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#1
My friend is trying to tell me that numbers dont exist, and he came up with a way of showing it. he says that there is no way to get from 0 to 1. he says you can keep going like 0.1, 0.01, 0.001, 0.000000000000001 and stuff like that. Now, doing it that way, you cant, but isnt that dividing by 10 over and over? I dont see it. I always thought of numbers as a tool to help us count. Then he said something about words not existing, because every definition leads back into itself or something.

I don't reall understand this. What do you guys think?
#2
Its the final countdown !!!
Tadada daaa
tada tada taa
tatata da taaa
tadata ta ta ta ta
ta ta TA
tata TA ta ta ta ta
da taaaaa
ta da da ta daaa

#3
I think your friend's a douche.

Tell him that by his logic, he doesn't exist except for in his own mind and that life is meaningless and that he should kill himself.
#4
you cant count from 0 to 1 in real numbers... there are an infinte number of numbers in between 0 and 1. .00001, .00000000235, .00000000000000000432, you know?


but you can count from 0 to 5 in integers.


there are many different types of numbers. and just because you cant count every single one doesnt mean they dont exist.
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#5
Quote by Bloodycrass
Its the final countdown !!!
Tadada daaa
tada tada taa
tatata da taaa
tadata ta ta ta ta
ta ta TA
tata TA ta ta ta ta
da taaaaa
ta da da ta daaa



You know...I kind of want to sig that.


I'm not going to, though.
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#6
Quote by popapez
you cant count from 0 to 1 in real numbers... there are an infinte number of numbers in between 0 and 1. .00001, .00000000235, .00000000000000000432, you know?


but you can count from 0 to 5 in integers.


there are many different types of numbers. and just because you cant count every single one doesnt mean they dont exist.



i always figured it depended on what intervals you counted in... 1,2,3 2,4,6,8 .003 .006 .009? but that sounds almost like what he was trying to say
#7
Your friend is right in a theoretical sense. What is a 6 anyway? All a number is is a visual representation of anything that takes up space in the physical universe.

That's all.
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#8
Quote by captainjackass
i always figured it depended on what intervals you counted in... 1,2,3 2,4,6,8 .003 .006 .009? but that sounds almost like what he was trying to say

if you could count every real number inbetween 0 and 1, you would have to know the smallest number- the first number that comes after 0. and there is no smallest number. if you dont know the smallest number, you dont know the second smallest number- the number that comes after the first one. and so on, you know?

it is impossible to count every number. it is impossible to know every number.


im sure your friend had a very valid argument, and its kinda interesting to think about
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#10
Your friend is quite correct however his methodology to arrive at his conclusion is wrong.
Numbers are an abstraction of thought created by man to manipulate his environment.
You can sit outside tokin' on a number all day long and you will never see a herd of numbers go strolling through your backyard.
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#11
numbers are real.
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#12
tell him to stop sniffing altoids...
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#13
Quote by rage6945
numbers are real.



Hey man, just because you couldn't think of an original name, does not give you the right to an opinion.
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#16
Quote by rage6945
numbers are real.


Nonreal numbers aren't. For example, 2i. That's an imaginary number that equals the square root of -2.
#17
Haha, +1 to you, Holy katana. Nice semantic twist.

There is an infinity of numbers between 0 and 1, and 1 & 1.5, and 1 & 1.01. Even so, this does not mean that numbers don't exist. Nowhere close. That's like saying that time doesn't exist.
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#18
Yeah there's the whole thing with never actually being able to get anywhere, all this theoretical bull****:

Say you are 10 feet from a wall, you want to get to the wall, so you have to go halfway. That's 5 feet. Then you go half way again, 2.5, then halfway again, 1.25, then halfway again, and so on. Basically he said that you can never actually get somewhere because you need to go through halfway each time and by going half way you can never reach something. I just confused the **** out of myself but my calculus teacher won't leave me alone about it.
OH NOES! My sig is gone.
#19
Quote by goods2006
Yeah there's the whole thing with never actually being able to get anywhere, all this theoretical bull****:

Say you are 10 feet from a wall, you want to get to the wall, so you have to go halfway. That's 5 feet. Then you go half way again, 2.5, then halfway again, 1.25, then halfway again, and so on. Basically he said that you can never actually get somewhere because you need to go through halfway each time and by going half way you can never reach something. I just confused the **** out of myself but my calculus teacher won't leave me alone about it.


Yeah, you can never get to the wall by moving twice as close each time. So what?
#20
Quote by RockerPseudonym
Hey man, just because you couldn't think of an original name, does not give you the right to an opinion.


Nope, pretty sure being human gives him that right though.

And your friend is just messing with you. Tell him to go stick his head in a toilet and flush.


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#21
What your friend said makes sense, but I think he's just trying to sound smart.
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#22
numbers dont exist, there merely artifacts of human creation. they don't have true meaning except that we created them to give order to teh universe. kind alike the idea that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. there would be quantities w/o numbers, we would just have issues dealig with them
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#23
Quote by goods2006
Yeah there's the whole thing with never actually being able to get anywhere, all this theoretical bull****:

Say you are 10 feet from a wall, you want to get to the wall, so you have to go halfway. That's 5 feet. Then you go half way again, 2.5, then halfway again, 1.25, then halfway again, and so on. Basically he said that you can never actually get somewhere because you need to go through halfway each time and by going half way you can never reach something. I just confused the **** out of myself but my calculus teacher won't leave me alone about it.

life and science are based on theories, and observations. if you cant observe something, or test your theory, aslong as it agrees with other things you know, its all good.
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#25
woah this is deep. ok i get your guy's side but i dont get the TS's friends side of the argument.

can anyone explain his argument please?
#26
he just randomely drew out the conclusion numbers dont exist, by explaining theres an infinite amount of numbers between 0 and 1. I understand what hes trying to say, but the point is numbers, or the idea of numbers, are real
#27
Your friend's right with them not existing, but technically that logic doesn't prove it. yeah, I can't add anything new but I wanted to say something
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#29
I propose we call them "dildoes" from now on.
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#30
Quote by RockerPseudonym
Hey man, just because you couldn't think of an original name, does not give you the right to an opinion.


um.............. uh............ what?
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#32
Quote by Mr_BTP
numbers dont exist, there merely artifacts of human creation. they don't have true meaning except that we created them to give order to teh universe. kind alike the idea that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. there would be quantities w/o numbers, we would just have issues dealig with them

Having been created, doesn't that mean they exist?
They're just not tangible 'things'.
#34
Numbers is just a measurement system used to keep a count of things.

nobody is EVER going to actually use one of the infinite amount of numbers inbetween 0 and 1 in real life situations.... like "oh geez ive only got .0000000000000128473 dollars....wtf am i gonna do?" numbers are the same as using points on line segments, there is an INFINATE amount inbetween the two end points, but you only need certain ones to MEASURE it.

so in the end, numbers are the universal way to measure things in a way that everyone
can understand rather then using objects.
of course numbers aren't real thinking in a materialistic way, because measurements are real, its a human perspective.
#36
Quote by MightyAl
Having been created, doesn't that mean they exist?
They're just not tangible 'things'.


no, they don't exist because measurements are real objects.

its not like looking at a loaf of bread and saying "this is a loaf of bread"
that is a real created object that is there and can be made physically.

you cannot physically make the number 1 other then using physical
representations to represent the number, you CANNOT look at an
object and say "okay, this is a 1" but you can look at a measurement as
1.
and measurements are physically real either, therefore numbers aren't existing
other then as a system of measurements through a human perspective.
#37
Quote by goods2006
Yeah there's the whole thing with never actually being able to get anywhere, all this theoretical bull****:

Say you are 10 feet from a wall, you want to get to the wall, so you have to go halfway. That's 5 feet. Then you go half way again, 2.5, then halfway again, 1.25, then halfway again, and so on. Basically he said that you can never actually get somewhere because you need to go through halfway each time and by going half way you can never reach something. I just confused the **** out of myself but my calculus teacher won't leave me alone about it.


This conundrum was overcome by people agreeing you can do infinite amount of things in a finite amount of time. There are 4 famous paradoxes like this, there all quite interesting to think about.
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#38
Quote by MrDURPEEDURP
no, they don't exist because measurements are real objects.

its not like looking at a loaf of bread and saying "this is a loaf of bread"
that is a real created object that is there and can be made physically.

you cannot physically make the number 1 other then using physical
representations to represent the number, you CANNOT look at an
object and say "okay, this is a 1" but you can look at a measurement as
1.
and measurements are physically real either, therefore numbers aren't existing
other then as a system of measurements through a human perspective.

A measurement is not a real object. It is an abstract property of a real object that is measurable because it is real.
#39
Numbers don't physically exist. They're ideas, abstract concepts with a theoretically infinite realm. However, not being able to know every number in this realm does not make mathematics any less valid.
Last edited by Quintessence153 at Sep 25, 2007,
#40
my algebra 2 teacher was talking about this, he said numbers and math doesn't exist, there just ways in which we measure things, 2+2 doesnt really equal 4 it can equal 22 and 1000 in different kinds of math he showed us on his calculator wat u get tested on in math class is just how we measure things basically and wat we know, stuff like that its all confusing
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