The Instigator
shakti
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
tmhustler
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points

Nothing can exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,440 times Debate No: 9217
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (39)
Votes (10)

 

shakti

Con

This will be my first ever debate. So please forgive any protocols I do not observe.

I propose it is not possible nothingness can exist.

Whoever wishes to take this topic I would like to thank you for indulging me.
tmhustler

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for what I hope will be an interesting debate

to begin I think we should both share BoP were you must show why nothingness cant exist, and I must show why it can exist and/or instances where it has existed. I hope these terms are acceptable.

I would like to clarify a few definitions before I begin

nothingness 1 : the quality or state of being nothing: as a : nonexistence b : utter insignificance c : death
2 : something insignificant or valueless
3 : void, emptiness[{Merriam-Websters}

exist- 1 a : to have real being whether material or spiritual b : to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions 2 : to continue to be
3 a : to have life or the functions of vitality b : to live at an inferior level or under adverse circumstances {Merriam-Websters}

vast expanses of our universe contain nothing. scientist have found a gap in our universe a billion light years across that contain absolutely no mater or light. this is one example of nothingness existing thus I have defeated your resolution that nothingness can't exist. another example is a vacuum nothing exists inside a vacuum.
http://news.bbc.co.uk...

now to nothingness existing in the entirety of the universe. for this I will refer to a wikipedia page entitled the future of an expanding universe. it shows that because the universe is expanding and cooling eventually star formation will stop, and galaxies will be destroyed eventually the universe will only be left with super massive black holes which themselves will decay. do to the effect of proton and nucleon decay all mater in the universe will cease to exist thus leaving nothingness.
I have fulfilled my burden of poof by giving examples of nothingness now and that in the future nothingness will envelop the entirety of the universe, because of this I have negated cons resolution.

I would like to thank my opponent in advance for a swift rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
shakti

Con

Good Morning. I would like to thank my opponent for taking up this debate. It will I am sure lead us both to tax our brains quite thoroughly.

According to the definitions you have given, and which I accept as correct dictionary definitions: In order to exist a thing must have a material or spiritual state. Does nothing have a material state? No, it does not, because it is no thing as the word suggests. Does it have a spiritual state? Again I fail to see how it can. We can not even imagine nothing. Nothing is an abstract concept. Consider the mathematical concept of zero or naught. (wikipedia: 0) It does not actually exist in the material world only in the world of concepts as a place holder. The scientific examples you have presented are not valid since they are misleading. "Nothingness" is being used here to describe dark matter. Dark matter is theoretical and in fact describes something. Dark matter emits radiation and has gravitational effects on visible matter. (wikipedia:dark matter) Just because it is not able to be observed does not make it nothing. It is a misconception that nothing exists inside a vacum. This again is a theoretical construct to help scientists. In reality no volume of space can ever be empty. I quote "the classical notion of a perfect vacuum with gaseous pressure of exactly zero is only a philosophical concept and never is observed in practice". (wikipedia: Vacuum)

I am amused by the reference of the expanding universe theory as a proof since it is only one of a number of theories and to my knowledge does not in itself claim that nothingness will exist at any point. Therefore I would encourage my opponent to explain their claims further.
tmhustler

Pro

I am disappointed that my opponent has turned this into a semantics argument. because of this instead of going directly into the true argument at hand I must waste time elaborating on definitions, and there meaning with regards to this debate. I suspect that my opponent attempted to set the wording this debate in such a way to make it impossible for her to lose. regardless of this attempt I will now show how nothingness can exist semantically, scientifically, and instances where does exist.
1. Semantically
once again I will start with some definitions
being
1 a : the quality or state of having existence b (1) : something conceivable as existing (2) : something that actually exists (3) : the totality of existing things c : conscious existence : life
2 : the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence; especially : personality
3 : a living thing; especially : person
state
1 a : mode or condition of being
nothingness
the STATE of BEING nothing

nothingness is a state
a state is a condition of being
being is a quality of existence

therefore nothingness exists

now to rebuttal some of my previous points

this is my opponents comment on my example "The scientific examples you have presented are not valid since they are misleading. "Nothingness" is being used here to describe dark matter". to disprove this statement I will quote part of that essay in titled "The great cosmic nothingness found"
"It is empty of both normal matter - such as galaxies and stars - and the mysterious "dark matter""
I should have been more specific with my vacuum example I was referring theoretically that if by some means you remove all matter, and energy from any point than for at least a brief moment that point contains nothing.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
finally without any sort of empty space movement is impossible. If every space is filled up than there is no place for a molecule to move to. furthermore if nothingness cant exist than what is the universe expanding into.
Debate Round No. 2
shakti

Con

I will begin by thanking my opponent for further defining their position. I certainly did not pick the wording of the topic in order to ensure a win! I simply opted for the most basic statement "Nothing can exist". This was by way of avoiding unnecessary semantic argument. In reality, words and the value we assign to them are important to the discussion, you began your argument with definitions. I have already proved there is as yet no true vacuum.

I propose the semantic argument presented by my opponent is an example of recification. The fallacy of treating an abstract as if it were a real thing. Nothingness is neither transcendent nor immanent and is therefore not capable of being.

Now to the article presented as evidence for the existence of nothingness.

The article entitled "Great 'cosmic nothingness' found" relies on both the theory of dark energy and Integrated Sachs-Wolfe Effect in order to explain the "void" . I propose that connectivity in space is the reason that the "void" is not a void in a true sense. Rather a word able to provide a relative perspective of what is there by abstraction.

I quote from the BBC (Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk...)

"The idea that there is a nothingness at the heart of nature has exercised philosophers and scientists for millennia, from Thales's belief that all matter was water to Newton's concept of the Ether and Einstein's idea of Space-Time. Recently, physicists have realised that the vacuum is not as empty as we thought and that the various vacuums of nature vibrate with forces and energies, waves and particles and the mysterious phenomena of the Higgs field and dark energy."

In order to discredit the notion that the void fond here is a void in the true sense I look to the science underpinning the articles findings.

The concept of dark energy is described by NASA as 70% of the make up of our universe and as mysterious. "Albert Einstein was the first person to realize that empty space is not nothing. Space has amazing properties, many of which are just beginning to be understood"
(Source: http://nasascience.nasa.gov...)

The Integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect is a property of CMB or cosmic microwave background radiation.

It "is also caused by gravitational redshift, however it occurs between the surface of last scattering and the Earth, so it is not part of the primordial CMB. It occurs when the Universe is dominated in its density by something other than matter. If the Universe is dominated by matter, then large-scale gravitational potential wells and hills do not evolve significantly. If the Universe is dominated by radiation, or by dark energy, though, those potentials do evolve, subtly changing the energy of photons passing through them" ( http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Note protons passing through them are changed!!!! What is changing protons if they are changed there must be some interactions- movement- some inertia or active power. This is strengtened by the discovery of Higgs fields. (Source: http://www.bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp...)

Are you then proposing that no photons, bosons, electromagnetic fields, are in this "void"?
a cubic metre of empty space contains nothing for light to bounce off, however there is no space where there is nothing. Contents include; light, radio waves, x-rays, gamma rays, electro magnetic waves, gravity waves and particles such as neutrinos, cosmic rays etc., and even resident particles depending upon where you are in space.

Atoms are interesting because they take it to a microcosm which is being studied on earth in particle accelerators (e.g. CERN), atoms are full of fields holding them together, they are not static but fluctuating in quantum uncertainty and in themselves create matter and anti-matter. This is a good guide to what is happening in the wider universe.

Nothing is an elusive concept since when we look in detail at the universe what appears empty is in fact seething with activty.

The thing that is expanding is space itself. It should be conceptualised like a rubber membrane. We call the acceleration of stretching dark energy. It is not expanding into anything - it is expanding itself.

I would like to finish by thanking my opponent for making my first debate so interesting. I only wish we had more time to debate. Best wishes and kind regards.
tmhustler

Pro

my final round will be used to summarize my points and show why you should vote pro.
my opponents resolution was that it is not possible for nothingness to exist. so the question is not whether there is such a thing as nothingness but if it is possible. The only evidence she has given is a word play argument. other than that she has given no reasons why it is not possible. I have shown that eventually the universe will contain no matter or energy thus becoming enveloped in nothingness. also that if a perfect vacuum could by made than nothing would exist inside.

I have given ample evidence and examples as to how, and when nothingness can happen as for my BoP. my opponent has posed Zero evidence and has therefore failed her BoP. so I will now urge a vote for pro
Debate Round No. 3
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
jhoots is right about "proving a negative" so long as the size of the "universe" (i.e. universal set) in question is extremely large (i.e. uncountably large or infinite.) However, if it is of limited size than there is not reason that it cannot be done; in this discussion though, he is right as it was pertaining to the Universe which is of course enormously large and arguably infinite in many respects.

But this argument really depends on the definition of nothing which is of course itself a contradiction...at least the way that Con was using it.
Posted by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
word play
Posted by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
jhoots It is very hard to use that principal in this debate because in this debate con was trying to prove that {nothing} does not exist. So if that principal was true than con could not win

P.S I took this debate as a challenge I was well aware of the work play in the resolution was hoping my syllogism would be to pull it of
Posted by jhoots 7 years ago
jhoots
first id like to comment that this is an impossible argument. you can NEVER prove that nothing exists because it would have to exist to be proven and in its existance you would only prove that it did exist. To clear that up for you, you can only prove what does exist! so, in reality you cant prove nothing exists because it is negative and you can never prove a negative. you can never prove something doesnt exist. Anyone who takes the con side of the argument should consider a career in law. When you start to try to explain how something doesnt exist you have already lost an argument in law. I can not prove that i am not in washington i can only prove that i am in Texas! its hard to understand because you have to think logically and sometimes people ignore logic and base philosophy on opinion. this argument is clearly philosophical and not scientific. therefore con wins. remember you can NEVER prove that something is not only that it is!!!
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
What radiation, you say? See, there's this thing called the Big Bang and that "bang" released a lot of radiation which is EVERYWHERE: Cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR.)

"...there has to be a point in time in the life of this universe when absolutely nothing had existed.." Nope. Not at all.

"...nothingness is a scientific requirement... to explain matter and energy..." Don't know where you get this stuff, but it certainly is not science. In science, there is absolutely NO requirement of a "nothingness" to explain matter & energy or anything else for that matter. I suugest to learn about solar system formation:

"The formation and evolution of the Solar System is estimated to have begun 4.6 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud. Most of the collapsing mass collected in the centre, forming the Sun, while the rest flattened into a protoplanetary disc out of which the planets, moons, asteroids, and other small Solar System bodies formed." (Wiki)

Giant molecular cloud does not sound like nothing to me.
Posted by creeping_death 7 years ago
creeping_death
what radiation? no radiation has reach mercuries surface first 19 seconds...

look my point is that ... there has to be a point in time in the life of this universe when absolutely nothing had existed..

nothingness is a scientific requirement... to explain matter and energy....
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
Radiation, space debris, etc. Lot's of things.
Posted by creeping_death 7 years ago
creeping_death
ok tboone, tell me this...the distance between sun and mercury is approx 60,000,000 km(60 million kilometers)...and the speed of light approx is 300,000 km/sec ( 3 hundred thousand kilometers per second) so it would take light from the sun 20secs (twenty seconds) to reach mercury.

now...consider the time when the sun and mercury had just formed and the first rays of light emitted by the sun started from the sun and were going towards mercury....what do you think was present the first 19 seconds in space of say 300,000km( 3 hundred thousand kilometers) around mercury ?
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
Also, even if the entire Universe (all that it) were to reach a state of complete equilibrium, it would still not be a nothing but instead a singularity. At this point, space would be completely full not empty.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
There is no need for ad hominem attacks; deal with the subject matter instead. I didn't think you were posting any sort of argument for this debate as you were responding directly to my comment. The problem is that there is no place where there is no matter or energy (a nothing) so trying to find it is pointless. Is there anywhere in space where there is no CBR? No.
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