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Is Anything "Impossible"?

Posted by Ponderer 
Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 06:29PM
Seriously. Can anything be said to be impossible? Or are we logically or philosophically not allowed to ever use the word in reference to anything?

Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 06:52PM
Things can be said to be impossible, in the understanding that it's short hand for "so improbable it can be considered impossible for all intents and purposes".



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2015 07:00PM by TheThorn.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 06:57PM
Well there you go. Glad you admitted that that's how you think, Thorn.

When you guys get over this, you might start thinking about ET more clearly.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 07:01PM
Quote
Navy2711
Well there you go. Glad you admitted that that's how you think, Thorn.

When you guys get over this, you might start thinking about ET more clearly.

Care to elaborate a bit on that connection Navy?
Sam
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 07:56PM
Pondy, A square circle is impossible. So is a married bachelor. And agnostics ever understanding this? Maybe that, too. winking smiley
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 07:57PM
Quote
Ponderer
Seriously. Can anything be said to be impossible?

Yes. Contradictions are impossible. It's impossible for a car, say, to be green and not green in the same way, at the same time. IOW, a thing cannot both possess and not possess a property or characteristic. That's why given the common definitions of 'circle' and 'square,' it is impossible for a 'square circle' to exist.

The above relates to things that are logically impossible. They cannot be the case no matter what physical law is like. The logically impossible cannot even be conceived.

There are also things that are practically impossible in our particular world given our particular set of physical laws. Since physical law could have been different in the past or may be different in the future, the practically impossible is not strictly impossible in the same sense that the logically impossible is.

Terms like necessity, contingency, possible, impossible, etc., may best be described by 'possible worlds' theory.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 08:52PM
Pondy, the problem is not your terminology - you're using the words as 99.999% of the world uses them. The problem here is we are in the midst of the Selectsmart Debate Team and another "logic" thread. The Team - as usual - desperately wants to believe they are smarter than everyone else because they understand a cow jumping over the moon is not "impossible". They can wrap their minds around that one using "logic". We're here merely to bow to their superior intellect again, even though one has to wonder if they are so smart - how did they end up debating a bunch of idiots like us on this board? How come they're not - for example - in Houston right now working on a NASA project to send an Egyptian cow to the moon or something? How come Sam is a maid, Navy is one of 100 million people in the country snapping computer parts together for a living and Dick lives in his mom's basement? Because - bottom line - they aren't very good at logic either. But - being on the Debate Team - they understand it's possible they're very good at it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2015 08:54PM by Indy!.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 09:26PM
"one has to wonder if they are so smart - how did they end up debating a bunch of idiots like us on this board? How come they're not - for example - in Houston right now working on a NASA project to send an Egyptian cow to the moon or something?"

One doesn't have to wonder about that at all. Because it's not about intelligence. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the things we're trying to drive into your thick skulls. You only need the courage to accept as true those things that reality puts before you as being true.

That's the problem with the Believers. You guys don't have the guts to face reality. You're not idiots — not even you, Indy — and you really shouldn't put yourself down like that. You're just stuck in your mental comfort zone.

We all had fun making up stories around the campfire about ghosts and flying saucers as kids. Now it's time to grow up, guys.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 09:43PM
"Things can be said to be impossible, in the understanding that it's short hand for 'so improbable it can be considered impossible for all intents and purposes'." -Thorn

"Pondy, the problem is not your terminology - you're using the words as 99.999% of the world uses them." -Indy!

I have no problem if something is "for all intents and purposes" impossible, or only has only a .00000000000000000001%* probability of being possible, saying I believe that it's impossible or maybe even totally impossible. Am I wrong in that because technically I am ignoring a one in a septillion or whatever chance that it could happen? If you want to argue that I am, knock yourself out. I won't loose any sleep over disregarding a probability of one in a septillion, technically incorrect as that may make me.

*And for what it's worth, referring to a thread on another forum, I think that's a generous estimation of the probability of ancient Egyptians having ever built a craft that could travel to the Moon.

Sam
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 09:44PM
As usual Indy has to put others down and lie to make himself feel superior. Classic narcissist. Even a maid can see how sad that is. sad smiley
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 09:55PM
Quote
Sam
As usual Indy has to put others down and lie to make himself feel superior. Classic narcissist. Even a maid can see how sad that is. sad smiley

Reality dictates that if the maid can "see how sad the post is" - then the post is not a "put down" at all, but instead an accurate description of the maid.

Geez. And you folks pretend to know logic? eye rolling smiley
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 10:18PM
Quote
Navy2711
"one has to wonder if they are so smart - how did they end up debating a bunch of idiots like us on this board? How come they're not - for example - in Houston right now working on a NASA project to send an Egyptian cow to the moon or something?"

One doesn't have to wonder about that at all. Because it's not about intelligence. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the things we're trying to drive into your thick skulls. You only need the courage to accept as true those things that reality puts before you as being true.

That's the problem with the Believers. You guys don't have the guts to face reality. You're not idiots — not even you, Indy — and you really shouldn't put yourself down like that. You're just stuck in your mental comfort zone.

We all had fun making up stories around the campfire about ghosts and flying saucers as kids. Now it's time to grow up, guys.



Navy - thanks for the advice, bro. I'm seriously going to take your words to heart. I'm going to work as hard as I can to find the "courage" to "escape my mental comfort zone", "face reality" and "grow up" like you. I'll start this afternoon right after The Three Stooges.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 10:55PM
I want to see if I'm getting something straight here.

The Believers are willing to bandy about some of the following theories: Alien visitation, via wormhole travel. (Bear in mind that to the best of our current understanding, wormhole travel would require converting the mass of several solar systems into energy.) The idea that human life started as an alien farm experiment. Alien abduction where the aliens are able to cause the captive to lose all memory of, and sense of time for, the duration of the abduction. Government knowledge of, and conspriring with, aliens, and conspiracies to hide this from the public. I know you don't all agree perfectly on these things, and I know that theories about advanced human technology are involved — but at least one of you thinks the likelihood of the farming experiment theory is 51% or greater, and the rest of you seem to at least consider all of these ideas with a straight face.

But when considering the idea that Egyptian technology took off and reached the point of space travel, but then modern humans were left with no trace of this —say, because something crazy happened like aliens stepped in, took it away from them and put everything back like it was — your assigned probability drops to a "generous" one in one septillion?

You guys are just a hot mess. There ain't no helping you.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 10:58PM
"Navy - thanks for the advice, bro."

You're welcome.

Btw, your earlier posts about the Skeptics and how we think we're so smart? That's exactly the sort of stuff that everyone on this forum has come to expect from you when you're being outclassed. You're like a dumpy, nerdy high school girl making snide comments about the pretty ones.

You're problem isn't that we're smarter than you, Indy, although it seems that way often enough. Your problem is that we're right, and you're not.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2015 11:00PM by Navy2711.
Re: Is Anything "Impossible"?
February 06, 2015 11:27PM
I want to see if I'm getting something straight here.

The Believers are willing to bandy about some of the following theories: Alien visitation, via wormhole travel. (Bear in mind that to the best of our current understanding, wormhole travel would require converting the mass of several solar systems into energy.) The idea that human life started as an alien farm experiment. Alien abduction where the aliens are able to cause the captive to lose all memory of, and sense of time for, the duration of the abduction. Government knowledge of, and conspriring with, aliens, and conspiracies to hide this from the public. I know you don't all agree perfectly on these things, and I know that theories about advanced human technology are involved — but at least one of you thinks the likelihood of the farming experiment theory is 51% or greater, and the rest of you seem to at least consider all of these ideas with a straight face.

But when considering the idea that Egyptian technology took off and reached the point of space travel, but then modern humans were left with no trace of this —say, because something crazy happened like aliens stepped in, took it away from them and put everything back like it was — your assigned probability drops to a "generous" one in one septillion?


Well - first off - unlike you, I do not pretend to speak for anyone other than myself. But if you are asking if I am "willing to bandy about" some of those "theories"...

theory [thee-uh-ree, theer-ee]
6: contemplation or speculation:
the theory that there is life on other planets.

...then yes - I am "willing to bandy about" some of those theories. The reason (using the layman's term) being I don't have a stick up my ass like you and I'm "willing to bandy about" just about anything that is interesting or unusual for the sake of entertainment (if nothing else). And since we know from the Debate Team's incessant high-pitched harping that virtually anything is "possible" - I wonder why you would consider those ideas any less worthy of discussion on the board here than... oh... discussing the virtually useless and certainly not entertaining (based on the lack of board response) idea that "purpose is an illusion"? Did you have a reason (again - layman's usage) other than you - Navy the Logically Inclined - not being interested in those issues? IOW... your personal opinion? And - for the record - I would point out most of the alien visitation threads are started by a member of your Debate Team... Dick. So obviously some of the "skeptics" are more than willing to entertain those theories even if you - Navy the Decider of What's Debatable on Selectsmart - are not.


You guys are just a hot mess. There ain't no helping you.

Spoken like a true dumpy, nerdy high school girl. smoking smiley
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