Noematics, Contemporary Art, Missing Images, Nonsense, Aesthetics, Philosophy, Pop Culture, Memes, Postmodern, Anime, Absolute, Deconstruction, Shota, Quantum, Included Middle, Religion, Swag, TV shows, Human Nature, Truth, Nerds, Meaning of Life and suchlikes

People I follow

As the year ends, I’m going over my list of people I admire and see if I missed anything they produced. I used to use tumblr for this, but as the list grows quite big, I think I’ll keep it here with my other « serious content ». This is mainly for me but maybe it can help you ^^


Japanese animation

Idolized:

Monitoring:

 

 


Cinema

Idolizing:

Monitoring:

 


Western animation

 


« TV »

Idolizing:

Monitoring:

 


Writing

 

 


Comedy

 


Personalities

 


Music composers

Idolizing:

 

 

 

Monitoring:

 


Music bands

 


Publicités

[DT2] God(el) incompleteness

This article is the second of a series of 3 about Formal Logic and Religion. Find the first one, introduction to formal logic, here.

I will now try to introduce you to what is arguably the most important result in formal logic, Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, and deduce a constructive proof of the existence of God.

Warning: This is going to be a very informal discussion, but there’s a plethora of better writing on the subject if you want to explore this deeper, which a quick Google Search should help you find. It’s one of the most discussed topics in mathematics.

What is it?

In the previous article, I gave you the basics to understand formal logic, by focusing on sets of beliefs containing a contradiction and see that they were all equivalent. Let’s now look at the other ones. A set of belief that does not contain or imply a contradiction is called consistent.

Godel proved that whatever your system of beliefthere are statements that cannot be proved by it. The proof is actually not that complex, though I never understood it until I read some kick-ass vulgarization recently: Godel proved that in any system of beliefs, you can use the basic principles to express a statement similar to « This sentence is false » that cannot be proved to be either true or false.

As a follow-up to this result, Godel also proved that you can never prove that a system is consistent with the principles of the system. The proof is a bit more subtle but revolves around the fact that if you could, you could use that proof to prove that « This sentence is false » is true, and that’s absurd.

What does it mean?

Of course, Godel was talking about math stuff. The « system of beliefs » he was talking about was mathematical axioms like [1+1=2, you can always pick a random element in an infinite set…]. So you see that the beliefs I’m talking about can be very obvious and non-arbitrary. But the arguments hold whatever the system.

These theorems have huge implications for reasoning in general. It’s a formal proof that whatever you adopt as system of beliefs, there are things you cannot prove to be either true or false, and in particular you can’t prove that your system of beliefs is not inconsistent.

I think, if nothing else, this forces you to be humble vis a vis your beliefs, no matter how obvious and indisputable they are.

« There are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamt of in your philosophy. »

Transcending the system

So any thought system has necessarily shortcomings, and furthermore you can exemplify the limits of the system using the elements of the system. I like how this idea echoes the classic trope that every system contains their own undoing.

This article by SpeculativeWeeb is a really cool take on Godel’s theorem applied to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It highlights that Madoka essentially found this shortcoming of the system, the « this sentence is false » of her own world. She forces it to realization using her wish to Kyuubey. In a nutshell:

She wishes for all witches to vanish before they’re even born. However by doing so she becomes herself a witch, so she vanishes and can’t make that wish.

She exploited the shortcoming of the system in order to break it. The only possible resolution is to ditch this system, and a new one replaces it that manages the problematic element (a world without witches and without Madoka).

However, the new system is also bound to have a transcending element, which is what Rebellion tried to tackle with more or less success. Whatever you do, you can’t escape Godel… There’s no perfect system without transcending element.

Managing the transcendence

If any system contains their own undoing, some have certainly tried to manage this necessary shortcoming to make it foolproof.

The Matrix is an interesting example: machines first tried to build a utopia where everyone was happy, but a flawless system was bound to fail. Instead, they had to include faults in their system: they added unhappiness inside the Matrix to make it stable.

But of course as a system, this also had its shortcomings and had an element that could transcend it: the One. So the machines actually managed a meta-system which included the existence of a transcendental element as part of the plan, a chosen One who would have to make a dummy choice to keep the ball rolling. But hey, this is a new system, so it has to have something that can transcend it…

It’s not uncommon in this context to see the smartest systems try to include and manage their own undoing in such a way. There is countless examples in sci-fi, like The Giver, or Westworld. « ‘the plan fucks up‘ is an element of a bigger plan » is a classic trope in fiction. Note how it builds up on meta.

But no system does it quite as well as the real world. Indeed, the genius of neo-liberalism is to plan for this element of contingency, and to include the resistance to the system as part of the system. Everything can be monetized, even anti-conformism.

You can find more information on this trail of thought all around the webs, like this brilliant video for example:

Implication for the nature of the universe

What about the implications of the second theorem to the real world? If you can’t prove a system’s consistency from within the system, does it mean that we’ll never be able to prove formally that the world is deterministic? Does it mean that we can’t prove whether or not we’re in a simulation?

Arguably, it doesn’t really matter, because the world will be the same whatever you believe. Life will still follow deterministic patterns even if you can’t prove it. But it’s an interesting echo of Hume’s experimental philosophy. He argued that just because things have always happened a certain way doesn’t mean they’ll keep happening, and there’s no reason why the world couldn’t suddenly stop. If we are in a simulation, maybe the computer will stop, or change the parameters… How would we ever see that coming? Maybe this ambiguous report of causation and correlation is the transcendent part of our reality.

Everything could suddenly crash. But it won’t. That’s just how the world is. But maybe you can’t ever prove it. That’s intriguing.

Proof of God

Interestingly enough, as it pertains to our reflection about logic and religion, Godel was very proud to have proven the existence of God mathematically. Unfortunately, it is an ontological proof and is therefore total garbage.

Ontological Argument

However, Godel did prove that whatever the system, there is inherently something that transcends it. And that this something is contained within the system. I’m willing to let this be called God, for all the chaos and confusion that it will surely bring, even if it’s just a glorified alias for the logical concept of « This sentence is false ». In fact, let’s call that God-L, because it’s fun.

We’ve proved that whatever the system, it’s by nature incomplete. This incompleteness is God-L. There is always God-L, it is absolute. Furthermore, it’s true for any thought system, so it’s also true for a system that tries to encompass this fact. If you add God-L to your system, there’s still a God-L that transcends it (as we saw in the Matrix). What we want to call God-L is in fact the union of all these God-Ls, the infinitely meta-transcendence of all systems. But it is still incomplete and transcendable… Which makes it the perfect transcendental element of a meta-meta system that tries to reason about systems, which brings me back to my fixed point of meta

God-L is the very essence of incompleteness and unexplainability in the universe. Instead of being an all powerful wishgranter, it’s by nature lacking. Maybe it’s a nice tool for your spiritual health…

This article is the first of a series of 3 about Formal Logic and Religion. This is an introduction to formal logic, which requires no prior knowledge.

Much ink and blood have been spilled because of the similarities and dissimilarities of such and such religion, and I don’t aim at solving this issue at all, but I’d like here to consider a new more joyful perspective on it based on formal logic.

Introduction to formal logic

Formal Logic is the pompous name given to the study of the indisputable rules of causality that govern semantics. It is for instance what allows us to consider:

Socrates is a man. All men are mortal.

And to deduce:

Socrates is mortal.

As you can see, this reasoning is true no matter what and can be abstracted from the boundaries of language. That’s why logicians mostly use symbols. They’d say my two first propositions can be labelled A and B, and that A and B being true implies C being true.

Formal logic also studies fallacies, like:

Socrates is mortal. Horses are mortal. This does not imply that Socrates is a horse.

It’s all about considering rigorously the consequences of your premises.

1) Consequences of false premises

For this article, there are two points that are going to be important. The first one is what happens when the premise is false. You know it in popular culture as « When hell freezes over« . In this idiom, since [hell freezes over] is false (it will never happen), it can imply anything, such as:

When hell freezes over, I will turn into a werewolf.

Note that it doesn’t mean that the consequence is necessarily false.

When hell freezes over, I will do the dishes.

But maybe I’ll also do the dishes tomorrow if I’m feeling motivated. The premise will never be realized, so I can say whatever I want as consequence and still be consistent and right. In formal logic, it means that false implies anything.

When hell freezes over, [proposition P].

will be true whatever this proposition P is, no matter how absurd. Further reading.

2) Inconsistent set of premises

The second principle that I want to introduce you to is conjunction. It’s a fancy word to say « and ». Our example above is the conjunction of « Socrates is a man » and « All men are mortal ». We’ve done it with two propositions, but our set could be as big as we want, like:

[Socrates is a man, All men are mortal, All mortal things die, All dead things stop breathing] => Socrates will stop breathing.

We can even throw in stuff that has nothing to do with it if you want:

[Socrates is a man, All men are mortal, Cats are cute] => Socrates is mortal.

Now comes the twist. Remember the last paragraph? What if my set of premises is contradictory, like:

[Hell is always hot, Hell is frozen]

This is what we meant by the popular phrase « when hell freezes over » (it’s only a contradiction if we assume that hell will never freeze). Well in that case, my set of premises is equivalent to false, and can imply anything as we saw before.

[Hell is always hot, Hell is frozen over] = « When hell freezes over » = FALSE => [I turn into a werewolf, I do the dishes, Socrates is immortal, Socrates is mortal, whatever….]

For a conjunction to be true, all its propositions must be true: A and B and C is true if and only if all of [A,B and C] are true. Therefore, if something is false, you can add anything to it and it is still as false as ever: [FALSE and anything] is equivalent to FALSE.

When hell freezes over and cats are cute, I turn into a werewolf.

[Hell is always hot, Hell is frozen over, Cats are cute] = FALSE => [I turn into a werewolf]

You can add anything to your set of premises, if it contains contradictory propositions, it will still be equivalent to false. A bit like this conversation:

– When hell freezes over, I’m gonna move to Costa Rica and buy a huge mansion and get married and own elephants and fly… 

– I’m gonna stop you right there… it’s never gonna happen.

No matter how many propositions you add in there, it’s doomed to always be a non-possible scenario, aka False.

Application to religion

Now that we’ve mastered the basics of formal logic, let’s explore what it means for the real world, and in particular religions. Religions are sets of beliefs, which means the conjunction of a lot of propositions, which guide how followers live their lives. There are way more premises than our examples above, but it is the same kind of thing nonetheless. To take a really small subset as an example, the 10 commandments for instance are a conjunction of 10 premises:

[You shall not have other gods, You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, …]

If it’s not clear to you, you can replace the comas in the set above by « and ». It doesn’t have to be orders, it can be statements, like for instance the beginning of the old testament:

[God created heavens and earth, the earth used to be a formless void, God said « let there be light », …]

That’s all well and good, but remember our point (2): in a set of premises, if there is even one contradiction, the whole set is equivalent to FALSE.

Let’s pretend for one second that there exist an imaginary religion with contradictory principles. We’ll call it « false religion ». For instance, false religion could be based on these simple principles:

[Love your neighbour, Hate the gays]

Hope the contradictory nature of this set of principles is clear: if your neighbor is gay you’re supposed to love them and hate them at the same time. If this is too complex for you, consider the set of principles [everyone is good, gays are bad]. Remember that you can add any other premise you want to this set without changing anything.

Anyway, our imaginary religion’s set of beliefs contains a contradiction!!! It is equivalent to FALSE. Now remember 1): FALSE implies anything and everything. It means that the principles of my newly created religion can be used to imply any proposition whatsoever. For instance:

false religion => You should help people in need

false religion => We should ban the refugees

false religion => Everybody is equal

false religion => This group of people must be eliminated

Therefore, if such a religion existed, it would be a very convenient tool indeed!! It would be a set of principles to govern your life that would justify absolutely anything. Whatever your actions, they would be in keeping with the premises of these ground rules for living.

Example

Let us study an example of such religion. I’m talking about the famed Chewbacca defense. It goes as follows: the set of premises is:

[Chewbacca is a wookie, Chewbacca lives on Endor, only Ewoks live on Endor]

This is a contradiction, and is therefore equivalent to False. Therefore, it can justify anything and everything, including acquitting an obvious culprit for instance.

If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit.

False => acquit. 

 

 Conclusion

To sum up, we derived the following logical propositions:

Any religion/set of beliefs/principles that contains at least one contradiction is logically equivalent to false.

All such religions are logically equivalent to each other (and to the Chewbacca defense).

They imply (justify rigorously) by their very nature any and all proposition/behavior. 

Such a potential religion would naturally be very comfortable and convenient, and I understand its appeal. It would certainly provide its followers with comfort and self righteousness, all the while allowing and justifying anything logically without any accountability, since the responsibility lies with the set of principles. Just think of the possibilities of what one could do with this!!! Surely this could even impact worldwide history!

I am not recommending anything, but if you are interested in adopting such a system of principles, let me leave you with a recommendation: don’t bother with a lengthy list of premises, and instead adopt Falso* as your belief system, which is logically equivalent and will allow you to prove ANYTHING.

 

—————————

* I am not strictly affiliated or at least remunerated with Estatis in any way.

[Short story] Save point

When I die, I want the last thing I see to be your face. I want my last thought to be of you. I want to be close to you, be it in body or in soul… It will be scary, but it’s unavoidable, and with you I think I can face it.

When I die, remind me that there was no other way. Remind me that death comes for all, and that everything has an end. Tell me again how absurd it is to not accept that, and how useless it is to try and rebel.

Remind me that there’s no changing the past, that it is the only way things could have been. We never really had any choice, our lives were only the result of so many different forces pushing us.

Remind me that there is no changing the future, that it was always due to come this way. Everything was leading up to this all along. In a way, I always was and always will have been already dead.

Remind me that everything is deterministic, that every action has reasons and causes, which in turn have their causes themselves, and that this causal chain goes unmoving from the beginning of all to its end.

That’s how I wanna die. Facing the vertiginous infinity of time, embracing in its entirety this unabiding chain I am but a thread of. I think I find it comforting to be part of that neverending whole, even if it means I never had any choice…

I think I’ll be a lot less scared that my life is ending when I embrace the fact that Time means nothing, that the relentless chain of events always was and will be, and me within it.

So when I die, tell me about how absurd Time is, tell me about that infinity of moments we’re all connected to. Talk to me about the endless possibilities every second holds, which will only have lived in our minds.

Remind me of all the time spent in my own head, navigating through dream worlds or lost in my thoughts, envisaging unlimited possibilities for every moment I was breathing…

Tell me about the infinity of memories, where I dwelled over and over again, stretching these moments until fact was no different from fiction.

Tell me about those eternities captured in ink and paper, forever happening in books all around us. Tell me of these heroes forever starting and finishing their quests, making a mockery of time itself. Remind me of all the lives I’ve lived at their sides.

Remind me of all the time I’ve had, and all the time we’ve had together.

But most of all, remind me of this precise moment. This moment when we’re connected together through time and space. This moment when I’m writing these words. This moment, different but same, when you’re reading them. This moment, different but same, when I’m remembering them.

This moment forever immortalized on this page. This moment, but also all of these moments. This temporal singularity.

When I die, remind me of these words. I want to die remembering them. I want to die in this moment. This is where I want to remain, forever existing between now and never.

The moment I’m talking to you. The moment you’re hearing me. The moment you’re reminding me.

The moment when I’m remembering. The moment that I’m remembering.

The moment I’m imagining my death. The moment I’m dying.

The time when I’m staring at the absence of time.

When I die, remind me… of that time I imagined my death, and how I would spend it remembering that time I imagined my death, and how I would spend it remembering…

When I die, remind me that I am infinite.

Yop!

Just an update to say that i published You Doesn’t Exist on Steam:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/688650/You_Doesnt_Exist/

where it got waaaay more attention than I ever dreamed it would XD People obviously found a lot of bugs in rpgboss, but it looks like some of them enjoyed what I was trying to do, so that’s super cool :))

I’ll try to address as much bugs as I can and to be responsive to comments and criticism 🙂

 

 

Hi!

The version I uploaded previously had a few bugs that I corrected thanks to some great feedbacks. It prevented notably access to my favorite part of the game =s So here is a fixed version, with extra content for the ending:

http://www.yoannbourse.com/yde/

For those of you who tried the first version, you can easily transfer save by copy-pasting the files gamedata/save00000*.json from the previous version to this one.

Apologies and please enjoy the game!!!

You Doesn’t Exist

Hi all!

I just wanted to let you know that my first RPG-maker-like game is finished and available for free on this download page: http://www.yoannbourse.com/yde/

It’s pretty experimental, I describe it as half way between Chrono Trigger, Earthbound and the Stanley Parable. If you follow this blog you will find it very much in keeping with the tone 🙂

Set out on an adventure that challenges all the codes of the RPG genre, toying with its boundaries to create something unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
In a world full of magic and adventure, a young boy starts his apprenticeship to become a knight, protector of the Kingdom.
He will face many challenges along the way, but overcoming them will allow him to grow into the hero the world needs.
Join him in his quest to find himself, as his steps guide him towards something way bigger than him: the mystery surrounding the very nature of mankind and the fabric of reality itself.

 

I hope you play it and enjoy! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you find bugs or if you have comments or if you wanna be friends ^^

Nuage de Tags