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Old 01-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #32
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Join Date: May 2007
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Originally Posted by Yar-El
The original question was why do we move the decmal point two places to the left? I asked a simple question, and I was given the answer I don't know. This is not a mathematics logistics course.
A good question and an interesting answer to try and find.

But, considering how many thousands of years that Mathematics has been around, you might be hard pressed to find who first thought it up, in what way, and how it may have differed from today.

It is a very broad question to ask, as I'm sure you realize. It isn't like asking "Why did the German's support Hitler?" Its like asking...

"Who invented the brick" or "Why do we love domesticated dogs and cats?" or other such questions. You get where I'm going I hope.

The best answer I can give you is... Because it works?

A lot of these "Why do we do this" questions will lead you to many different answers and theories, but in the end a lot of it has just been lost due to the hard process known as time. Fallen out of History.

Your mathematics question is pretty spot on. Why do we move the decimal to the left? Why do we carry the number?

Again, the best answer I can give you is... it works.

Why do we use fire to cook our food? Why do we live in close knit groups? Why do we identify ourselves with names? Why do we rub cactus on wounds to numb pain?

Someone, along the long course of history found out that these things worked. Some things over time we've dis proven, changed, but in the long run we've simply improved and continue to improve upon our trial and error method that is the cornerstone of our intelligence.

The reason for moving the decimal to the left is, in its own way, self proven by the fact that it can give you a percentage. Self-evidence is a terrible argument, but like I said... we tend to do and pass on what works. Your reasoning is that when you run the numbers, you get the number you need to cut that wood, or count how much tax you owe, etc.

While its a fantastic question to contemplate, we may never know. History was much harder to record than it is now with computers, video, and photos. Before them, things were passed on by word of mouth to one another over generations.

That practice is still done today. Its about as impossible to escape as our own mortality. But, just because this happens does not make the word false. It just makes the original reasoning lost. But, isn't the fact that it is still passed on give it reason?

It would not be passed on if it was without any reason. It would be abandoned. The question you probably should be asking is:

"Why do we -still- move the decimal to the left"

To which the reply would be... well, you know the math.

Originally Posted by Yar-El
I fought with this question for years until I heard from several scholars facts we teach in schools and colleges are based on trust. They are not absolute; however, their merit is taken with blind faith. Don't take my word for it; thus, ask someone with superior knowledge the question. You will be surprised from their answer.
Superior knowledge?

If there are no facts, then why ask anyone anything? What is "superior knowledge" even mean then?

Your argument is running circles around itself.

Originally Posted by Yar-El
History books are written by the victor; thus, historical facts we learn are not based on absolute truth.
Point. But, as I stated above, you have to distinguish the line between scientific truth and opinion.

If I open up a History book in America, and then one in Europe, I'm sure I'll get 2 similar but subtly different renditions of World War 2. You can paint a pretty good picture with all of this, but you are correct in saying that subjective bias has gotten in the way of the complete story, which we will probably never absolutely know.

However, if I put every human on the planet in a room and then vacuumed it of Oxygen, 100% of the humans inside would die. Making the fact that current day humans need oxygen to survive an absolute.

Being that the OP states that facts can be absolutely true, the application of all fact and not simply that of subjective word of mouth must be applied.

Originally Posted by Yar-El
Nothing in current mankind's sciences and religions are absolute
Nothing? Saying nothing is an absolute. By claiming that you've ran this through some type of hypothesis, you are in fact using human science. And the conclusion you've come to is: Nothing. Again, the argument eats itself.

If I put you into a vacuum, you will die. You are a human. Your mother is female. There is grass in my backyard right now. I am sitting on a chair. I typed this post.

While some of those are subjective to me, I can assure you they are all absolute facts.

Unless, of course, you'd like to call them subjective. Again, I go back to my point that you might as well argue that we live in the Matrix and nothing we see, do, feel, etc is real at all and just a figment of our imagination as we are used to power an army of robots, and at any moment we can simply decide "that is not fact" and then jump 500 feet in the air.

Originally Posted by Yar-El
Its all taken on trust and faith.
By saying its all taken on trust and faith, you are attempting to state an absolute fact. Again, your argument eats itself.

Bush did 9/11 = Theory.

Planes hit the Twin Towers = Absolute Fact.

Originally Posted by Yar-El
Philosophical thinking becomes science when tests finds some type of credible resolution; however, the results are trusted to be accurate. There is no absolute answer.
Ok, I'm confused.

Is this thread about some facts being absolutely true, or is this some existential thread that talks about some "ultimate, all encompassing" absolute truth about everything?

Because, if I recall, the op says this:

"Facts can be absolutely true."


"What is the truth to all life, the universe, and everything?"

This thread is rapidly becoming existential, which has little to do with the topic of this thread.
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