## Impossible Questions

Non-game-related stuff (beta)

### Re: Impossible Questions

Being in a casino in a vacuum in a vacuum with no money to play with.

Does the set of all sets contain itself?

Error-QM

Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:16 pm
Location: Mind The Gap, forever.

### Re: Impossible Questions

Set-ception??? Haha, I suppose it would contain itself. And inside the contained set of all sets would be another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets inside of which is another set of all sets.................

It reminds me of other infinite paradoxes, one specifically coming to mind is the Infinite Regress Argument made by skeptics questioning the premises of any argument.

It goes as such:
Premise 1. Any given piece of knowledge (a) can must be supported by stating another piece of knowledge (b) in order to be true.
Premise 2. That second piece of knowledge (b) would require a third piece of knowledge (c) to be proven true.
Premise 3. That third piece of knowledge (c) would require a third piece of knowledge (d) to be proven true.
Premise 4. Because there can never be any "first" proof of an argument, whatever happens to be the first premise (in this case, I only went to (d), but as you can tell it will go on indefinitely) will never be 100% known to be true.
CONCLUSION: Nothing is known to be absolutely true.

Premise 1 seems pretty logical because every piece of evidence in a court case, every mathematical equation, and most pieces of knowledge we encounter come with some support.

However, the paradox that arises if Premise 1 is originally believed to be true, then the conclusion will be held true. The problem is, how can we know that Premise 1 is true if the conclusion that follows is that nothing can be known to be absolutely true? Therefore Premise 1 is not necessarily 100% true, which goes against what was originally believed. So here is my impossible question: Is Premise 1 true?

Follow up question: Can we ever know anything with absolute certainty?

Extra Credit: Is it possible to know something without proving that it is true? If so, what do you know, and why do you not need to prove it?

schmittd

Posts: 1038
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:34 pm
Location: Limitless possibilities. One Game. One Purpose. Fantastic Contraption.

### Re: Impossible Questions

I know with absolute certainty that I do NOT know the answer.

bakuganfan465

Posts: 8
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:53 am
Location: Mt. Silver

### Re: Impossible Questions

schmittd wrote:So here is my impossible question: Is Premise 1 true?

Follow up question: Can we ever know anything with absolute certainty?

Extra Credit: Is it possible to know something without proving that it is true? If so, what do you know, and why do you not need to prove it?

Question #1: It is neither true nor untrue. It is a paradox like you stated. Good thing paradoxes never happen. If Pinocchio said "My nose will grow longer." what would happen? Chainsaw mode? Nothing? Explosion? If he said that, who knows what would happen, so good thing there aren't puppets with lie-detecting noses.

Question #2: We can in fact know some things with certainty. I have thought about this a lot, and I have come up with only two things that you can know for sure. The first is that the universe exists. You are constantly observing it with your five senses, and therefore something exists. It may not be at all what we say it is, but something exists. The only other thing I can think of is that certain mathematical principles are true. The only reason I can prove that certain mathematical principles are true is because they aren't real things, only figments of our imagination with perfect laws to govern them. For example, if one of something is there and another one joins it, you know there are two. Or to get more complex, pi will always be 3.1415... no matter what your vision of the universe is. It's just a simple ratio.
Of course, remember that pi may not necessarily be 3.1415... it could also be 3.131313131... or perhaps the square root of 10. Because the only reason you think pi is 3.1415... is because you have been told that. Have you ever gone out and measured a giant circle yourself to get exact measurements yourself? Even if you have, your measuring tape could have been off. If you used a calculator, your calculator could be wonky. If you used a pencil and paper, you could have made mental errors. We do not know pi exactly, we only know that the ratio exists. Or do we? To know that we have to know that perfect circles exist, but they don't. No perfect circle exists in nature, not even an electron or a quark or the circumference of a string. Pi, circles, and math itself are all figments of our imagination, but we know they exist because we are the observers of the universe.
I therefore conclude that the universe is only as we see it. A tree only falls if someone witnesses it and thinks it fell. In fact, the universe only exists as long as there is life there to witness its existence, yet it does not let life itself know anything except that the universe exists and a few mathematical principles.

Question #3: It is not possible to know something for sure unless you prove it, though some people would say differently, commonly religious people, who know their religion is true though they have no tangible evidence. Some say that knowledge can just kind of appear, but it doesn't make sense to me. Then again, things just kind of "appear" all the time with no apparent cause. That is what dark energy does, it creates something from nothing. It creates space, time, gravity, matter, everything you need in a universe from nothing. But dark energy isn't everywhere, according to astronomers, so it could be part of the stuff from the big bang. But then again, the big bang kind of came from nothing as well, according to some astronomers. Some also say it came from the tattered remains of an older universe, or came through another dimension of space from another universe. But where did everything start? Who knows. Maybe it didn't have a start, maybe some things are just there, in which case you do not always need proof to show that something exists. I don't think question #3 is answerable, but I tried, eh? Extra credit?

My question, back to the pi idea:

Why is pi the number that it is?
Maximirobbes

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: The Murican West

### Re: Impossible Questions

Maximirobbes wrote:
schmittd wrote:So here is my impossible question: Is Premise 1 true?

Follow up question: Can we ever know anything with absolute certainty?

Extra Credit: Is it possible to know something without proving that it is true? If so, what do you know, and why do you not need to prove it?

Question #1: It is neither true nor untrue. It is a paradox like you stated. Good thing paradoxes never happen. If Pinocchio said "My nose will grow longer." what would happen? Chainsaw mode? Nothing? Explosion? If he said that, who knows what would happen, so good thing there aren't puppets with lie-detecting noses.

Question #2: We can in fact know some things with certainty. I have thought about this a lot, and I have come up with only two things that you can know for sure. The first is that the universe exists. You are constantly observing it with your five senses, and therefore something exists. It may not be at all what we say it is, but something exists. The only other thing I can think of is that certain mathematical principles are true. The only reason I can prove that certain mathematical principles are true is because they aren't real things, only figments of our imagination with perfect laws to govern them. For example, if one of something is there and another one joins it, you know there are two. Or to get more complex, pi will always be 3.1415... no matter what your vision of the universe is. It's just a simple ratio.
Of course, remember that pi may not necessarily be 3.1415... it could also be 3.131313131... or perhaps the square root of 10. Because the only reason you think pi is 3.1415... is because you have been told that. Have you ever gone out and measured a giant circle yourself to get exact measurements yourself? Even if you have, your measuring tape could have been off. If you used a calculator, your calculator could be wonky. If you used a pencil and paper, you could have made mental errors. We do not know pi exactly, we only know that the ratio exists. Or do we? To know that we have to know that perfect circles exist, but they don't. No perfect circle exists in nature, not even an electron or a quark or the circumference of a string. Pi, circles, and math itself are all figments of our imagination, but we know they exist because we are the observers of the universe.
I therefore conclude that the universe is only as we see it. A tree only falls if someone witnesses it and thinks it fell. In fact, the universe only exists as long as there is life there to witness its existence, yet it does not let life itself know anything except that the universe exists and a few mathematical principles.

Question #3: It is not possible to know something for sure unless you prove it, though some people would say differently, commonly religious people, who know their religion is true though they have no tangible evidence. Some say that knowledge can just kind of appear, but it doesn't make sense to me. Then again, things just kind of "appear" all the time with no apparent cause. That is what dark energy does, it creates something from nothing. It creates space, time, gravity, matter, everything you need in a universe from nothing. But dark energy isn't everywhere, according to astronomers, so it could be part of the stuff from the big bang. But then again, the big bang kind of came from nothing as well, according to some astronomers. Some also say it came from the tattered remains of an older universe, or came through another dimension of space from another universe. But where did everything start? Who knows. Maybe it didn't have a start, maybe some things are just there, in which case you do not always need proof to show that something exists. I don't think question #3 is answerable, but I tried, eh? Extra credit?

My question, back to the pi idea:

Why is pi the number that it is?

pi is the number of times the radius of a circle can fit around its circumference...

edit: half of its circumference, my bad

camaro 09

Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:18 pm
Location: east coast

### Re: Impossible Questions

Ouch! That would be 2Pi, or Tau.
Edit: gotcha

marjo

Posts: 380
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:56 pm

### Re: Impossible Questions

marjo wrote:Ouch! That would be 2Pi, or Tau.
Edit: gotcha

its getting late for me lol

camaro 09

Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:18 pm
Location: east coast

### Re: Impossible Questions

Why is Gollum scared of Christmas?

halfmaster1

Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:45 pm
Location: About halfway between here and there.

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