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Posted by Spratley on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 at 19:06:17 :
In Reply to: Absolutes posted by QuickBrownFox on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 at 16:22:57 :
: The only absolute is there are no absolutes;
: I once sat under a tree for many hours contemplating this, even perhaps realizing it. I do not necessaryily agree with this now in light of certain experiences I have had, but they could be explained in terms of psychology. Anyway - anyone got any thoughts?
I like to tweak it even further and say that there are no absolutes. . .not even "There are no absolutes." But if "there are no absolutes" isn't even an absolute, then I am suggesting that there is an absolute (or else there-is-no-absolute could be absolutely true. In other words, there is an absolute. But I just said there wasn't, didn't I (I said that there are no absolutes, not even there-are-no-absolutes.)
But. . . see how we're getting into a circle, a paradox --There can only be no absolutes unless there is an absolute (namely, that there are a no absolutes). Some people say that a paradox is a dead end, an incomprehensible sign warning us to turn around. Ithink paradoxes are portals to profound truth. I think every profound truth has a paradox around its neck.
So are there or aren't there absolutes? Ahh, that is not the profound truth that the paradox draws attention to. I'm not sure there are words to express the truth it does draw attention to. All I can say is "It draws attention to the fact that it doesn't matter if there are or not." But that isn't what I mean. I could say, "It draws attention to the fact that they are the same thing --absolute and not absolute." But that's not it either. I could say, "It draws attention to the fact that absolute and not-absolute are not mutually exclusive." But that's not it either.
I guess I'll just leave it at the tweak: If "no-absolutes" is an absolute, then there are absolutes. But if there are absolutes, and no-absolutes is one of them, then there are no absolutes. Loop-de-loop-de-loop-de-loop. MAybe its the paradox that keeps the universe running --its engine, a perpetual motion machine.
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