Total Posts:39|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Convince Me That Infinity Is Impossible

GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
This has been discussed before, but no one has ever convinced me that infinity is impossible.

I see the same assertions and weak arguments over and over again to support this notion, so you have clear and effective argument against infinity, let's see it.

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:31:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This has been discussed before, but no one has ever convinced me that infinity is impossible.

I see the same assertions and weak arguments over and over again to support this notion, so you have clear and effective argument against infinity, let's see it.

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.

Your post count is 6666, you're the devil.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:32:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This has been discussed before, but no one has ever convinced me that infinity is impossible.

I see the same assertions and weak arguments over and over again to support this notion, so you have clear and effective argument against infinity, let's see it.

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.

Are you talking about infinity being impossible as a concept or as a reality?
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
badger
Posts: 11,793
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:32:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This has been discussed before, but no one has ever convinced me that infinity is impossible.

I see the same assertions and weak arguments over and over again to support this notion, so you have clear and effective argument against infinity, let's see it.

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.

i can't see why infinity would be have be impossible.. a finite universe makes as little sense in my opinion..

infinite regress however... makes the least sense!
signature
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:38:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:32:32 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This has been discussed before, but no one has ever convinced me that infinity is impossible.

I see the same assertions and weak arguments over and over again to support this notion, so you have clear and effective argument against infinity, let's see it.

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.

Are you talking about infinity being impossible as a concept or as a reality?

In reality. In both the temporal sense and spatial sense.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:41:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.

Actually the burden of proof is on you as you are claiming it is impossible for it to be impossible for infinity to exist. Thus you can either defend this claim, or you are as Truzzi has described a pseudo-skeptic.
badger
Posts: 11,793
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:43:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:41:23 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.

Actually the burden of proof is on you as you are claiming it is impossible for it to be impossible for infinity to exist. Thus you can either defend this claim, or you are as Truzzi has described a pseudo-skeptic.

he didn't claim that though.
signature
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:43:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The burden of proof is on anyone that wishes to change the minds of others, not on who makes what claim.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
badger
Posts: 11,793
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:44:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:43:41 PM, OreEle wrote:
The burden of proof is on anyone that wishes to change the minds of others, not on who makes what claim.

fair enough.
signature
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 12:45:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:41:23 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/23/2011 12:29:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

And yes, the burden is on you because you're claiming the impossibility of something.

Actually the burden of proof is on you as you are claiming it is impossible for it to be impossible for infinity to exist.

I made no such claim. If that were the case, then I couldn't have made this thread which allows for the possibility of "impossible infinity" because I'm asking for arguments that demonstrate as such.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 1:08:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 1:04:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:
you can never reach infinity.

That's because infinity is not a number.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ogan
Posts: 407
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:01:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM, Ogan wrote:
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?

Agreed. That's one of the many arguments I use in favor of infinity.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:05:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM, Ogan wrote:
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?

Agreed. That's one of the many arguments I use in favor of infinity.

The circumference is finite.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Ogan
Posts: 407
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:07:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 2:02:12 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Infinity requires faith to understand.

It cannot be understood because it cannot be 'grasped'. We cannot put it into our box to look at and measure, because it is outside all boxes. But it allows us to evolve and grow FOREVER!! Is that good news or what? Although I should add that forever, or Eternity cannot be 'grasped' either, for that is an endless, never-ceasing Duration.
Ogan
Posts: 407
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:09:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 2:05:05 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 3/23/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM, Ogan wrote:
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?

Agreed. That's one of the many arguments I use in favor of infinity.

The circumference is finite.

Precisely!
Ogan
Posts: 407
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:11:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM, Ogan wrote:
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?

Agreed. That's one of the many arguments I use in favor of infinity.

What are the others?
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:17:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 2:05:05 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 3/23/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM, Ogan wrote:
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?

Agreed. That's one of the many arguments I use in favor of infinity.

The circumference is finite.

That's not the argument I was referring to.

I was referring to the argument that people who assert that the Universe is finite are asserting that there is some invisible wall, yet there is no evidence of such a wall! And if there were such a wall marking the edge of the universe, it is absurd to assert that there is nothing on the other side of it.

And in the temporal sense, it is nonsensical to say that there is a beginning in which nothing preceded it. Even if you say "nothing" preceded it, and it's just void, that still indicates a "before" the beginning.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ogan
Posts: 407
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:20:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 2:17:27 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 2:05:05 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 3/23/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM, Ogan wrote:
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?

Agreed. That's one of the many arguments I use in favor of infinity.

The circumference is finite.

That's not the argument I was referring to.

I was referring to the argument that people who assert that the Universe is finite are asserting that there is some invisible wall, yet there is no evidence of such a wall! And if there were such a wall marking the edge of the universe, it is absurd to assert that there is nothing on the other side of it.

And in the temporal sense, it is nonsensical to say that there is a beginning in which nothing preceded it. Even if you say "nothing" preceded it, and it's just void, that still indicates a "before" the beginning.

The invisible wall is the imaginary circumference.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 2:27:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 2:11:00 PM, Ogan wrote:
At 3/23/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 1:57:41 PM, Ogan wrote:
I cannot. Because infinity (never-ending distance in a straight line) IS. The reasoning faculty is a circle and no matter how large we expand it, we are still unable to measure or reach endlessness. The idea of an 'end' demands something with a beginning. The reason builds a wall it calls 'the end', but whats over the wall?

Agreed. That's one of the many arguments I use in favor of infinity.

What are the others?

Good question. It's been a while since I've engaged this topic. I may have to dig through some old threads to find these other arguments.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 4:47:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think that, if we're going to talk about infinity, we have to be careful about the way in which we conceptualize it. Given that identity is predicated upon limitations (i.e. something being "A" requires it be definable, which requires finiteness), we can't really talk of infinity as being a thing. The concept itself is vacuous, referring to a specific manifestation of the indefinable.

The only conception of infinity which makes sense to me is an unceasing increase in magnitude. Trying to say otherwise that "infinity is X" implies that infinity is a thing, implying we can define the undefinable and limit the limitless. Infinity is, I suppose, more of a description than a subject or object. Even then, though, things are a bit hazy:

If we take a numerical or spatial state of infinity (e.g. 1, 2, ..., n; expansion of the universe), for example, it's not really an infinity in the sense in which we normally think of it. Theoretically, we can, at any moment, step back and take a measurement. We will always be at the nth number in an infinite series, or at a certain universal volume. In this sense, infinity is not limitlessness so much as an unbounded growth whose conceptualization can only be coherently discussed in terms of it inconsistency--in other words, in terms of a perpetually-increasing sum of different states of finiteness. I guess this means that we can measure infinity only in terms of its progress, which means: in terms of the magnitude it has currently reached. Of course, we aren't really measuring infinity in its own right--only the extent currently achieved by an infinity.

To actually answer the proposition, though: I don't think we can prove infinity to be an impossibility: it's just a matter of determining what the term means and how we can deal with it. Reconceptualization makes the notion of infinity a bit more tenable.
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 4:54:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Regarding the "wall of the edge of the universe" thought experiment, I think the problem is that while space has infinite potenial (objects continually spreading further and further apart), there are currenly no two objects that are an infinite distance apart.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 5:00:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 4:54:11 PM, mongeese wrote:
Regarding the "wall of the edge of the universe" thought experiment, I think the problem is that while space has infinite potenial (objects continually spreading further and further apart), there are currenly no two objects that are an infinite distance apart.

That's an impossible expectation and is not required to be true for infinity to be true.

Sure, it might be impossible for two objects to have an infinite distance between them, but that's because by definition, each object is marking an endpoint, and is thus a limit.

However, it IS possible for space to stretch infinitely in any direction away from the two objects.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 5:07:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:43:23 PM, badger wrote:

he didn't claim that though.

He demanded a proof of the impossibility of infinity and shifted the BoP. I noted that someone could easily add another layer and demand that he support the claim it was impossible to prove that infinity is impossible. This is why it is inane to shift the BoP onto someone they can just as trivially shift it back, if you are going to initiate the conversation then you have the BoP, if you do not accept that both parties can shift the BoP back and forth until boredom.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 5:11:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 5:07:18 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/23/2011 12:43:23 PM, badger wrote:

he didn't claim that though.

He demanded a proof of the impossibility of infinity and shifted the BoP. I noted that someone could easily add another layer and demand that he support the claim it was impossible to prove that infinity is impossible. This is why it is inane to shift the BoP onto someone they can just as trivially shift it back, if you are going to initiate the conversation then you have the BoP, if you do not accept that both parties can shift the BoP back and forth until boredom.

Another option: play it tabula rasa and admit that both people have a burden of proof, and that there isn't a "default position" other than "suspend judgment if there is not a sufficiently compelling argument for any position".
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 5:14:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 5:00:12 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/23/2011 4:54:11 PM, mongeese wrote:
Regarding the "wall of the edge of the universe" thought experiment, I think the problem is that while space has infinite potenial (objects continually spreading further and further apart), there are currenly no two objects that are an infinite distance apart.

That's an impossible expectation and is not required to be true for infinity to be true.

"Infinity" is just a concept. How can it be true or false?

Sure, it might be impossible for two objects to have an infinite distance between them, but that's because by definition, each object is marking an endpoint, and is thus a limit.

However, it IS possible for space to stretch infinitely in any direction away from the two objects.

Empty space is just empty space. An infinite volume of empty space is rather meaningless to discuss.
Randall999
Posts: 85
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 5:18:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Not knowing how or why the universe is, and the same for time, drives me crazy if I think on it to much, and even more frustrating to think I will die and never know the answer. Arghh!
awatkins69
Posts: 28
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/23/2011 5:42:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Well, for one thing, in areas of mathematics like set theory we use actual infinities all the time.

I think the main problem is with an infinity of temporal events, which I find very difficult to understand a best. There are many good arguments against this idea. There's strong inductive support against an infinite regress, simply by the fact that we haven't observed one empirically. But I've been interested lately in this argument: Given an actually infinite amount of time, why wouldn't an infinite amount of creatures have bred? For suppose at some time t1 in the past a first organism on earth O1 reproduced and created a new organism O2. Then at time t2 this O2 produces a new one O3. Now, if there has been an actual infinity of temporal events then this process also would be actually infinite. (O1, O2, O3...On...) But this is plainly false. There is a finite amount of organisms.

Aside from all of this, I think we can prove God's existence regardless of whether the universe is actually infinitely old.