The Instigator
3DCrew
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
happypancakeeater
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Time is an illusion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,127 times Debate No: 2216
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (7)

 

3DCrew

Pro

I assert that time does not exist. It is, in fact, an illusion created by the movement of matter and energy.

Let's suppose a greatly simplifed universe which is only composed of 4 atoms labeled A, B, C, and D. In this space exactly large enough to contain these atoms they are created by God and arranged in order ABC and D is the observer. God rearranges them to CAB and D is not changed. God rearranges them back to ABC and D is not changed. Did atom D just go back in "time" or just witness a return to the original configuration of the universe?

I thought this would be a cool change of pace so let's see where this goes.
happypancakeeater

Con

Problem 1 with your thesis:
Your argument is enabled by the passage of time. If there were no time, the change in order would never occur, and we would always see the same order.

Problem 2 with your thesis:
Even disregarding that flaw, you've proposed a different cause of time.

Counter-thesis:
What we percieve as the present is really a memory. Because of this, we consist of time and space.

This thesis is much more reasonable because of the primacy of the senses regarding reality.

I'm glad you picked this topic. It should be interesting.
Debate Round No. 1
3DCrew

Pro

I disagree that the rearrangement of the atoms in my miniverse prove or creates time. Due to the way the universe was created we always see cause before effect. Because of this we must speak in terms of "before" and "after" but that's merely a convenience for decribing the muliple configurations of the eternal "now". An unchanging universe would not exhibit "time" or even the need for time because there would be no "cause" and "effect" only one static configuration.

Your counter-thesis:
What we percieve as the present is really a memory. Because of this, we consist of time and space.

What we percieve as the present past and future are merely arrangements of chemicals in the brain. If we could take a snapshot of your brain in it's present configuration and then return your brain to that same configuraion, would you know any different?

As humans it is not possible for us to talk about configuration A, then B, then A again without invoking the concept of time. This is a coping method that allows us to communicate concepts of "cause" and "effect". However, it does not prove that there is literal construct called "time". Order is not time. When we say the configuration is ABC, the configuration is CBA, the configuration is BAC - we must use the concept of time to describe in which order these configurations occurred. It does not prove that time is a literal construct.
happypancakeeater

Con

You misunderstand me and unintentionally agree with my counter-thesis. I agree that there is nothing but now in our perception. If there was no time, there couldn't be more than one arrangement of chemicals.

Here is the proof of concept in your own terms:

At time "A" the arrangement is # @ !

At time "B" the arrangement is @ # !

At time "C" the arrangement is ! # @

These examples show that your conception of "arrangement" is made possible by distict points in time.

This is result of a lack of time:

Point "A" is infinitely short, it encompasses all existence.
the order is # @ !
it always has been and always will be. There is no possibility of change.

This is further proved by conceptualizing time as a dimension. We can see the same concept if we try to crunch the third dimension into the second.
No matter what you do in the second dimension it can only be placed in that plane. Solid objects cannot exist.

Think of time as an integral. It is the summation of infinite and infinitely small points of "being" (you may call them arrangements if you wish) from point "A" to point "B." The addition of the extra "dimension" is what enables existence as we percieve it.
Debate Round No. 2
3DCrew

Pro

It is said that time is the 4th dimention. If that's true, if time exists, then we can at least know that time is not a dimension.

Given line X a point is free to move along that line. Where then is time? The 2nd dimention?

Given plane plane XY there is a point that is free to move now in 2 dimentions. Where then is time? The 3rd dimentions?

We're biased as 3rd dimentional beings to think that time is the 4th dimention wouldn't you agree?

I put forth my summary statement: Time is an illusion as it is not required to support multiple configurations of a given line, plane, or space. The past is merely a configuration of the universe that, if duplicated exactly particle for particle, would rebuild "the past".

That's all I have "time" for. :)
happypancakeeater

Con

You can't frame the examples literally. Strictly speaking we can't see anything that doesn't consist of at least 3 dimensions of space and one of time. When you see something that is "2-D" it is really only a representation. The "dimension" of time is present in two or three dimensional representations anytime there is motion. A drawing would be an example of a two dimensional representation without time, it will always be the same. We can't even represent things that have less than two dimensions. 1-D lines are infinitely thin and 0-D points simply exist in a given location. This is the greatest proof of concept for the arguments.

Even disregarding the dimensional argument, you can't get around the fact that time is what enables different arrangements. Any prime movers must have some sort of material to work with. In this particular case, it is time. This is not to say that existence is limited to our present conceptions, there may well be an existence that couldn't exist as we do.

Regardless, I congratulate you on a good debate.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Undeniable-Love 9 years ago
Undeniable-Love
Excellent point. But I still choose to believe that time is just another thing humans have made up simply to keep track of order. We can agree to disagree. :)
Posted by happypancakeeater 9 years ago
happypancakeeater
I get your point. I'm not saying that we're necessarily active participants in time or that our explanations are really true. The one thing we know is that our explanations correlate to our experiences. Time is a de facto part of existence, we don't know what, how or why, but we do know that it is.
Posted by Undeniable-Love 9 years ago
Undeniable-Love
I have a will to type

Sorry...
Posted by Undeniable-Love 9 years ago
Undeniable-Love
To be perfectly honest, I've always been raised thinking that time was always short. However lately, I've grown to appreciate the concept that all time is now and now is all time.

Humans have a tendency to construct rules for themselves to comprehend certain things.

Here is an example, but I'm not sure if it means much:

I push the keys on my keyboard because I have a will to talk to type and it is not outside the capabilities of my body.

The temperature reading on a thermometer goes up because it gets hotter in the room.

Dry ice, when packed into a plastic bottle, explodes because the carbon has a low boiling point and immediately turns from solid to gas since the molecules are expanding.

Time moves forward because...

Everything that we have chosen a system of rules for happens for a reason. A reason that humans have been able to explain within the realms of their imagination, whether it be true or false, as long as it's logical. Now, If time, like heat, me typing, or dry ice expanding, is not an illusion, how come it fails to follow the pattern of explanation?
Posted by happypancakeeater 9 years ago
happypancakeeater
Don't worry about it. I hope you enjoyed the debate.
Posted by 3DCrew 9 years ago
3DCrew
Rats. Debate.org needs a spell checker. DIMENSION (geez).
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by padfo0t 9 years ago
padfo0t
3DCrewhappypancakeeaterTied
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Vote Placed by hark 9 years ago
hark
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Vote Placed by happypancakeeater 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by 3DCrew 9 years ago
3DCrew
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Vote Placed by PreacherFred 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by FunkeeMonk91 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Undeniable-Love 9 years ago
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