# Relativity vs Identity

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Greetings Friends

Over at the Internet Infidels Discussion Board on Link to Thread a commenter, Red Dave, claims that Relativity Theory disproves the law of identity, A=A.

Red Dave says referring to Special Relativity "Time dilation, length contraction and mass increase all demonstrate that an object can display two values of the same parameter simultaneously, and, therefore, A does not equal A."

Length Contraction

Time Dilation

Mass Energy Equivalence

Does Red Daves complaint from 2004 have merit? Does Special Relativity imply the Law of Identity only holds in special cases?

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Does Red Daves complaint from 2004 have merit? Does Special Relativity imply the Law of Identity only holds in special cases?

If A is a process, which it appears everything is on sub-atomic levels, then saying A=A makes no sense. By the time you finished saying "A=A" it will have changed. I know this is not what you wanted to hear

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G.S.

However, at whatever slice of time and however finer you make that slice of time, that entity is itself and CANNOT both be itself and not itself at the exact same moment.

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G.S.

However, at whatever slice of time and however finer you make that slice of time, that entity is itself and CANNOT both be itself and not itself at the exact same moment.

I suppose that's true BUT we can't stop time so it's really a moot point.

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G.S.:

Is it really?

A is A then, you agree, whether it is moot or not.

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Greetings Friends

Over at the Internet Infidels Discussion Board on Link to Thread a commenter, Red Dave, claims that Relativity Theory disproves the law of identity, A=A.

Red Dave says referring to Special Relativity "Time dilation, length contraction and mass increase all demonstrate that an object can display two values of the same parameter simultaneously, and, therefore, A does not equal A."

It may be true that the atoms in my body all have multiple states, but the process and compilation of these multiple states is part of the conceptual definition of me. The same is true of a blue toy. Despite all these processes and inability to specifically define the smallest quantities of matter within the blue object, I can define the overarching object under which all these fluctuations exist, and so my definition necessarily incorporates multi-value components. Therefore, A=A when A is a specific fluctuating process of multiple states a1, a2, a3. After all, I can name a star, and a star is also a process of atomic transformations, all of which are guided by probabilities way beyond my grasp.

Christopher

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Does Red Daves complaint from 2004 have merit? Does Special Relativity imply the Law of Identity only holds in special cases?

If A is a process, which it appears everything is on sub-atomic levels, then saying A=A makes no sense. By the time you finished saying "A=A" it will have changed. I know this is not what you wanted to hear

Thank you for your input Mr. general semanticist. Please don't be offended, but my question was about Identity vs Relativity and not Identity vs Quantum physics. Since I'm still learning about Objectivism, my questions are intended to assist me in elucidating my understanding. However and in a general way, it seems to me that if those who defend the unknowable or the unreasonable or the incomprehensible by constructing a bulwark of Quantum indeterminacy do so at risk of making their stand in the fortress of solipsism and skepticism. If A=A fails, then nothing is knowable and there is no fixed reality. In such a case there would be no possibility of reason, and our whatever we take for existence would not be real.

Red Dave and his buddies on the Internet Infidels Discussion Board castigated the few defenders of Objectivity and a knowable reality in part by accusations of question begging in reply to the first Objectivist Axiom. They said that "Existence Exists." was a tautology. Both of those assertions are stolen concept fallacies because they presume to argue against the proposition while having to suppose the Axioms are true. When G.E. Moore held up his hands and recognized them as his hands that was question begging so his critics said. But that was itself a question begging stolen concept. To engage in any activity is to be conscious of something. Isn't the fact that a thing is recognizable evidence that there is indeed Existence, Consciousness and Identity? When people like Red Dave assert proposition P are they not simultaneously also asserting that not-P is not the case? If they are, then isn't that proof reality is real? If they are not, then is reality not real? What then am I and what is this stuff I think I perceive? If your correct, how can you be correct? If there is no Identity, then there is no existence, for to exist is to exist as something specific.

As a modus tollens it would go as:

If Existence, then Identity.

Not Identity

Therefore Not Existence

Oh yeah, I forgot, without A=A there is no logic, so there would be no modals.

Thank you for the time you fantasized that you spent in replying to my question. Nevertheless, I'm still questioning about relativity. It also occurs to me that if you and folks like Red Dave are right, then why should a person not act out their fantasy of being Conan or Attila or Black Beard?

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The Law of Identity works as long as we don't look to closely and so it good enough for everyday life. It's just like Newton's Addition of Velocities, it works for massive objects at slow speeds, which is what we mostly deal with.

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Robert B.:

Here is a possible response to the tautology argument/statement:

"In rhetoric, a tautology is an unnecessary or unessential (and usually unintentional) repetition of meaning, using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice (often originally from different languages). It is often regarded or thought of as a fault of style and was defined by Fowler as "saying the same thing twice". It is not necessary or essential for the entire meaning of a phrase to be repeated; if a part of the meaning is repeated in such a way that it appears as unintentional or clumsy,lacking in dexterity, then it may be described as tautology. On the other hand, a repetition of meaning which improves the style of a piece of speech or writing is not usually described as tautology, although and despite the fact that it may be a logical tautology."

Anybody want to argue with me about whether Ayn was a rhetorician, or whether she chose words virtually perfectly?

There was a serious point about those two words. When I first came across them in Atlas, I can remember exactly where I was, because I looked at the sun breaking over the eastern mountain as I sat cross legged on the Delaware River shore and said, "But of course, how else could it possibly be." The sun was slowly burning off the morning river fog and I made a mental note of how corny this would sound to folks.

Additionally, I used to debate these general semanticists and reality can never be understood Platonists. It would be 5 in the morning and I would finally make a fist and tell the subjective reality person to think that it was a warm spring breeze and then cock my fist back.

It was amazing how A became A with extreme clarity.

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Greetings Friends

Over at the Internet Infidels Discussion Board on Link to Thread a commenter, Red Dave, claims that Relativity Theory disproves the law of identity, A=A.

Red Dave says referring to Special Relativity "Time dilation, length contraction and mass increase all demonstrate that an object can display two values of the same parameter simultaneously, and, therefore, A does not equal A."

Length Contraction

Time Dilation

Mass Energy Equivalence

Does Red Daves complaint from 2004 have merit? Does Special Relativity imply the Law of Identity only holds in special cases?

Special Relativity in no way contradicts the logical law of identity or the logical law of non-contradiction. If two events are observed in different inertial frames in uniform motion wrt to each other the times and positions will differ but the -interval- will be the same. The intervas ds is defined by the equation:

ds^2 = -dt^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2 where dt, dx, dy, dz are the time and spatial differences for the two events. In either frame ds^2 is the same. The Lorentz Transformation group is the set of transforms which keep the interval invariant. It is analogous to the set of transformations on a Euclidean space that keep length invariant. The set of such transforms are the isometries on the space.

Look at it mathematically and the mystery disappears. Intuitively you have to give up on the notion that simulteneity is absolute. Events simultaneous in one frame are not simultaneous in a an other frame in uniform motion wrt to the first. This is hard to do at first, but work on it and it will come clear to you.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Additionally, I used to debate these general semanticists and reality can never be understood Platonists. It would be 5 in the morning and I would finally make a fist and tell the subjective reality person to think that it was a warm spring breeze and then cock my fist back.

What, you can't get someone to agree with you so you resort to violence? Real intelligent.

Edited by general semanticist
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G.S.

I particularly shaped your reality by my description and then let you fall into the rhetorical trap that I hit someone.

I let your rather undisciplined mind which reflects how you allegedly "see" reality as an undisciplined morass complete the picture.

However, I never hit anyone with that particular physical proof. However, it was quite effective in bringing the individual into a focus on the real world.

The individual that felt the reaction in their own mind of the objective reality of a clenched fist achieved the realization that the psycho babble was useless in reality.

So, if you wish to continue to visit reality as a tourist, which is fine, we will defend your right to do so and I will be a permanent resident of existence which by the way exists.

Edited by Selene
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Thank you for your input Mr. general semanticist. Please don't be offended, but my question was about Identity vs Relativity and not Identity vs Quantum physics. Since I'm still learning about Objectivism, my questions are intended to assist me in elucidating my understanding. However and in a general way, it seems to me that if those who defend the unknowable or the unreasonable or the incomprehensible by constructing a bulwark of Quantum indeterminacy do so at risk of making their stand in the fortress of solipsism and skepticism. If A=A fails, then nothing is knowable and there is no fixed reality. In such a case there would be no possibility of reason, and our whatever we take for existence would not be real.

Red Dave and his buddies on the Internet Infidels Discussion Board castigated the few defenders of Objectivity and a knowable reality in part by accusations of question begging in reply to the first Objectivist Axiom. They said that "Existence Exists." was a tautology. Both of those assertions are stolen concept fallacies because they presume to argue against the proposition while having to suppose the Axioms are true. When G.E. Moore held up his hands and recognized them as his hands that was question begging so his critics said. But that was itself a question begging stolen concept. To engage in any activity is to be conscious of something. Isn't the fact that a thing is recognizable evidence that there is indeed Existence, Consciousness and Identity? When people like Red Dave assert proposition P are they not simultaneously also asserting that not-P is not the case? If they are, then isn't that proof reality is real? If they are not, then is reality not real? What then am I and what is this stuff I think I perceive? If your correct, how can you be correct? If there is no Identity, then there is no existence, for to exist is to exist as something specific.

Two cheers for the stolen concept fallacy, the stake we drive into the heart of any vampirous (i.e. sucking, can't see light of day) philosopher's argument!

Hip-hip hurray!

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Special Relativity in no way contradicts the logical law of identity or the logical law of non-contradiction.

And what is the distinction between the Law of Identity and the logical Law of Identity? 2-valued, aristotelian logic works fine in mathematics but only pretty good everywhere else. You need 00-valued logic of probability to deal with modern physics.

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G.S.

I particularly shaped your reality by my description and then let you fall into the rhetorical trap that I hit someone.

OMG, you are so clever! I should have known it was a trick.

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G.S.

And when the 00 comes up on that roulette wheel, does Neptune turn into a Dike on a Bike from the San Francisco chapter or does it remain Neptune?

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If A=A fails, then nothing is knowable and there is no fixed reality. In such a case there would be no possibility of reason, and our whatever we take for existence would not be real.

You never step in the same river twice. The name of the river remains the same but the river is constantly changing. This does not mean we can't know anything about it nor any less real.

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If A=A fails, then nothing is knowable and there is no fixed reality. In such a case there would be no possibility of reason, and our whatever we take for existence would not be real.

You never step in the same river twice. The name of the river remains the same but the river is constantly changing. This does not mean we can't know anything about it nor any less real.

Hello Sir and good evening. I hope you are yours are well. It is my intention to always remain on friendly and cordial relational grounds with those I interact with on message boards.

Thank you for the river metaphor. I've always enjoyed those times I had to spend near moving waters. The sound of a babbling brook is soothing. Nevertheless and in spite of the failure of the Theory of Elemental Waves, the orthodox Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum physics is being challenged. Although, I suspect you and the regular denizens already are aware of Eric Denis' article at Quantum Mechanics and Dissidents on the Objective Science site. Denis explained with the following.

In fact, a politically disinclined group of dissidents--including Einstein, Schrodinger, David Bohm, and John Bell--maintained their commitment to realism against the idealist and positivist tendencies of the physics establishment [11].

There is a misconception, of some currency, that Bell's results close the door on all realist versions of quantum mechanics. This is ironic because these very results were motivated by Bell's surprise and profound appreciation upon discovering such a version already in the literature. This was David Bohm's completion of an idea that started with Louis de Broglie. It has emerged as a powerful and precise alternative to the fuzziness of standard theory.

The de Broglie-Bohm (dBB) theory is the most straightforward way of including real particles, with continuous trajectories and well-defined velocities, into the mathematical framework of quantum mechanics. Bohm showed, with real particles, how measurement processes may be put on the same footing as all other physical processes, reproducing quantum predictions while obviating any notion of observer-created reality, indeterminism, probability-as-fundamental, or "wavefunction collapse.''

Denis goes on to convey in footnote 11 that:

"Any serious consideration of a physical theory must take into account the distinction between the objective reality, which is independent of any theory, and the physical concepts with which the theory operates. These concepts are intended to correspond with the objective reality, and by means of these concepts we picture this reality to ourselves." from Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen, Phys. Rev., vol. 47, pp. 777 (1935).

"For example, would it be possible for us to choose the natural laws... in accordance with our tastes...? The fact that we cannot actually do this shows that these laws have an objective content, in the sense that they represent some kind of necessity that is independent of our wills and of the way in which we think about things." D. Bohm, Causality and Chance in Modern Physics, pp. 165, Harper (1961).

Bell advocates a "programme for restoring objectivity" to physical theory, which "will not be intrinsically ambiguous and approximate.... Rather it should again become possible to say of a system not that such and such may be observed to be so but that such and such be so." in "Subject and Object," Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics.

Denis describes how de Broglie-Bohm (dBB) theory explains quantum phenomena without resort to indeterminism. Thus dBB entails that the effort to replace Axioms with mysticism, reason with appearances, morality with altruism, and capitalism with collectivism is unjustified.

The following newer work supports Denis' assertions. Time in relativistic and nonrelativistic quantum mechanics by H. Nikolic

The kinematic time operator can be naturally defined in relativistic and nonrelativistic quantum mechanics (QM) by treating time on an equal footing with space. The spacetime-position operator acts in the Hilbert space of functions of space and time. Dynamics, however, makes eigenstates of the time operator unphysical. This poses a problem for the standard interpretation of QM and reinforces the role of alternative interpretations such as the Bohmian one. The Bohmian interpretation, despite of being nonlocal in accordance with the Bell theorem, is shown to be relativistic covariant.

I do not pretend to understand what this means save for the last two sentences. Despite my deep and profound ignorance, it seems clear that Copenhagen is not the slam dunk you and your fellow mystics are making it out to be.

Best Wishes and Regards for Continued Success

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Robert B.:

Here is a possible response to the tautology argument/statement:

"In rhetoric, a tautology is an unnecessary or unessential (and usually unintentional) repetition of meaning, using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice (often originally from different languages). It is often regarded or thought of as a fault of style and was defined by Fowler as "saying the same thing twice". It is not necessary or essential for the entire meaning of a phrase to be repeated; if a part of the meaning is repeated in such a way that it appears as unintentional or clumsy,lacking in dexterity, then it may be described as tautology. On the other hand, a repetition of meaning which improves the style of a piece of speech or writing is not usually described as tautology, although and despite the fact that it may be a logical tautology."

Thank you Selene; you are a wise man.

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Special Relativity in no way contradicts the logical law of identity or the logical law of non-contradiction. If two events are observed in different inertial frames in uniform motion wrt to each other the times and positions will differ but the -interval- will be the same. The intervas ds is defined by the equation:

ds^2 = -dt^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2 where dt, dx, dy, dz are the time and spatial differences for the two events. In either frame ds^2 is the same. The Lorentz Transformation group is the set of transforms which keep the interval invariant. It is analogous to the set of transformations on a Euclidean space that keep length invariant. The set of such transforms are the isometries on the space.

Look at it mathematically and the mystery disappears. Intuitively you have to give up on the notion that simulteneity is absolute. Events simultaneous in one frame are not simultaneous in a an other frame in uniform motion wrt to the first. This is hard to do at first, but work on it and it will come clear to you.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The Law of Identity works as long as we don't look to closely and so it good enough for everyday life. It's just like Newton's Addition of Velocities, it works for massive objects at slow speeds, which is what we mostly deal with.

Mr. general sensticist, Sir, I'm very uncomfortable with the position you specified. If what we take for reality is not identifiable at the most basal foundational rung on the ladder of complexity, then we cannot be sure of anything. I often argue against religious people that if their god is real then existence is not. I think the Copenhagen interpretation of QM would be an analogous case. A trilemma then presents to humanity three unsavory choices. If what we take for existence is at its most simple level not subject to logic, then what we take for reality cannot be resultant from immanent realism as you imply. Nominalism is demonstratively false leaving Platonic transcendental realism as the remaining horn. Impaled as we would then become, we would find ourselves in an intolerable situation. Only here there would be no option to escape by renouncing religion. All of life would be a farce imposed upon our consciousness by what? We could never hope to understand. Our fate would be that of humanity as depicted by Ayn Rand in her novella "Anthem."

My brief candle burns low, and I must find my pillow.

Good night and good luck.

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Greetings Friends

Over at the Internet Infidels Discussion Board on Link to Thread a commenter, Red Dave, claims that Relativity Theory disproves the law of identity, A=A.

Red Dave says referring to Special Relativity "Time dilation, length contraction and mass increase all demonstrate that an object can display two values of the same parameter simultaneously, and, therefore, A does not equal A."

It may be true that the atoms in my body all have multiple states, but the process and compilation of these multiple states is part of the conceptual definition of me. The same is true of a blue toy. Despite all these processes and inability to specifically define the smallest quantities of matter within the blue object, I can define the overarching object under which all these fluctuations exist, and so my definition necessarily incorporates multi-value components. Therefore, A=A when A is a specific fluctuating process of multiple states a1, a2, a3. After all, I can name a star, and a star is also a process of atomic transformations, all of which are guided by probabilities way beyond my grasp.

Christopher

Thank you Christopher for you salient insight. You point makes good sense.

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Hello Sir and good evening. I hope you are yours are well. It is my intention to always remain on friendly and cordial relational grounds with those I interact with on message boards.

Same to you, however, if you wish to be cordial and friendly you shouldn't say things like 'you and your fellow mystics are making it out to be."

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Special Relativity in no way contradicts the logical law of identity or the logical law of non-contradiction. If two events are observed in different inertial frames in uniform motion wrt to each other the times and positions will differ but the -interval- will be the same. The intervas ds is defined by the equation:

ds^2 = -dt^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2 where dt, dx, dy, dz are the time and spatial differences for the two events. In either frame ds^2 is the same. The Lorentz Transformation group is the set of transforms which keep the interval invariant. It is analogous to the set of transformations on a Euclidean space that keep length invariant. The set of such transforms are the isometries on the space.

Look at it mathematically and the mystery disappears. Intuitively you have to give up on the notion that simulteneity is absolute. Events simultaneous in one frame are not simultaneous in a an other frame in uniform motion wrt to the first. This is hard to do at first, but work on it and it will come clear to you.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Campaign For Liberty 104807

gulch

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Hello Sir and good evening. I hope you are yours are well. It is my intention to always remain on friendly and cordial relational grounds with those I interact with on message boards.

Same to you, however, if you wish to be cordial and friendly you shouldn't say things like 'you and your fellow mystics are making it out to be."

Good morning Sir. I apologize for offending you. My fault is in assuming your position to be one of mysticism.

Mysticism is defined at Dictionary.com as

A1. the beliefs, ideas, or mode of thought of mystics.

A2. a doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding, or of a direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy.

A3. obscure thought or speculation.

and

B1.

1. Immediate consciousness of the transcendent or ultimate reality or God.

2. The experience of such communion as described by mystics.

B2. A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience.

B3. Vague, groundless speculation.

and

C1. Obscurity of doctrine.

C2. (Eccl. Hist.) The doctrine of the Mystics, who professed a pure, sublime, and wholly disinterested devotion, and maintained that they had direct intercourse with the divine Spirit, and aquired a knowledge of God and of spiritual things unattainable by the natural intellect, and such as can not be analyzed or explained.

C3. (Philos.) The doctrine that the ultimate elements or principles of knowledge or belief are gained by an act or process akin to feeling or faith.

Of these definitions, it seems to me, that B2 and C3 would be applicable to your position on the Law of Identity as you accept the Copenhagen interpretation of QM with its explicit assertion of indeterminacy and non-locality. That this is so would follow from consideration of the problem of Universals. If A=A does not hold at the Planck scale, then how is it that it does at larger scales? If a thing is not what it is as you assert by the river metaphor, then where does the form we define as the thing's identity come from? It cannot be part of the thing itself if at the most basal scale a thing is an undifferentiated chaos. Thus Objectivism's solution to Universals would fail as would immanent realism for similar reasons. This leaves only transcendent Platonic realism as the means whereby a subjective consciousness could recognize a thing for what we imagine it is. Therefore B2 and C3 would apply to the position you appear to be expressing. If this is wrong, could you clarify in more precise language what you believe to be responsible for the forms of things we behold in our smudging manner and somehow appear to identify?

Thank you for taking time to read my scribblings. Have a fine day.

Best; RB

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