Nerds on Christmas Eve

Only a true nerd would post Nerd Self-Help on Christmas Eve. And look how many comments there were that evening!

One of those comments is such a beauty that I have to re-post its core argument:

It’s not very helpful to assign a predicate E(x) to mean “x exists”, since you are forced to conclude ∀x E(x).

After all ~∀x E(x) is equivalent to ∃x ~E(x), a contradiction.

Hours of philosophical dispute resolved with a two-liner!

Also, Scott mentions Kant’s refutation of Anselm’s ontological proof of the existence of God, which gives me an opportunity to link to Goedel's ontological proof, which fascinated me for quite a while when I first learned about it many years ago. (Nowadays it is on Wikipedia and you can easily read all the pros and cons arguments.)


Anonymous said...

The proof is obviously crazy, because x="the negative number bigger than zero" clearly does not exist

Jair said...

Thanks for the compliment. All I did though was take Scott's point and turn it into symbols... that's the only way I can understand anything these days. I may not understand existence, or existentialism, but I at least understand the existential quantifier!