Should There Be Infinite

955 Words 4 Pages
To the best of our knowledge, humans are the only creatures on earth that are able to contemplate infinity. We commonly talk about the infinite universe (which cosmologists now tell us is almost certainly finite but unbounded), we speak of infinite number series, such as the set of even numbers, and we use it metaphorically, as in saying someone has “infinite patience.” Time itself is spoken of as infinite, though it is always tied to finite objects which are changing and we can 't even come up with a coherent definition of what it is.
What makes something finite? That seems simple enough. An object is finite because it possesses specific qualities which determine its very nature and separate it from all other existents—even those composed of the same substances. If someone were to hold
…show more content…
Even his friends shook their heads regretfully in sympathy for my misery.
The conversation appeared ready to move on to another topic, but there was a sudden inspiration rising up in me which was triggered by a recent lecture in our Ancient Greek Philosophy course. The pre-Socratic philosopher Zeno had claimed that change and motion were illusions and he attempted to demonstrate this by presenting a set of apparent contradictions utilizing the concept of infinity.
His paradox of the arrow can be briefly summarized as follows: When an archer looses an arrow at a target, to reach its destination it must first travel halfway there. Then it must travel halfway from the halfway point to the target. The distance it travels can always be divided into more halfway points, all the way into infinity, and the arrow will never reach the target. Thus, the notion that it does so is merely an illusion, not

Related Documents