The Piggy Farm: [770] What Kind of Ice Cream goes best with a Koan? - The Piggy Farm

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[770] What Kind of Ice Cream goes best with a Koan?

#1 User is offline   MagiNation Icon

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 11:06 AM

Quote the Maiden "Can the Gawds make a rock so heavy he can't lift it?"

Quoth the Rock "Gawds no' exis'. They delusion."

Replies the Enigma: "Very well, if gawds are a delusion, it is a cultural delusion that many people believe in. Is it possible for a cultural belief to create a barrier to itself such that it cannot be resolved no matter how many people believe in it?"

To put it another way, if people want to believe in something, is there a logical contradiction big enough that no one can find a way to explain it away and maintain their belief?

*head explodes*
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#2 User is offline   ijuin Icon

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 01:31 AM

I would say no. The desire to believe at that point is entirely decoupled from logic and only depends upon the emotions of the believer.
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#3 User is offline   CmdrPage Icon

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:14 AM

Agreed. The human mind is too good at cognitive dissonance.

While I find the concept of an ice cream koan to be incredibly funny, that is largely dampened by the rest of the comic. It is such a naked injection of the author's real-world opinions as to border on opinion page political comics. All it is missing is labels on the characters.
Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers, all of which are true and terrifying to know
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#4 User is offline   MagiNation Icon

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:09 PM

True enough in terms of the question, but not in the spirit of the riddle.

The riddle asks if one could find a way to explain the contradiction.

Cognitive dissonance is easy, and the ability of large groups of people who believe something based on emotions was accepted in the premisis. What is questionable is if one of those populations could contain an individual capable of "justifying" the beliefs of the group.

Is there an upper limit to how far logic can be bent by a clever individual, and can there be a belief so erroneous that any individual above a certain level of intelligence with automatically see it as impossible and leave the group?
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#5 User is offline   ijuin Icon

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 11:18 PM

I would say that once the desire to believe is strong enough, the believers will completely dismiss the notion of needing to use logic to justify their belief. They will instead start claiming "it's faith!" or something similar. In other words, they will attempt NOT to explain the contradiction, and instead deny the existence of the contradiction if anybody attempts to point it out to them. If any person attempts to use logic on it, then they will claim that he is merely attempting to undermine their faith.

To answer your final question, if a belief is erroneous enough that those who are expected to support it are instead recognizing it as false, then the establishment will react to them with hostility anyway, and will attempt to either re-educate them or to expel or forcibly silence/eliminate them (see Galileo). The establishment can not tolerate having anybody poke holes in its beliefs.
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#6 User is offline   bulmabriefs144 Icon

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:45 AM

QUOTE (CmdrPage @ Mar 10 2008, 10:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While I find the concept of an ice cream koan to be incredibly funny, that is largely dampened by the rest of the comic. It is such a naked injection of the author's real-world opinions as to border on opinion page political comics. All it is missing is labels on the characters.


Actually, no you shouldn't get offended by this. By taking the bait and saying either yes or no about whether God/Gawds can make something so heavy that it can't lift, you are leading right into a spear and shield paradox. If God is omnipotent, he should be able to create something he can't do (or this would be a flaw in omnipotence), but by creating something impossible for himself, this makes something he can't do anyway, making him not omnipotent. Only by dodging the question (or coming up with extremely elaborate reasoning in which the answer is true AND false) can the question be moved on with.

The one answer that seems to make sense is that yea it could be created, but anything that can be created can also be destroyed, proving omnipotence another way. It may be unliftable, but something else can always be done even if a specific quality is barred.
"All religion, all philosophy, does not provide meaning. It is but the framework for an empty house. An empty house is a prison, but if there is someone to hold you, that house becomes... a home." -兄弟子
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#7 User is offline   Chaos Icon

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 01:24 AM

Interesting.. but I'm kind of merely wanting to enjoy the comic WITHOUT analyzing it.
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#8 User is offline   CmdrPage Icon

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 09:10 AM

Agreed...

QUOTE (bulmabriefs144 @ Mar 20 2008, 09:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (CmdrPage @ Mar 10 2008, 10:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

While I find the concept of an ice cream koan to be incredibly funny, that is largely dampened by the rest of the comic. It is such a naked injection of the author's real-world opinions as to border on opinion page political comics. All it is missing is labels on the characters.


Actually, no you shouldn't get offended by this. By taking the bait and saying either yes or no about whether God/Gawds can make something so heavy that it can't lift, you are leading right into a spear and shield paradox. If God is omnipotent, he should be able to create something he can't do (or this would be a flaw in omnipotence), but by creating something impossible for himself, this makes something he can't do anyway, making him not omnipotent. Only by dodging the question (or coming up with extremely elaborate reasoning in which the answer is true AND false) can the question be moved on with.

The one answer that seems to make sense is that yea it could be created, but anything that can be created can also be destroyed, proving omnipotence another way. It may be unliftable, but something else can always be done even if a specific quality is barred.

... and I fail to see what all that has to do with the subject of my disagreement. To be blunt, although they may look like trolls, the NPCs in this comic are actually straw men.

Incidentally, the answer to that particular question is "yes" and does not require much in the way of convoluted logic, just understanding of physics. If the rock you create is big enough (say, more than 50% of all matter in the universe though you could certainly achieve the effect locally with much less), after a certain point it can no longer be lifted in any sense of the term because it has no surface to rest on; rather, it is the surface that is being rested on by everything else. If you substitute "move" for "lift" the answer becomes "no" -- no matter how massive something is, it can be moved by any applied force, the amount of force just determines how quickly it moves.
Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers, all of which are true and terrifying to know
-Inquisitor Czevak

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Version: 3.12
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#9 User is offline   bizzybody Icon

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:15 PM

This reminds me of the "Amazing Stories" (or was it one of the latter-day incarnations of "The Twilight Zone"?) where some scientist is attempting to solve a complex equation that fills a blackboard.

In frustration he exclaims "I'd sell my soul to solve this equation!" and *poof* Satan appears, offering him the answer in exchange for his soul.

But there's an out, if the scientist can ask Satan to do something impossible for Satan to do, his soul is saved. He gets to ask three questions before giving Satan the (hopefully) impossible task.

I don't remember the first two questions, but the 3rd is "Is there anywhere in the universe you could go and be unable to find your way back here?" Satan answers that there is not.

The task? "Get lost." *poof* Satan vanquished, soul saved.
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#10 User is offline   Chaos Icon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:17 PM

I saw the same solution near the end of Sister Peace's story in "Castle Waiting" - I have the hardcover of Volume 1.
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