It is possible to prove something does not exist.

March 7, 2020, 6:49 pm

Agree32 Disagree16

67%
33%

The debate "It is possible to prove something does not exist." was started by diecinueve on March 7, 2020, 6:49 pm. 32 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 16 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

diecinueve posted 2 arguments, civilizeddiscussion posted 3 arguments to the agreers part.
civilizeddiscussion posted 2 arguments, Allirix posted 3 arguments, Nemiroff posted 7 arguments to the disagreers part.

diecinueve, civilizeddiscussion, crazy_troglodyte, Nemiroff, AnarchoCommunist, Kp and 26 visitors agree.
Allirix, alemanchris, archnemesis, Impossible, Joelm and 11 visitors disagree.

diecinueve
replied to...

We cannot be 100% sure of anything, but we can use evidence to be almost certain.
If there is a law that explains the behavior of something, the only way that there is something that does not comply with that law is that that law is incorrect, and if there is a lot of evidence that that law is fulfilled, that law is very likely correct.

3 weeks, 6 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

the problem with very small vs very massive is a question of quantum mechanics vs gravity. mass is not size and this has nothing to do with dark energy or dark matter. so not only is our traditional physics incomplete, we have little idea about 2 massive features of our universe.

how about the possibilities within the realms of physics such as a planet that will be round, but isnt yet, after some sort of cataclysm. the universe is vast and full of suprises.

as i said, it is certain that there are things that dont exist... but if you pick any 1 specific thing, it cannot be disproven.

4 weeks ago
civilizeddiscussion
replied to...

I get ur point on our physics is not complete yet. we either havent understand the very small quantum or the very big dark energy. but beside that, for our everyday life event, we have pretty much understand it all. since the quantum is too small to affect it or the dark energy is too big. shortly our physics knowledge is accurate enough to understand things that is not too small or too big. hence we can prove that something that is not too big or too small that will violate the law wont exist.

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Allirix
replied to...

Tachyons still aren't disproven, they still theoretically exist, and the signal between entangled particles is at least 10,000x faster than light, we'd probably measure faster speeds if we had better measuring instruments, so that's something faster than light that we can measure today.

It's possible the signal takes a shortcut through a different dimension that is warped in some way that puts all entangled objects in contact, but there's no evidence for that that I know of.

I agree with your original point that nothing can be disproven until we catalogue every known phenomenon. Until then a theory is just an abstract and approximate generalisation of what the universe actually is. It's just the tip of the iceberg that helps us understand and predict observations well enough to see the iceberg, but we have no idea what the true nature of the universe is until we look at everything under the water as well. And I don't think that is possible, Godel and Schrodinger are two dudes who discovered limitations for rationalism (truth from reason) and empiricism (truth from observation), respectively.

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

signatures was supposed to be singularities*

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

gravity would pull it into a sphere... over billions of years. until then it can be whatever shape it wants. the universe is vast and always suprises us.

a fast spinning object becomes more flattened at the poles. a super fast spinning planet, or just one that had a catastrophe happen, may end up flat.

our physics is incomplete, especially at signatures like where the infinity stones formed. for all we know they are simply operating on a more fundamental level of physics. until we know everything we simply can't be sure. thus, they may exist, in some far fallacy attached to unicorns. prove me wrong.

also, saying there are no elves in a room is not the same as elves dont exist.

4 weeks, 1 day ago
civilizeddiscussion
replied to...

but also you can not prove something doesnt exist if it is not bounded by the rule you are applying them to. for example you can not prove that god does not exist cause god doesnt bound with worldly law, since that is the idea of god itself. another example we cant prove that there is nothing outside of the known universe since we can not observe it and we dont know if the law of physics is the same there. but for our universe we can prove something doesnt exist if it doesnt follow the rule's of this universe.

4 weeks, 1 day ago
civilizeddiscussion
replied to...

if a teacher make a rule which can not be broken, the rule says that only men are allowed to the class. can we prove that woman doesnt exist in the class?

just like a flat-shaped planet wouldnt exist since if an object is big enough to be called as planet, gravity would always pull it down to be round. hence we can prove that there is no flat-shaped planet in the universe cause the rule does not allow it.

infinity stone will violate tons of laws of physics

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

we agree that nothing can travel faster then light and that something that travels faster then light cant exist. with that we can agree that some things, in general, dont exist.

that proves that "nothing" doesnt exist (agreed)
and that some things dont exist. (agreed)

but although there are some things that dont exist, any specific something cant be proven to not exist. are you sure there are no infinity stones? prove it!

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

by not being able to prove anything im guessing you are talking about the brain in a jar question, then yes, nothing can be proven besides "i think therefore i am". im pretty sure thats an established philosophical concept independent of this situation, because of the brain in a jar question, all other statements assume "beyond a reasonable doubt."

so assuming the world we see is reality and we arent just a brain in a jar, the solution to your issue can be solved by a similar answer as the one to the vat. you may not be able to automatically generalize or identify all of the properties of the object in front of you... but the one thing you know is that it exists. you may still have to figure out what it is, but its properties have nothing to do with the question of its existence. that question has already been answered, yes it does.

so it is easy to prove something exists with the proper evidence even without knowing the properties.... but it is impossible to prove something does not exist even with a comprehensive list of properties it certainly does not have.

4 weeks, 1 day ago

my stand is, you can prove something doesnt exist if it violates the rules which it should follows. for example for all phyisical things, you can prove something doesnt exist if it vioaltes the laws of physics.

i think it will apply to any other laws like social, economics, politics, etc.

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Allirix
replied to...

There's a difference between an abstract object and the symbols that represent it. My only point was a proof by contradiction can be used to disprove something. My example was probably too shit to make sense and I probably should have stuck to "there are no married bachelors".

But yeah if we're sticking to physical objects then a proof by contradiction is out.

But without abstract objects we have no ability to generalise so we're then faced with the problem of not being able to prove anything, positive or negative, except maybe your own existence.

4 weeks, 1 day ago

if we are going to talk about non objects then your equation does exist. its totally wrong, but it's right there before my eyes. if we accept ideas then while the object that is a flat earth is still impossible to disprove, flat earth theory most certainly does exists in the mind of flat earthers and all over the internet. i can easily prove that those false ideas and equations do exist, can you prove to me that a triangle earth theory does not exist anywhere in someone's head?

wouldnt you have to literally scour every last corner of the internet (and repeat across all of existence) to ensure that not a single person ever voiced the triangle earth theorem.

1 month ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

i dont understand the question.

1. an equation isnt exactly an object, more like an idea. im talking about things that are made of matter, and take up space. things.

2. this equation makes no sense. you essentially
"4=5
4-4=5-4
0=1"
all false statements, was there anything special about that equation, or just trying to demonstrate something demonstrably wrong?

but again, equations are not phyical things, they are ideas. they exist about as much as any idea does. not what I'm talking about.

1 month ago
Allirix
replied to...

I'm curious about what you say to this @Nemiroff:

2+2=5
2+2-2-2=5-2-2
0=1

Because 0 does not equal 1 we have proven something doesn't exist. There is no 2 that can be added to itself to make 5, or any other number but 4. We haven't catalogued every mathematical relationship, so why is this called a proof?

1 month ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

yes, with that we have established that elves, unicorns, and gods cannot travel faster than the speed of light. but do they exist?

traveling faster than the speed of light is not a noun. it is not a thing. it is a description of a thing. but does that *thing* exist?

1 month ago
diecinueve
replied to...

It is not necessary to catalog all of existence. If we prove that nothing can go faster than light we are proving that there are no objects that go faster than light

1 month ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

ive already stated my position from the beginning. until we catalog all of existence, we cant prove something doesnt exist.

i wanted to hear your answers...

1 month ago
civilizeddiscussion
replied to...

so we can prove it doesnt exist?

1 month ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

should the question be whether that planet exists? or whether we can prove that it doesnt.

what do you think the answers to those questions are?

1 month ago
civilizeddiscussion
replied to...

does a disk-shaped planet exist in the universe?

1 month ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

flat earth is an idea. do ideas exist?

the earth exists. i think we can reasonably limit this statement to objects and beings, not attributes and properties.

1 month ago
civilizeddiscussion
replied to...

does flat earth exist?

1 month ago

as soon as we can definitively catalogue all that exists we can start claiming what does not exist.

1 month ago
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