No Ontology without Epistemology: Of God and Mathematicians

God, or just some dude with a beard and a good muscular build?

God, or just some dude with a beard and a good muscular build?

On the Big Ideas Blog there is a post about the different types of reasoning, Analytic vs. Synthetic, and their relavence to the existence or non-existence of God.  But, my favorite passage was one concerning we mathematicians:

The requirement of reasonableness might be illustrated as follows. Imagine Tom, John and Jane live in a country run entirely by mathematicians. Their whole culture is built on analytic thinking — only water-tight logical proofs are considered to have any real force. Well, then it would hardly matter how careless Tom had been in disguising the murder, since any number of outlandish explanations for his innocence might be put forward. If you require that Tom is innocent until analytically proven guilty then he’ll get off scot-free, as will every other criminal. This is why mathematicians are rarely given anything important to do.

(Emphasis mine)

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One response to “No Ontology without Epistemology: Of God and Mathematicians

  1. Axioms are fantastically creative imaginations of our species…and none of them can be proved to be true without presumptions…for ‘mathematics’ is not about ‘truth’ – a subjective idea as with many other subjective ideas we grapple with in our day to day life or within intellectual domains…and…this is exactly the reason why analysis of axioms remains as abstract as it is…whereas all other mathematics are ‘deemed’ wrapped in water-tight proofs but only as long as they are off-shoots of ‘presumptive’ axioms…we presume clarity makes perfect sense! … hence we admire our tight-proofing elegance of conventional mathematics…though we are also aware of the fuzzy logic…another elegant abstraction derived through our experiential subjectivity… .

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