The Instigator
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
mongeese
Con (against)
Losing
20 Points

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,472 times Debate No: 9669
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (8)

 

TheSkeptic

Pro

If you have participated or read any of these types of debates before, then this one should be no different. However, for those who haven't:

ROUND 1: This obviously includes this opening introduction and rules. For my opponent, he/she will post 3 topics (clarify them if you could) he/she wishes to debate, and then post his/her position on each of the topics. Please try to add a mix of subjects. Have some deal with religion, others with politics, others with art, others with social issues, etc.

ROUND 2-4: I will start my case by supporting or attacking one of three topics my opponent proposed. It should follow throughout as a normal 3-Round debate.

*NOTE* - I realize that politics are almost undoubtedly tangled with social issues, but a somewhat cut between the two would be fine. By politics, I imagine topics such as what is the best political system, what role does the government play, economics, taxes, so on and so forth. By social issues, I imagine topics such as gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, so on and so forth.

*NOTE* - Please put forth only controversial, or at least opinionated claims, for the topics. This should be pretty self-explanatory. If you have any questions, just leave it at the comments section.

*NOTE* - The "1E" notation is for purely for browsing purposes.

If there's any concerns or questions, leave it at the comments sections.
mongeese

Con

Thank you for instigating this debate, Skeptic.

The three topics:

1. POLITICS
President Barack Hussein Obama was the person most deserving of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Deserving - worthy of
I would be CON.

2. SOCIETY
The Church ought to be required by law to recognize all marriages equally, regardless of the genders of those involved.
"The Church" means any religious institution that recognizes marriage as a religious institution.
"By law" means by government.
"Regardless of the genders of those involved" means that homosexual couples should not be discriminated against compared to heterosexuals when it comes to the actions of the Church.
I would be CON.

3. SCIENCE
The universe probably had a definite starting point in time.
By definite starting point in time, I mean time suddenly starting, rather than having always been passing infinitely. Just ask if you need clarification.
I would be PRO.

Again, thank you, and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this open debate. In accordance with the rules set in place, I will be arguing against the third topic - that the universe probably had a definite starting point in time (I'm CON). I'm a little disheartened at the two other topics; does my opponent really find them to be controversial or worth debating about? Nontheless, I find the third topic interesting so here goes:

I negate the topic by arguing that there is no reason to believe that time could infinitely extend to the future and the past. My argument will basically comprise of philosophical arguments, even though my opponent has labelled it science. Indeed, most debates about the nature and topology of time is philosophical (see philosophy of time). A reading from my opponent's other debate about time is comprised of philosophical arguments as well, so I'm comfortable in asserting that we probably will be utilizing a philosophical perspective.

Finally, I want to note that I am playing devil's advocate here - I personally have yet to make a strong opinion about the debate over time's nature, topology, existence, etc.

====================
Argument for Eternalism
====================

I will argue in favor of Eternalism, the thesis that "temporal location matters not at all when it comes to ontology[1]." To elaborate, the usage of terms such as present, past, and future are nonsensical. Instead, I'd argue that another model we should advocate is what has come to be known as the B-Theory (the A-Theory is what I described). According to the B-Theory,"positions in time can also be ordered by two-place relations like two days earlier than, one day earlier than, simultaneous with, etc. (These relations are now often called "B relations.")[2]."

So why do I reject the A-series but not the B-series? Simply because A-series are inherently contradictory due to the fact that the different A properties are incompatible with one another - an example is that no time can be both future and past.

Another criticism takes inspiration from Einstein's theory of relativity (which I assume my opponent takes to be correct) which brings up the concept of simultaneity[3]. Because different observers are able to perceive the same instance of time as both a future and the other a past, there is no standard or universal moment of time we can label as present. This problem arises because time is a dimension, and thus it can only be sensibly defined in relation to something else. For example, one would have trouble locating let alone understanding north, but north TO is coherent.

Because the A-series fails, and there doesn't seem to be any other alternative, B-series wins by default.

====================
A result of Eternalism that negates the resolution
====================

So what if Eternalism is true? The consequence is that an infinite past is completely valid. This is because any moment of time becomes ontologically equal in footing to any other moment of time -- the term "now" is a privileged usage for a certain instance of time but ultimately it's no more real than other moments of time, just like how the term "here" is equal in footing with any directional language.

Some would argue, especially my opponent stemming from his previous debate, that an infinite past is incohereble because it would take an infinite amount of time to reach NOW. If he were to argue via this path, then he'd be seriously misunderstanding Eternalism. It is precisely point that there is no flow of time - this is merely an illusion caused by our consciousness. Therefore, any talk of "reaching the present" betrays a lack of understanding on the speaker's part.

====================
Conclusion
====================

To summarize: t1 is ontologically equal to t2...t3...tn.

Time exists independently and atemporally from other instances of time; it is connected only when we use terms such as "before" or "after". The term present is simply an indexical term used for human conveniences, otherwise it holds no ontological significance. This is why an infinite past is completely sensible, and thus why the proposition that there must have been a definite starting point in time is not only likely false but INCOHERENT. If Eternalism is true, which I defend to be so, then a "starting point in time" is self-contradictory.

---References---
1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
2. http://plato.stanford.edu...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
mongeese

Con

Thank you for responding.

It looks like our science debate will turn out to be a philosophy debate. Here goes.

Resolved: The universe probably had a definite starting point in time.

1. Eternalism

My opponent chooses to define Eternalism as the idea that "terms such as present, past, and future are nonsensical." However, the definition first requires a look at the definition of ontology, which the definition of Eternalism states.

From Merriam-Webster [1]:
"A branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being"

Eternalism is merely the idea that all things exist, regardless of whether or not they seem to have disappeared long ago or have not even appeared yet, which is merely a portion of the B-Theory that my opponent actually stated.

2. A-Theory

I will agree that positions in time can be described by the B-Theory, but also that they can be described by the A-Theory. My opponent's only dismissal of the A-Theory is that a certain time (let's choose 1990) cannot be both future and past. However, this is incorrect. A-Theory states that at different times, 1990 would have different descriptions. In 1900, 1990 was the future. In 1990, 1990 was the present. In 2009, 1990 was the past. At no time was 1990 ever described with contradiction or incompatibility.

3. Theory of Relativity

My opponent then brings up Einstein's Theory of Relativity. However, this does not contradict with A-Theory at all. At any given moment, two observers would observe any given moment in the same way. Although one observer may be perceiving time at a different rate than the other person, at any given moment in time, they would both be observing from the same time. Here's an example:

You have two men. One man perceives 86,400 seconds every day (the time it takes for the Earth to rotate once), which is normal. The other man starts moving at near-light speeds at 0:00, and perceives 1,000,000 seconds every day. The Earth's rotation is a constant. Now, at 2:00, after the first man perceived 7,200 seconds and the second man perceived about 80,000 seconds, both men would say that 1:00 was the past, 2:00 was the present, and 3:00 was the future. At 3:00, after the first man perceived 10,800 seconds and the second man perceived about 121,000 seconds, they would both say that 2:00 was the past, 3:00 was the present, and 4:00 was the future. Nothing changes because of the Theory of Relativity.

4. North

My opponent brings up "north" and "north to." Now, this just points out that there is no ultimate location of "north," or "south," or "east," or "west," or "up," or "down," or "past," or "future," but merely relations between locations. However, there is the ultimate spatial location of "here," so naturally, going by this spatial analogy, we have the ultimate temporal location of "now." Additionally, there was a spatial location of the Big Bang, the starting point in space of the universe. So, continuing the analogy, there was also a temporal location of the Big Bang, the starting point in time of the universe.

5. Occam's Razor

My opponent has not successfully disproven the A-Theory, which, as Occam's razor states [2], is preferred over B-Theory because stating that things are how we perceive them is much simpler than an explanation as to why they aren't.

6. Parade Analogy

First, to post the Parade Analogy, my own work:

Say that you and numerous fellow men were marching due north on a completely flat plane at a steady rate of 1mph. You have no clue how long you've been marching, or where you came from. For all you know, you've been marching forever. One day, you and your fellows come across a jet, and you decide to take this jet due south at an amazing speed of 1000mph. The question is, will you come to the starting point of the parade?
The answer must be yes, because the answer cannot be no. If you, with your 1000mph jet plane, never reach any kind of starting location at all, even travelling just short of forever, then how could you and your friends have possibly marched in the opposite direction at a slower speed?

Now, just replace north and south with the future and the past, and imagine that time travel is possible, and you have your reason why an infinite time is impossible. My opponent's only defense is Eternalism, and his only justification for Eternalism is the lack of A-Theory, but there is no lack of A-Theory, as I have illustrated above.

7. Conclusion

To summarize, there's a timeline of:
t1...t2...t3...t4...t5...t6...t7...t8...t9...t10...
Past --------> Present ----------> Future

My opponent's only defense against this is the B-Theory, dubbed Eternalism, which is overly complex and dismissed by Occam's razor. He also states that instances in time are not connected to each other in any way, despite the fact that the future is an entity completely dependent on the present. My opponent will have the chance to criticize my arguments only if I actually post them here. How could the future not depend on the present?

Therefore, with the A-Theory standing above Eternalism due to Occam's razor, and the Parade Analogy explaining the paradoxical situation of an infinite time, we must conclude that time probably had a definite starting point.

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for his quick response. However, it seems in multiple instances that he doesn't seem to understand my argument, or at least an important part of it. Because of several of these mishaps, it has led to his downfall.

====================
Defending Eternalism
====================

Since my opponent has broken up his response via a numbered categorization, I will follow the same pattern for the purpose of convenience and clarity. However, I will extract his three last points and put them in the following section for the purpose of convenience and clarity once again:

1. Definition of Eternalism

My opponent could not be more wrong about what Eternalism means. For what reason does he conclude that it is "merely the idea that all things exist, regardless of whether or not they seem to have disappeared long or have not even appeared yet"? He states this stems from the definition of ontology, but this is a complete non sequitur. Ontology is concerned with the nature and relations of being, and the philosophy of time is undoubtedly a sub-category of this.

Eternalism has more to do than just with the existent of beings; it focuses on the nature of time. And it never dictated that all things exist, but rather that the past, present, and future are ontologically equal. From whence my opponent got his interpretation I'm not sure, but it's heavily misguided.

2. A-Theory

My opponent's defense of the A-Theory of Time betrays his own lack of understanding on the theory. To counter my accusation that A-Theory is inherently contradictory due to the problem of incompatible properties he states that 1990 can be both the future and past relative to different times -- unfortunately for him this is what the B-THEORY ADVOCATES, NOT THE A-THEORY.

A-theory orders events in time via non-relational singulars, such as "past, present, future". On the other hand, B-Theory orders events in time in dual relationships, with terms such as "before than". My opponent's defense of A-Theory ironically employs the B-Theory, and defeats the whole purpose of this argument. This is a problem my opponent needs to address; not only the fact that there are incompatible properties inherent in the A-Theory, but that A-Theorists have no solution to the fact that terms such as "past", "present", and "future" are irrevocably ambiguous.

3. Theory of Relativity

My opponent's defense against the argument from simultaneity is once again misconstructed. He states that "although one observer may be perceiving time at a different rate than the other person, at any given moment in time, they would both be observing from the same time." True, his example can hold in which two observers are having different experiences of time but still mentally adjudicate a standard of time. However, his counterexample misses the entire point:

First, my opponent doesn't seem to realize that the concept of simultaneity is supposed to address the subjective nature of how we standardize time, and how ultimately there can be no objective standard of time in which we can label something as the present. It brings into the light the fact that time CAN be perceived differently, which exposes a hole into the thinking that time has some objective flow of which we can tap into. My opponent's example has both observers referring to some alternative measure of time, but this begs the question -- how does my opponent come to suppose that method of modeling time effectively standardizes time?

4. Comparison between north and present

My opponent agrees that there is no ultimate location of north, south, etc. but awkwardly states that there is an "ultimate spatial location of here". He assumes this to be true, but the glaring word is WHY? His response here is so empty that there really isn't any progress on my arguments to be made here - he simply made a bare assertion without any rationale behind it.

And to touch on a more minor issue, there was NOT a spatial location of the Big Bang; this is scientifically misleading. The Big Bang was literally the expansion of spacetime; it didn't have a spatial location because it was the expansion of space!

5. Occam's Razor

As some in the comment sections would share, this is quite the funny argument. Not because it's humorous in subject matter, but because it's use is such an abuse that is unfortunately common to many who are only superficially familiar with Occam's Razor (OR).

If we are to assume OR is a valid heuristic maxim (my opponent simply assumes it to be true, a big no-no), it would still not apply to this situation for a simple reason: my opponent hasn't fulfilled all the conditions. OC states that the competing theories must be equal in all respects, which includes EVIDENTIAL SUPPORT. You can have a much simpler explanation than me, but if it has no evidence in support of it while mine does then it is my theory which should be supported. And what do we have to say about A-Theory? Well my previous arguments have shown it to be inherently contradictory - that is obviously a lack of evidential support.

6. Parade Analogy

A rebuttal here is quite simple: it fails because it assumes time has a flow. In fact, I've said this in my argument and it seems my opponent has either ignored this or failed to address it. Let me copy paste for you:

"Some would argue, especially my opponent stemming from his previous debate, that an infinite past is incohereble because it would take an infinite amount of time to reach NOW. If he were to argue via this path, then he'd be seriously misunderstanding Eternalism. It is precisely point that there is no flow of time - this is merely an illusion caused by our consciousness. Therefore, any talk of "reaching the present" betrays a lack of understanding on the speaker's part."

====================
Results of Eternalism
====================

Since my opponent hasn't said anything about this section, then it must be assumed that if Eternalism is correct, the resolution is effectively negated. If this connection is granted, then the focus should simply be directed towards the former section; the validity of Eternalism itself.

====================
Conclusion
====================

My opponent's argument are racked with misunderstandings of not only B-Theory but A-Theory as well. Furthermore, his abuse and misuse of Occam's Razor is painstakingly clear. It should be evident that it is much more philosophically plausible to say that time does have an infinite past because it's more like a "block" instead of a flow of time.
mongeese

Con

Thank you for your response.

1. Definition of Eternalism

As I already stated, Eternalism is merely the idea that all things always exist. The ontology that Eternalism talks about should be evident in the clearer definition of Eternalism given [1]:
"One version of Non-presentism is Eternalism, which says that objects from both the past and the future exist just as much as present objects. According to Eternalism, non-present objects like Socrates and future Martian outposts exist right now, even though they are not currently present."
This is what I said, not what my opponent said. Eternalism is not what my opponent said, so all conclusions drawn from it are void.

2. A-Theory
My opponent thinks that I am arguing for the B-Theory. However, I am arguing for the A-Theory. 1990 was regarded as the future, then it was regarded as the present, and now it is regarded as the past. Never again will it be regarded as the present, or the future. Therefore, it will never contradict itself.
The A-Theory is based in A properties such as "being two days future, being one day future, being present, being one day past, etc." These descriptions would obviously be in relation to the present. When 1990 was the present, A properties were different for all times. It's kind of like being north or south relative to your current location. As your location changes, A properties change. What was once north becomes south. However, at no location would a thing be both north and south (unless you realize that the earth is round, but that doesn't apply to time).

"Past," "present," and "future" are not ambiguous. Given the present, anything before that is the past, and anything after that is the future. As there is only one present at any given time, there is no ambiguity. To call them ambiguous would be like saying that because I can be both north of Mexico and south of South Dakota at the same time, I am contradictory, and therefore, we are all omnipresent. However, I am not omnipresent, because I am not in South Dakota, nor am I in Mexico.

3. Theory of Relativity

My opponent states that there can be no objective measure of time, and therefore no objective present. However, as my example shows, at no point can any two observers be experiencing different presents at the same time. Therefore, because the present is the same for all, there is no subjectivity. If we need an objective measure, it would be a man-made measure like, "The half-life of one radioactive so-and-so isotope while moving at 0mph." Just because time can flow at different perceived speeds, doesn't mean that time will stop at different places for different observers.
"My opponent's example has both observers referring to some alternative measure of time, but this begs the question -- how does my opponent come to suppose that method of modeling time effectively standardizes time?"
We've standardized length. We've standardized weight. We've standardized mass. Naturally, we have a nice reference point of 0mph at which the Theory of Relativity has a minimum effect. Therefore, we have a standard to which we can refer for all perceptions of time. Bingo.

4. Here and Now

My opponent asks why I assume an ultimate spatial location of "here." This is because the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of my location are the same, no matter where you are looking from. This reminds me of the geography terms of "absolute location" and "relative location" [2]. My latitude and longitude (and altitude) are absolute locations. Being north, south, east, west, whatever of another location is a relative location. Likewise, "now" is the absolute location in time, while the past is a relative location in time.

My opponent claims that the Big Bang had no absolute location. However, the Big Bang supposedly started at "a single point" [3]. Where was this single point? Being a point demands that there was emptiness outside of the Big Bang. Where in this absolute emptiness was the Big Bang? That, my friends, would be the absolute spatial location of the Big Bang. Continue the analogy, and you arrive at the absolute temporal location of the Big Bang, and therefore, the absolute temporal location of the Universe.

5. Occam's Razor

My opponent first criticizes my assumption of OR being a valid heuristic maxim, although he gives no reason why it cannot be assumed to be so. Secondly, he criticizes A-Theory's lack of evidential support, calling it inherently contradictory. However, I already stated that my Occam's razor argument only stands if my arguments in favor of A-Theory stand as well. This continues to apply here and now.

6. Parade Analogy

Again, my opponent is banking on Eternalism being proven to be true. Seeing as I am banking on it not being proven true, this point is merely an extension of the primary conflict of Eternalism.

7. Results of Eternalism

My opponent's conclusions for "Results of Eternalism" used a definition of Eternalism different from what it actually is, so naturally, the conclusions are void.

8. The Future

In Round 2, I said:
"He also states that instances in time are not connected to each other in any way, despite the fact that the future is an entity completely dependent on the present. My opponent will have the chance to criticize my arguments only if I actually post them here. How could the future not depend on the present?"
He gave no response, dropping this argument. Since the future depends on the present, the state of what the past was, the present is, and the future will be, starts with the past, and slowly advances to the present, when we learn the state of the present, and continues towards the future. This is an obvious flow of time.

9. Big Bang

Quoting my opponent, Round 3:
"The Big Bang was literally the expansion of spacetime..."
My opponent is basically implying that the Big Bang was the beginning of space, and that therefore, it did not have a spatial location. However, this also implies that it was the beginning of time, and that therefore, it did not have a temporal location. I've already explained why the Big Bang had an absolute spatial location and an absolute temporal location. This would obviously put the Big Bang at the beginning of space, and the beginning of time. As the resolution calls for a definite starting point in time, the Big Bang affirms the resolution.

10. Conclusion
Although both my opponent and I seem to be misusing a few terms, the intent behind what we say should be clear. I have shown the terms of "past," "present," and "future" not to contradict themselves, as well as having shown that the Theory of Relativity is of no use to my opponent in this debate. I have shown time to be analogous to space, with absolute locations and relative locations. My Parade Analogy holds as long as time flows, and my opponent has conceded that time flows by ignoring the fact that the future is a dependent entity. Time flows, and it flowed from a definite starting point.

1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...(geography)
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for this surprisingly interesting debate. Though I don't feel that my opponent has fully conceptually grasped the idea of Eternalism, this is a good start for both of us (after all, this debate prompted me to read into philosophy of time).

====================
Defending Eternalism -- Definition of Eternalism
====================

Ah, if this is the definition you are speaking about then I don't mind since I don't disagree. The reason why I initially did is because you stated that it meant that "all things exist", which is evidently false - Eternalism states that everything that exists continues to, since there is no concept of the "flow of time" passing by. It's just when you phrase it so simplistically as "all thing exist", which can be interpreted to mean everything CONCEIVABLE exists, is when we have trouble.

====================
Defending Eternalism -- A-Theory
====================

My opponent's response is quite ironic. He states that he has not misunderstood A-Theory and B-Theory, but his elaboration of this exposes the very lack of understanding! Let me reiterate: A-Theory is a model of events in time in the form of non-relational singular predicates, while B-Theory is a model of events in time in the form of dual-relational predicates[1]. This is the basic definition, and should be pretty easy to understand. However, take a look at what you say:

"The A-Theory is based in A properties such as "being two days future, being one day future, being present, being one day past, etc." These descriptions would obviously be in relation to the present. When 1990 was the present, A properties were different for all times. It's kind of like being north or south relative to your current location. As your location changes, A properties change. "

----> Descriptions of events in time that utilize relationships is THE B-THEORY, NOT THE A-THEORY. I agree with you that 1900 was the future, the present, and now the past. But as you admit, this would only obtain is we take a B-Theory model to be true, not the A-Model. Your very argument utilizes key words that are fatal to your own position.

"As there is only one present at any given time, there is no ambiguity. "

----> Preposterous, "present" is simply an indexical term. Can you demonstrate what present is? Can you demonstrate what past is? You can't without utilizing the B-Theory, which is counterproductive for this debate.

====================
Defending Eternalism -- Theory of Relativity
====================

"We've standardized length. We've standardized weight. We've standardized mass. Naturally, we have a nice reference point of 0mph at which the Theory of Relativity has a minimum effect. Therefore, we have a standard to which we can refer for all perceptions of time. Bingo."

----> Incredibly naive of you to say so. I ask of you, can you define time, and wait for it, WITHOUT using the concept of time in it? At first blush this seems simple, but you will realize this is seemingly an impossible feat - and indeed, this is one of the problems philosophers of time deal with. This, plus the empirical that time can be experienced differently (though this fact alone doesn't preclude objective time, it is evidence against it), places heavy doubt on the idea of an objective time.

The fact is my opponent, while he can claim to do so, is unable to figure out a way to standardize time, let alone find a an adequate operational definition of it. He states that using a half life of one radioactive so-and-so isotope is useful, and I agree to a certain extent. While these methodologies are used, they still beg the question that time is objective. These devices ASSUME time is objective, but this is what you are supposed to prove, is it not?

====================
Defending Eternalism -- Here and Now
====================

"This is because the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of my location are the same, no matter where you are looking from...My latitude and longitude (and altitude) are absolute locations."

----> This is a complete assumption, again examine this concept closely and you will see your own shortcomings. Firstly, it seems you are implying "here" means where you're physical body is located. This is completely arbitrary - why should here be where an observer's body is? As I said before, terms such as here and now are merely indexical, something I've been repeating many times with no answers.

"My opponent claims that the Big Bang had no absolute location. However, the Big Bang supposedly started at "a single point" [3]. Where was this single point? Being a point demands that there was emptiness outside of the Big Bang. Where in this absolute emptiness was the Big Bang? That, my friends, would be the absolute spatial location of the Big Bang."

----> Ugh, again this argument crumbles due to your failure to understand the Big Bang. The singularity was an "event all of the matter and energy of space was contained at one point...this occurance was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other. The Big Bang actually consisted of an explosion of space within itself unlike an explosion of a bomb were fragments are thrown outward.[2]" In other words, the Big Bang is the dimensionless point where all matter pulled into the back hole is concentrated - it is not located in a spatial location because it is the expansion of SPACE ITSELF.

====================
Defense of Eternalism - Occam's Razor
====================

"My opponent first criticizes my assumption of OR being a valid heuristic maxim, although he gives no reason why it cannot be assumed to be so."

----> And you never show why we should it assume it to be so...but nevertheless, I'll grant you it's validity for the sake of convenience. Even then, your usage of OR betrays your lack of understanding about it - it's use here is compltely out of context. We aren't trying to choose among competing theories with similar if not equal evidential support; we are trying to figure out the evidential support itself!

====================
Defense of Eternalism - Parade Analogy
====================

Well duh I'm banking on Eternalism to be true, this analogy is begging the question. You can't use an analogy that assumes Eternalism is false to prove Eternalism is false -_-.

====================
Results of Eternalism
====================

No, my initial confusions were because of your overtly simplistic presentation of Eternalism's definition. Besides, your definition coincides with mine as well; there is no conflict.

====================
Conclusion and a few remarks
====================

"Since the future depends on the present, the state of what the past was, the present is, and the future will be, starts with the past, and slowly advances to the present, when we learn the state of the present, and continues towards the future. This is an obvious flow of time."

----> I wouldn't have to answer this question if you understood my argument. According to Eternalism, time is like a block (if God were to exist outside of time, this is how events in the world would look like to him, in a block and all at once). So in that sense, yes the future is "connected" to the present but only because they are the same time ontologically speaking. We only use terms such as past, present, and future because we have conscious, rational faculties that perceive the world to be like this.

My opponent's argument fails mainly because of one reason: he doesn't fully understand the subject matter at hand. He misconstrues the Big Bang, fails to remember my critical points, and even mistakenly uses my theory to prove his - an obvious folly.

---References---
1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
2. http://www.umich.edu...
mongeese

Con

Thank you for this debate, Skeptic. It has been very interesting.

1. Definition of Eternalism

Sorry for generalizing Eternalism so that all things always exist. It is that all things that ever exist always exist. My apologies.

However, this is the only point my opponent makes against my definition of Eternalism, dropping most of his previous points based on a misinterpretation of Eternalism.

2. A-Theory

My opponent seems to misunderstand the A series upon which A-Theory is based. The A series is made up of properties like "being two days future, being one day future, being present, being one day past" [1]. Naturally, as I write this, November 24 is two days future, November 23 is one day future, November 22 is the present, November 21 is one day past, etc. Just because these properties change over time, doesn't dismiss their belonging in the A series. The A series is entirely about comparing solely to the present, while the B series is used when relating two times not including the present.

"Preposterous, 'present' is simply an indexical term. Can you demonstrate what present is?"
Present is what is happening.
"Can you demonstrate what past is?"
Past is what has happened.

"You can't without utilizing the B-Theory, which is counterproductive for this debate."
Didn't use the B-Theory right there.

3. Theory of Relativity

"I ask of you, can you define time ... WITHOUT using the concept of time in it?"
Time is the dimension through which change occurs.
If you think that that doesn't work, then I would challenge you to define length without the concept of length. Of course, this is the last round, so I can't.

My opponent asks that I prove that time is objective, because he claims that the Theory of Relativity makes time seem subjective. However, even if two people perceive one object to be moving at different speeds, the object is still moving at only one objective speed. The error appears in the perception, kind of like how a drunk guy would view length as subjective. Or, one could look at the speed at which two people are driving on a racetrack. If one guy is going at 100mph, and the other guy is going at 1mph, the first guy will subjectively think that a lap is short, while the other guy long. Naturally, the track's length is not changing.

4. Here and Now

"Firstly, it seems you are implying 'here' means where you're physical body is located. This is completely arbitrary..."
Well, here is where I am located by definition.
Here - in or at this place [2]
This - the person, thing, or idea that is present or near in place, time, or thought [3]

"As I said before, terms such as here and now are merely indexical, something I've been repeating many times with no answers."
However, there is no relevance. Furthermore, in the dimension of time, this isn't even a problem, because at any one time, all are in the same time. Kind of like how at any one latitude, all are in the same latitude.

5. Big Bang

My opponent's source actually disagrees with him.
"This occurance[sic] was ... rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other."
Filling all of space requires space to exist beforehand.
"The Big Bang actually consisted of an explosion of space within itself unlike an explosion of a bomb were fragments are thrown outward."
While this may seem to support my opponent's case, an "explosion of space within itself" requires space to exist prior to its exploding within itself, or else it could not explode within itself. Therefore, space existed prior to the Big Bang, and the Big Bang had an absolute location in space.

6. Occam's Razor

"We aren't trying to choose among competing theories with similar if not equal evidential support; we are trying to figure out the evidential support itself!"
Exactly. Occam's razor is what I have to lean back on after I expose the evidential support to be false.

7. Parade Analogy

I'm not proving Eternalism false with the Parade Analogy. It's only function is to show that, after I've shown the evidential support to Eternalism to be false, and after I've shown OR to be against Eternalism, the resolution is completely affirmed.

8. Results of Eternalism

Actually, the definition of Eternalism is solely the existence of all ever-existing objects forever. My opponent's initial conclusions about Eternalism misinterpreted the word "ontology" in his chosen definition, as I have shown. Now, just because the definition of rhombus can coincide with the definition of rectangle, doesn't mean that all rectangles are rhombuses or all rhombuses are rectangles. Additionally, my opponent made no move to prove Eternalism to be true under the true definition.

"According to Eternalism, time is like a block..."
No sources to support this Block Theory, or anything connecting Eternalism to Block Theory...

"Yes the future is 'connected' to the present but only because they are the same time ontologically speaking."
The future and the present are not the same time, not even by Eternalism's standards.
Plus, the statement doesn't even make sense as a response to mine. I asked how the future could depend on the present. A block does not solve this. If the future is ontologically equal with the present, the actions of the present could not have influenced the actions of the future.

"We only use terms such as past, present, and future because we have conscious, rational faculties that perceive the world to be like this."
...or more likely because the world is like this.

"My opponent's argument fails mainly because of one reason: he doesn't fully understand the subject matter at hand."
Well, at least I understand it well enough to know where my opponent does not.

"He misconstrues the Big Bang..."
This is what I conclusively showed my opponent to have done.
"...fails to remember my critical points..."
Funny, I fail to remember failing to remember critical points. I've gone over every argument every round, that's for sure.

"...and even mistakenly uses my theory to prove his - an obvious folly."
Although I may have used some things from the B series to support A Theory, this does not mean that I used B Theory. After all, the A series and B series can both exist. Therefore, there is no folly.

In conclusion, I have the following eight points:
1. Eternalism is what I defined it as, not what my opponent defined it as.
2. My opponent dropped his argument that A properties are contradictory.
3. Although the Theory of Relativity makes time seem subjective, that doesn't actually make it objective.
4. At any one time, all things are in that one time.
5. The Big Bang had an absolute location in space, and an absolute location in time.
6. All else being equal (as I have demonstrated), Occam's Razor favors the idea that time flows as perceived rather than an explanation as to why it is not.
7. With Occam's razor favoring the idea that time flows, the Parade Analogy is valid and affirms the resolution.
8. Due to the future being a dependent entity, time cannot be a block.
9. Vote PRO! (Well, CON, really, even though the resolution was affirmed, because this debate is weird in that CON is affirming the resolution.)

Well, Skeptic, this was a great debate. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you.

1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Like I said, this was indeed interesting. Good job, guys =D

C: Tie - The one-sided topics provided my Con tempted me to sway this vote Pro's way, but such is the risk of constructing these types of debates.
S/G: Tie
A: Pro - Pro's knowledge of the topic was admittedly basic, and as such his arguments felt incomplete. Rather than seize this opportunity, however, Con seemed to stumble over a proper explanation of his theory. A shoddy use of Occam's Razor and an unhelpful analogy further weakened Con's position.
S: Pro - A full reading of the sources was necessary for me to begin to grasp the topic. Afterwards, I found Pro's to be more convincing and far more relevant.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Three votes, no comments...

RFDs, please?
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
I'm definitely gonna read this debate after the Yankee game.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
I've never heard of Eternalism so this is a pretty interesting read. Also...

"My opponent has not successfully disproven the A-Theory, which, as Occam's razor states [2], is preferred over B-Theory because stating that things are how we perceive them is much simpler than an explanation as to why they aren't."

this made me lol.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Actually, scratch that - I think I'll have some fun reading into the philosophy of time.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Mongeese, do you really believe these topics are contentious at all? At least to the point of a healthy discussion.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
Sheesh, such choices. Favorite'd.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Bleh there's an error in my round (though trivial) from copy-pasting, but I can't edit because of the dang flaws in DDO.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
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