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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Nevertheless: If I am to travel from point 0 to point 1, I must pass along the way an uncountably infinite number of other points which are at least as real as moments in time are. So the conclusion remains that one cannot simply say that an infinity is not traversable because we do it all the (excuse the word) time.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Nevertheless: If I am to travel from point 0 to point 1, I must pass along the way an uncountably infinite number of other points which are at least as real as moments in time are. So the conclusion remains that one cannot simply say that an infinity is not traversable because we do it all the (excuse the word) time.


Points aren't real, though. And the points you choose to traverse are conveniently calculated to produce only a mathematical illusion, and nothing that touches reality. For, if it is true that you can split this piece of paper into an infinite number or pieces, then go ahead and try. All of a sudden, what was a seemingly reasonable mathematical certainty becomes impossible when applied to reality. This was Zeno's problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Are points any less real than moments in time?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Are points any less real than moments in time?


I would say yes, but since the idea of a real moment is controversial (especially as it relates to the past... and I am more A-theory guy anyway), I will revert back to my previous request that we stick to "events" rather than moments to avoid this problem. Events are most certainly more real than points or moments.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:17 pm 
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But now you're going to have to tell me what an event is....

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:20 pm 
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And btw, I wanted to mention my other critique of Zeno. I knew we had hashed this out in the past, so I went back to look at the last time (viewtopic.php?f=22&t=128905&hilit=zeno). The issue with Zeno is similar to the issue with kalam. The critics of Kalam always take the priveleged perspective of looking at the problem from the present back through the past. I have already admitted that you can look back and conceive that it goes on forever. That is only because you are actually conceiving it as a future. I have no problem imagining a potentially infinite future. But, what I CANNOT imagine is reaching an infinitely distant point in the future (making it actual). When critics of Kalam look back through time, they are forgetting that THEY ARE that infinitely distant point, which a minute ago was unthinkable to them.

The same with Zeno. Zeno takes distances already traveled and splices them into halves. But, that is not how movement works. He is taking the priveledged perspective of the action already being done and then going back. Doesn't work.

BTW - in that previous thread I did indeed call "infinite past" a contradiction like "square circle". Now I need to remember why I changed my mind on using that strong language. Hmmmm...

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Last edited by forumjunkie on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
But now you're going to have to tell me what an event is....


Me typing on my computer is an event. I will have to think about a definition. But, certainly it is not a mere point or moment for it involves more than a measurement, but an acting body.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Nevertheless: If I am to travel from point 0 to point 1, I must pass along the way an uncountably infinite number of other points which are at least as real as moments in time are. So the conclusion remains that one cannot simply say that an infinity is not traversable because we do it all the (excuse the word) time.


Because there is an infinity of points between two points, thse infinity of points take on a magnitude of zero. They are spatial locations without actual dimension. They do not exist as substantial things. Infinite past time proposes more than an infinite series of points of zero magnitude. It proposes an infinite series of points with real magnitude, real dimension, real existence.

And, as FJ says, time is moving from the infinite past to now. All infinites that we imagine have the starting points of here and now. Not so with infinite past time. Infinite past time does not START here and now. Infinite past time ENDS here and now. It has no start. Therefore, it never moves foward to here and now.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:41 am 
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ForumJunkie wrote:
Doom wrote:
torn wrote:


Believe it or not, some mathematicians suggest that if you keep on counting - i.e. if you were able to keep on counting for long enough - you would eventually come back to zero.



I'm a mathematician and i have no idea what you are referring to..... :scratch:


I didn't either, but I thought it best to see if you would chime in before I did. Perhaps he is talking about the theory that space is boundless but not infinite, like the surface of a ball. But, I didn't see how that would work in math, where the idea of the infinite is indeed important, and even beyond the infinite we don't go to zero, but to transfinite numbers.

FJ


They were talking about it on a BBC TV programme (Horizon) - "To Infinity and Beyond":

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qszch
Quote:
To Infinity and Beyond: The Illusion of Infinity

Some mathematicians do not believe in infinity, but this leaves them questioning where the numbers actually end.


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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:49 am 
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That doesn't mean that one would come back to zero.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:59 am 
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Quote:
Infinite past time proposes more than an infinite series of points of zero magnitude. It proposes an infinite series of points with real magnitude, real dimension, real existence.
Restating the thesis doesn't make it true.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:23 am 
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Bagheera wrote:
That doesn't mean that one would come back to zero.



I think it may be a reference to the theory that space is like the classic arcade game 'Asteroids' where when you cross the far side of the screen you wind up on the opposite side. I don't know how that would relate to numbers though....unless he is thinking of a congruence modulo n. :scratch:


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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:43 am 
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Doom wrote:
unless he is thinking of a congruence modulo n. :scratch:

Sure, just set n = infinity, then once you get to infinity you start over at zero.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
That doesn't mean that one would come back to zero.

No, of course not. But that's the only reference I could find on the Internet, it was a TV programme, there is no transcript of it. It might be on YouTube, but that particular part of the programme would be hard to find, where some mathematicians who do not believe in infinity hypothesised that if you count far enough you would eventually come back to zero. It makes no sense, but the whole thing makes no sense to us mere mortals.


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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
Infinite past time proposes more than an infinite series of points of zero magnitude. It proposes an infinite series of points with real magnitude, real dimension, real existence.
Restating the thesis doesn't make it true.


I am stating the conditions for an infinite regression of actual real events. They cannot be events of zero magnitude. I don't have to prove that. That is as knowable as your own self-awareness. I do not see how one can argue that the historical events required for an infinite regression of events could possibly be of zero magnitude.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:07 pm 
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I am still waiting on you or F/J to provide me with a definition of an "event."

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:18 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I am still waiting on you or F/J to provide me with a definition of an "event."


I've never been asked to define it before this conversation, but I suppose "a change" should suffice, but I reserve the right to tweak it if necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:24 pm 
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How much of a change is required? What is the subject of the change?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
How much of a change is required? What is the subject of the change?


The subject would be any thing. And I suppose to avoid Zeno, we should consider events of equal duration. I am not considering changes in state, so to speak, where there is not extension in time. Clearly, there are different ways to understand "change." I am speaking of a change that is extended in time, and we should consider equal events. For instance, (and I am speaking off the cuff here) we could consider "one full rotation of the earth" as an event. This is the sort of event that cannot be said to stretch back to infinity in the past.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Why should a quarter rotation of the earth not qualify as an event?

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