X-Message-Number: 10261
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10237 - #10248 
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 12:08:39 -0400
From: "Perry E. Metzger" <>

> From: Olaf Henny <>
> From: "Perry E. Metzger" <>
> >> Peter Merel (#10221) points out that questioning Goedel and other
> >> eminences is presumptuous.
> >
> >Preposterous is more like it.
> This, Sir, is a servile attitude,

No, it is the attitude of someone who actually understands the
contents of the theorem in question and has followed the proof closely 
enough. To question the proof is to question my own ability to
reason. The beauty of mathematical proofs is that they are open to
anyone who cares to read them independently verifying them.

> *Everything* should be questioned,

And indeed, I questioned Godel's theorem, examined it, and found it,
with my own mind, to be true. One cannot question everything at all
times. At some point you have to settle down and say "yes, I believe
that the object in front of me is a wall, and that no matter how often 
I move my head in an attempt to go through it, my forehead will
continue to be bruised".

Sure, if Bob was able to show me a reasonably complete explanation of
a hole in the theorem, I might very well believe it. However, he
hasn't shown one, and I find the idea of his finding one rather
difficult to imagine. Why?

It is not because I think of Godel as a god. Godel was no more
infallible than anyone else. However, I have no need to take Godel on
faith. I have personally followed the logic of the proof, and I
personally have seen it to be airtight, and literally thousands of
others have also read the proof and seen it to be airtight, and I thus
find Bob's claim rather difficult to swallow, especially given that
Bob hasn't even shown an understanding of the general field of


Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=10261