Where to draw the line: how Platonism haunts our discourse and the search for exorcism

by slimboyfat 168 Replies latest jw friends

  • slimboyfat
    How do you explain Pi without God?
  • cofty


  • OrphanCrow
    slimboyfat: How do you explain Pi without God?

    I used to take you seriously, sfb

    That comment, though, makes me question my perception of you

  • _Morpheus

    Beer is proof that god wants man to be happy.

  • slimboyfat

    I shouldn't mind not being taken seriously. It's less pressure. But I'd be interested what you find objectionable about the question. I can only imagine you considered it to be out of place, context or in some sense rude. But to me it's one of the most profound issues I keep coming back to. Mathematical relationships are arguably the purest kinds of unconstructed concepts available to us. They appear to exist independently of us and our awarenss of them. Where did they come from, if not from God? The idea that such laws can just exist of themselves and require no explanation seems unsatisfying somehow. An "inch" on the other hand, is straightforwardly constructed, and I can't find the enthusiasm to press the point, when it seems so obvious. So I'm more interested in Pi than an inch, hence the abrupt turn.

  • cofty

    Imagine walking in a circular path a certain distance from a fixed point.

    The further you are from that point the longer your path.

    The length of your path increases in proportion to the distance. The ratio between the two is slightly more than three.

    No woo-woo required.

    Pi is the lamest argument for god I have ever heard - and I've heard plenty. You are also equivocating about the meaning of the word god.

  • slimboyfat

    Why is Pi the value it is and not some other value? Could it be otherwise? To me God is the one for whom even these building blocks of reality are not taken for granted.

    Where is the equivocation?

  • cofty

    It's like we don't even speak the same language.

  • WhatshallIcallmyself

    Pi is the mathematical expression of the relationship between certain ways to measure distance in a circle/sphere. The relationship cannot physically be any different therefore the mathematical expression cannot be any different whilst we use base 10. Even if we were to use another base the physical relationship remains the same.

    It is what it is.

  • shepherdless

    Well if God or some other deity was involved in making PI the value that it is, why did he/she/it have to make it an irrational number? Damn unnecessary complication, if you ask me. Same goes for the Euler number.

    Not to mention, the idiot god that wrote the bible thought that PI was exactly 3.

    By the way, I remember learning the mathematical proof at Uni, a long time ago, that:

    PI = 4 x (1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7 + 1/9 - 1/11 + 1/13 ...)

    From that infinite series expression, you can calculate PI to as many decimal places as you like.

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