Re: ATOMISM: Crackpot Theory

Anton Sherwood (
Sat, 14 Mar 1998 01:25:57 -0700

What is a crackpot? A crackpot might be one who misunderstands a
generally-accepted theory and, by virtue of that misunderstanding,
claims to find a fatal flaw in it.

Ian Goddard wrote:
> Since the popular definition of identity is
> atomist and states "A=A," which is to say
> that the identity of A is exclusive to A,
> that A is what it is due exclusively to A,

Rubbish. The statement "Ian=Ian" is not a denial that other entities
had causal influence on Ian's nature.

> and since nobody has ever been able to show
> a single example where this claim is true

(or what it might mean)

> -- showing A being A free from any associa-
> tion to not-A --

-- which is not an element of that or any other definition of identity
that I've ever come across --

> it cannot be said to be a
> true identity theory,

A definition is not a theory.

> and logic therefore
> dictates that it must be a false theory,
> particularly when the identity theory,
> "A=A+~A," is never shown to be false.

Because it is vacuous. If it makes you happy to trumpet it as a
revelation, well, I'm glad you have the freedom to enjoy it.

"A=A" is *useful*. "A = the whole universe" may be interesting in some
contexts but where does it get us?!

> Even as the set of evidence supporting A=A
> is an empty set, people go on promoting it
> without so much as a second thought; in fact,
> many of its supporters fanatically attack
> anyone who dares to questions it. It there-
> fore follows that "atomist-identity theory"
> is properly defined as a "crackpot theory."

It is not for you to *define* another's theory. (I don't go around
defining Marxism; that's what Marxists are for.) You may *describe* it
as "crackpot" if you like.

"How'd ya like to climb this high without no mountain?" --Porky Pine
Anton Sherwood   *\\*   +1 415 267 0685
!! visiting New Mexico, end of March !!