A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

### The specificity of our example

Nicolas wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:50 pm Having an infinitude of past events in no way implies that all events already happened (unless the event is totally random) -- this is an assumption that you make which is conceptually wrong, as the mathematical counter-examples produced show.
How can a finite number of possible combinations NOT realized in the infinite past? The specificity of our example is that the number of possible combinations is limited (although it is greater than the Shannon number).

The Pali Abhidhamma does not use functions to explain the reality, it uses finite sets.
Nicolas
Posts: 1097
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

### Re: The specificity of our example

Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:04 pm How can a finite number of possible combinations NOT realized in the infinite past? The specificity of our example is that the number of possible combinations is limited (although it is greater than the Shannon number).

The Pali Abhidhamma does not use functions to explain the reality, it uses finite sets.
A perfect counter-example is the chess one mentioned earlier. There are only a finite number of possible chess games. Yet, supposing an infinity of games played in the past, because games are not played randomly, some games are very likely to have never been played.
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

### Re: The specificity of our example

Nicolas wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:15 pm
Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:04 pm How can a finite number of possible combinations NOT realized in the infinite past? The specificity of our example is that the number of possible combinations is limited (although it is greater than the Shannon number).

The Pali Abhidhamma does not use functions to explain the reality, it uses finite sets.
A perfect counter-example is the chess one mentioned earlier. There are only a finite number of possible chess games. Yet, supposing an infinity of games played in the past, because games are not played randomly, some games are very likely to have never been played.
I disassembled this example. There are restrictions, implicitly - but there are no restrictions on the possibility of games, if by definition all games are possible. Those games that have not been played in the past were impossible. Such games (such lives) are not included in the finite set dictated by the Abhidhamma.

The finite set of all possible sequences of combinations of dhamms in one life should already be formed in the infinity of the past. If life is possible in which Nibbana is achieved, then Nibbana should have already been achieved.
equilibrium
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:07 am

What is the number for Nibbana or the unborn?
It isn't 0 or 1........?
santa100
Posts: 4382
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Germann wrote:The finite set of all possible sequences of combinations of dhamms in one life should already be formed in the infinity of the past. If life is possible in which Nibbana is achieved, then Nibbana should have already been achieved.
Should already, could already,... that's your claim, but you've never replied to my point about the possibility of an infinite future ahead. You have to prove why all sentient beings have to attained Nibbana NOW. Where's your proof to exclude the possibiilty of a being attaining Nibbana not NOW, but NOW + 1, NOW + 10, NOW + 100, NOW + 1000, ....NOW + positive infinity? If your negative infinity up til NOW is infinity, then those are all legit. infinity also right?
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

### Re: Shannon number great, but not infinite

robertk wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:55 am
Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:13 am Shannon number great, but not infinite. The number of possible combinations of a finite number of elements is not infinite. The number of chess pieces is limited. The number of dhammas in the Abhidhamma is limited. The number of combinations can not be infinite.

But the elements in Abhidhamma come in varying degrees of intensity. Dosa can be extremely mild or extreme hatred, and any shade in between...And so with other elements.
The possible number of citta is expanded to 121. Not more. So it is with other dhammas. The number of types of dhammas is limited. The number of all possible combinations of dhammas during life is limited (although more than the number of atoms in our universe).
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

equilibrium wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:01 pm What is the number for Nibbana or the unborn?
It isn't 0 or 1........?
The probability of reaching Nibbana in past lives (the number of which is infinite) = 1. Just like the probability of any possible chess game played in the infinite past. A series of combinations of dhammas leading to the realization of Nibbana throughout life are possible. The number of such combinations is not infinite - just as the number of all possible chess games is not infinite. Because the final set of elements is combined.
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

santa100 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:19 pm
Germann wrote:The finite set of all possible sequences of combinations of dhamms in one life should already be formed in the infinity of the past. If life is possible in which Nibbana is achieved, then Nibbana should have already been achieved.
Should already, could already,... that's your claim, but you've never replied to my point about the possibility of an infinite future ahead. You have to prove why all sentient beings have to attained Nibbana NOW. Where's your proof to exclude the possibiilty of a being attaining Nibbana not NOW, but NOW + 1, NOW + 10, NOW + 100, NOW + 1000, ....NOW + positive infinity? If your negative infinity up til NOW is infinity, then those are all legit. infinity also right?
The infinite monkey theorem.

The number of buttons of the typewriter, the number of letters and punctuation marks is a finite set. The number of dhammas in the Abhidhamma lists is a finite set. The printed text of the novel is a specific sequence of combinations of characters. The life in which Nibbana is realized is a specific sequence of combinations of dhammas. The number of monkeys is infinite. The number of past lives is infinite.

The infinite monkey theorem is not only about the text of the novel, it is about life with the realization of Nibbana too.
DNS
Posts: 13423
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Contact:

### Re: The specificity of our example

Nicolas wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:15 pm
Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:04 pm How can a finite number of possible combinations NOT realized in the infinite past? The specificity of our example is that the number of possible combinations is limited (although it is greater than the Shannon number).
A perfect counter-example is the chess one mentioned earlier. There are only a finite number of possible chess games. Yet, supposing an infinity of games played in the past, because games are not played randomly, some games are very likely to have never been played.
Excellent, the conversation has moved to chess analogies. I love chess and analogies.

As Nicholas noted, if you take some strong chess players, say chess masters and above and have them play an infinite amount of games, none of them will be something like:
1. f3 e5
2. g4?? Qh4#

And then for the purpose of this thought experiment, let's say when someone plays a game at 5000 elo skill, one attains full awakening. (don't take this literally, this is just for the thought experiment).

Patzers could play all day and night for infinite time, they will not reach full awakening.

For chess masters and GMs, there is the potential for them to play at 5000 elo skill after a very long time, but no guarantee. They eventually attain nibbana. The patzers and animals don't attain and are reborn, as mentioned in my previous posts, samsara continues . . .

#
santa100
Posts: 4382
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:52 pm
santa100 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:19 pm
Germann wrote:The finite set of all possible sequences of combinations of dhamms in one life should already be formed in the infinity of the past. If life is possible in which Nibbana is achieved, then Nibbana should have already been achieved.
Should already, could already,... that's your claim, but you've never replied to my point about the possibility of an infinite future ahead. You have to prove why all sentient beings have to attained Nibbana NOW. Where's your proof to exclude the possibiilty of a being attaining Nibbana not NOW, but NOW + 1, NOW + 10, NOW + 100, NOW + 1000, ....NOW + positive infinity? If your negative infinity up til NOW is infinity, then those are all legit. infinity also right?
The infinite monkey theorem.

The number of buttons of the typewriter, the number of letters and punctuation marks is a finite set. The number of dhammas in the Abhidhamma lists is a finite set. The printed text of the novel is a specific sequence of combinations of characters. The life in which Nibbana is realized is a specific sequence of combinations of dhammas. The number of monkeys is infinite. The number of past lives is infinite.

The infinite monkey theorem is not only about the text of the novel, it is about life with the realization of Nibbana too.
You have not answered my questions. I'll repeat:
You have to prove why all sentient beings have to attained Nibbana NOW. Where's your proof to exclude the possibiilty of a being attaining Nibbana not NOW, but NOW + 1, NOW + 10, NOW + 100, NOW + 1000, ....NOW + positive infinity? If your negative infinity up til NOW is infinity, then those are all legit. infinity also right?
equilibrium
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:07 am

Germann wrote: The probability of reaching Nibbana in past lives (the number of which is infinite) = 1.
Are you aware Nibbana is transcendent?.....therefore numbers 0 and 1 do not apply!
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

santa100 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 pm
Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:52 pm
santa100 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:19 pm
Should already, could already,... that's your claim, but you've never replied to my point about the possibility of an infinite future ahead. You have to prove why all sentient beings have to attained Nibbana NOW. Where's your proof to exclude the possibiilty of a being attaining Nibbana not NOW, but NOW + 1, NOW + 10, NOW + 100, NOW + 1000, ....NOW + positive infinity? If your negative infinity up til NOW is infinity, then those are all legit. infinity also right?
The infinite monkey theorem.

The number of buttons of the typewriter, the number of letters and punctuation marks is a finite set. The number of dhammas in the Abhidhamma lists is a finite set. The printed text of the novel is a specific sequence of combinations of characters. The life in which Nibbana is realized is a specific sequence of combinations of dhammas. The number of monkeys is infinite. The number of past lives is infinite.

The infinite monkey theorem is not only about the text of the novel, it is about life with the realization of Nibbana too.
You have not answered my questions. I'll repeat:
You have to prove why all sentient beings have to attained Nibbana NOW.
I already did. A limited set of combinations-it completely fits into the infinite past, so it's all there.
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

equilibrium wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 pm
Germann wrote: The probability of reaching Nibbana in past lives (the number of which is infinite) = 1.
Are you aware Nibbana is transcendent?.....therefore numbers 0 and 1 do not apply!
Nibbana can be anything. The process of achieving it consists of a sequence of combinations of non-permanent dhammas.
santa100
Posts: 4382
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:09 pm
santa100 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 pm
Germann wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:52 pm
The infinite monkey theorem.

The number of buttons of the typewriter, the number of letters and punctuation marks is a finite set. The number of dhammas in the Abhidhamma lists is a finite set. The printed text of the novel is a specific sequence of combinations of characters. The life in which Nibbana is realized is a specific sequence of combinations of dhammas. The number of monkeys is infinite. The number of past lives is infinite.

The infinite monkey theorem is not only about the text of the novel, it is about life with the realization of Nibbana too.
You have not answered my questions. I'll repeat:
You have to prove why all sentient beings have to attained Nibbana NOW.
I already did. A limited set of combinations-it completely fits into the infinite past, so it's all there.
No you have not. Where's the proof to eliminate possibility of future infinity? And just so everyone know about the problem definition of the infinite monkey theorem, keypoints highlighted, nothing about all monkeys HAVE to type correctly by NOW as claimed by Germann:
problem statment wrote:The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. However, the probability that monkeys filling the observable universe would type a complete work such as Shakespeare's Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero).
Last edited by santa100 on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DNS