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Could everything have existed forever?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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chewybrian
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by chewybrian » March 9th, 2019, 6:39 am

Intellectual_Savnot wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 2:42 pm
I actually have no clue what that meant
I think I followed it. If you 'split' infinity at the current moment, an infinite amount of time would have passed prior to today. Half of infinity is also infinity. So, it 'follows', that all of time passed before today, and everything that was going to happen already happened. By the same reasoning, you would not exist right now, since you would have lived and died in the infinite amount of time in the past. You could just as easily argue that you will never be born, since there is always an infinite amount of time unseen in the future, which includes all events, including you.

I'm not agreeing by any stretch, just offering up that I think I understood what was being said. We simply can't get our heads around infinity, and it doesn't work with real world problems. It seems it must always remain a theoretical concept.

I don't think we can answer the original question, in theory or in fact. Either way, it does not make sense. How does something exist forever without ever having been created, or how is it conjured out of nothing? The only thing that would make any sense is nothing, yet we have something, it seems.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

devans99
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 9th, 2019, 7:45 am

chewybrian wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 6:39 am
I don't think we can answer the original question, in theory or in fact. Either way, it does not make sense. How does something exist forever without ever having been created, or how is it conjured out of nothing? The only thing that would make any sense is nothing, yet we have something, it seems.
The idea with Eternal Inflation theory is that positive energy/matter is created in exchange for negative gravitational energy. So matter is created from nothing yet conservation of energy is respected:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 9th, 2019, 9:43 am

Devans99 wrote:But some things seem to happen without time. For example, photons are timeless yet get from A to B without the need for time. So I’d question whether P2 is valid?
Firstly, if 'happenings' don't require 'time', then do we really know what 'time' is? If time is not associated with 'change', then what is it? If time is not needed in this universe for change, or for stuff to 'happen', then does it truly exist? ...and if so, then how did this 'time' itself happen (into existence)?

Secondly, even if time does not truly exist (i.e. is just some sort of an illusion), P2 still stands (is still valid). If time is not real, then it wasn't created, and then the syllogism would be:
  • P1. Creation is an action; a happening.
    P2. Actions (happenings) require Matter/Space.
    • Without 'something' happening, 'no-thing' happens --> No Happening
      Without 'somewhere' to happen, there is 'no-where' to happen --> No Happening
    C1. If Matter/Space exist, then it has ALWAYS EXISTED.
There is no way to logically avoid the ALWAYS EXISTING feature of the universe (...including with 'time', assuming it truly exists).

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by chewybrian » March 9th, 2019, 10:36 am

devans99 wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 7:45 am
chewybrian wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 6:39 am
I don't think we can answer the original question, in theory or in fact. Either way, it does not make sense. How does something exist forever without ever having been created, or how is it conjured out of nothing? The only thing that would make any sense is nothing, yet we have something, it seems.
The idea with Eternal Inflation theory is that positive energy/matter is created in exchange for negative gravitational energy. So matter is created from nothing yet conservation of energy is respected:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe
That only describes a change or alteration. If I refine some ore and rubber and such and build a '73 Camaro, I have not 'conjured' any new materials, but only changed their form. But, there is still no logic to the universe suddenly deciding to change a zero into a plus twenty and a minus twenty. It might still add up to zero, but now you have two things you did not have before, and no explanation of why changes or action are taking place, instead of nothing, which is the only occurrence (non-occurrence) that would make any sense without God or ???.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 9th, 2019, 10:42 am

RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 9:43 am
Devans99 wrote:But some things seem to happen without time. For example, photons are timeless yet get from A to B without the need for time. So I’d question whether P2 is valid?
Firstly, if 'happenings' don't require 'time', then do we really know what 'time' is? If time is not associated with 'change', then what is it? If time is not needed in this universe for change, or for stuff to 'happen', then does it truly exist? ...and if so, then how did this 'time' itself happen (into existence)?
Time is at a minimum a degree of freedom. So change can take place in time, but that does not rule out change independently of time. If we think in terms of spacetime then ‘happenings’ require spacetime which has a space and time component. The time component could be zero and something could still happen (photons move purely though space and not through time).
RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 9:43 am
Secondly, even if time does not truly exist (i.e. is just some sort of an illusion), P2 still stands (is still valid). If time is not real, then it wasn't created, and then the syllogism would be:
  • P1. Creation is an action; a happening.
    P2. Actions (happenings) require Matter/Space.
    • Without 'something' happening, 'no-thing' happens --> No Happening
      Without 'somewhere' to happen, there is 'no-where' to happen --> No Happening
    C1. If Matter/Space exist, then it has ALWAYS EXISTED.
I’m not sure about using the word ‘always’ in connection with timelessness. If something is timeless then it just IS, there is no tense associated with it.

As mentioned above, it is theorised that energy/matter was created from nothing by exchanging negative gravitational energy for positive regular energy/matter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe). So I think that P2 is might still be questioned on the grounds that creation ex-nihilo (in exchange for something else) has some scientific support.

I think modern physics is pointing towards a start of time (see The Big Bang and Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem).
RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 9:43 am
There is no way to logically avoid the ALWAYS EXISTING feature of the universe (...including with 'time', assuming it truly exists).
‘Always existing’ throws up a lot of seemingly unsolvable contradictions (see the OP). It’s maybe better to think of something existing timelessly that created time and the universe. Existence outside time avoids the contradictions and it also avoids an infinite regression (IE because the universe was created by something timeless, that timeless thing is beyond cause and effect and therefore does not need to be created itself).

I acknowledge that 'timelessness' seems unintuitive, but from relativity, time seems to behave in unintuitive ways (slowing in the presence of gravity etc..) so it should not be dismissed out of hand.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 9th, 2019, 11:47 am

Devans99 wrote:As mentioned above, it is theorised that energy/matter was created from nothing by exchanging negative gravitational energy for positive regular energy/matter
Sorry Devan, but this theory is filled with non-sensical-ness (logical contradictions):

1. "Negative gravitational energy" is NOT "nothing". -- If nothing exists, then NOTHING exists! (...including negative gravitational energy!).
2. If 'space' did not yet exist, then WHERE did this supposed "exchange" happen? ...no where?
3. If 'time' did not yet exist, then there could be NO "exchange". There could be NO 'before and after' condition. There could be no (timeless) 'point' which separates an existence of ''nothing-ness', from an existence of 'something-ness'. There could be no left side (before) or right side (after) of this "exchange" point.

Devans99 wrote:Always existing’ throws up a lot of seemingly unsolvable contradictions (see the OP).
Not so. There are NO 'logical' contradictions with "always existing" (i.e. having no beginning). The only contradiction lies within our flawed 'indoctrinations'.

Again, there is no way to logically avoid it. If the universe (matter/space/time) exists, then it has ALWAYS EXISTED; it had no beginning. This is the ONLY LOGICALLY SOUND explanation. All other explanations/theories logically contradict themselves. Devan, if you see a flaw in my logic, then please point it out. I don't mind being proven wrong, but it has to be rationally (logically) founded.

The universe was 'not' created. ...no (logical) bout a doubt it!

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » March 9th, 2019, 12:25 pm

RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:47 am
There are NO 'logical' contradictions with "always existing" (i.e. having no beginning).
Having always existed is not the same as having no beginning! For if even spacetime has a temporal boundary in the past, it has always existed in the sense that there is no time in the past when it didn't exist.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

devans99
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 9th, 2019, 12:36 pm

RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:47 am
Devans99 wrote:As mentioned above, it is theorised that energy/matter was created from nothing by exchanging negative gravitational energy for positive regular energy/matter
Sorry Devan, but this theory is filled with non-sensical-ness (logical contradictions):

1. "Negative gravitational energy" is NOT "nothing". -- If nothing exists, then NOTHING exists! (...including negative gravitational energy!).
2. If 'space' did not yet exist, then WHERE did this supposed "exchange" happen? ...no where?
3. If 'time' did not yet exist, then there could be NO "exchange". There could be NO 'before and after' condition. There could not be a 'point' which separates an existence of ''nothing-ness', from an existence of 'something-ness'. There could be no left side (before) or right side (after) of this "exchange" point.
Nothing is not really nothing in modern physics. Transitory quantum fluctuations in the void (which are well established experimentally) may have caused some sort of chain reaction that led to the creation of matter from negative gravitational energy. So creation of all matter in the universe from nothing is possible. This cosmology's current leading theory for the formation of the universe (Eternal Inflation). As I argue in the OP though, the natural creation of matter in this way precludes infinite time (because we'd reach infinite matter density).

As far as an initial creation event (creation of matter and time) then some sort of space (not necessary our space) seems like a prerequisite... but this space could exist timelessly (and thus does not need to be created).

We know from the Big Bang theory that as we go back in time towards the Bang, time runs slower and slower until the point of the initial singularity (where time may not have been running at all), yet the Bang still Banged. So it seems that things can still happen without time (plus the photon example I mentioned).
RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:47 am
Devans99 wrote:Always existing’ throws up a lot of seemingly unsolvable contradictions (see the OP).
Not so. There are NO 'logical' contradictions with "always existing" (i.e. having no beginning). The only contradiction lies within our 'indoctrinations'.
What about all the logical contradictions I listed in the OP?

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 9th, 2019, 3:23 pm

RJG wrote:There are NO 'logical' contradictions with "always existing" (i.e. having no beginning).
Consul wrote:Having always existed is not the same as having no beginning! For if even spacetime has a temporal boundary in the past, it has always existed in the sense that there is no time in the past when it didn't exist.
Yes I don't disagree, BUT the purpose of my "( )" was to better clarify the meaning and context of my phrase "always existing". My equating it with "having no beginning", means that it was "NOT created", which is my point and the focus of this discussion.

Devans99 wrote:Nothing is not really nothing in modern physics.
So then are you now admitting that 'something' (not nothing) has "always existed"? ...or are you sticking with the logical contradiction X is not-X (nothing is not-nothing)?

If you agree that 'something' has "always existed", then you are 1/3 of the way to agreeing with me!

Devans99 wrote:Transitory quantum fluctuations in the void (which are well established experimentally) may have caused some sort of chain reaction that led to the creation of matter from negative gravitational energy.
Are "transitory quantum fluctuations" 'something' or nothing? ...and where/what is this "void"? ...does it 'exist', or not-exist? ...is it 'something', or nothing?

Devans99 wrote:As far as an initial creation event (creation of matter and time) then some sort of space (not necessary our space) seems like a prerequisite... but this space could exist timelessly (and thus does not need to be created).
So then why does 'matter' and 'time' NEED to be created? You seemingly accept the notion (possibility) here of an "always existing" (non-created) 'space'? ...but then close your eyes to the same possibility with matter and time. Why?

It seems here that you now agree that 'space' has "always existed" (was not created), and if so then you may be 2/3 of the way to agreeing with me!

Devans99 wrote:We know from the Big Bang theory that as we go back in time towards the Bang, time runs slower and slower until the point of the initial singularity (where time may not have been running at all), yet the Bang still Banged. So it seems that things can still happen without time (plus the photon example I mentioned).
If the Big Bang created the WHAT/WHERE/WHEN (matter/space/time), then:

1. WHERE did the Big Bang bang? ...if it had 'nowhere' to bang, then where did it bang?
2. WHAT banged?, ...if there was 'nothing' to bang, then what banged?
3. WHEN did it bang? ...if it had no 'starting point' (no 'before' the Bang), then when did it bang?

It is totally non-sensical ('logically' impossible) to conclude that the Big Bang (or ANY event/happening for that matter) could 'create' matter/space/time. For the creation of 'anything' requires the pre-existence of matter/space/time.

RJG wrote:There are NO 'logical' contradictions with "always existing" (i.e. having no beginning). The only contradictions lie within our flawed 'indoctrinations'.
Devans99 wrote:What about all the logical contradictions I listed in the OP?
Your use of "infinity" invalides your logic. Infinity cannot be used as a variable or term in math or logic, so as to then be compared or related to anything. It has no fixed 'value'. You might as well be using the word "forever". As the great @Karpel Tunnel eloquently once said "If you cut infinity in half, you still get infinity" (...or something to that effect).

Devans99 wrote:1. There is no coming into existence event for the particle; how can the particle exist if it never started existing?
Why not? What logic refutes this? Why MUST the existence of something have a 'start'?

Just because we have been indoctrinated to (falsely) believe that all things MUST have a start, there is absolutely NO LOGIC that refutes this "always existing" (having no starting point).

Logic is brutal on our indoctrinations.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 9th, 2019, 4:27 pm

RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 3:23 pm
So then are you now admitting that 'something' (not nothing) has "always existed"? ...or are you sticking with the logical contradiction X is not-X (nothing is not-nothing)?

If you agree that 'something' has "always existed", then you are 1/3 of the way to agreeing with me!
I was just pointing out that modern physics contradicts your view that matter must have always existed.

‘Can’t get something from nothing so something must have always existed’ is the logic you are using - but thats not quite right - the ‘always’ part leads to the contradictions listed in the OP.

‘Can’t get something from nothing so something exists permanently’ is a better way to word it. IE Whatever has ‘always’ existed must actually exist timelessly (so ‘always’ is the wrong word, it’s just ‘IS’).
RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 3:23 pm
It is totally non-sensical ('logically' impossible) to conclude that the Big Bang (or ANY event/happening for that matter) could 'create' matter/space/time. For the creation of 'anything' requires the pre-existence of matter/space/time.
I think that space and matter pre-existed time and the Big Bang. That pre-existing matter exists outside of time so it is incorrect to say it ‘always’ existed… it is timeless. Timeless existence is the only way to avoid an infinite regress.

RJG wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 3:23 pm
Your use of "infinity" invalides your logic. Infinity cannot be used as a variable or term in math or logic, so as to then be compared or related to anything. It has no fixed 'value'. You might as well be using the word "forever". As Karpel Tunnel eloquently once said "If you cut infinity in half, you still get infinity" (or something to that effect).
I think you are avoiding discussing my arguments because you do not have valid counter arguments.

How are we meant to discuss infinite time if we can’t use infinity in maths or logic? What you are saying is that infinity is too illogical for maths or logic:

- Nature is logical
- Infinity is illogical ("If you cut infinity in half, you still get infinity”)
- So infinity does not feature in nature
- So time is finite

The universe is fundamentally constrained to behave in a mathematical way; maths predates and transcends and governs the universe. You are saying that infinity is not a quantity. I agree. In that case, it cannot be used to stand in for quantities like ‘the age of the universe’ or ‘the size of the universe’. IE you are admitting the universe and time is finite.

Not all of my arguments are using infinity anyway. For example: Innate attributes… like a particle’s mass - when were they established? Always had them you might say. But ‘always’ has no ‘when’ for the attributes to be established - with infinite time particles would have no innate attributes. No mass. They would not be particles.

One more contradiction of infinite time for you avoid discussing (not mine… its the well known measure problem):

Probability of event A: 100%
Probability of event B: 0.0001%
Number of A’s in infinite time: 100% * ∞ = ∞
Number of B’s in infinite time: 0.00001% * ∞ = ∞
Ratio of A’s to B’s: ∞/∞ = 1
Conclusion: A and B are equally likely
IE Infinite time is contradictory

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 9th, 2019, 4:43 pm

∞/∞ = 1 is correct IMO because there are not different sizes of infinity. The existence of one infinity precludes the existence of any others.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by meaningful_products » March 10th, 2019, 12:51 am

Neither. The only time that we know exists is the present. To hold that the universe is "infinite" presupposes that there is in fact a present and future, and to hold that the universe is "not infinite" presupposes the same. The past is only an idea in the present and the future is only a visualization in the present.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 10th, 2019, 9:05 am

meaningful_products wrote:
March 10th, 2019, 12:51 am
Neither. The only time that we know exists is the present. To hold that the universe is "infinite" presupposes that there is in fact a present and future, and to hold that the universe is "not infinite" presupposes the same. The past is only an idea in the present and the future is only a visualization in the present.
So you deny that the past happened? And deny that the Big Bang happened? The past does seems to leave indelible marks on the present.

We can prove empirically the past existed… just do something (eg writing your name in the sand) and observe that it was done is sufficient.

Also ‘Now’ changes so what happened to the last ‘now’? It must have existed because we experienced it so why not call it ‘then’?

Presentism denies that the past/future are real but does not deny that the past happened and the future will happen. This is some form of hyper-presentism?

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by eyesofastranger » March 10th, 2019, 9:15 am

Infinity would be a very unpleasant "place" sorry no human word exists for an appropriate description. To me it seems infinity more likely infinitely creates universes. Infinity making an attempt at a thought process. What a foreign concept creation must be for our friend infinity. I'm alright with the dismal possibility of being a mere simulation. It's complexities are so vastly,tremendously, immensely and impossibly beyond my comprehension. The human condition isn't that bad.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 10th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Devans99 wrote:I think that space and matter pre-existed time and the Big Bang. That pre-existing matter exists outside of time so it is incorrect to say it ‘always’ existed… it is timeless.
So then do you agree with me that space and matter was "not created", i.e. "has no starting point" (which is what I mean when I say "always existed")?

Devans99 wrote:Timeless existence is the only way to avoid an infinite regress.
"Infinite regress" only proves the impossibility of 'time' being created, or having a start point. -- Logically, there cannot be a start point, or a time before time was created.

X<X is logically impossible.

Devans99 wrote:Not all of my arguments are using infinity anyway. For example: Innate attributes… like a particle’s mass - when were they established? Always had them you might say. But ‘always’ has no ‘when’ for the attributes to be established - with infinite time particles would have no innate attributes. No mass. They would not be particles.
Here is your flaw, shown in red text. It is your indoctrinated belief that stuff MUST have be "established" (that it MUST have a start point). There is no logic that proves that stuff MUST have a starting point. This is only our indoctrinated belief.

If you think there is logic out there that proves this indoctrinated belief as a truth, then please lay it out as a syllogism so we can then examine it for its logical validity and soundness. Thank you.

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