[FoRK] Anything to be learned from religion?

Albert S. albert.scherbinsky
Fri Aug 12 07:16:30 PDT 2005

You raise some good points here, but I would disagree
with the blame being placed on axiomatic systems. The
blame belongs with the users of those systems.
Axiomatic systems are a gun, just watch where you
point that damn thing. :)

--- "J. Andrew Rogers" <andrew at ceruleansystems.com>

> The difference between math and science is that
> science has no axioms
> (except maybe math?).  That this difference exists
> is the result of explicit
> choices.  The closest things to axioms we have in
> science, like
> thermodynamics, falls out of the math anyway.
> The problem with axiomatic systems is that they
> assert 'truth' when no such
> assertion can be legitimately made by humans.  I do
> not have a problem
> working from some given set of assumptions as I do
> it all the time, but what
> I do have a problem with is when people do not
> recognize that those
> assumptions should not be treated as true axioms in
> the abstract.  The vast,
> vast majority of the time it is perfectly safe to
> treat the small number of
> de facto axioms as absolute truths, but it is also
> useful to keep in mind
> that those axioms are nonetheless arbitrary.
> My argument is not philosophical, at least as I see
> it.  It is more about
> knowing precisely what you have, to the extent
> possible, and not fabricating
> any convenient 'truths' or additional information to
> round out the
> collection.  There is nothing wrong with assuming a
> set of axioms if one is
> aware that this is what they are doing.

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