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Re: Re: Zero divided by a number...

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg51786] Re: [mg51760] Re: Zero divided by a number...
  • From: DrBob <drbob at>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 02:05:07 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <dz50uwrnio0u@legacy> <>
  • Reply-to: drbob at
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Amen, Richard.

Mathematics doesn't deal with "nothing". Zero and the empty set, yes,
but "nothing"? No.


On Mon, 1 Nov 2004 02:52:39 -0500 (EST), Richard <rwprogrammer at> wrote:

> I think that you have been mislead about mathematics in general.
> Mathematics has nothing to do with God or nature. Mathematics is
> defined by man and has only the requirement that it be internally
> consistent.
> Zero is NOT nothing. It is a number. Mathematitians have made
> definitions and rules regarding 0. Those rules define 0, not nature.
> Mathematica handles 0 appropriately.  x/0 is undefined for any number
> x.
> This is extremely simple to see if only you view division as the
> opposite of multipication.
> A/B = C  implies that C * B = A.
> 12/4 = 3 because 3*4 = 12.
> 0/7  = 0 because 0*7 = 0.
> 7/0 is undefined because x*0 does not equal 7 for any number x.
> Therefore it has no answer (except undefined).
> You were exactly wrong when you said, "logic goes out the window with
> mathematics." It is just the opposite. Mathematics IS logic and vice
> versa. What mathematics is NOT is "tricks with numbers" or anything to
> do with God or nature.
> Logic takes rules and definitions and builds upon them. Division by
> zero is undefined, and when Mathematica tells you that something is
> undefined, it is not just a glitch or a failure to understand
> something. It is telling you that you have evaluated something that is
> truely undefined. And that means undefined logically and
> intentionally--not as an oversight.
> -Richard
> On 26 Oct 04 03:20:19 -0400 (EDT), Willex wrote:
>> why is it logical to divide zero by a number, but it is not logical
> to
>> divide a number by zero? It seems to me like dividing nothing by a
>> number should be undefined, and dividing a number by nothing should
> be
>> that number, lest it also be undefined because of the fact that the
>> number is divided into zero parts, which is difficult to imagine.
> Does
>> the number cease to exist, or does it just mean that the number
> doen't
>> get divided at all?  Of course I could argue that Zero itself is not
>> defined by nature. Zero is just a place holder representing nothing.
>> Logic seems to go out the window when it comes to mathmatics. When
>> something doesn't follow the "rules of the mathematics game" its
>> thrown out, or just called "undefined".
>> Mathematics is only just tricks with numbers. Its not a perfect
>> system, and those who believe it to be god are only just fooling
>> themselves.  Arg...*deep breath* ....sorry. I was abused by a math
>> teacher, can you tell? *laughs*

DrBob at

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