The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Voice_O_Reason
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

A universe with a finite past that has always existed, is logically contradictory

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,050 times Debate No: 26509
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

First round for acceptance.
Voice_O_Reason

Pro

I reluctantly accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, I'll make this short and sweet.

What does "always" mean?


If "always" meant "for an infinite amount of time", then the statement "the universe has a finite past but has always existed", would be contradictory. Fortunately, it does not mean that in the slightest. "Always" simply means "at all times".

1. "Definition of always
adverb
1. at all times; on all occasions:" [1]

2. "always [ˈɔːlweɪz -wɪz]
adv
1. without exception; on every occasion; every time" [2]

3. "Definition of ALWAYS
1: at all times : invariably" [3]

All =/= An infinite amount

"All" does not equate to "an infinite amount". For example, if Pokémon existed, and I caught them all, that means I caught 649 Pokémon. 649 is a finite number. If I had all the Seinfeld episodes, that means I have 180 episodes. 180 is a finite number (I think you get the point).

Conclusion

This means, that if time has existed just as long as the universe (13.7 billion years), then the universe has existed at all times. According to The Big Bang Theory (which is universally accepted in the science community), this seems to be the case. Space and time are actually interwoven, and The Big Bang Theory indicates that space-time was condensed into a singularity 13.7 billion years ago [4]. If the universe has existed at all times, then it has always existed, even if it has only existed for a finite temporal duration. Therefore, it is not contradictory to claim that the universe always existed, even with a finite past. That would only be a contradictory position, if "always" meant "for an infinite amount of time". Since it does not, I have fulfilled my burden of proof.

Sources


[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Voice_O_Reason

Pro

Voice_O_Reason forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Rational_Thinker9119 forfeited this round.
Voice_O_Reason

Pro

Voice_O_Reason forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Rational_Thinker9119 forfeited this round.
Voice_O_Reason

Pro

Voice_O_Reason forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
@ magikkell, it's not a semantic troll argument. The universe has existed at all times, thus, it has always existed. I would love to ask you, when has the universe not existed? Oh ya, never lol
Posted by magikkell 4 years ago
magikkell
What, this is a philosophy debate website and it can't handle Unicode logical operators?

∀ - this is the upside down A for universal quantification
∀ - this us the backwards E for existential quantification
≡ - this is the triple bar = for logical equivalence
Posted by magikkell 4 years ago
magikkell
Yeah, that was an annoying semantic troll argument. Here is a start on how to diffuse it:

Since the argument is about logic, we should not use the Oxford Dictionary definition of always, but the definition of 'always' in temporal logic.

If we're going with temporal quantifiers, we'de get &#8704;t ( t<t* -> Ut). But the only way to define that a universe has a finite past is &#8707;t (t<t* & ~Ut).

If we're doing tensed operators, then we have 'the universe has always existed' &#8801; HU and 'the universe has a finite past' &#8801; ~PHU.

Both are contradictions.

http://plato.stanford.edu...

As far as rebuttal goes, if you try to analyze CON's case in logic, one of the two sentences ends up becoming inexpressible, so his analysis fails.

Meh...
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"Which can also mean "A universe that hasn't always existed, has always existed"

False.

"He's setting himself up for defeat............."

Since the above is false, this is false.
Posted by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
Okay, this is strange in Con's resolution he claims "A finite universe that has always existed"

Which can also mean "A universe that hasn't always existed, has always existed"

Then in the second part he says ",is logically contradictory".............. Does he mean the statement is or the concept is..................

He is essentially against the idea that......... "A universe that hasn't always existed, has always existed is logically contradictory.

He's setting himself up for defeat.............

Hopefully Pro catches his fatal error...............
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
I was going to take this before I saw that you took con =p
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
Should define the words. Though I agree with you.
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
I guess it depends on how you define "always." If "always" means "the entire duration of time," then a universe with a finite past that has always existed is not logically contradictory. But if "always" means "without a beginning," then a universe with a finite past that has always existed, IS logically contradictory. I hate to have a debate over the meaning of a word.
Posted by bentorben 4 years ago
bentorben
Can you clarify? You initial statement is a logical contradiction - basically youre saying "a finite universe is not infinite"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by stubs 4 years ago
stubs
Rational_Thinker9119Voice_O_ReasonTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit