# Impermanence vs math theorem

Did Buddha teach everything is impermanence?
If that is true, does it contradict something like 1 + 1 = 2, which is always true, not changing.

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AN3.136:
“Mendicants, whether Realized Ones arise or not, this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles: all conditions are impermanent.

A Realized One understands this and comprehends it, then he explains, teaches, asserts, establishes, clarifies, analyzes, and reveals it: ‘All conditions are impermanent.’

Whether Realized Ones arise or not, this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles: all conditions are suffering.

A Realized One understands this and comprehends it, then he explains, teaches, asserts, establishes, clarifies, analyzes, and reveals it: ‘All conditions are suffering.’

Whether Realized Ones arise or not, this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles: all things are not-self.

A Realized One understands this and comprehends it, then he explains, teaches, asserts, establishes, clarifies, analyzes, and reveals it: ‘All things are not-self.’”

I think this Sutta makes it pretty clear that there are permanent laws of nature, saying that all conditions are impermanent.

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1+1=2 actually is not universally true - it is only true conditioned upon the acceptance of axioms as well as conventions for expressing mathematical statements.

This is more easily seen in geometry, where there are multiple actually useful systems. On the conventional scale, Euclidean geometry is useful, but on the cosmological scale non Euclidean geometry is more useful. There are many theorems that are true in one system but not in another.

And then of course you get into the Pythagorean problem of “is the universe made of math” and the platonist problem of “do mathematical abstractions like equality have a transcendental existence outside of temporal reality”.

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Impermanence applies to the conditioned world where everything is subject to cycles of opposites. Nibbana being unconditioned, not subject to the cycle of beginning or ending, is the opposite of samsara so is permanent.

“There is, monks, an unborn[1] — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.[2]”—Ud 8.3

As shown here the Buddha instructed that factors should be discerned through contrast with opposites:

“Monk, the property of light is discerned in dependence on darkness. The property of beauty is discerned in dependence on the unattractive. The property of the dimension of the infinitude of space is discerned in dependence on form.”—SN 14.11

Therefore from the earliest stages the practitioner should categorize any path knowledge or experience as connected with nibbana, and all other as with samsara (MN 121). Skillfull use of conditioned processes leads to escape from the conditioned, that is the only resource available.

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Seems like more people have thought about what it means for statements like 1+1=2 to be true:

“The analytic/synthetic distinction” refers to a distinction between two kinds of truth. Synthetic truths are true both because of what they mean and because of the way the world is, whereas analytic truths are true in virtue of meaning alone. “Snow is white,” for example, is synthetic, because it is true partly because of what it means and partly because snow has a certain color. “All bachelors are unmarried,” by contrast, is often claimed to be true regardless of the way the world is; it is “true in virtue of meaning,” or analytic. The existence of analytic truths is controversial. Philosophers who have thought they exist include Immanuel Kant, Gottlob Frege, and Rudolf Carnap. The philosopher most famous for thinking that they do not is W. V. V. O. Quine. …

Impermanence seems more like a synthetic truth, i.e. something that is true because the world is that way?

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