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A universe with no beginning or end

  1. Apr 5, 2003 #1


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    The problem of infinite regress has been around for a while, as the idea of an infinite past seems to lead to absurdities. While the big bang model seemed to have removed the idea of an eternal universe, certain inflation models bring it back.

    Eternal inflation is one example. The evidence we have for the big bang is explained in terms of a local inflation event, which occured some 13.7 billion years ago. While our universe was created and had a beginning, the creation took place in a pre-existing space-time, which itself may have existed forever. While this seems to solve the need for a beginning of our universe, the pre-existing space-time it emerged from would also be expanding, and if finite could be traced back to a beginning itself. So for an eternal inflationary universe, it seems one would need an infinite volume of space. So space and time would be infinite.

    There seem to be other problems with the idea of an infinite past, which this thread hopefully will cover. Thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2003 #2
    Essentially an infinite existence must get around the Liar's Paradox as must whatever logic you care to use. The most inclusive and broadly applicable version of the Liar’s Paradox might be said to be the assertion that Existence is a lie. This paradox includes not only the Liar’s Paradox, but also any logic or reason used to define it as a paradox. Note that it also applies under any context and expresses a quality rather than a quantity. However, what may remain the same no matter what is our own personal experience and feelings about existence.

    That said, what matters from a purely physical and logical viewpoint then is the physical evidence to date, the specific kind of logic you care to apply, and the reliability you can assertain for each. Under the circumstances, it seems no matter what kind of logic or findings you care to draw upon there are several other equally likely rudamentary explanations that are equally likely. That is apparently why there are still several possible explanations of Quantum Mechanics.

    Is that clear? I hope not. :0)
  4. Apr 5, 2003 #3
    Infinite-space renders space as a singularity. Or it renders the essence/backdrop of that space as a singularity.
    And infinite time can be discarded; for no tangible-yield of an infinite causality-chain exists. Therefore, it is impossible for any infinite causality-chain to have produced any thing.
    The set of infinite-time is an open-ended set. Not a closed set. Thus, Cantor's mathematics of infinities are irrelevant. A set with no beginning, can have no tangible-end. Any entity which is infinite is essentially uniform, or conceptual.
  5. Apr 5, 2003 #4
    Note Eh, that this is according to a paraconsistent logical analysis of Relativity which remains unproven. Without physical evidence it remains wholly speculative. In fact, it remains one of the speculations on the subject I already mentioned.

    Well done Mentat.
  6. Apr 5, 2003 #5
    Unproven? My argument is founded upon Einstein's work. And his equations are correct for the universe which we 'sense'. They have been proven. They are my evidence. My proof.
    My topic about Relativity is about 'Relativity', and I use the axioms of that theory to promote the reality of Mind, thus bringing-about the demise of materialism (if accepted, of course)... as opposed to the demise of Einstein's work. But how is this relevant to the logic I have presented in this thread?
    If it makes sense here, then it makes sense here. Forget what I said about something else, yesterday (so to speak.). Don't judge it by something else. Judge it by itself, without reference to any other argument.
    But I have physical evidence that Einstein's Laws are true. Or at least, science does. So; what other sort of evidence would you like?
    Only for you.
  7. Apr 5, 2003 #6
    Well, I haven't said anything yet, but...

    Eh, if the "backdrop" of space-time were finite (and expanding), what would it be expanding into? Also, if the "backdrop" is infinite, but the "sub-universe" is tiny, the time dimension corresponds to all of the dimensions in the whole cosmos, right?
  8. Apr 5, 2003 #7
    One should read the writings of Immanuel Kant on this ("kritik der reiner Vernunft" who wrote about this dilemma first. In this book he explained that a universe that existed infinitely was as provable as a universe that had a definite beginning in time. Now, from logic we know that only one of this options can be true, and one of them must be true. But whatever position we take, this will all lead us into abduridities or contradictions, and no way to go around it.
    This situation is a central thema to dialectical-materialism, as it states that the world can not be conceived of without contradiction.

    What is the exact problem here? To accept the idea of infinite space and time?
  9. Apr 6, 2003 #8
    To see a world in a grain of sand
    And a heaven in a wildflower
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    And eternity in an hour

    Accepting infinity can be as easy or as difficult as anything ever gets. Infinitely easy and infinitely difficult. :0)
  10. Apr 6, 2003 #9
    Re: Re: A universe with no beginning or end

    I see you still are convinced of the idea that the infinity of time is impossible. Yet, the beginning of time is equally impossible and absurd.
    In another post you somehow seem to agree that something cannot come from nothing, and that if the material world is the effect of something, then there must be a cause, and that exisence at least must be preceded by the potentially for something to exist. This potentially is not nothing. Instead, we must call this potentially existence too. That what in primary instance causes the world to form, shape and take form is the fact that material existence is in contradiction with itself, causing it to move, change, take form and shape in a dialectical way.

    The dialectical process can be schematized as follows:

    Thesis -> Anti-Thesis -> Synthesis

    which repeats itself eternally. The synthesis is just the new thesis on a higher level. Like for instance the growth of a seed (Thesis), becoming a plant, which consumes the seed (Anti-Thesis, negation of the Thesis) and producing many new seeds (Synthesis, negation of the negation of the Thesis). This reproduces the seed, but in the process the seed is altered in a quantitative (one seed producing many new seeds) and in a qualitative way (natural processes cause slight change in the seed). Which means that this process is progressing, otherwise if the synthesis would just reproduce the thesis, this wouild cause an infinite closed circle, without progress, which is clearly not the case.

    The position hold by materialist in this respect is more understandable, it just claims that there isn't a begin or end to the causal chain. Your problem seems to be that then existence and the now, have been formed by an infinite chain of causal effects, which you believe, can't be true. There is no question that infinity itself is a contradictionary concept. But you aren't able of removing this infinity, without running into equal or more absurdity (like accepting the material existence was popping out of nothing).

    I suggest you once more to read about this dilemma, and how it is solved in the text of Friedrich Engels Anti-Duhring http://csf.colorado.edu/psn/marx/Archive/1877-AD/p1.htm#c5" [Broken] in case you haven't done that yet. I didn't see anywhere you referred to this text, so probably you didn't even read it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  11. Apr 6, 2003 #10
    Re: Re: Re: A universe with no beginning or end

    No it's not. I'll see if I can explain...
    Firstly; the beginning of time = the beginning of change. Hence, you are in error by assuming that the beginning of time = the beginning of existence. Existence doesn't necessarily imply 'change'. And there is no logical-reason to label the idea of unchanging-Existence as an absurdity.
    There is no logical-contradiction in stating that existence is eternal, but that time/change has an origin.
  12. Apr 6, 2003 #11
    Re: Re: Re: Re: A universe with no beginning or end

    Well, what you state here is simply nonsens, cause material existence which does not implie motion and/or change, and thus requires time and space and time to exist, is a gross absurdity.

    Change can not start from nothing, there is always a previous change. If there was at some time no change or motion at all, then where would that initial change/motion come from?

    Your reasoning become very absurd. Time/change popping up from nowhere is as absurd as existence popping up from nowhere.
    If time or change is said to have a beginning, then that itself was a change, at a time where it is said, there was no change. Which can for obvious reasons, not have been the case.
    Because existence implies change and motion, there can't have been a state of existence in which there was no change or no motion. it would be an endless state of existence in which nothing whatsoever changes. What kind of existence would that be?

    But with your stubborn kind of reasoning I guess you will never get at it.
  13. Apr 6, 2003 #12

    Tom Mattson

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: A universe with no beginning or end

    OK so far.

    This can't be right.

    While I am completely ignorant of the Kant arguments, I know two things that flatly refute this.

    1. If the universe were ever static (unchanging), then it must always be so.
    2. According to general relativity, the absence of matter and radiation implies the absence of space and time.

    Existence and change are inseperable.
  14. Apr 6, 2003 #13
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A universe with no beginning or end

    Yeah, Tom, right, but I doubt if Mr Lifegazer will ever accept this fact, cause in his mind the universe's origin, fate and future lie in Divine hands, so this makes it impossible for him to understand this.

    There must be something left for his deity to do, if only switching Time on.
  15. Apr 6, 2003 #14

    Isn't this what the early universe would have been: A point of infinite mass and density, and the first change is the 'big bang'?
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2003
  16. Apr 6, 2003 #15
    If the world is in a state of no change and no motion, then the world would remain in that state forever.

    Definately not. Firstly, where did that mass/energy come from?
    Secondly: every material form and sunstances we know of, in whatever form (particles, energy, fields) are not static things, but are in motion/change themselves always.

    For a mor detailed discussion on these issues, read the following text: http://csf.colorado.edu/psn/marx/Archive/1877-AD/p1.htm#c5" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  17. Apr 6, 2003 #16
    Your error here is that you, like heusdens, are assuming that existence is fundamentally material. From this, you deduce that a static material-existence (with static forces too) would be unable to change itself. Hence you conclude that such a state would have to remain eternal - thus negating the onset of time. And since time has happened and is still happening, you conclude that there could not have been such an original-state as unchanging-Existence.
    Your reasoning is correct - except that your premise needs to be proven to validate that conclusion.
    However; I took the non-assumed route towards making my conclusion of reason. And if you subtract your asserted-premise from a re-reading of my post, then you'll see that there's nothing wrong with my reasoning.
    The real problem which several of you might now have with my post, is that the conclusion also proves that there needs to be more than just matter & forces-of-matter for such a change to occur (as you rightly-imply Tom). For such a body of existence to change from a state of changelessness, would also require will and direction of
    There is bound to be a state of zero-space & zero-time, in a state of changeless existence. GR is consistent with a changeless-origin.
  18. Apr 6, 2003 #17
    Maybe it was always there.

    That doesn't imply deviation from a particular state, in this case, the point of infinite mass and density.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2003
  19. Apr 6, 2003 #18


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    The problem is, the backdrop of space-time must be expanding and if finite, it to would have a beginning. An infinite expanding space might not necessarily have a beginning. But the self reproducing universe and eternal inflation models aren't really multiverse theories. They just concern a universe that continuously produce regions of inflation.
  20. Apr 6, 2003 #19


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    Re: Re: A universe with no beginning or end

    I actually had in mind something alone the lines of Kant's anti-thesis of a finite time. I'm not looking to defend a position, but just get some opinions on the matter here.
  21. Apr 6, 2003 #20


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    Re: Re: Re: A universe with no beginning or end

    Greetings !

    Great thread Eh !

    First to adress the problem discussed here:
    In my opinion, there is no problem.

    If time is not infinite then the cause of
    it is the paradox of existence.
    If it is then you can avoid the apparent
    absurdity of it by simply sticking to
    existence itself. Existence is all, including
    infinities, and the PoE is part of it either
    way. (Although, there is no absolute way
    to prove the PoE.)

    Second, to adress some other opinions expressed here:

    The part about Universe with no time is good.
    You really spend a lot of time thinking about
    philosophical issues to surprise us with
    continuosly don't you...
    (Say, did you invent the Mind hypothesys so
    that everyone would argue with you and you could
    really learn some stuff in the proccess ?
    Very good ! )

    You disagreed with LG's argument about the
    possibility that there was existence without time
    before there was one with time.

    Your first argument can not be proven as absolute,
    the Universe can allow for ANYTHING to be true.
    There is nothing beyond doubt except exitence.
    ( I understood that after I tried to show the
    PoE is absolute and realized it's not - it's
    just the most certain thing ever so far.
    A Universe without time comes close to that
    though. :wink: )
    (Your second argument is very limmited in it's scope
    of accepted possibilities, but the counter-argument
    is basicly the same, though stronger.)

    Almost the same thing basicly. You do recognize that
    both un/limmited time is absurd and since one of them
    must be the case then you basicly recognize the
    PoE. However, you do not recognize another
    possibility for this absurdity - a Universe
    without time.

    Nice "bite"...

    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo Da Vinci

    Live long and prosper.
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