The Instigator
Sirius
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
58 Points

We don't exist. Nothing does. We are simply thought.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 940 times Debate No: 6441
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (9)

 

Sirius

Pro

We do not exist. Who's to say that we do? Think about it. It is believed that time is infinite. That it will never end. Ok. So how did it begin?

Who's to say it did? To have no beginning is a pretty hard concept to think about. But if you relate that idea with the idea of no end, it becomes easier to see. So there are three options. 1. Time is infinite in both directions (claiming that there is no beginning nor end). 2. That there is a finite amount of time at both ends. 3. Time is infinite in only one direction.

Let's take the first one. Most people accept the idea of an infinite future. But how could we all be here if nothing ever started? Have we always been here? From the very beginning? No. That would contradict the purpose of this option. No beginning. There must have been a start.

As for the second option, it too is impossible. The definition of time is "a measurement between two events". If time ends, that means that everything ceases to exist immediately. Which means that even the various after-lifes of some religions would cease to exist. Otherwise, time wouldn't have truly ended. And when nothing exists, it means absolutely nothing exists. Not even empty space. This is either impossible or just a concept that is inconceivable to the human mind as of yet.

3. The last option is for only one side to be finite and the other to be infinite. This is also impossible. For the time to be finite at it's end, I've already explained. Now to explain the opposite. This idea (that there is a beginning to time, but no end) is probably the most common. However, this is impossible for essentially the same reason as the previous notion. If NOTHING exists, how could anything just be created? By god you say? But that would claim that time had already started. (For there to be a god, there must be time. To be is an event.) And how would this god have been created? It couldn't be created without time. However, I've already shown how time couldn't have always been if nothing was here in the first place.

However, the following idea has intrigued me as a possible option.

What if everything is simply thought. We think we are here. Therefore we are. But truly, we are not. We can touch and smell and see everything, but truly, we only think that we can. How could we think without a brain? We think we have a brain, therefore giving us the ability to think so. Then why can't we fly at will and turn apples into gold by touching them? We don't have that ability because our sub-conscious mind has accepted it as impossible. And unless you have the will-power and thought-power of a million gods, it's unlikely you'll ever succeed.

In the end, it all turns into any paradox. Please comment on your thoughts about this.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Thanks to my opponent for an interesting debate topic... I'll try to address the two issues and move to a discussion of why there must be *something* in existence.

*********************************

First, my opponent somewhat mischaracterizes time as necessarily linear. In "A Brief History of Time," Hawking describes time as being a much more pliable concept. Humans only perceive time as linear because we are hardwired to do so. In fact, temporal ordering was one of Kant's metaphysical "lenses" - ways that ideas/objects conform to the mind, instead of the mind to the objects.

Consider a type of time that is as a dimension. Events would have four coordinates in spacetime. These coordinates could be described as static or relative, depending on preference. For the sake of simplicity, I'll stick with static, meaning that the 0,0,0,0 point would be the center of whatever existed at the time of the Big Bang (0,0,0) and the instant it happened (0). So an event that happened yesterday could have coordinates X, Y, Z, T and something that happened one hour later would have coordinates X, Y, Z, (T+1).

In this fashion, time is not a linear construct per se, but is just an arbitrary measurement of the temporal distance between two events.

My opponent dismisses the idea that time has no beginning or end, but this is the correct view. If time is just another measurement, then the point at which you "start" or have a reference is arbitrary. Time will still work if everything before the Big Bang has a "negative" time, and everything after has a "positive" time. In this way, time has no beginning and no end, but is, again, just another way to measure something.

******************************

Why must something besides the mind exist?

There are several way to attack this problem. First, the mind cannot exist without the brain. The brain is a physical object that is a necessary condition for the human mind to exist. However, I suppose my opponent will argue that we have been fooled into thinking this.

Second, for just an intelligence to exist, there must be a collection known as "existence" in which the mind exists. Call it a medium for existence if you will. However, I suppose my opponent will argue that the mind is the only thing in existence.

Third, for the mind to think about something else, there must exist these things to give the mind something to think about. For example, if the mind considers a unicorn, something must exist to give the mind that idea.

Fourth, for us to be simply thought, there must be some sort of intelligence to think the thought. Thought cannot exist without intelligence.

*********************************

Thus, the resolution has been negated. Consider:

1. We (humans?) do not exist.
2. Nothing exists.
3. We (humans?) are simply thought.

A necessary condition for condition three is that thought exists. And a necessary condition for the existence of thought is that intelligence exists. Both these conditions negate the second condition, negating the resolution.

*****************************

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 1
Sirius

Pro

(Note: I'm new here and don't yet understand how to forfeit/add comments.)

:) That was, indeed, a very good argument. I'm almost ashamed for not having read "A Brief History of Time" yet, being the science nerd that I am. I am also ashamed of allowing myself to think of time as only linear, seeing as I often will fight against accepted thought. With this, I forfeit the debate. Thank you.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Meh - you can just post something in the debate field to use up the rounds if you want ^_^
Debate Round No. 2
Sirius

Pro

"something in the debate field to use up the rounds if you want ^_^"
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

I believe the only response is "Woot."
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by GodSands 8 years ago
GodSands
Therefore things like science can't explain come from God which is using His unlimited mind to make things just happen. This is not as bad idea as it seems. You got my vote Sirius. Just reject the "nothing" in the title. We also exist in God. and God is with in his own thought. Because God has unlimited mind power, then God can make His thought as real as He likes.
Posted by GodSands 8 years ago
GodSands
Maybe this could be all thought but I doubt it. On the other hand we could be all the thought of God. But in that term the past never happened. Ever heard the saying, "forgive and forget" Like God would. God has given us choice unlike God we can use our thought to not forgive and forget. Thats why sin is wrong and unholy.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
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Vote Placed by mrbullfrog11 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
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Vote Placed by ournamestoolong 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
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Vote Placed by Labrat228 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Brock757 8 years ago
Brock757
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Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
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