Login Register

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic Page 4 of 8   [ 151 posts ]   Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:40 pm 
Offline
King of Cool
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 76073
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
pax wrote:
Doom wrote:
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.



Manifold? Is he using that word in the technical sense, i.e. a topological manifold, i.e. a second countable Hausdorff space which is locally homeomorphic to Euclidean space? I've never heard time described as a topological manifold before... :scratch:


You will have to ask the good Father that question.

But, now that you are here, what do you say about David Hilbert's paper "On the Infinite"? Father Spitzer uses Hilbert's prohibition against a non-imaginary infinity to support his definition of time as a series of asymmetrical aggregate events (I hope I got that right).

On the Infinite by David Hilbert



I've never read it, and don't really have the time right now....I am assuming that is probably where the common illustration of 'Hilbert's Hotel' comes from

_________________
Excelsior!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:57 pm 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11079
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
pax wrote:
ForumJunkie wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
I am still searching for the contradiction argument pax stated.


If an actual infinite number of things was posited it would produce contradictions. That is accepted by most people, regardless of their position on whether the past is infinite, or whether an infinite past would be an actual infinite.

But, I think that is a step ahead of ourselves. I don't think "the past is infinite" is itself a logical contradiction, but logical contradictions are not the only things that are wrong. I think the past cannot be infinite, because, regardless of simultaneity (as discussed in theories of time), I believe it would be positing an actual infinite number of events. And an actual number of anything is impossible. In A-Theory, this would be the case as well because the problem of this fact is not solved by merely stating the events do not all really exist at the same time. That does nothing to the fact that they would still be a countable group of things. If the past is infinite, regardless as to whether those past events really exist now or not, they still are things in the group called "past events" and they would be infinite. Thus creating an actual infinite. And arising from this would be contradictions as noted. In fact, the presence of the contradictions is a sort of inductive argument that even A theory infinite pasts produce an actual infinite.

I really don't see how modern physics or mathematics have done anything to counter this very simple claim. The only way you can defeat it is to show how an actual infinite number of things can exist.

FJ



But it is a contradiction.

The past is that which is already achieved.

An infinite can never be achieved.

Infinite past = what cannot be achieved is already achieved.

See?

Contradiction.


Even if it were (and I am not granting that), you would not want to argue it anyway, because it is circular reasoning. You are asserting your conclusion in your premise, and therefore making one of the weakest arguments against a hardened atheist.

I have a hard time seeing a logical contradiction because I can conceive of the terms together... (infinite past)... and there is no contradiction. Heck, this must be so or much of math would be impossible. We can imagine such sets, and we even give them symbolic "things" called numerals to represent them. It's only if we took to the task of actually writing them out that we would find the impossibility of them all being actual. So, something does not need to be logically contradictory to be impossible. I can imagine myself flying across the canyon whose edge I stand upon. I see myself floating through the air and landing safely on the other side. I jump. I fall. I die. Now, this does not mean there was a logical contradiction UNLESS I play a word trick and define the subject in such a special way that includes the conclusion. If I define a human as that which cannot fly, then to say "that which cannot fly, flew across the canyon" you are getting CLOSE to a contradiction, but even here it would be a fallacy to discount other factors outside of the man that allowed him to fly that day. Likewise, you are playing tricks with the definition of past that you are trying to force the a priori meaning of "necessarily finite" into it. However, like the canyon, I can stand here in 2012 and imagine an infinite number of points going into the past. It isn't until we actually start to analyze that that we start to see the contradictory RESULTS that you are point out. It's not the concept that is a contradiction, but it is shown to be actually impossible because it PRODUCES contradictions and absurdities.

(BTW - if it wasn't clear, I am in agreement with you that the infinite past can be demonstrated clearly. I stand with St. Bonaventure and others on this point. I am also an A-theory of time adherent... or something like it. I hate labels, because so many will speak of themselves as A-Theory people but say very strange things which I do not agree with)

FJ

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:19 pm 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 9:55 am
Posts: 81302
Location: 1.5532386636 radians
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th Degree KofC
pax wrote:
Here is an example that I thought up.

You are waiting to get your back scratched by the guy behind you.

But he won't scratch your back until the guy behind him scratches his back.

And the guy behind him won't scratch his back so he can scratch your back until the guy behind the guy behind you gets his back scratched by the guy behind him.

Ad infinitum.

Guess what?

NOBODY gets their back scratched simply because everybody is waiting for the guy behind him to scratch his back so he can scratch the back of the guy in front of him.

Therefore, an infinite regression of past events, each one conditioned by the event prior to itself and conditiong the event after itself, means that nothing exists.

But something does exist.

Therefore, an infinite regression of past events, each one comditioned y the event prior to itself and conditioning the event after itself, is impossible.
The problem with your example is that what you have constructed is an example of a system that you have forced into a per se ordered sequence.

_________________
Nos autem in nomine Domini Dei nostri

Need something to read?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:19 pm 
Offline
Honeymoon King
Honeymoon King
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2003 4:39 pm
Posts: 44272
Location: in marital bliss
Religion: One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic
Church Affiliations: 3rd Degree K of C, L of M
ForumJunkie wrote:
pax wrote:
ForumJunkie wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
I am still searching for the contradiction argument pax stated.


If an actual infinite number of things was posited it would produce contradictions. That is accepted by most people, regardless of their position on whether the past is infinite, or whether an infinite past would be an actual infinite.

But, I think that is a step ahead of ourselves. I don't think "the past is infinite" is itself a logical contradiction, but logical contradictions are not the only things that are wrong. I think the past cannot be infinite, because, regardless of simultaneity (as discussed in theories of time), I believe it would be positing an actual infinite number of events. And an actual number of anything is impossible. In A-Theory, this would be the case as well because the problem of this fact is not solved by merely stating the events do not all really exist at the same time. That does nothing to the fact that they would still be a countable group of things. If the past is infinite, regardless as to whether those past events really exist now or not, they still are things in the group called "past events" and they would be infinite. Thus creating an actual infinite. And arising from this would be contradictions as noted. In fact, the presence of the contradictions is a sort of inductive argument that even A theory infinite pasts produce an actual infinite.

I really don't see how modern physics or mathematics have done anything to counter this very simple claim. The only way you can defeat it is to show how an actual infinite number of things can exist.

FJ



But it is a contradiction.

The past is that which is already achieved.

An infinite can never be achieved.

Infinite past = what cannot be achieved is already achieved.

See?

Contradiction.


Even if it were (and I am not granting that), you would not want to argue it anyway, because it is circular reasoning. You are asserting your conclusion in your premise, and therefore making one of the weakest arguments against a hardened atheist.

I have a hard time seeing a logical contradiction because I can conceive of the terms together... (infinite past)... and there is no contradiction. Heck, this must be so or much of math would be impossible. We can imagine such sets, and we even give them symbolic "things" called numerals to represent them. It's only if we took to the task of actually writing them out that we would find the impossibility of them all being actual. So, something does not need to be logically contradictory to be impossible. I can imagine myself flying across the canyon whose edge I stand upon. I see myself floating through the air and landing safely on the other side. I jump. I fall. I die. Now, this does not mean there was a logical contradiction UNLESS I play a word trick and define the subject in such a special way that includes the conclusion. If I define a human as that which cannot fly, then to say "that which cannot fly, flew across the canyon" you are getting CLOSE to a contradiction, but even here it would be a fallacy to discount other factors outside of the man that allowed him to fly that day. Likewise, you are playing tricks with the definition of past that you are trying to force the a priori meaning of "necessarily finite" into it. However, like the canyon, I can stand here in 2012 and imagine an infinite number of points going into the past. It isn't until we actually start to analyze that that we start to see the contradictory RESULTS that you are point out. It's not the concept that is a contradiction, but it is shown to be actually impossible because it PRODUCES contradictions and absurdities.

(BTW - if it wasn't clear, I am in agreement with you that the infinite past can be demonstrated clearly. I stand with St. Bonaventure and others on this point. I am also an A-theory of time adherent... or something like it. I hate labels, because so many will speak of themselves as A-Theory people but say very strange things which I do not agree with)

FJ



Formulate your example the same way.

I fly across the canyon without any aid = I fall to my death

Therefore, flying across the canyon without any aid is impossible.

_________________
We are obliged to believe and confess with simplicity that outside the Church there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins. [Pope Boniface VIII]

Judas Iscariot is the patron saint of Social Justice. Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

A logistics problem should be handled with a logistical solution, not a liturgical one.


Holy Mary, Queen of the Martyrs, Pray for us.



Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:29 pm 
Offline
Honeymoon King
Honeymoon King
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2003 4:39 pm
Posts: 44272
Location: in marital bliss
Religion: One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic
Church Affiliations: 3rd Degree K of C, L of M
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
pax wrote:
Here is an example that I thought up.

You are waiting to get your back scratched by the guy behind you.

But he won't scratch your back until the guy behind him scratches his back.

And the guy behind him won't scratch his back so he can scratch your back until the guy behind the guy behind you gets his back scratched by the guy behind him.

Ad infinitum.

Guess what?

NOBODY gets their back scratched simply because everybody is waiting for the guy behind him to scratch his back so he can scratch the back of the guy in front of him.

Therefore, an infinite regression of past events, each one conditioned by the event prior to itself and conditiong the event after itself, means that nothing exists.

But something does exist.

Therefore, an infinite regression of past events, each one comditioned y the event prior to itself and conditioning the event after itself, is impossible.
The problem with your example is that what you have constructed is an example of a system that you have forced into a per se ordered sequence.



I don't think there is any argument among physicists that present events are conditioned by past events and will condition future events.

Our universe is conditioned by whatever came before it, and whatever was before our universe was contioned by what came before it. Ad infinitum. Ergo, nothing exists. An infinite regression means there is not starting point, and if there is no starting point then the unfolding of events never unfolds. The old canard :What caused God?" can be answered by noting that whatever supposedly caused God also needed to be caused by a cause by a cause by a cause, ad infinitum. Ergo, nothing exists, for nothing has begun the causation of existence.

Or look at it this way. An infinity can never be traversed. As any Irishman will tell you: "You can't get there from here." Therefore an infinite past is a past that can never be traversed. But which way is the past traversing? From here to back there? No! From there to here. Well, it can't get here from there because it must first traverse an infinity and an infinity cannot be traversed. In fact, even it could traverse an infinity it would still have an infinity to go!

_________________
We are obliged to believe and confess with simplicity that outside the Church there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins. [Pope Boniface VIII]

Judas Iscariot is the patron saint of Social Justice. Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

A logistics problem should be handled with a logistical solution, not a liturgical one.


Holy Mary, Queen of the Martyrs, Pray for us.



Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:38 pm 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 9:55 am
Posts: 81302
Location: 1.5532386636 radians
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th Degree KofC
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.

_________________
Nos autem in nomine Domini Dei nostri

Need something to read?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:56 pm 
Offline
Honeymoon King
Honeymoon King
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2003 4:39 pm
Posts: 44272
Location: in marital bliss
Religion: One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic
Church Affiliations: 3rd Degree K of C, L of M
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


Start counting.

Can you ever run out of numbers?

No.

Start travelling in a straight line through infinite space.

Will you ever reach the end of that infinite space?

No.

Therefore, an infinity can never be traversed.

_________________
We are obliged to believe and confess with simplicity that outside the Church there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins. [Pope Boniface VIII]

Judas Iscariot is the patron saint of Social Justice. Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

A logistics problem should be handled with a logistical solution, not a liturgical one.


Holy Mary, Queen of the Martyrs, Pray for us.



Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:11 pm 
Offline
Sons of Thunder
Sons of Thunder
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 9:34 pm
Posts: 29103
Location: Sine Domum
Religion: Roman Catholic
FJ, when I said I couldn't find the contradiction argument, I referring to pax's assertion that is time was not a real thing like space, history would be a contradiction. I was pointing out that I cannot find that in Spitzer, though I cannot find his dissertation either, it may be there. This is why I usually cease responding to your posts. I fail to see their relevance.

Just as this whole thread is a rabbit whole since pax but in, yet you want to claim the only rabbit whole is the question about what is time. You have your pet interest which you take as, a priori, not a rabbit hole.

I believe the original point was that temporal sucession was not at play in the 5 ways. So when I said "nope" to pax, it was precisely in pointing out that this is not what is at hand. Whether or not Aquinas was right, this whole argument about time has absolutely nothing to do with the OP. That is the original engagement with pax's post.

From that we moved onto, as to another topic, the content of pax's post. It is a fully legitimate question about what is meant by time. And for the record, the Thomistic-Aristotlean-Common Sense conception is neither "A theory" or "B theory". And there are various theories of each. That there could have been any number of past "events" (whatever that means in ontology) is fine. If time is not a subsisting thing itself, it is not actually infinite itself. And if there had been an infinite number of kangaroos going back into the past, there aren't know, and the sucession is that of an accidentally ordered series.

Seems to me the nature of time is very relevant here. Pax's assertion that history would be a "contradiction" is intriguing. I am wondering if what is meant (since he also mentioned the past and future conditioning the present) is that time itself must exist (past, present, future) for the laws of causality? In other words, in the immediately sense the past cannot be conditioning the future unless it is itself existing. A non-existing thing cannot do anything. pax can correct me if this is not what he means. But presuming it is, I can see an argument against their being no beginning.

See you cannot simply assert that an actual infinite cannot exist. Like Aquinas, you have to attempt to prove it doesn't. Aquinas disproves an actual infinute in multitude, magnitude and in essentially ordered series. He does not, to go back to the OP, say that there cannot be an infinite and therefore must be a first. He argues there must be a first and therefore not an infinite.

It seems to me that pax is asserting that there is an essentially ordered series, and this precisely through an argument about what time is. Such a series is not involved if time is the "numbering of motion according to before and after" Though it is possible that some motions or series of motions could be shown to have a definite beginning, and perhaps through this that our universe has such (such seems the argument from Spitzer, though he clear exagerrates when he says it has nothing to do with the laws of physics, when clearly the argument involves things like the invariability of the speed of light, etc). His argument, that I understood, was that the model of modern physics requires that relative velocities decrease over time in an expanding universe. Assuming an inflationary universe (which is the general consensus these days), and that nothing travels faster than light, as we go back in the past relative velocities must increase, but can never go past the speed of light. Therefore, there must be some beginning.

Now in the video he makes several assertions about the theorems he is invoking, but doesn't explain them. That is fine, a video can say so much. To be an effective argument one needs to know why the speed of light is not merely a limit, ever approached but never reached. Presumably the math would demand it be breached? And he didn't explain why this itself excludes a cycle of the universe collapsing in on itself and expanding again over and over. It only means that there must have been some beginning in time to the expansion of the universe. But again, I assume he gives the argument more fully in his book?

_________________
Quoniam sapientia aperuit os mutorum, et linguas infantium fecit disertas.

http://stomachosus-thomistarum.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:14 pm 
Offline
Sons of Thunder
Sons of Thunder
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 9:34 pm
Posts: 29103
Location: Sine Domum
Religion: Roman Catholic
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


Start counting.

Can you ever run out of numbers?

No.

Start travelling in a straight line through infinite space.

Will you ever reach the end of that infinite space?

No.

Therefore, an infinity can never be traversed.

I don't believe in an infinite space :fyi:


In anycase, this are merely examples of ways you cannot transverse the infinite. If the universe were infinite, it's not being able to be completely crossed wouldn't refute it being infinite, right? Indeed, by definition, if space were infinite there would be no end point to reach and therefore no getting there. Fine. But why can't space be infinite, why must it have boundaries?

Assuming that time exists in a similar manner as many think space exists, why is our inability to "tranverse it" either physically or mentally a refutation of its infinitude?

_________________
Quoniam sapientia aperuit os mutorum, et linguas infantium fecit disertas.

http://stomachosus-thomistarum.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:44 pm 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 9:55 am
Posts: 81302
Location: 1.5532386636 radians
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th Degree KofC
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


Start counting.

Can you ever run out of numbers?

No.

Start travelling in a straight line through infinite space.

Will you ever reach the end of that infinite space?

No.

Therefore, an infinity can never be traversed.
Ouch! I think I just tripped over Zeno's paradoxes!

(I know F/J doesn't like it when I invoke Zeno at this point, but it at least shows that the simple argument against traversal needs more support than has been given.)

_________________
Nos autem in nomine Domini Dei nostri

Need something to read?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:07 pm 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 9:55 am
Posts: 81302
Location: 1.5532386636 radians
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th Degree KofC
One doesn't have to engage in the variable-length distances of Zeno's paradoxes to run into trouble, either. The set of points between any two points, no matter how close, is uncountably infinite, and yet any time there is movement or change of any sort, such an infinity is traversed. Unless one wishes to argue for discrete time, traversed infinities are inescapable. And discrete time itself is a hotly disputed concept, not nearly suitable for a premise of any other argument.

_________________
Nos autem in nomine Domini Dei nostri

Need something to read?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:33 pm 
Offline
**********
**********

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:29 am
Posts: 6504
Location: Ireland
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


Start counting.

Can you ever run out of numbers?

No.

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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:37 pm 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11079
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


I do disagree with this. I do think the inability to traverse the infinite is indeed part of its definition. That is what makes the concept of infinity useful is the fact that it cannot be traversed. Otherwise, how do you define the infinite? We always seem to have an onus problem in discussions like this, and I am usually more than willing to volunteer for taking it, but not in this case. The impossibility of traversing the infinite seems to be something for which the onus would be on the denier. And I am talking about an actual infinite, and not a merely mathematical one. In math, for instance, we can construct the rules so that some operations are barred which would produce absurdities. We can't do that in real life.

FJ

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:46 pm 
Offline
King of Cool
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 76073
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
torn wrote:
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


Start counting.

Can you ever run out of numbers?

No.

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:

_________________
Excelsior!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:01 pm 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11079
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
Doom wrote:
torn wrote:
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


Start counting.

Can you ever run out of numbers?

No.

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

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:03 pm 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11079
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
And if there had been an infinite number of kangaroos going back into the past, there aren't know, and the sucession is that of an accidentally ordered series.


Would it be ok if we focused on this part of your response? I think it would be most instructive because it basically gets to the heart of the matter.

FJ

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:07 pm 
Offline
Honeymoon King
Honeymoon King
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2003 4:39 pm
Posts: 44272
Location: in marital bliss
Religion: One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic
Church Affiliations: 3rd Degree K of C, L of M
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
FJ, when I said I couldn't find the contradiction argument, I referring to pax's assertion that is time was not a real thing like space, history would be a contradiction. I was pointing out that I cannot find that in Spitzer, though I cannot find his dissertation either, it may be there. This is why I usually cease responding to your posts. I fail to see their relevance.

Just as this whole thread is a rabbit whole since pax but in, yet you want to claim the only rabbit whole is the question about what is time. You have your pet interest which you take as, a priori, not a rabbit hole.

I believe the original point was that temporal sucession was not at play in the 5 ways. So when I said "nope" to pax, it was precisely in pointing out that this is not what is at hand. Whether or not Aquinas was right, this whole argument about time has absolutely nothing to do with the OP. That is the original engagement with pax's post.

From that we moved onto, as to another topic, the content of pax's post. It is a fully legitimate question about what is meant by time. And for the record, the Thomistic-Aristotlean-Common Sense conception is neither "A theory" or "B theory". And there are various theories of each. That there could have been any number of past "events" (whatever that means in ontology) is fine. If time is not a subsisting thing itself, it is not actually infinite itself. And if there had been an infinite number of kangaroos going back into the past, there aren't know, and the sucession is that of an accidentally ordered series.

Seems to me the nature of time is very relevant here. Pax's assertion that history would be a "contradiction" is intriguing. I am wondering if what is meant (since he also mentioned the past and future conditioning the present) is that time itself must exist (past, present, future) for the laws of causality? In other words, in the immediately sense the past cannot be conditioning the future unless it is itself existing. A non-existing thing cannot do anything. pax can correct me if this is not what he means. But presuming it is, I can see an argument against their being no beginning.

See you cannot simply assert that an actual infinite cannot exist. Like Aquinas, you have to attempt to prove it doesn't. Aquinas disproves an actual infinute in multitude, magnitude and in essentially ordered series. He does not, to go back to the OP, say that there cannot be an infinite and therefore must be a first. He argues there must be a first and therefore not an infinite.

It seems to me that pax is asserting that there is an essentially ordered series, and this precisely through an argument about what time is. Such a series is not involved if time is the "numbering of motion according to before and after" Though it is possible that some motions or series of motions could be shown to have a definite beginning, and perhaps through this that our universe has such (such seems the argument from Spitzer, though he clear exagerrates when he says it has nothing to do with the laws of physics, when clearly the argument involves things like the invariability of the speed of light, etc). His argument, that I understood, was that the model of modern physics requires that relative velocities decrease over time in an expanding universe. Assuming an inflationary universe (which is the general consensus these days), and that nothing travels faster than light, as we go back in the past relative velocities must increase, but can never go past the speed of light. Therefore, there must be some beginning.

Now in the video he makes several assertions about the theorems he is invoking, but doesn't explain them. That is fine, a video can say so much. To be an effective argument one needs to know why the speed of light is not merely a limit, ever approached but never reached. Presumably the math would demand it be breached? And he didn't explain why this itself excludes a cycle of the universe collapsing in on itself and expanding again over and over. It only means that there must have been some beginning in time to the expansion of the universe. But again, I assume he gives the argument more fully in his book?



Here it is here.

http://magisgodwiki.org/index.php/Mathematics

_________________
We are obliged to believe and confess with simplicity that outside the Church there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins. [Pope Boniface VIII]

Judas Iscariot is the patron saint of Social Justice. Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

A logistics problem should be handled with a logistical solution, not a liturgical one.


Holy Mary, Queen of the Martyrs, Pray for us.



Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:32 pm 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11079
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
pax wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
FJ, when I said I couldn't find the contradiction argument, I referring to pax's assertion that is time was not a real thing like space, history would be a contradiction. I was pointing out that I cannot find that in Spitzer, though I cannot find his dissertation either, it may be there. This is why I usually cease responding to your posts. I fail to see their relevance.

Just as this whole thread is a rabbit whole since pax but in, yet you want to claim the only rabbit whole is the question about what is time. You have your pet interest which you take as, a priori, not a rabbit hole.

I believe the original point was that temporal sucession was not at play in the 5 ways. So when I said "nope" to pax, it was precisely in pointing out that this is not what is at hand. Whether or not Aquinas was right, this whole argument about time has absolutely nothing to do with the OP. That is the original engagement with pax's post.

From that we moved onto, as to another topic, the content of pax's post. It is a fully legitimate question about what is meant by time. And for the record, the Thomistic-Aristotlean-Common Sense conception is neither "A theory" or "B theory". And there are various theories of each. That there could have been any number of past "events" (whatever that means in ontology) is fine. If time is not a subsisting thing itself, it is not actually infinite itself. And if there had been an infinite number of kangaroos going back into the past, there aren't know, and the sucession is that of an accidentally ordered series.

Seems to me the nature of time is very relevant here. Pax's assertion that history would be a "contradiction" is intriguing. I am wondering if what is meant (since he also mentioned the past and future conditioning the present) is that time itself must exist (past, present, future) for the laws of causality? In other words, in the immediately sense the past cannot be conditioning the future unless it is itself existing. A non-existing thing cannot do anything. pax can correct me if this is not what he means. But presuming it is, I can see an argument against their being no beginning.

See you cannot simply assert that an actual infinite cannot exist. Like Aquinas, you have to attempt to prove it doesn't. Aquinas disproves an actual infinute in multitude, magnitude and in essentially ordered series. He does not, to go back to the OP, say that there cannot be an infinite and therefore must be a first. He argues there must be a first and therefore not an infinite.

It seems to me that pax is asserting that there is an essentially ordered series, and this precisely through an argument about what time is. Such a series is not involved if time is the "numbering of motion according to before and after" Though it is possible that some motions or series of motions could be shown to have a definite beginning, and perhaps through this that our universe has such (such seems the argument from Spitzer, though he clear exagerrates when he says it has nothing to do with the laws of physics, when clearly the argument involves things like the invariability of the speed of light, etc). His argument, that I understood, was that the model of modern physics requires that relative velocities decrease over time in an expanding universe. Assuming an inflationary universe (which is the general consensus these days), and that nothing travels faster than light, as we go back in the past relative velocities must increase, but can never go past the speed of light. Therefore, there must be some beginning.

Now in the video he makes several assertions about the theorems he is invoking, but doesn't explain them. That is fine, a video can say so much. To be an effective argument one needs to know why the speed of light is not merely a limit, ever approached but never reached. Presumably the math would demand it be breached? And he didn't explain why this itself excludes a cycle of the universe collapsing in on itself and expanding again over and over. It only means that there must have been some beginning in time to the expansion of the universe. But again, I assume he gives the argument more fully in his book?



Here it is here.

http://magisgodwiki.org/index.php/Mathematics


I think he is spot on with what I have read so far, and this is very close to what I worked on in college, but I am still cautious about the term contradiction only because it does marry you to a specific concept of infinity, time, and universe that can easily be denied. In other words, the power of the argument requires, in my opinion, too many things that need to be agreed upon for it to work as an argument from contradiction. Arguments from contradictions work best when you do not need to define too many of your terms with specialized definitions.

I think the argument works without the specialized definitions and without it having to be one that shows contradiction. Rather, I think merely showing the actual impossibility is enough. IOW, I have found great success with this argument merely by asking the one who thinks traversing an infinite past is possible to come up with some sort of way it could happen. Leave it in HIS hands to determine whether it is a contradiction.

FJ

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:41 pm 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11079
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
I think 2 things that can be assumed without the onus to demonstrate them are that the infinite cannot be traversed, and you cannot reach the infinite by individual succession. These are certainly related, but are slightly different. I really don't see how one could deny these no matter what their persuasion is on this subject.

FJ

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:45 pm 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11079
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
An infinity can never be traversed.
Begging the question. This is what you need to establish, so you can't appeal to it.


Start counting.

Can you ever run out of numbers?

No.

Start travelling in a straight line through infinite space.

Will you ever reach the end of that infinite space?

No.

Therefore, an infinity can never be traversed.
Ouch! I think I just tripped over Zeno's paradoxes!

(I know F/J doesn't like it when I invoke Zeno at this point, but it at least shows that the simple argument against traversal needs more support than has been given.)


:) No, I don't! :fyi:

Zeno's paradox is about equivocation. Points on a line, or halves of distances, etc are not real. They are measurements of real things. So, there is no traversing of the infinite with each step I take, even though I can infinitely chop that step up into an infinite number of parts. The fact that I can do an infinite number of things to this step doesn't mean that the step is infinite.

In this example, however, we are positing actual infinite distances or times. Not infinite parts of finite distances or times. So, it is the opposite of Zeno.

FJ

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 4 of 8   [ 151 posts ]   Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


Jump to: