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Chacham's Journal: Philosophical: Everything is defined by its opposite 32

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Everything is defined by its opposite. If it has no opposite, it therefore is everything. Anything and its opposite make up everything. This applies only within its relam.

For example. Everything in the realm of temperature is either hot or cold (draw the hot/cold line wherever you'd like). The definition of hot is "that which is not cold". In fact, where cold starts, is where the boundary of hot exists. Similarly in ideas, all ideas within the realm of logic are either true or false. But that is only true if the statement is logical. If the statement is illogical, it is neither true nor false. An example would be the statement, "this statement is not true". The statement is illogical, and thus, neither true nor false. Though I've read people talking about meta-statements, but there is no need for that here, and would simply be overkill.

Realms themselves are defined by their opposites. The realm of temperature is defined by that which has no temperature. That is seemingly akin to the realm of physicality. If a relam has no opposite, it is all-inclusive.

Going a bit more esoteric. The other way to define something is to understand it. Then one automatically knows where the boundaries are. If that cannot be understood, the boundaries are searched for, which give the person a feeling for what it is. And this latter method, searching for boundaries, is used more often, simply because the other method is not always possible.

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Philosophical: Everything is defined by its opposite

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  • My GF and I had a conversation about opposites, and we were having a hard time identifying/defining what would be the opposite of life? Is there an opposite? At first we had thought it was death, but the opposite of death is birth. Anyways, nice JE :).
    • The opposite of birth is the verb "death". The opposite of life would be the noun.

      Anyway, it depends on the definition of life. Or rather, its realm. If the relam is in the realm of the soul, the the opposite of life is death, or pre-life, or both, or what one believes about the soul outside of life. If the realm is time, the opposite is non-existance.

      Ultimately, the opposite of life is not-life. Once the realm is defined the rest is easy.
  • What about a neutron? What's the opposite of that? How about the opposite of an idea?

    Actually, your premise is very sound. I suppose if we don't know the obvious opposite of X, perhaps the X needs to be simplified into smaller components.
    • What about a neutron?

      Anything that isn't the neutron. That is, the proton, the electron, slashdot, and a cheese sandwich. You must really define the realm. If the realm is sub-atomic particles, by defining the neutron, there are two groups. The netron, and the non-neutron. The neutron group has one member. The non-neutron group has two. In a sense, defined by borders is also defining by what it isn't.

      What's the opposite of that?

      usually "this". :-)

      How about the opposite of an idea?

      Is the realm the
      • the opposite of something is not always that which is out of its scope. in the "realm" of food, peas are not a cheese sandwich. peas are different than a cheese sandwich, but it isn't really the opposite. ravioli is also not a cheese sandwich. but ravioli is not the same as peas.

        i think it is better to say that one way things are understood is through relative comparison. things can be defined or understood by things that are similar or different, but still are not opposites.

        of course it depends on y
        • in the last paragraph, i meant to say "quantitative/qualitative" not just "quantitative." quantitative like few vs many and qualitative like hot vs cold.
        • if the only requirement were that (a) is the opposite of not(a)

          Yes.

          Sometimes people know it, other times they know its opposite. And, when there is no "not (a)" it is everything in its realm.

          even within the same "realm" there are cases where not(a) would have to be an infinite list of things that (a) is not.

          Not really. The infinite list are items of a group called not (a). They are not opposites because of themselves, rather because they are not the other item. So, if asked what is the opposite, givi
          • Also, if the realm is defined, the contrast in between the opposites becomes more obvious.

            this makes it easier, but not everything is defined by its opposite.

            i think your definition of opposite is flawed. it is certainly not the common definition. five is not four, but five is not the opposite of four. only negative four is the opposite.

            The infinite list are items of a group called not (a). They are not opposites because of themselves, rather because they are not the other item. So, if asked what i
            • it is certainly not the common definition.

              In one sense it isn't. Because that's not what people think of when they say opposite. However, when forced to actually think about it, they will probably admit to it.

              five is not four, but five is not the opposite of four. only negative four is the opposite.

              Why is negative four its opposite? Why not zero? Or one-quarter, being its reciprocal as well.

              That's why I say the realm must be defined. Otherwise, opposites are arbitrary. Five can be the opposite of fou
              • i'm sorry chacham, but i disagree with your whole line of reasoning and don't see the point in trying to argue it. i still say you've made up your own definition of opposite, and i doubt most would agree with you.

                that's the way philosophy goes. if you are willing to accept the base portion of a theory, the rest follows. i don't accept the base definition of opposite you are using, thus the rest of it doesn't follow. i think opposite has the definition(s) found in the dictionary and in common use becaus
                • One day you'll see the light. :-)

                  You can disagree if you'd like. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to appreciate your view. Thanx for replying though. I appreciate it.
                • i think opposite has the definition(s) found in the dictionary and in common use because that's what the word means.

                  That's the funny thing about languages. There never seems to be just one definition for any given word. Every language has its idiosyncrasies, but English is one of the worst for multiple definitions of the same word. Although it is difficult, try to expand your mind a little to allow for another definition. Like "ram" has multiple meanings, (memory, a male sheep and to strike with a heav

                  • Ultimately, words express ideas. The ideas are held within th person. The person then uses the word to give over the idea.

                    English, having its base in a poetic language, and not wanted to keep rules so much, uses words for any idea that they may express.

                    Just a thought.
                    • Ultimately, words express ideas. The ideas are held within th person. The person then uses the word to give over the idea.

                      This reminds me of something that someone wise told me once. There are two language filters in every person (thoughts to words and words to speech). For two people trying to communicate, this increases to four (two out on person and two into the other). At each level, some of the original meaning is lost and the end result can be that a completely different message was heard than wa

                    • Actually, language does its exactly what its supposed to do, and quite well. What is the problem would be the method of communication.

                      Here's a thought. Since words express ideas, not everyone wants to hear the other person's idea. Rather, the idea is absorbed slowly to bring the person to an appreciation of it. So, planting ideas from one head into another may not even be the most effective way to communicate ideas. Rather, it is upon the speaker to realize what the listner's approach is, and tailor the pr
                    • Actually, language does its exactly what its supposed to do, and quite well.

                      Sure it does, just not perfectly.

                      Here's a thought. Since words express ideas, not everyone wants to hear the other person's idea. Rather, the idea is absorbed slowly to bring the person to an appreciation of it. So, planting ideas from one head into another may not even be the most effective way to communicate ideas. Rather, it is upon the speaker to realize what the listner's approach is, and tailor the presentation of the idea

                    • I guess we have to realize that the framework of communication relies on imperfect human understanding. That being the case, it is better to have each person work for the comprehension with an imperfect language.

                      Yeah, what you said. :)

                      (Waiting for queries to finsish has its advantages. I get to read and reply more often. :-)
                  • i do believe in multiple definitions. there are multiple definitions in common use. to me, the essence of opposite is that it is opposed to something else. under chacham's definition, if you are in the "realm" of numbers between 1 and 10, numbers 2 through 10 are all the "opposite" of the number one. the word for that is "different." (there are also others.) the only language i'm fluent in beside english is german. the german word for opposite is gegenteil. it's definition is limited the same way th
                    • Let's look again at the "official" or accepted definitions [reference.com].

                      adj.

                      1. Placed or located directly across from something else or from each other: opposite sides of a building.
                      2. Facing the other way; moving or tending away from each other: opposite directions.
                      3. Being the other of two complementary or mutually exclusive things: the opposite sex; an opposite role to the lead in the play.
                        1. Altogether different, as in nature, quality, or significance: The effect of the medication was opposite to that intended.
                        2. Sharpl
                    • I'm actually not defining opposite as everything that something isn't. Rather a realm is defined, and within that realm a group is defined. The group either encompass everything, or it an its opposite encompasses everything.

                      For example, if the realm were fruits, and inside that a group of oranges were made, one of two things follow.

                      1) All fruits are oranges.
                      2) All fruits are oranges or non-oranges.

                      In this case the latter is true.

                      If one were to teach a child how an orange was different from other fruits
                    • Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that you are thinking of number one under the nouns when trying to understand Chacham's statements.

                      i don't think chacham's definition fits well with any of the definitions. let's look at them.
                      --------
                      adjectives:

                      1. Placed or located directly across from something else or from each other: opposite sides of a building.

                      this would only work if the "realm" were things that are across from each other.

                      2. Facing the other way; moving or tending away from each other:
                    • i agree that "x" and "non-x" are good for learning to understand things.

                      you are assuming that the child learns by learning the opposite. if the child already understands things like round, orange (color), and fruit, there would be no need to explain it as orange/non-orange. a child could also learn several pieces of fruit at a time. many children can pick out distinquishing features without having to think through each possibility/non-possibility pair, as in "is this a banana or a non-banana? non-banana
                    • I don't mean to set the realm. Those are set by themselves. For example, Hot/Cold make up temeperature. Defining hot is, "that which is not cold". A name isn't cold, so does that make it hot? Obviously not. The intention of the statement is within the realm of temperature. Or, that which is affected by temperature.

                      The importance of the statement, is that if there were no such thing as cold, *everything* (within the realm of things that are affected by temperature) would be "hot". Simply, that which has no
                    • i agree, but we already have words to describe things that are different. the other side is that if all similar words are changed and broadened until they are no longer distinguishable, our ability to comminicate is weakened (not just stagnant) because finer shades of differentiation can not be expressed without excessive context. words change over time and i don't see anything wrong with that. trying to make two distinct ideas the same makes one superfluous and the other overly broad, requiring extra expla
                    • i agree that opposites define each other for comparative/relative things. i don't agree that everything falls into realms of comparative things. hot and cold work, but peas and carrots don't.

                      i also disagree that everything would be hot. without cold, everything would just be. hot would not need to exist because it would just describe how things are all the time.

                      i don't think things need opposites to be defined. there needn't be an opposite of "stone" or "subgeek" in order for them to exist. that is
                    • but peas and carrots don't.

                      They would if the realm only included peas and carrots. Otherwise, the opposite of peas in the group that contains everything that is not peas.

                      i also disagree that everything would be hot. without cold, everything would just be. hot would not need to exist because it would just describe how things are all the time.

                      Believe it or not, you just proved my point. :)
                    • Believe it or not, you just proved my point. :)

                      i proved your point in the specific case of comparative pairs of adjectives. it still doesn't prove anything for words like "stone."

                      They would if the realm only included peas and carrots. Otherwise, the opposite of peas in the group that contains everything that is not peas.

                      and you just proved mine. you have to define the realm in order to define anything. the realm defines it, not the opposite.

                      this is stupid to argue.
                    • about proving your point, another way to put it is that i only prove your point if the "realm" is made up of things that are actually opposites according to the common use/dictionary definitions. when it doesn't prove your point is when a word doesn't have an opposite unless you define one by making a "realm of definition," in which case it is actually the restrictions of the realm coupled with the so called "opposite" that describe the thing.
  • Everything in the realm of temperature is either hot or cold

    Unless it's "lukewarm". Or just "room temperature". ;-)

    I'm reminded of an old children's song. "And when you're up you're up, and when you're down you're down, and when you're only halfway up, you're neither up nor down!"
  • ... we can properly only talk about the known universe, since the boundaries of the universe itself is beyond our reach.

    Also, we do not know if there are other universes (multiverse scenario), or whether this is the all-encompassing universe.

    And speaking of temperature, it is quite interesting that there is an absolute zero, but what is its opposite? Is there an upper bound on temperature?

    • Also, we do not know if there are other universes (multiverse scenario), or whether this is the all-encompassing universe.

      Nor do we know that this isn't just all a dream. So, we assume certain things about reality until we are forced to truly think about them.

      And speaking of temperature, it is quite interesting that there is an absolute zero, but what is its opposite? Is there an upper bound on temperature?

      First define temperature. :-) Or, more specifically, "cold" and "hot". Although your question is

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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