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I Want To Ask A Question But How ?

  1. Oct 14, 2004 #1
    We are all human beings on a planet called earth.Many things happened on this planet which resulted in atoms : the basic structural unit of matter to combine to form what we call 'life'.Not many planets were lucky to see this happen.But different kinds of atomic combinations took place to form different things in other planets.All the planets and galaxies are in what we call universe.Whats outside this universe ?

    I want to ask you all a question,but I dont know how to frame the question.Let me try...ok its something like this..If there is no God or a superior person or force and all what happens is just Physics in action,then whats outside the universe ? Whats outside this bubble ? if you know what I mean.Are there other bubbles or universes ? Are they connected ? What controls them ? And we humans..do we just be born grow old and die ? Are we all just Physics/Chemistry/Biology in action,all just a random process,all just results of things happening at a quantum level ? Or is there a universal law that determines the future ??? Just whats outside us ? Whats outiside the universe..?? What rules the universe...??

    Combinations of all these questions make up the question I am trying to ask :rolleyes: .Can anyone help me ? Or give some suggestions ? Or do I sound mad ??
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2004 #2
    You do not sound mad, you just have to learn to form clearer sentences. :smile:

    Are you asking, "If there is no God, then...?" or what excactly?


    One thing that caught my eye was "...is there a universal law?". From my short lived experience, i have come to the conclusion that when one searches for a universal law, or questions it in some form, they will come down to a conclusion which forms a "Law-giver". Thus, a universal law is highly unlikely, from my experience and study, without a universal Law Giver.
  4. Oct 14, 2004 #3


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    It depends what you mean by 'law giver.' If you mean something like an omnipotent god that has hand-crafted the laws of nature, it is well worth noting that a large number of critical thinkers find no conceptual need for such an entity.

    Besides, assuming an ultimate law-giver (under any construal of the term) does not do away with the conceptual problem. For once we have assumed the existence of such a law-giver, we can then question how it is that such a law-giver itself came to be and what it is that accounts for its behavior, and we're back to square one. At some point we must accept that some kind of laws or causal agencies are something of a 'brute,' unexplained fact, a given. Unless assuming a law-giver to play this fundamental role gives us a conceptual picture clearer or more powerful than assuming natural law itself to play this fundamental role, such a law-giver should be rejected by Ockham's Razor.
  5. Oct 14, 2004 #4
    Note taken Hypnagogue.

    However, once again, i feel the need to prove the existance of an omnipotent mystical power. Without this proof, i find many arguments vague and unfulfilling.
  6. Oct 15, 2004 #5
    Thats a brilliant point there hypnagogue ! I never thought of that.If there was a law giver,then how did he come into existence in the first place ?.Boy ! this is amazing isnt it ?.It almost ends the arguement as to whether there is a law giver or not.
    Suppose there was a law giver then.Then what governs all laws in this universe ??.Are we all just parts of physical,biological and chemical process going through the motions ?.Was the big bang just a random lucky event that took place and all what goes on now just a consequence of this random lucky event ?.But where did this big bang take place ?.It must have taken place in some kind of space.Then what else was in that space ????.Damn ! questions just go on and on and on...

    As always the answers to many complicated questions which seem to never end come from observing simple phenomena.Why cant there be infinite universes ? What if our own universe was infinite ? Whats infinity ? Probably solving the problem of infinity will solve many others.Like in maths infinity * infinity = infinity.and 1+infinity=infinity,but how ? why ? it all sounds confusing...we are dealing with huge things.we have tackled the problems of zero and small numbers.probably we need to solve this problem about infinity to solve all other universal large scale problems.I mean whats the largest number ? My maths lecturer wud say there is no exact largest number,u can keep going on adding the largest possible number to the next largest to get an even more large number.Or u can add 1 to the largest possible number to get the next largest possible number.So there is no end to this.But what when applied to physical reality ? Can the universe be infinite ? Can there be infinite universes ? There must be some upper limit...

    I am so confused, I just dont want to die without finding out the truth. :rolleyes:
  7. Oct 15, 2004 #6
    Bobster: The argument of Cause and Effect causes us to assume: Everything that has a beginning cause a cause. This is a counter argument to your first statement, "If there was a law giver,then how did he come into existence in the first place ?". God has no beginning nor end, thus, he has no cause. He is infinite.

    "Then what governs all laws in this universe?" You said so yourself, "there was a law giver then". Would it not be correct to say God then governs all the laws in the universe? Since he governs physics and metaphysics?

    Your following questions in the first paragraph assume God is not infinite. Once you state God is infinite and is outside of time, your questions seem weak.
  8. Oct 15, 2004 #7


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    These are big questions, and of course no one really has 'the' answer. From the point of view of physics, everything that exists is a physical process acting in accordance with the physical laws. I'm not sure physics has anything substantial to say about why these physical laws are the way they are, though that could change. There is a further question of whether there exists anything 'beyond' physics, but this question is even harder to settle, since it seems that it cannot be settled on a sure empirical footing.

    It's probably uncontroversial to state that everything going on now is a consequence of the Big Bang, although keep in mind that quantum physics describes events on the smallest scale of nature as having an essentially random character, so it may have been possible for things to have been different even starting off with the same Big Bang. As to the cause of the Big Bang itself, there seems to be lots of theories about this but there is no definitive or universally accepted answer yet.

    Well, if the known universe comprises everything that exists, and it began with the Big Bang, then there simply was no space or time in which the event of the Big Bang was situated. It's better in this case to view the Big Bang as generating or creating time and space, rather than being an event in time and space. In this case, it doesn't make sense to ask about where the Big Bang took place, or what happened before it.

    No one says there can't be. Some theories or interpretations of theories (especially some interpretations of quantum physics) imply that there are infinite universes (or at least, an unimaginably large number of them). There's really no concensus here, and the work is somewhat speculative. This is another big question that is just beyond our scope for the time being.

    You can think of infinity as an unbounded quantity. Using a more mathematical approach, we can say that a set of numbers is infinite if, for any number N1 in the set, there exists a number N2 in the set such that N2 is larger than N1.

    You can't really treat infinity as a number, but if you use set theory you can compare different kinds of infinities, and this is the basis for loose statements like 2*infinity = infinity. In set theory, we call the number of elements in a set the cardinality of the set. For example, the cardinality of the set {1, 4, 18, 29} is 4. We can say that the cardinalities of two sets are equal if we can map one element of each set onto an element of the other set, without leaving any numbers out. For example, take A = {4, 5}, B = {1, 19}, and C = {2, 10, 11}. The cardinalities of A and B are equal, because we can create a mapping of the elements of these sets without leaving out any numbers (for example, 4 --> 1 and 5 --> 19 is such a mapping). However, we can't create such a mapping for B and C, because we must inevitably leave out one of C's elements (one of 2, 10, or 11 will not be 'matched up' with an element from B). Since the cardinalities of B and C are not equal, B and C do not contain the same number of elements.

    Now let's take two infinite sets of numbers. Let X be the set of all positive integers {1, 2, 3, 4, ...} and let Y be the set of all positive even integers {2, 4, 6, 8, ...}. Hopefully you can see that X and Y both contain an infinite amount of numbers. Now, it might seem to you that X has twice as many elements as Y. But this is not the case; we can prove that they actually have the same cardinality, because we can construct a mapping of each element of X onto each element of Y without leaving out any of the numbers. For each element of a in X, map it onto 2a in Y. So 1 --> 2, 2 --> 4, and so on.

    That said, there are some infinities that are larger than others, in the sense that a one-to-one mapping between the elements of their sets cannot be created. For instance, the infinity of points inbetween 0 and 1 is actually greater than the infinity of positive integers, because any mapping between the two will leave out at least one number between 0 and 1. (See here for a proof.)

    These result might seem counterintuitive, but that's just the nature of the beast. There is no problem of infinity in mathematics.

    Mathematics is abstract. We use it all the time to analyze physical reality, but this doesn't mean that all mathematics must have some kind of expression in nature. Could there be infinite universes? Maybe, but even if there isn't we can still use the concept of infinity in abstract mathematical reasoning.

    I don't know if anyone will ever know 'the' truth, but this is a good place to start learning about the answers that we do have. :smile:

    By the way, this thread has turned into something of a grab bag, but in the future you will find it more productive to come up with more specific questions and ask them in the appropriate forums. For instance, in this thread (which started off with a philosophical question about metaphysics) we've branched off to general questions about infinity and the big bang, but it'd be better to ask about infinity in the math forums, the Big Bang in the appropriate physics forum, etc. The more focused your question and the more attuned your audience is to that question, the better answers you'll get.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2004
  9. Oct 15, 2004 #8
    I've always thought the best definition for God would be the postulated pattern of fields that form the framework over which the rubber sheet that is the Universe is stretched.

    As to what is outside the Universe, by definition, nothing! From our point of view, the Universe ("one place" more or less) is everything. I suppose it's like a point trying to hypothesise what a sphere is.
  10. Oct 16, 2004 #9
    I use to ask this very question when I was young, but then I realized humans have a lot to learn before they can answer this extreme question. Outside is only possible if we live in a finite universe.
    What if this universe is infinite? (concept of infinity is hard to digest)
    What if there are no boundaries? Our current limits to be able to see are very limited, we can not see the edges for as far as we can see…
  11. Oct 17, 2004 #10
    how about us all agreeing to the laws of physicality and our mass or group consciousness is equal to the traditional definition of god?? all matter is a form of energy. we unite all our energies to form (create) a physical world.

    we are the law givers (makers).

    beyond this physical universe is another &/or dimensions, ad infinitum!

    olde drunk
  12. Oct 18, 2004 #11


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    Not necessarily. It is coherent to suppose that there are two or more infinite yet self-contained 'universes' which never interact with eachother. In this sense, there could be something 'outside of' even an infinite universe.
  13. Oct 27, 2004 #12
    when speaking of infinity one must not look simply spacially. even relatively conventional science accepts time and space as dependent upon one another.
    an infinite system, in my view, would be made up of infinite infinite systems, one of which the universe may be. one of which an atom may be.

    this disposes of the need to search for a fundamental base unit, as this notion seems to only provide a limit to human capacity, explaining phenomena in a way that is well beyond and way too complex for the average person, and therefore redundent as a philosophy.

    there are so many different views on the physical realm. we all think we 'know' THE answer. maybe we ALL 'know' AN answer, and it's just the way one represents it that is different.
  14. Oct 29, 2004 #13
    if this is an infinate system, imagine the possibilities! You can come up with every possible variation of life, and theres a good chance it exists somewhere.

    If this place is truely infinate, we're allowed to come up with just about ANYTHING and it probably exists somewhere as long as its within the physical laws of that universe. :D

    conclusion: infinate is a scary word...

    [edit by hypnagogue: removal of needless potty humor...]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2004
  15. Nov 4, 2004 #14
    infinity is a scary word but Reality aint no walk in the park. :wink:
    infinity, if true, is best understood as a process with no beginning and no end.
    but of course, there still maybe universals in the system: do unto others, cause and effect, or karma is one that most cultures agree upon. we can pretty much assume cause and effect to be true, although it wouldn't be a simple black and white deterministic system, that is almost certain.
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