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

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Rational_Thinker9119
 Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point Started: 10/23/2012 Category: Philosophy Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period Viewed: 1,320 times Debate No: 26509
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 Con First round for acceptance.Report this Argument Pro I reluctantly accept.Report this Argument 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 alwaysadverb1. at all times; on all occasions:" [1]2. "always [ˈɔːlweɪz -wɪz]adv1. without exception; on every occasion; every time" [2]3. "Definition of ALWAYS1: 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). ConclusionThis 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...Report this Argument Pro Voice_O_Reason forfeited this round. Con Rational_Thinker9119 forfeited this round. Pro Voice_O_Reason forfeited this round. Con Rational_Thinker9119 forfeited this round. Pro Voice_O_Reason forfeited this round.
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
@ 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 5 years ago
What, this is a philosophy debate website and it can't handle Unicode logical operators?

&#8704; - this is the upside down A for universal quantification
&#8704; - this us the backwards E for existential quantification
&#8801; - this is the triple bar = for logical equivalence
Posted by magikkell 5 years ago
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.

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 5 years ago
"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 5 years ago
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 5 years ago
I was going to take this before I saw that you took con =p
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
Should define the words. Though I agree with you.
Posted by philochristos 5 years ago
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 5 years ago
Can you clarify? You initial statement is a logical contradiction - basically youre saying "a finite universe is not infinite"
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