Software Nerd

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hold that Contradiction

A contradiction is a bad thing, but an arbitrary resolution could be worse.

No rational person is going to claim that A is non-A. Real-life contradictions are more indirect. Say...

1) A is true
2) B is true
3) A implies C
4) B implies non-C

Resolving this means figuring where one made the error. Does A imply C? Does B imply non-C? Is C something that is always true or can it be that C is true in some contexts and non-C in others? What are those contexts?

Thinking takes time and effort. What if one does not expect to be encountered with a situation where the one has to decide between A or B? In this case what is the best way to store this in one's mind?

The way I would store it is: A appears true, B appears true, etc. (i.e. as uncertain knowledge and as an unresolved contradiction).

A bad approach would be this: "I know contradictions cannot exist, and I am slightly more certain that A is true, so I'll simply conclude that B is false and ignore the evidence to the contrary."

This invites disintegration.

If one has to act and choose, one must do so to the best of one's knowledge. However, one does not need to corrupt one's mind by accepting uncertain knowledge as being certain. So, be proud to hold your contradictions, as long as you realize that is what they are!


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