The Nature of a Contradiction

Contradictions cannot exist in nature. But, unfortunately, they do. So do self-reinforcing cycles, unresolvable dilemmas, and the unique conundrum of perfect noise. For example, two men duel. They both die. Who won? Because it is a conflict, there must be a winner and a loser. An excellent example of perfect noise: there can be no choice between the two, for they are equally preferable. There is no strategy you can use to divine which of the two was the “winner.”

Now, most of you are probably saying “wait a second- they both lost!” Well, that is also a contradiction. In the strictest sense, in order to have a loser, there must also be a victor.  To claim that two of two agents “lost” is as ridiculous is to claim that they both were victorious. To elucidate further, let’s scale this up to a world war. Both sides lose ten million soldiers. Who won? Where there is no definite measure of victory or defeat, both sides will of course claim to have won (although, in all probability, the war would continue until one side had an incontrovertible measure of victory). But where such a measure is absent, and both sides lost equally, it is impossible to “prove” that one side was the victor over the other. It’s patently ridiculous for either side to claim that “we both won!” and such a statement would be construed as outrightly sadistic, and get that poor, insipid politician out of office faster than eating a baby at a state dinner. Though it might make more sentimental sense to claim that both sides “lost” in reality, both sides mean to say that the war was a tragedy for both sides, not that one side won. The point is subtle, but significant.

Now let’s take this perfect noise contradiction and apply it to the real world. You are made an offer by a casino to roll a die. It costs a dollar to play. If it’s a 6, you win $6. Anything else, and you’re out one dollar. Once again, in the strictest sense, there is no point in playing. Neither side is going to win anything, provided that the game is repeated to the point that statistics become important. You can only be a winner in the minute sense that you just won a single roll. This produces a contradiction. It is possible to, given a noninfinite number of rolls, to be winning in the grander sense in that you are above your starting quantity of money, and at the same time be losing five out of every six rolls you play.

My point here is that a contradiction cannot exist in nature. But that by no means precludes contradictions from existing within the human mind. The only way to find a contradiction in nature is from a position of limited information. But a human being can create a contradiction from out of the ether, as simply as 3 = 5. As far as the symbols are concerned, that is a perfectly acceptable arrangement of black scratchings on paper. Only when you start interpreting what the 3, the =, and the 5 mean does the contradiction emerge. In fact, human beings are wired right out of the box (a figure of speech… yeah…) with contradictions. For example, a special facility for learning coupled with a resistance to change. Competing thoughts and emotions are a fact of life for us. But unlike two forces acting upon an object, causing it to remain still, two equal mental forces acting upon a human must produce an action from out of a backdrop of perfect noise. This is the ultimate contradiction of humanity, and is something that should be thought on from time to time.

To provide the most salient example: one perfectly unshaped tabula-rasa human being, the only object in the entire universe, floating in the backdrop of infinite nothingness, would think. What they would think, on the other hand, is a fantastic mystery.

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2 Responses to “The Nature of a Contradiction”

  1. Sunny Says:

    It doesn’t have to be a contradiction if you don’t agree with the I have a problem with the premise that we move from opposite mental forces of EQUAL strength. How do you know they have equal strength? How can you measure the strength? If mental strength is measured by which mental force causes us to act when competing then any action after a mental force competition would be the strongest and thus there are no equal strength mental forces if an action is the result of a competing mental forces.

    In reality though the strength of a mental force is constantly fluctuating in strength and has no permanent strength level. And thus a mental force can weaker to another mental force today but be stronger tomorrow.

    • Sunny Says:

      Please excuse my last post I wrote it on my phone and have difficulty seeing what I wrote. This what I meant to say:

      It doesn’t have to be a contradiction if you don’t agree with the with the premise that we move from opposite mental forces of EQUAL strength. How do you know they have equal strength? How can you measure the strength? If mental strength is measured by which mental force causes us to act when competing then any action after a mental force competition would be the strongest and thus there are no equal strength mental forces if an action is the result of a competing mental forces.

      In reality though the strength of a mental force is constantly fluctuating in strength and has no permanent strength level. And thus a mental force can weaker to another mental force today but be stronger tomorrow.


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