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Author Topic: Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman  (Read 7986 times)
Red Emerald
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June 11, 2012, 03:41:07 PM
 #81

OK, so you claim math is a science. Fine. a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is a math theorem that is mathematically accurate to absolute precision. Now show me a perfect triangle anywhere in nature that can be measured and independently tested and verified to have perfectly straight lines and can be accurately measured at anytime to be be consistent of the theorem that a^2 + b^2 = c^2 exactly.

But I don't have to show you anything in nature for it to be true.... A triangle has such properties a priori. That's exactly why you should not always use empiricism as a way to acquire knowledge. "Measuring and testing independently at anytime" is the empiricist way of acquiring knowledge, which doesn't fit neither to Math, nor to any social science.

The Pythagoras equation holds true for any triangle, even if you're not capable of finding an object with triangular form in nature.

Are you trying to argue that the equation is not true because you've never seen a natural object of triangular shape?


Well then he probably claims social science isn't science either  Roll Eyes

cbeast. What about fractals? They are in nature and in math.  Do they disprove whatever it is you are trying to argue?

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June 11, 2012, 03:46:58 PM
 #82

OK, so you claim math is a science. Fine. a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is a math theorem that is mathematically accurate to absolute precision. Now show me a perfect triangle anywhere in nature that can be measured and independently tested and verified to have perfectly straight lines and can be accurately measured at anytime to be be consistent of the theorem that a^2 + b^2 = c^2 exactly.

But I don't have to show you anything in nature for it to be true.... A triangle has such properties a priori. That's exactly why you should not always use empiricism as a way to acquire knowledge. "Measuring and testing independently at anytime" is the empiricist way of acquiring knowledge, which doesn't fit neither to Math, nor to any social science.

The Pythagoras equation holds true for any triangle, even if you're not capable of finding an object with triangular form in nature.

Are you trying to argue that the equation is not true because you've never seen a natural object of triangular shape?


Well then he probably claims social science isn't science either  Roll Eyes

cbeast. What about fractals? They are in nature and in math.  Do they disprove whatever it is you are trying to argue?
I type too slow. They prove that empirical measurements are important for discovering math models. Yes I believe that social science are just as empirical as chemistry.

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June 11, 2012, 03:49:54 PM
 #83

OK, so you claim math is a science. Fine. a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is a math theorem that is mathematically accurate to absolute precision. Now show me a perfect triangle anywhere in nature that can be measured and independently tested and verified to have perfectly straight lines and can be accurately measured at anytime to be be consistent of the theorem that a^2 + b^2 = c^2 exactly.

But I don't have to show you anything in nature for it to be true.... A triangle has such properties a priori. That's exactly why you should not always use empiricism as a way to acquire knowledge. "Measuring and testing independently at anytime" is the empiricist way of acquiring knowledge, which doesn't fit neither to Math, nor to any social science.

The Pythagoras equation holds true for any triangle, even if you're not capable of finding an object with triangular form in nature.

Are you trying to argue that the equation is not true because you've never seen a natural object of triangular shape?


Well then he probably claims social science isn't science either  Roll Eyes

cbeast. What about fractals? They are in nature and in math.  Do they disprove whatever it is you are trying to argue? Yes I believe that social science are just as empirical as chemistry.
I type too slow. They prove that empirical measurements are important for discovering math models.
Being important for discovering some math models doesn't mean that they are necessary for ALL math models.  I still don't see how the lack of a perfect triangle in the real world disproves Austrian economics.

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June 11, 2012, 03:50:49 PM
 #84

Fractal models exist, yet you will never find a perfect Mandelbrot in Nature.

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June 11, 2012, 03:56:07 PM
 #85

Being important for discovering some math models doesn't mean that they are necessary for ALL math models.  I still don't see how the lack of a perfect triangle in the real world disproves Austrian economics.
Economics in general is just too broad of a social science. Besides, science isn't in the business of disproving anything, just falsifying hypotheses.

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June 11, 2012, 04:00:59 PM
 #86

Fractal models exist, yet you will never find a perfect Mandelbrot in Nature.
And your point is...

Being important for discovering some math models doesn't mean that they are necessary for ALL math models.  I still don't see how the lack of a perfect triangle in the real world disproves Austrian economics.
Economics in general is just too broad of a social science. Besides, science isn't in the business of disproving anything, just falsifying hypotheses.
Too broad for even a social science? lol. I was pretty sure that social sciences were broad anyways...

So what is economics if not math, science, or even a social science? And why does this disprove Austrians? Keynesians are the ones who try to use hard equations, are they not?

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June 11, 2012, 04:03:31 PM
 #87

Math is not science. Math is a descriptive language just like this language. There are no more perfectly straight lines real world than there are invisible pink unicorns. They only exist in the language of our imaginations. This is about philosophy. You can learn more about it by searching the term epistemology.

Mathematics is a science. It's not (only) a descriptive language. Math allows us to obtain true knowledge, not only talk about it. Ex: If two items of the same nature are put together with another two items of the same nature, you'll have four items of that nature (2+2=4). That's not a product of "imaginations", it's a true fact.
I threw you a bone. OK, so you claim math is a science. Fine. a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is a math theorem that is mathematically accurate to absolute precision. Now show me a perfect triangle anywhere in nature that can be measured and independently tested and verified to have perfectly straight lines and can be accurately measured at anytime to be be consistent of the theorem that a^2 + b^2 = c^2 exactly.

Show me any theory that can be measured and shown accurate to absolute precision.  Good luck.

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June 11, 2012, 04:06:05 PM
 #88

Fractal models exist, yet you will never find a perfect Mandelbrot in Nature.
And your point is...

Being important for discovering some math models doesn't mean that they are necessary for ALL math models.  I still don't see how the lack of a perfect triangle in the real world disproves Austrian economics.
Economics in general is just too broad of a social science. Besides, science isn't in the business of disproving anything, just falsifying hypotheses.
Too broad for even a social science? lol. I was pretty sure that social sciences were broad anyways...

So what is economics if not math, science, or even a social science? And why does this disprove Austrians? Keynesians are the ones who try to use hard equations, are they not?
My area of social science is psychology and I have had to dismiss 99% of what I had been taught in favor of new theories. That's what scientists do. Personally, I don't believe in any particular general theory for any social science, but that doesn't meant there are not important predictive models backed by empirical data. In other words, Austrians and Keynesians are both wrong. Social science must be ecclectic to be useful.

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June 11, 2012, 04:08:58 PM
 #89

Show me any theory that can be measured and shown accurate to absolute precision.  Good luck.
That's my point. That's why models are only predictive and may be dismissed anytime a better model is discovered. There is no absolute truth in science. Math uses "proofs" yet nothing can be proven in nature.

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June 11, 2012, 04:12:43 PM
 #90

This whole thing started because I said that a A theory requires empirical testing, otherwise it is a hypothesis. I still stand by that. Newtonian theory may be dismissed someday because it does not hold up at quantum nor relativistic levels.

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June 11, 2012, 04:17:22 PM
 #91

Fractal models exist, yet you will never find a perfect Mandelbrot in Nature.
And your point is...

Being important for discovering some math models doesn't mean that they are necessary for ALL math models.  I still don't see how the lack of a perfect triangle in the real world disproves Austrian economics.
Economics in general is just too broad of a social science. Besides, science isn't in the business of disproving anything, just falsifying hypotheses.
Too broad for even a social science? lol. I was pretty sure that social sciences were broad anyways...

So what is economics if not math, science, or even a social science? And why does this disprove Austrians? Keynesians are the ones who try to use hard equations, are they not?
My area of social science is psychology and I have had to dismiss 99% of what I had been taught in favor of new theories. That's what scientists do. Personally, I don't believe in any particular general theory for any social science, but that doesn't meant there are not important predictive models backed by empirical data. In other words, Austrians and Keynesians are both wrong. Social science must be ecclectic to be useful.
Well now I understand you a little more.  I thought you were arguing against Austrians and for Keynesians and so none of your arguments made any sense to me.

I don't think anyone here claimed that Austrian economists are absolutely right about everything.  Most here seem to believe that the Austrian models are simply more accurate than the Keynesian's.

This whole thing started because I said that a A theory requires empirical testing, otherwise it is a hypothesis. I still stand by that. Newtonian theory may be dismissed someday because it does not hold up at quantum nor relativistic levels.
But even after Newton's theory (which by your own admission HAS EMPIRICAL TESTING) is dismissed, it will still have been useful.  It still gave us lots of models of our universe even though they may be off by a small amount.

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June 11, 2012, 06:57:30 PM
 #92

This whole thing started because I said that a A theory requires empirical testing, otherwise it is a hypothesis. I still stand by that. Newtonian theory may be dismissed someday because it does not hold up at quantum nor relativistic levels.
Technically you are correct, however you are still making the assumption that the purpose of economics is to explain empirical phenomena. Strictly speaking, Austrian economics isn't about empirical phenomena, similarly as math.

Hoppe and Mises argue that the axioms are selected as propositions which to deny would be absurd or contradictory. My own take is that the act of denial of the axiom would need to presuppose a different axiom, contradictory to the one you're trying to disprove.

An example is the human action axiom: people use means to achieve ends. In order to deny this, you need to present a counterargument. But presenting a counterargument is itself a mean (argumentation) to achieve a goal (resolution of a dispute). So you simultaneously need to assume people do, and do not, act, leading to a contradictory combination of axioms.
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June 11, 2012, 07:06:26 PM
 #93

This whole thing started because I said that a A theory requires empirical testing, otherwise it is a hypothesis. I still stand by that. Newtonian theory may be dismissed someday because it does not hold up at quantum nor relativistic levels.
Technically you are correct, however you are still making the assumption that the purpose of economics is to explain empirical phenomena. Strictly speaking, Austrian economics isn't about empirical phenomena, similarly as math.

Hoppe and Mises argue that the axioms are selected as propositions which to deny would be absurd or contradictory. My own take is that the act of denial of the axiom would need to presuppose a different axiom, contradictory to the one you're trying to disprove.

An example is the human action axiom: people use means to achieve ends. In order to deny this, you need to present a counterargument. But presenting a counterargument is itself a mean (argumentation) to achieve a goal (resolution of a dispute). So you simultaneously need to assume people do, and do not, act, leading to a contradictory combination of axioms.
What you are describing can also define any organized religion. I will defer this type of orgumentation to theologians. Case in point:
axiom1: people use means to achieve ends
axiom2: there is no free will, all is predetermined
Neither are valid without empirical evidence.

Quote
My own take is that the act of denial of the axiom would need to presuppose a different axiom, contradictory to the one you're trying to disprove.

I prefer the Null Hypothesis. Finding empirical evidence that contradicts a hypothesis does not posit an alternat hypothsis. It just means its time to do more science. Besides, there's cake.

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June 11, 2012, 07:49:40 PM
 #94

What you are describing can also define any organized religion.
Religion is based on the assumption that there is basically a second universe, and that there is some sort of relationship between it and our. Austrian economics doesn't do this.

I will defer this type of orgumentation to theologians. Case in point:
axiom1: people use means to achieve ends
axiom2: there is no free will, all is predetermined
Neither are valid without empirical evidence.
Yet again you are mixing this with empirical phenomena. Axioms cannot be "valid" or "invalid". They can only be combined in ways that are, or aren't, contradictory.

I prefer the Null Hypothesis. Finding empirical evidence that contradicts a hypothesis does not posit an alternat hypothsis. It just means its time to do more science. Besides, there's cake.
Then this isn't economics in the Austrian sense.
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June 11, 2012, 08:09:10 PM
 #95

What you are describing can also define any organized religion.
Religion is based on the assumption that there is basically a second universe, and that there is some sort of relationship between it and our. Austrian economics doesn't do this.
Not all religions believe in a second universe. Many just believe things about this one that cannot be validated with evidence, only faith.

I will defer this type of orgumentation to theologians. Case in point:
axiom1: people use means to achieve ends
axiom2: there is no free will, all is predetermined
Neither are valid without empirical evidence.
Yet again you are mixing this with empirical phenomena. Axioms cannot be "valid" or "invalid". They can only be combined in ways that are, or aren't, contradictory.
Whether invalid or contradictory, both yield a useless axiom.

I prefer the Null Hypothesis. Finding empirical evidence that contradicts a hypothesis does not posit an alternat hypothsis. It just means its time to do more science. Besides, there's cake.
Then this isn't economics in the Austrian sense.
All social sciences must use statistics to validate a hypothesis. If Austrian Economics does not use statistics, then economics in the Austrian sense does not use the generally accepted scientific method used by peer reviewed journals. Therefore I don't call it science.

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June 12, 2012, 08:29:24 AM
 #96

Not all religions believe in a second universe. Many just believe things about this one that cannot be validated with evidence, only faith.
I would not classify that as religion.

Whether invalid or contradictory, both yield a useless axiom.
They yield a useless combination of axioms.

All social sciences must use statistics to validate a hypothesis. If Austrian Economics does not use statistics, then economics in the Austrian sense does not use the generally accepted scientific method used by peer reviewed journals. Therefore I don't call it science.
And I don't call it science either, similarly as I don't call math or logic science. We appear to agree then.
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June 12, 2012, 03:41:17 PM
 #97

Not all religions believe in a second universe. Many just believe things about this one that cannot be validated with evidence, only faith.
I would not classify that as religion.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion:
Quote
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.

Where does that say you have to believe in alternate universes?  Clue: it doesn't.  Why do you define religion so narrowly?

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June 12, 2012, 04:42:35 PM
 #98


2)Thankfully "the scientific method" aka: the cook-book substitute for thinking, is not accepted by everyone.


This sounds like an interesting perspective. What do you mean by "cook-book substitute for thinking"?
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June 12, 2012, 05:22:45 PM
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Where does that say you have to believe in alternate universes?  Clue: it doesn't.  Why do you define religion so narrowly?
I apologise, I did not want to divert the flow of the debate.

Spirituality and moral values are not empirical phenomena. Nor are they adequately (or even correctly) described as axiomatic systems. They require a different, non-empirical, type of phenomena, to be "real". An alternate universe is a simple description of this non-empirical reality.

The best explanation I know of is by Terry Pratchett in Hogfather:
Quote from: Terry Pratchett
“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET - Death waved a hand - AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME... SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point-"

MY POINT EXACTLY.”
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June 12, 2012, 05:51:50 PM
 #100

Where does that say you have to believe in alternate universes?  Clue: it doesn't.  Why do you define religion so narrowly?
I apologise, I did not want to divert the flow of the debate.

Spirituality and moral values are not empirical phenomena. Nor are they adequately (or even correctly) described as axiomatic systems. They require a different, non-empirical, type of phenomena, to be "real". An alternate universe is a simple description of this non-empirical reality.

The best explanation I know of is by Terry Pratchett in Hogfather:
Quote from: Terry Pratchett
“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET - Death waved a hand - AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME... SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point-"

MY POINT EXACTLY.”
You just blew my mind.

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