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# Is it possible to pick the number 5 at random from all integers?

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 Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point Started: 2/18/2008 Category: Society Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period Viewed: 2,632 times Debate No: 2739
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 Con Deviating from my usual debates on politics: Is it possible to pick the number 5 at random? In this really short 1 round debate, I argue it is impossible to pick the number 5 at random from all integers. There are an infinite number of integers, and no matter how many times you attempt to choose a number at random, you will never ever choose 5. (I'll save the broader philosophical implications of this debate for another time)Report this Argument Pro Hi, Thanks for hosting this debate, First I will rebutt my opponents points "here are an infinite number of integers, and no matter how many times you attempt to choose a number at random, you will never ever choose 5. " You can state this argument for any number but then when you do actually pick a number it is a number so that theory is wrong. Moving on, Eventually you will get a 5 whether you like it or not because it's not like your picking in 1 minute, you have your whole life to pick, and you will reach 5.Report this Argument
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by padfo0t 9 years ago
YOU CANNOT VOTE IN THIS DEBATE BECAUSE THERE ARE NO SET SIDES. The subject is a question, and PRO doesn't mean yes, or the other way around.
Posted by aceofelves 9 years ago
It may approach infinity but the value is undefined. it's just another technicality like "you can't pick a random number from infinity."

Posted by MoonDragon613 9 years ago
The graph of 1/x approaches infinity as x approaches 0.
Also for that matter the graph of 1/x approaches 0 as x APPROACHES infinity. 1/x when x reaches infinity is no longer approaching 0.
(Of course x can never approach infinity because infinity is a concept, not some really big number)
Posted by aceofelves 9 years ago
you said

"1/0 = infinity
1 = 0 * infinty
1/infinty = zero"

this is good algebra but you started with an untrue equation. 1/0 is NOT infinity, it is undefined.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
How many times do I have to tell you, it doesn't *matter*.

Con is not only objectively right, but makes the better argument. Pro's rebuttal was simply wrong. Unless the human lifespan is infinite, the number 5 cannot be picked randomly.

However, this point:

"You can state this argument for any number but then when you do actually pick a number it is a number so that theory is wrong."

Is actually the key tenet in disproving all the probability examples that support Intelligent Design.

However, it has nothing to do with this debate XD
Posted by MoonDragon613 9 years ago
Hmmm I did indeed forget to factor in Chuck Norris.
But to Yraelz:
1/infinity is not almost 0. 1/infinity is zero.
There are a wide number of proofs for this, but here's one I came up with myself (and so I have no idea if its good or not, but I like it)
1/0 = infinity.
1 = 0 * infinity
1/infinity = 0

QED
Posted by Cobjob 9 years ago
Chuck Norris could pick from an infinite set of numbers!
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
1/infinity = almost 0 but never quite. Pro would always lose on the fact that you can't possibly pick a random number from infinite numbers though.
Posted by MoonDragon613 9 years ago
Well 1. of course all this presupposes you could pick a number at random from infinity. Which is impossible. (Again except for God).
and 2. 1/infinity = 0. Just like .9999... = 1. It seems illogical, and on the surface it is, but mathematics is by nature abstract, and things don't always work out nice and neat.
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Hmmm de dum.... I'm going to let Infinity = C in this case.

If you have 5 number in a set then the chance of picking one is 1/5

likewise if you have an infinite amount of numbers in a set then the chance of picking a number is 1/C.

While no human or computer could actually randomly pick a number from this set it is still feasibly possible to pick a number as the probability of picking one would be 1/C.

So I suppose if I had to argue this I would say "presupposing it was possible to choose randomly from infinity".