It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Plato's theory of forms and information

page: 1

log in


posted on Oct, 24 2021 @ 03:55 AM
When you read about Plato's theories, you may not agree with them in total but you have to be amazed. He was born around 428 B.C. and died around 348 B.C. and he came up with some huge insights about the world without all of the knowledge we have today.

One of those things is his Theory of Forms. Here's a video:

Plato believed there was a world of forms. These forms are perfect, non physical and eternal. These forms were instantiated as shadows in the material world and they were imperfect and temporary. He called them particulars. So you can have the perfect form of an apple that's non physical but the shadows of the apple in the material world will range from good to rotten. From red apples to green.

People like Kurt Godel was a Platonist. He came up with the incompleteness theorems. Plato's ideas are still heavily debated today and can be seen in movies like The Matrix with Plato's Cave.

The Matrix vs. The Allegory of the Cave

Let's look at how this might relate to information. Information is defined as the reduction of uncertainty by Claude Shannon. Leonard Susskind talks about quantum information and describes it as the distinctions between things. He says distinctions between things can never be destroyed even when objects fall into a black hole.

At around 2:20 he starts talking about information as distinctions between things that can't be lost. Here's more:

A definition of information consistent with our simple cases is “the number of microstates.” Susskind says[v] that conservation of information could also be described as conservation of distinction. Distinct states never evolve into more or fewer distinct states. In thermodynamics, a process can be reversible or irreversible.

Notwithstanding the above, I can’t resist mentioning that in Boltzmann’s definition[vi], entropy is “a measure of the number of possible microscopic states (or microstates) of a system in thermodynamic equilibrium, consistent with its macroscopic thermodynamic properties (or macrostate).” It then follows that the total number of microstates (information) is greater than or equal to the entropy. For the case with exactly one macrostate, then entropy and information are equal. That is consistent with information as being independent of the (macro)state.

An amusing aside. Susskind calls[vii] Conservation of Information the -1st law of thermodynamics, and the 0th law of thermodynamics is, “If A is in thermal equilibrium with B, and B with C, then A must be in thermal equilibrium with C”, and the more familiar 1st law that we teach students is Conservation of Energy. He emphasizes that information is more fundamental than entropy and energy.

Think about how much this sounds like Plato's Theory of Forms.

No matter what you throw into a black hole, the distinction or what I call kind is preserved and never lost. So you can throw TV's, Airplanes, Humans, Trees and Cars into a black hole and the distinctions between these things can never be destroyed.


You have to ask, does the information represent a mind or Logos! Does the mind of God keep these things distinct or of there own kind. It goes even deeper.

It would be interesting to see if when things are thrown into a black hole are they reduced to one form or kind. For instance:

You throw a million phones(cell phones, land line phones) into a black hole, will they be reduced to a million different distinctions between each phone or will it be reduced to a single ideal phone. The mind, which is aware of this ideal form of the phone can then make variations of this ideal phone which would be the shadows of what's real. Or, it would be reduced to a family of phones. So the family: phone includes the ideal land line phones, the ideal flip phones, the ideal smartphones and more.

You can do the same thing with Airplanes and 100,000 old planes, jets, passenger planes and private planes fall into a black hole and they're reduced to an ideal plane that's distinct from the ideal phone. The Logos or Mind can then create variations of these ideal forms(information).

So these distinctions or kinds can extend all the way up to Genesis.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Notice how the idea was in the Logos of God before He Created. We do the same thing in a smaller and more imperfect way. A building, TV, car, house or table is in the mind of the inventor before they create it in the physical. So what's created in the physical is a shadow of the ideal form or idea.

Remember what it said in the article:

For the case with exactly one macrostate, then entropy and information are equal. That is consistent with information as being independent of the (macro)state.

This would mean the ideal form(information) is independent of the macrostate!

So the ideal form(car) is independent of the macrostates(different cars). So the human mind can make variations of the ideal form or kind(information) of the car because we have the Breath of Life from God!
edit on 24-10-2021 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2021 @ 04:41 AM
I liked this a lot, maybe I shouldn't have read it after 4 hours sleep though. I'm only just dipping my toe into philosophy and haven't got to plato yet. So yes mind 🤯👍🏼
edit on 24-10-2021 by Albert999 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2021 @ 06:08 AM
I would recommend dropping "this describes God" part. The bible may be written by someone understanding tye forms theory prior to plato, however.

Good thread. I doubt ATS has a lot to debate on Plato and philosophy.

posted on Oct, 24 2021 @ 06:14 AM
a reply to: neoholographic

Starred & Flagged.

I think Plato was onto something. I always liked his Allegory of the Cave.

posted on Oct, 24 2021 @ 02:32 PM
a reply to: neoholographic
I latched on to the Theory of Forms ages ago and passing through subsequent philosophies, still find his idea of Forms to be the one I find most persuasive.

The chair I sit in is a reflection of the Great Chair in the Sky. Likewise the rocking chair I sit it is a reflection of the Great Rocking Chair in the Sky. The easy chair, The Great Easy Chair in the Sky.

So in this view, those who invent do not really invent, rather, they discover. The process of inventing is really a hit and miss process of discovery. Yeah?

This can carry over into art. An artist doesn't create, the artist discovers the art and brings it out of the realm of art in the sky.

And all of that as you suggest is highly debatable.

posted on Oct, 24 2021 @ 07:49 PM

originally posted by: Romeopsi
a reply to: neoholographic

Starred & Flagged.

I think Plato was onto something. I always liked his Allegory of the Cave.

He was and some of his thoughts were influenced by the Bible. Genesis says man was Created in the image and likeness of God.

Image is the Hebrew word tselem.

From an unused root meaning to shade

tselem, tseh'-lem; from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol:—image, vain shew.

Likeness in Hebrew is dᵉmûwth.

dᵉmûwth, dem-ooth'; from H1819; resemblance; concretely, model, shape; adverbially, like:—fashion, like (-ness, as), manner, similitude.

Genesis was written before Plato was born. God is the ideal Being. He's Perfection and we're Created in His image and likeness. We're a shadow of God in the physical. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we're body, soul and spirit.

In Hebrews 8:5 it says:

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

You had the word Logos used in the Bible:

Logos is the Greek word transcribed as “reason,” “word,” “speech,” or “principle.” In Greek philosophy, it related to a universal, divine reason or the mind of God. The gospel of John connected this Greek term with the nature and existence of God and Jesus Christ.

Here's more:

Logos is the Greek term meaning “the Word.” Greek philosophers like Plato used Logos not only of the spoken word but also of the unspoken word, the word still in the mind -- the reason. When applied to the universe, Greeks were speaking to the rational principle that governs all things.

A Greek philosopher named Heraclitus first used the term Logos around 600 BC to designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates the entire universe. Monotheistic Jews used Logos to refer to God, since He was the rational mind -- reason -- behind the creation and coordination of the universe.

Thus, John (the author of the biblical book of John) used a very special word -- Logos -- that was meaningful to both the Jews and the Greeks during the first century AD.

“In the beginning was Logos (the Word), and the Logos was with God, and Logos was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. Logos (The Word) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14).

So like you said, Plato was onto something because some of what he said was found in the Old Testament. The 1st chapter in Genesis is God using the Words Let there be to Create.

So, John used the word Logos to capture Christ's pre-existent nature. Of course words alone can't fully capture this but this word had meaning to both the Greeks and the Hebrews of that time. This would also help people understand The Trinity. Verse 18 in John chapter 1 says:

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

The Hebrew word for bosom is kolpos. To say Christ is in the bosom of the Father is to say he's exactly like the Father but distinct. Here's an example they give.

to obtain the seat next to Abraham, i. e. to be partaker of the same

So at a dinner, a person sitting at the bosom of the table with Abraham or right next to Abraham, should be treated with all of the respect you would give Abraham. So saying Jesus is in the bosom of the Father is saying he's the same as the Father but distinct from the Father.

posted on Oct, 25 2021 @ 06:59 PM
Stop obsessing over Christianity if you aren't going derive the authors inspiration.. It's not magic divine penmans possession. These priests and prophets weren't mystified by their own words. They knew their inspirations. Obviously. They didn't wake up to magic scribbled texts with their name signed.
edit on 25-10-2021 by Ppl4Music because: (no reason given)

new topics

top topics


log in