This thought experiment is exactly the same as with the Glove Universe, except that it will have less parts. We will simply stipulate a new Universe for the game and then look at the Truth Lists for this Universe
Imagine a universe that is just a circle. No different on the inside or out, but a circle, perfect in its simplicity.
Your Glove Universe and my Glove Universe would have been distinct, it’s very unlikely we could imagine identical gloves, especially not if we started getting really trivial with our Truth List. Perhaps yours had stubbier fingers than mine or yours had thick external seams whereas mine were concealed.
With the Circle universes our Imaginings, and thus stipulations, will be identical. To see this, try to imagine a statement that could be true of your perfect Circle Universe but not True of mine. If you can imagine one in your Universe then you have cheated and not imagined a perfect circle.
Now let’s play the Truth game with this new perfectly circular board.
I will write my Lists using Bullets from now on. I am no mathematician but perhaps I may start my Lists like this:
- The proportion of the area of the circle is Pi times the radius squared.
- The circle has exactlly four axis of symmetry.
It is a lot harder with Circles than Gloves to fill the Three Lists because the very act of stipulation/imagination/creation limits what’s possible to say about the Circle Universe. Also, and importantly, the fact that all circles in the Game are perfect means they must also be identical. Two things are identical if the totality of their Truth Lists contain all of the same statements on each List, as would be the case with Perfect Circles but nor red gloves. We can imagine the difference in gloves, but not in perfect circles. And therefore, if follows that we can have no differences between our Circle Universes, to show me wrong here you just need to come up with a statement that would be true of your universe but not mine (without changing the rules of the game.)
We are going to move to the even more simple “Board” for our next variant of the Game, in the next part of this Thought Experiment.
Imagine a Single Point universe.
I don’t know what that means in any deep or metaphysical sense. I can’t imagine a Single Point Universe like I think I can a Glove Universe or a cosmic Universe and I certainly can’t imagine it like I can imagine yesterday’s lunch. But, just like with gloves and circles and anything else, I can fill out the Truth List for the Single Point Universe.
So… let’s play, fill out the Truth Lists for a universe that is just a point. No space or time, without change and structure.
When you try to do this, you will soon see that the Meaningless List can be added to easily, but the other two, Truth and False, are much more challenging.
There are only two true statements I can think off about the Single Point universe, and even these I am not sure what they mean. Here is my Truth List for the Single Point Universe:
- The Point is Identical with Itself.
How can I even be sure that I can have these two True Statement’s on my list? I am not sure that I can, but it strikes me that whatever “existence” is if it is True of the Glove Existing then why would it not be True of the single point existing.
We have stipulated that the universe contains no change. It follows from this stipulation that the point must be identical with itself. If it was not, there would be a change, either in sequence or structure (We shall see what these terms mean in future experiments).
Let’s look to the False List:
- There is no existence.
- The Point is Identical with Itself.
The Single point universe has two False statements on its List, these are, as you can see, simply the opposite of the Truth List.
If this was the case, if the two lists contained items that couldn’t exist within the same game’s Truth lists, then we would have a problem, the most fundamental of problems, the Contradiction.
Underlying all of these Games we can play is a rule set that contains as its most fundamental rule:
There Can be No Contradictions
It doesn’t matter what Universe we try to imagine, if we are reasonable then the underlying truths of Logic dictate that things will be consistent. There can be no contradictions. Soon we will see how emergence is a dependency relationship and we will be able to test this with any statement against any possible universe and see that this NonContradiction flows thought reality, possible and actual.In other words, if you are not prepared to accept this most fundamental rule then these Thought Experiments just cannot be for you:)
Conclusion: The Single Point Philosopher
The Single point universe is logically the most Simple Universe anything could consistently imagine or represent. All we can say are four nontrivial statements, is “that it exists” and “that it is identical with its self” and the negation of these two statements. That’s all we can say, but as we shall see in the next experiments comes, from this most minimal of atoms we can create some amazing things. Before this, I think it would be good to ask the questions we cannot really answer about the Single Point Universe.
So far we haven’t been anywhere near what is traditionally and culturally considered the deeper side of philosophy. In fact, we haven’t really been doing any “philosophizing” at all in these two thought experiments. We have been reporting “the facts” about imaginary universes rather than asking the big Why/What/How? questions common to Philosophy.
As a final exercise, which is ideally suited to the bath, bed or pub, I want you to think about the Single Point Universe in as many ways as you can (or can’t). Try to contemplate the Single Point universe, as we have been; asking questions and suggesting answers. Try to meditate on the single pointed universe, focussing on it with as little distraction as you can (I find this very hard!). Try to visualise the Single Point Universe, even if you never can. Try to doubt it. Try to disprove its possibility.
And when you have tried the above, try, however you can to answer these kind of questions:
- Could it exist?
- Can I make sense of it not existing?
- What is the difference between it existing and not existing?
- Does it contain Pi?
- Does it the anything like time or space?
- Is it true that 4+6=10 in the Single Point Universe?
- If it exists can it then not exist?
- Are the Truth Lists of the Single Point Universe contained within the reality we are now in This Universe. Are all things identical with themselves in this universe? Do all things in this universe exist in some sense in this universe?
- What happens if we add another point exactly like the first?
If you are like me you won’t be able to clearly answer most of the above, but that really doesn’t matter.