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Thread: Another fatal Dialectical Defect

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    Default Another fatal Dialectical Defect

    It is quite clear that the first two of Engels's so-called 'laws' are incompatible with one another. Here is how Engels characterised them:

    "...[T]he transformation of quantity into quality and vice versa. For our purpose, we could express this by saying that in nature, in a manner exactly fixed for each individual case, qualitative changes can only occur by the quantitative addition or subtraction of matter or motion (so-called energy)…. Hence it is impossible to alter the quality of a body without addition or subtraction of matter or motion, i.e. without quantitative alteration of the body concerned." [Dialectics of Nature, p.63. Emphasis added.]

    "The law of the interpenetration of opposites.... Mutual penetration of polar opposites and transformation into each other when carried to extremes...." [Ibid., pp.17, 62.]
    However, according to Engels and Hegel, such 'qualitative' changes are 'nodal', that is, they aren't gradual, they are sudden:

    "It is said, natura non facit saltum [there are no leaps in nature]; and ordinary thinking when it has to grasp a coming-to-be or a ceasing-to-be, fancies it has done so by representing it as a gradual emergence or disappearance. But we have seen that the alterations of being in general are not only the transition of one magnitude into another, but a transition from quality into quantity and vice versa, a becoming-other which is an interruption of gradualness and the production of something qualitatively different from the reality which preceded it. Water, in cooling, does not gradually harden as if it thickened like porridge, gradually solidifying until it reached the consistency of ice; it suddenly solidifies, all at once. It can remain quite fluid even at freezing point if it is standing undisturbed, and then a slight shock will bring it into the solid state." [Hegel's Science of Logic, p.370, §776. Bold emphasis added.]
    And here is Engels:

    "With this assurance Herr Dühring saves himself the trouble of saying anything further about the origin of life, although it might reasonably have been expected that a thinker who had traced the evolution of the world back to its self-equal state, and is so much at home on other celestial bodies, would have known exactly what's what also on this point. For the rest, however, the assurance he gives us is only half right unless it is completed by the Hegelian nodal line of measure relations which has already been mentioned. In spite of all gradualness, the transition from one form of motion to another always remains a leap, a decisive change. This is true of the transition from the mechanics of celestial bodies to that of smaller masses on a particular celestial body; it is equally true of the transition from the mechanics of masses to the mechanics of molecules -- including the forms of motion investigated in physics proper: heat, light, electricity, magnetism. In the same way, the transition from the physics of molecules to the physics of atoms -- chemistry -- in turn involves a decided leap; and this is even more clearly the case in the transition from ordinary chemical action to the chemism of albumen which we call life. Then within the sphere of life the leaps become ever more infrequent and imperceptible. -- Once again, therefore, it is Hegel who has to correct Herr Dühring." [Anti-Dühring, pp.82-83. I have used the online version here, but quoted the page numbers for the Foreign Languages edition. Bold emphasis added.]

    "We have already seen earlier, when discussing world schematism, that in connection with this Hegelian nodal line of measure relations -- in which quantitative change [B]suddenly[.B] passes at certain points into qualitative transformation -- Herr Dühring had a little accident: in a weak moment he himself recognised and made use of this line. We gave there one of the best-known examples -- that of the change of the aggregate states of water, which under normal atmospheric pressure changes at 0°C from the liquid into the solid state, and at 100°C from the liquid into the gaseous state, so that at both these turning-points the merely quantitative change of temperature brings about a qualitative change in the condition of the water." [Ibid., p.160. Bold emphasis added.]
    Here, too, is Plekhanov:

    "[I]t will be understood without difficulty by anyone who is in the least capable of dialectical thinking...[that] quantitative changes, accumulating gradually, lead in the end to changes of quality, and that these changes of quality represent leaps, interruptions in gradualness…. That is how all Nature acts…." [The Development Of The Monist View Of History, pp.74-77, 88, 163. Bold emphases added.]
    Despite this, it is quite clear that the 'nodal' aspect of the first 'Law' is incompatible with the second 'law', the Unity and Interpenetration of Opposites (UIO), or at least the UIO is inconsistent with the DM-rejection/criticism of the LEM.

    [LEM = Law of Excluded Middle; FL = Formal Logic; DL = Dialectical Logic.]

    Here is Novack on the alleged 'laws' of FL:

    "There are three fundamental laws of formal logic. First and most important is the law of identity. This law can be stated in various ways such as: A thing is always equal to or identical with itself. In algebraic terms: A equals A.

    "...If a thing is always and under all conditions equal to or identical with itself, it can never be unequal to or different from itself. This conclusion follows logically and inevitably from the law of identity. If A always equals A, it can never equal non-A.

    "This conclusion is made explicit in the second law of formal logic: the law of contradiction. The law of contradiction states: A is not non-A. This is no more than the negative formulation of the positive assertion expressed in the first law of formal logic. If A is A, it follows, according to formal thinking that A cannot be non-A. Thus the second law of formal logic, the law of contradiction forms the essential supplement to the first law.

    "Some examples: a man cannot be inhuman; a democracy cannot be undemocratic; a wageworker cannot be a non-wageworker.

    "The law of contradiction signifies the exclusion of difference from the essence of things and of thought about things. If A is necessarily always identical with itself, it cannot be different from itself. Difference and identity are, according to these two rules of formal logic, completely different, utterly disconnected, mutually exclusive characteristics of both things and thoughts.

    "This mutually exclusive quality of things is expressly taken note of in the third law of formal logic. This is the law of the excluded middle. According to this law, everything is and must be either one of two mutually exclusive things. If A equals A, it cannot equal non-A. A cannot be part of two opposing classes at one and the same time. Wherever two opposing statements or states of affairs confront each other, both cannot be true or false. A is either B or it is not B. The correctness of one judgement invariably implies the incorrectness of its contrary, and vice versa." [Novack, Intoduction to the Logic of Marxism, pp.20-21.]
    Of course, Novack is just parroting Hegel and Engels here (all the while offering no evidence to substantiate his claim that Aristotle's logic (let alone modern logic) is based on these 'laws', or even that he (Novack) has got these 'laws' right!

    [In fact, he and every other DM-theorist I have read (and there have been hundreds of these -- no exaggeration!) over the last twenty-five years has got these 'laws' wrong. On that, see here.]

    For example, here is Engels on the LEM:

    "To the metaphysician, things and their mental reflexes, ideas, are isolated, are to be considered one after the other and apart from each other, are objects of investigation fixed, rigid, given once for all. He thinks in absolutely irreconcilable antitheses. 'His communication is 'yea, yea; nay, nay'; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.' [Matthew 5:37. -- Ed.] For him a thing either exists or does not exist; a thing cannot at the same time be itself and something else. Positive and negative absolutely exclude one another, cause and effect stand in a rigid antithesis one to the other.

    "At first sight this mode of thinking seems to us very luminous, because it is that of so-called sound common sense. Only sound common sense, respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the wide world of research. And the metaphysical mode of thought, justifiable and even necessary as it is in a number of domains whose extent varies according to the nature of the particular object of investigation, sooner or later reaches a limit, beyond which it becomes one-sided, restricted, abstract, lost in insoluble contradictions. In the contemplation of individual things it forgets the connection between them; in the contemplation of their existence, it forgets the beginning and end of that existence; of their repose, it forgets their motion. It cannot see the wood for the trees.

    "In like manner, every organic being is every moment the same and not the same, every moment it assimilates matter supplied from without, and gets rid of other matter; every moment some cells of its body die and others build themselves anew; in a longer or shorter time the matter of its body is completely renewed, and is replaced by other atoms of matter, so that every organic being is always itself, and yet something other than itself.

    "Further, we find upon closer investigation that the two poles of an antithesis positive and negative, e.g., are as inseparable as they are opposed and that despite all their opposition, they mutually interpenetrate. And we find, in like manner, that cause and effect are conceptions which only hold good in their application to individual cases; but as soon as we consider the individual cases in their general connection with the universe as a whole, they run into each other, and they become confounded when we contemplate that universal action and reaction in which causes and effects are eternally changing places, so that what is effect here and now will be cause there and then, and vice versa.

    "None of these processes and modes of thought enters into the framework of metaphysical reasoning. Dialectics, on the other hand, comprehends things and their representations, ideas, in their essential connection, concatenation, motion, origin, and ending. Such processes as those mentioned above are, therefore, so many corroborations of its own method of procedure.[Anti-Dühring, pp.26-27.]
    Now, I have shown (here and here) that the above ideas are far too confused to be assessed for their truth or falsehood, but the point I wish to make in this post is that the above 'law' (the interpenetration of opposites, etc.) is incompatible with the first law (the 'nodal' change of quantity into quality).

    To see this, consider object/process P which is just about to undergo a qualitative 'nodal' change (a "leap") from, say, state P(A) to state P(B) -- for example, water that is just about to boil, and thus change from liquid to gas.

    For there to be a 'nodal' change here it would have to be the case that P is in state P(A) one instant/moment, and in state P(B) an instant/moment later (howsoever these "instants/moments" are defined). There is no other way of making sense of the abrupt nature of 'nodal' change.

    [To spare the reader, I will simply refer to these as "instants" from now on.]

    Of course, we are never told how long such 'nodes' are supposed to last, which fact allows DM-theorists to include anything from an ice age to a quantum leap as a 'node', introducing an element of subjectivity into what is supposed to be an 'objective' law.

    However, given the strife-riven and sectarian nature of dialectical politics, any attempt to tell us how long such DM-'nodes' are could lead to yet more factions. Thus, we are sure to see emerge the rightist Nanosecond Tendency -- sworn enemies of the Picosecond Left Opposition -- who will both take up swords with the 'eclectic' wing: the "it depends on the circumstances" 'clique' at the 'centrist' Femtosecond League.

    Be this as it may, if the above were so (i.e., if P is in state P(A) one instant, and in state P(B) an instant later), then any state description of P would have to obey the LEM, for it would have to be the case that at one instant it would be true to say that P was in state P(A) at that instant but not in state P(B) at the same instant.

    That is, it would not be true to say that P was in both states at once (which is, of course, a core idea of the DM-account of 'nodal' change). In that case, these two states would not interpenetrate one another, since the LEM would apply to this process at that instant: P must therefore be in state P(A) or state P(B) (but not both) if the change from P(A) to P(B) is to be 'nodal', or "sudden".

    On the other hand, if these two states do in fact interpenetrate one another (and the above conclusions are false) -- such that the "either-or" of the LEM does not apply, which, we are told, it cannot do at a point of change -- and it were thus the case that P was in both states at once, then the transition from P(A) to P(B) would be smooth and non-'nodal', after all!

    Now, this fatal dilemma is independent of the length of time a 'node' is supposed to last (that is, if we are ever told).

    It is also worth noting that this inconsistency applies at just the point where dialecticians tell us DL is superior to FL --, that is, at the point of change.

    So, once more, we see that not only can DL not explain change (on that see here), at least two of Engels's three 'Laws' are inconsistent with one another (when applied to objects/process that undergo change).

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    Zeno would have been proud of you
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort

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    Gil:

    Zeno would have been proud of you
    Maybe so, maybe not, but as proud of me as he would or wouldn't have been, he'd definitely take his hat off to you (for why, see below).

    Anyway, I take it that this irrelevant comment of yours means you can't respond effectively to my post.

    No change there then.

    Parmenides would have been proud of you...

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    Hi, me again.
    I am trying to follow your line of argument. I cannot. I will not present a counter argument as such as I am to dumb too understand what you are trying to say.
    I can however present my own understanding of your subject matter. I explain in simple terms to help others understand, at least my version of it. I learned it all from some books on the subject. Not as many as Rosa's.
    I personally have understood dialectics as an all sided approach to processes, as a safeguard against mistakes. I think I left you before at that point. I was busy with the non virtual world, not that I am making a complaint, against the virtual world.

    Anyhow this is my a priora starting point. I don't really want to examine the origins
    of this idea, however it has always been my understanding, but it goes back to my interpetation of Lenin. Does it really matter when but what if it is true.
    Somehow I assumed that dialectician always started with this a priora assumption.
    Dialectics was easy you look at things from as many angles as possible and come up with a solution, a definition or a working model.
    The Laws of dialectics, to me merely posited poles, that seem to exist in the real world. Quantity and Quality being one pair These poles are different measures.
    There are too many examples to bother relating of one becoming the other.
    The laws of dialectics as far as I can see are descriptions of the interplay of poles that often correspond to what is happening nature.
    I dont want to prove this, as yet. This is just my understanding of what they are meant to be.
    The unity of opposites. I have seen all through nature. in the sense that many categories exist in opposition to other categories and are unified by the larger group
    they are in. I am very close to formal logic on that one.

    Explaining change.
    First of all change is a universal, in that it does not happen only in particulars or only individuals. Change is a universal category unlike say jim the cat with 3 legs.
    Jim being the individual
    The cat with three legs being the particular, in this circumstance.
    The cat is a universal.

    Change as a "category" has a history. Parmenides has one take, Heraclitus another.
    I have understood dialectics in terms of phases of development.
    Most things have a birth a middle and an end. Most things have a story. The only complaint that I have understood against formal logic is that it is a possible source of error is one phase is rigidly held to as being the whole process. caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Dialectics only says that caterpillars turn into butterflies, and caterpillars should not be regarded as constant.
    That is my understanding of the relationship between formal logic and dialectics.
    I have no understanding of any relation between formal logic and dialectics beyond that.
    My understanding of dialectics also has an assumption, change is an objective reality
    no matter what Permenides says. Heraclitus says "everything changes".
    I might be wrong but I dont thinks so. Heraclius was correct.
    He just says change exists, really. It is not too hard to accept. Everything is possibly qualifiable but it is the case with most things we experience.

    This is again my humble understanding of dialectics.
    Now as to explaining change beyond its existence as a universal. This to me is absurd
    I never expected a universal explanation of change from dialectics.
    As far as I am concerned, I have always thought that what we did when we used dialectics was to look at the history of a process as far as that is possible and its relations with other processes and observe the specific phases of that process so
    as to come to a rough understanding of that process, in terms of a general category framework such as quantity and quality of contrasting trends within the object of analysis.
    At no point did I think that such an analysis would be free from subjective error. Indeed
    I expect that in hindsight I will discover mistakes later.
    This is all I need from dialectics. I suspect it is all that most people can take from it at the fundamental level.

    Going deeper abstractly in a polemic about the inadequacy of dialectics. Dialectics is inadequate that is fundamental to its nature. It is only an improvement on the mistake formal logic may make about a caterpillar being a caterpillar always, in the concrete.

    Dialectics is not semantics it is uncovering the truth of what is going on.
    Does any logic explain change?
    Maybe some of the DMs have complicated it too much for you.

    My understanding of dialectics maybe different but I cant see where it falls down.
    All you seem to be saying is that is not a perfect way of looking at things.
    Is there one?
    Last edited by peaccenicked; 21st May 2009 at 15:17.
    Man's dearest possession is life, and since it is given to him to live but once.He must so live that dying he can say, all my life and all my strength have been given to the greatest cause in the world, the liberation of mankind
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    Muriel Spark:

    If I had my life to live over again I should form the habit of nightly composing myself to thoughts of death. I would practice, as it were, the remembrance of death. There is no other practice which so intensifies life. Death, when it approaches, ought not to take one by surprise. It should be part of the full expectancy of life. Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. You might as well live on the whites of eggs.

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    PeaceN:

    I am trying to follow your line of argument. I cannot. I will not present a counter argument as such as I am to dumb too understand what you are trying to say.
    It's very straight-forward: if 'qualitative' change is 'nodal (i.e., if it happens in 'leaps'), then it must be the case that any state of matter is qualitatively one way one instant, and then qualitatively another the next.

    So, at two successive instants, a body or process will be in state A one instant, and then state B the next, but not both.

    Hence, at the moment of change the 'law' of excluded middle will apply to this process -- it will be A or B, but not both.

    In that case, the dialectical criticism of this 'law' (excluded middle) is defective since that 'law' does not fail at the point of change, just where we were told that it should and does fail.

    On the other hand, if the above 'law' of excluded middle does indeed fail at the point of change (as we are told it always does), then the above process will be in both state A and state B at the same instant.

    But, if that is so, the change from A to B cannot be sudden, and the 'nodal' aspect of Engels's 'law' fails.

    Either way, dialectics takes a sizable hit.

    I'll deal with the rest of what you say in a later post.

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    PeaceN (forgive me for saying so, but your post reads like a simple confession of faith akin to those that bible bashers come out with when faced with the arguments of us atheists):

    I personally have understood dialectics as an all sided approach to processes, as a safeguard against mistakes. I think I left you before at that point. I was busy with the non virtual world, not that I am making a complaint, against the virtual world.
    But this 'theory' is full of mistakes and errors -- or rather, it is in fact far too vague for anyone to be able to say with any confidence whether it is true or false. For example, if dialectics were true, change would be impossible:

    Quotes:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...0&postcount=76

    Argument:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...1&postcount=77

    Somehow I assumed that dialectician always started with this a priora assumption.
    This is the exact opposite of what Engels said:

    Finally, for me there could be no question of superimposing the laws of dialectics on nature but of discovering them in it and developing them from it. [Engels (1976) Anti-Dühring, p.13. Bold emphasis added.]

    What he (Dühring) is dealing with are therefore principles, formal tenets derived from thought and not from the external world, which are to be applied to nature and the realm of man, and to which therefore nature and man have to conform. But whence does thought obtain these principles? From itself? No, for Herr Dühring himself says: the realm of pure thought is limited to logical schemata and mathematical forms {42} (the latter, moreover, as we shall see, is wrong). Logical schemata can only relate to forms of thought; but what we are dealing with here is solely forms of being, of the external world, and these forms can never be created and derived by thought out of itself, but only from the external world. But with this the whole relationship is inverted: the principles are not the starting-point of the investigation, but its final result; they are not applied to nature and human history, but abstracted from them, it is not nature and the realm of man which conform to these principles, but the principles are only valid in so far as they are in conformity with nature and history. That is the only materialist conception of the matter, and Herr Dühring's contrary conception is idealistic, makes things stand completely on their heads, and fashions the real world out of ideas, out of schemata, schemes or categories existing somewhere before the world, from eternity — just like a Hegel. [Ibid., p.43.]

    All three are developed by Hegel in his idealist fashion as mere laws of thought: the first, in the first part of his Logic, in the Doctrine of Being; the second fills the whole of the second and by far the most important part of his Logic, the Doctrine of Essence; finally the third figures as the fundamental law for the construction of the whole system. The mistake lies in the fact that these laws are foisted on nature and history as laws of thought, and not deduced from them. This is the source of the whole forced and often outrageous treatment; the universe, willy-nilly, is made out to be arranged in accordance with a system of thought which itself is only the product of a definite stage of evolution of human thought. [Engels (1954) Dialectics of Nature, p.62. Bold emphasis added.]
    This is underlined by Trotsky and George Novack:

    Dialectics and materialism are the basic elements in the Marxist cognition of the world. But this does not mean at all that they can be applied to any sphere of knowledge, like an ever ready master key. Dialectics cannot be imposed on facts; it has to be deduced from facts, from their nature and development…. [Trotsky (1973) Problems of Everyday Life, p.233. Bold emphasis added.]

    A consistent materialism cannot proceed from principles which are validated by appeal to abstract reason, intuition, self-evidence or some other subjective or purely theoretical source. Idealisms may do this. But the materialist philosophy has to be based upon evidence taken from objective material sources and verified by demonstration in practice.... [Novack (1965) The Origin of Materialism, p.17. Bold emphasis added.]
    So, not a good start...

    Quantity and Quality being one pair These poles are different measures.
    As we have already seen, this 'law' does not work either:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/quantity-q...709/index.html

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/stalin-mat...588/index.html

    But more fully here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2007.htm

    I have seen all through nature. in the sense that many categories exist in opposition to other categories and are unified by the larger group
    You have seen "all through nature", have you? Are you some sort of deity?

    And, how do you know that there aren't objects and processes in the next galaxy that do not work this way?

    However, the real problem with this 'law' is that if it were true, change would be impossible, as I have demonstrated to you before:

    In context, or out of it, these 'rules' imply that cats, for example, change because of a struggle of opposites, and that they change into those opposites.

    In which case, a live cat C that changes into dead cat C* must have struggled with that dead cat!

    I am sure we have all witnessed such odd scenes...

    On the other hand, live cat C cannot change into dead cat C* since dead cat C* already exists! So C cannot die, for to do so it has to change into something that already exists, and this is impossible, even for a cat.

    So, dialectical materialism, the 'world view of the proletariat', holds that cats cannot die.

    On the other hand, this 'theory' also holds that cats are continually scrapping with the dead cats that they are will one day turn into.

    ----------------------

    Incidentally, the same result emerges if we consider the intermediate stages in the life and death of cat C.

    Let us assume that cat C goes through successive stages C(1), C(2), C(3)..., C(n), until at stage C(n+1) it finally pops its clogs.

    But, according to the dialectical classics, C(1) can only change into C(2) because of a 'struggle' of opposites. They also tell us that C(1) inevitably changes into that opposite.

    So, C(1) must both struggle with C(2) and change into it.

    But then the same problems emerge, for C(1) can't change into C(2) since it already exists. If it didn't, C(1) could not struggle with it!

    So, by n applications of the above argument, all the stages of a cat's life must co-exist, and no cat can change, let alone die!

    These dialectical cats sure are odd...
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...4&postcount=29

    Peace:

    Explaining change.
    First of all change is a universal, in that it does not happen only in particulars or only individuals. Change is a universal category unlike say jim the cat with 3 legs.
    Jim being the individual
    The cat with three legs being the particular, in this circumstance.
    The cat is a universal.
    1) We already know that dialectics can't explain change -- see above.

    2) There are countless things in nature that do not change -- protons and electrons for example -- or if they do, they do not change because if their 'internal contradictions', for they do not have any.

    3) The cat is in fact an animal, not a universal. Where did you learn biology? From Lysenko?

    The only complaint that I have understood against formal logic is that it is a possible source of error is one phase is rigidly held to as being the whole process. caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Dialectics only says that caterpillars turn into butterflies, and caterpillars should not be regarded as constant.
    But, you don't know any Formal Logic! You could not even follow my argument in the OP, for goodness sake!

    Moreover, Formal Logic does not deny caterpillars change into butterflies, in fact Temporal Logic can cope with such changes quite nicely:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-temporal/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_logic

    And, to repeat, it is Dialectical Logic that can't in fact account for such changes.

    I never expected a universal explanation of change from dialectics.
    It can't even account for dead cats and live butterflies!

    Does any logic explain change?
    Depends what changes you are referring to, but ordinary language and informal logic can cope with far more changes than formal logic can, and formal logic can cope with far more than dialectics (which can account for zero).

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-informal/

    Maybe some of the DMs have complicated it too much for you.
    Well, your simple confession of faith is no help at all.

    My understanding of dialectics maybe different but I cant see where it falls down.
    All you seem to be saying is that is not a perfect way of looking at things.
    Is there one?
    Maybe not, but dialectics is so hopelessly confused, even if we needed a perfect theory, or one that was only 1% perfect, dialectics would not even make the bottom of the reserve list of likely candidates.

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    Rosa let me be slightly clearer, I think your own arguments against Zeno's way of thinking apply - if valid - to your own method in suggesting inconsistency between the two 'laws'. It is your own consistency that is at stake here.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort

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    Gil:

    Rosa let me be slightly clearer, I think your own arguments against Zeno's way of thinking apply - if valid - to your own method in suggesting inconsistency between the two 'laws'. It is your own consistency that is at stake here.
    Fine words; let's see you put some proof where your mouth is.

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    PeaceN (forgive me for saying so, but your post reads like a simple confession of faith akin to those that bible bashers come out with when faced with the arguments of us atheists):
    Perhaps so.
    You have not instilled in me enough doubt.
    But this 'theory' is full of mistakes and errors -- or rather, it is in fact far too vague for anyone to be able to say with any confidence whether it is true or false
    .

    I just think you are too black and white, to consider grey. Then you make grey out of black and white.

    You have not listened to a word I have said.

    Formal Logic does not deny caterpillars change into butterflies, in fact Temporal Logic can cope with such changes quite nicely:

    Dialectically you change the word "Formal" into "Temporal".
    Last edited by peaccenicked; 24th May 2009 at 04:32.
    Man's dearest possession is life, and since it is given to him to live but once.He must so live that dying he can say, all my life and all my strength have been given to the greatest cause in the world, the liberation of mankind
    Ostrovski

    Muriel Spark:

    If I had my life to live over again I should form the habit of nightly composing myself to thoughts of death. I would practice, as it were, the remembrance of death. There is no other practice which so intensifies life. Death, when it approaches, ought not to take one by surprise. It should be part of the full expectancy of life. Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. You might as well live on the whites of eggs.

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    Btw, A cat is as much as an example of as universal as you are as an obscurantist.
    Man's dearest possession is life, and since it is given to him to live but once.He must so live that dying he can say, all my life and all my strength have been given to the greatest cause in the world, the liberation of mankind
    Ostrovski

    Muriel Spark:

    If I had my life to live over again I should form the habit of nightly composing myself to thoughts of death. I would practice, as it were, the remembrance of death. There is no other practice which so intensifies life. Death, when it approaches, ought not to take one by surprise. It should be part of the full expectancy of life. Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. You might as well live on the whites of eggs.

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    PeaceN:

    You have not instilled in me enough doubt.
    Once saved, always saved, eh?

    I just think you are too black and white, to consider grey. Then you make grey out of black and white.
    And your evidence for this it what?

    You have not listened to a word I have said.
    Heard it all before, a thousand times.

    You lot all say the same things, even while you think you are saying something new. Indeed, it always amazes me that you mystics think that if you repeat the same old b*llocks a thousand times it will work, even when the previous 999 attempts failed dismally.

    Dialectically you change the word "Formal" into "Temporal".
    1) Temproal logic is in fact part of Formal Logic, as you would know if you knew any modern logic.

    2) How can I have changed this word 'dialectically'? If I had, the two should have been in 'conflict' with one another. Did you see then slugging it out on your screen?

    A cat is as much as an example of as universal as you are as an obscurantist.
    1) Yet more a priori dogmatics I see.

    2) Once more, a cat is an animal. I think you mean that the concept "...is a cat" is a universal.

    3) What part of my comments are 'obscurtantist'? In fact, it's you who relies on a theory that he cannot explain, which does not work and which is based on a defective grasp even of Aristotelian logic.

    And you are the one who thinks a furry animal is an item of logic!

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