X-Message-Number: 10212
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 08:58:33 -0700
From: Rand Simberg <>
Subject: More Incompleteness

Bob Ettinger wrote:

>Rand Simberg says there is no way to prove the rational approach is
>best, unless you first accept rationality. This is just saying that, if
>refuse to listen to reason, reason will not persuade you.

No, that's not what it is saying.  It is saying that even if you listen
to reason, that does not mean that you have to accept it as your basis
for attaining knowledge.  Without such acceptance, reason has no power
to persuade, let alone be "true."

>True, but irrelevant.

I don't know whether it is "true," but it is most relevant--it is the
bulwark of the argument.

>(And it's somewhat humorous, too, for someone to use "logical" argument

>to "prove" that logical argument isn't necessarily valid.)

Well, if it was a proof, as a corollary of the theorem, it was no more
or less of one than Goedel came up with.  I'm not aware of anyone who
has shown him to be wrong over the last sixty odd years.

>And I'll get to the Incompleteness Theorem(s) in due time; it's one of
>my favorite projects.

I suspect that many of us await that with interest, but without much
anticipation of success....


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