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Everything is Math

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 879 times Debate No: 115558
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
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Imagine a world where people could express themselves solely using Mathematics; from dance, movement, ideas, thought processes, all the way to calligraphy. I think (in due time) everything could be expressed using a mathematical formula or a mere number... everything.


The resolution is everything is mathematics, and when voting, you must hold him to the proposition that everything is math, from tacos to sociology to Jesus Christ, and everything in between. If I, as the negation, can prove even 1 mesley thing that isn't mathematical, then I've won, as not everything is mathematical. What can not be substantiated or described through numbers and mathematics? First being is sociology. and emotions, as the workings of our heads can't be numbered. Though we have criteria such as IQ for testing intelligence (quite faulty in all actuality), what makes us who we are can not. If you propose otherwise, may I ask, what is value of love? How do you measure hatred? What is the weight of insanity? Second, is morality. How are we supposed to quantitatively describe what is right and wrong, good and evil? For example, take the trolley problem, where 5 men are stuck to a train track with a runaway railcar going straight at them. However, if you pull a lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks, saving the 5 but killing the 1. Though all the variables are set in numerical terms, the moral decision is not quantifiable. Third, is spiritual experiences. Many billions have experiences they regard as spiritual, potentially being in contact with the divine. Does my opponent propose a spirit meter (like what the Scientologists have) to number and measure someone's experience?

In short, the real point I'm getting at is that there is quantitative and qualitative experiences. Not everything can fit into one or the other. To do otherwise is simple intellectual dishonesty.

Debate Round No. 1


First, we obviously don't have the technology to express everything mathematically (yet!), hence the use of the phrase "Imagine a world..." (where a world could mean a future state of humanity [ex. humans in the year 2845], or a utopia). I was also careful enough to use the word could and not can, while also saying " I think (in due time) everything could be expressed...", emphasis on "(in due time)". So technically, even if you can prove that even one thing can't be express mathematically today, you can't prove that it can't be expressed mathematically in the future, unless you're a time traveler :P Also, this is not about winning or losing, it is about exploring science on a deep level; there are no losers here (so that bit in your argument was unnecessary), everything we'll put on the table will be wild and philosophically speaking, abstract. (May I suggest you [my opponent] spend a little more time carefully reading before so viciously jumping in.)

Now, let's get started.
Let me begin by saying that though emotions are the inner workings of our heads, Sociology is not. Sociology as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: "the science of society, social institutions, and social relationships; specifically : the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings"
It is (as so very clearly stated) a science; expanding on the definition (so that nothing's left out) , it is also: "the scientific analysis of a social institution as a functioning whole and as it relates to the rest of society". Maybe Sociology, as many other entities (entities here meaning sciences, beliefs, ideas, etc.), can't be currently numbered; that does not mean, however, that they can't be represented by mathematical formulas in the future. There's an area of Sociology called Mathematical Sociology that deals with the construction of social theories through Mathematics .
Who's to say that in the next 50 years we won't be able to use mathematical formulas to carefully express/analyze human social behavior. We even have technology today capable of analyzing movement/behavior among groups of older people, separating those who suffer (or will suffer) from depression from those who do not (given mood data) .
We are closer than ever before from deciphering human social constructs solely using Mathematics; given the advancements in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. So, it appears to me that you threw in Sociology without really doing research on the matter, so (no need for me to go any further) I'll move on to the next bit; emotions, and the idea of love.

First, love. A debate has been going around for a long time on whether love should be considered a chemical reaction (as seen in Biology) or a profound emotional connection between two beings (in this case, beings will most likely be humans). So, before going any further, I'd like to ask you (my opponent) to be more specific with your answers (I'll assume you meant the idea of love [as seen in Psychology and Philosophy]). What is love? Can love be measured? Have you ever been in-love? The answer to these questions vary from person to person; as everyone has a different definition of love, and they can't be proven wrong unless they are defining love biologically. This would put love under a belief; since there are people in the world that do not believe in love (and again, you can't prove this to be wrong), and there's no authority capable of enforcing a definition of love upon a people. Love is not a science, it is not an emotion, it is not a theory; it is a belief, an idea, a feeling, it is abstract. Mathematics is too abstract, and through it, you are taught a set of tools that you can use to measure/calculate/define entities (abstract or not). We might not have the mathematical knowledge to express everything as a mere mathematical formula or number yet, but the idea is not far fetched when it comes to love. Same goes for emotions, even life and death. Though we might not have the technology, why should we restrain ourselves to what we know? Why should we stop evolving now? Let's go to the year 10000 BCE. If the humans living in the year 10000 BCE did not attempt to evolve technologically, we wouldn't be having this debate. By saying that everything could be expressed mathematically (through a formula, a number, even a theorem depending on what is to be expressed) I am opening the doors of technological advancement. I am pushing the boundaries of what's possible, and isn't that the goal of science? To understand how the universe works on every level (this includes everything IN the universe)? I chose Mathematics, simply because it is possible to express everything as a formula or a number, it might take years, even centuries, but it's possible. One hundred years ago, digital computers were theorized to one day exist in abundance, but they didn't have the technology, look at us now. Twenty years ago, we thought Quantum Computing to be impossible to recreate physically (though it had been theorized for decades), look at us now (FIY that was thanks to Mathematics :D and the collaboration between Computer Science and Quantum Physics).

In your response you formulated some of the questions as to sound more philosophical, when that doesn't change the entity being expressed mathematically; for example, "What is the weight of insanity?" Alright, so you are trying to measure insanity as a mathematical formula, or it's weight. Both, again, COULD be expressed mathematically sometime in the future. For one, the human body is extremely communicative, everything from emotions, to morality is conveyed by the body in some way, through posture, body language, eye movement, facial expressions, vital signs, involuntary ticks, language, even position in four dimensional space (where you stand, and how long you've been standing there). These are methods that are currently being used to sort out the mentally stable from the insane. Psychology already does a good job as a science expressing some of the most famous mental illnesses biologically, in fact, no mental illness remains a mystery to us; the fact that we haven't found a cure for many of them simply implies that we do not have the technology to create the cures, and thus, more research is necessary (which is why we have so many charities towards Alzhemier's research, etc.) That being said, why is it so hard to believe that things such as insanity could not be expressed mathematically? Same goes for good vs evil. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience has made it possible for us to build complex artificial constructs capable of inducing morality among computer programs.
Can you imagine how easy it would be to code morality in computer programs if we had mathematical formulas or theorems backing it up? I think it's possible, and it all lies in the hands of science. Unless we blow ourselves up or a meteor destroys the earth, we'll get there eventually.

"Many billions have experiences they regard as spiritual, potentially being in contact with the divine."
I'm regarding spiritual experiences as psychological experiences, since I do not believe in the existence of an Absolute in our universe, so please try to keep religious concepts out of this discussion, as I will pay no attention to them. Religion falls under human belief and I touched on that when I talked about love (since religion is both an abstract and concrete concept).

P.S.: Sorry it took me so long to answer, Critical Role was on yesterday ;D



In the words of philosopher David Hume, “the wise man proportions his belief to the evidence,” and by extension, that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. As the affirmative, my opponent TototheToro is obligated to prove his claims. Positive claims require positive evidence, yet we have seen next to none from him. It’s my opponent’s burden of proof to show the truth of the proposition, and you should hold him to it. He says it is irrelevant whether or not I can I prove any 1 thing to be non mathematical, but I beg to differ. The resolution states: Everything is Math. Everything is all encompassing of everything, and if 1 thing isn’t mathematical, that means that not everything is.


The only real arguments my opponent has made in support of the proposition are (1) an mere assertion that “everything could be expressed using a mathematical formula or a mere number,” and (2) a fallacious argument from ignorance, stating that the plausibility of everything shown to be mathmatical in the future shows that everything is math. We don’t know the future (I lost my tarot cards), and by extension we can’t make statements about everything in the universe off of it. If my opponent can in fact tell the future and make predictions of it, may I suggest he submit an application to the CIA. He says we have made great developments in technology in the past century, yet he doesn’t prove that what we can possibly know has an upper limit. Potentially we could reach a point where we cease to be able to discover new sciences and make revolutionary technologies.


Again, most of my opponents arguments are predicated upon the idea that at some point in the future we may find a mathematical model for everything (sociology, love, insanity, psychology, morality. Simply cross apply above. We do not know the future, and can not make all encompassing statements based upon it.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to write sociology (though it does apply as well), and mean’t psychology. My opponent got the point though, and simply speaks of the future.

He completely ignores the mathematical representation of consciousness and the workings of our brains.

My opponent speaks of qualities that could describe insanity, yet doesn’t provide any way to mathematically describe insanity itself. Same too goes for morality, psychology and mental illness and emotions. Glaring admission here too, he says that love is as abstract as mathmatics, saying there is no 1 conception of it. By extension, this means that there can be no real mathmatical representation of it

Debate Round No. 2


Pardon, as I'm new to, "Everything is Math" is merely the topic/title of this debate, this would be the opening statement: "Imagine a world where people could express themselves solely using Mathematics; from dance, movement, ideas, thought processes, all the way to calligraphy. I think (in due time) everything could be expressed using a mathematical formula or a mere number... everything." I'm not sure what you meant by resolution. I'm afraid we are arguing about different things, because, you failed to read the first argument and ignored the first paragraph of my last argument?

"by extension, that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." Through your won words, philosophically speaking, If you do not provide evidence, then I'll dismiss anything you throw my way, so, your last argument could be completely discarded. I think I provided more than enough proof of most things I said, it appears your way of dealing with convincing arguments is to bypass whatever the opposition has to say and tackle/ridicule instead. How's that working out for you? I think I'll get on the same boat for a bit :P

One, this topic is more philosophical than strictly mathematical (and if you [my opponent] could not figure that out, I'm afraid you work on different, slightly lower levels of intelligence ;)) No one in their right mind would say that everything with our CURRENT technology could be expressed with a mathematical formula, which is why, that first argument was so important, but you did not read it carefully (every word matters in an argument, wouldn't you agree?) and failed to propose an opposing argument that made sense.

"and (2) a fallacious argument from ignorance, stating that the plausibility of everything shown to be mathmatical in the future shows that everything is math." Please elaborate on how this is a fallacious argument from ignorance. I would very much like to read your response. It appears to me you're just trying to get a win, and not exploring the topic on a deep level which is what I'm trying to do. it is a fascinating topic.

Your last argument did not back up your first argument. Your last argument had no information other than the references to my previous argument. Your last argument is flawed on multiple levels starting with a lack of complexity and poor usage of Extension.

Regarding your last paragraph, I never said I had ways to mathematically describe anything; that was your assumption (probably derived from the lack of reading or understanding I touched on earlier :P) If I was able to provide a mathematical formula for something like that, I wouldn't be having this debate, it would be a magical breakthrough in science.

Now, I don't need to go into the workings of our brain (you can Google search too you know, I don't think you need for that; maybe you do lol), again, I really think you should read my previous argument, take a day or two to think about it, because your response definitely felt rushed, did you read the links I provided? Did you contemplate on the fact that there might not be a technological cap? Maybe come up with a theory or two as long as they're back up logically? Your way of arguing and solving problems feels very close minded; I'm having fun though :D

I had to type this on my phone, so pardon if there's any weird formatting or typos. I'll probably answer your response Saturday night, and Sunday is Father's Day, so Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there. I'll probably be back on Monday.

P.S.: I did submit an application to the CIA... they said no :(


First we'll go over what debate is and is not, second, a brief overview of the arguments made for and against, and third, the implausibility of morality being modeled mathematically.

Debate is argument and clash on the merits of either simply a proposition or idea, or a resolution as oft done in formal debates. The resolution is the statement of what is being debated, and sides must prove it's truth or falsity, whether it be the US ought to prove a universal basic income, NAFTA is beneficial, the capital gains tax should be abolished, etc. In our case it is the Resolved: Everything is Math. Debate is NOT insults of IQ, assertions that the opposition hasn't read nor understood their arguments, saying they should take a day or two to comprehend a relatively simple argument, saying their engaging in semantics and are close minded (without evidence as a matter of fact, Debate is NOT ignoring arguments and simply making assertions. When someone needs to resort to non sequiturs, red herrings, and fallacies galore in order to prove something, it's clear to any intellectually honest person that they likely don't have a ghost of a point. If my opponent did not wish to have a debate and rather simply a discussion, then he shouldn't have gone to a website with debate in the name.

If only one thing is shown to not be mathematical, then everything is not. The burden of the proof on the affirmative is to show in the future, as he's conceded it's impossible in the here and now, that everything can be modeled mathematically. That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed in the same fashion (this is based upon (1) the philosophical investigations into epistemology and what we can and cannot know by David Hume, (2) how we ignore extraordinary claims without evidence if they do not provide positive evidence for them (i.e. Russell's Teapot, FSM, Sagan's Dragon in his garage)). There are three reasons why my opponent has failed to meet said burden and prove the truth of the resolution.

1. Argument from Ignorance

My opponent, myself, and any educated person will admit they can not predict far future developments to any real degree of accuracy. We don't know the future, and can not make real predictions of the material world based upon it

2. Argument from Assertion

My opponent's opening statement, asserts that, and I quote, "I think (in due time) everything could be expressed using a mathematical formula or a mere number... everything." I'm sorry to say ladies and gentlemen, but this is a mere fallacious assertion if I've ever seen one. Simply because science has made discoveries doesn't mean that'd be able to do anything and everything. He hasn't yet proved that the everything can even be modeled mathematically.

3. Technological Cap

My opponent does not prove that there won't be any sort of technological cap in the future, the point of whom science hits a break wall and ceases to make revolutionary discoveries. Yes, we've continued to make discoveries and developments over the past century, but this doesn't mean they will continue ad infinitum. As a matter of analogy, a hog could be fed slop everyday for years, yet at one point it will be butchered.

The basis of what is right and wrong has been argued since the beginning of time, varying from utilitarianism to deontology to divine command theory. However, we all still have a sense of morality, what the great philosopher Socrates called a daemon. How are we supposed to, in any plausible sense, supposed to model morality if we ourselves do not even know what it is? Some have even argued that in order to make moral decisions, one must be conscious and have free will (a moral ought implies can, without free will they have no other choice in the matter), meaning that we'd need to make a conscious AI, with human like intelligence, who models morality.

Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Anonymous 3 years ago
the only things that are absolute are definitional, everything in reality has an error factor or verge of non perfection, equations are used to understand reality better, but they cant calculate with 100% accuracy, even though they can get pretty damn close, they will never be absolute, so reality isn't math, math is a methodology used to describe reality.
Posted by Anonymous 3 years ago
Will you do a debate with me backwardseden.
Posted by Anonymous 3 years ago
Will you do a debate with me backwardseden.
Posted by Anonymous 3 years ago
The only facts that there are, are mathematical equations. 2 + 2 = 4 no matter which language you speak. Religion, god, and con in mentioning jesus christ can be disproved no matter which language you speak. Stephen Hawking and his colleague have come up with a mathematical equation proving that something does come from nothing. In other words, god, nor any gods were not needed to have created the known universe.
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