A Conversation for The Freedom From Faith Foundation

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Post 3641

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Hello, fellow members. Pardon my interruption of the current topic. I have two brief things to note. First, I'm back and kicking at h2g2. I left in disappointment during the time of the great Moderation. I've decided the water is warm enough again now to rejoin. So hello again to those of you who remember me. Second, I seem to have been engaged to answer a philosophical question I feel unprepared for. I suppose this is what I get for writing about agnosticism. I might be able to rack my brain and/or read some things to answer properly, but I haven't the time right now. Perhaps someone else would like to discuss whether it is possible to believe in nothing at all, and if so, how. The question is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/F54981?thread=309792


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Post 3642

Noggin the Nog

Not so fast, Fnord. There is a difference between a perfect crystal and an imperfect one, or between the perfect tool for a particular job, and an imperfect one. But that's the rub - these things are perfect relative to something specific; their perfection can't be generalised to some abstract concept of perfection. And humans are simply too multipurpose for a generalised perfection. We have to manage with better and worse aspects of what we are.

As for the controllers - spread the system to encompass the limits of its connections, and all control lies within the system, mediated by positive and negative feedback and feedforward connections. After that it gets complicated.

Noggin


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Post 3643

Mal

When people say that, in other words, they don't mean the abstract Perfect, they mean that it's a better crystal, a better tool. You can't get an abstractly Perfect crystal, one from which all other crystals derive their form, at least not in this physical world. So when perfect and imperfect can describe the same thing, they can mean the same thing, too.
(Now we begin to see the advantages of hardcore solipsism)

The control system you described isn't true control at all.


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Post 3644

azahar

A 'perfect' crystal is still only a matter of opinion, is it not?

Or did you already say that?

az


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Post 3645

Mal

If we didn't, it was implied. But let's not get back into the "everything's relative" old chestnut.


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Post 3646

azahar

Even though it *is*?


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Post 3647

Zucchini

Welcome back, Fragilis smiley - boing


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Post 3648

Mal

Even though it is.
*Especially* though it is.

'lo, Zucchini. Haven't seen you around for a while.


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Post 3649

Noggin the Nog

For a crystal of a given substance there *is* such a thing as a perfect crystal. It will not, of course, be a perfect anything else, since its perfection is relative to its being a crystal of a given substance, which has an agreed definition. There's no agreed definition of a perfect human being, or perfect nothing in particular, though.

Noggin


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Post 3650

Noggin the Nog



So what is "true control"?

Noggin


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Post 3651

Zucchini

'lo Fnord. Yeah I've been quiet - I've had almost no interesting comments or thoughts to make for two months now. Either I've gone stupid, or I've had a revelation and realised that nothing makes any sense.
For example:
Crystals, you say? Perfection, eh? Well, there you go.
smiley - boing


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Post 3652

azahar

<>

Says who?

az


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Post 3653

Noggin the Nog

In what sense would a truly flawless diamond be imperfect (as a diamond)? There may, or may not, be such a thing, but there is an agreed standard, so the term has meaning, a concrete application.

It'll pass Zucchini; I had a spell like that myself, recently, but I seem to be getting over it; although whether anyone else thinks I'm making sense again (again?) is a moot point. smiley - smiley

Noggin


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Post 3654

Mal

Are we going to get onto Whatitsface's Theory of Forms, here?


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Post 3655

azahar

<>

Yes, but it is still a subjective concept, an opinion. And so perfection cannot actually exist except in the mind of the observer. So there is no such thing as objective perfection. Is there?

az


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Post 3656

M.A.L -3

I don't see any agreed standard. As Azahar said, it's subjective. What's whatsisface's theory of forms?


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Post 3657

Noggin the Nog

Whatshisface is presumably Plato, who believed that the things we perceive are shadows of perfect forms of said things that exist... somewhere or other.

What I'm proposing is much more modest - merely that for a small class of things (crystals was a concrete example, perhaps of a geometrical form) we can define (though not prove the actual existence of) perfection, such as a perfect circle. What I'm arguing *against* is the possibility of some universally applicable general concept of perfection - Perfection as Absolute. Perfection here is objective (small O), rather than *merely* subjective, because there is a standard outside of the individual, but I'd agree that it's not Objective (capital O), because it's an assigned property, not an inherent property.

Noggin


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Post 3658

Noggin the Nog

Oh yes. And what is "true control", hmm?

Noggin


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Post 3659

Madent

smiley - footprints


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Post 3660

azahar

hi Noggin,

What do you mean by 'true control'? Can you give an example?

az


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