Short Model of Reality: Limits of Knowledge

Illuminated Dropped Capital The reality in which we exist and function has no absolutes. Two "laws" discovered in the fields of physics and mathematics show this to be true. In physics, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle shows us that we have limitations in perceiving the physical reality of which we are a part. We have limits on what we can absolutely know in physical reality. This is a subtle thing at the most basic level of physical existence but a very real limit on absolute knowledge. The other "law", originating in mathematics and logic, but extensible into all other disciplines such as philosophy, computer science and artificial intelligence, is Godel's Theorem. In a rough paraphrase by Eric Hofstadter, "this theorem states that no formal system capable of rigorous distinctions between truth and falsehood can ever be both consistent and complete". In my much rougher paraphrase, there is no system of thinking in which something doesn't come from outside the system. We are stuck with loose ends and unprovable assumptions. You can't get there from here. Looking back at the reality which we are permitted to know, we are blocked at the barrier with the two apertures beyond which we cannot normally perceive. We cannot truly know what is on the other side of this barrier. Outside of this reality is an even greater reality which includes only God knows what as well as possibly this reality to which we are limited. There are limits and uncertainties of knowledge and these are built into the basic fabric and organization of the Reality of which we are integral parts. The existence field entering and creating this reality contains potential but not content, Mind but not personal identity.

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   Copyright 2002,3 by Ted Vollers   

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