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The Final Words On The Law Of Equal Exchange, ending the debate once and for all.
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JustOwnin
post Apr 27 2007, 01:04 AM
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Some anime I choosingly watch as a TV series instead of downloading due to the fact that I simply need *something* to watch on TV. That being said I just recently watched the last 6 episodes of Fullmetal alchemist in succession after downloading them and I must say I have something to say about the whole credo that the law of equal exchange is incomplete and does not exist. I realized the obvious faults in her argument and wanted to voice them immediately. And knowing that you guys are probably the only ones who care, I came here.

With that being said I suppose this whole thread is a spoiler in a way to all those who have not completely watched the whole series in its entirety. This is because it contests the totality of the last conceptual theme expressed as a whole.


The old yet wisdomless Dante said that their is no law of equal exchange and gave the following outlined arguements towards proving such.

1.) Some people succeeded and failed thus there is no law.
2.) If I killed a baby right now what would be the exchange in that.
3.) Life is not fair.

These arguments were extremely flimsy and I wish to conclude to you all that there is indeed a law of equal exchange that is neither “incomplete” nor broken, and explain to you the faults of the Dante's argument. No wonder even though she was damned immortal she couldn't create a stone and Hoenheim didn't love her, she was damned stupid kn3wb. Once a kn3 wb always a kn3wb. If you train a kn3wb he just becomes a trained kn3wb. And apparently, if a kn3wb lives forever he's just an immortal kn3wb.

The law of equal exchange states, according to the show states.

"To obtain, something of equal value must be lost." First off when a law is created in a science it applies to that science only. Applying it to outside situations such as life and death are mute points. Sometimes a law simply has nothing to do with certain laws or a situation that occurs. E=mc^2 and the base laws of physics like "a body in motion stays in motion accept for when attacked on by an outside force" can be applied to real life situations obviously. But one must make sure not to get to ambigious with the phoenomina one wants to explain through the contexts of such laws. One would not expect to be able to explain advanced psychological principles through scientific laws so why then expect to explain the law of equal exchange through such? When trying to apply it to that situation and find no way to do so that does not mean the law does not exist, it simply does not apply. Like in the example the Dante gave about killing the baby asking where is the equal exchange in that? But one must ask what was the baby giving up, and what was he trying to obtain? The baby was doing nothing thus it does not mean the law is not real, it means it simply does not apply to that situational scenario.

She was trying to link the law to concepts of fair and equality. But the law in alchemy had never been used to explain such a grand view, why should it now?

The only way the law of equal exchange could not be true is if a regular alchemist could create something without giving it away. But they can't. They constantly have to give something away to obtain something. This Is a valid principle that is true. Even the philosopher's stone wears up over time. That is because it does not make the law no longer apply but because its vast amounts of power serves as what is being paid for the exchange. Thus it serves more as a supreme source of power more than anything else. This is proven by the very premise that a philosopher's stone runs out of power over time and that a new one must be created.

Dante also gave an example of when Elric took the exam to become a state alchemist. Saying that all the other people trained harder and longer than the fullmetal alchemist did yet he got the job because of natural talent. I knew the b*tch crazy but not stupid. I pondered how somebody could spend hundreds of years and yet still not be able to create a philosophers stone on their own. Now I understand. She was limited by foolish believes that she refused to exam forever inhibiting her true potential. Even though I have already established that the law of equal exchange should be stayed inside alchemy, let me explain how it applies anyway. This arguement is based on the foolish principle of what is being "obtained" from something of "equal value" is training and knowledge for this job or the achievement of ones goal. When the people who trained put in time and effort they obtained an equal amount of SKILL (that amount for each tidbit of training time being in being subjective to certain variables outside the law such as intelligence, concentration, text effectiveness, etc.). The amount of skill they gained over time being a variable of their innate abilities in an equation of course. And that equation is something that goes beyond the law of Equal Exchange. It doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it's just that some phoenomina take more than one law to explain. Skill was what was obtained from putting something in not the desired results of victory. Victory and the acquisition of the job of state alchemist are dictated by how much skill you have. This does not apply to the law of equal exchange.

In most matters where simply putting something in to get something out the law of equal exchange stays valid. But in human affairs where simply the exchange of energies is not enough to receive a complex result that depends on many factors the law of equal exchange does not apply due to the fact that to many variables exist within it. One could give an example with people saying that they put in lots and time and energy in raising their kids and they got nothing out of it. That is incorrect. They may have gotten an undesired result, but the child did receive something out of it. Furthermore their are far too many variables of what needs to be put in to receive a desired results. Furthermore, you have to account for what others time, energy, and thoughts that others put into her. After accounting everything you will realize that defining the law of equal exchanges relation to this situational scenario is to complex of a procedure and that other laws that govern our reality apply to this situation as well.

The next point is the subject of the energies used to create the exchange within alchemy. Even if human energy, devil energy, or even semen f*!@ing energy is used to power the transmutation the law of equal exchange stays valid. [b]This is because the energy used to power the transformation is not related to materials needed to make the transformation occur.[B] That energy makes the transformation HAPPEN, but does not add or take away from the fact that equal variables must be put in on both sides to get your desired transmutated result. Furthermore if someone tries to prove that statement false the fact still remains that even with that element of the energy known or unknown by people they still had to give something up of equal value to obtain something even with the philosopher's stone. As such, the law of equal exchange msut not exist.

The point Dante made was not that the law of equal exchange does not exist, but it does not apply to all situational scenarios in life. And this is true. But it does indeed exist and it is indeed valid and complete law. The examples she gave was incomplete. Furthermore the fact remains that if the law didn't exist then alchemists would be able to make without sacrifice. And that has not been done. For although with the philosophers stone you dont' have to sacrifice other materials, it has been proven in the shows context that the stone itself is paying that cost and will one day run out. The law of equal exchange may not be a concept that fully explains reality but nor is the law of gravity or any other scientific law. The law explains exactly what it is meant to explain with the pin-point accuracy of simplicity.

In a way, both the fullmetal alchemist and Dante were fools. Dante for believing the law did not exist at all for the fact that it did not apply to situations where other laws domained, and the fullmetal alchemist being a fool for believing that the confines of such a minute philosophy can correct categorize, explain, and outline all facets of life.
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Well the only reason I signed up for this forum was to express these ideas to you. I too often time watch an anime or show, and have a deep observation that I would like to share with someone, but nobody is around who cares. In this situation I realized that there were forums and serious otaku's that existed for this show. Being the fullmetal alchemist connoisseur I'm sure you'll have your own thoughts and opinions to add, or to contest my argument. So I guess Iíll come back regularly to see whatís posted.

P.S. I typed "fullmetal" as one word just cause thoe TOS said so. Even thuogh the regular phrase "full metal" is not a complete word when applying it to the title "fullmetal alchemists" it becomes one. This is because these words take on new meaning to describe a name and a show thus the grammer of the words do also.

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Tombow
post Apr 27 2007, 01:42 AM
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Moving this thread from Open Chat Forum, Debate District sub-forum to FMA Anime forum. biggrin.gif


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post Apr 27 2007, 04:50 AM
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Good post, if a bit obscene at times. laugh.gif

I agree with you on most your points, I think. I might differ a bit regarding your example regarding parents raising a kid and getting nothing in return (even though the kid does). Your argument at that point is akin to saying that no energy is ever lost--whatever energy is output is consumed by something. I guess you can call this equivalent exchange, but I think that its generalizability makes it more banal. Even in our real world. (No energy can be lost in a closed system, etc., if our universe is truly a closed system, but that's disputed. Bah, physics.) However, I like that your explanation can allow equivalent exchange to exist in a world that is perceived to be "unfair".

It's also interesting to note that the relationship between the alchemical world and our world is pretty one-sided. After all, the various chemical energies required for alchemy in Amestris' world is derived from the lost souls of our real world, and the real world appears to gain little, if anything from that relationship. There is no net energy loss, but it sure is unfair.
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Chiisana
post Apr 27 2007, 07:40 AM
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Get kinda carried out as I read your long post happy.gif;

But I'm agree with you in the beginning, when I still didn't get carried away.


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JustOwnin
post Apr 27 2007, 08:20 AM
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Excellent point good sir. But you must remember that a law does not exist to be whimsical, magical, and special. It exists to be hard, true, and explanatory. The fact that my generazation makes the law apply to too many things is minute to it's truth. Energy is always being exherted on some level and some form. As such, it is always creating something new or bring something about.

I would also like to point out that it was not my intent to say that the parents get nothing from the deal. They simply did not get their specific desired result from raising him such him growing up to be a world leader or a good person. When perhaps he grows up to be a crackhead, a insurance salesman, or the village idiot. Sure throughout the years they received much love, enjoyment, pride, and so and so forth from the child.

My friend raised the arguement of "is emotions really something that can be exchanged for a result according to the law of equal exchange in the context of the show."

I had to point out that this was proven by in the end the child had to give up his large amounts of experience for his final transmutation to save his brothers life.


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Kuro_Ryu
post May 14 2007, 07:49 AM
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Very good post.
I do feel that there is something missing from your explaination but at the moment i can not put my finger on it.
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musical alchemis...
post May 15 2007, 04:45 PM
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I'm just pondering about this one spot in the anime..When Ed crosses the gate and sees Hohenheim in Germany (I think), Hohenheim says that the energy for the transmutations comes from the deaths of "our" side of the gate. It is apparent that the laws of conservation of mass and energy still apply to alchemy too. Yet, with this "discovery" of where the energy comes from, does the law of conservation of energy still exist. Are the two laws apart of the Law of Equivalent Exchange?
I have a feeling that is a "yes" for the last question considering what the law is, especially due to the Law of the Conservation of Mass. Yet, I'm more concerned about the Law of Conservation of Energy, since it cannot be created or be destroyed, and since we do not know when the energy for transmutations come from (with the exception of the thought I first started talking about^^). If what Hohenheim says is true, then the law of Equivalent Exchange can't be full right considering the energy is from an alternate universe. Also considering that the energy stays in FullMetal's world, that means energy was created.
I'm just throwing theories around. I do agree with JustOwnin throughout most of his observations. I guess I'm just throwing a wrench in the thought or trying to clear something up in my own head...


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The random alche...
post May 20 2007, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE(musical alchemist @ May 15 2007, 04:45 PM) [snapback]543608[/snapback]
I'm just pondering about this one spot in the anime..When Ed crosses the gate and sees Hohenheim in Germany (I think), Hohenheim says that the energy for the transmutations comes from the deaths of "our" side of the gate. It is apparent that the laws of conservation of mass and energy still apply to alchemy too. Yet, with this "discovery" of where the energy comes from, does the law of conservation of energy still exist. Are the two laws apart of the Law of Equivalent Exchange?
I have a feeling that is a "yes" for the last question considering what the law is, especially due to the Law of the Conservation of Mass. Yet, I'm more concerned about the Law of Conservation of Energy, since it cannot be created or be destroyed, and since we do not know when the energy for transmutations come from (with the exception of the thought I first started talking about^^). If what Hohenheim says is true, then the law of Equivalent Exchange can't be full right considering the energy is from an alternate universe. Also considering that the energy stays in FullMetal's world, that means energy was created.
I'm just throwing theories around. I do agree with JustOwnin throughout most of his observations. I guess I'm just throwing a wrench in the thought or trying to clear something up in my own head...


Actually what Hohenhein says in my own view is false. I think he was a misleaded as Dante.

I believe the energy of our deaths is retain in our world because think of it this way: if the population of our world would be wipped out would alchemy spot working on their part? Plus what happens to the energy of the death from their world? other than those use for the Philosopher's stone they go poof, into the gate... So Hohenhein tell me what happens to the alchemy world death energy? does it simply evaporate? Is it used also for alchemy? And if so why would alchemy require 2 worlds to power?

See that theory seems way too incomplete, it would take a whole other movie of FMA's part to make an explanation that is fully pausible


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JustOwnin
post May 27 2007, 01:30 AM
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The explination they gave for the istuation is well enough to explain.

One must understand that their is a difference between the energy used to POWER the transmutation and the actual transmutation itself.

After all, obviously the behavior of electricity is different from the objects that its powers and the rules that those objects function by are usually not related to electricity at all.

The energy used from teh human world is used to power the transmutation.

Furthermore, and this is directed at the musical alchemist the flaw in your logic that causes your confusion exists when you confuse laws that work together as the same law!

THE LAW OF CONSERVATION AND MASS IS NOT PART OF THE LAW OF EQUAL EXCHANGE!

just because two laws work in conjunction towards an end does not make them "part" of each other.

Furthermore most of the time if hteirs a "flaw" in one law that odesn't mean that their is flaw in another.

. . . well unless your the immovable object and you have to fight the unstoppable force.


The law of conservation of mass explains whta its explain and the law of equal exchange explains what it explains.

And now the energy that powered the transmutation is part of the transmutation itself as such the energy still exists on some level so the law is not disproven.


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post Jun 3 2007, 04:47 AM
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Just to expand a little on the physics of it...

Wouldn't this mean that the Amestris universe is encountering a net gain in energy? After all, if we take our physical laws into account, mass and energy are interchangeable. And if energy from the Amestrian world is not used to power alchemical reactions, and if mass is not lost in the alchemical reaction from conversion to energy, then if we assume no energy loss to our world, Amestris is leeching energy from our world. Lol, Amestris is getting warmer. Of course, infusing energy into a system would be the only way to overcome entropic barriers.

Whatever. We pretty much just have to give up trying to explain these things rationally at some point. I mean...it's alchemy. At a most basic level, it's simply "magic". tongue.gif

(One may argue that the Amestrian world does not follow the physical laws of our world, but in that case, we have little basis upon which to speculate regarding the mechanics of alchemy.)

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Menelvir
post Jun 6 2007, 12:34 AM
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Wow this argument's pretty deep.

I don't think the Law of Equivalent Exchange is that different from the Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy. You present this much mass to get the equivalent amount of mass; you present this much energy to get the equivalent amount of energy.

If we are to believe Hohenheim, energy flows from the real world to the alchemy world through the gate in the form of death, and gets dispeled as alchemic reactions (and heat and light energy created from the reaction). So we are regarding human lives as energy (which is just so Philosopher's Stone, and so morally wrong). But this means energy is created everday: in the form of newborn babies. This does not follow the laws of Physics, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. If newborns are supposed to be 'recycled energy', where does this energy come from? Surely not the alchemy world, because they have people being born there too.

And this still doesn't answer the question: where does the energy of the deaths in the alchemy world go... I say they come over to our world and become 'miracles of God' laugh.gif


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FullMetalTruth
post Jun 13 2007, 03:31 AM
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You sure do seem to think that what you say is completely right and will put an end to the debate about the "Equal Exchange" whole bit but your entirely wrong. Some points your right but alot your not. For one, the entire idea of Equal Exchange being an 'Equal Exchange' is COMPLETELY based upon the person doing the work and receiving. If I were to do all this work and receive a tv I could think that its not enough while if you did the same work and received the tv you would think its a fair exchange for your work. Just like the parents raising their child. Are you a parent? If your not then you have no place to talk right their. Parents are proud to raise their children and love to (why else would they have kids to begin with?). You need to put a little more effort into your theory and less mumbo jumbo.

Yes, even if someone works increasingly hard they may not recieve anything at all or what they wanted or thought was fair while others may. But if you listen to whats going on and really get into the characters heads you will understand that Edward and Alphonse quickly realize that not everything is a give and take "Equal Exchange". As well as do almost all of the other characters throughout the story (sooner or later). You have to put in these details. Of course the theory "Equal Exchange" is not true but it is somewhat plausible as the idea of it being true would be nice for everyone.

Such as everything having a positive and negative reaction. You have to put in the aspects of who's receiving and their view on whether or not its a fair exchange. Work up on what you posted and you can come up with something more well put m sure.

Well thats my 2 cents.


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"Equal Exchange"...Whether anything is an 'Equal Exchange' is completely dependent on the person doing the work and receiving. You could think its a fair exchange while I don't.

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Night Shadow Alc...
post Jun 13 2007, 03:50 AM
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In my opinion equivilant exchange exists in alchemy but not a vastly as the elric brothers to to use it. Its a law of alchemy not a law of the world


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FullMetalTruth
post Jun 13 2007, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE(Night Shadow Alchemist @ Jun 13 2007, 03:50 AM) [snapback]552018[/snapback]
In my opinion equivilant exchange exists in alchemy but not a vastly as the elric brothers to to use it. Its a law of alchemy not a law of the world


Well I have to disagree with you on that part. Not everything in Alchemy is a give and take you lose some materials depending on the materials you use and such now it will make different solutions and items and not always in the same amount either so its not a give and take in Alchemy either. Close.


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"Equal Exchange"...Whether anything is an 'Equal Exchange' is completely dependent on the person doing the work and receiving. You could think its a fair exchange while I don't.

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Night Shadow Alc...
post Jun 13 2007, 04:27 AM
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it seems to be less more important and more of a plot device in the anime where as its snot used as much in the manga. its still used not just as much. tbh i dont have a clue it seems to apply to only some stuff. I just think we are adding to much depth to this.

One point i will make is about human transmutation, equililant exchange seems a bit weird, an arm for a persons soul????? i would disagree that a soul and arm are of equal value.


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