A trichotomy: Please let me know if I'm correct in this assumption.

RhadTheGizmo
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A trichotomy: Please let me know if I'm correct in this assumption.

This question sort of developed out of other debate threads.. so here it goes:

Would the following categories of people be an accurate collection of all possible world views?

1.) To believe the universe was created.

2.) To believe the universe was not created. 

3.) To not care whether the universe was or was not created. 


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A possible 4th would be

A possible 4th would be people who think that the question is non-sensical.  I'm not saying that I think this, but it is a position to hold. 

I guess they could say something like creation not even being relevant to the universe, and then giving some argument.  Perhaps it would be about the word 'creation' invokes not only a creator but a contrdiction of there being an action that somehow straddles the point where there was a universe and the "time" that there was not one.  It would be some complicated semantic argment that talks about the limitations of language, perhaps.

In this case, they don't believe that the universe was created, they don't believe it wasn't, and they seem to care because they are talking about it with some argumentation.   

Shaun 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


Vastet
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I would add a branch that

I would add a branch that has no opinion or belief in the matter at all. Not that they don't care, just that they know they don't know, and think believing is irrelevant.

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RhadTheGizmo
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ShaunPhilly wrote: A

ShaunPhilly wrote:


A possible 4th would be people who think that the question is non-sensical. I'm not saying that I think this, but it is a position to hold.

I guess they could say something like creation not even being relevant to the universe, and then giving some argument. Perhaps it would be about the word 'creation' invokes not only a creator but a contrdiction of there being an action that somehow straddles the point where there was a universe and the "time" that there was not one. It would be some complicated semantic argment that talks about the limitations of language, perhaps.

In this case, they don't believe that the universe was created, they don't believe it wasn't, and they seem to care because they are talking about it with some argumentation.

Shaun


Wow.  This does seem to be a fourth option.

But I need to understand your last sentence more.. which I suppose try to compress the idea.

If one is arguing the use of the word "creation" and the implications that using the word "creation" or any of "creation"s variants.. (as you said.. a complicated semantical argument)-- is this person care about whether the universe was created or not created-- or does he just care that used the word is used at all?

It would seem that he doesn't care about the creation or not creation at all.. but just the words usage.

Sort of like.. if I argued that the  "woman" is inherently sexist-- am I required to care about a "woman" because I make this argument?

As for the use of this semantical argument in the first place.. I'm not sure I understand it's complexity... although I do understand the limitation of language.

To believe the world was "not created" may invoke images of an action that straddles the point between non existence and existed.. but the sentence doesn't require that point nor imply it.

Scientifically rationalized theories exist today in which no beginning, no creation, to the world needed to have been.

These people would fall under the category of "To believe the universe was not created."

"See Skip run."

In this sentence "Skip" invokes images of hopping somewhere.. it does not mean that the sentence implies in any way or shape that someone is hopping somewhere.  I don't think, even semantically, you could make the argument that it is possible to infer this to be the case (someone hopping).

Although if I argued the limitations of linguistics and English sentence structure.. and how they don't apply in this case.. that run is the noun and skip is the verb.. and the capitalize letter designated improper nouns.. and lowercase designates proper ones."

Hmm.. nevermind.. I don't think this can be a fourth option.

I do however resubmit the trichotomy.

1.) That one believes the universe has not always existed and was created.
2.) That one believes the universe has always existed and was not created.
3.) That one does not care whether the universe was or was not created, was or was not always there.



RhadTheGizmo
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Vastet wrote: I would add a

Vastet wrote:
I would add a branch that has no opinion or belief in the matter at all. Not that they don't care, just that they know they don't know, and think believing is irrelevant.


Wouldn't saying to "believe something is irrelevant" the same as saying to "believe a thing is not worth caring for"?

Or can you think of an example that would suggest that something considered "irrelevant" to a particular person is "worth caring for" to that particular person?


Vastet
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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Vastet

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Vastet wrote:
I would add a branch that has no opinion or belief in the matter at all. Not that they don't care, just that they know they don't know, and think believing is irrelevant.


Wouldn't saying to "believe something is irrelevant" the same as saying to "believe a thing is not worth caring for"?

Or can you think of an example that would suggest that something considered "irrelevant" to a particular person is "worth caring for" to that particular person?

You mistake me. It's not that believing something is irrelevant, it's believing that belief is irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether I think the universe exists or not, it does. It doesn't matter what I believe happened in the past(creation or not), all that really matters is what happened. I don't know what happened, but belief is irrelevant to what happened. It happened whether I believe it or not. Whatever it was. If it was. Etc.

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Vastet wrote: I would add a

Vastet wrote:
I would add a branch that has no opinion or belief in the matter at all. Not that they don't care, just that they know they don't know, and think believing is irrelevant.


Rhad wrote:
Wouldn't saying to "believe something is irrelevant" the same as saying to "believe a thing is not worth caring for"?

Or can you think of an example that would suggest that something considered "irrelevant" to a particular person is "worth caring for" to that particular person?


Vastet wrote:
You mistake me. It's not that believing something is irrelevant, it's believing that belief is irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether I think the universe exists or not, it does. It doesn't matter what I believe happened in the past(creation or not), all that really matters is what happened. I don't know what happened, but belief is irrelevant to what happened. It happened whether I believe it or not. Whatever it was. If it was. Etc.


Ah.. I understand now.

But.. um, sorry to keep harping on this.. but:

Here are the premises from your statement, as I see them.

1.) Believe a belief is irrelevant to what is actually is. (equivalent. Believing any belief is irrelevant to what actually is real)

2.) It doesn't matter what I believe happened in the past, creation or not. (equivalent. Whether the world was created or was not created, the belief in one way or the other does not change anything.)

Alright.. so here are my questions/observations.

I agree with one.

2 I'm a bit more sketchy on: a belief of what happened in the past (whether regards to creation or not, or any other event in the past) does matter in the sense that it has possible effects on your actions now.

For instance, I believe that at a time in the past my brother was in a car accident.  Granted.  Whether I believe it or not does not change the fact that he was in a car accident.  But whether I believe it or not does have a possible effect on me, that effect being me driving slower/not when I'm tired/etc.

Granted.  I'm addressing your premises.

But.. I'm just not understanding how you believe this to be a separate branch from "I do not care whether the world was created or not."

For.. if you accept my contention that beliefs of past events might have affects on the way you live your life now then you would agree with this quad-chotomy: (?)

1.) Believe that the universe was created and has not always been.
2.) Believe that the universe was not created and has always been.
3.) Do not care whether the universe was created or not created.

+ (?)

4.) Do not have a belief on whether it was created or not created. (Because a.) It won't change the facts of what happened and even though b.) it might have affects in the way I live my life.)

Because 4 still seems a bit redundant to me.. it just seems to be restating 3.. in essence saying.  "Do not care to have a belief on whether it was created or not created."


Vastet
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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Vastet

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Vastet wrote:
I would add a branch that has no opinion or belief in the matter at all. Not that they don't care, just that they know they don't know, and think believing is irrelevant.


Rhad wrote:
Wouldn't saying to "believe something is irrelevant" the same as saying to "believe a thing is not worth caring for"?

Or can you think of an example that would suggest that something considered "irrelevant" to a particular person is "worth caring for" to that particular person?


Vastet wrote:
You mistake me. It's not that believing something is irrelevant, it's believing that belief is irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether I think the universe exists or not, it does. It doesn't matter what I believe happened in the past(creation or not), all that really matters is what happened. I don't know what happened, but belief is irrelevant to what happened. It happened whether I believe it or not. Whatever it was. If it was. Etc.


Ah.. I understand now.

But.. um, sorry to keep harping on this.. but:

Here are the premises from your statement, as I see them.

1.) Believe a belief is irrelevant to what is actually is. (equivalent. Believing any belief is irrelevant to what actually is real)

2.) It doesn't matter what I believe happened in the past, creation or not. (equivalent. Whether the world was created or was not created, the belief in one way or the other does not change anything.)Alright.. so here are my questions/observations.

I agree with one.

2 I'm a bit more sketchy on: a belief of what happened in the past (whether regards to creation or not, or any other event in the past) does matter in the sense that it has possible effects on your actions now.

For instance, I believe that at a time in the past my brother was in a car accident.  Granted.  Whether I believe it or not does not change the fact that he was in a car accident.  But whether I believe it or not does have a possible effect on me, that effect being me driving slower/not when I'm tired/etc.

This is true. But my believing that you believe he was in a car accident doesn't matter to either of you, or the accident itself, or even to me.

Clara Listensprechen wrote:



Granted.  I'm addressing your premises.

But.. I'm just not understanding how you believe this to be a separate branch from "I do not care whether the world was created or not."

For.. if you accept my contention that beliefs of past events might have affects on the way you live your life now then you would agree with this quad-chotomy: (?)

1.) Believe that the universe was created and has not always been.
2.) Believe that the universe was not created and has always been.
3.) Do not care whether the universe was created or not created.

+ (?)

4.) Do not have a belief on whether it was created or not created. (Because a.) It won't change the facts of what happened and even though b.) it might have affects in the way I live my life.)

Because 4 still seems a bit redundant to me.. it just seems to be restating 3.. in essence saying.  "Do not care to have a belief on whether it was created or not created."

*Shrug*
Maybe it is redundant. It just popped into mind due to mention of caring so I figured I'd post it. I have no objection with it being a revision instead of a point.

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RhadTheGizmo
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Vastet wrote: This is true.

Vastet wrote:
This is true. But my believing that you believe he was in a car accident doesn't matter to either of you, or the accident itself, or even to me.

It doesn't matter as to the matter-of-facts. True.

Vastet wrote:

*Shrug*
Maybe it is redundant. It just popped into mind due to mention of caring so I figured I'd post it. I have no objection with it being a revision instead of a point.

Alright.  At least I understand.

1.) I believe the universe has not always been and was created.
2.) I believe the universe has always been and was not created.
3.) I do not care whether the universe was or was not created, has or has not always been because a.) it has no effects on the matter-of-facts and even though b.) the belief in one or the other might have affects on my life.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: 1.) I

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

1.) I believe the universe has not always been and was created.
2.) I believe the universe has always been and was not created.
3.) I do not care whether the universe was or was not created, has or has not always been because a.) it has no effects on the matter-of-facts and even though b.) the belief in one or the other might have affects on my life.

That should quite about sum it up, with the explicit 2) I believe the universe has always been in one form or another and was not created.

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Sounds good to me.  Any

Sounds good to me.  Any other suggestions?


Yiab
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ShaunPhilly wrote: A

ShaunPhilly wrote:
A possible 4th would be people who think that the question is non-sensical. I'm not saying that I think this, but it is a position to hold.

 

Thank you, ShaunPhilly, for being one of the few people to recognize that this position can be a valid one.

 

Personally, I believe that the question is gibberish. The terms at hand like "universe", "created" and "was" are deeply ingrained in the intent of the questioner, so the standardly vague definitions of these terms commonly used are insufficient for an answer to be meaningful, let alone true. Additionally, I cannot think of any sufficiently precise definitions which nevertheless agree with the questioner's apparent intent and produce a sensible question.

Of course, if you can provide compatible definitions for these three terms which provides for a precise, relevant question, I would be happy to rethink my position.

Additionally, because of your third option, I think I should say that I do care about this topic of thought/conversation/study, though I cannot imagine it being satisfactorily resolved even in principle.

 

More simply, "was the universe created?" sounds to me like "have you stopped beating your wife?"


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Quote:

Quote:
Personally, I believe that the question is gibberish. The terms at hand like "universe", "created" and "was" are deeply ingrained in the intent of the questioner

Thanks.. but, I don't believe neither is correct.

Quote:
so the standardly vague definitions of these terms commonly used are insufficient for an answer to be meaningful, let alone true.

I'm pretty sure I covered everything. You must agree with one of the three.. either the universe was created or it was not ("not created" would cover such things as "always existed" for instance).

Quote:
Additionally, I cannot think of any sufficiently precise definitions which nevertheless agree with the questioner's apparent intent and produce a sensible question.

I had no intent other than to try and create some sort of necessary, although sometimes not considered, beginning of thought.

Quote:
Of course, if you can provide compatible definitions for these three terms which provides for a precise, relevant question, I would be happy to rethink my position.

I do not believe I need to. I think you are inferring incorrectly. Even more so, you are inferring that your inferences are correct.. and since I, the writer, am here to let you know that what you infer was not implied.. so be it.

I say universe.. for that is what we call all things, known and unknown that exist. I use "was" because it is necessary in order to talk of anything past tense as well as past perfect tense.

Further more "created" and "not created" are the only way in which to consider the universe.

If you do not take any of these viewpoints then you take the third, which is you don't care one way or the other.

Shaun helped to clarify 3.. but it didn't change the basis of it.

In any case.. I was merely trying to

Quote:
Additionally, because of your third option, I think I should say that I do care about this topic of thought/conversation/study, though I cannot imagine it being satisfactorily resolved even in principle.

I never said it could.. I was merely making a trichotomy.. not that one is more correct than the other.



Quote:
More simply, "was the universe created?" sounds to me like "have you stopped beating your wife?"

I never asked the question. Even if I did.. it would be a bad question but not in the same sense that "stopped beating your wife" is... for the former would allow for the answer a simple "No"-- and this could imply that one believes the world has always existed.

As opposed to the second question in which a "No" would necessarily imply that one has beat his wife.

 [edit] I make more then a couple absolute statements in this post regarding the trichotomy.. yet, I'm still open to relevant clarifications to it (or additions).


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: I'm

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I'm pretty sure I covered everything. You must agree with one of the three.. either the universe was created or it was not ("not created" would cover such things as "always existed" for instance).

 

...unless "created" is a term which does not make sense regarding the universe. For example eighteen is either purple or it is not purple.

 

As for my definitional issues, it appears that I need to clarify. All actions which we have words for and (I believe) of which we are capable of concieving happen over a span of time (however small that span may be). In other words, all actions we refer to using standard definitions are temporally embedded actions. Since the standard definition of "universe" includes the entirety of time, the universe being "created" entails there being a time during which time was constructed, which is incoherent. This is further brought up by use of the term "was" which, while I agree it is necessary since we have no appropriate atemporal words, requires that this "creation" is temporally located to our past.

 

I think it is trivial that the universe existed "for all time" since "all time" must by definition be included within the universe. If there is a time during which there was no universe then we are not talking about the universe correctly. This does not require that the past is infinite in length, though, since time may itself be finite. It seems to me that this is not what you were asking, but I will trust you that it is an answer, then, and choose number 2.

 

Of course, I may be imbuing the statement with more meaning than is typically conferred upon it, but to me "the universe was not created" suggests that it is temporally infinite in length, which is something I do not believe.

Additionally, it is unclear whether you are using the word "created" as an action requiring an intent or not, but that is not a factor in my descision.


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Quote: Of course, I may be

Quote:
Of course, I may be imbuing the statement with more meaning than is typically conferred upon it, but to me "the universe was not created" suggests that it is temporally infinite in length, which is something I do not believe.

Additionally, it is unclear whether you are using the word "created" as an action requiring an intent or not, but that is not a factor in my descision.

I found your post incredibly interesting.. fascinating.

I do have a question about this statement though.  If one agrees that time is necessitated by the definition of the universe.. by saying that you do not believe that time is not infinite in length.. would be to say that the universe, at sometime didn't exist, which is (at least how I understand it) logically impossible.

For if at some time "nothing existed" then "nothing could ever exist".  And if something did "exist"... then whatever this "thing" was.. that would be considered the "universe", by definition, and also by (your) definition necessitate time.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: I do

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I do have a question about this statement though. If one agrees that time is necessitated by the definition of the universe.. by saying that you do not believe that time is not infinite in length.. would be to say that the universe, at sometime didn't exist, which is (at least how I understand it) logically impossible.

 

Actually, the statement that "time is finite" and "time is contained within the universe" does not entail that "there was a time when the universe didn't exist" since the latter statement implicitly assumes a time outside the universe. 

 

I suggest attempting to look at space-time from the inside rather than attempting to picture it from "outside". From the inside we can see it the following way:

We can get extremely early in the history of the universe. In principle, an infinite decreasing sequence of temporal points can be constructed to converge on a point which does not actually have a temporal location. In other words, if we are at 1/2 we can realize that stuff happened at 0.0001, 0.00001, 0.000001 and so on. Seeing this, we can extrapolate the existence of time 0, but such a time does not actually exist. Hence, at every point in time there is universe which exists, but time extends only finitely back in time.

 

Of course, once again, this is speculation and may not be held up by further evidence, but it is one potential way of looking at the universe which is (as far as I know) consistent with existing evidence. 


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Heh.. you math people. 

Foot in mouth

Heh.. you math people.  Seriously.. I liked calc 1 and 2.. but I can't say that I remember all the terminology.

You don't need to try and explain it anymore if you feel you have done sufficient job-- as well you did qualify the statement at the end as "one way of looking at the universe."

But still, I'm interested by the concept (that I still fail to understand).  If time and universe are inseperably linked, then how could one have a finite age yet neither have been created?

A------------------------------->infinity

What happens before a?

I realize (believe) you're using math and speaking of limits.. but in order to use the limit (in this case) don't you have to assume that time is finite already?

Because if time was infinite.. one could not get any closer to point 0 by any mathematical concept (once again, might be wrong on this point) but to turn infinity into a rational number again by dividing it by infinity.  Yet, this would seem to have no practical purpose when considering time....

Either time has a point zero or it does not.  To assume that it does is to necessitate (I believe) a point before 'zero', usuaully called negative numbers.  Yet.. would this mean, negative time? negative universe? All very strange.. I'm not sure how anyone would define these things, or if one could, but the fitting of the universe to a mathemetical concept (exactly) is interesting. 


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Well, if we call the

Well, if we call the universe "everything" then it has to include time, right? If there can be time without the universe then the universe isn't everything. Of course, this is not to say that there couldn't be time without space or matter (although I do believe that they are linked too), simply that the idea of "universe" has to include time as well as space and matter and so time itself is a part of the universe.

Note, please, that this is a point I consider to be one of definition rather than one of metaphysics.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
A------------------------------->infinity

What happens before a?

You are continuing to try and think of time from the outside. Why must there be anything before A?

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I realize (believe) you're using math and speaking of limits.. but in order to use the limit (in this case) don't you have to assume that time is finite already?

Quite simply, you don't already need time to be finite to take the limit. We can take a limit of points converging on the present but that doesn't meat the present is the end of the universe, just of that particular sequence.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Because if time was infinite.. one could not get any closer to point 0 by any mathematical concept (once again, might be wrong on this point) but to turn infinity into a rational number again by dividing it by infinity. Yet, this would seem to have no practical purpose when considering time....

Actually, in order to mathematically represent time with an infinite past, 0 could not be the "beginning", it would have to be somewhere in the middle and times described by both positive and negative numbers. Negative numbers here are simply used to denote "before the point we've arbitrarily called 0", there need not be anything special about the state of the universe at that time.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Either time has a point zero or it does not. To assume that it does is to necessitate (I believe) a point before 'zero', usuaully called negative numbers.

You are correct that either it has a point zero or not, but not that if it does there has to be time before zero. Actually, this distinction seems to get right to the heart of my point here.

If we assume that time has a finite past and that 0 is the "beginning" point of the universe, there are two possibilities to represent time - that of an interval closed at 0 and that of an interval open at 0. Diagrammatically,

[----------------... or

(----------------...

In the first case, 0 is a particular time and the actual beginning point of the universe. This is a case which seems to me to correspond to case 1 in your trichotomy and it also seems to me to be unlikely.

In the second case, 0 is not included within time and does not actually exist, it is extrapolated as the limit of times that do exist. Since nothing says that time has to contain all of its limit points, this is perfectly acceptable as far as I can tell. It is a way of saying that whatever positive number we pick no matter how small there is a time associated with it, but there is no time associated with 0. In this case, the "beginning" of the universe is merely a conceptual device used by us to understand the progression of events in the early universe, but there is no actual time of beginning, hence no creation. The past remains finite, however.

 

Regardless, this is still merely a demonstration of how linear time might be finite. Finite linear time still has boundary points (in the above case, 0), but the universe does not necessarily have boundary points. A boundaryless finite space-time could have cyclic time and so our concepts of "before" and "after" need not apply on a global scale, merely a local one. As such, the universe may simply be and there does not have to even be an extrapolated "beginning".

Unfortunately, I don't know how to explain what a finite 4-manifold without boundary might look like in simple terms since I am not an expert in any area that deals with them regularly, but I will do some reading in the next couple of days and see what I can come up with.

 


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Yiab wrote:

Yiab wrote:
Well, if we call the universe "everything" then it has to include time, right?


Well.. "everything that exists", if time is something that "exists" as other things are defined as "existing"-- then I suppose yes.  I'm not sure "time" exists in the same way that a pencil "exists".  One is matter/energy, one is a concept.  I realize of course space/time.. the interwoven nature of the two.

So I will concede for the moment.. it was just a distinction I was making.

Sidenote: I'm beginning to understand that what you might be saying is the universe requires time but time doesn't necessarily require universe.  However.. this would seem to go against the definition.

Either time "exists" or it does not "exist".  If it does "exist" then the universe requires time and time requires the universe.

Quote:
Note, please, that this is a point I consider to be one of definition rather than one of metaphysics.

I don't know metaphysics.. I just try to speak from a logical standpoint.. since it seems to be what everything is based on anyways.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
A------------------------------->infinity

What happens before a?


Quote:
You are continuing to try and think of time from the outside. Why must there be anything before A?

Heh.. I knew what you were going to pick up on this.  I just didn't know how else to explain it.. perhaps the limits of language?

But.. once again.. this is the only way I can think to imagine it right now.

IF time and universe are inseperably connected (as you definitely, it is, according to the construct of logic above).. then either they are both finite.. or both infinite.

Not whether one can "extrapolate" a finite time or not.. but as a general, logical axiom.

One can either go "finitely" back or "infinitely back".  If "finitely back" then it must have a point at which going backward ends.

I am not saying whether one can or cannot theoretically come to 0 point, but whether a 0 point can be used at all-- for, in my understanding, 0 does not exist in infinity (1->infinite) only finite (0->4).

No.. I do realize that one way to conceptulize infinite time is to time as a circle with no beginning or end (which I believe is what you touch on later).. but, in this case, I would not agree that one can say that time is "finite".

Yes.. if you draw a circle.. the size of the circle is "finite".. you can measure it from point a to point a.  But time/space, if a circle, would not be measured from a to point a, but would lack any point but those we arbitrarily make from inside the circle.

So yes.. you could arbitrarily say that from point a to point b is "finite" within the concept of a space/time circle, but.. I think this description would be incorrect.

Who came up with this theory of the space/time circle? Was it hawkings? I remember reading it at one time.
 
Quote:
Quite simply, you don't already need time to be finite to take the limit. We can take a limit of points converging on the present but that doesn't meat the present is the end of the universe, just of that particular sequence.


If your measuring from the outside to a convergence on the present.. in order to consider the "outside" from which things are converging.. don't you have to assume, already, that the "outside" is finite?  

Limit of infinity/0 = undefinited
infinity/X = infinity.
etc etc etc.

So maybe there is some limit I am forgetting.  Remember.. feel free to stop with this math lesson at anytime.  I'm just struggling with this concept and how it doesn't seem to line up with my concept of logic.

Quote:
Actually, in order to mathematically represent time with an infinite past, 0 could not be the "beginning", it would have to be somewhere in the middle and times described by both positive and negative numbers.

I realize this.  But we are not talking of "infinite time" we are talking about "finite" time.. and how "time" can be "finite" if one believes the universe and time are inseperable.


 
RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Either time has a point zero or it does not. To assume that it does is to necessitate (I believe) a point before 'zero', usuaully called negative numbers.


Quote:
You are correct that either it has a point zero or not, but not that if it does there has to be time before zero. Actually, this distinction seems to get right to the heart of my point here.

Good stuff.

Quote:
If we assume that time has a finite past and that 0 is the "beginning" point of the universe, there are two possibilities to represent time - that of an interval closed at 0 and that of an interval open at 0. Diagrammatically,

[----------------... or

(----------------...

In the first case, 0 is a particular time and the actual beginning point of the universe. This is a case which seems to me to correspond to case 1 in your trichotomy and it also seems to me to be unlikely.

For me as well.. at least for the purpose of the conversation as well as the way in which we are using the word "universe" in this conversation.

Quote:
In the second case, 0 is not included within time and does not actually exist, it is extrapolated as the limit of times that do exist. Since nothing says that time has to contain all of its limit points, this is perfectly acceptable as far as I can tell.

Here is where you lose me. I understand the concept of open and closed intervals.. by I don't understand the concept of using an arbitrarily set number (0) that "does not actually exist" in order to postulate that time(thus the universe in this case as we are using it) itself can be finite.

Quote:
It is a way of saying that whatever positive number we pick no matter how small there is a time associated with it, but there is no time associated with 0. In this case, the "beginning" of the universe is merely a conceptual device used by us to understand the progression of events in the early universe, but there is no actual time of beginning, hence no creation. The past remains finite, however.

The past remains "finite" only within the context of the arbitrarily set points.

While I have the problem of being on the outside looking in.. I think you have the problem of looking from the inside out.

You set up arbitrary points for the purpose of an equation for the purpose of making further inferences.

Arbitrary 0 point = past finite.
Yet finite past, non arbitrarily, has no beginning.

These seem to be contradictory statements your making.  Once again.. I'm giving you the out.  You don't have continue trying to teach me.  Heh.. I realize that it could as if a metaphysics teacher is trying to educate a 5 year old boy on the ontology of the boogie monster.. but-- I'm just trying to understand.

Quote:
Regardless, this is still merely a demonstration of how linear time might be finite. Finite linear time still has boundary points (in the above case, 0), but the universe does not necessarily have boundary points. A boundaryless finite space-time could have cyclic time and so our concepts of "before" and "after" need not apply on a global scale, merely a local one.

Understood.. to a point.

Quote:
As such, the universe may simply be and there does not have to even be an extrapolated "beginning".

Granted.  It may or may not be this way.

Still.. my confusion still remains on to your explanation about finite time/space yet no beginning.

Quote:
Unfortunately, I don't know how to explain what a finite 4-manifold without boundary might look like in simple terms since I am not an expert in any area that deals with them regularly, but I will do some reading in the next couple of days and see what I can come up with.

Thanks.

Now.. for a bit of clarification about the trichotomy.

I do believe that "Time" must be infinite.

The "universe" (as I first used it, applying to what we consider now to be the universe, meaning.. all things "not God".. even though "God" if existent, would be part of the "universe" as well, by definition) can be finite.

If.. we are taking the most general of definitions for "universe" into.. "everything existent" then I do not believe it can be "finite".. and although both "universe" and "time" would be infinite.. conceptually I still would believe them to be different.

But they could not be "finite".. for, in accordance with my understanding of "finite".. to say that at some point outside of this "finite" space there was neither "time" nor "universe".. would be to go against an assertion I tend to agree with, "from nothing comes nothing".-- and seems self evident to me.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:This

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

This question sort of developed out of other debate threads.. so here it goes:

Would the following categories of people be an accurate collection of all possible world views?

No.  

This is not directed at you specifically, but to all theists who come up with 'cosmological arguments': Can ANY of you theists who debate one of the most complex sciences, cosmology, at least take the time to read ONE book on cosmology by an actual cosmologist before you offer us the wisdom or your experiences on our board?

Can you cite at least one cosmologist other than Hawkings, and then show how this cosmologist actually endorses your view? If not, then what are you offering us? The benefits of your ignorance on the matter?

No sane person would have the balls to suddenly, out of the blue, and with no experience, begin debating aerodynamics, or neuroanatomy, or molecular biology.... yet theists with junior college educations in liberal arts, with no more experience than watching one PBS special, come to our site to debate matters such as cosmology or evolutionary biology.

Get a grip on yourselves. 

Quote:
 


1.) To believe the universe was created.

2.) To believe the universe was not created.

3.) To not care whether the universe was or was not created.

What cosmologists are you citing here? What source have you read, prior to making these points? 

Here's my review of the literature, that demonstrates some of the errors laymen make in discussing cosmology.

1) Big bang theory is a creation account.

The "big bang" theory is not a 'creation theory', but a description of what occured at planck time, and immediately afterwards:

"A common misconception is that the big bang provides a theory of cosmic origins. It doesn't. The big bang is a theory, partly described in the last two chapters, that delineates cosmic evolution from a split second after whatever happened to bring the universe into existence, but it says nothing at all about time zero itself. And since, according to the big bang theory, the bang is supposed to have happened at the beginning, the big bang leaves out the bang. It tells us nothing about what banged, why it banged, how it banged, or, frankly, whether it ever really banged at all."

- Brian Greene "The Fabric Of The Cosmos."

Big bang theory only tells us about our universe from 'planck time'. Big bang theory can tell us nothing about the universe prior to this time. (this is what grand unified theories seek to accomplish)

"Before a time classified as a Planck time, 10-43 seconds, all of the four fundamental forces are presumed to have been unified into one force. All matter, energy, space and time are presumed to have exploded outward from the original singularity. Nothing is known of this period (and nothing can be known from this period from the perspective of big bang theory).

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/planck.html

A quick point on Big bang and hyperinflation

"The inflationary hypothesis has generated considerable interest in cosmology. It proposes that during a dawning moment of cosmic history the expansion of the universe proceded much faster than had been thought - indeed at a rate far greater than the velocity of light. For reasons we shall strive to make clear the inflationary hypothesis not only solves several problems that afflicted earlier versions of the big bang theory but indicates that the universe is extremely large and flings open a door onto the startling speculation that our universe originated as a microscopic bubble arising from the space of an earlier universe which may in turn be among many universes strewn like stars across inaccessible infinities of random space and times and sets of natural laws"

- Timothy Ferris, The Whole Shebang

2) Either the universe was created, or it has always existed.

False dichotomy. There is no reason to hold that there MUST have been a creation point.

A singularity ("something timeless" prior to planck time) does not necessarily speak to ex nihilo creation - and again, big bang theory on its own, at the present, cannot tell us anything about the 'origin' of the singularity or if it has an origin at all.

I think people naturally hold that if the universe 'began' in a singularity, then it follows that it was 'created' or that it was 'caused'. But I think that cosmologists hold that it is an error to conflate the idea of a singularity with all existence being created ex nihlo.

According to Penn State physicist Lee Smolin, there are three possible ways to decribe the nature of a singularity, not just one:

* [A] There is still a first moment in time, even when quantum mechanics is taken into consideration.

* [B] The singularity is eliminated by some quantum mechanical effect. As a result, when we run the clock back, the universe does not reach a state of infinite density. Something else happens when the universe reaches some very high density that allows time to continue indefinitely into the past.

* [C] Something new and strange and quantum mechanical happens to time, which is neither possibility A or B. For example, perhaps we reach a state where it is no longer appropriate to think that reality is composed of a series of moments that follow each other in a progression, one after another. In this case there is perhaps no singularity, but it may also not make sense to ask what happened before the universe was extremely dense.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark_vuletic/bigbang.html

One particular explanation of the third option: The theory of Stephen Hawkings holds that the universe is finite, but boundless, without any "beginning point" http://www.lfrieling.com/univers.html

"In his best selling book, A Brief History of Time, Professor Hawking suggests that in order for the "Big Bang" to work, the mathematics requires that the condition of the Universe at the beginning must have been finite and boundless. There must have been no edges, or points of discontinuity. Without this assumption, the laws of physics could not be used to explain the activity and state of affairs in the first moments of the creation of the Universe. By assuming that the Universe was and is finite, yet boundless, physicists are able to avoid the problems created by discontinuities."

In Hawkings "Universe in a Nutshell" he furthers this argument, by hold that a universe that his finite but boundless has no beginning or end point, and no need for a creator. Hawkings himself declared that this point would not possess any 'special' status. It would be akin to any other point in a circle - or more accurately, a globe. Hawkings states rather plainly that his model proposes a boundless, yet finite universe - without any special points in space or time. He covers this in Universe in a Nutshell.

Another third scenario option: Brane Theory

The Myth of the Beginning of Time String theory suggests that the big bang was not the origin of the universe but simply the outcome of a preexisting state By Gabriele Veneziano

More on the theory:

'Brane-Storm' Challenges Part of Big Bang Theory "

The new idea would not replace the Big Bang, which has for more than 50 years dominated cosmologists' thinking over how the universe began and evolved. But instead of a universe springing forth in a violent instant from an infinitely small point of infinite density, the new view argues that our universe was created when two parallel "membranes" collided cataclysmically after evolving slowly in five-dimensional space over an exceedingly long period of time." This collision would provide the original energy. Brane theory holds that there would be no beginning or end to existence.

3) Religious Ex Nihilo arguments (something out of nothing) are arguments for a magical creation of the universe that violate all the laws of physics. Interestingly, there are ex nihilo cosmological arguments that do NOT violate physics.

But where would the matter come from?

"While there would be no matter prior to the big bang, the big bang would release an enormous amount of energy in the form of light, which comes in discrete packets called photons. When photons have enough energy, they can spontaneously decay into a particle and an antiparticle. This is easily observed today, as gamma rays have enough energy to create measurable electron-antielectron pairs (the antielectron is usually called a positron). This would explain the existence of matter."

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=631

Ok then, where does the energy come from?

As for the source of the original energy? There are several theories:

a) Edward Tryon has put forth the idea of a vacuum fluctation, which is NOT a violation of physical law, as the original source. Alan Guth's Inflationary Model explains the rapid expansion of this energy. Source: The Inflationary Universe by Alan Guth. Tryon makes the point that the total sum of positive and negative energy in the universe may well be ZERO, indicating again, that no physical laws are violated by the big bang event. As Tryon writes: "Im my model, I assume that our present universe did appear out of nowhere 10 to the 10th power years ago. Contrary to the popular belief, such an event need not have violated any of the conventional laws of physics. Source: The Inflationary Universe by Alan Guth. Note: this version is akin to ex nihlio creation, except that it does NOT violate any laws of physics and does not require a 'miracle'.

b) Alex Vilenkin proposed, in contrast to the Hartle-Hawkings boundless model, an initial state of no dimensional nothingness that is overcome by vacuum tunneling to a dimensional state. As per his model, 'eternal nothingness' is an absolute impossibility.

See my audio file on this: http://www.candleinthedark.com/exnihilo.mp3

c) See above comments on Brane theory. 'Brane-Storm' Challenges Part of Big Bang Theory "

4) Everything that exists is merely a shadow of the 'real' universe that lies underneath.

"The materialist thesis is simply: that's all there is to the world. Once we figure out the correct formal structure, patterns, boundary conditions, and interpretation, we have obtained a complete description of reality. (Of course we don't yet have the final answers as to what such a description is, but a materialist believes such a description does exist.) In particular, we should emphasize that there is no place in this view for common philosophical concepts such as ''cause and effect'' or ''purpose.'' From the perspective of modern science, events don't have purposes or causes; they simply conform to the laws of nature. In particular, there is no need to invoke any mechanism to ''sustain'' a physical system or to keep it going; it would require an additional layer of complexity for a system to cease following its patterns than for it to simply continue to do so. Believing otherwise is a relic of a certain metaphysical way of thinking; these notions are useful in an informal way for human beings, but are not a part of the rigorous scientific description of the world. Of course scientists do talk about ''causality,'' but this is a description of the relationship between patterns and boundary conditions; it is a derived concept, not a fundamental one. If we know the state of a system at one time, and the laws governing its dynamics, we can calculate the state of the system at some later time. You might be tempted to say that the particular state at the first time ''caused'' the state to be what it was at the second time; but it would be just as correct to say that the second state caused the first. According to the materialist worldview, then, structures and patterns are all there are --- we don't need any ancillary notions."

http://pancake.uchicago.edu/~carroll/nd-paper.html

Sources cited: I'm only a layman when it comes to cosmology, I've only read about 10 texts, including Alan Guth, Andre Linde, Tim Ferris, Stephen Hawkings, Briane Greene, etc.

 

 

 

 

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Yiab wrote:RhadTheGizmo

Yiab wrote:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Either time has a point zero or it does not. To assume that it does is to necessitate (I believe) a point before 'zero', usuaully called negative numbers.

You are correct

I don't think he is, see my points from Smolin above.

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Hey Tod, nice to see you

Hey Tod, nice to see you around again.

Glad to see your in your usual mood of never giving into a single point.

Heh.. but I digress. You seem to be taking the thread into a couple new direction. The thread was a "question".. it was not a statement as "this is how it is".. I was asking for clarification to understand.

Furthermore.. I never mentioned the Big Bang theory... or any of the other cosmological theories (cept my infantile understanding of circular time theory).

You wrongly assert that I am assuming there is a creation point, when I never said anything of the sort.

My "false dichotomy" as you stated merely that the universe is finite (started/created/began) or it is infinite (did not start/was not created/did not begin).

Once again.. I thank you for taking a swipe at liberal arts degrees.. since it is, indeed, what I have.

Good form.

Sidenote: From reading your post, it still seems as if the trichotomy still stands. Either A, not eternal, or B, eternal, or C, we can't know.. something other than "A or B" (which is a negative characteristic and has no relevance to the conversation Smiling

They might all be different theories.. yet they are still coming back to the same concept of "finite" or "infinite" or some "limited knowledge" theory of neither "finite or infinite"-- which to me seems nonsensical.. or at least not relevant since they don't even attempt this "not finite or infinite" concept.

"Created" does not entail "Sentient Creator".. merely "Beginning"-- just making sure I bring up that clarification to the beginning trichotomy. 

(Point of order: A man does not need to know about quantum physics to know that a chicken can't be a duck if a duck can't be a chicken. Sticking out tongue Logic is the most basic, universal, form of understanding.. don't consider ignorance of a field of study as ignorance in general.)

(Btw, ever planning on getting back to the other thread? Just wondering.. left me sort of hanging there. It's fine if you don't want to continue, but you were incorrect in the assumption you made at that time when you stated that you had made the last post-- and I had not responded. At least that is what I infered.. of course you could've just been saying. "I call the conversation over, therefore it is over." Which is fine I suppose.. I left my contention there anyways.)


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:Hey

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Hey Tod, nice to see you around again.

Glad to see your in your usual mood of never giving into a single point.

Usual mood? Not giving in?

So, you're just going to write everything off this way?

 

Quote:

Heh.. but I digress. You seem to be taking the thread into a couple new direction.

One based on facts.

Quote:

You wrongly assert that I am assuming there is a creation point


Feel free to actually quote where I say this.....

 

Finding it hard, right?

 

Quote:

My "false dichotomy" as you stated merely that the universe is finite (started/created/began) or it is infinite

Again, this is a false dichotomy. Read Smolin's points. If you can't follow them, ask questions.

Quote:

Once again.. I thank you for taking a swipe at liberal arts degrees..

First, I'm not just directing this point at you.

Second, you're still getting the point wrong. My point here is that if this is ALL you have, then maybe, just maybe, you're not qualified to make cosmological arguments?

You'd accept that a liberal arts degree doesn't prepare you for astrophysics or brain surgery, right?

So why should it prepare ANYONE for making definitive statements on cosmology?

Quote:

Sidenote: From reading your post, it still seems as if the trichotomy still stands.

You're 'trichotomy' included a group who simply didn't care. That's not illustrative of Smolin's three options.

 

Quote:

(Point of order: A man does not need to know about quantum physics to know that a chicken can't be a duck if a duck can't be a chicken.

Point of order... you have to actually understand what the options could be in order to estimate how many options there are, and this requires knowledge of cosmology.

Notice that I'm not just asserting that there are X amount of options... I'm citing learned people who present us with the workable options.

 

Quote:

(Btw, ever planning on getting back to the other thread? Just wondering.. left me sort of hanging there.

 

Hanging? Actually, the thread was over as you conceded the issue, vis-a-vis 'god's' incoherence... this completey defeats any of your arguments.... the fact that you continue to post is totally expected, but of no further consequence.

If you have a brief, specific point you think I've missesd, please present it. But once a person concedes that his position is incoherent, there's really nothing left but the after-show party and hitting the bar....

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Quote:

Quote:
You wrongly assert that I am assuming there is a creation point

Quote:
Feel free to actually quote where I say this.....
Finding it hard, right?

Tod (earlier) wrote:
False dichotomy. There is no reason to hold that there MUST have been a creation point.

//

Quote:
You're 'trichotomy' included a group who simply didn't care. That's not illustrative of Smolin's three options.

About four posts into I reformulated the trichotomy to clarify 3 as a belief held because believes, at this point in time, for knowledge to be limited to such a degree that they find taking a position not relevant in any degree.

Saying that it is not A or B but some other.. is a statement of ignorance.  Valid, yes, but still, speaking of limited knowledge.


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
You wrongly assert that I am assuming there is a creation point

Quote:
Feel free to actually quote where I say this.....
Finding it hard, right?

Tod (earlier) wrote:
False dichotomy. There is no reason to hold that there MUST have been a creation point.

 

That's from my FAQ on cosmology!

http://www.rationalresponders.com/common_cosmological_misconceptions

It's prefaced this way:

 

Here's my review of the literature, that demonstrates some of the errors laymen make in discussing cosmology.

It's not directed at you, but to all laymen. 

 

You were asked to quote where I am directing this towards something you said.

 

Here:

You wrongly assert that I am assuming there is a creation point

Feel free to actually quote where I say this..... (that I assert that YOU ASSUME THIS)

 

Slow down, read slower, dude.

Smiling

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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
You're 'trichotomy' included a group who simply didn't care. That's not illustrative of Smolin's three options.

About four posts into I reformulated the trichotomy to clarify 3 as a belief held because believes, at this point in time, for knowledge to be limited to such a degree that they find taking a position not relevant in any degree.

If you want to properly represent what cosmologists actually say about their own field, then read what cosmologists say, and quote what they say.

They will give you what cosmology considers to be the current viable models.

 

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Quote: If you have a brief,

Quote:
If you have a brief, specific point you think I've missesd, please present it. But once a person concedes that his position is incoherent, there's really nothing left but the after-show party and hitting the bar....

Fine.. I'll make here, the same one I made there and try to make it in fifty words or less.

tod wrote:
So, if we define "X" as 'beyond everything" or "not everything else" then we are left with "X" as a cipher... something undefinable.

Misapplication of the axiom we agreed on.  X only means that something cannot be "not X".  If you had applied the axiom correctly it would have been. X is "beyond everything" or cannot be "not beyond everything".  You use the word beyond as if the word necessitates exclusion from that which it is beyond.

This is a wrong assumption.

But.. once again I digress, let me clarify, what I admit to in my post that you did not address.

I use logic, because to accept that God acts, as a rule, outside of logic would mean that I cannot speak of him at all in a logical manner.  But even as we speak of omnipotence over and over and over again.. I do not believe that God MUST have acted in within a logical construct, but that he did.  I am assuming for the sake of argument.

Within that assumption I argue only that he is "limited" by logic.. for to do otherwise (and if he were in fact real) would be to make life a whole lot more complicated.

(More the fifty words.  Do what you will.) 


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Quote: Slow down, read

Quote:

Slow down, read slower, dude.

Smiling

I'm ADD Eye-wink.

And it's 1:21.

I caught your preface.. but I still took it as directly addressing me and the thread.. as opposed to a "general concept" of theistic though in general.

Why would I think you would be addressing anything other than the thread as is? In which the thread does not assume there MUST be a creation point?

Anyways.. ADD. Heh. 


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Quote: If you want to

Quote:

If you want to properly represent what cosmologists actually say about their own field, then read what cosmologists say, and quote what they say.

They will give you what cosmology considers to be the current viable models.

I'll give it a go around tomorrow.  This thread wasn't meant to argue the existence of God.. just trying to figure out if all thought on this matter can be congregated into a three general ideas.

I'm looking forward to how they explain a concept other that can be something other than "finite" and "infinite"... for I do not doubt that they are very logical in most cases. Alright.. I sleep now.


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
If you have a brief, specific point you think I've missesd, please present it. But once a person concedes that his position is incoherent, there's really nothing left but the after-show party and hitting the bar....

Fine.. I'll make here, the same one I made there and try to make it in fifty words or less.

OK 

tod wrote:
So, if we define "X" as 'beyond everything" or "not everything else" then we are left with "X" as a cipher... something undefinable.

Quote:

Misapplication of the axiom we agreed on.

No, there's no misapplicaiton of the law of identity here. 'X' is defined as a set of negative traits (omni traits), devoid of any universe of discourse (nature), ergo X is undefinable - incoherent.

Quote:

X only means that something cannot be "not X".

This makes no sense. X is defined as per above.

Quote:

If you had applied the axiom correctly

Show me where I am misapplying the axiom of identit.

 

Quote:

But.. once again I digress, let me clarify, what I admit to in my post that you did not address.

You conceded that 'god' was beyond logic, ergo your argument fails right there.

 

Quote:

I use logic, because to accept that God acts, as a rule, outside of logic would mean that I cannot speak of him at all in a logical manner.

No, it means you can't speak of him at all, period, because to be outside of logic entirely is to be outside of identity.

Quote:

But even as we speak of omnipotence over and over and over again.. I do not believe that God MUST have acted in within a logical construct, but that he did. I am assuming for the sake of argument.

Within that assumption I argue only that he is "limited" by logic.. for to do otherwise (and if he were in fact real) would be to make life a whole lot more complicated.

Now you're contradicting yourself as far as I can see.

You've both affirmed (in the past), and denied (presently), that 'god' is beyond logic.

I really don't see why you need me to continue this line of discussion... if you'd like to talk logic, I'd be willing, but this discussion seems to be at a dead end.

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RhadTheGizmo wrote: I'm

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

I'm looking forward to how they explain a concept other that can be something other than "finite" and "infinite"... for I do not doubt that they are very logical in most cases. Alright.. I sleep now.

I've already cited it above.

Think of it this way.

a line with a starting point

a line without any starting point

which can be:

an infinite line

OR

a circle.

(finite but boundless)

This is not exhaustive of Smolin's trichotomy, just an example. 

 

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Quote:

Quote:
I really don't see why you need me to continue this line of discussion... if you'd like to talk logic, I'd be willing, but this discussion seems to be at a dead end.

Beyond does not mean to exclude that which it is beyond. It seems that you are assuming that it is and I am not. Which is perhaps where the confusion is coming from.

And to say, for the sake of argument, that an omnipotent being cannot act in a perfectly logical manner by choice is to say that he is not omnipotent in the first place. I believe him to be omnipotent.. and I am assuming that he has choosen to act in a logical manner, for, because to make no assumptions other than omnimax, would be, as you said, make the conversation incoherent.

I make the other assumptions because one must in order to have a conversation (as you stated).. neither is my assumption illogical, for omnimax does not mean that an omnimax must NOT act a certain way, merely that he CAN act in anyway he chooses.

Furthermore: Axiom, as you stated, A cannots be "NOTA". This is an axiom. Anything more then the strict adherence to this construct of A and NOT A, would be to misapply the axiom unless one is using words, with singular meanings, definitively correctly.

I contested that you did not. (Beyond, in this casE).

 //

 As for the circle bit.  No, I'm aware of this concept.  I addressed it to some mathematician.. I forgot his name at this moment.

I just disagreed with the equating of the concept of a written circle and a temporal circle.. as being the same conceptually. Yes.. we can say a written circle is finite because we measure it from point a to point a (as I stated to him).

But a temporal circle would have no points.. less those ones we arbitrarily set.. and in order to get back to that point that you arbitrarily set, one would need to make the entire circle... yet, conceptually, I cannot imagine making this movement.. for if we say the present is point A.. and try and say that one can move into the future only to come around to the exact same point A again, is beyond me.

Time maybe circular.. but it would still be infinite.. otherwise-- we've done all this before.. and this point A (present) will be no different (in any respects) as the point A after a revolution.

(Point A on a written circle is no different (in any respects) as point A when you come back around)

Time is bit more complex then written circles.

But.. I will agree this might be a fundamental disagreament.  I would consider a temporal circle infinite time..

They would not. 


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Since my head is swimming

Since my head is swimming right now due to cold, I'll only touch on one point regarding what seems to be a misunderstanding by both RhadTheGizmo and todangst of what I said.

"time 0" does not have to refer to a "beginning of time".

When we want to label times with numbers, pick any moment in time and any number and associate them. Continue by picking another moment in time and itentifying them. Extrapolate the remainder of labels by maintaining the ordering of numbers and a linear relationship with respect to numerical distance and length of time. This procedure only works, obviously, if time is one-dimensional and euclidean. Clearly, todangst, you must then agree that there is either a point 0 or there isn't and this is all I meant by affirming his statement.

<technical>For non-euclidean or multi-dimensional time, begin by choosing a manifold of appropriate dimension homeomorphic to the structure of time under consideration. Express this manifold within a system of cartesian coordinates. Idenfity points in the manifold with points in time as above. Clearly, either the point (0,0,...,0) lies on the manifold or it does not.</technical>

RhadTheGizmo, point 0 does not have to be the beginning of the universe either, we can simply assign it arbitrarily. We are, after all, just trying to name moments in time in a fashion which indicates their order with respect to each other.  Whether or not time has a beginning is independant of whether or not there is a time named "0". What I am saying is that if time extends infinitely into the past, "0" cannot be before all the numbers used to label times, so it cannot represent this hypothetical "beginning".


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
I really don't see why you need me to continue this line of discussion... if you'd like to talk logic, I'd be willing, but this discussion seems to be at a dead end.

Beyond does not mean to exclude that which it is beyond.

It has to, otherwise, you're stealing from naturalism.

 

Quote:

And to say, for the sake of argument, that an omnipotent being cannot act in a perfectly logical manner

I never say this. Can you PLEASE cite my actual words, in context?

Quote:
 

by choice is to say that he is not omnipotent in the first place.

 

The point before you is that your god need not be limited by any law, and cannot be, seeing as any law must be contingent upon this god.... that's the actual point.

Please stop turning my points inside out... I feel like a mother, constantly having to unfold your T shirts from the dryer....

And once you concede that this 'god' is DEFINED as beyond 'any law' then it follows that you can't conceive of such a 'god' 

 

Please take note that this all follows from the DEFINITION, because another popular error is to argue that  holding to a ramificaiton of a definition is somehow making an inductive claim about a god, i.e. a self refutation, 

 

Quote:
for omnimax does not mean that an omnimax must NOT act a certain way, merely that he CAN act in anyway he chooses.

Bingo.

Read that back to yourself. That's MY point to YOU, so I can't fathom why we are arguing here... except that I can.... if you quote my words, and leave them in context, then you'd see where I am telling you this...

 

Quote:

Furthermore: Axiom, as you stated, A cannots be "NOTA". This is an axiom.

It's a version of the law of non contradiction that you've given me here, and yes, A cannot equal it's own negation.... that's necessarily false... unless you're doing some recursive computing and assigning a new value...

Quote:

Anything more then the strict adherence to this construct of A and NOT A, would be to misapply the axiom

I don't think you're following my point to you... what you write here has nothing to do with my points on negative definitions!

My point is that if X is defined in negative terms, devoid of any universe of discourse, then X is meaningless... a cipher, a zero.

Show me how that leads to arguing that X= Not X. 

 

Quote:

As for the circle bit. No, I'm aware of this concept.

Good. That's all I am seeking to establish here. That there's more than just a linear approach to the zero/no zero dichotomy.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Heh.. I leave you be then.

Heh.. I leave you be then so that you no longer have to feel that you are folding my shirts.

Besides.. I don't see it going any farther since there are some fundamental difference of opinions.

1.) Beyond must be completely exclusive to that which it is beyond instead of merely being more than that which it is beyond.

2.) I cannot limit God for the sake of coherence since to have no limits would be necessarily incoherent.

3.) That only one axiom was explicitly stated within the course of the debate, and therefore only one axiom can be used until such time as another is explicitly stated and/or conceded too.

But yah.. I get tired of reading countless statements implying hard headedness or infantile ability concerning seeing what is "clearly evidence"; even though I have consciously avoided making towards you.

Heh, this isn't like the last time (I called an end to the debate) in which I make some bold statement about my perception of you, merely of me. I'm tired of it. My fault for not being able to deal with it. Perhaps I just need some rest.

(It's kind of like the soccer game I played over here.. after a couple of fights and rough plays, I figured the game wasn't worth it to play. Not saying that the conversation was the game.. analogy was meant to display other things.)


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Heh..

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Heh.. I leave you be then so that you no longer have to feel that you are folding my shirts.

Besides.. I don't see it going any farther since there are some fundamental difference of opinions.

1.) Beyond must be completely exclusive to that which it is beyond instead of merely being more than that which it is beyond.

 Think about this. Any part of 'god' that is 'natural' would not tell you a thing about what "god is"... to know a 'god' you'd have to know the 'supernatural aspects'.  So even if we use the term 'more' rather than 'beyond' it changes nothing. The problem of 'supernaturalism' remains.

To say that the supernatural is somehow natural or 'nature plus' just doesn't work..... unless you provide an ontology for 'nature plus'

You have to start by giving us some new type of matter/energy.... Plato called this quintessence. It's neither matter nor energy. You have to also explain how our rational minds can comprehend it, sans any reliance on empirical methods.

So unless you can provide an ontology for quintessence, you're out of luck  

Quote:
 


2.) I cannot limit God for the sake of coherence since to have no limits would be necessarily incoherent.

The key 'attribute' of 'god' in the most abstract sense is a negative trait: unlimitedness 

To limit 'god' for the sake of coherence would be like removing humor from comedy in order to understand the nature of comedy. It would be like elimating anything that has to do with wetness in order to better examine water.

 

 

Quote:

3.) That only one axiom was explicitly stated within the course of the debate, and therefore only one axiom can be used until such time as another is explicitly stated and/or conceded too.

You're really very confused on this part of the discussion.  

 

Quote:
 

But yah.. I get tired of reading countless statements implying hard headedness or infantile ability concerning seeing what is "clearly evidence"; even though I have consciously avoided making towards you.

Aw.

 

Quote:
 

  
Heh, this isn't like the last time (I called an end to the debate) in which I make some bold statement about my perception of you, merely of me. I'm tired of it. My fault for not being able to deal with it. Perhaps I just need some rest.

(It's kind of like the soccer game I played over here.. after a couple of fights and rough plays, I figured the game wasn't worth it to play. Not saying that the conversation was the game.. analogy was meant to display other things.)

Why not just consider what I have to say, and ask questions, rather than trying ot debate it? If anything, it's a good debate tactic, puts your opponent on his heels.... 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Well..

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Well.. "everything that exists", if time is something that "exists" as other things are defined as "existing"-- then I suppose yes. I'm not sure "time" exists in the same way that a pencil "exists". One is matter/energy, one is a concept. I realize of course space/time.. the interwoven nature of the two.

 

This is exactly why I believe that our concepts are not sufficiently well-defined for any answer to be meaningful.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
idenote: I'm beginning to understand that what you might be saying is the universe requires time but time doesn't necessarily require universe. However.. this would seem to go against the definition.

 

Yeah, that's exactly why I was bringing it up. Time does require a universe (i.e. time must be included within the universe) because the idea of time without a universe is incoherent.

When you begin talking about things like "what was there before the universe began" you are implicitly assuming that there is time which was there before the universe. Since this is an incoherent concept, the question is actually meaningless and so my answer is Mu.

 


RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Heh.. I knew what you were going to pick up on this. I just didn't know how else to explain it.. perhaps the limits of language?

Language's limitations are a major factor in these discussions, which is why mathematical models are so useful. It is difficult to explain some of the more complicated mathematical models in lay terms, but I believe it can be done.



RhadTheGizmo wrote:
IF time and universe are inseperably connected (as you definitely, it is, according to the construct of logic above).. then either they are both finite.. or both infinite.

Well... no. If time is finite but space is infinite then the universe in infinite as well. Once way to imagine this is to picture a bar one inch wide (width is time) and infinitely long (length is space). Of course, this universe is 2-dimensional and so it's not ours, but it is an infinite one.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Not whether one can "extrapolate" a finite time or not.. but as a general, logical axiom.

Nobody is extrapolating time, we are extrapolating the existence of a point in time. In particular, if the universe is linear and open at the start, then there is no "first point" in time, but in order to concieve of time we have to posit the potential existence of this first point so that we can note its absence. In this case we are extrapolating from the points that do exist to arrive at a useful concept which has no semantic referrent.


RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I am not saying whether one can or cannot theoretically come to 0 point, but whether a 0 point can be used at all-- for, in my understanding, 0 does not exist in infinity (1->infinite) only finite (0->4).

This is where you are trying to consider "infinity" as a number rather than as a counterpart to "finite". Does 0 exist in "finite"? Mu.

Here is an example of an infinite set: all integers. Notice that this set includes the element "0" as well as infinitely many positive numbers and infinitely many negative numbers. When we are trying to imagine linear time, what matters about these numbers is just their ordering, in which case the "0" element is arbitrary. It is also worth noting, however, that "0" is not the beginning of this ordering, in fact this ordering has no beginning. The integers do stretch infinitely back, however, so they do not provide a counterexample to your trichotomy - we have to delve deeper than that.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
No.. I do realize that one way to conceptulize infinite time is to time as a circle with no beginning or end (which I believe is what you touch on later).. but, in this case, I would not agree that one can say that time is "finite".

Actually, you are conflating two different ideas here.

The common idea of "circular time" actually has very little to do with what might be the reality: people assume that in a universe with circular time, events would keep happening over and over exactly the same every time. In fact, by careful examination of that very sentence, you can see the problem here - it is actually describing linear time with a cyclical pattern of events.

"Actual" circular time, however, would be quite different. To get some idea of what it might be like, try the following excercise:

1) Get out a piece of paper and draw a circle on it. This is time - all of time.

2) Pick a point on the circle and make a slightly larger dot, say that this is when we are.

3) Pick a direction of travel around the circle, that is to say pick an orientation for the circle (say, counterclockwise).

Now, where's the beginning? I think you'll agree that there is none. On the other hand, this is not infinite:

Start at the time we're at and trace once around the circle in the direction of travel, arriving back at the same point. What time are you pointing at? Is it the exact same instant that you were pointing at before or is it the same except for being "once more through the loop"

It is the exact same instant! In order for it to be "once more through the loop" you need to have the dimension of time which you live in - a meta-time through which looping can be measured. Since our circle is all of time, though, we can't have that extra temporal dimension.

So what do "before" and "after" mean, then?

Well, if we zoom in on a section of the circle, we have something which looks like a curved line with a direction. Given this, we say that "before" is those things which are behind "now" and "after" is those things which are ahead of "now". Once we zoom back out and look at the whole circle again, this makes no sense since everything can be reached in each direction.

This is what I mean when I say that "before" and "after" are local but not global terms.

A "beginning" of time would be defined as follows:

temporal point X is called the "beginning" if for every temporal point Y the statement "X is before Y" is true.

For this definition to work, though, we need a global concept of "before", which we cannot have in circular time. On the other hand, with circular time, time is clearly exactly (2*pi*r^2) long, and therefore not infinite.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
If your measuring from the outside to a convergence on the present.. in order to consider the "outside" from which things are converging.. don't you have to assume, already, that the "outside" is finite?

Limit of infinity/0 = undefinited
infinity/X = infinity.
etc etc etc.

I think you are misunderstanding the idea of "limit". These things you've mentioned are not limits at all, though they are really only approached through the study of limits.

 

Limits are all about looking at an infinite sequence of approximations and figuring out what they are approximating. Since I can't seem to embed TeX into this post, though, I don't feel like going into more detail on examples, though.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
realize this. But we are not talking of "infinite time" we are talking about "finite" time.. and how "time" can be "finite" if one believes the universe and time are inseperable.

This is one of the points where I disagree with people who try and make a distinction between "time" and "progression of events".

Take this as a definition if you like: Time is that through which events occur.

Similarly: Space is that in which events occur.

I hope these statements make it clear that there is no "intrinsic" distinction meant between "through" and "in", so space and time are really interchangeable.

Time can be finite. If that is the case, any statements or questions about "before the beginning" are like talking about the civilization of unicorns on atlantis. There was no progression of events before time since a) "before time" is meaningless, b) there was nothing in which events could progress and c) there were no events to do the progressing.

Concieving of self-contained, finite time is not a simple task, but it is not an incoherent concept.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Here is where you lose me. I understand the concept of open and closed intervals.. by I don't understand the concept of using an arbitrarily set number (0) that "does not actually exist" in order to postulate that time(thus the universe in this case as we are using it) itself can be finite.

Okay, let's do this without 0 involved.

Start at wherever we are now, let's name it "1". Now we'll start looking into the past and naming points in time - we find one to name 1/2, one for 1/4, etc. In fact, no matter what positive fraction we choose, there is a time we've named with it. Now we've covered all of the past. The temporal distance between any past point and now is always less than 1.

See? There's no time labelled "0" and time extends only 1 unit into the past. We've described an open interval here.

So where does 0 come in? Well, in order to represent the interval in our minds (or on paper), we can't start the interval at any positive number, since smaller positive numbers are also included. So, we imagine that there's a point before all these other ones that's somehow "not real" but that we use to concieve of the interval and we call this imagined point "0". So, we represent the temporal interval as (0, infinity), denoting that every positive number is included, but 0 is not which means that there is no time 0 - we made it up so we could more easily think about things.



RhadTheGizmo wrote:
The past remains "finite" only within the context of the arbitrarily set points.

Well, if the past were infinite we wouldn't be able to use a finite distance of points to name all of the past. We choose the names to fit what we think the reality is, not the reality to fit the names.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
While I have the problem of being on the outside looking in.. I think you have the problem of looking from the inside out.

The difference here is that trying to look at things from the inside isn't a problem. Trying to look at things from the outside has the disadvantage of assuming that there's an outside to look from which, since we're trying to look at the universe, there isn't.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
You set up arbitrary points for the purpose of an equation for the purpose of making further inferences.

Yes, exactly. Welcome to scientific theory.

Every scientific theory uses mathematical constructs to describe what they have observed and uses those constructs to infer further properties of the system. If any of those properties are ever contradicted by evidence, a different construct is chosen which fits the new evidence, too.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Arbitrary 0 point = past finite.
Yet finite past, non arbitrarily, has no beginning.

These seem to be contradictory statements your making. Once again.. I'm giving you the out. You don't have continue trying to teach me. Heh.. I realize that it could as if a metaphysics teacher is trying to educate a 5 year old boy on the ontology of the boogie monster.. but-- I'm just trying to understand.

Actually, the only objection I have in the first two staments there is to the term "non arbitrarily". My suggestion of a finite past with no beginning was completely arbitrary and I sincerely doubt that it is representative of reality. It is, though, a way I can demonstrate that the trichotomy you present is not exhaustive of the possibilities - it is a consistent example of what time might look like which doesn't fall into your trichotomy.

Also, I would like to continue trying to hash this out, if only so that I can better solidify the concepts in my own mind. A lot of my ideas are extremely vague until I get them into serious conversation.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
Unfortunately, I don't know how to explain what a finite 4-manifold without boundary might look like in simple terms since I am not an expert in any area that deals with them regularly, but I will do some reading in the next couple of days and see what I can come up with.

Thanks.

Unfortunately again, I've given up on this. I honestly can't come up with a simple way of explaining a 4-dimensional manifold. I'd be happy to teach the background math, though, if it's something you'd like to hear.

 


RhadTheGizmo wrote:
But they could not be "finite".. for, in accordance with my understanding of "finite".. to say that at some point outside of this "finite" space there was neither "time" nor "universe".. would be to go against an assertion I tend to agree with, "from nothing comes nothing".-- and seems self evident to me.

A finite universe does not entail what you've said above. In fact, a finite universe simply means that there is a maximum distance between things within that universe (where distance is temporal as well as spatial). Notice how this conceptual definition makes no reference to a "point outside of space and time".

In fact, you're right that your above concept of a finite universe is inconsistent - it assumes a meta-universe in which the finite universe sits.

I also have to point out that a finite universe does not contradict "from nothing comes nothing".

Contradicting "from nothing comes nothing" requires there to be nothing at one time and something at a subsequent time. Clearly, in a finite time, there is no time at which there is nothing, so this cannot be the case.

"But what was there before the universe?" I hear you ask - you are implicitly assuming time before the universe again. The answer "nothing was there before the universe" is incorrect since it plays into that assumption. The correct response from my perspective is "that question is a meaningless one".


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Yaib: I have tried to read

Yaib: I have tried to read this carefully.. and indeed, I have found many points fascinating.  Your presentation of circular time was very interesting as well as introducing a concept of "meta-time". 

 In anycase.. despite the fact that I do not post here on a regular basis, I ask the question still, how do you define the universe?  how do you define time?

 I believe that, perhaps, these should have been the basic questions.  I believe that, for awhile, we (or maybe just I, assuming (wrongly) your defintions) have been swaying back and forth.

In anycase, I'm very interested in your definition.. just for knowledge sake.  I know what the dictionary says.. but I'm wondering on how you interpret said definition.

"Everything" includes time? In which case if there was *only* time then that would be the universe. In this case, I believe, that neither could exist from the other.

Or does the universe only include "space and material things in that space"? Anyways.. let me know.  Sorry if I'm making you explain something you've felt you've explained already.. heh, if this is the case, don't worry about it, just give a smile. 

For example: Smiling

Tod: How do you define irrational within your argument that I, as a theist, can be nothing other than irrational in my belief?

I think this is our central problem.  I've read your post over and over again.  It's possible that I'm still missing something.. but.. in any case.. I think this is perhaps the most important question.

I think you believe that I believe that I can or want to explain a supernatural God rationally when, in fact, I merely wish to argue that a 'belief' in such a God can be rational.

I probably (who knows) would agree that the former of those two aims is impossible.. logically.  The latter however, I do not believe.

Within the construct of mathematics (help me out Yaib) one can hold as existent irrational numbers (infinite, 0, etc) in the construct of mathematics (a rational methodology) and use those irrational numbers, and make and apply implications, in a rational manner.  While such a process does not make the number anymore rational, likewise, its use, does not make the mathematician any less rational. 

In the same way one can hold and use an irrational concept (God) in the construct of beliefs (which's rationality is decided based upon the rationality of its application/methodology) and can use the concept and apply it, and can make and apply implications, in a rational manner.

Just like the mathametician.. the use of an irrational concept does not make the mathemetician anymore more or less rational.. it is merely how he applies it.

So.. as I stated.. how is it that you are defining "irrational" when/if you hold true the concept that all theists are irrational?

I do not believe I can explain 'God', in all his attributes, rationally or irrationally.  I can however, argue my own rationality in using a limited and applying a definition of 'God' under the knowledge that he is much more and that my understanding must be open to change.

Anycase.. that is all.  Hope all is well with your Tod.  Best Wishes.

You to Yaib. 


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One and only. I will try and

One and only. I will try and let this be that. Heh.