8 Bit Philosophy: Is Change An Illusion? (Zeno's Paradoxes) | |

Is change an illusion? | |

I'd like to say that this was stupid, but I'm curious as to how this is smart. The only thing I got out of this is if you prevent change then change can't happen therefore change never happens. | |

Ah, one of those rare occasions where kicking someones teeth in is an appropriate counter argument. "You're fine Zeno, as you've explained those blows couldn't possibly have connected." | |

I really like these paradoxes. If you really want to think about the math, he is right. How does uncountable infinity work in a measurable world? I think the solution to this however, or rather the counter to this, is that time and space are not absolutely continuous, but rather spacetime exists in discrete quanta, even if these are too small for us to measure. Much like how we now know that light is not a continuous wave. | |

Paradoxes.... yes, this started out interesting enough. Learned about all that stuff in college, Zeno. Nowadays we have the answers. | |

Zeno's paradoxes are an example of armchair reasoning. Since his paradoxes are definitively false as you could not ever represent them in the real physical world. Also... Both paradoxes completely ignore velocity, which is quite strange. Edit: I had a double negative. Fun Fact - 3 out of every 4 of the 6000 languages on the planet have double negatives. | |

The problem with Zeno's Paradoxes is that they assume time and space are infinitely divisible. But Quantum Mechanics seems to suggest they are not. The position of electrons on atoms is a good example of this. They can only occupy curtain distances from the nucleus and not the space between. The other issue is that Infinity is just a concept and not a real thing. In math we tend to use things like 1/X approaches infinity as x approaches 0 from the right side. This is to describe a behavior as the number never truly reaches it since you can't. So the argument you can't do an infinite number of things thus motion is not possible is not valid because while it is true you can't do an infinite number of things that is because infinite is not a real definable number, it's like saying you can't do potato number of things. The arrow paradox also shows a lack of understanding when it comes to physics. Just because you break down time to the point where you have the arrow seemingly motionless in space, which is obvious as motion only exist because of time and thus arbitrarily declaring you can cut a slice out of it to examine is a major leap in and of itself, the arrow will still have the energy imparted upon via that famous equation E=mc^2. So the arrow still contains the energy even if that frozen moment makes it appear motionless, as in that case our perception would be lying to us as the arrow is indeed moving. | |

Zeno's paradoxes fell long before the discovery of quantum mechanics. Even Zeno's contemporaries reacted with more of a, "Hey, that's a funny feature of maths - I wonder where the math is wrong," than treating Zeno's paradoxes as a be-all puzzle to be solved. As soon as mathematics advanced to the point where it can take the sum of an infinite series, the case was closed. Hell, *Aristotle* pointed out that Zeno was simply assuming space could be infinitely subdivided. He also answered it well enough for most mathematicians and philosophers to not give a damn about Zeno for centuries - right up until the discovery of infinities and calculus. As for the second point, not really. Zeno supposedly believed what we observe is unreal. The true, unchanging reality is not observed. It would be no puzzle for him to point out that physics is arrived at by *induction* about what we observe, and since his paradoxes "prove" what we observe is not the real, physics is derived from false observations and cannot reliably describe the reality beneath. In other words, an equation in physics is simply a model of reality based on observation, but Zeno has already with his paradox "proven" that the observations which went into making the model of reality - IE physics - are illusory. | |

The problem with Zeno's paradoxes is that you have to assume time is discrete, it's not, there is no such thing as a 'moment'. That's the easy way to dismiss it, but I like the one about force actually still being there in that hypothetical moment. Infinity doesn't translate well to real life things.
You wouldn't happen to have an example? | |

Well, I don't know. Are you an amoeba? Do I possess digits? Is there only one super-continent? Does the sun still revolve around the Earth? Nah, change isn't an illusion. Every footprint in the sand is still a footprint in the sand. | |

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