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On That 3rd Option

  1. Mar 11, 2005 #1
    Regarding the current thread on something from nothing, or something eternal and the possibility of a third option. I felt that if I didnt start a specific thread on the third option, that my post would get buried.

    There is no third option.

    In my opinion, saying that there is a third option is like saying, when it comes to the natural numbers, that there is neither a finite number of them, nor an infinite number of them, but 'something else' in between. Or, conversely, that there is both an infinite number of them, and a finite number of them, and that is 'something else'. Can the possibilities for that 'something else' even be coherently described without calling it something blatently contradictory like 'there is a finite number of natural numbers that never end' or, 'there is an infinite number of natural numbers that eventually comes to an end'?

    Or consider two lines (on a plane, a sphere, or a torus, it doesnt matter) . . . either they intersect, or they dont. As far as I know there is no possible exception to that.

    Or how about a bit . . . either 1 or 0 . . . on or off. That has little to do with the topic, I know, but I think I made my point that suggesting that there is a third option to the universe being either temporal/finite or eternal/infinite is like suggesting that there is a third digit you will find in base 2 arithmitic if you just keep at it.

    Or that matter is neither discrete or continuous (that one is actually pretty fuzzy when you factor in particle/wave duality, so that one isnt quite so damning).

    Or that there is a mathematical operation that isnt ultimately an addition or subtraction of quantities . . . but 'something else'.

    Or . . . ok, now its just getting silly.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2005 #2
    saying there is no 3rd option make a lot of assumptions some are not prepared to make. It could be some form of existence not even concieved of that is exactly the "something" in the sense that we think of it, or something we haven't even thought of yet. Option 3 just says you're not sure what it is and you're leaving your options open
     
  4. Mar 11, 2005 #3
    Zantra: "It could be some form of existence . . ."

    And that 'some form of existence' either at some point in the past came into being, or simply has always been.

    While there are a multitude of different ways to explain and to interpret 'came into being' and 'has always been' they all boil down to either one or the other.

    Zantra: "Option 3 just says you're not sure what it is and you're leaving your options open."

    So option 3 isn't 'something else entirely', but 'I don't know'?
     
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