Thursday, December 13, 2007

Santa Claus does too exist!

Contrary to the assertion of the scandalous propaganda on the left, Santa Claus does indeed exist. And I can prove it. Start with proposition A:
A. If A is true, then Santa Claus exists.
Now, suppose A were true. Then it would follow that if A is true, then Santa Claus exists, and again since we're supposing A is true, it would follow that Santa Claus exists. So we've shown that if A is true, then Santa Claus exists. But that is proposition A, so we've proven that proposition A is true. So that means that Santa Claus exists! (A remarkable conclusion given my recent post on things that probably don't exist.)

The only trouble is that the reasoning above lets you prove anything (e.g. that penguins rule the universe). It's an example of Curry's paradox, which can't be easily explained away, and is the subject of ongoing research by logicians.

Bah humbug!

Still not convinced? Thomas Aquinas to the rescue! Well, actually, his modern admirers. Aquinas came up with 5 ways of proving the existence of God. Dr. Joseph Magee, a Thomistic scholar, has used similar methods to develop 5 ways of proving the existence of Santa Claus. For example:
The fourth way is taken from the grades which are found in Christmas spirit. Indeed, in this world, among men there are some of more and some of less Christmas spirit. But "more" and "less" is said of diverse things according as they resemble in their diverse ways something which is the "maximum." Therefore there must be something which has the most Christmas spirit, and this we call Santa Claus.
I would question, however, the implicit assumption that it's a man who fits the bill.

Visions of sugarplums

If you think I'm just trying to flatter the jolly old elf so as to garner more loot this Christmas, well ... keep quiet about it, would ya?

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Mohammed-TA said...

And...........

assuming the argument that what cannot be proved to exist implies it does not exist is true then.....

Ibn Khatib of Granada (14th century) was clearly wrong (when actually he was not) when he suggested "that the existence of a contagion is established by experience, investigation, the evidence of the senses and trustworthy reports".

He did not observe a bacterium and his deduction was just as likely to be true as untrue because there were other possible explanations (explanations, just like the 'contagion', that themselves would have begged observational proofs).

Ibn Khatib had to prove himself, and his detractors shouldn't have had to because they were right (even when they were actually wrong) and without burden of proof.

10:22 PM, December 13, 2007  
Blogger Nick Barrowman said...

Looks like your comment is with reference to my post on things that (probably) don't exist, although this post is not entirely unrelated!

Thanks for pointing me to Ibn Khatib. Very interesting history.

I wouldn't endorse the argument that what cannot be proved to exist doesn't exist. But in the case of Ibn Khatib's contagion hypothesis, I don't think that the identification of the hypothesized pathogen was necessary. There was empirical evidence supporting his hypothesis. Science can never remove all uncertainty, so I would prefer to avoid the word "proof".

11:10 PM, December 13, 2007  
Anonymous Mohammed-TA said...

Nick,

I hope I am not misunderstood....I am not debating or arguing....only understanding with you. How I am doing that is by taking this opportunity to express my thoughts and let them be modified by reason from elsewhere when there isn't much within me.

You wrote:

"There was empirical evidence supporting his hypothesis"

what and how so?

You also wrote "wouldn't endorse the argument that what cannot be proved to exist doesn't exist"...and I do realise that...but my comments here are not only for your critiquing :)

Again I posit that it is a leap beyond science to claim that what is not found is not there. From a scientific position of "I don't know" to that of "I know" (it doesn't exist). But it shouldn't have to be that way...one could still prove a negative, in theory, and still be scientific.

11:23 PM, December 13, 2007  
Blogger Nick Barrowman said...

You wrote:

"There was empirical evidence supporting his hypothesis"

what and how so?


Following your quote of Ibn Khatib, he went on to say "The fact of infection becomes clear to the investigator who notices how he who establishes contact with the afflicted gets the disease, whereas he who is not in contact remains safe, and how transmission is effected through garments, vessels and earrings." (I got this from a fascinating paper, Syed I.B. 2002, Islamic medicine: 1000 years ahead of its times. Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine.) Khatib was writing in the context of the plague, so he (unfortunately) had lots of empirical evidence!

9:12 AM, December 14, 2007  
Blogger Raywat Deonandan said...

Sweet.

10:10 AM, December 26, 2007  
Anonymous Cheyenne said...

Santa does exist. He resists heat with an Ion sheild. the website http://www.physorg.com/news2487.html uses proof of the ion sheild. "Ion-shield

If Santa Claus is to deliver all the gifts to all the good children, his sleigh must fly so fast that he would burn up due to air resistance. But it has already been documented that Santa has no problem climbing down a chimney with a fire burning below. So how does Santa solve the problem of heat?

"Santa obviously has an ion-shield of charged particles, held together by a magnetic field, surrounding his entire sleigh. This is how he solves the heat problem," points out Knut Jørgen Røed Oedegaard, who also casts a new light in the night sky:

"There are many meteor showers in December. Many astrophysicists, including apparently serious ‘celebrity’ astrophysicists at the university, who maintain that these lights in the sky are the result of dust particles that burn up as they enter our atmosphere. But this is nonsense, because they ignore the truth: That the lights are the result of Santa Claus moving out of and into the atmosphere as he travels around the globe delivering Christmas presents!”


Santa is a real as love. Just because you can't see it doesn't make it false. So many people follow Jesus or Muhammad, or Buddha when no one has seen any of them! It's called having faith.

-Cheyenne

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