We can debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin
til the cows come home. My point stands though -- there is
a very different feeling between being allowed to choose
_between_ a narrow band of alternatives laid out in advance,
and being free to do _anything_ not expressly forbidden by
Even if there are 10000 activities laid out in advance that
is a narrow band of alternatives, as a function of what the
real choices are to a person with freedom of movement and
control of her/his own time.
On Fri, 11 May 2001, Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. wrote:
> Hi everyone:
> Scott David Gray wrote:
> > ...
> > The very thing that has made Sudbury Schools successful is
> > the fact that the trust and freedom are COMPLETE. ...
> I wonder to what extent the arguments for and against "hy-
> brid" schools are merely semantic rather than basic.
> One of my loves is logic, and I have found that in logic,
> whenever one employs terms such as "absolute", "total",
> "infinite", "complete", etc., one gets into absurd situations.
> Thus, for instance, a hypothetically All-Powerful Being
> must have the power to ask a question that He Himself
> cannot possibly answer! This is of course quite absurd.
> Similarly, if one gives others COMPLETE freedom, that
> must include the freedom to take away the freedom of oth-
> ers, and to keep it that way for ever and ever!
> In that case, freedom cannot really be COMPLETE, now
> can it. It can only be *nearly* complete. *Totally* com-
> plete freedom entails also the total *lack* of freedom --
> which is a paradox.
> These "paradoxes", however, like the "Liar Paradox" and
> the "Berry Paradox" -- i.e., the paradoxes of saying "This
> sentence is false" (which is false even if it is true, and true
> even if it is false!) and claiming that "The undefinable can be
> defined as <That which cannot be defined>" (which allows
> one to actually define the undefinable!) -- are merely seman-
> tic, and have nothing to do with reality. They come about
> because of the limitations of language. One can *enunciate*
> them, but one cannot have them in reality: i.e., one cannot
> bring them to others "on a platter", as it were.
> Likewise, I think arguments about "TOTAL freedom", etc.,
> are also merely semantic, and have nothing to do with real-
> ity. The human mind, being incomplete and finite, just can-
> not tackle the concept of completeness and totality. It
> sometimes *thinks* it can do so, but that's an illusion.
> Best wishes,
> Home Page: <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/education.html
> BTW: If anyone is interested in exploring this "paradox
> problem" further, I have discussed it in detail in my book
> *Critique of Gödel's Theorem*, available for download
> from my Home Page.
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