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Possible Argument Against B-Theory? Redux

SovereignDream
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12/10/2013 11:25:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hey all,

So I have in mind an argument against a B-theory of time (say eternalism) that appeals to the eschatological empirical information we have of the universe's fate. The argument:

Preliminarily granting that the universe began to exist (though this isn't necessary), all the evidence we have points to the fate of the universe being such that, barring any sort of divine intervention, the universe will continue to expand and exist ad infinitum. On an A-theory of time -- say presentism -- the only moment that has ontological status is the present, for the past is no longer and the future will merely come to be. But on a B-theory of time -- say eternalism -- all points in time are equally real (e.g. the past is as real as the present, and the future is as real as the past; "the present" is merely indexical, just as the term "here" is in relation to spatial location). If, then, according to eternalism all points in time have equally privileged ontological status (that is, they all equally exist), then the eternalist must be committed to the supposition that an actual infinity of events exist for all the eschatological evidence we have indicates that the universe will simply keep on expanding forever. The year 1521, for example, is as real as the year 9999999999999 on eternalism. But, for that matter, so is any year n+1, ad infinitum. So it seems that the eternalist, given relevant eschatological evidence, must be committed to the supposition that an actual infinity of events exists (and this is granting that the universe began to exist in the first place; if the atheist holds that the universe has always existed, then defending this argument is all the more easy).

But, per WLC's Argument Against the Existence of An Actually Infinite Number of Things, one can argue that it is impossible for there to exist an actual infinite number of things, namely, events or mements. Therefore, eternalism must be false.

I suppose we can formulate this into a syllogism:

P1.) If eternalism is true, then all moments in time are equally real. [Eternalism Thesis]

P2.) There is an infinite number of moments in time. [Premise]

P3.) If all moments in time are equally real and there is an infinite number of moments in time, then there actually exist an infinite number of moments in time. [Premise]

P4.) It is impossible for there to exist an infinite number of moments in time. [Assumption]

C: Therefore, eternalism is false.

What do you guys think of this argument? (Also, it being the case that I am by no means a skilled logician, I'd appreciate some help in the all-too-likely case that this argument is invalid.)
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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12/11/2013 9:44:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/10/2013 11:25:03 PM, SovereignDream wrote:

P2.) There is an infinite number of moments in time. [Premise]

What is a 'moment' of time?

There are geometric limits on time, so that at a certain point, what defines an object as an object (with respect to the light bouncing off of it, and into your eyes, so you can therefore perceive the object) breaks down (about 5.4x10^-44 seconds). You can't really say that much happens within that amount of time, since you can't observe what it is that would be happening.

Secondly, due to the wave-particle duality of subatomic structures, for all intents and purposes, the objects that you would normally interact with (with respect you you seeing them) wouldn't even be what you or I would think of as 'matter', since there is nothing to observe it as matter.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/11/2013 9:41:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2013 11:25:03 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
Hey all,

So I have in mind an argument against a B-theory of time (say eternalism) that appeals to the eschatological empirical information we have of the universe's fate. The argument:

Preliminarily granting that the universe began to exist (though this isn't necessary), all the evidence we have points to the fate of the universe being such that, barring any sort of divine intervention, the universe will continue to expand and exist ad infinitum. On an A-theory of time -- say presentism -- the only moment that has ontological status is the present, for the past is no longer and the future will merely come to be. But on a B-theory of time -- say eternalism -- all points in time are equally real (e.g. the past is as real as the present, and the future is as real as the past; "the present" is merely indexical, just as the term "here" is in relation to spatial location). If, then, according to eternalism all points in time have equally privileged ontological status (that is, they all equally exist), then the eternalist must be committed to the supposition that an actual infinity of events exist for all the eschatological evidence we have indicates that the universe will simply keep on expanding forever. The year 1521, for example, is as real as the year 9999999999999 on eternalism. But, for that matter, so is any year n+1, ad infinitum. So it seems that the eternalist, given relevant eschatological evidence, must be committed to the supposition that an actual infinity of events exists (and this is granting that the universe began to exist in the first place; if the atheist holds that the universe has always existed, then defending this argument is all the more easy).

But, per WLC's Argument Against the Existence of An Actually Infinite Number of Things, one can argue that it is impossible for there to exist an actual infinite number of things, namely, events or mements. Therefore, eternalism must be false.

I suppose we can formulate this into a syllogism:

P1.) If eternalism is true, then all moments in time are equally real. [Eternalism Thesis]

P2.) There is an infinite number of moments in time. [Premise]

P3.) If all moments in time are equally real and there is an infinite number of moments in time, then there actually exist an infinite number of moments in time. [Premise]

P4.) It is impossible for there to exist an infinite number of moments in time. [Assumption]

C: Therefore, eternalism is false.

What do you guys think of this argument? (Also, it being the case that I am by no means a skilled logician, I'd appreciate some help in the all-too-likely case that this argument is invalid.)

It is true that the B-Theorist is committed to an actual infinity. To deny this, would be to deny that the universe will expand forever. The problem with that is; observation states otherwise. So, if you are a B-Theorist, you are committed to the existence of an actual infinity.

I would say, that contradictions with regards to infinity don't arise from all infinities, it arises from infinities from which you can do arithmetic on. It is only when you do math on infinity that contradictions arise, but never when you just have infinity by itself. Thus, it seems that only an infinity that you could potentially do arithmetic on entails contradictions. With B-theory though, it posits an infinity that you cannot do arithmetic on. If there is an infinite block that is static and tenseles, you couldn't add, multiply, subtract from it, or divide it, as that would presuppose temporal becoming, a real change.

Thus, if there is a static infinity, I see no problem. If you could take away from the block, or add to it then the contradictions arise, and that type of infinity may be impossible; since that would presuppose temporal becoming, which wouldn't be the case in a static universe; the issue seems solved.

Summary
--------------

If B-Theory is true, then doing multiplication, dividing, or adding or subtracting from the block is metaphysically impossible. Since an infinity from which it is possible to do arithmetic on is a necessary condition for a contradictory infinity, and this infinity doesn't apply to B-Theory; your argument seems to fail.
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/11/2013 9:47:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Nobody has ever proven that there has been a problem with infinity, only with a problem with doing certain math with infinity (Hilbert's Hotel). Imagine Hilbert's Hotel was eternally frozen tenselessly. There would be no way to derive a contradiction from that, as it would be impossible to move guests around. You can say "if you did X to this guest, and Y to that guest, then a contradiction arises", but that scenario would be impossible.

You would be then trying to show that something (a certain infinity) is impossible, that requires a property (the property of possibly being added to, subtraced ect..) that the static universe doesn't have!
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/11/2013 9:59:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Actually, maybe is a way around my objection...

If there is an infinite amount of time in the future, then this would mean an infinite amount of seconds, and years. However, years are longer than seconds so how can there be the same amount of seconds as years?! It seems that, even on a B-Theory of time, there exists an absurd infinity.

However, this absurdity, once again, comes from the units being applied. The contradictions come from doing math with the units we create, but ontologically, reality isn't divided up into "seconds" and "years"; we made this up.

I'm going to have to ponder this one......
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?
Sargon
Posts: 524
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12/12/2013 2:01:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't see any ontological implications of Cantorian mathematics. Its originators, such as Bolzano, even admitted that it's in the realm of human imagination rather than reality. Granted, infinity is consistent in mathematics, but this has no ontology for the reason stated. While you can put certain mathematical rules on transfinite arithmetic, there is nothing stopping you from carrying out the paradoxes in real life.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second? I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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12/12/2013 9:57:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 2:01:36 AM, Sargon wrote:
I don't see any ontological implications of Cantorian mathematics. Its originators, such as Bolzano, even admitted that it's in the realm of human imagination rather than reality. Granted, infinity is consistent in mathematics, but this has no ontology for the reason stated. While you can put certain mathematical rules on transfinite arithmetic, there is nothing stopping you from carrying out the paradoxes in real life.

But doesn't the real world reflect mathematics? I mean if we solve an engineering problem using mathematics, we assume that it will match up accurately in the real world. Why would it be different with infinity?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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12/12/2013 1:24:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second?

In reality, there are no years and seconds. These are measurements we made up. The contradictions only arise from our made up units.

I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.

That's different, the mountain and dirt pile is already "cut out" for you. To "cut out" time, it completely subjective. I can call have a half second a Plash, and make up my own units.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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12/12/2013 2:35:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 1:24:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second?

In reality, there are no years and seconds. These are measurements we made up. The contradictions only arise from our made up units.


Ok, so...

<---------------------------------------> (A)
and
----------------------------- (B)

Can we even say then that B is shorter than A without making up some sort of measurement?

I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.

That's different, the mountain and dirt pile is already "cut out" for you. To "cut out" time, it completely subjective. I can call have a half second a Plash, and make up my own units.

I wonder... how can we even have any sort of measurement in the first place then, if it's completely subjective, and there really are no objective "units" of measurement? I mean we can always just divide that unit in half again, and again and again...

So if we asked "how big is 1?" would the answer be: infinitely big? Or would it be "immeasurable"?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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12/12/2013 2:48:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 2:35:02 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/12/2013 1:24:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second?

In reality, there are no years and seconds. These are measurements we made up. The contradictions only arise from our made up units.


Ok, so...

<---------------------------------------> (A)
and
----------------------------- (B)

Can we even say then that B is shorter than A without making up some sort of measurement?

A and B are already cut out:

----------------

--------

See?

With time, we are the ones doing the cutting, so it is different. With the lines there, there is an objective difference before the units come into being, with time, it is not like that.


I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.

That's different, the mountain and dirt pile is already "cut out" for you. To "cut out" time, it completely subjective. I can call have a half second a Plash, and make up my own units.

I wonder... how can we even have any sort of measurement in the first place then, if it's completely subjective, and there really are no objective "units" of measurement? I mean we can always just divide that unit in half again, and again and again...

Exactly.


So if we asked "how big is 1?" would the answer be: infinitely big? Or would it be "immeasurable"?

Good question!
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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12/12/2013 2:59:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 2:48:00 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 2:35:02 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/12/2013 1:24:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second?

In reality, there are no years and seconds. These are measurements we made up. The contradictions only arise from our made up units.


Ok, so...

<---------------------------------------> (A)
and
----------------------------- (B)

Can we even say then that B is shorter than A without making up some sort of measurement?

A and B are already cut out:

----------------

--------


See?

With time, we are the ones doing the cutting, so it is different. With the lines there, there is an objective difference before the units come into being, with time, it is not like that.


I suppose I was just trying to demonstrate that a finite line and an infinite line are both, in a way, infinite. But in another way, length wise, they're not. But we can only say that if we assume measurements... But assuming measurements seems so intuitive.

But time is objectively real, correct? So how can our subjective measurements accurately reflect something which is objectively real?


I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.

That's different, the mountain and dirt pile is already "cut out" for you. To "cut out" time, it completely subjective. I can call have a half second a Plash, and make up my own units.

I wonder... how can we even have any sort of measurement in the first place then, if it's completely subjective, and there really are no objective "units" of measurement? I mean we can always just divide that unit in half again, and again and again...

Exactly.


I'm curious as to why our measurements and numbers would reflect reality correctly then, as they seemingly do.


So if we asked "how big is 1?" would the answer be: infinitely big? Or would it be "immeasurable"?

Good question!

Thankyou.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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12/12/2013 3:03:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 2:48:00 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 2:35:02 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/12/2013 1:24:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second?

In reality, there are no years and seconds. These are measurements we made up. The contradictions only arise from our made up units.


Ok, so...

<---------------------------------------> (A)
and
----------------------------- (B)

Can we even say then that B is shorter than A without making up some sort of measurement?

A and B are already cut out:

----------------

--------


See?

With time, we are the ones doing the cutting, so it is different. With the lines there, there is an objective difference before the units come into being, with time, it is not like that.


I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.

That's different, the mountain and dirt pile is already "cut out" for you. To "cut out" time, it completely subjective. I can call have a half second a Plash, and make up my own units.

I wonder... how can we even have any sort of measurement in the first place then, if it's completely subjective, and there really are no objective "units" of measurement? I mean we can always just divide that unit in half again, and again and again...

Exactly.


So if we asked "how big is 1?" would the answer be: infinitely big? Or would it be "immeasurable"?

Good question!

If I were to say "1 is two 1/2s" wouldn't the next question be: How big is 1/2? Two 1/4s. etc. etc. ad infinitum. So is there an infinite amount of numbers contained in 1? Hmm... Infinity is elusive and complicated.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
safisweetkeyz
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12/12/2013 3:11:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Would it be fair to think of time as "duration"? It seems that even if, as RT points out, the units used to measure duration are arbitrary or made up, duration is still a reality between events, no? Removing the units wouldn't affect the fact that there are unequal "temporal distances" between events, and that there would have to be an infinite amount of "temporal distances" to count as events in the universe take place.

Thoughts?
safisweetkeyz
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12/12/2013 3:13:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 3:11:31 PM, safisweetkeyz wrote:
Would it be fair to think of time as "duration"? It seems that even if, as RT points out, the units used to measure duration are arbitrary or made up, duration is still a reality between events, no? Removing the units wouldn't affect the fact that there are unequal "temporal distances" between events, and that there would have to be an infinite amount of "temporal distances" to count as events in the universe take place.

Thoughts?

*I should say; ...an infinite number of "temporal distances" to count...
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/12/2013 3:18:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 3:11:31 PM, safisweetkeyz wrote:
Would it be fair to think of time as "duration"? It seems that even if, as RT points out, the units used to measure duration are arbitrary or made up, duration is still a reality between events, no? Removing the units wouldn't affect the fact that there are unequal "temporal distances" between events, and that there would have to be an infinite amount of "temporal distances" to count as events in the universe take place.

Thoughts?

This is correct, duration still would be real. The problem is, in reality, the future wouldn't be an infinite amount of events, because we chose how long an event is. It is just one long event (from The Big Bang, and there is no boundary). Its only when we chose to chop up this long event into infinities do we get contradictions.

I could be wrong, but try to show infinity is contradictory without talking of units of time we made up.
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/12/2013 3:20:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 3:03:45 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/12/2013 2:48:00 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 2:35:02 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/12/2013 1:24:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second?

In reality, there are no years and seconds. These are measurements we made up. The contradictions only arise from our made up units.


Ok, so...

<---------------------------------------> (A)
and
----------------------------- (B)

Can we even say then that B is shorter than A without making up some sort of measurement?

A and B are already cut out:

----------------

--------


See?

With time, we are the ones doing the cutting, so it is different. With the lines there, there is an objective difference before the units come into being, with time, it is not like that.


I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.

That's different, the mountain and dirt pile is already "cut out" for you. To "cut out" time, it completely subjective. I can call have a half second a Plash, and make up my own units.

I wonder... how can we even have any sort of measurement in the first place then, if it's completely subjective, and there really are no objective "units" of measurement? I mean we can always just divide that unit in half again, and again and again...

Exactly.


So if we asked "how big is 1?" would the answer be: infinitely big? Or would it be "immeasurable"?

Good question!

If I were to say "1 is two 1/2s" wouldn't the next question be: How big is 1/2? Two 1/4s. etc. etc. ad infinitum. So is there an infinite amount of numbers contained in 1? Hmm... Infinity is elusive and complicated.

It does seem strange, because it does seem there is an infinity in 1 (you could chop it in halves to infinity)! However, we could take 1 and 3, and between that is an infinity! But wouldn't that be bigger than the infinity in just the 1? How so? They are both infinity!?

.... the contradictions all seem to stem from how we subjectively chose to chop up time into sections.
safisweetkeyz
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12/12/2013 3:31:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 3:18:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 3:11:31 PM, safisweetkeyz wrote:
Would it be fair to think of time as "duration"? It seems that even if, as RT points out, the units used to measure duration are arbitrary or made up, duration is still a reality between events, no? Removing the units wouldn't affect the fact that there are unequal "temporal distances" between events, and that there would have to be an infinite amount of "temporal distances" to count as events in the universe take place.

Thoughts?

This is correct, duration still would be real. The problem is, in reality, the future wouldn't be an infinite amount of events, because we chose how long an event is. It is just one long event (from The Big Bang, and there is no boundary). Its only when we chose to chop up this long event into infinities do we get contradictions.

I could be wrong, but try to show infinity is contradictory without talking of units of time we made up.

After the Big Bang, wouldn't one consider the formation of a star, for example, an event? And then the formation of a planet around that star another event? It seems if we have duration between events, we have time.

How do you mean "we chose how long an event is"? One could say "the temporal distance between its beginning and its completion" is how long an event is. Even if we have no unit by which to measure them, different events will have differing "temporal distances" that comprise them, and there will be unequal temporal distances between events themselves, giving us an infinite number of temporal distances to count on a static theory of time. It seems a necessary consequence of duration, whether we're able to measure it or not.

In your opinion, what's the value in removing the ability to speak about the matter, in any case?
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/12/2013 3:37:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 3:31:17 PM, safisweetkeyz wrote:
At 12/12/2013 3:18:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 3:11:31 PM, safisweetkeyz wrote:
Would it be fair to think of time as "duration"? It seems that even if, as RT points out, the units used to measure duration are arbitrary or made up, duration is still a reality between events, no? Removing the units wouldn't affect the fact that there are unequal "temporal distances" between events, and that there would have to be an infinite amount of "temporal distances" to count as events in the universe take place.

Thoughts?

This is correct, duration still would be real. The problem is, in reality, the future wouldn't be an infinite amount of events, because we chose how long an event is. It is just one long event (from The Big Bang, and there is no boundary). Its only when we chose to chop up this long event into infinities do we get contradictions.

I could be wrong, but try to show infinity is contradictory without talking of units of time we made up.

After the Big Bang, wouldn't one consider the formation of a star, for example, an event?

Why? It could be a bunch of a little events instead of one event (every inch of the formation could be an "event"). It could be that that formation is just part of a bigger event. We decide what an event is.

And then the formation of a planet around that star another event? It seems if we have duration between events, we have time.

Yes, but we make up the units. Its using the units that get us the contradictions.


How do you mean "we chose how long an event is"? One could say "the temporal distance between its beginning and its completion" is how long an event is.

Exactly. You just chose how long that event was. Thanks for proving my point.

Even if we have no unit by which to measure them, different events will have differing "temporal distances" that comprise them, and there will be unequal temporal distances between events themselves, giving us an infinite number of temporal distances to count on a static theory of time.

We chose what units are used, AND what an "event" is.

It seems a necessary consequence of duration, whether we're able to measure it or not.

In your opinion, what's the value in removing the ability to speak about the matter, in any case?

What do you mean by "value"?
safisweetkeyz
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12/12/2013 4:30:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 3:37:41 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 3:31:17 PM, safisweetkeyz wrote:
At 12/12/2013 3:18:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 3:11:31 PM, safisweetkeyz wrote:
Would it be fair to think of time as "duration"? It seems that even if, as RT points out, the units used to measure duration are arbitrary or made up, duration is still a reality between events, no? Removing the units wouldn't affect the fact that there are unequal "temporal distances" between events, and that there would have to be an infinite amount of "temporal distances" to count as events in the universe take place.

Thoughts?

This is correct, duration still would be real. The problem is, in reality, the future wouldn't be an infinite amount of events, because we chose how long an event is. It is just one long event (from The Big Bang, and there is no boundary). Its only when we chose to chop up this long event into infinities do we get contradictions.

I could be wrong, but try to show infinity is contradictory without talking of units of time we made up.

After the Big Bang, wouldn't one consider the formation of a star, for example, an event?

Why? It could be a bunch of a little events instead of one event (every inch of the formation could be an "event"). It could be that that formation is just part of a bigger event. We decide what an event is.

And then the formation of a planet around that star another event? It seems if we have duration between events, we have time.

Yes, but we make up the units. Its using the units that get us the contradictions.


How do you mean "we chose how long an event is"? One could say "the temporal distance between its beginning and its completion" is how long an event is.

Exactly. You just chose how long that event was. Thanks for proving my point.

Point well taken.


Even if we have no unit by which to measure them, different events will have differing "temporal distances" that comprise them, and there will be unequal temporal distances between events themselves, giving us an infinite number of temporal distances to count on a static theory of time.

We chose what units are used, AND what an "event" is.

It seems a necessary consequence of duration, whether we're able to measure it or not.

In your opinion, what's the value in removing the ability to speak about the matter, in any case?

What do you mean by "value"?

Are you saying that there are no real "events" then? And therefore there is no measurable temporal distance between them? Is your view that talking of any subdivision of time proves meaningless? I'm just trying to make sure I get it!

Even if we get the description wrong, do events happen?
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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12/12/2013 6:37:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 3:20:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 3:03:45 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/12/2013 2:48:00 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 2:35:02 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/12/2013 1:24:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/12/2013 9:54:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:22:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 10:13:03 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Hmm... All this talk about infinity.

I don't think infinity can be actual. If "infinity" could be actual, it would be a number, and it's not a number.

RT has a good point that seems to have been touched upon with Cantor's treatment of mathematical infinity... (His work may be relevant here) Can some infinities be bigger than other infinities?

So we have an infinite amount of seconds, and an infinite amount of years... If they're both actually finite objects, obviously one is bigger than the other. But if the segment of time they're taken from is infinite then they're both infinitely big, which means they're both equal. Or are they?

123456789... ad infinitum.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50... ad infinitum.

Sum up all the members of each set, and you get.... that's right, infinity. But obviously, 10 is bigger than 1, 20 is bigger than 2, etc. etc. So it seems that we've reached a contradiction.

Just my rambling thoughts on the matter.

I agree, it does seem that way. However, how would you respond to my statement that the universe, ontologically, isn't divided up into "years" and "days" (these units are fictions we made up)? Maybe the contradiction is artificial?

Perhaps. But is a year, in reality, longer than a second? Or is time measurement relevant? I suppose in reality (metaphysically speaking), one could always divide a second in half again, and again, and again, and never really get to any "building blocks" for real time measurement, but isn't a year still longer than a second?

In reality, there are no years and seconds. These are measurements we made up. The contradictions only arise from our made up units.


Ok, so...

<---------------------------------------> (A)
and
----------------------------- (B)

Can we even say then that B is shorter than A without making up some sort of measurement?

A and B are already cut out:

----------------

--------


See?

With time, we are the ones doing the cutting, so it is different. With the lines there, there is an objective difference before the units come into being, with time, it is not like that.


I mean it seems obvious that in relation to one another they are. Just like a mountain is bigger when compared to a lump of dirt. So how can one be "longer" than the other one when compared to one another, if there's objectively no way to measure it?

I may be misunderstanding what you said though.

That's different, the mountain and dirt pile is already "cut out" for you. To "cut out" time, it completely subjective. I can call have a half second a Plash, and make up my own units.

I wonder... how can we even have any sort of measurement in the first place then, if it's completely subjective, and there really are no objective "units" of measurement? I mean we can always just divide that unit in half again, and again and again...

Exactly.


So if we asked "how big is 1?" would the answer be: infinitely big? Or would it be "immeasurable"?

Good question!

If I were to say "1 is two 1/2s" wouldn't the next question be: How big is 1/2? Two 1/4s. etc. etc. ad infinitum. So is there an infinite amount of numbers contained in 1? Hmm... Infinity is elusive and complicated.

It does seem strange, because it does seem there is an infinity in 1 (you could chop it in halves to infinity)! However, we could take 1 and 3, and between that is an infinity! But wouldn't that be bigger than the infinity in just the 1? How so? They are both infinity!?


I suppose it depends if "infinity plus one" is bigger than "infinity". I don't see how treating infinity as an actual value works very well. Wouldn't there be a value of infinity, or a number "infinity" if it were actual?

.... the contradictions all seem to stem from how we subjectively chose to chop up time into sections.

But our subjective chopping up of finite time seems to reflect the reality of finite time pretty well for the most part.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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12/12/2013 6:39:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I've decided to see if actual infinity is possible once and for all. This question needs to be answered, and someone needs to do it.

I'll start counting tonight... I hope I get there. I hope it doesn't take too long to get back if I do get there.

If I don't return from infinity, tell my mom I love her.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."