Godel's Proof and The Human Condition
What does Godel's Proof have to do with the human condition?
Godel's Proof has nothing to do with the human condition(*1) -except, and that in an intellectual sense, it DOES account for its existence -as a consequence of ignorantly created and circumstantially continuing, ambiguous language and
the unpredictability of what we have yet to discover.
'The domain of human experience' can be examined as a 'mathematical system' -axioms of unambiguous word definition and manipulation rules of consistently intelligible grammar- for which it may then be expected -Godel's Proof applying, that 'a human
condition' will exist at least as long as we use language incompatible with the phenomenology of the system to drive human steward- and arbitership -statements of 'ambiguous words and inconsistent use'.
Next (from Scientific American's June 1999 'The Limits of Logic' by John Dawson Jr -*2) is an example which suggests the applicability of Godel's Proof as to all human language in general.
"Godel's most famous contribution was the proof that some statements about natural numbers are true but unprovable. Unfortunately, a long history of attempts to find statements that are undecided -that is, neither provable nor disprovable- has led to
few simple examples. One is the following sentence:
This statement is unprovable.
The above can be coded as a numerical equation according to a formula devised by Godel. The equation is not provable and therefore affirms the meaning of the English-language proposition. That means, however, that the statement is true."
[The possibility of such conversion of 'common language' is discussed in two very short essays, Roget's Thesaurus and The System of Human Experience and Organizational Aspects of 'The Human Phenomenon and
Examples of the importance of this situation are given in A Selection of Issues That Have Surfaced During The Course of These Writings, Appendix 3 of The Nature and Course of Human Evolution as
The Basis of Economic Policy.]
(*7) For any 'properly analytical inquiry', some set of axioms and rules may be constructed upon which a correspondingly 'proper system of theoretics' may be constructed -and human experience is such system material by existence of
specifiable language of consistent and unambiguous definitions and rules attachable all things human -the variously statistical or critically definitive disciplines of the human organism and its manifest capabilities -the whole, constituting
phenomenology. Only superficially 'missing' then, would be an assimilation of noumenal or 'cultural' thought into that system -the ethical and moral beliefs and mechanisms thru which that phenomenology is institutionalized to couch
and serve the situations and circumstances of human interaction and progression. Such 'noumenal' material ('nature of god' et cetera) is NOT part of this system; the etiology of the existence of such material, on the other hand, is -and can
in fact, be developed from it(*3).
We have, in effect, a 'system of human phenomenology' and an inherently evolved 'apocrypha' of inconsistent and ambiguous dogma for a logically inseparable 'congregational' body: 'human rights and freedoms', 'human nature' and generally factional
other beliefs and 'theoretics' of little integrity with
respect to that phenomenology -statements neither 'provable' nor 'disprovable' within the system. -One set of consistent and unambiguous 'axioms'(*4) is augmented thru an antithetical dogma(*5) for an
institutionalization of 'theoretics'(*6) arbitrating and stewarding the human condition.
For any given set of 'consistent and unambiguous axioms' comprised to underlie 'resolving a human condition' -as opposed to 'working a system of human experience', there will always be possible some set of unprovable statements
-potentially disintegrating perceptions of situations- which one is in fact, not 'bound to accept', but which one does hominid-being accept with neither need nor provability. Changes intended to bring such unprovables 'properly' into
the system can only but result in 'a different set of (pseudo)axioms' which in turn can only but conjure up another set of unprovables. -It is only by hewing to developing phenomenology and to that alone that a relatively integral humanity can
more or less knowledgeably and properly 'expedite melioration of a human condition' -and that only heuristically so.
GODEL's PROOF. Ernst Nagel and James R. Newman. New York University Press, 1958. .
Back to downloaded Home Page or Download the Home Page
or back to Complete list of Essays and Appendices
(9102) First posted: November 7, 1995; Last modified: January 10, 2007
*1 - the human condition: a phrase generally referring to the class of problems inherent of circumstance or eventuality in various interpersonal or inter-association memberships. Because of the absence of an unambiguous
framework of problem encompass and resolution acceptable to all its various principals, furthermore, problems of 'the human condition' tend to be 'only locally and immediately resolvable and/or only partially so at best'.
(-from Questions and Answers in which there is also some introductory discussion -see also The Human Condition.)
*2 - "Two years later he [Godel] acquired American citizenship. On that occasion, the judge who swore him in made the unfortunate error of asking his opinion of the U.S. Constitution and unleashed a pent-up lecture on its
(-from Godel and the Limits of Logic by John W. Dawson, Jr. -Scientific American June 1999)
*3 - In April 1998, The Atlantic Monthly published EO Wilson's misnamed The Biological Basis of Morality where, contrary to what the title suggests -a validation of 'moral principles', essay substance is more properly that of The
Biological Basis and Etiology of the Existence of Morality' -that is, preclusive of 'principles' (any) and their 'propriety'. This 'subtlety' is of the greatest importance in that it identifies the manifest preponderance (in human communication)
of material fundamentally lacking forensic integrity -dogged, interminably, with 'further clarification'. (-from The Matter of Forensic Integrity)
*4 - phenomenals: the factuals and factual properties of the human system: (eg) specifiable materiality of composition and product, statistical observations, biological and physical laws or rules, and even operational or 'imposed' laws
insofar as (properly based upon the latter) they provide unambiguous regulation and government.
*5 - noumenals: beliefs, ethics, 'preferences', cultural definitions, 'basic human rights and freedoms' et cetera, a god to 'contain' an unthinkable 'uncontained' (universe etc), and last but not least, questions and assertions generally
posable, but axiomatically invalid to analysis or response.
*6 - applied 'theoretics': the communion of items 1 and 2 into the mechanisms, devices, rules and regulations of steward- and arbitership: life-style-and-quality, work ethic, personal and/or family policy, 'triage', democracy, religion,
political platform, aristocracy et cetera.