# Making the transition to heaven/hell...

My knowledge of physics is limited to zero. However, an argument I often hear regarding the existence of heaven/hell is this (I think the first person who advocated this argument to me mentioned Bill Bryson?)

Anyways...here goes...

The Universe is infinite.

Infinity operates on an 'infinity curve'.

The Universe therefore, must operate on the same principle.

So, the idea that we can transition out of the material Universe is bunk, as anything that sets off within it must eventually return. There is no way out. So even if heaven/hell existed we could never reach it.

No idea if this argument or it's premises are sound, would appreciate ideas/responses as I find this argument quite compelling...

#1No.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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#2deludedgod wrote:Weston, meet deludedgod. He'll be your guide to science. (Along with Hambydammit, BobSpence, and many others.)

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.

fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence

#3Weston wrote:No, it isn't. Since your premise is false, your conclusions mean nothing.

EDIT: But I'll humor you for a moment.

Let's say that the universe actually is "infinite" (it isn't, but bear with me).

Let's look at the definition of things that are infinite. Would you consider, for instance, a line that increases without limit as x approaches infinity, and decreases without limit as x approaches negative infinity, infinite?

I would say that the line is indeed infinitely large, but only in one dimension. It has precisely zero area (not infinite), and precisely zero depth. Therefore, you can leave the line by moving along the Y axis, or along the Z axis.

Now, consider a two dimensional plane that extends infinitely in all directions. Is this plane infinite? It indeed is, but only in two dimensions. While it has infinite area, it has zero depth. So to leave the plane, all you would have to do is go up or down along the Z axis. Now, consider an infinitely large cube. Is this infinite, yes, but only in three dimensions. Can you escape this infinite cube? Not if you travel in the three dimensions we know and love. But if you were to travel

anydistance along an axis in the 4th dimension, you would be able to escape it.If you use your faulty premise that the universe is infinite, you can still escape such a universe by traveling through the fourth dimension. A theist could use this explanation as a cop-out.

#4deludedgod wrote:...Really?

I honestly was under the impression that, along the X, Y and Z axis's that we operate one, the universe was indeed infinite. If it isn't, do we know roughly how large it is? Or have rough ideas of what's outside of it?

(EDITED FOR MY HORRENDOUS SPELLING)

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament

February 27, 1940

#5deludedgod wrote:Gotta love DG for this one.

#6deludedgod wrote:so it all falls down at the first assertion. i'm actually quite disappointed, i really liked this idea

but, at the risk of getting lynched by all who are well-versed in these matters, after reading your response i went and did some net-research, not the most of reliable things but hey, and found a lot of discussion that suggests that the universe is

potentiallyinfinite. has this now been completely disproved then?#7Well, the universe was thought infinite for some time, but the idea has since collapsed and is no longer thought tenable. It was two things that brought the idea to its knees:

1. Hubble's observations

2. Olber's Paradox

The paradox asks the following:

Given that the universe is infinite, it means that every vertice of direction surrounding us, is occupied by a stellar body, an infinite number of such, in fact, and the light travelling from such bodies has had an infinite amount of time to arrive here, then,essentially...

If the universe is infinite, that means

a) There is an infinite number of stars

b) The light from these stars has had an infinite number of time to get here

Which means that wherever we turn our heads, night or day, the whole sky should be a dazzling, completely blinding, pure white colour. But it is not. Why?

Edgar Allen Poe solved it. He realized that there are not an infinite number of stars, and light has not had an infinite number of time to get here. There was a cutoff point, a point where the stars did not exist. They are finite entities, and it logically follows then that so is the universe. Once occasionally ignited by Fred Hoyle in the 1950s, Steady State Theory has now been put to rest. When Hubble discovered redshift and proved that the universe was expanding, it was laid to the grave for good. The universe is indeed a finite entity.

This was confirmed by Hubble. He demonstrated that the universe must be a finite entity simply by demonstrating a remarkable property of it: The universe is expanding. The universe is expanding in size, which means, Hubble realized, that it had a moment where it was of infinitely small volume, hence infinite density, which expanded outwards from a point, which cosmologists called the Big Bang. Hubble's constant is called H, and we determine it by examining

redshift.The color of light depends on its wavelength, and red has a longer wavelength than white light. Since the universe is expanding, all the galaxies are moving away from each other, which means that when we observe them, they should have a longer wavelength of emitted photons, since the acceleration away from us causes the wavelength of the light to expand (like an accordian). Measuring the redshift by measuring the distance of astronomical objects allows us to determine the rate of acceleration of expansion of the universe.When we examine distant galaxies, we discover they are moving away from us at a calculable rate. Based on the distance they are from us, the wavelength of light from them which we are observing also changes by a calculable amount. The

recessional velocity(the speed at which other galaxies are moving away from us), thedistancewhich galaxies are from us, theredshift,or change in wavelength as a result of this recession and distance, and lastly, theaccelerationor the rate at which the velocity is increasing, are all linked by several simple equations, and from this we can easily determine the age of the universe, or rather, how long ago the point was that there was no distance between the two receding bodies, the moment of the Big Bang. Firstly,v=HD

This is the simplest equation we must understand. The recessional velocity (the speed at which a body is moving from Earth) is directly proportional to the distance it is from us. What connects them is Hubble’s constant, which is exactly what we need to find out.

Omega: That the universe is expanding depends on the

densityof the universe, and the two constants associated,Omega(Ω) andLambda. This is not to be confused with Lambda in physics, which represents wavelength. In cosmology it has another meaning. At any rate, Newton’s equations, which work perfectly until they disintegrate at the quantum level, dictate that all material bodies have a force of attraction between them which is precisely proportional to the inverse square of the distance between them and the size of the body in question. This is Newton’s Inverse Square Law. Since Einsten’s General Relativity, we have understood that this works because gravity is caused by the distorting effect of material on spacetime, However, surely this means that all material bodies should quickly rush towards each other and crush into a fiery pinprick? No. The reason for this is because the universe, as in space-time itself, is expanding. As we have discovered, the universe is expanding due to Dark matter. Now, this is where Omega comes into play. The density of matter in the universe will determine Omega. Since all material bodies attract, and the expansion of space time forces them apart, there is a fight between Dark Energy and matter, and the density of matter over the universe will determine its ultimate fate.This will give the immediate density 10^9s after the BB. As you can see, it is enormous. However, we are interested in the long term consequences of density:

If Omega is precisely zero, then the acceleration of the universe and the gravity of matter will be in precise equilibrium and thus the universe will expand at a precise constant rate. If Omega is smaller than one then the expansion of the universe will wind down, and if it is precisely one, the universe will simply wind down and stop expanding, and if Omega is greater than one, then the density of matter will be overpowering and the universe will accelerate and then crush back into a fiery pinprick, as the universe rushes backwards into a fiery pinprick by parabolic expansion and then contraction.

We have discovered by means of measuring the redshift of supernovae, that none of these things are happening. The universe is not constantly expanding, decelerating, or contracting. In fact, it is

accelerating in expansion,which is given by the dotted line on the graph markedaccelerating."Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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