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 thrums
Joined: 7/28/2007
Msg: 7
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Fuzzy LogicPage 2 of 3    (1, 2, 3)

In the United States, you are allowed to vote only if you are 18 years of age or older. Now consider two teenagers, virtually identical in every respect, except one of the teenagers just celebrated his eighteenth birthday yesterday, while the other teenager will be celebrating his eighteenth birthday tomorrow. Today is election day. And even though the two teenagers are virtually identical in every respect, only one of them is allowed to vote -- a clear violation of the Directive of Equality! If one of two virtually identical teenagers is granted a right to vote, then the other teenager should also be granted a similar voting right. But not so in America!


Actually the answer is neither is allowed to vote. To vote you must be 18(as stated) but you must register on or after your 18th birthday, supply in proof that you are entitled to vote(over 18, US citizen). Once registered you must wait to get a voters registration card(normally sent via the United States Postal Service - USPS) after verification of your right to vote.
Many States/Counties/Cities require such registration to occur several weeks/months prior to the election so by the next election both teens are probably registered and entitled to vote.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 8
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/10/2009 11:54:00 AM
AwP:
If rather than a voting age, a test of current events and politics were given before elections, anyone of any age can vote if they pass the test.

I agree that this would very definitely be an improvement over merely looking at the person's age. But if you were to implement such a test, and do nothing else, you would be right back where you started... Now, instead of having a "minimun age" at which a person is allowed to vote, you would have a "minimum test score" at which they are allowed to vote. And that would once again be in violation of the Directive of Equality!.

CassaGo:
I'm going to suggest your "Directive of Equality" isn't equal, after all. So, you apply the "same legal consequences" to things that are not, in fact, the "same". Someone who is 17 and 364 days is not, in fact "equal" to someone who is 18 and one day.

You've misread the Directive. It doesn't say "same legal consequences". It says almost identical legal consequences for almost identical circumstances. So someone who is "17 and 364 days" is, in fact "almost equal" to someone who is "18 and one day".

scorpiomover:
What's the difference between the person celebrating this eighteenth birthday tomorrow, and a person born a day younger, who is virtually identical? If one should vote, then by the Directive of Equality, then so should the other. But there is another virtually identical person born a day before him, and another born a day before him. There are several thousand people born each day, in a country as populous as America. So there is always someone virtually identical to someone born a day before him, for every day of existence. So you can keep using the same logic, to prove a 17-year-old should be entitled to vote, then a 16-year-old, then a 15-year-old, then a 14-year-old, all the way back to a 5-year-old.

Yes, I think that even 5-year-old kids should be allowed at least a tiny say in the affairs of government! (What better way to begin instilling in them a sense of civic responsibility? )

But before you start to condemn me for suggesting the "absurd" idea that little kids should be allowed to run the government (although they probably couldn't screw things up any worse than they already are now ), perhaps you (and everyone else) need to rethink the concept of "a vote". (Remember, Fuzzy Logic tries to avoid "all-or-nothing" concepts such as "either being given one whole vote, or else being given absolutely no vote at all".)

Another Hint: At a stockholders meeting, do ALL stockholders get an equal vote?

With all of these hints, can you now propose a method of voting that wouldn't violate the Directive of Equality?
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 9
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/10/2009 12:19:55 PM
Huh--so you misnamed your directive on purpose? May I suggest a more "logical" name, then? Something like "Directive of not quite Equal but Almost because it's my thread so I make the rules and what I say is the only Truth?" aka DEATh?
 dalane75
Joined: 3/20/2009
Msg: 10
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/10/2009 11:42:27 PM
No matter what is offered as a solution within fuzzy logic to the problem at hand it must first begin with identifying the limits. The only solution then is to provide a scale of value in relation to the limits established and then define how those values are to be distributed. The only problem with this solution is the values are to be subjected to arbitrary decision such as I.Q. (which does not mean they understand the solution as much as those closest to degree in I.Q.), age, class, etc.
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 11
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/11/2009 12:45:24 PM
I don't think the example given is such a good one. Doens't matter how you slice it, someone is gonna feel they got screwed...and some actaully WILL be!
Take a 90 yr old guy....does his test....but has an IQ of 130. But...also has a certain amoount of dementia....some days good...some not so good. The test applied in a day when he's "not so good"...well nuts. He just got screwe out of his vote caus ehe had a bad day!
 membrane
Joined: 8/12/2008
Msg: 12
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/11/2009 5:25:30 PM
your questions strike me a very odd... like the fine line of getting into heaven... why would you ask such a qyestion, i never belived that it was to figure out if you where going to haven or not... it was almost to provoke a responce of some sort, like if you where looking for some one with specific ideals, but why.... ... i was taught the idea of fuzy lodgic when i was 15, its a very simple idea... and it reflects toward every aspect of life, and opnion.... this idea of right and wrong, rich and poor, happy and sad.... we humans have a need to classify everything in the catigory of it is or is not.... like you said, of course this is not a new idea, i see you asking the kind of question like how many angles can stand on the head of a needle... what are you looking for, and why.... for some reason, i feel like i canot trust you, like, i have to watch my words around you... like your purpose here is not to learn and become spirtually enlightened, maybe ive said to much allready... but, im going to answer you questions short and sweatly.... there is not chatholic christran heaven that runs of admission of good or bad people, thier are dementions to wich we ascend to depending on our levle of consiousness, it is open to all who are willing, the purpose of life and the reason we are here is to experence, everything, the hole dam spectrum of life, that why there is pain and suffering, and that why there is joy and happyness, nothing is solid, the 3rd dimention stems from the forth and 5th, and our unconcious minds manifeasts it and sustains our physical reality, and there is no such thing as to identical people, no even twins are identical, so drop that idea... and to add, the reason we humans need to draw a line like in your 18 to vote statment, is cause if there was no line drawn then fuzzy logic could reach far, 10 year old could vote for they are part the way to 18, and at 10, you dont understand polotics, you do as your parents tell you to... and that is why we have that system today... we must draw a line for if there was no line there would be no structure.... and essentally that what society is, structure, if we where to live without structure, we would be animals, running off of instink and impulce... but im going to stop here, for im not quite sure i can trust you... but, i cover my six, i know people where where attacked for the ideas, how much credental could you have in society today if you have been instatutonalized or crimanalized.... i dont trust you... haha, find me if you can... aha
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 13
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/11/2009 6:23:14 PM
CassaGo:
--so you misnamed your directive on purpose?

No, I didn't misname my directive on purpose. (But in retrospect, perhaps it would have been better if I had chosen to call it my "Directive of near-Equality". It's too late to edit the OP now.) But the name that I've chosen isn't as important as the concept that I've tried to express. ("A rose by any other name..." )

True 100% "eqality" can only be achieved in mathematics (and maybe also in the realm of quantum mechanics where it might be argued that things like neutrons are all "equal"). But in the everyday macroscopic world, we often speak of things as being "equal" in the same sense that we speak of identical twins as being "identical" (even though they may not actually be 100% identical). Therefore, from the context of the definition of "Directive of Equality", it should be clear that I am using the term "Equality" in its everyday "fuzzy" sense, rather than in the strict "mathematical" sense.

exogenist:
if x>5 then x=A , if x<5 then x= Not A.
A=Vote
Not A= No vote

If A=4.999, the result is "vo vote". But if A=5.001, the result is "vote". (Since 4.999 isn't much different than 5.001, you're still in violation of the Directive.)

dalane75:
No matter what is offered as a solution within fuzzy logic to the problem at hand it must first begin with identifying the limits. The only solution then is to provide a scale of value in relation to the limits established and then define how those values are to be distributed. The only problem with this solution is the values are to be subjected to arbitrary decision such as I.Q. (which does not mean they understand the solution as much as those closest to degree in I.Q.), age, class, etc.

Yes, it would be an improvement if we were to take into account other factors (such as IQ, knowledge of the issues being voted on, etc.) But to keep things simple, let's just focus on the "age" issue only (for the time being), since that's the only parameter we currently use in our simplistic "draw the line" mentality about determining which citizens are allowed to vote.

So, I ask: In creating a voting law, how could we handle only the "age" issue in such a way that it doesn't violate the Directive of Equality?

(After we first resolve that problem, we can then discuss how we might incorporate other factors as well.)
 membrane
Joined: 8/12/2008
Msg: 14
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/11/2009 9:09:14 PM
to a theist...

the best aswer i could give to you is the simple a and b...

111111111 .. 11111111111 .. 1111111111111
111111 .. 11111 .. 111 .. 1111 .. 1111111111
111 .. 11 A 111111 .... 11 B 1111 .. 11111111
11 .. 111111111 .. A &B.. 111111111 .. 111111
1111 .. 11111111 ...... 111111111 .. 1111
111111 .. 111 .. 11111 .. 11111 .. 111111
11111111 ... 1111111111 ..... 111111111



see what i did there... a and b are seprate... but there is a overlaping area.... light on, light off... there is a fade out and fade in.... yes no, yes no... there is a maybe....

i might be flawed im my thinking... but that is the closest of the two logics working in symitry i can think of... did i provide any help??
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 15
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/11/2009 10:20:16 PM
Would you know how to show an example of Fuzzy Logic using boolean Logic example?

Boolean logic is merely a special case of Fuzzy Logic (just as a square in 2-dimensional space is a special case of a cube in 3-dimensional space). Furthermore, Boolean logic is bivalent in nature and is based on "crisp" set theory, whereas Fuzzy Logic is multi-valent and is based on "fuzzy" set theory. Therefore it might be somewhat difficult to come up with a meaningful example of Fuzzy Logic if I'm restricted to using only Boolean concepts.

About the closest I can come is to have you imagine a Venn Diagram in which the "circles" have blurred boundaries instead of sharply defined lines. Then, as a point inside one of the sets starts to approach the boundary of the set, its membership function in the set begins to decrease. (In other words, it starts to lie both inside the set to some degree, and also outside the set to some degree).

For a more mathetical discussion, see:
http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/62896.html
 dalane75
Joined: 3/20/2009
Msg: 16
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/12/2009 12:27:33 AM
There are always other variables to consider. As you said it is not all or nothing, everyone or no one, etc. In lieu of the question we are forced to establish the extremes. If we establish the extremes based on age, then the question revolves around which ages are relevant and how to evaluate those relevancies concerning age. It has been mentioned that maturity level is a base to establish age. This forces me to consider the question instead of age then maturity level. However, maturity level does not address knowledge of politics, but only the responsibility level of the voter. We must then evaluate responsibility levels. Under this guise those with more interests in community would have 'weightier' vote say.

Yet if we focus only on the age issue in light of the D.E. L. then it is similar to the 'Heap of Sand' paradox.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 17
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/12/2009 6:22:57 PM
a_theist:
The reason behind my question was do to the fact that the "crisp" logic of boolean logic methods must be used in making software and applications to make use of "fuzzy logic."

Just because a binary computer is based on "crisp" logic (i.e., it can manipulate only zeros and ones), that doesn't mean that it can't be use for handling other types of information as well (such as ASCII characters, floating point numbers, etc.). By grouping clusters of bits together, you can represent any kind of information... even "fuzzy" information. (In fact, "floating point numbers" can be thought of as being the fuzzy counterpart of "integers".) So, "fuzzy" numbers (such as "fractions" that lie between the "crisp" values of zero and one) can be easily handled by a device that works only with those "crisp" zeros and ones.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 18
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/13/2009 4:57:28 PM
From looking at some of the posts in this forum, it is quite clear that many of you are still having trouble understanding the basic ideas of Fuzzy Logic. So to help illustrate the concepts, let me ask you a "simple" question: "As evening approaches, when does the sky become dark?"

You would probably answer: "It becomes dark after the sum goes down. Everybody knows that!"

True, but could you please be a little bit more specifc? How much after? One hour? One second? One minute? I want you to tell me the exact instant at which "not dark" turns into "dark."

About now, you're probably thinking to yourself: "Who cares! I've got better things to do with my time than sitting around thinking about silly things like that!" And to some extent you're right! The actual answer (if an answer even exists) is totally irrelevant. My sole purpose in asking the question is to point out an extremely important (but seldom recognized) aspect of reality, which I call the "Smoothness Principle":

"Everything in physical reality occurs smoothly."

What the Smoothness Principle says is that physical changes do not occur instantaneously at some point in time. Instead, all changes take place over a period of time, and they take place in a continuous way. (In other words, the mathematical concept of a step function does not exist in physical reality.}

As another example of the Smoothness Principle, consider the metamorphosis of a tadpole into a frog. There is no point in time at which anyone can meaningfully say, "One second ago it was still only a tadpole, but now it is definitely a frog."

If the Smoothness Principle comes to you as somewhat of a surprise, it's symptomatic of a phenomenon sometimes referred to as the "Mismatch Problem":

"Reality is shades of gray, but in our minds the world is black and white."

To our Aristotelian way of thinking, a lightbulb is either on, or it's off. Each person in our society is either an adult, or else they're a minor. A window is either open, or it's closed. A person is either qualified to vote, or else they're not. If something isn't all, then it's nothing.

In his book, "Fuzzy Thinking" (pages 18-19), Bart Kosko defines what he calls the "Fuzzy Principle":

"Everything is a matter of degree."

But we all want things to be easy. Few of us want to deal with exact precision. So we look at reality and try to distill the essence of what we see into simple bivalent "all-or-nothing" categories, because "yes" and "no" are easier concepts to deal with than numbers, especially fractions. (Remember what part of arithmetic you hated most when you were in school? ) And so we trade off reality for simplicity. We round off the fractional values of reality to the nearest "1" or "0" and pretend that that is reality. We pretend that fuzziness doesn't exist.

"The fuzzy principle has emerged from almost three thousand years of Western culture," writes Kosko, "from three thousand years of attempts to deny it, ignore it, disprove it, relabel it, and axiomize it out of existence. But fuzziness remains despite our best efforts to get rid of it."

If you really want to kick the "Aristotelian habit" of pretending that everything is either black or white, your thinking is going to have to undergo a complete overhaul. You will need to shift paradigms, and that's not going to be an easy thing to do. You are going to have to make a conscious effort to think in fuzzy terms.

You might start out by becoming aware of the terms that you use in everyday speech. Try to keep yourself from using phrases that contain "all-or-nothing" implications, such as:

"George is a good person."
"I had no idea that .... "
"I would be perfectly happy to ...."
"You are wrong about ...."
(etc.)

Instead, train yourself to use more correct phrases like:

"George is a person with a high degree of goodness."
"I had no more than a very low degree of awareness that ...."
"It would give me a high degree of happiness to ...."
"You have no more than a low degree of correctness about ...."
(etc.)

These new phrases will sound awkward and unnatural at first, but they will help drive home the idea that everything is a matter of degree.

And above all, avoid using the phrase: "Well, you gotta' draw the line somewhere!"
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 19
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/13/2009 5:19:42 PM

A computer can only handle binary.

Yeah, that's what I just said.


..it's called machine code, ASCII characters have to be compiled into machine code for the computer to understand them.

Actually, it's just called plain old "binary". The term "machine code" (or more properly, "machine language") is used to indicate the actual computer instructions rather than the data that those instructions are manipulating. (If you're still having trouble understanding, read my book: "AppleVisions: A Unique Introduction to Assembly Language Programming", published by Addison-Wesley)

This is where you do not understand fuzzy logic ...

 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 20
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/14/2009 7:35:05 AM

If you are not even interested enough to vote, why should you get any gov't benefits?


You shouldn't, but neither should you have any obligation to the government to pay taxes or live by their rules. In point of fact, you don't. Withdrawing the consent to be governed involves an "ethical divorce" from government, whereby you have no obligation to them and no right to expect "benefits" either. When one compares the government's mismanagement of our money and the return in "benefits" one can clearly see how ripped off the citizens are. So why not get a "divorce", quit voting altogether and resign as a government employee?

(I felt this needed to be said because too many people think they have to vote and don't see not voting as a legitimate activity, or form of protest against government's mismanagement of government. They think that not voting is a matter of apathy, when in fact it can be (and often is) a very strong political statement arising from strong ethical & political considerations. It is, IMHO, an option more people should take more often and should not be frowned upon, or assumed to be apathy. Think of not voting as a vote of non-confidence in the system itself.)
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 21
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/14/2009 10:51:10 AM

you suggest that a computer can handle other data such as ASCII

If it couldn't, then you wouldn't be reading these words right now.

(I don't know why we are even engaging in this silly discussion about computers and data representations. It has essentially no bearing on the ongoing discussion about how we need to start incorporating the ideas of Fuzzy Logic into how we allow ourselves to think.)


I just read your book on shades of reality.

Good! I hope it finally taught you what Fuzzy Logic is all about! If not, then you'd better go back and read all of it again... and again... until you do know.

(And be sure that you pay extra special attention to the section titled "W a r n i n g !"
Otherwise, you will still be as much in the dark as you currently are.)
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 22
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/14/2009 3:36:51 PM
We have to be a bit careful where we apply fuzzy logic and not think it can necessarily apply to anything. It may be fine for the daytime/nighttime example (though I note it's not in general parlance to say for instance "it's about 78% daytime right now.") and it's downright wonderful for TTL camera metering & autofocus algorithms, but we can run into problems whene we apply it to things like abortion: Is it right or wrong? Well we have a lot of polar opposite views at about the 50% mark, so since say 48% think its wrong enough to kill people over (we won't go into the wrongness of murder) and 48% think its so right that they'd like to use it as a substitute for birth control, with 4% "on the fence", we might conclude that abortion is both 50% right and 50% wrong, which would imply that most of society is pretty neutral about it, when only 4% of the population actually feels that way.
We should never use fuzzy logic for things like slippery slope arguments like WHEN is an abortion killing a being. Only some (like catholics) would posit anytime as killing a being. Lawyers would argue that it doesn't become a lawful being until born and therefore abortion right up to delivery time is not killing a being. Most people would posit some arbitrary time in the slippery slope of gestation. At that point, fuzzy logic might apply based on people's opinions, but does it really tell us anything except an average of people's beliefs? Does it make the slope less slippery? No.
Fuzzy logic is a wonderful thing when & where it properly applies, but in the day to day business of life and making "hard" decisions, I suspect that discrete logic will more often than not, prove to be the superior choice.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 23
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/14/2009 10:05:05 PM

We should never use fuzzy logic for things like slippery slope arguments like WHEN is an abortion killing a being.

Fuzzy Logic can be successfully applied to resolving the abortion issue in much the same manner that it can be used to successfully resolve the question of who should be allowed to vote. But because the abortion issue is a much more emotionally charged topic than voting, let me warn you ahead of time: It's going to be extremely difficult for most of you to accept the necessary conclusions that result from the analysis (especially if you didn't even understand the application of Fuzzy Logic to the much simpler matter of voting). I know this all too well from my past experiences, especially when trying to discuss the subject of abortion with someone who understands little or nothing about Fuzzy Logic. But since the subject has now raised its ugly head, I will once again throw myself to the wolves and discuss the abortion issue. Here goes:

First of all, what exctly is a "Human Being"?

The term, "human being" is very much like "brightness." Both represent unbounded concepts whose levels of existence can only be specified in terms of degrees. You cannot point to any living entity on this planet and say, "That is a 100 percent human being," any more than you can point to a light that is 100 percent bright. There is always room for "improvement" in both cases. And if mankind should continue to exist and develop for another million years, will it become more than human? Or might it turn out in retrospect that we, of today, will have been merely less than human?

One of the problems with trying to perceive "human-ness" in terms of shades of gray stems from our religious upbringings. Most religions are inherently Aristotelian in their dogmas. (God must have not known about fuzzy logic back then! ) Consequently, we are led to believe that whenever you do something, either you have committed a sin or else you haven't sinned at all. Either you'll go to heaven when you die, or else you'll go to hell. And if you're a human being, then you are created in God's image all-or-nothing.

But if something is only almost a human being, then in whose image is it created? Religion can't answer these kinds of questions about degrees of human-ness because religion never thought about them. To the bivalent religious mind, every person is simply a "human being," and everything else is not. Period. Case closed. (And mind closed, as well!)

The anti-abortionists are of the frame of mind that a human being comes into existence at the "moment of conception." The reason for this belief stems from a sorites-type of argument. They reason: if a baby is a human being when it is born, then it must have also been a human being one minute before it was born, and then one minute before that, etc. Continuing this reasoning process backwards in time to the "point of conception," they can find no magical point in time at which anything of significance occurs to mark the start of being human. Since conception itself appears to be the only clear-cut "discontinuity" that they can identify, it must be (in the anti-abortionist opinion) at that time that the transition from non-human being to 100 percent human being is made.

The pro-abortionists are of the frame of mind that a fetus doesn't become a human being until some future time (usually measured in terms of something called "trimesters"). At that point in time, some supposedly invisible and magical process instantly turns the fetus into a 100 percent human being. After that magical instant, it is no longer OK to have an abortion performed. The trouble is, none of the pro-abortionists can seem to agree on just what or when this magical event is. So they all just make up their own rules depending on what turns out to be convenient for themselves.

The Fuzzy Logic view on abortion bases its analysis on the reality that an embryo gradually makes the transition from non-human to more nearly human over an extended period of time (much like a tadpole gradually becomes a frog). Therefore at any point in time, an embryo can be regarded as being both a human being (to some degree) and not a human being (to some degree).

So the first thing we need to do is agree upon some kind of "degree of human being" curve (much like was necessaary in defining "degree of maturity" curve when discussing the issue about voting rights). Then, using this "degree of human being" curve, we could answer the question, "to what degree does an abortion constitute killing a human being?" The exact, answer of course, would depend on how long after conception the abortion is performed. The later the abortion, the greater the degree of guilt of killing a human being.

It is important to remember that such a curve would not define any kind of "boundary line" between what should be considered "murder" and what shouldn't. And so a person involved in an abortion would not be simply either "guilty" or "not guilty" of murder, but a mixture of both.

(I warned you... you weren't going to like the conclusions. But then I didn't create reality. I'm simply reporting it.)
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 24
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/15/2009 12:33:55 AM

I am 100% human being...just as is everybody else I've ever met.

I strongly suspect that you aren't the only person in this forum who is having trouble understanding the concept of "degree of being a human." They (and you) still think that something either is a human, or else it isn't. And even if it's only the slightest bit human, then it must be 100 percent human.

One of the problems with trying to perceive "human-ness" in terms of shades of gray is that, apart from relatively rare exceptions, most of us are fairly "normal," and therefore we have a kind of sameness to us. Except for petty individual differences, we all pretty much look and act and think like every other member of our species. We all have hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows. We all experience these kinds of emotions, which we feel make us "human." And so most of us probably cluster around a "human-ness level" near the 100 percent mark. (At least it would appear that way to us, not currently having any higher life forms to compare ourselves to.) And so there is the Aristotelian inclination to "round off" everybody and pretend that the slight differences in levels of "human-ness" from one person to another simply don't exist.

Unless you are a creationist, you probably accept the concept that all animals (including Man) are biologically related, and that all present-day animals evolved from older and more primative forms of life. And even if the particular species homo sapiens didn't evolve, there is still evidence that pre-historic humanoid creatures (such as Homo Erectus, Neanderthal, etc.) did once live on earth, regardless of how they got here.

In any event I would like to pose some questions: If these creatures were still alive today, would they be considered to be "human beings," or would they just be another name on the endangered species list? Would killing one of them be considered "murder," or would it be considered as being nothing more than illegal "hunting"? Would they be granted equality with the rest of mankind? Would we regard them as being our peers, or our pets?

Of course such creatures don't exist today, and so we can pragmatically avoid having to answer these questions. But consider the possibilities offered by genetic engineering. By slightly altering the structure of DNA it is possible, even today, to change the genetic characteristics of plants and animals. Someday it might even be possible to start with a monkey, and end up with a modern-day person, by genetically creating the entire continuum of "missing links"! If this were ever accomplished, which of these new "species" would be human and which ones wouldn't? (An anti-abortionist, with his sorites-type of reasoning, would have to conclude that they would all be human... including the monkey! )

We don't need to wait for the prospects of genetic engineering to come to fruition before we can start thinking about these kinds of questions. Even today we can ask: Is every person on earth totally "human"? How about a cold-blooded murderer, or a molester of children who feels no remorse for his actions? Are they to be regarded as being 100 percent human and given all the "Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," just because their bodies have an anatomical structure that we associate with the term "human being?" Or is there something more to being a human being than merely having a prescribed set of body parts?

On the other side of the coin, consider an anencephalic "person," one who is born without a complete brain and who therefore achieves little or no degree of consciousness. They too look human, at least on the outside. But then so does a Barbie doll. Can a living entity be considered to be human if it doesn't even have a human brain?

And what about a human egg that goes unfertilized and was thereby deprived of the "Right" to develop into a complete human being? Should we consider as being "human" only those living entities that were lucky enough to become completely conceived?

Just a few thoughts to ponder...

(But let's not get too sidetracked arguing about "human-ness". We need to get back to focusing on the bigger issue... that of "Abortion".)
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 25
Fuzzy Logic...Is sick
Posted: 7/15/2009 4:37:50 AM
@ Mister Logic

Now we can see the "flaw" of fuzzy logic. It is not merely a philosophical tool for dealing with the "gray shades", it's use in general would require a fundamental change in philosophy.

Discrete logic arose to better differentiate between things in the binary sense. Something exists or it doesn't, 0 or 1, true or false, black or white. It has been with us for thousands of years (or maybe millions if we are genetically hard-wired to usse it) and is by now essentially a part of the human psyche in the sense that brains seem to reason with it instinctively.

Of course we have always had (and will always have) problems most suited to fuzzy logic, maybe they can even all be put on those terms, but the psychological resistence is going to be phenomenal. You will never convince people that (for instance) they don't simply pop into existence from non-existence, even if that's really how it happens.

It is best to stay with problems like light gray paint being paint with 70% whiteness and not delve into problems like "Joe is 40% alive and 60% dead" whether the statements are (some percentage) true or (100% minus that percentage) not.

I feel compelled to say at this point that I think you (and fuzzy logic itself) are getting kind of a bum rap here. I long ago abandoned the idea of discrete existence in favour of a fuzzy logic model in which it may really be true that something can have only a fraction of "true" existence. The model seems more compatible with by perception of quantum phenomena like the double slit experiment and the "location" of particles themselves, though I note that discrete logic often applies as well (spin states are discrete, for example and whole virtual particles seem to "appear", not a percentage of one).

So as liberating as a "fuzzy" perspective can be, it can't always be substututed for discrete logic owing to the way the mind works and our very foundations of perception. That's a psychological barrier it's true, but as 100% real as any (70% or more) physical one. Fuzzy logic may even be formalized as a generalization, or extension of discrete logic, but that still isn't going to change the perception of the man in the street. If I were you, I'd quit the experiments before the villagers form a lynch mob & storm the castle.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 26
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/15/2009 12:08:32 PM

There are so many flaws with YOUR theories I almost have to applaud you on your incompetence.


...you're just wrong, get over it.


conception is an instantaneous moment in time...


There are no degrees to being human...you're either a human or you're not.


I think you should try to understand your subjects a lot better before you start preaching.

(I can now understand the frustration and derision that Galileo had to endure when he presented his revolutionary and "crackpot" ideas to a close minded world that wouldn't listen to anything that didn't conform to the concepts that everybody "knew" to be "true". But in spite of all their ridicule, everyone eventually had to accept the real truth... even if they didn't like it.)
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 27
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/15/2009 4:53:42 PM

You know what's mind boggling to me? How intellectual pompous asses with superiority complexes come up with silly ideas and then blab on and on trying to justify them...


Also, how they love to demean and belittle anyone who disagrees with their silly notions.

Umm... do I detect a note of "pot-calling-kettle-black" going on here?

As I look through this thread, I can't find even one of my posts in which I "demeaned and belittled" you for disagreeing with my "silly notions". (In fact, I actually used to think that you were kind of a cool guy... up until now, that is). Because now, you seem to feel that it's ok for you to become the "intellectual pompous ass with a superiority complex" toward me... just because I don't agree with you!

I think that you need to calm down just a little and get back to focusing on the ideas that are being discussed... and not on your perceptions of the person presenting those ideas. (Calling your opponent names is not going to win an argument for you.)

In closing, I noticed from your profile that one of your favorite quotes was made by Carl Sagan:


"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Maybe you should really listen to what he said.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 28
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/15/2009 5:28:48 PM


I just think that some things are black or white


You're absolutely right. No argument there.

Yes, Fuzzy logic doesn't exclude black and white... it merely adds more shades of gray so that you aren't stuck with only black and white to choose from.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 29
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/15/2009 6:49:50 PM

I apologize for my zealousness in my response and any offense you took from said.

Quite alright... no offense taken. (In fact, I even indicated in post #43 that I fully anticipated a lot of disagreement with the analysis and its conclusions. )


Nobody's perfect...I'm only 90% perfect.

You're a better man than I am.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 30
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/15/2009 9:12:07 PM
It occurs to me that it may be worthwhile to mention where fuzzy logic comes from. It wasn't some new religion or philosophy made up by mister logic; it IS a valid logical construct, justified by a thing called fuzzy set theory, which is much like the regular set theory, but with the "modification" that membership in a set needn't be complete, but can be in a sense an "honorary" membership wherein full membership is not necessary for inclusion into the set. In other words, members can have any degree of membership greater than zero and up to 100%. (This is better than the Masons, as I understand their membership only has thirty-three degrees)

I hope this clears up any misapprehensions that some people may have had, that fuzzy logic isn't really logic, or that it doesn't have a sound mathematical foundation. It should be noted however, that my post is only 90% true; sets don't have honorary members.
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 31
Fuzzy Logic
Posted: 7/16/2009 1:55:50 AM
exogenist said:
ha ha ha!!! -.- No I'm not Mr. Logic. Very far from it.

Aww... too bad you had to go and tell him that. I was hoping that we could have some fun teasing that pompous jerk.
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