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Does the future (and past) exist? Metaphysics 101

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/23/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 500 times Debate No: 94944
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
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Hi- this debate will be whether or not the future (and past) exists or not. I will attempt to argue that the future does, indeed, exists, while Con will argue that only the present exists.
If you accept please argue rationally as this is actually a somewhat serious debate, though feel free to use whatever tone you want.

Exist- To be real in the present.
Present - Existing or occurring now.
Past- Something that occured that is not in the present.
Future- Something that has yet to occur.

Argument 1- I think that the future exists because we need a truthmaker of statements such as "World war two occured". If the past did not exist, that what would make the statement that "World war two occured" true. Because truth depends /supervenes on existence, the fact that the past exists would be the truthmaker of such statements.

For example, if I say that "grass is green" that statment would be true because a thing called 'grass' EXISTS, and has the property of green-ness. If grass didn't exist, the statment "grass is green" could not be true. Likewise, if i make the statement that unicorns are purple, that statement cannot be true because unicorns do not EXIST.

I hope these two examples show my opponent and anyone reading that for something to be true, something needs to exist to make it true. The only exceptions for this rule are definitional truths, such as all bachelors are unmarried, and 1+1=2.

The statement "World war two occured", is true because I think World war two DOES exist, right now in the present. There are thousands on explainations of how World war wo can exist now, like in the Possilbe worlds theory, multiverse theory, 4 dimentionalism, and much more.

But if the past is real, that also means that the future is real, because obvious logic (if you think this needs explaining tell me, as i am currently to lazy to type it all out)

I would like to draw an analogy between time, and space. In space, there is not such thing as 'here'. 'here' is just the name we give to the space we occupy. There is not property of 'hereness'. Similarly, in time, here is no such thing as 'the present'. The present is just the name we give to the time we occupy, there is not property of 'presentness'

It is for all of these reasons (and more!), that i think tha past and the future exist


So something must exist in the present to be real. You premise is that since the past is real, ergo, exists, so must the future. But the past doesn't exist. Existence is contingent being a present moment. Since the past isn't present, it doesn't exist. And since the past doesn't exist, how can the future?

You mentioned various multiple theories as to why World War 2 could be existing. However, you haven't elaborated on why these other universe's World War 2's would be the same as this universe's World War 2. They wouldn't be out World War 2, but another universes. Our World War 2, the one you mentioned, would've been past, and no longer existing in this universe.

This begs the question: Are you talking about existing in our universe or another universe? And how could existing in another universe constitute existing here?

Also, what is this obvious logic about the past being real meaning the future is real? If you want a debate, you need to give all of your reasons. Else, how can I debate you?

In space, everything exists at the same time. You don't have to wait for space to exist, it already does. In time, the future doesn't exist yet, while the present does.

If you need any clarity on what I've said, then please tell me.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting this debate.
First off, i would like to reply to your question "This begs the question: Are you talking about existing in our universe or another universe? And how could existing in another universe constitute existing here?" I am not saying they exist 'here', but I am saying that they exist now. I am also saying that there is not such thing as 'here' as there is no special property of 'hereness' that a particular place has. Likewise, there is no presentness or some property that only the present has.

Also, you gave alot of well-put rebuttals against me, but you did not explain what you propose the truthmaker to be. What do you think makes that statement that "world war two occured", true?

Ill list my premises for my argument...
P1- truth depends on existence
P2- We think statments about the past and the present can be true
conclusion- Because statements about the present and the past can be true, they must exist in some way that acts as the truthmaker.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by canis 8 months ago
But I wonder what time is. It must be >0<. in it self.
Posted by canis 9 months ago
An example could be: " Show me the 20 min. old version of you. And show me the version of you as you will be in 20 min.
Posted by canis 9 months ago
@Furyan5. Yes it proves that the star must have existed 200 million years ago. But the past or future can not exist. Time as an existence can only exist in "real time"/ now/present.
Posted by vi_spex 9 months ago
ow the future does exists.. moron
Posted by Furyan5 9 months ago
I disagree. A star which is 200 million light years away must have existed 200 million years ago for me to see that light now. This proves the past exists. It's like watching a movie proves that the movie was made.
Posted by canis 9 months ago
Posted by Furyan5 9 months ago
Are you saying the past only exists subjectively or that it doesn't exist at all?
Posted by canis 9 months ago
Yes. But without the present that 8 min. old picture would not exist.
Posted by Furyan5 9 months ago
Exactly my point. The sun you see is 8 minutes older than the actual sun. You are looking at the past. Even your reflection in a mirror is a fractionally past version of you.
Posted by canis 9 months ago
Light travels from A to B. But you can not see the travel. The sunlight takes 8 min. to "travel" to earth. But it is not 8 min. old as you see it. if it was 8 min. old you could only have seen it 8 min. ago in the present..
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