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  3. Knowledge, in the philosophical sense, is always personal. I have knowledge, you have knowledge, but the stuff you or I put on paper to represent what we know is not knowledge. It is merely a representation of our knowledge. A statement, put on paper, is not, for the purposes of this discussion, true or false. It's not even a statement; it's just marks on paper. So, when I say that such and such a statement is arbitrary, I am engaging in a short-hand. What I mean is that, that statement, as held by some particular person, is arbitrary -- is held, not as a rational conclusion from percepts, but as a mere concatenation of symbols. But in another person's mind, the exact same sequence of symbols might be a truth, a falsity, a possibility. For that matter, a statement might start out in your mind as an arbitrary assertion and then, as you investigate, become a statement about which you can ask truth questions. For that matter, a statement could start out as not arbitrary, arrived at by an undetected error and, once the error has been detected, be demoted to the arbitrary. Arbitrariness is not, strictly speaking, a property of statements. It is a property of statements within some person's context of knowledge. It is a relationship, or rather the lack of a one, between the statement and the context. This does not mean that you should always ignore an arbitrary statement. But what it does mean is that, before you do any reasoning with an arbitrary statement, you must relate it to your context. So if you find some particularly intriguing statement, "We are in the matrix", say, you may, if you choose, look for some evidence that would allow you to consider the statement's truth. If you find it, the statement is no longer arbitrary and you may reason with it. If you don't, it remains arbitrary, and any sort of reasoning, even asking about possibility, is an error. Where you draw the line is largely up to you. There's no point in investigating statements about unicorns and other such absurdities, but checking out other arbitrary statements might prove of value, even if only as intellectual exercise. One thing to keep in mind. When someone makes a statement that you can't relate to your context and is thus arbitrary and which requires you to reach a contradiction should you use the methods of reason with the statement, it's a good idea to require of the statement's proponent that he provide some evidence to support the statement. Otherwise you're likely to waste a lot of time on drivel.
  4. StrictlyLogical

    "How do I know I'm not in the matrix?"

    I like where you going with your thoughts on this. If you are searching for a wider principle in which the arbitrary fits, I think it is an instance of judging purported knowledge or statements purporting to refer to reality based on thinking carefully about all the evidence available to you and according to that judgment giving that statement and its purported referent appropriate weight in your knowledge structure. In the case there is no evidence you label it arbitrary and sweep it from your mind ... but you should still probably remember that it was stated and by whom.
  5. Image via Wikipedia Driving in DC used to be a nightmare for me until Waze replaced stand still traffic with pleasant drives through picturesque neighborhoods. Unfortunately, residents may not feel a similar delight when they see my car. They’re weary of speeders, noise, and rudeness; and they're fighting back. (I would too, if I couldn't even back out of my driveway) And so, there are rumblings about forcing companies to be "accountable", holding them liable for traffic problems, and even preventing them from reporting certain routes. Unfortunately, this is exactly what we should not be doing. Southern California Radio recently asked their listeners, "[H]ow could Los Angeles actually hold Waze accountable? What types of regulations should be put in place?" That's no surprise: How many times have you heard someone say, "there ought to be a law?" In a country where the federal code of regulations alone takes up ten shelves of the Library of Congress, this seems to be the conventional wisdom -- even more today than in the time of widespread, privately-run public transit. Back then, anti-trust and interstate commerce regulations forced electric companies to sell their street car lines. This destroyed the profit margin of the lines... To continue reading my latest column, please proceed to RealClearMarkets. I would like to thank Steve D. and my wife for their comments on an earlier version of this piece. -- CAV Link to Original
  6. Agreed, ultimately, "arbitrary" is going to be of the genus "nothing". Isn't that what it refers to? The concept "Arbitrary" since it has no metaphysical manifestation, for instance, is in fact "nothing". Some arbitrary statements are simple contradictions easily identifiable. They resolve to nothing/the null set. But similar to "nothing", "arbitrary" is also of the genus "concept". What kind of a concept? Would it fit in within the same classification as "infinity", "nothing", "imaginary number"? This is the class of concept where epistemologically, it is valid (so it exists epistemologically?) but metaphysically none existent. "Arbitrary" is a placeholder for nothing in particular (metaphysically). But the whole exercise of understanding it is to be able to become able to identify so I (we) do not allow trash, or worse (epistemological poison) to enter our minds. Like agonizing over if "everytime you sneeze a baby in another word dies". Years and years of that, because you let it in your mind!
  7. The ultimate purpose of identifying arbitrary is to have pristine valid OBJECTIVE knowledge. But all knowledge initially enters through subjective portals. I posit that the concept "arbitrary" in this context, is referring and relevant to that point (of entry) in the communication. In this context, subjective knowledge, in fact, is applicable. "Imaginable" to the receiver of the information (the subject). Granted, one would be able to imagine and another would not. It is all about seeing in the mind's eye. If it is unimaginable why would it be so? 1. The words are meaningless (subjectively - to the person) 2. The meaning of the words don't make any sense (contradiction) 3. Too complex to imagine (crow epistemology) Note that not in that list are: -Too heinous/ is, in fact, imaginable but rejected. -a reminder of awful things /same way imaginable but pushed away These are valid reasons to reject as neither true nor false/arbitrary ... to be ignored. The label arbitrary in this context can simply mean "not enough information for me to agree to consider/think about it". The concept "arbitrary" is part of an epistemological rule of hygiene, to prevent trash or disease or poison from entering past the knowledge filter/firewall. These epistemological rules are personal hygiene rules, personal as in subject/receiver based. One can object, "but simply going by these subjective rules will not allow unimaginable truths from entering your consciousness". The counter is that "this applies at the start of communication". You must ask for more information (proofs, simplifications, etc.) If none are offered, then ignoring (the information) is still the way to go.
  8. Then "arbitrariness" is not solely based on the statement (assuming it is not an outright contradiction). From what I am gathering, it is also based on where in the conversation it is. You demonstrated what was identified as an "arbitrary statement" at point 1 in the conversation. At point 2, you asked, "why?". At point 3, there was a "wacky response, but a shred of evidence" So at point 1 - the statement is arbitrary point 2 - the statement is arbitrary point 3 - the statement is possible First, that implies that arbitrary is within the context of a conversation/discussion/polemic etc. Second, it is after evidence was asked for, none was given, it is now considered arbitrary. Is that an element or am I seeing things that are irrelevant? I have more observations and questions to go through with you and SL but I did not want this to go by.
  9. It is pretty easy to distinguish an arbitrary statement from a non-arbitrary statement, so indeed you should be able to judge quickly. For instance, “Some trees commit murder” is arbitrary, and you can judge that it is arbitrary within seconds, once you know that I’m done talking. I’ve given you no evidence to support my claim. If I say “Some trees commit murder. For example the black walnut poisons its enemies with juglone”, my statement isn’t arbitrary (it is a bit whacky, but at least I give some support). In case you didn’t know about juglone, and as a polite rhetorical device, you can say “What evidence do you have that some trees commit murder?”, since the other guy may think that everybody knows about killer walnuts. You should cultivate the habit of identifying and challenging arbitrary claims. Arbitrariness is about the evidence for a claim, and evidence has to be given, it doesn't just present itself magically. Perhaps your concern is that someone makes a true statement without stating the evidence, because the evidence is so well-known that it needn't be stated. The global warming claim has two problems, first that it's meaningless (it's an expression, a meme, and not an actual proposition: it stands for many imaginable propositions), and second, it is arbitrary (99% of the time it is accepted on the basis of no evidence). If we take the claim to be that "human activity has changed the atmosphere to the point that average planetary temperatures have increased significantly", we would at least have a concrete proposition. Then there is the question of whether there is any evidence for the claim.
  10. Last week
  11. StrictlyLogical

    "How do I know I'm not in the matrix?"

    Plenty of interesting thoughts. Concrete examples would likely be very informative. I'm not sure your definition is workable. "Imaginable" according to what standard? Is there anything you cannot imagine? If so, is the dividing line between what is impossible to imagine and what is imaginable subjective? Does something have to incorporate some aspects of reality (like a centaur) to be imaginable? or can it defy all knowledge, logic, and rules of conceptualization etc.? Is "An inanimate clear glass that blocks sunlight and brings your paper to you in the morning." imaginable or due to its contradictions meaningless? Well that raises the issue of whether contradictions can exist ... or have meaning... which implies the standard for "imaginable" depends upon who you are... an Objectivist imagination or a Hegelian one?... "Imaginable" is too vague and subjective a term. IMHO By pursuing the idea of identifying a genus, I think you are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Why presume "arbitrary" is a species of anything else? If it were a kind of thing which exists, then there is a ladder of abstractions and concepts in which it fits, but the arbitrary is precisely OUTSIDE of all valid concepts (formed from the evidence of the senses). The statement IS the only existent, it has no referent in reality (none that can be identified according to evidence). So an arbitrary statement is a species of statements.. it is simply a statement for which the speaker has no evidence whatever (note humans are not omniscient nor infallible and the standard for making the statement is contextual... Objectivists are not Rationalists) I think there is a strong distinction between the arbitrary and the meaningless. An arbitrary statement is syntactically correct enough such that it is capable of meaning and being valid if evidence were found... whereas a meaningless statement can never be capable of meaning and being valid. What you know to be possible is not a limiting arbiter, it is supporting ladder to further knowledge. Your bird flying is an example of how seeing what is real informs one of what is possible which informs one of evidence pointing to something for which some evidence exists. The cave man, seeing a bird fly has been provided with evidence that living things do not automatically die when at altitude. They presumably can still breathe, the feathers seem to flutter indicating the presence of air and wind. The motions of the bird and its interaction indicate an effect that can be observed in leaves and trees swaying, or carried off in the wind and man can feel the wind, there is some pushing and light things can be pushed enough... living stuff can fly under the right conditions, man could fly if he could figure out what conditions are necessary to get enough of that "air" force sufficient to lift him up the way it does a bird, a leaf or a tree. Evidence is more than mere specific instances, evidence is also in the form of principles and wide integrations and concepts, all of one's knowledge constitutes all of the possible evidence... for believing something is possible.
  12. Easy Truth

    Number of people in Atlantis

    What point are you trying to make?
  13. I found my answer in Ayn Rand Answers, page 75. She answered in 1972 in the lecture "A Nation's Unity".
  14. I see, then I would conclude that "arbitrary" is a subspecies of "imaginable" rather than "possible". "Possible" has to go through verification of cause and effect. The Jist of the argument is that "Just because you can imagine it", does not mean that it is possible. (and the proof would be the law of identity and of causality) That argument did have some effect last night, the idea that everything is NOT possible is understandable to people. I want to hold it in my mind, for me, I need a sentence like: Imaginable without any indication and unverifiable. I understand that I should ignore an arbitrary statement. But I am concerned about being too quick to judge something as arbitrary. There is a difference between refuting "anything is possible" vs. "there are things that don't make sense to me that are possible". There is past "evidence" of things that did not seem possible that ended up being possible. At a minimum: Arbitrary is a subspecies of "Imaginary" Or must a person not even imagine an arbitrary? There are categories of arbitrary: "A blirk will always swoobjat all kobutabees" Is arbitrary, meaningless. (I just made it up)` The meaning is inconceivable, let alone verifiable. "The bricks in my walls know what I am doing" Is arbitrary, has an imaginable meaning, but can't pass through the filter of the law of causality (when imagining it, one sees it happening (doesn't that imply some variety of possible?)) Is there two kinds of "possible", like possible in the mind vs. metaphysically possible? To determine if it is actually possible, doesn't one have to "assume" that it is possible to determine how it could be verified? If so, considering it arbitrary (and not allowing the possibility of "possible") does not allow that phase of analysis. Regarding:(evidence includes what you know to be possible) There is a problem in the area of incorporating new knowledge. If what I know to be possible is the arbiter of what can be included in my mind, then truths that I don't know or understand can never get in. I suppose you will emphasize that even a shred of evidence should give it a foothold to go through more validation. When cavemen saw birds fly and they imagined that they could fly, was the idea of "human flight" arbitrary at that point? (or was the fact that birds could fly a shred of evidence that it is possible for man to fly?)
  15. I heard a lecture where Ayn Rand was answering a question where she was making a hypothesis about the number of people in Atlantis (it was about a thousand I think, but I have to check). I can not refind it, does that tell you something? Thank you.
  16. This is incorrect. "Arbitrary" has nothing to do with truth or falsity, possibility or impossibility. Like floating abstractions (see the recent discussion), arbitrary propositions have no connection to reality; they're mere concatenations of words that follow the syntactic rules of propositions. Assertions about truth and possibility (or their absence) are about knowledge. If a statement is not knowledge, it is a category mistake to even ask if the statement is true or possible; it is the same sort of error as asking if a concept has polkadots. So, before wondering if a statement is possible, you must first know that the statement is some kind of knowledge. Knowledge is the product of integrations of percepts. A statement that does not derive from percepts is not knowledge. Now, we have the notion of "the matrix" from science fiction (and earlier), but no percepts from which one might derive the possibility that such a thing is more than fiction. Without that, it is simply an error to ask if "the matrix" is possible. "But that's not satisfying!" Awww. Poor baby.
  17. William Hobba

    Global Warming

    Don't worry about it - even if the alarmists are correct, and that is highly debatable, we can figure out how to solve it. Technology is progressing at an ever increasing rate. As Issac Asimov said - you don't abandon technology misapplied, you fix it up. When cavemen started fires in caves to keep warm they didn't stop because the smoke was unbearable - they invented the chimney. There is no reason to believe this is any different. Thanks Bill
  18. William Hobba

    Global Warming

    Some interesting stuff I didn't know in your post - good one. Either way we are both agreed 'In other words, there's nothing to worry about.'. If anything bad eventuates, and that is very debatable, there is zero doubt we can rectify it without the alarmist carry on you hear from some. Real scientists are much more cautious. Thanks Bill
  19. William Hobba

    Global Warming

    See the following: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cow-emissions-more-damaging-to-planet-than-co2-from-cars-427843.html That gives 18% but recently it has been upgraded to 11% more than previously thought: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/09/weve-grossly-underestimated-how-much-cow-farts-are-contributing-to-global-warming/ This gives about 20%. The reason it seems implausible is its mostly methane which is a much worse global warming gas than CO2. And that's just cows. All other animals, including even us, contribute as well - but its not as bad as cows - still its likely higher overall than 20% - but I don't think anyone has published the exact figure. The main point is its something most don't know about, and we are not likely to be able to do anything about it. We will have to rely on future technology to somehow manage it - or maybe not - more research is needed. That's the issue with all this global warming stuff - we don't really know whether to be worried or its a non issue. Global weather scientists are much more careful in what they say than the highly vocal alarmists. Either way I am very confident we can handle whatever the situation is and the alarmists are way off the mark. I will answer some of your other comments in a separate post after I have cognated on them a bit. Thanks Bill
  20. Over at Popehat, Ken White expresses grave concerns over the recent total, pre-litigation surrender of the Southern Poverty Law Center to a Moslem activist who had threatened to sue them over defamation, for including him on a list of anti-Moslem extremists: Image of Maajid Nawaz via Wikipedia [T]hough I celebrate an apology for wrongdoing, I can't celebrate a surrender at swordpoint that encourages censorious litigation. Bad opinions are, and ought to be -- must be -- absolutely protected. If the SPLC surrendered because we've got a broken judicial system that makes litigation ruinously expensive and fails to protect free speech, the result is bad, not good. The threatened lawsuit appears to be part of a trend of suing the SPLC for its opinions and characterizations. The settlement will embolden that trend. The trend will not stay confined to the SPLC -- that's not the way the law works. Especially in such bitterly divided times, suing over opinions is deeply censorious and corrosive of free speech. Nawaz -- who has himself been the target of attempted censorship -- should know that. [link in original, bold added]White's difficulty is that, although the SPLC was being ridiculous, they looked like they were, in fact, engaging in protected speech. Furthermore there was nothing in the apology that came with the settlement to indicate that the SPLC had actually engaged in defamation (which is and should be illegal), rather than indulging opinion, as sophomoric as it might be. I recommend reading the whole thing. -- CAV Link to Original
  21. Nicky

    Global Warming

    Where did you get the 20% from? I can't imagine it's that much. Half of the global methane emissions come from anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in soils (in wetlands, landfills and rice paddies), not from cows...so, for what you're saying to be true, methane would have to be the main greenhouse gas, not CO2. As for countering the effects, that's fairly easy: trap carbon in the soil, using regenerative agriculture principles. Pasture raised animals, when managed properly, regenerate soil incredibly fast. In the past 200 years, the removal of massive amounts of herbivores (most of them ruminants, like cattle), have depleted soils on Earth (in North America and Asia, especially) severely. There's nothing we can do about that, those millions strong buffalo herds that roamed freely across the landscape, chased by wolf packs and migrating tribes, can't coexist with modern human society. But planning the grazing of domesticated herbivores in a way that mimics the movement of wild animals (they moved in massive herds, grazing/trampling the soil bare periodically, adding fertilizer to it as they went, then allowing it long recovery periods) builds soil. It also reduces/eliminates the need for the chemical fertilizers that kill soil biology. Healthy soil has many benefits, but the main two are: 1. It traps a lot of carbon (including methane...read up on how well drained soil acts as a methane sink). Farms that follow regenerative principles have multiplied the organic matter content in their existing soil, and are building deeper soil (healthy soil biology leads to healthier plants, which then send roots down deeper into the ground, expanding the depth of the top soil ... this can also be accelerated, using a keyline plow). The reason individual farmers (who aren't paid to produce less, by the government) want this is because it increases yields, with fewer input costs. The reason why the rest of us want it is because it produces healthier food (not just because it contains fewer harmful substances...also because it's far more nutrient rich) and counteracts global warming. 2. high organic content in soil leads to dramatically higher water retention (again, by an order of magnitude higher, soils go from retaining half an inch of rain per hour to retaining ALL the rain that could possibly fall in an hour, allowing virtually no run-off), which counteracts drought and prevents soil from being washed away into rivers. Drought is the single biggest enemy of modern farmers, followed closely by soil erosion. Coupling soil building with more advanced methods of retaining rain water (like keyline design, developed in Australia) has successfully prevented crop failure due to drought in some very dry places on Earth. In other words, there's nothing to worry about. Herbivores (for now, mainly cows, but the ideal animal for the job would be the woolly mammoth) have a huge role to play in counteracting both global warming itself, and the purported effects of the combination of global warming and population growth. We will at some point need to move away from growing our meat indoors, though, and let animals out into the ecosystems we're supposedly protecting by not allowing farming on them. Because the removal of herbivores is destroying those ecosystems from the soil up.
  22. StrictlyLogical

    "How do I know I'm not in the matrix?"

    I would disagree with the final statement. How do you know that the "arbitrary" is possible? By definition the arbitrary is something for which no evidence has been provided. None whatever. If there were any tiny shred of evidence for something, i.e. pointing to something, then it is not arbitrary. Think about what this means and your definition of "possible". In the realm of an arbitrary existent being claimed you have no reason whatever to accept or even to rationally entertain the existence of the thing. No evidence whatever points to it at all. Now think about what you normally must include as evidence. Evidence includes what you KNOW to be possible. For example, lego can be stacked in certain ways, so the claim that a certain combination of pieces has occurred or will occur or exists now, is not an arbitrary assertion because it relies on what YOU KNOW possible, from your KNOWLEDGE of lego blocks. When someone declares the existence of the supernatural, there is literally NOTHING from which you could base any possibility of such a thing... by definition the supernatural is arbitrary because it would need to rely on what you pretend imagine NOT TO KNOW instead of WHAT YOU KNOW. The fact that you can imagine something (the Walt Disney principle) is NOT a definition of what is actually "possible". As such, a claim to the arbitrary as being "possible" is ITSELF an "arbitrary" claim. After all, on what integration of knowledge of arbitrary things could you conclude through observation that they indeed are possible, so that you could base the claim that THIS arbitrary thing, therefore, also is possible? Arbitrary things do not form any percepts and cannot form any knowledge or concepts thereof... there is no nothing. Think about the fallacy, "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE" and what it is based on... it is based on one thing only, IGNORANCE. But nothing in knowledge can be based, literally based, on the lack of knowledge. The arbitrary, to be truly arbitrary cannot be "possible", in the sense that its possibility is measured by reference to knowledge of reality. An arbitrary statement has no evidentiary weight whatever supporting it, and therefore has no evidentiary weight itself... quite simply it is a worthless, groundless, maybe, not deserving of any consideration.
  23. Easy Truth

    Correcting the nonaggression "principle"

    Air on earth is too plentiful to own. But on a spaceship, going to mars, inhabitants of the ship can only be allotted air that is theirs (that they can use unmolested etc.). The same issue with ocean water exists. I believe it is the basis for the "tragedy of commons" problem, the inability to own (because it is too plentiful).
  24. Last night I was in a discussion on Objectivism's View on Atheism and the "Brain in the Vat" argument came up which got me interested in this thread (again). From what I see, the main argument against it is the fact that it is arbitrary which has always been difficult for me to hold mentally. From what I have gathered, arbitrary is a subspecies of possible. Possible is: Arbitrary is: Possible without any indication and unverifiable
  25. Richard Lyons

    Global Warming

    I'd say climate change is real, reducing emissions is a good idea. I'd say I've got a theory man-made climate change is a con job akin to Michael Crichton's 'State of Fear'. I think it's ludicrous to suggest stopping making petrol cars at some arbitrary date agreed by some do gooders with no care about the knock on effect for the voters who can't even imagine buying a three year old car let alone buying an electric one. Don't get me wrong I own an old car rather than a hire purchase one by choice. Sorry I ramble it's what I do. Guess what I'm saying is lasting conservation efforts are worthwhile. A bit of knowledge about the world is a useful thing. A bit of perspective is a very important thing. And let's just hope the deniers turn out to be right. I'm scared of being wrong but I don't suggest turning the planet into an ash tray even if I don't believe in AGW.
  26. Richard Lyons

    New here

    Hello to you too. As far as intros go. I'm not an Objectivist but I'm happy enough to know them and to connect to the aspirational elements of the teachings. I'm not interested in moochers or blaming, just in living the best life I can for myself. I'm drawn to the joy of creation in Rands books. Not so into condemnation of others. We haven't got to the dystopia of Atlas yet. And tbh I am fairly socialist too with a small s. I like taxation and don't feel it steals from the rich to do it. Overall more of a Willers than a Galt. Feel most affinity to Roark really although I'm like Keating in wanting to be liked. I admire my wife who plain doesn't care about Joe publics opinion. I always joke that despite the fact I read Rand I think my wife would buy it more.
  27. DavidOdden

    Correcting the nonaggression "principle"

    You should see the circularity of your theory of ownership: “to own a thing, it must be rare enough to own”. How rare is that? What do you count? Or do you determine whether is is rare enough by knowing whether you own it? This is where studying Rand’s theory of property rights would be useful. From ‘Man’s rights’: “Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object”. From ‘The property status of the airwaves’: “Any material element or resource which, in order to become of use or value to men, requires the application of human knowledge and effort, should be private property—by the right of those who apply the knowledge and effort”. The only hope I see for justifying subpoena power is via “proper function of government”. Your “if I were in their shoes” alternative is the alternative to subpoena power, and it is certainly the first thing that should be thought of. The “subpoena question” is, simply put, “under what circumstances may a person be compelled by the government to {produce evidence, appear in court}?”. If people provide document and testify voluntarily, that is the best outcome. But hoping that men will always act rationally is unrealistic, just as anarchy is unrealistic. So at some point, the government will have to use force against those who do not conduct themselves rationally. The question that needs addressing is about the contingency that not everybody acts rationally.
  28. William Hobba

    Tests of General Relativity

    Interesting thread. One thing that hasn't been emphasized here is that modern presentations of SR based of symmetry are rather difficult to refute: http://www2.physics.umd.edu/~yakovenk/teaching/Lorentz.pdf Of course physics is an experimental science and its ultimate validation is experiment not theory. But it does show if its wrong some of our basic notions about the world would be wrong - which would be a very very interesting and surprising thing. That''s SR - what about GR. That's actually quite interesting. In SR where t is the proper time the principle of inertia implies a particle moves that maximizes the proper time when you integrate it along the path it follows. If dt is a infinitesimal amount of proper time in turns out dt = Nuv dXu dXv and the path is the one that maximizes the integral dt = Nuv dXu dXv - this is called the principle of maximal time. That's in the usual Cartesian coordinates and time as usually measured. But you can mathematically transform to general coordinates so Nuv dXu dXv becomes Guv dXu dXv when dXu are the new generalized coordinates and Guv is called the metric. This means Guv acts like a field - determining the motion of a particle. One of the principles of physics is you can derive field changes by whats called the principle of least action. OK lets apply that to Guv. Here we make use of a very interesting theorem called Lovelock's Theroem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovelock's_theorem That shows that GR ie the Einstein Field Equations are the only solutions. If you are not a math type just in a general way accept what I said above. If you want the gory detail see the following by Lovelock and Rund: https://www.amazon.com/Tensors-Differential-Variational-Principles-Mathematics/dp/0486658406 Now the question is where does the Equivalence principle enter into it. Its not that easy to answer. Also it raises the same issue as SR. If GR is wrong some of out basic notions would be wrong. Thanks Bill
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