The Instigator
Mikeee
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Aldric_Winterblade
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Time is just an illusion/made up force that helps us understand our place in the Universe

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Aldric_Winterblade
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/2/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,355 times Debate No: 18153
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

Mikeee

Pro

First round is for acceptance only.
Pro will have to show that time is just an idea that has no effect on the rest of the universe, it is just a made up thing to help understand why we are here and what our place is (Not a religious debate). Con will have to show that Time is a "thing" that holds the universe together, and without time, everything would fall apart.
Aldric_Winterblade

Con

I am happy to accept the Con side of this debate. I assume the first round is just for acceptance, so, I will accept. I will post definitions, since the Instigator has not done so, however, I will not define "Time," since that is what this debate is about:

From the Oxford online dictionary at oxforddictionaries.com:

Illusion -

1. a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses: the illusion makes parallel lines seem to diverge by placing them on a zigzag-striped background

2. a deceptive appearance or impression: the illusion of family togetherness
the tension between illusion and reality

3. a false idea or belief: he had no illusions about the trouble she was in

Universe -

1. all existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos. The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

(the second definition of "Universe" is irrelevant to this debate).

Finally, I should like to note that this is my first debate on Debate.org, so, although I shall endeavor to keep to the to formats of other debates, if I do make any mistakes, I apologize in advance.

-A.W.
Debate Round No. 1
Mikeee

Pro

Though out this debate I am going to try to demonstrate that time is something that help humans understand where they are in the universe, I am not going to be trying to disprove time in its entirety, obviously, because it exist (in the human world) and we use it. What I will be debating is that time is not a "force" as described by physics.

Why humans (the human world) needs time but the universe dose not.

Humans are living organisms that move and grow, unlike rocks, humans age, in a million years most of us here now will be gone, but a rock will still be a rock. Because humans age and change over "time" they need to track that rate at which they grow and die. If intellectual life on another planet somewhere in the universe is/was in existence, I'm sure that, like humans, they would have had their own perception of time in their alien world. With all this being said, life, living organisms, need time in order to function, however non-living things, such as the planets that make up the universe do not operate by time. If you have some matter, over "time" it oxidizes and turns to rust, all that this is, is exposure to other elements. If you were to put that same matter into a vacuum, it would stay in that state forever.

Why was "time" invented?

When humans started to develop agriculture, they needed to understand the Earth so that they could be successful in growing and harvesting their crops. When it was the best "season" to plant the seeds, they put them in the ground and waited for them to grow. Early humans figured out when it was the optimal time to plant by the position of the sun. A season is when the Earth is at a certain position from the Sun. For all of Earth's existence it has been going around, and around the sun in a pattern set by the gravitational pull between the Sun and Earth. As humans began to learn more about the Earth, they learned about the pattern that the Earth went in, thus giving them the perception of time. Regardless of the Humans knowledge the Earth still, and always, orbits the sun because of Gravity and Inertia, without "time" the Earth wouldn't just "fall out of the sky".

Humans breaking the bonds of time:

No matter what, we both will "age" at the same rate. If I "age" one "second", you "age" one "second". Growth of Humans is cells dying, and new cells forming to replace them. Let's say you stay on Earth and I go to a distant planet for 10 years. Now I come back after ageing for 10 years, and you and everyone else has been dead for 10,000 years. How is this possible if we both age at the same rate? We track one "year" as one time the Earth goes around the sun, and one "day" is some rotation of the Earth around its axis. One Earth year is 31,556,926 seconds. In the example we both aged for 31,569,260 seconds, but you have been dead for much longer. I would not have been alive for 10,010 years, yet that is how much "time" has passed on Earth. The only explanation for this is that "time" does not exist.

Time perception via positioning to the sun:

Here is another example. Let's say we both live for 100,000,000 seconds, I live on a planet that is X distance away from the sun, and you live on a planet that is 2X distance away from the sun. Now, let's say my planet goes around the Earth 200 times then I drop dead, but your planet only goes around the Earth 100 times before you die. We both were alive for the same amount of "time", but you made less orbits around the sun. This concludes that "time" is just how we as humans understand our place in the universe. For the rest of eternity, as long as nothing changes in gravity, these planets will continue to orbit the sun.
Aldric_Winterblade

Con

I thank my opponent for his opening arguments. I would like to open by saying that I do not fully understand what my opponent is attempting to prove. In his instigating statement, he claims that, quote "time is just an idea that has no effect on the rest of the universe, it is just a made up thing to help understand why we are here and what our place is (Not a religious debate)," but then he continues in his next argument by acknowledging that time exists, but is not a force as described by physics. Much of my opponent's arguments are not topics of debate at all, but are simply statements of common sense - such as that a year on another planet may not be the same as a year on Earth. I will, however, proceed in chronological order with my rebuttals to all those claims of my opponent's which are flawed.

My opponent says that humans age "unlike rocks," a point he himself proceeds to disprove when he says "If you have some matter, over "time" it oxidizes and turns to rust, all that this is, is exposure to other elements." By saying "over time" he clearly acknowledges the existence and necessity of time in this universe. Humans age because cells undergo changes. "Aging" is a term we use to describe those changes. Rocks are not humans, but over time, water can wear them down. In the case of materials such as silver, it can react with the air and tarnish due to oxidization. If time were stopped, that oxidization would not occur. The Earth would not orbit the sun because if it could not move through time, it could not move through space, since time is a part of this universe.

My opponent, however, claims that time has no bearing on the universe. That is false. Time is the progression from one moment to the next that we all experience. Time is a basic facet of this universe. There is no commonly-accepted definition of time, other than the fact that it is, and that, in this universe, time moves in one direction - events happen in a chronological sequence. Since my opponent has failed to establish and maintain a consistent claim of what exactly time is, it is difficult for me to refute him.

Since I am not sure what exactly to refute, I shall conclude by refuting some of the other flawed claims my opponent made. I quote: "Let's say you stay on Earth and I go to a distant planet for 10 years. Now I come back after ageing for 10 years, and you and everyone else has been dead for 10,000 years. How is this possible if we both age at the same rate? We track one "year" as one time the Earth goes around the sun, and one "day" is some rotation of the Earth around its axis. One Earth year is 31,556,926 seconds. In the example we both aged for 31,569,260 seconds, but you have been dead for much longer. I would not have been alive for 10,010 years, yet that is how much "time" has passed on Earth."

At first, I thought the above made sense - but after reading it, I see clearly that it does not. First, I would like to correct a mistake: 10 Earth years in seconds is 315,569,260 seconds, not 31,569,260. However, he says that we both aged for 315,569,260 seconds, yet I have been dead for 10,000 years. These two scenarios are clearly completely incompatible and contradictory: For 10,000 years is 315,569,260,000 seconds. That is, 315,569,260,000 seconds will pass in the time it takes the Earth to make 10,000 trips around the Sun. At this point, I would like to introduce some definitions:

Independent time - A length of time not dependent on any external event. One second is one second on Earth or out in deep space.

Dependent time - A length of time defined by an external event, such as a day, because it is one rotation of the Earth.

I think the above definitions are completely logical, factual and reasonable. So, I have refuted my opponent's above-quoted paragraph because he first claims we both age for an independent amount of time, but then contradicts himself by claiming that I have been dead for 10,000 years, or 315,569,260,000 in independent time. Since my opponent contradicts himself, his argument is self-refuting, and furthermore, his conclusion that, quote "The only explanation for this is that "time" does not exist" is false.

Finally, I shall take a look at my opponent's last paragraph: In short, he tries to show that time does not exist because some planets have longer orbits than others, and because he would age a given independent amount of time while orbiting the Sun more times due to his planet having a shorter orbit, time does not exist. He also draws the conclusion that, because the planets in question will continue to orbit the Sun for as long as their orbital patterns are not interrupted, time does not exist. The fact that the planets will continue to orbit the Sun unless interrupted proves nothing about time. If anything, the concept that a planet could orbit the Sun at one point, but then be stopped from orbiting it later actually proves time exists - since there are two states - a planet orbiting the Sun, and a planet knocked off course - which are separated by time - the time it takes for some event to occur capable of knocking a planet out of its orbit.

I await my opponent's rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2
Mikeee

Pro


If time dose exist…


If time did/does in fact exist then why can we not travel forwards and backwards through it? If there is no past and no future, only present then that proves that it is non-existent except for its current state. You are defining time as a series of chronological events that move in a linear fashion. In mathematical terms this would be “x = x+ (∞+1), x ≠ x+ (∞+1)”. Just as you cannot divide by zero, you cannot dived by “time”. To prove time does not exist that would mean, “time” is not a series of chronological events that move in a linear fashion. In mathematical terms; x=∞, ∞=0. Basically, time is any point on a non-existent line.


Past, Present, Future:


Back to the example of me coming back to find you dead for 10,000 years, existence, my currant state would be 0. My current state relative to you would be -10,000 while your state in relative to me would be 10,000. Existence is 0; anything positive is the future, while anything negative is the past. If the past existed, then 2000 years ago would be shown as: x = x – 2000. If x = x – 2000 then x does not equal 0, therefore the past does not exist. If time has to be equal to zero, then, it cannot be positive or negative. With this being said, 0 + 0 = 0, therefore, time does not move in a linear fashion, making it non-existent. On a grid time is and only can be the origin.


How we perceive time:


There is the same amount of matter on Earth as there was 100,000,000,000 years ago; matter cannot be created or destroyed, therefore, in order for us to get from the past to the present non-existent matter would have to be created, which is impossible. What we perceive as “time” is when matter changes from one state to the next. For water to change from a solid state to a liquid state would be; water is represented by w, w = 0, w – 1 = 0 – 1, therefore w was always in existence, water in its previous state is non-existing because it is equal to – 1.


As we age our existence is describe like this; 0 = 0 ± 1, therefore we are in a current state of existence, and, like water in its solid state, are non-existing. This explains why we cannot go back to “when we were younger”, or travel into the future, because both no longer exist. Just as we remember non-existing things, like water in the solid state, and out “past”, this is just how we deal with the changing of the state of matter. When we die, no matter will be destroyed, it will just change form and appearance.


Aldric_Winterblade

Con

My opponent's arguments jump back and forth from one topic to another seemingly at random and are riddled with fallacies and outright untruths, so I will no longer be bothering with the original topic of debate, but will just follow down the path my opponent seems to want to follow.

My opponent wants to know why we cannot travel forwards or backwards through time. We do, in fact, travel "forwards," that is, into the future. The fact that there is no currently known way to travel into the past does not make it impossible.

My opponent says "If there is no past and no future, only present then that proves that it is non-existent except for its current state." If I stand in a given spot in a hallway, does the hallway behind me and in front of me not exist because I am not standing in them? Of course does not. Just because we are in the present does not mean the past and future do not exist.

My opponent says that the mathematical representation of chronological time is "x = x+ (∞+1), x ≠ x+ (∞+1)." I would like to know the source on this equation, because it makes no sense, especially infinity plus 1 - that is an impossible operation. He then says you cannot "divide by time," but he has made no reference to division in the preceding equations. The following statements, that x = infinity and infinity = 0, and that time is "any point on a non-existent line" is so vague that I have nothing to say about it.

My opponent then says "Back to the example of me coming back to find you dead for 10,000 years, existence, my currant state would be 0. My current state relative to you would be -10,000 while your state in relative to me would be 10,000." That does not in any way refute my point about how my opponent's argument about the 10,000 years/10 years thing was a fallacy.

Next "Existence is 0; anything positive is the future, while anything negative is the past. If the past existed, then 2000 years ago would be shown as: x = x – 2000. If x = x – 2000 then x does not equal 0, therefore the past does not exist." First of all, my opponent has not proven that "x" must always equal 0. This is not any sort of scientific fact that I have ever heard of. To use x in positive or negative to represent past and future is one thing, but to say that it is a physical law that it must ALWAYS be 0 - the present - requires some sort of backing up. Secondly, my opponent never defined what "x" is. Finally, "the past does not exist" is false. Scroll up on this page and you will find evidence of the past - posts we both made before now. If you define "exist" as "being in the present," then, no, the past is not the present - but to say it does not exist in the normal sense of the word is a violation of common sense.

If time has to be equal to zero," - this was never proven,

"then, it cannot be positive or negative. With this being said, 0 + 0 = 0, therefore, time does not move in a linear fashion, making it non-existent. On a grid time is and only can be the origin." This is meaningless. Why should 0 - the present - not be able to be added to?

"There is the same amount of matter on Earth as there was 100,000,000,000 years ago;" - The universe itself is only 12,000,000,000 years old. This is also false, because the Earth gains more matter when a meteor burns up in the atmosphere and scatters particles all over the Earth. I believe my opponent meant to say "there is the same amount of matter in the universe..."

Next, "matter cannot be created or destroyed, therefore, in order for us to get from the past to the present non-existent matter would have to be created, which is impossible." Another falsehood. This is a non-sequitur. To move from one moment to the next in time does not require the creation of matter, and I would challenge my opponent to prove otherwise. If my opponent can show that it is necessary to create matter to move from one moment to the next, then I will forfeit this debate and personally contact universities on behalf of my opponent so that he can present this evidence to top physicists.

"For water to change from a solid state to a liquid state would be; water is represented by w, w = 0, w – 1 = 0 – 1, therefore w was always in existence, water in its previous state is non-existing because it is equal to – 1." - My opponent violates his own claim that "matter cannot be created or destroyed" with this, because he says that the water in its previous state no longer exists after it has changed states. Just because the water of the past is not present in the current moment does not mean it did not exist, unless my opponent wishes to contend that time is capable of destroying matter, in which case he concedes on his initial claim that time is not a force in the universe, because for time to be so capable of destroying matter, it would certainly have to be a very powerful force.

"As we age our existence is describe like this; 0 = 0 � 1, therefore we are in a current state of existence, and, like water in its solid state, are non-existing." - My opponent contends we do not exist. The fact that he and I have typed our arguments proves otherwise.

"This explains why we cannot go back to "when we were younger", or travel into the future, because both no longer exist." - The fact that there is no natural way to progress backwards in time does not mean there was no past. And we do travel into the future, 10^-43 seconds (1) at a time. What is not currently possible is to accelerate our travel into the future. When people talk about time travel into the future, they mean accelerating the rate of progression through time while avoiding aging (which would be theoretically automatic at speeds close to c). We are already traveling into the future at a very slow rate.

"Just as we remember non-existing things, like water in the solid state, and out "past", this is just how we deal with the changing of the state of matter." - I would contend that if something does not exist, it does not exist, and cannot be known. We remember things because they happened once - we call that time the past. This point of contention could easily fall into a semantics argument, however.

I await my opponent's response and closing remarks, and advise him to organize his thoughts before posting them. This debate is getting incredibly incoherent.

(1) Wikipedia, Planck time - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Mikeee

Pro

Sorry about confusion and crazy layout of the way I present my side of the debate.

"My opponent then says "Back to the example of me coming back to find you dead for 10,000 years, existence, my currant state would be 0. My current state relative to you would be -10,000 while your state in relative to me would be 10,000." That does not in any way refute my point about how my opponent's argument about the 10,000 years/10 years thing was a fallacy."

The easiest way to visualize this is to think of a time line (because we think in a linear fashion); let's say events that happened from year 0 to the year 2011. (Assume nothing existed before year 0) What I am saying is that year 2011 is actually 0 and year 0 is year -2011. I'm not talking about AD and BC though. I'm saying now is the current state of existence and, because 0 is existence -2011, obviously, is not current existence. Things do not just magically happen, the pyramids did not just magically appear, we do not teleport down hallways. Because "matter is cannot be created or destroyed", there are consequences of changes in the universe.

The world does not revolve around each individual person, but we perceive the world that way. This is true because I do not live my life as you, nor do you live your life as me, we are two completely separate people. People often describe others as "living in their own little world", which is somewhat true. If I had never met you, you would never be in existence to me, I might have false images of you, but the actual "you" that I see is you. Existence of an individual is the constant over lapping of our "existence grids" but the origins never being in the same spot.

Let's say we meet face to face, then on my "existence grid" you are 0.1, we are close, but you are never actual existing within me. Now let's say we take a step back, now from the perspective of existence according to my "existence grid" is 0.2. Now we come face to face again, again you're exiting as 0.1 on the grid. Now let's say the first time we come face to face I am variable A and you are the variable B (A = 1, B = 2). The second time we come face to face I am variable C and you are D (C = 3, B = 4). Because 1≠2≠3≠4, there is a difference between the first and second time. In order for C to be = to 1, A would have to be = to -1, If C = A = 1, then there would be two of me co-existing within myself. In order for this not to occur, everything is constantly changing. If I wave my arms, air molecules are displaced, thus yielding a change in the existence of the Universe.

Because the Universe is constantly changing we continue to exist, if the universe seizes to change, then we will co-exist inside ourselves an infinite number of times until a change occurs, which is yet to happen. Because we live in the "present" and not in the "past", things in the "past" seize to exist. Just as computer hard drives constantly rewrite themselves, our existence rewrites itself, meaning existence has to be equal to zero, if it was not equal to zero the computer hard drive would not be the computer hard drive.

"Next, "matter cannot be created or destroyed, therefore, in order for us to get from the past to the present non-existent matter would have to be created, which is impossible." Another falsehood. This is a non-sequitur. To move from one moment to the next in time does not require the creation of matter, and I would challenge my opponent to prove otherwise. If my opponent can show that it is necessary to create matter to move from one moment to the next, then I will forfeit this debate and personally contact universities on behalf of my opponent so that he can present this evidence to top physicists."

You are saying that as we progress through time we are the same person, but at a different time and place in the universe. The only way this could be true is if each second is a new dimension of existence and it is possible to move from on dimension to the next. Now, to go to a new dimension (progress through time for one second) we create a new dimension but it is different than the previous one. So in short, we exist in every dimension, but in a different form. What I am saying is that there is only one dimension, which is existence, and that dimension undergoes constant change.

Millions of dimensions, millions of different versions of me (Con's side)
One dimension, a constantly changing me (Pro's side).
Aldric_Winterblade

Con

During this round, I will not respond to every sentence my opponent states, but will only quote and refute what may be refuted, or what is a fallacy. My opponent's argument is full of random, but factual statements, so if I do not quote something, that may be taken as either my agreement with the statement, or that I feel it is too incomprehensible to respond to.

"In order for C to be = to 1, A would have to be = to -1, If C = A = 1, then there would be two of me co-existing within myself." - In this example, C cannot be equal to one, otherwise C will be referencing A - not *being* A, but referencing it, in which case, the C/D relationship would simply be a mathematical mistake. My opponent then says "In order for this not to occur, everything is constantly changing. If I wave my arms, air molecules are displaced, thus yielding a change in the existence of the Universe." If we go along with my opponent and agree that C being equal to 1 would represent a double-existence of himself (or in actuality, myself), then this (the first sentence) is true, or, a better word might be "relevant." The second sentence is simply a statement of fact.

"Because the Universe is constantly changing we continue to exist, if the universe seizes to change, then we will co-exist inside ourselves an infinite number of times until a change occurs, which is yet to happen." - If the universe ceased to change in the manner you are suggesting, it would represent a freeze of time, motion, and change within the universe, as if the entire universe had been put into a stasis field. We would not "co-exist inside ourselves" (what does that mean?) "an infinite number of times until a change occurs," we would simply exist in a frozen state until the universe resumed normal operations.

"Because we live in the "present" and not in the "past", things in the "past" seize to exist." - My opponent has not proven this point, or cited a source on a peer-reviewed scientific study lending credence to such a theory. His evidence amounts to his own word, random statements of fact, and other fallacies and falsehoods.

"Just as computer hard drives constantly rewrite themselves, our existence rewrites itself," - this is not true. When a computer rewrites a file, the contents of the original file are lost. Our existence, therefore, does not rewrite itself. A better analogy would be a computer install log file, written as a computer installs a program. To use my opponent's own terminology, the zero-point would be the current bit of data the computer is writing, which would mean that a negative point would have to exist, because it references a previous part in the file, and a positive point would reference a hypothetical part of the file which does not exist at the zero point. If anything, this analogy, again, using my opponent's own terminology, actually proves the existence of time. The past does not exist at the present within time, but that does not mean it does not exist, any more than a part of a file within a computer that has been written before the part which is currently being written does not exist because it is not currently being written.

"You are saying that as we progress through time we are the same person, but at a different time and place in the universe. The only way this could be true is if each second is a new dimension of existence and it is possible to move from on dimension to the next." - My opponent presented no evidence that this is true, therefore I claim that this point is void. It is purely speculative, and has no basis in known science, fact, logic nor common sense.

Finally, my opponent claims that I have proposed millions of dimensions, millions of different versions of me." I never claimed that anywhere in this debate. My opponent made this up and then put those words in my mouth, which I feel is very inappropriate for a debate of this type.

My opponent abandoned his initial resolution in his very first actual argument, and then went off making random statements, either of pure common sense having nothing to do with the debate, or complete falsehoods with absolutely no support of any kind. I feel I have adequately refuted my opponent's claims to the point where it should be obvious that time does indeed exist and is a very real part of the functioning of the universe. With all due respect to my opponent, I urge readers to vote Con.

Thank you,
-A. Winterblade
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by BennyW 6 years ago
BennyW
I have gone back and forth on this one, it is tricky. I would say it is both.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
"Con will have to show that Time is a "thing" that holds the universe together, and without time, everything would fall apart."

Proving that it exists... and proving that it holds the universe together are TOTALLY different...
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
True as well...That point can be brought up in the debate...
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
lol Pro has already lost. Time and space are bound by physics, to deny the essence of time it's reality is to deny physics all together. That in and of itself is an automatic defeat. I would take this if I wasn't already entering 3 debates.
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
Yes...though philosophical considerations are also welcome in this debate.
Posted by izbo10 6 years ago
izbo10
I can see this ending up a battle of semantics on how you define time.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by CD-Host 6 years ago
CD-Host
MikeeeAldric_WinterbladeTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Neither side used sources except for one by con.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
MikeeeAldric_WinterbladeTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Ultimately, this debate argues past itself. However, Pro does hold the burden of proof in this debate (even though he tried to shift it radically) and therefore loses arguments (and conduct for the shift).