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John_Mark_Rozendaal comments on How to Convince Me That 2 + 2 = 3 - Less Wrong

53 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 September 2007 11:00PM

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Comment author: John_Mark_Rozendaal 28 September 2007 01:32:22AM 2 points [-]

The truth of an arithmatic equation and the truth of the content of a religion like Islam or Christianity are really not comparables at all. Within the domain of mathematics, "two plus two" is one definition of "four". Conversely, "four" is one definition of "two." (In a sense these truths are tautalogical.)

The Greeks noticed that mathematics is a field of knowledge that can be developed entirely in the mind. The manipulative objects that we use to teach children basic arithmetic operations are not actually the subjects of arithmetic, but crude illustrations of ideas (ideals) that are universal in the most absolute sense of the word - they are part of the universe.

Religions seek knowledge by entirely different methods, methods that are not subject to any kind of proofs ore verifications. (I think it weird that religious people consider it a virtue to cling to ideas for which no data of any kind can be summoned for support.)