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Old 07-31-2008, 03:15 AM   #1
Mindz
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Talking 2 + 2 doesn't = 4? An original proof created by myself.

I decided to post one of my old arguments on another forum and figured I might as well post it here. So let me know what you guys think!

Quote:
Why 2 plus 2 doesn't equal four:

Ever come across a smart ass? One that has an answer for everything? That's me. I love arguing with people irl, not necessarily complaining or fighting, but I manipulate words and can mostly make up valid points (not necessarily facts, but points none-the-less) to prove my point. I literally confuse some people to the point where they don't trust their opinions anymore and just agree with me.

Well I was on AIM with a friend of mine who was psychology student at a Carolina University. After disagreeing with him on some subject (can't remember at the moment), he basically said I could prove anything wrong and get people to believe it. I replied with "Let's try it out. Gimme the first 'matter-of-fact' statement that comes to your mind. What's something that everyone knows to be true?"

"2 + 2 = 4."

I thought about it for about 15 seconds and came up with an arguement. After about 30 minutes of debate, he had his arithmetics professor join the aim conversation and try to disprove my claim. The professor was stumped. Everything I had stated was true, and there was no fault to it. Now let me make this clear. I'm sure there's a way to disprove my theory, I just haven't found it yet. Anyways, the proof is as follows.


2 + 2 = 4? I think not...


Answer in short: The formula has no units, therefore it is false. Numbers have no properties, they are measurements. Therefore numbers cannot be added together.


Answer in long:
When given the statement 2+2=4, we break it down and look at each part.

2 (number)
+ (operator)
2 (number)
= (operator)
4 (number)

now let's get rid of the operators and you have numbers. What is a number? A number is a quantity of units.

For example, 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples.

In this formula, the number of apples are being added, not the numbers.

Numbers have no properties, they are measurements. Therefore numbers cannot be added together. You can add the apples, but you will never be able to add one number to another.


I'm sure I'm forgetting parts, but that's the basis of it. Please let me know if you have ways to prove it false or if you have something you want me to prove false, post up a new thread and I'll answer it as philisophically as I can.


P.S. My major was Visual and Game Programming, I'm not a philosopher but I "have a B.S. in BS"
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Last edited by Mindz; 07-31-2008 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:29 AM   #2
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This is the most retarded thing I've ever seen.
If a number is a unit or a quantity of units or a representation of a unit or quantity of units, you can add them together. Unless you are from West Virginia, you can add numbers.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:38 AM   #3
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I didn't say you couldn't add them. The point is that you can't add a number unless it's attached to a unit. At that point you're adding the units, not the numbers themselves.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:39 AM   #4
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I your original post you said that a number was a unit... so what is the difference?
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:41 AM   #5
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That or is "of" typo. It's now fixed.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:51 AM   #6
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I still stand by my statement that a number IS a unit of measure.
The apple just defines the unit of measure as a particular type of unit.
The type of unit is irrelivant to it's ability to be added together.

If somebody askes me how many apples and oranges I want. My answer can be 4 and the amount of each type doesn't matter to me. As long as I get 4, I don't care what the ratio is. Just give me 4 of anything.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:00 AM   #7
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your unit then turns to mixed fruit, not the number itself.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:20 AM   #8
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Call it whatever you want, but I don't have to give a name to my unit. The unit of measure is 4. If I say I want 4, it is understood without me telling you what type of unit it is.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:30 AM   #9
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According to Merrium Webster a number is: a unit belonging to an abstract mathematical system and subject to specified laws of succession, addition, and multiplication

So by that definition the number IS the unit.

There is no apple, only the unit. You just choose to visualize the apple to represent the unit which is 4.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingnotes View Post
Call it whatever you want, but I don't have to give a name to my unit. The unit of measure is 4. If I say I want 4, it is understood without me telling you what type of unit it is.
Or implied units that the number is representing.




Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingnotes View Post
According to Merrium Webster a number is: a unit belonging to an abstract mathematical system and subject to specified laws of succession, addition, and multiplication

So by that definition the number IS the unit.

There is no apple, only the unit. You just choose to visualize the apple to represent the unit which is 4.
And dictionary.com says this

Quote:
num·ber Audio Help /ˈnʌmbər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[nuhm-ber] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. a numeral or group of numerals.
2. the sum, total, count, or aggregate of a collection of units, or the like: A number of people were hurt in the accident. The number of homeless children in the city has risen alarmingly.
3. a word or symbol, or a combination of words or symbols, used in counting or in noting a total.
4. the particular numeral assigned to an object so as to designate its place in a series: house number; license number.
5. one of a series of things distinguished by or marked with numerals.
6. a certain collection, company, or quantity not precisely reckoned, but usually considerable or large: I've gone there a number of times.
7. the full count of a collection or company.
8. a collection or company.
9. a quantity of individuals: Their number was more than 20,000.
So by that definition,a number ISN'T a unit. It can be symbolized a numeral, but it is not a unit itself.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:06 AM   #11
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Okay then, a numeral is a symbolic representation of a unit. If I understand you correctly, this is your argument. That it is a symbolic representation and not the unit itself. Even in that case the symbol as a representation is equal to the actual unit.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:35 AM   #12
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I see what he is saying, but mathamatically 2+2 will always equal 4
Just because you do not give it an attachment to some sort of unit does not mean you cannot add them together. by It'self each number really has no meaning. but you can still add two numbers together, but you just end up with another number.

Now answer this.

If you are driving at the speed of light and turn your headlights on, What happens?
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:37 AM   #13
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You wouldn't ever see them. The only way a person could see the headlights was if you hit them and they'd catch a very fast glimpse before the oxygen and blood drained from their brain.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingnotes View Post
Okay then, a numeral is a symbolic representation of a unit. If I understand you correctly, this is your argument. That it is a symbolic representation and not the unit itself. Even in that case the symbol as a representation is equal to the actual unit.
The numeral is a way of communicating the number, it is not the number itself.

Quote:
I see what he is saying, but mathamatically 2+2 will always equal 4
Just because you do not give it an attachment to some sort of unit does not mean you cannot add them together. by It'self each number really has no meaning. but you can still add two numbers together, but you just end up with another number.
This is correct to a degree. You either get 2 "numbers" or you get one number "4" which is a number representing 4 units.

If no unit is stated, it is implied. That's why people can still write out numbers without units, but to correctly write the formula you include the words in parantheses:

2 (units) + 2 (units) = 4 (units)
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