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Debating A Theist: The Infinite Ladder
My ever-ongoing debate Theist (MG) asserts that if there is an infinity of pasts, then arriving at the present is impossible because you have to take part in countless events before arriving at any present event. He gave the analogy of an “infinite ladder” and how if you climb such a ladder, you will never reach the top. However, the following series of exchanges over several moons and what I have put together showed that he confused his own likeness for a long time.
My main distinction here is that if your life is finite and you started an eternity ago, then obviously you cannot reach the present. However, if you have infinite life like an up-quark (which can’t be created or destroyed), it’s no problem. A limited lifespan can only travel through a limited period of time; Eternal life is not subject to any such restrictions.
[Note: previous to-and-fro discussions resulted in the following exchanges.]
MG – “As in, you have a series where each event is closer to a line than the last, and eventually the series reaches that line. An infinite series cannot do that. It’s like an infinite number of rungs on a ladder, but claiming to have just reached the top. It’s inconsistent. is.”
JP – If you’re climbing a ladder with infinite rungs, why would you claim you’ve reached the top? We have already agreed that infinity has no endpoints – in other words no vertex.
MG – “If you accept that you cannot climb to the top of an infinite ladder, and you see someone at the top, then the correct conclusion is that the ladder was not infinite!!”
JP – Ouch! 1) Using the word “you” is incorrect because “you” is a finite phenomenon, and 2) you’ve destroyed any and all logic by saying “you see someone at the top”. As I said infinity has no endpoints, so it is illogical for me to say that I see someone at the endpoint (again a fallacy because someone is a finite phenomenon).
MG – “A ladder is a past series of events (not “moments”; “events”, such as the Civil War, my breakfast this morning, etc.) and it ends with a present event (as I’m typing this sentence) because that’s what “past” means. . I have crossed all the ranks of the series of past events, and I am at the top (present event). But, as you say, you cannot reach the top of the infinite ladder. So the past is not infinite.”
JP 1 – It is possible to go from the infinite past to the here, and if your own life is infinite. This is not a difficult concept.
JP 2 – Of course “you” can’t because humans have a limited lifespan, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, especially if your lifespan isn’t limited. Now if you take infinite time and infinite events, the two infinities cancel out and you only have time and events. If you have enough time you can go through any number of events. If you have unlimited time you can go through an infinite number of events. I’m just going to replace something that doesn’t have a finite duration (ie – “you”) with something called an up-quark. Actually, for the moment, the timing of your first reason argument doesn’t matter. Just tell me how old the up-quark is.
MG – “It was an ongoing phenomenon, just as every rung on the ladder below me was once an ongoing rung. I still can’t climb an infinite rung. It’s logically inconsistent. It also defies your definition of “infinite”. And you know it.”
JP – Of course you cannot climb the infinite ladder because you are a temporally finite phenomenon. But if something (ie – an up-quark) is a temporally infinite ‘event’, I fail to see the problem.
MG – “So, your argument is “Well, I agree that you can’t get to the top of a ladder with infinite steps, but… I think an infinite particle would have done it, because it’s here and it’s infinite. “?”
JP – The proof of the pudding is in the eating. A temporary infinite particle [like an up-quark] It just happens to find itself here and now. I know it starts with a wormhole, but here it is. Now you can disprove this by ‘creating’ the particle out of existence, thus disproving or disproving the idea that the particle is invincible!
MG – “[A]And you can’t get out of it by saying “the proof is in the pudding”.
JP – But the proof is in the pudding. The cosmos is infinite and yet there are particles here and now. Face it! Now even though there is an infinite past and an infinite future, your concept of the “present moment” must fall somewhere on the timeline where we find those particles. Let’s call that High Noon in New York City (NYC). It was high noon in NYC the day before. Tomorrow will be high afternoon in NYC. Time-traveling from High Noon the day before “The Present Moment” to High Noon the day after “The Present Moment” – a period of 48 hours – is no big deal. Infinite past/future existence is irrelevant. Now keep pushing that concept back and forth and as far as your imagination can take it.
MG – “From the frame of reference of that one particle, something is happening right now, regardless of how other frames of reference consider “now”. And, if its life is infinite, it has actually gone through and completed an infinite number of events. Before the present it Going now. Right?”
JP – Yes.
MG – “But it can’t actually complete countless rungs before a point; that would be like climbing an infinite ladder and reaching the top rung. It’s impossible. You’ve already admitted that. Basically, only as R [another poster]You agree with both premises, but refuse to accept the conclusion.”
JP – If your life is limited, you can complete a limited journey. By the same logic, if your life span is infinite, you can complete an infinite journey (ie – infinite up to the moment you are nominating), even though you still have an infinite journey ahead of you. Infinity (from the past to the “point”) plus infinity (from the “point” to the future) still equals infinity.
MG – “I fully understand that you are saying that an infinitely long-lived particle can be in the middle of an infinite number of events, but what I am saying is that it cannot complete an infinite number of events before its present. event, because it is at the top of a ladder with infinite bars. would be conceptually equivalent to ascension. Do we agree on that (aside from what the alternatives would be, like creating matter/energy or whatever)?”
JP – No. Would you not agree that your infinite God could not have completed infinite events before creating life, the universe and everything according to Genesis 1 and Genesis 2? If your god could do it, so could an infinitely-lived particle. If your god couldn’t accomplish infinite events before his “beginning”, then he is no longer omnipotent, is he?
MG – “No, even God would not have completed an infinite number of events before a point… It is logically inconsistent to complete an actual infinite sequence before a point. It violates the concept of “infinity”.
JP – Wow! Now here I thought your invisible wizard man in the sky had some control over time. I stand upright. Bummer! I guess that means that a particle with an infinite lifespan is more powerful than your invisible magic man in the sky.
MG – “But you admit that an infinite set of steps cannot be completed, and that an infinitely long-lived particle must have gone through countless events before its present state. This is like saying that an infinite rung of a ladder cannot be climbed all the way to the top, and yet this particle It’s done. It’s a self-contradiction…”
JP – Speaking of contradictions, “infinity bars” and “tops” is a logical contradiction that is inappropriate for you. Anyway, the answer is “no”. Even if a particle reaches halfway up your ladder, it has still made it through an infinite number of steps.
MG – “So, the problem with reaching the top rung of the infinite ladder is not that it’s logically impossible to complete infinity; it’s just that the climber hasn’t lived long enough? That’s nonsense. You already agree. Countless rungs cannot be completed before a point. Because the concept of infinity is that it never ends. But then you toss that aside when it means that the particle has done something logically impossible that otherwise would require your worldview. To adjust and the past was the beginning.”
JP – Although all answers are answers, not all answers are answers! Now here – there is a big difference between one who has an unlimited life span (like a particle) and one who has a limited life span (like you). You can’t climb an infinite ladder and live to tell the tale; A primary particle can continue. Since infinity has no end, even a single particle can never reach the end, so your claim to be the “top rung of the infinite ladder” is a completely nonsensical claim. As I recall you were the one who came up with the ludicrous idea or concept of “the rung on the infinite ladder”.
MG – “In any case, you fail to understand the ladder analogy.”
JP – I understand that contrary to your statements, my statement is that you cannot be at the top of an infinite ladder. Case closed.
Aren’t there countless lines (on a ladder analogy) that you can draw between the start line and the finish line of a race? And you can still start and finish the race!
Now the question for the readers is, who is right? MG or JP?
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