Pinocchio Is Omnipotent

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15 Responses to Pinocchio Is Omnipotent

  1. Tsad says:

    What garbage…if he says now, meaning the moment he says it, and it doesn’t happen immediately, he has lied and then after now has passed it will grow. So it all hinges on the definition of now. If his nose grows immediately in the space of time referred to as now, he hasn’t lied, but since his nose only grows when he lies it can’t grow when he says “now” but only after “now” has passed. Omnipotent? paradox? I’d say someone is more than a little carried away with their intellectualism.

    • The definition of “now” does not matter as long as it is the same for both Pinocchio and the nose. The reader was supposed to understand (with her/his intellect) that Pinocchio refers by “will grow now” to the same moment as the nose would grow if he lies.

      To be precise, assume that the nose always starts growing within 5 seconds after Pinocchio pronounces a lie. Then Pinocchio asserts: “My nose will start growing during the following 5 seconds.”

      Thus the comment by Tsad is not explaining anything.

      Omnipotent was a joke.

  2. Austang says:

    This is awesome, and Tsad is a idiotic jackass.

    Gave me a good laugh and made me awe at thought of Pinocchio ruling the universe using his nose as an all powerful tool.

  3. Bill dollar says:

    I think you are all overthinking this. Since his nose doesn’t grow immediatly, he lied, and THEN his nose would grow.

  4. I see what you mean, Bill dollar. But let me continue your thought chain:

    Since his nose doesn’t grow immediately, he lied, and THEN his nose would grow, and since it grows he didn’t in fact lie, thus his nose shouldn’t start growing in the first place…

  5. Cub says:

    Vadim: you didn’t wake up very early that day, did you?
    Bill is correct. (replacing the word since with) IF his nose doesn’t grow immediately, he lied, and THEN his nose would grow. The nose growing was a result of his telling a lie, but it did not make his lie become true because the moment had already passed and his statement still remains a lie. No paradox.
    Now, if his nose had somehow already been growing due to some previous lie, then his statement is true and has no effect on his nose. No paradox ;)

    • Well, if you are picky about the timing, then I advice you to replace the Pinoccio’s statement by

      My nose will start growing soon, precisely at the same moment as if this sentence were a lie.

      Now you can’t escape by just saying that the nose starts growing just a little bit later, except if the nose doesn’t work properly… but of course it works! Otherwise no paradox indeed.

    • And yes, of course all this depends on what we assume about the nose. If we assume that it always waits until the Pinoccio’s prediction is either falsified or verified, then you, Cub and Bill, are right and there is no paradox. But that would mean for example that if Pinoccio says “next year’s Christmas I’ll get a Clockwork Orange dvd as a present”, and he doesn’t, then the nose will start growing only after Christmas of next year, and that’s ridiculous.:)

      But if we assume that there is a constant short time period after which the nose always realizes whether what Pinoccio just said was a lie or not, then we get the above paradox.

      • Dylancn says:

        Well, actually, if he says “next year’s Christmas I’ll get a Clockwork Orange dvd as a present”, his nose will grow because he doesn’t know that, regardless of timing, he does not know that will happen, therefore if he said it, its a lie, his nose will grow right after he said it or as he is saying it because it is a lie because he doesn’t know, if he knew it would happen, his nose would not grow, even if a time traveler made it not happen, its a matter of a reaction in his sorta brain, when ever he lies, it causes a reaction where his nose grows, so it doesnt matter if it ended up happening or not, because he could have been told by his dad that it would happen, told his friend it would, and some guy stole it before it was given to pinocchio, but his nose would not grow

        • Pairaducks says:

          You seem to know quite a bit about the NGM.
          How do you know that the NGM reacts to lies as perceived
          by Pinocchio and not just things that are untrue (e.g. That rock is a book). The author of this article considered the possibility you present as fact (i.e. Your opinion) and stated that in such a case your conclusion would be in fat true. All Hail The Omnipotent Nose!!!

  6. I would like to simplify the logical problem by considering how “lie” is being defined. No matter how bold and unrealistic, a prediction remains innocent and open to alternate realities that could be, while a lie seeks to alter a set of known information. See the difference?

    In common language and experience, a lie can only be a false representation of known information. Otherwise it is considered a prediction or prophecy. In the movie, we don’t get to see Pinocchio making a lot of predictions, so we do not know whether or not the nose penalty arises for incorrect predictions. I am guessing, since the nose is a device to teach basic moral understandings, that it would not make a penalty (growth) for incorrect, and yet momentarily improvable sayings about the future. The nose is teaching him to deal correctly with his perception of the past, not training him to be a better psychic or prophet.

    Making an incorrect statement is not the same thing as lying.

    A lie is known to be intentional. Saying, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” is a lie, if an event had occurred that was a sexual relationship. But saying that “next year the sky will turn orange for 3 hours in New York City”, is a hypothesis, and not a lie. It is a presumption about a future condition, something our science and reason are based upon.

    When a scientist has a wild presumption, (say that flies and grubs are actually formed out of decaying flesh) and they are proven otherwise (that flies and grubs are a distinct species having their origins from eggs), we do not call the prediction a lie. Only that the presumption was proven false.

    We, as human beings understand the difference between an intentional misrepresentation and a guess about an unknown. Since the nose is designed by supernatural beings in charge of instructing wooden puppets to be human, it would follow that the nose would only provide responses in accordance with the training of human morality as it is commonly understood. Therefore, making a statement about a future state of the nose could not trigger a reaction (since the nose only detects lies). The moment would pass (5 sec or whatever) and the nose would remain small due to its excellent intelligence of knowing the difference between a lie and a prediction. (The nose must have intelligence or be instructed to grow from an intelligence to respond to a lie in the first place!)

    Thus we must consider the intention of each statement, and this is something that a magic nose and talking cricket can reason with. The conscience of Pinocchio is disturbed by a lie, while the conscience is not disturbed by a prediction (a possible assertion about the future). The nose grows as a response to Pinocchio conscience being out of line with his deeper knowing of the truth.

    Quite possibly, he could say that his nose would grow, and it would not, and he could be confused for a moment, but he would not feel guilty because he made the prediction without any data. After he has collected enough data by making various statements, he can be quiet and know that his nose will only grow if he says something that he knows is false. He might think the world is flat and say it with authenticity in his wooden heart. Then when proven that the earth is a solid mass, he would just say “oh boy, now I know!” It is not until he knows that the earth is round and goes around telling people that it’s flat, that the nose would grow.
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    • Noah, is it a lie, if Pinocchio thinks that sky is red and intentionally alters this by saying “the sky is blue”? Now Pinocchio is lying in your sense, because he believes that the sky is really red and should have bad conscience about that.

      In the discussion above we employed a definition of “lie” which is controversial, I agree on that and the focus was not on which definition of “lie” to choose but what would possibly follow, if we used the definition “lying means saying something that is not (going to be) the case”. And in fact we proved, that such a nose cannot exist. So basically we agree on that the nose had some kind of a different function, and what you said, is very likely to be the intention of the creator of Pinocchio. But there are still philosophical problems I gather.

  7. Emi says:

    His nose blows up because it doesn’t know what the f**k to do!

  8. R Marks says:

    There is one big problem with this argument. The author is confusing the terms omnipotent and omniscient.

    Omnipotent means with unlimited power. This means Pinocchio can change anything into anything else, but does not give him unlimited knowledge. So he cannot know what the stock market will do tomorrow, even if he uses his nose. The nose will not be able to determine if he is lying as the knowledge of that event has not yet happened yet, therefore his saying “the stock market will go down tomorrow” is neither a lie nor a truth. It is just a statement.

    If however Pinocchio was Omniscient, meaning with unlimited knowledge, then him saying “the stock market will go down tomorrow” when he in fact knows it will go up, this would then become a Nose growing situation. However it would not cause a paradox because he already knew the outcome of saying such a thing.

    The same problem would exist if he was to say “my nose will now grow.” Because he is omniscient, or knowing everything, then the paradox is avoided because he knew before hand whether or not his nose would grow. With this knowledge, the lie in effect becomes a truth.

    Now if we go back to Pinocchio being omnipotent, then if he says “My nose will now grow!”, his power would make that happen even though it would cause him to tell the truth. It in effect turns the truth into a lie, and a lie into the truth. But by doing so it actually avoids the paradox by changing the rules of the game.

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