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# A simple thought experiment

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posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:34 AM

Originally posted by Truthandinfo

Any answer that was received from someone that you didn't trust (with the condition that you didn't already know the answer), no matter what the person that you didn't trust told you, you would still be sceptical and unsure of the correct answer.

Yes, but let's assume that you know your arithmetic. How would you treat the statement that 2 + 2 = 4 if it came from someone you didn't trust?

By the way, thanks for reminding me. I will now amend the description with this assumption.

Also, kudos for ignoring the names of Alice and Bob.
edit on 27-4-2012 by Tadeusz because: (no reason given)

You know 2 + 2 = 4, but you also know (or think) that someone is not trustful. However, they both gave the same answer, which (to you) is correct. If you are unsure of who is trustful and who is.. you still would not be left with much of an answer.

There would be a few possible reasons for them both supplying you with the same answer. The distrustful person does not know their arithmetic (or feels you do not) and tries to lead you astray. They either:

A) Supply you with what they think is the wrong answer (when in all actuality they are mistaken and supply you with the right answer because they do not know any better),
B) they know their arithmetic but assume you do not and supply you with the correct answer hoping you will not trust them and then conclude your own false answer.
C) they know their arithmetic and they know you know your arithmetic and that the answer to 2 + 2 is 4, and they know that you will not be able to believe them or the other person because the answer couldn't be both correct and incorrect.

I'm not really sure if this is a game of liars-truth tellers because no one is obligated to tell a lie or tell the truth. In fact, the distrustful person may even be telling the truth, you just do not trust them. However, one this is for certain, you do trust one of them and since they both supplied you with the same answer, you could assume it is right. You trust one person and you do not trust the other person, but the other person is not a confirmed liar.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:51 AM

1. Alice tells you that 2 + 2 = 4.
2. Bob tells you that 2 + 2 = 4.
3. Alice tells you that today is a Tuesday.
4. Bob tells you that today is a Tuesday.

What I am getting from this thread is that no matter who says what they are correct...Basically the she said he said...So then it falls down to gender... Are females more right, then males...This argument goes nowhere, its 50/50...

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:18 AM

The OP is waiting for someone of a... higher intelligence class to respond.

* tumbleweed tumbles *

What, what? Am I supposed to just give up?
edit on 27-4-2012 by Tadeusz because: (no reason given)

Like the one guy said, "today is Friday". Then again, I'm not supposed to know this, so I'd trust them both since they were honest on a baseline statement (2+2=4), even though I'd be an idiot to trust them due to their honesty on a question that I already knew the answer to.

Like when a psychic/medium correctly tells you the name of your dead mom, and then lies to you about what your dead mom is telling her to tell you. Always bring salt to take with all information that you can't independently verify in follow-up, even if the source has proven accurate and reliable in the past. Anyone can lie as easily as they can tell the truth.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:35 AM
If Alice and Bob both tell me that 2+2=4 and I know for a fact that this is true, there is no reason to not believe either of them. Whether I trust them or not is moot because I know the right answer.

If the events happen in the order listed and I trust that Alice will not lie to me, then there is no reason to not believe Bob.

If I find out that today is not Tuesday, then both nave lied to me and I can no longer trust either one.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 12:46 PM
The scenarios don't happen in sequence. You're presented with each scenario as if you didn't know about the other scenarios. I guess I should make that clear, too.

Originally posted by queenannie38
The alternative choice would be to begin to distrust BOTH...but I know 2 + 2 = 4....so I'd go with trust...besides that...trust is an easier way to live as long as one does not forget to trust one's self before anyone else, in the first place...

That is a mature way of looking at things. It takes too much effort to distrust everything because you'd have to use your own judgement all the time. You make a compromise.

Originally posted by N3k9Ni
If Alice and Bob both tell me that 2+2=4 and I know for a fact that this is true, there is no reason to not believe either of them. Whether I trust them or not is moot because I know the right answer.

Interesting that someone else had figured out "trust" was a red herring for the first two scenarios.

Maybe this will nudge people in the right direction. Both "2 + 2 = 4" and "today is Tuesday" are falsifiable statements. But what makes you treat them differently?

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:36 PM

If it's a given that I understand simple math I know that the right answer to 2 + 2 = 4 so it wouldn't matter who I trust, I know that they are both giving me the right answer.

If by saying that I haven't had contact with the outside world for a long period of time you mean that I don't know what day it actually is, it doesn't matter who I trust either, they can both be wrong, or lying, yet I would be tempted to take Alice's word for it.

Although I can't know for sure if either is telling the truth.

Moral of the story, it doesn't matter really who you trust if you can't verify the truth for yourself. and that just because you trust someone, doesn't mean they are right any more than the person you don't trust.

Like that?

edit on 27-4-2012 by RandomEsotericScreenname because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 05:13 PM

Do Alice & Bob have contact with the outside world?

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 05:33 PM

Good catch. Unfortunately I can't edit the original post. Let's suppose that Alice and Bob have a connection to the outside world, so that they know what day it is.

That's precisely it.

If you verify everything yourself, then you will have no false information, only truths and unknowns. It actually takes a lot of effort verify everything yourself, so you will have to settle for knowing less, or getting information from someone else.

Hence, a population who does not verify anything for itself is easier to control.

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 02:09 PM
Sorry if I'm repeating another person's answer already, as I just jumped to the last page after seeing the post. As stated in the thought experiment...

FACT: 2 + 2 = 4 and I have no contact with the outside world

So if both Bob and Alice told me that 2 and 2 make 4...then I believe the information 'coz I also know that for a fact already.

And if both of them told me it's Tuesday, then I would believe that as well, regardless of whether I distrust one of them or not, BECAUSE ONE OF THEM IS TELLING ME THE TRUTH...and since they gave me both identical answers...I have to believe that it is indeed a Tuesday.

It's all a matter of verifying the message regardless of who the messenger is. It's an exercise on bias and impression.

As for who I distrust or not...Alice or Bob...it doesn't matter.

Thanks!

BTW, the reason why I said that ONE OF THEM IS TELLING THE TRUTH is because of the given premise that I trust one of them. Self-explanatory I should say.
edit on 28-4-2012 by Mitsubishi because: clarification

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 05:23 PM

Yeah ok but do you suspect either Alice or Bob to lie all the time?? Or only about the Tuesday statement? What do you exactly mean with not trusting one of them?

EDIT: what about the person you trust, can't he/she be mistaken? So one is lying about it being Tuesday and the other is mistaken.

edit on 28-4-2012 by QueenofWeird because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 11:21 PM
Well, both of them said the same thing. So, either Alice & Bob are both lying, or Alice & Bob are both telling the truth.

Hey, I'm an equal opportunity paranoid person.

What I'd really be wondering is why both Alice & Bob have come up to me to tell me some useless information. Are they teaming up against me to steal my rations? Are they trying to brainwash me?

What's going on in here? What's going on out there?

2+2 =4, but 2+1=3 and 3-1=2 and 2 is less than three, meaning more twinkies for two than three.

No, Bob... No, Alice!!!

There.... Are... Four..... Lights!
edit on 4/28/2012 by ottobot because: (no reason given)

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