The Instigator
Fkkize
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
That1User
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Eternalism vs. Presentism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Fkkize
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/2/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,033 times Debate No: 78271
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (1)

 

Fkkize

Pro

Preface
It's been a while since I had my last serious debate. I really want to debate some philosophical topic other than God's existence. Thanks to That1User for accepting :)

Resolution
In this debate I am going to argue that "Eternalism is more likely true than Presentism", while my opponent is going to argue for the reverse, "Presentism is more likely true than Eternalism".
As a result, the BoP is shared.

Definitions
All definitions are to be adapted from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy or any other academic, online source for philosophy.

Rules
72h per round.
10000 characters per argument.
2000 Elo required to vote and participate.
BoP is shared.

1. No forfeits
2. No new arguments in the final round
3. Keep it civil.
4. No trolling or deconstruction semantics
5. No "kritiks" of the topic
6. This debate is closed, accepting without admission is against the rules.
7. Violation of any rule or the structure will result in a loss.

Structure
In round one and two respectively Con and Pro are going to present their case. This may include negative approaches, i.e., highlighting distinct insufficiencies of the opposing ontology. The remaining rounds are to be used for rebuttals. Con waives the last round, such that everyone has an equal opportunity to talk.
That1User

Con

Definitions
Eternalism: The view that objects from both the past and the future exist just as much as present objects (http://plato.stanford.edu...)

Presentism: The view that only present objects exist. (http://plato.stanford.edu...)

I accept and I look foward to this interesting debate, thank you for challenging me to the debate and I appologize for taking so long in accepting.
Debate Round No. 1
Fkkize

Pro

Preface
Thanks again to That1User for accepting. I would like to remind him that according to the structure of this debate he, Con, was supposed to present his arguments right away.

"In round one and two respectively Con and Pro are going to present their case"

Since I expected a shorter debate I am going to present only two arguments in favor of eternalism and against presentism.


The Argument from Special Relativity

The argument at hand is inspired by and a extended version of the argument from Metaphysics: An Introduction by Alyssa Ney(1).

P1) If presentism is true, then which objects or events are real depends on which are past, present, or future. (from the definition of presentism)

P2)
But which objects and events are past, present, or future depends on facts about which events are simultaneous with the here and now. (from the definitions of ‘past,’ ‘present,’ and ‘future’)

P3) If the special theory of relativity is true, then which events are simultaneous with the here and now is a matter of one’s perspective. (consequence of Special Relativity)

P4) The special theory of relativity is true.

P5) So, which events are simultaneous with the here and now is a matter of one’s perspective. (by premises (3), (4), and modus ponens)

P6) So which objects and events are past, present, or future is a matter of one’s perspective. (from premises (2) and (5))

P7) So if presentism is true, then which objects or events are real is a matter of one’s perspective. (from (1) and (6))

P8) But what is real is not a matter of one’s perspective.

C1) Therefore, presentism is false.

Premises 1), 2) and 3) should be uncontroversial as they are all true by definition. 4) is of course challengable, but this would require an alternative theory compatible with lenght contraction and time dilation (among other things) whilst also being compatible with presentism. 5), 6) and 7) are inferences. I can't present a rocksolid argument for 8), other than the reductio that denying it leads to absurd conclusions, some of which I am going to set forth in my other argument.

P9) Eternalismism is true, if and only if which objects or events are real is not a matter of one’s perspective. (from the definition of eternalism)

C2) Therefore, eternalism is true. (from (8) and (9), equivalence and modus ponens)

'One's perspective' should of course be understood as 'one's reference frame'.


The Truthmaker Objection

Presentism has a very intuitive side and a very counterintuitive one. For example it intuitively makes sense to say that the proposition "dinosaurs exist" is wrong. This is compatible with presentism as only present objects exist. However what is rather difficult for a presentist is to make sense of propositions like 'once dinosaurs roamed the earth'. Typically presentists want to allow some talk about past and future events and therefore introduce tense operators like 'WAS(Φ)' and 'WILL(Φ)', which can be informally expressed as "At some past time t, Φ was is true at t" and "At some future time t, Φ is true at t" respectively. For example 'Once dinosaurs roamed the earth' could be translated into 'WAS (Dinosaurs roam the earth)'. These operators are not ontologically committing.

The question remains in virtue of what these operators are ture. States of affairs? Impossible, under presentism there is no past state of affairs where dinosaurs roam the earth.

The Truth-Maker Principle: For every truth, T, there exists an entity -a truth-maker- who's existence suffices for the truth of T.(2)

This is of course an outdated principle, as it faces difficulties with negative existentials. However, modern (modal) principles such as David Lewis' claim that truth supervenes on being are much more difficult to grasp and don't get the point across any better than the truth-maker principle(3).
The raison d'etre (DDO doesn't allow for the proper spelling) for such principles is to rule out dubious ontologies with a lot of ungrounded truths, like "brute counterfactuals", with no connection to reality.
Truth doesn't "float free", but it seems like the presentist is commited to say that it does in case of his tensed language, making it a bunch of brute facts.

Brute Fact: A fact that can be understood, but not be explained. E.g. the fact that identity workds the way it does.

Philosopher and mathematician, Alexander Pruss notes "[c]laiming [something] to be a brute fact should be a last resort. It would undercut the practice of science."(4) If the presentist is right, then all of our regular talk about what we did yesterday or last week, or will do next weekend or next summer is true in virtue of being an unexplainable brute fact of reality! That seems unacceptable. Eternalism faces no such problems.

Sources
(1) Alyssa Ney, Metaphysics: An Introduction, p.143f
(2) Theodore Sider, Four-Dimensionalism, p.36
(3) David Lewis, On The Plurality of Worlds, (the page is not displayed on my kindle)
(4) Alexander R. Pruss, The Hume-Edwards Principle and the Cosmological Argument, in Gale and Pruss, 2003: 347–363
That1User

Con

That1User forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Fkkize

Pro

Extending.
That1User

Con

That1User forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Fkkize

Pro

Extending
That1User

Con

That1User forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
That1User
Wow that was fast XD
Posted by Fkkize 1 year ago
Fkkize
Whenever you are ready.
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
That1User
Sorry I haven't accepted yet, when will be a good time for me to accept?
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
That1User
I am interested if you fail to find a better opponent.
Posted by Fkkize 1 year ago
Fkkize
Lol, absolutely going to do that!
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
Email William Lane Craig and ask him?
Posted by Fkkize 1 year ago
Fkkize
Yes, Mhykiel is a B-theorist and Toviyah didn't respond.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
Somebody please apply :P

Did you ask Mhykiel or Toviyah?
Posted by Fkkize 1 year ago
Fkkize
Yes, it's called the shrinking block universe.
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
Just out of curiosity, is there a model where the future and present exist but the past doesn't? I have never heard of a model like that but I feel like someone must have proposed it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
FkkizeThat1UserTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: ff for conduct and arguments