Half Empty or Half Full?
glass philosophy rambling
To begin, the debate subject itself is rendered invalid from the start. Should a glass be filled to the halfway point, it already exists in both states being argued: half emptiness and half fullness. If half of the glass's volume consists of water, then it is obvious the remaining half of the glass's volume will be void of water.
Let us assume, then, that this debate is a matter of perception, in which case it still fails as a logical debate, as I have never once heard of a glass precisely half-filled with water being presented at any such debate.
Most people who question the glass's actual state of fullness have with them no measuring implements to accurately determine whether the amount of liquid within the cup is exactly half of the glass's maximum volume. Thus, should such a glass ever be produced, the first order of business ought to be determining with scientific precision whether the amount of liquid in the glass is above or below the exact halfway mark; should it not be half of the glass's volume, then the debate should be changed to whether the glass is, for example, 499/1000 empty or 501/1000 full.
Should a glass indeed be charged with the exact qualities of half fullness and half emptiness, then, the next task is to ensure the bottom half's mass consists of no materials but water, such that the argument may proceed. Dust and air bubbles are likely causes of foiled measurements. A glass to be presented at a debate of half emptiness or half fullness should always be filled in an area free of contaminants to avoid the troubles of purification post-filling.
Another point of concern is the area of debate. My readers should know that atmospheric pressure causes the compression of fluids such as water. One would think to avoid such pressure, the debate should be held in a vacuum; however, in such conditions, the water would vaporize; even Mars's atmospheric pressure cannot keep water in its liquid state. As the debate is not about whether the glass is half filled with gas, debaters must then set reasonable limits for the atmospheric pressure of the locale of debate.
The aforementioned concerns regarding debate location, of course, raise the question of whether there is such a thing as a glass being exactly half full or half empty, or whether a glass may only be of a certain state of fullness relative to other states. This blog entry shall not enter such philosophical territory, but the reader should find worthwhile the pursuit of an answer to that question.
Thus concludes my thoughts on an issue I believe to be far more complex than most people admit or realize.