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Thread: Does Everything Have an Opposite?

  1. #1 Does Everything Have an Opposite? 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Left/right, up/down, bad/good, just to name a few.

    How about a rock? 'Nothing' seems to be a good answer for the opposite of anything you can't think of an opposite to. If everything has an opposite then does it mean that in order to have a reality, this condition must exist?


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Opposite of hot?
    Cold is a lack of heat, not an opposite.
    "Nothing" isn't a good answer for the opposite of anything you can't think of an opposite to, since being the "opposite" to any number of things it's not the opposite to any one of them, i.e. the relationship isn't reversible.


    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    "Nothing" isn't a good answer for the opposite of anything you can't think of an opposite to, since being the "opposite" to any number of things it's not the opposite to any one of them, i.e. the relationship isn't reversible.
    How about the terms order/disorder instead?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  5. #4  
    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Well they're opposites, but only for each other.

    We had a similar thread on a different forum a while ago (although the OP was considerably less versed in... reality).

    I came up with a few to illustrate the faults in his "thinking".

    Item/ opposite.

    Indian/ Chinese.
    White/ yellow.
    23/ 58.
    Grass/ busted.

    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Well they're opposites, but only for each other.
    How about wave/particle?

    Positive/negative, right/wrong, loose/tight are all states of being more or less. Can the same be said for the properties of light and just about everything else?(might as well get some science in the discussion).

    I wish I thought of this earlier as it might develop into a good discussion but I'm bagged and off to the fart sack. Pick it up tomorrow.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  7. #6  
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    You'll get yourself all tangled up before much longer.

    Sound / silence looks like a good candidate for simple opposites. But opposite for 'noise'? Is it silence, maybe music, maybe conversation?

    And what's the opposite for 'musical'? Is it silent or tuneless or cacophonous or just noisy?

    I think we're right at the edge of the rabbit-hole here.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  8. #7  
    Nut Hunter.. NMSquirrel's Avatar
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    up,down,
    left,right
    hot,cold,
    in,out
    squirrel,dyw (lol)
    nothing exists by itself.
    entropy dictates otherwise.
    The term 'Free' in Free thinking, does not imply control....
    Intelligence is being able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    God is not inside the box.
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  9. #8  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Does Everything Have an Opposite?

    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Left/right, up/down, bad/good, just to name a few.
    Left / Middle / Right / Backwards
    Up / Down/ Straight ahead / Slightly up and to the left
    Bad / Good / Indifferent / Quite nice on Sundays

    The idea of opposites is a human invention. Maybe because we have bilateral symmetry?
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    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  10. #9  
    Nut Hunter.. NMSquirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Does Everything Have an Opposite?

    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Left/right, up/down, bad/good, just to name a few.
    Left / Middle / Right / Backwards
    Up / Down/ Straight ahead / Slightly up and to the left
    Bad / Good / Indifferent / Quite nice on Sundays

    The idea of opposites is a human invention. Maybe because we have bilateral symmetry?
    although he can correct me if i am wrong..

    this isn't a discussion on whether opposites exist alone..
    there are many different degree's of any given situtation, but that doesn't mean there is no such thing as the opposite..

    I think the question would have to become, What defines 'opposite'?

    from Wiki:
    ---------------
    Opposite may refer to:
    [edit] See also

    -------------------
    so if we are not carfull we can dismiss a thing as not being opposite because of point of reference..ie one person is saying it is opposite when he is thinking catagoricly and the other is saying it is not opposite cause that person is thinking mathmaticly..

    <a scottish band singing about leaves?>
    The term 'Free' in Free thinking, does not imply control....
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  11. #10  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post
    this isn't a discussion on whether opposites exist alone..
    there are many different degree's of any given situtation, but that doesn't mean there is no such thing as the opposite..
    Good point. I didn't think of it that way. I guess some things must have opposites otherwise we wouldn't have the word.

    The opposite of "something with an opposite" is "something without an opposite" ...
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  12. #11  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I'm not taking a stance, just being inquisitive. Could we exist in a world where there was only good (no opposite)? How would we measure it? Just wondering if it means anything to our reality or whether a reality could exist without opposites?

    What's the opposite of singularity or does one exist?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  13. #12  
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    I believe that 'opposite' is not a physical concept; its more like mathematics. The ideas of numbers require abstract thinking; you cannot physically define a '1'.
    In the same way, the concept of opposite is abstract in that we only use it to associate characteristics that give us meaning.

    Using the hot/cold as example: there is neither hot nor cold if we define a materials temperature characteristic in terms of the amount of kinetic energy held by its particles. But we use 'hot' and 'cold' since it gives more meaning to the everyday observation of a temperature characteristic. The idea of 'opposite' indicates that we are talking about the extreme ends of the characteristic we are observing.

    The opposite, therefor, only exists if we are observing a quality that has extreme ends; these 'ends' are the opposite pairs you are looking for.

    The real question would be whether or not you can define a characteristic, e.g. temperature, in such a way that you can create an opposite pair.
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  14. #13  
    Nut Hunter.. NMSquirrel's Avatar
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    a circle can have opposites
    The term 'Free' in Free thinking, does not imply control....
    Intelligence is being able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    God is not inside the box.
    http://squirrels-nest.proboards.com/
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  15. #14  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    You could say a rock has an opposite, in that it is hard and the opposite is soft. It is jagged and the opposite is smooth etc. Opposites usually come in the form of dualism; that is there is a descriptive narrative behind explaining reality in terms of the human senses and understanding from experience.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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