stuck in a not decidable loop.

        I recognize that it is fairly difficult to "get the mindset outside its own box", for certain reasons it should be better said impossible (again with an extension of generality and assumptions), but I still repute this contradiction, this paradox, to be the most important intellectual achievement needed to promote peaceful coexistence of people with VERY different perspectives. Funny enough, since this thought is the result of my perspective of sight of the entire universe, it is expected by the same law of relativism that a huge part of people should (and will) disagree with it.. ..which cuts the possibility of a constructive dialogue, given "assumptions" very different.

        I don't know. But I love every chance to see these details in my life. :)
        • thumb
          Feb 16 2013: Let see if this helps get you out of the loop

          So let me see if I can use logic and reason to show you how you need to use their logic and reason. To not prove them wrong but to show them that there is other truth. So you can pick any topic you want and any side of the said topic and I will debate the other side. See to get someone to believe what you say is truth you first have to understand their side as truth as well. Not that it wrong and it clearly might be(like anyone who would say oil is not toxic).

          It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle. ~ Sun Tzu Art of War

          Now it doesn't matter how the argument is going once I figure out how you came to your knowledge of truth I can figure out your thought "pattern" or common sense. Once I understand that I can use your common sense thats right your common sense to prove my information as truth. Not as I am right your wrong but just that there is other truth. Edited: I dont even need to believe that what I am trying to debate is truth or not, I just need to except that it can be

          And as far as Sub, object question go. I like to say that it's not that I think inside the box or outside of the box. I realize that its all box's and I try to think in all of them.
        • thumb
          Feb 16 2013: We should redefine what peace is? Because whom are you to tell me what my peace is? See if you think we practiced the Golden Rule as defined as this we could create peace.

          Its reciprocal, if party (y) want to have crazy kinky sex then he/she needs to find party (x) that also wants kinky sex and then the do on to others how they would want to be treated and have some crazy kinky sex. If party (y) want to have crazy kinky sex but party (z) does not want to then guess what you do on to others how you would want to be treated and don't have kinky sex with party (z) Because chances are there is something that party y does not want to do. (maybe party z want to kill some one) All he needs to do is find some one who is willing to die and kill them, if he cant find a party to kill, he doesn't do it. He respects the other person choices as if the are his own.

          So if 2 parties want to kill each other from what they describe as peace or the greatest glory they can do for their god let them do it. It only becomes a problem when one party does not want to kill the other. Or be killed
      • Feb 16 2013: I apologize Mr. Christofaris, English is not my main language and I've got a hard time trying to interpret your last two messages. If there was enough space I would have quoted each part and pointed out my questions, but on this board I shall trust whatever my mind grasps of your replies. If I get something wrong on your own view, please be both kind and patient with me. :-)
        ---

        Your starting suggestions, while It looks confused to me, remind me of an approach of human wisdom that I can safely say to already apply and know. In my last comment I was trying to say something different from the direction you've taken, but it's not a problem for me. I would just add that your suggestions fall in a positive perspective, because from my experience to be really *pedantic* there is a lot to be said and pointed out over the real fruits of a communication exchange among 2 or more human beings.

        The "box" - in my comment - wasn't the mindset or the set of assumptions/beliefs/perspectives, but rather the self-imposing limitations of a brain on its own capabilities by construction. If you get what I'm talking about, then you understand that there is no such thing as "think outside the box" or "think in all boxes".
        I do understand that this word has a lot of meaning, hence I won't stress over my perspective. By the way I understood what you meant with your sentence anyway. ;)

        Was that a rhetoric question? I think so, I didn't define *your* peace. At least, I didn't define it more explicitly of how the "golden rule" does itself, and I'm not implying that is bad - just that it has an encoded assumption more strict than the one I left out of my comment. :-)

        Your example and conclusion look totally confused, and I don't get the reason why you've written it down. You've basically encoded a moral law example. But I miss the point.
        • thumb
          Feb 16 2013: "If there was enough space I would have quoted each part and pointed out my questions"

          Please do so make more then one post. We have 14 days to figure this out and I have all the patience in the world.
        • thumb
          Feb 16 2013: "If you get what I'm talking about, then you understand that there is no such thing as "think outside the box" or "think in all boxes".
          I do understand that this word has a lot of meaning, hence I won't stress over my perspective."

          Sorry I don't understand what you mean by the limitations of the brain Can you please explain more?

          It was a rhetorical question, the problem with trying to create a world of peace is that each person has their own idea of what peace of being peaceful is, I can and do see shooting a gun at very small thing from great distances as being peaceful and a great stress reliever. While others do not. If your idea of peace is that we need to get rid of guns then I don't and would not agree to this as peace. Do I think we could come up with a majority convention of what peace is yes. But there will always be a "other" that says that is not peace to them and that peace to them is (X) if you want our peace to be respected we need to respect their idea of peace as well.

          "Your example and conclusion look totally confused, and I don't get the reason why you've written it down." Which are you referring to
      • Feb 16 2013: Sir, I can understand and subscribe your concerns with the "peace" concept. :-)
        I was referring to the (y) (z) (x) example, but you already cleared it out with the last paragraph.

        I thank you for your curiosity, but I feel like I should not try to force my English skills by writing down thoughts that I would hardly explain well even in my own language without the support of my consumed book of hand notes and examples. Unfortunately, I don't know any external source to point to you that would play a satisfying replacement for mine perspective.

        Thank you for the chat!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.