The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
daytonanerd
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Something could have possibly come from nothing

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,122 times Debate No: 24720
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I came up with an interesting argument. I'm not sure how sound it is or if I will ever use it again, but I feel like testing it in a debate.

"Nothing" is the absense of anything. A lack of "something".

First round for acceptance.
daytonanerd

Con

Alright, I accept the debate, but I must remind the voters, the BOP is fully on pro this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. He is correct also, that I bear the BOP. It is my duty to show that something can come from nothing.

Most people intuitively believe that something could not have possibly come from nothing. However, I believe this is false. I would argue that the potential for the first something = nothing, necessarily. One may argue the reverse, that the potential for something = something in this context (which, I will address), but this is incorrect as well.

Argument In Favor Of The Resolution


TPFTFS = The Potential For The First "Something", N = "Nothing", S = "Something"

P1: TPFTFS = N or S

P2: If TPFTFS = N, then S could have possibly come from N

P3: TPFTFS = N

C: S could have possible came from N ("Something" could have possibly come from "nothing")

The conclusion logically follows from the preceding premises, now lets see if we have good reasons to believe the premises are true. This would not only make the argument valid, but sound as well, rendering the conclusion unavoidable.

Defense of Premise 1

This premise can be supported by the law of excluded middle [1]. Either there is a presence of something ("something") or there is an absence of something ("nothing") at a certain point. There is no third option, this is not a false dichotomy. I believe this is self-evident, but if I just so happen to be wrong I'm sure my opponent will let me know about it.

Defense of Premise 2

If there is TPFTFS, then obviously, S can exist and TPFTFS is capable of allowing S by definition:

"Po·ten·tial

adj.

1. Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent: a potential problem."

For example, if a working lighter has the potential to cause a flame to ignite, then it is possible for this ignition to actually happen. I mean, if I have a working lighter in my hand which has potential to cause a fire, it is possible for me to cause a flame to ignite with it, this is obviously apparent.


Therefore, it follows logically, that if TPFTFS = N, then it is possible for something to come from nothing. The potential directly infers possibility and capability. If TPFTFS = N, this would affirm the resolution.

Defense of Premise 3

TPFTFS could not = S. If TPFTFS = S, then it couldn't be TPFTFS, because it would already be S. This would be impossible, contradictory, and incoherent.

For example, If I am engaged in the act of jumping, then it would be impossible for me to have the potential to engage in the first jump in existence while already in the act of jumping. If there is a flower, it would be impossible for it potentially turn into the first flower in existence, because it is already a flower. It being able to turn into the first flower in existence, at a point when it is already a flower, literally makes no sense like a spherical rectangle. Therefore, the potential for the first something (TPFTFS) could not exist if "something" (S) itself exists simultaneously. This means, there is no way TPTFS = S. Since TPTFS could not = S, and TPFTFS must = N or S, then TPFTFS = N, necessarily.

Premise 3 has been defended sufficiently.


Defense of the Conclusion


The conclusion logically follows from the preceding premises. Since TPFRFS = N or S, and TPFTFS could not = S, then TPFTFS = N, necessarily. Also, since TPFTFS entails the possibility of S, and TPSTFS = N, then S could have possibly come from N ("something" could have possibly come from "nothing").

The resolution has been affirmed.

Sources


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

daytonanerd

Con

I admit that my opponent uses a good argument, but he ignores a big point. Does TPFTFS even exist? If TPFTFS doesn't exists, it fully refutes your point, and proves something can't come from nothing.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response, and for providing an interesting objection. It is one I anticipated however.

Refuting My Opponent's Objection

"I admit that my opponent uses a good argument, but he ignores a big point. Does TPFTFS even exist? If TPFTFS doesn't exists, it fully refutes your point, and proves something can't come from nothing."

Although it is an interesting objection, my opponent seems to have ignored one big point regarding his argument here as well. Lets change the variable S ("something") to STE ("something" to "exist") to form a new question I can answer, that will also answer Con's question sufficiently in the process. Also, we will include E ("existing") as well in the question.

Q: Is TPFTFSTE = E compatible with the conclusion in my argument?

The answer is, yes. This is because it is possible that TPFRTS = E, even if STE =/= E, because TPFSTE =/= S, as I have already established.

To make it more clear, if the potential for the first something to exist, exists, this would not mean that something exists, because I have already established that this potential for the first something that exists, could not be something under any circumstance (it's contradictory).

To elaborate even further, TPFTFSTE = N still. This conclusion must be true logically. If TPFTFSTE = S, then the same problem I presented in my first argument would still apply here. Thus, anyway you look at it, TPFTFSTE = N, necessarily.

In conclusion, if I said "nothing existed", I am also saying "the potential for something to exist, existed". This would be the exact same comment. Since this particular type of potential cannot be something coherently I explained earlier, then we have two categories:

(i) The potential for the first something to exist, existing

(ii) Something existing


Since both of these cannot be something, as I established in my first round, then (i) must logically entail the lack of something, and thus equate to nothing. To say "nothing existed", is to also say that "the potential for the first something to exist, existed" as well. This means that something could still possibly come from nothing. The potential for the first "something" to "exist" "existing", simply cannot be "something" that "exists" "existing" under any context coherently. This means the potential for the first "something" to "exist" "existing" must be "nothing" "existing", and since "nothing" "existing" is the potential for the first "something" to "exist" "existing", "something" "existing" could still possibly be allowed to exist because potential directly infers possibility.

Therefore, my opponent's objection does not stand, while my argument remains unscathed.


daytonanerd

Con

This is a nice, quick simple debate. Nice. But how can there be potential if there is nothing? If there is nothing, then potential doesn't exist. Literal nothing means that there is no theories or laws, thus, there can't be potential.

I thank my opponent for this quick, interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"TPFTFS is not the type of "thing" that is capable of being "something" or "nothing." It's still an equivocation."

Either TPFTFS is either something or nothing due to the law of excluded middle, since it cannot be something because that's incoherent, it must be nothing. That's basically the argument.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
TPFTFS is not the type of "thing" that is capable of being "something" or "nothing." It's still an equivocation.
Posted by SarcasticIndeed 4 years ago
SarcasticIndeed
But does the potential exist? I don't understand this argument, really...
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
The best I can ake of it is that the proposition "TPFTFS = N or S" is ill formed. The left side really has only values true or false. "The potential" can only be interpreted as "there is a potential." So the proof depends upon equivocation of "nothing" with "false." Therefore the proof fails."

I don't think you understand the argument. Due to the law of excluded middle, TPFTFS either has to be nothing, or something. Since it cannot be something, because TPFTFS = S is incoherent (There cannot be an A, which also contains within it, the potential for the first A, because it is already an A, and this potential is already used up), then TPFTFS must be nothing.

Think about it, there cannot be a flower with the potential that allows the first flower to exist. It's incoherent, because if a flower exists, then the potential for the first flower cannot exist simultaneously, because a flower already exists. Thus, The Potential For The First Something, cannot also be Something. Thus, TPFTFS = N.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
The best I can ake of it is that the proposition "TPFTFS = N or S" is ill formed. The left side really has only values true or false. "The potential" can only be interpreted as "there is a potential." So the proof depends upon equivocation of "nothing" with "false." Therefore the proof fails.

Con effectively conceded, so Pro wins the debate.

I think the resolution is true, however. "Something coming from nothing" is a matter for science. It is not a purely logical proposition. Science only rules out as impossible things that have been contradicted by observation, and a future possibility cannot be ruled out even if it has not been observed yet. There is in fact a good case that vacuum energy is being created out of nothing as the universe expands. At least science concedes it is possible that vacuum energy is being created from nothing.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
*TPFTFS/ TPFTFSE simply cannot = S/ STE. I hope this answers your question Con :)
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"This is a nice, quick simple debate. Nice. But how can there be potential if there is nothing? If there is nothing, then potential doesn't exist. Literal nothing means that there is no theories or laws, thus, there can't be potential."

I thank my opponent for this quick, interesting debate.

I am going to address your questions personally, this is NOT for the voters to judge. Regardless, we defined "nothing" in this debate as the absence of any "thing" or lack of some "thing". Since the potential for the first something cannot be something under any circumstance, it follows, that is must fall under the "nothing" category due to the law of excluded middle.

TPFTFS/ TPFTFS simply cannot = S/ STE. I hope this answers your question Con :)
Posted by daytonanerd 4 years ago
daytonanerd
Good debate, good debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Rational_Thinker9119daytonanerdTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument is interesting in utilizing an abstract concept of a potential of the first and in attempt to establish its independent existence and identity as "nothing". Con did little, far less than Pro, to rebut Pro's case and conceded to Pro's arguments in the end of the debate, for he failed to see that Pro outlined an existence of potential from nothing; potential and the source here are not identical so that one's existence (as "nothing") eliminates the others'.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Rational_Thinker9119daytonanerdTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively conceded. He denied the resolution without arguing against Pro's case, so the case was left standing.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Rational_Thinker9119daytonanerdTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Essentially, there was one rebuttal, which wasn't too strong anyway. If there was more rebuttals, some depth or strength to the rebuttals, or anything else, then it would have been more convincing, but alas, there was not.