Re: virus: Re: Social Metaphysics

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 14:13:27 -0700 (PDT)

On Thu, 18 Sep 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> Without the possibility of reasonable argument, there are only two
> remaining ways to convince someone of something[3] and those are
> fraud[4] and force.

I assume you put marketing, persuasion and trust in the "fraud" category.

> [4] By "fraud" I'm including fallacious arguments.

Do you consider hypotheticals to be a form of "fraud"?

> [5] Hey, a footnote within a footnote! Prof. Tim was (repeatedly :-) asking
> what would be different if real inconsistencies are possible. For one
> thing it would be impossible to convict someone of a crime because the
> way it works is the defendant is assumed to be innocent, then an effort
> is made to show that the assumption is inconsistent with the acknowledged
> facts. If inconsistencies are possible, then the court would never have
> a good reason to convict someone and a justice system would be impossible.

What if the inconsistencies only occur under 12,000 lbs of atmospheric
pressure? Or in a vacuum? Or at a sub-atomic or macro-cosmic level?

Just because water boils at 33 degrees in a vacuum doesn't mean it will in
my kitchen. All such arguments on the list so far have this fatal
flaw--they assume just because something is possible it will be prevalent.
An un-glamorous error at best.

-Prof. Tim