It’s easier to disregard someone when you leave them out. It’s easier to disregard ideas when we don’t think about them. We sometimes do this when faced with inconsistency don’t we?

Haven’t we learned that consistency is absolutely necessary in order to be logical?

To be logical is to be reasonable… Isn’t it therefore unreasonable to be inconsistent?

Although I am not a professional mathematician, I use mathematical concepts daily. Most of us think that mathematics is the epitome of logical thinking. Most of us would think that arithmetic –the “oldest and most elementary” kind of mathematics there is– *has to **be* self-consistent, but this only turns out to be true so long as you *assume *arithmetic is self-consistent but don’t try to *prove* its self-consistency using arithmetical statements.

Officially,

[In] any consistent effective formal system that includes enough of the theory of the natural numbers …there are true statements expressible in its language that are unprovable.

But hang on a second, this is a theorem saying it is mathematically true that there are mathematically true statements that cannot be proven (or disproven) true mathematically!

Doesn’t that wreck mathematics?

###### Related articles

- Conversations with Kurt Gödel (rudyrucker.com)
- Does Gödel Matter? (Slate)