any implication …

when it rains, the street is wet

when it rains, the street is wet

“When it rains, then the street is wet.”

This statement is true under ordinary atmospheric conditions on earth. The statement itself is an implication. An implication is indicated by the word HENCE or the combination “IF … THEN” or “WHEN … THEN”, but also by the words INDEED … or BECAUSE …, and there are others.

Any implication has only one direction.

The implication is a one directional connection between two elements. In this case: “It rains” => “street is wet” making a combined statement.

When we reverse the direction between the two elements, our new statement is not true any more:

“If the street is wet” then this could be because a water pipe broke, or because the local government is cleaning, or because 5000 cows went through town, and decided all together to ease themselves on the street. So we cannot conclude that it rains just by seeing the street being wet.

However, if we first inverse the elements, and secondly reverse the direction, we end up with a new truth:

“The street is not wet” => “It does not rain”

As simple as what I state here above – one of the building blocks of philosophy, and logic – this is not understood by most people.

The main problem is our language.

We say things like “if a+b=10 then b+a=10”
In this statement the direction can be reversed, and then we end up with a double arrow and we should have said “saying that a+b=10 is the same as saying that b+a=10” or

“a+b=10” <=> “b+a=10”

<=> indicates the reversibility of the elements in the statement, hence being a symbol representing “if and only if” called the biconditional or equivalence.

So we have a problem in our language, resulting often in bad logic.

Those believing in Karma or its Western version, “The Law of Attraction” should think twice and find out whether there is more than one reason why people are in their life where they are in this life. And if there are indeed multiple possibilities – and I’m very sure there are – then they should think about 5000 cows in the street and not reverse the arrow hence pointing towards an inaccessible past.

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22 thoughts on “any implication …

  1. I am a firm believer, not in the after-life, but in the knowledge that life never ends, but just changes form. I also have as my main unshakeable mantra: All things work out in the end; if it hasn’t worked out, it isn’t the end. This says so much for me in a few short words. I don’t argue it out with people. There is no need. Believe as you will. I do not believe in a judgement by God; God is love; love is all. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what you believe, so believe what you are comfortable with. This goes against many, religiously-ingrained people, and they have been angry with me. As for “Law of Attraction” I believe in it, but I imagine to a different angle. I don’t think you get “what you deserve”, but what you focus intent on is drawn to you in that way. I don’t believe in being tested by God, but that God may allow events to teach you or show you things.
    Great Post – full of thought-provoking ideas,
    Scott

    • I love your comment. I respect your beliefs, they are quite congruent with mine. I see one reality in the ‘law of attraction’: I more often attract people of my own ‘level’ of thinking and mindset, and a lot less of those who are more different.
      This last year I surrendered a lot and my today’s belief system is tree house, compared to my villa of ten years ago. Perhaps one day I will live in a tent 🙂

  2. Very interesting post and comments. The image of 5000 cows wetting the street is just too funny and illustrative at once. I loved it. As someone who aced geometry and flunked algebra and had to drop a course in logic, wisdom says I should not say more. Well… here goes.

    Didn’t think of the post or the law of Karma in terms of the caste system or class, but, of course, you are right. It has been used that way. Somehow I thought the Law of Attraction as slightly different than Karma but I could be very wrong. I never liked that the Law of Attraction blamed the person for their circumstances. The law of Karma does, too, but as in past lives. As a believer in Karma, I will have to rethink this. To me it made the inequities of our lives easier to accept. Had never thought of it in terms of class or caste. Read once that we choose our lives when we incarnate to learn the lessons we have to learn. This is a powerful argument against suicidal inclinations– there is no escaping what we have to learn.

    Emotion has no place in logical proofs but how does one explain the strong feelings of attraction to very different places and people and the feeling of familiarity with them? I don’t think the past is truly inaccessible. It is true that this feeling of familiarity or affinity could be explained in terms of very early pre-verbal experiences in infancy and even in the womb. These are just feelings and emotions but sometimes so powerful and deeply rooted that I interpret them as glimmers from an inaccessible past.

    • We have many different smells of the karma perfume …

      ‘law of attraction’ is new age form, but quite old, in fact I found traces of it in Swedenborg’s writings, 18th century? The theosophist of the early 20th century also saw it as a form of karma. But it has been reinterpreted till what it has become now, affirmations and that kind of stuff, and the blame game by those extremists who cannot apply logic in the right direction, lacking any compassion, ending their judgemental talk by the merciless words: “You get what you deserve”.

      There is also Hindu Karma and Buddhist Karma. Hindu karma is the one we usually see as karma, with connection to rebirth, unfortunately leading to the historic caste system by the same kind of ignorant people not understanding logic. Buddhist karma focusses much more on immediate effects of action, but also talks about cessation. I don’t understand much about the many schools of interpretation of karma in buddhism. Only Nagarjuna posited that an action cannot have consequences in the far away future. And that at the same time karma exists and does not exist. http://soraj.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/emptiness-of-karma/
      I have always liked Nagarjuna. It is however a challenging author, not for beginners.

      Since my existential crisis gave me the freedom to stop inquiring metaphysics, and only accept that I will never know the answer to the eternal questions, I do not care much about an afterlife, hence not about the life before. Consequently, there is no time to waste. Whatever I want to do, has to happen now, in the present. Not in an inaccessible future.

      I honour what you write about places and people you feel or intuit about. This realm does not belong in my mind of memory or logic, but in the realm of silence. Whether it has to do with past life, or timeless interconnection, I don’t know. I accept that I will never know with my mind while here on earth. Perhaps I will be able to visit the timeless Silence more often. I would enjoy the timeless Peace.

      • Thank you so much for your kindness in explaining many things which I do not know. I also appreciate the references you sent yesterday and today. I can’t say I understood either one though nor fully grasped what was being said. Not the fault of the authors by any means. I have to accept that my mind cannot understand what I cannot see either with the naked eye or in the mind’s eye, or what I can sense. This is why I aced geometry and flunked algebra. Your posts are like geometric proofs. They are clear as glass and make logical progressions. I will stick with reading what you say.

        Your posts have made for some lively conversations in our house as my husband did religious studies while in school in Edinburgh. He can explain some things and others he cannot. But your point here is well taken. It doesn’t really matter what was before this existence or what will come after and we have only the present and are running out of time. I started with Yogananda’s lessons a few years ago and think I will continue. His emphasis on love and bringing together east and west is admirable. Also have been influenced by my husband’s best friend who is an SRF monk and seems to have found peace.

        Thank you immensely for honoring my experiences out of time which my doctor dismissed as psychosis or not in his jurisdiction. From where I stand now, I think I can see where I was psychotic and where something was at play. But again, your advice to waste no time on things we can’t know is sound– and it is advice I will take as my time here is more limited than ever.

  3. yes, there variables are many, but like in a complex math equation the order of operation makes a huge difference. I think we are generally in a place based on seminal decisions at key points in our life. Some are obvious, and some not so until later. However I don’t believe the ends justify the means.

  4. I could not agree more to this: “As simple as what I state here above – one of the building blocks of philosophy, and logic – this is not understood by most people.”
    I found it particularly interesting to analyze statements by politicians – on effects of political measures or explanations of why citizens act as they act – that often seem to defy simple logic.
    A Wittgenstein-y post!

  5. Bert, As a former student of analytic philosophy, I smiled at recalling those constructs and symbols of logic. But I was especially taken with the turn at the end of the post.

    To look backward and imagine that you can trace a causal chain to where you are right now is to ignore the infinite variables that swirl about us and affect the place and circumstances of right now. Similarly, to imagine that by our choice right now we can later arrive at a set of desired circumstances is a form of the same mistake. What’s common to these wrong ways of thinking, I believe, is the illusion of control- that we control what others will do and what will come by our actions and choices.

    Perhaps the even greater cost of this illusion is the way it takes us out of our present moment. All we have is right here, right now. Looking back, looking ahead, judging the past, projecting the future- all distractions from the one thing truly in our hands- our self in this moment.

    A great post. Thank you.

    Tom

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