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There does exist an actual infinite:

Objection 1: Nothing with an actual infinite number of elements can exist, by


construction of infinity (Hilbert Hotel style arguments).

Consider the following:

L1 and L2 are lines, L1 is clearly shorter than L2.

However, consider the following map between L1 and L2. For all points, x, on L1 use a straightedge to
connect point P with x, and extend that connecting line through L2. The intersection point will be y. This
straight edge construction will be a map, f: from L1 to L2.

We can clearly see that f is a function. Every element of L1 maps to something in L2, so the map is "well
defined" in that sense. Further, because every line from P through L2 crosses only a single point in L1,
we don't have any instance of one x in L1 mapping to multiple y's in L2.

Further, f is injective (one-to-one). Every y in L2 comes only from a single x in L1 on the basis that only
one intersection through L1 on the way to P.

Finally, and most importantly, the map f is surjective (onto). Every y in L2 comes from some x in L1. To
see this, rather than picking an x in L1 and tracing through P and x, instead pick a y in L2 and trace from
P to y. You'll see that there exists no y in L2 which lacks a preimage in f.

Because f is an injective, surjective function, f is a bijection from L1 to L2. This implies that the
cardinality of L1 is the same as the cardinality of L2. However, if you rearrange the lines as follows, we
see that:

The map g is also a 1-1 map from L1 to L2, however this map is NOT onto. In fact, we can note that g as
defined is a strict embedding from L1 into L2 where each point in L1 maps to itself. However we see
from this that there exists several points in L2 which do not come from L1. So under this map, L1 will be
a strict subset of L2 with cardinality strictly less.

From this, we can see that L1 is a PROPER subset of L2. The map f shows that there is a 1-1
correspondence between L1 and L2. This demonstrates that L2 is an infinite set (Wolfram Mathworld).

Further because there is a bijection between L1 and L2, L1 and L2 have the same number of elements.

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From the previous page, we see that every line segment contains an infinite number of points. No
contradiction has emerged from such a set actually existing. We now move to the second objection.

Objection 2: No infinite set can exist because removing an element from the set should have fewer
elements, but the set will still have the same number of elements. This supposedly marks a
contradiction.

But consider the map g we previously constructed. L1 was demonstrated to be a proper subset of L2.
Thus L1 is L2 with an infinite number of points removed.

So we can see a concrete example of an infinite set which still retains its "number of elements" even
after having, not only a single element, but an infinite number of elements removed.

While detractors of actual infinites tell me that lines of differing lengths simply can't exist, I guess I'll
have to do compass and straight edge geometry without them.

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