Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

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Dachshund
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Dachshund » May 31st, 2018, 11:46 am

Halc, we you say you interpret everything relationally, does that include morality? That is, are you a moral relativist? If so, I put it to you that moral relativism tends to breed nihilism, and nihilism is not a very healthy world-view ?

Eduk
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Eduk » May 31st, 2018, 11:58 am

Most people I've met claim to interpret everything rationally. Most people I've met do not claim to be nihilists.

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LuckyR
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by LuckyR » May 31st, 2018, 12:09 pm

Dachshund wrote:
May 29th, 2018, 9:25 am
Like the Irish-born British political philosopher Edmund Burke I am fascinated by the night sky. When I gaze into the starry heavens I feel the sense of a strangely delightful reverential awe at my own subordination before the terrifying boundlessness of the infinite night sky.

I think to myself that if I were to build a special rocket and fire it vertically up from Earth into the heavens above me, that this rocket, once it had escaped the Earth's atmosphere and entered into space proper, would continue to travel forward in a straight line for ever. This is because , as I say , it is a special rocket that has been fitted with sophisticated technology that alerts it to the looming presence of any object in its flight path that it might crash into like an asteroid or a planet or a star, or any other phenomenon in space that might destroy it should it fly too close toward it, like a black hole, for example. This technology automatically instructs my rocket to swerve around any such space- hazards at a safe distance and then, once it has past by them safely, to re-orient itself back into flying forward along the straight linear path that it was taking before the hazard/s were sensed by the technical devices on-board and the diversionary action ( of flying around them) was taken.

So, in sum, this rocket is travelling forward/ahead in a straight line through space just like the Apollo 11's module ("Eagle") as it flew through space towards the moon, only my rocket would swerves around the moon or anything else blocking its way or threatening to somehow stop it or destroy it. My rocket, that is, ultimately just keeps on flying forward along its original linear trajectory deeper and deeper and deeper into space...

My question is this... Am I right in thinking that this special rocket of mine will never stop flying ,that it will literally continue to track forward along its line of flight for ever ( for eternity) as there is nothing to stop it? Its mission , that is, is called "Potential Infinity", for no matter how many space miles it puts behind it there will always be another one ahead to traverse, then after that another one, and then another one and so on and on . Is there anything wrong with my presuming that this is, in fact, what will actually happen ?

Regards

Dachshund
To me the answer hinges on the notion of "straight". Specifically, if space/time warps, one definition of straight would be to travel along the warp (straight from the perspective of within space/time) the other would be to travel outside the warp (straight from the perspective outside of space/time, but inversely warped from the perspective within space/time).
"As usual... it depends."

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Halc
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Halc » May 31st, 2018, 3:56 pm

LuckyR wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 12:09 pm
To me the answer hinges on the notion of "straight". Specifically, if space/time warps, one definition of straight would be to travel along the warp (straight from the perspective of within space/time) the other would be to travel outside the warp (straight from the perspective outside of space/time, but inversely warped from the perspective within space/time).
Well, presuming (incorrectly) that space is reasonably free of local gravity wells that would bend a path, the latter seems to follow from firing your ship from a cannon up to some arbitrary velocity and just letting it coast forever. That would seem to draw a straight line that would eventually find itself parallel to the radial axis, meaning the ship gets arbitrarily close to stationary in relation to the local matter around it. It will coast to an apparent halt. Heck, the cannon only determines how far away we are from this line with which we are parallel.

The former case might be more like a ship that is oriented in some fixed direction and then accelerates continuously forever. That goes more with the warp. I think the straightness of the line depends the inertial frame in which the path is plotted. An accelerating anything is going to tend towards a curved line, so only frames in which the ship is momentarily stationary should be considered. I still don't think it will be straight.

I guess I'm not sure what distinct path is taken by 'travel with the warp' since the path of the inertial object seems demonstrably straight straight from outside space-time. The difference in the two scenarios is one of when the ship will get to a particular point in space (and thus the shape of its worldline), but both take the same spatial path.

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Halc
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Halc » May 31st, 2018, 4:19 pm

Dachshund wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 11:46 am
Halc, we you say you interpret everything relationally, does that include morality? That is, are you a moral relativist? If so, I put it to you that moral relativism tends to breed nihilism, and nihilism is not a very healthy world-view ?
Eduk wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 11:58 am
Most people I've met claim to interpret everything rationally. Most people I've met do not claim to be nihilists.
Indeed, I'm no nihilist. A moral nihilist says there is no wrong or right. I just anchor my morals on something, most often society. Others might anchor it on their god, which is also a relativistic stance. Not all theists do this, but an absolute stance weakens the god.

Getting a bit off topic here, no? There's more since Eduk asked me about belief in lies.

In short, if there are two creatures, one believing truth, the other believing a lie that gave it advantage, the one with knowledge of truth is bred out of existence. What remains is a bunch of life forms that follow certain lies like a carrot on a stick, but this is exactly what makes them fit. The lies are deep, and not subject to intentional unbelief just because the rational side discovers the lie. True belief in such truths renders one unfit. I have suggested this sort of thing as a solution to the Fermi paradox. A sufficiently advanced race will actually put their rational side in charge and cease to be fit. Probably not, but it was an idea.

One such lie has to do with personal identity, and few people (not even physicists) have given it a lot of rational thought, because it generates conflict at first with ones beliefs, so it must be wrong and not worth pursuit.

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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Eduk » May 31st, 2018, 6:05 pm

I said you can contrive scenarios where belief in an untruth is more advantageous than belief in a lie. But those scenarios are contrived. Not being able to see into the future you can't be sure when such scenarios might come about. Therefore you should play the odds, which is that believing in the truth will most often be of advantage.
I'm sorry is your example of a lie which you believe in personal identity? I'm not following you properly.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 31st, 2018, 6:06 pm

Infinity has two meanings one makes sense the other absurd.

1) Size indeterminate. Meaning unknown size or quality. This makes sense.

2) Unending. This is meaningless. Take an infinitely long piece of string. No other string can be as big. Now cut the string! What have you got? Two absurdly long pieces of string. Cut them both again and you simply multiply the absurdity. With each action to double the size of the string. This contravenes the conservation of mass, and simply makes no common sense. QED there is no such quantity as an infinite (unending) quantity.

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Present awareness
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Present awareness » May 31st, 2018, 6:42 pm

Our very existence, cuts infinity in half. There is the infinite amount of time that went by before our birth and the infinite amount of time that will pass, after our death. The precise point of division is the infinite present moment, which is always here. To determine whether something is past or future, we must compare it to “now”. However, “now” is a moving stillness, for whenever we say it is now, it has moved into the past and yet it is a stillness because it is always “now”. Since all concepts like time, space and mathematics rely on imagination, it is always easy to imagine one more hour, one more mile or one more digit.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 31st, 2018, 7:25 pm

Present awareness wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 6:42 pm
Our very existence, cuts infinity in half.
Only if you presuppose the absurdity of infinite time.
All empirical indications show that time had a beginning, and is therefore not infinite. And since the future does not yet exist, time has a continual ending.

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Present awareness
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Present awareness » May 31st, 2018, 7:50 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 7:25 pm
Present awareness wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 6:42 pm
Our very existence, cuts infinity in half.
Only if you presuppose the absurdity of infinite time.
All empirical indications show that time had a beginning, and is therefore not infinite. And since the future does not yet exist, time has a continual ending.
It is equally absurd to believe that a concept like time, has a beginning, other then of course, the beginning of the concept of time. Some will claim that time began with the Big Bang, simply because it is unknown what was there, prior to the Big Bang. Nobody knows and anybody claiming to know, is dillusional.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Dachshund » June 1st, 2018, 1:13 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 6:06 pm
This contravenes the conservation of mass, and simply makes no common sense. QED there is no such quantity as an infinite (unending) quantity.
Thomas, remember my rocket travelling through space, how there is always going to be another mile ahead of it to traverse - (then another after that and so on and on) - no matter how many miles it has chalked up at a given time, say, t = 350 years after blast -off from Earth (at time, t = 0). In this case , we are referencing the notion of Potential Infinity. The concept of Potential infinity does not refer to some fixed, static quantity of miles that is identical an infinite number of miles; rather, Potential Infinity is, in the example of my special rocket, a dynamic, ever-onward and outward/forward- flowing, never-ending PROCESS of increasing extension of distance in space that has been traversed.

Regards

Dachshund

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 1st, 2018, 11:52 am

Present awareness wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 7:50 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 7:25 pm


Only if you presuppose the absurdity of infinite time.
All empirical indications show that time had a beginning, and is therefore not infinite. And since the future does not yet exist, time has a continual ending.
Nobody knows and anybody claiming to know, is dillusional.
Someone wanted help with the Notion of Potential Infinity. I showed how it was logically incoherent.
I do not know what dillisional is, but you are delusional if you think I claimed to know anything.

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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 1st, 2018, 11:59 am

Dachshund wrote:
June 1st, 2018, 1:13 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 6:06 pm
This contravenes the conservation of mass, and simply makes no common sense. QED there is no such quantity as an infinite (unending) quantity.
Thomas, remember my rocket travelling through space, how there is always going to be another mile ahead of it to traverse - (then another after that and so on and on) - no matter how many miles it has chalked up at a given time, say, t = 350 years after blast -off from Earth (at time, t = 0). In this case , we are referencing the notion of Potential Infinity. The concept of Potential infinity does not refer to some fixed, static quantity of miles that is identical an infinite number of miles; rather, Potential Infinity is, in the example of my special rocket, a dynamic, ever-onward and outward/forward- flowing, never-ending PROCESS of increasing extension of distance in space that has been traversed.

Regards

Dachshund
I wonder if you read what I wrote?
For it to be potential it has to make logical and practical sense. Since no rocket is ever or would ever be possible, then there is no potential for your rocket to challenge or examine the view of infinity.

There is far more significant problem however. Since infinity can, by definition, NEVER be concluded, then your question can never be concluded. Even if your rocket was invulnerable, had an endless supply of energy for to operate its systems and an infinite about of food for you infinite observers, you could never conclude that there was such a thing as infinity simply because infinity can never end, and without an end you'd never know if you would hit the edge of the universe in the next hour.
On and on you would go - centuries passing into millennia, - when would you know?

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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by LuckyR » June 1st, 2018, 1:41 pm

Halc wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 3:56 pm
LuckyR wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 12:09 pm
To me the answer hinges on the notion of "straight". Specifically, if space/time warps, one definition of straight would be to travel along the warp (straight from the perspective of within space/time) the other would be to travel outside the warp (straight from the perspective outside of space/time, but inversely warped from the perspective within space/time).
Well, presuming (incorrectly) that space is reasonably free of local gravity wells that would bend a path, the latter seems to follow from firing your ship from a cannon up to some arbitrary velocity and just letting it coast forever. That would seem to draw a straight line that would eventually find itself parallel to the radial axis, meaning the ship gets arbitrarily close to stationary in relation to the local matter around it. It will coast to an apparent halt. Heck, the cannon only determines how far away we are from this line with which we are parallel.

The former case might be more like a ship that is oriented in some fixed direction and then accelerates continuously forever. That goes more with the warp. I think the straightness of the line depends the inertial frame in which the path is plotted. An accelerating anything is going to tend towards a curved line, so only frames in which the ship is momentarily stationary should be considered. I still don't think it will be straight.

I guess I'm not sure what distinct path is taken by 'travel with the warp' since the path of the inertial object seems demonstrably straight straight from outside space-time. The difference in the two scenarios is one of when the ship will get to a particular point in space (and thus the shape of its worldline), but both take the same spatial path.
It is very difficult (if not impossible) to appreciate and let alone comment on, the perspective from outside space/time, since we are all within it and thus it defines all of our reference points.

Let me give an example, if a snail sets out on a "straight path" (as it does every day) but today is on a piece of paper, such that the paper can be looped such that the snail is circling again and again, this will likely escape the snail's intellect, but is obvious to us.
"As usual... it depends."

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Halc
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Re: Request for Help re the Notion of Potential Infinity

Post by Halc » June 1st, 2018, 6:32 pm

The snail is my 'cannon' case (a steady velocity with no acceleration). Is this true? I said the inertial object coasts to a local halt, but the snail doesn't. Anyway, the snail is advancing on (graph) paper, sure, but the roll of paper is expanding while it is doing so. The marks on the paper get further and further apart and the snail encounters a graph line less and less often. Eventually it will never reach the next mark, and its trajectory (worldline) is a straight line outside the warp, parallel to a line that crosses the center of the roll of paper. I don't think it is straight at first, but it tends towards it.

The straightness of the accelerating line really depends on the inertial frame in which it is considered. I think it also eventually straightens out from 'outside the warp' perspective, but the worldline is more curved than the inertial case.

From inside the warp, the cannon case (an inertial object) is a straight line in any frame in which it moves, no? In one frame, the object is going nowhere, so there is no shape of it.

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