The Instigator
Sargon
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
renji_abarai
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Random events occur in reality.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Sargon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/19/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,474 times Debate No: 52924
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

Sargon

Pro

Ave

The resolution of this debate states that "Random events occur in reality".

A random event will be defined as a thing that happens at a time, T, which cannot be fully explained by causal conditions, C, at some other time T'.

The phrase "occur in reality" simply means that random events actually happen ontologically.

The first round is for acceptance. The winner of the debate will be the person who proves their case with a preponderance of the evidence (in other words, a majority of the evidence is on your side).

Vale
renji_abarai

Con

Pro’s (Sargon) argument is that random events occur in reality

Con’s (Me) argument is that random events do not occur in reality.

I would like to set some rules however to prevent an abuse of this debate.



1. No trolling

2. No profanity

3. If someone forfeits a round, the opponent must say, “Arguments extended”

4. Any unnecessary videos or comments not pertaining to the debate at the end of this debate will be counted as a loss of conduct points

5. Arguments are not allowed in another language

6. If any part of an argument is copied word for word or very close to it from another debate or Forum, that round will be counted as a forfeit

7. Semantics are allowed

8. An excessive use of sources, such as 20 sources per round, is not allowed. This will result in a loss of conduct points

9. Grammar errors in this debate are up to the voter’s decision and may not be commented upon by the opponent; however, the opponent may take an advantage based off the opponent’s grammar mistakes if such mistakes exist.

Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Arguments
Round 3 - Rebuttals and Arguments
Round 4 - Ending (Just say vote for con or vote for pro)

I hope that we have a fair and fun debate. Good luck to my opponent.

Debate Round No. 1
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Preliminary Note

With respect, I believe that Con should have discussed any rules of the debate with me over private messages rather than to post his own rules without any of my input. Allow me to be perfectly clear: Con did not receive my input or approval for any of the rules or stipulations he posted. Con should not expect me to follow his rules if he posts them by complete surprise without any of my input or suggestions.

I reject rule three because it stipulates that I have to put "Arguments extended" when an opponent forfeits. I would rather be allowed to summarize and clarify my points rather than post a two word round. I reject rule eight because it is too vague to be enforceable, as it fails to clearly define how many sources constitute abuse. I partially reject rule six; We should be allowed to use words from other debates and forums provided that they belong to us. As it is currently written, we wouldn't even be allowed to type something that we had typed in a different debate before. I also reject the rules that Con stated for round four, because such a rule would turn this into a two round debate. The remaining rules are acceptable for now, but I withhold the right to reject more rules in later rounds.

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle (Position and Momentum)



Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is a mathematical inequality which states that you cannot know the position and the momentum of a particle simultaneously. This rule on observation can be stated mathematically with the following inequality.




The x represents position, while the p represents the momentum. According to this inequality, the combined uncertainty in the position and the momentum of a particle must always be non-zero. This means that the exact position and momentum of a particle can never be known simultaneously.
[1]

Now, let's consider a quantum particle X. At a given time T, particle x's position and momentum cannot be known precisely. Because of this, particle x's position and momentum at T' cannot be precisely predicted. (This is because you don't have the full picture of where the particle is or how fast it is moving. It's analogous to trying to predict where a ball where be at a certain point in time without knowing exactly where it is or how fast it's going. Of course, this will entail that your prediction as to where the ball is cannot be precise, but only approximate) Particle x's position and momentum at T' cannot be fully explained by causal conditions, C, at the first time T, because the causal conditions at C were only known indeterminately, preventing a full causal explanation. This constitutes a random event because a change in the conditions of particles at a certain point in time cannot be fully explained by the causal conditions at a different point in time.



Schrödinger's equation of the electron

The German scientist Erin Schrödinger developed an equation which describes the electron as a wave. The important part of this equation is the solution to the wave equation that describes the electron wave. The solution to this equation is called the wavefunction (|ψ|), which tells you everything that is possible to know about the electron. Another German physicist named Max Born demonstrated that this wavefunction is actually a probability wave. When this wavefunction is squared, it represents the probability of finding the electron at a location x in a time in space t. When the wavefunction squared is larger, there is a larger probability of finding the electron. When the wavefunction squared is smaller, there is a smaller probability of finding the electron. When the wavefunction squared is zero, there is no chance of finding the electron.

The importance of this equation is that it brings in a lot of randomness into nature. Imagine an electron that is fired from an electron gun towards a particle detector. Suppose that the wavefunction squared tells us that it will hit the detector 60% of the time, and miss it 40% of the time. When the electron does hit the particle detector, what causal conditions can we contribute this to? An electron can be in one condition and end up hitting the detector, or it can be in the same condition and miss the detector. We cannot explain the electron's behavior in terms of the conditions it was at when it was fired, because these conditions lead to many different behaviors (hitting and missing), rather than just one. Amazingly, in quantum mechanics, two identical particles in identical conditions can behave in different ways. [2]

This is an example of randomness because an event, or the electron hitting the detector, at a time, T, cannot be fully explained by causal conditions, C, at a previous T', because the same and exact causal conditions lead to different behaviors in electrons, preventing C from being a full explanation of the particle hitting the detector. Indeed, in quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for why two identical particles in identical conditions will have different behaviors.

A Conceptual Note

One might wonder if this randomness really occurs in reality. What if it's the case that us humans aren't capable of fully describing the causal conditions which led up to an event, but there is a complete explanation objectively that simply escapes us?
Actually, it turns out that this isn't the case; the uncertainty principle and the wavefunction of a particle are objective features of the universe. Brian Greene, a famous theoretical physicist, explains this fact:

"The probability wave encodes the likelihood that the electron, when examined suitably, will be found here or there, and that truly is all that can be said about its position. Period. The electron has a definite position in the usual intuitive sense only in the we "look" at it--at the moment when we measure its position--identifying its location with certainty. But before (and after) we do that, all it has are potential positions described by a probability wave that, like any wave, is subject to interference effects. It's not that the electron has a position and that we don't know the position before we do our measurement. Rather, contrary to what you'd expect, the electron simply does not have a definite position before measurement is taken." -Brian Greene, physicist [3]

As for the uncertainty principle's objectivity, Professor Balakrishnan at the Indian Institute of Technology (video) explains that the uncertainty principle is a fundamental property of quantum systems, and does not relate to the fact that we do not have the experimental means to determine position and velocity simultaneously.



Conclusion

From Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and Schrödinger's equation of the electron, we have examples where random events occur in reality (i.e. ontologically, and not just out of our own ignorance). The resolution is affirmed.

Vale










References
Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology, pg 121
Quantum Physics for Poets, pg 23-26
The Fabric of the Cosmos, pg 94
renji_abarai

Con

renji_abarai forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Arguments extended.

Vale
renji_abarai

Con

renji_abarai forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Arguments extended.

Vale
renji_abarai

Con

renji_abarai forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Eamonn 2 years ago
Eamonn
Question to Pro, how can you ascertain whether two particles are in 'identical conditions' when Heisenburg's uncertainty principle tells us that you cannot simultaneously know their position and momentum?
Thanks
Posted by kyro90 3 years ago
kyro90
Oh Renji, if only this wasnt a hypocritial moment
Posted by PeacefulChaos 3 years ago
PeacefulChaos
That depends on if he actually does it or not.
Posted by n7 3 years ago
n7
If Con goes some semantical route to redefine "random", I guess that would contradict his "no trolling" rule. I think conduct should go to Pro right off the bat on this one
Posted by n7 3 years ago
n7
"Semantics are allowed"

wtf?
Posted by renji_abarai 3 years ago
renji_abarai
This is interesting...Its been a year since I've logged on so i want to kick it off with an interesting debate. From the understanding of this, Pro is debating that random events occur in reality while I will attempt to prove that random events do not occur in reality
Posted by danny123 3 years ago
danny123
i understand .
Posted by oculus_de_logica 3 years ago
oculus_de_logica
he didn't state that he wanted to take the debate, he stated that the debate has been wasted since you don't understand the opening statement made by pro.

The first round definition was perfectly clear, he defined everything in a perfectly rational and understandable way. if you couldn't understand the definition then there are slim chances that you'll understand the rest of the debate. If you cannot understand the opponent you cannot argue against him properly and thus the debate will be wasted.

His intention was:
"Why would you accept a debate you didn't understand?"
Posted by danny123 3 years ago
danny123
shut up before i roast you like pot roast. if you wanted to debate why didn't you.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
What the f*ck....

If you can't understand the freaking opening statements then don't accept the damn debate!

What a waste of a perfectly good debate...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
Sargonrenji_abaraiTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
Sargonrenji_abaraiTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: The critical argument, uncontested, is "It's not that the electron has a position and that we don't know the position before we do our measurement. Rather, contrary to what you'd expect, the electron simply does not have a definite position before measurement is taken." Con made no case, had no sources, and loses conduct for the forfeits. Rules cannot be imposed after the challenger clicks "accept."
Vote Placed by Poetaster 3 years ago
Poetaster
Sargonrenji_abaraiTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit by Con. Pro's argument was basically correct, but he probably should have clarified that "identical conditions" are themselves probabilistically defined and subject to Heisenberg uncertainty. Two electrons in "identical conditions" simply have the same probability distributions. But he's correct when he says that their measured states will differ without causal explanation. His misuse of the word "contribute" in place of "attribute" was a minor annoyance to me.