Could everything have existed forever?

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Consul
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 1:56 pm

devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 3:44 pm
How do you know [quantum entanglement] is a purely physical phenomenon? The two particles wave forms collapse at the same time despite an arbitrary large distance between them. To me it suggests there is more to reality than we are aware of. It could be that there is another aspect of reality where the two distanced particles are actually co-located or where time does not exist and so instantaneous distanced correlated events can take place. Maybe God is part of this other reality - not material in the sense we understand but still able to effect the material world we sense.
Physicists have different ideas about "quanglement" (quantum entanglement), but none of them includes any nonphysical entities or forces.
For example, here's David Bohm's interpretation:

"[T]he quantum theory has a fundamentally new kind of non-local relationship, which may be described as a noncausal connection of elements that are distant from each other, which is brought out in the experiment of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen. For our purposes, it is not necessary to go into the technical details concerning this non-local relationship. All that is important here is that one finds, through a study of the implications of the quantum theory, that the analysis of a total system into a set of independently existent but interacting particles breaks down in a radically new way. One discovers, instead, both from consideration of the meaning of the mathematical equations and from the results of the actual experiments, that the various particles have to be taken literally as projections of a higher-dimensional reality which cannot be accounted for in terms of any force of interaction between them.

Image

We can obtain a helpful intuitive sense of what is meant by the notion of projection here, through the consideration of the following device. Let us begin with a rectangular tank full of water, with transparent walls (see Figure 3.2).
Suppose further that there are two television cameras, A and B, directed at what is going on in the water (e.g., fish swimming around) as seen through the two walls at right angles to each other. Now let the corresponding television images be made visible on screens A and B in another room. What we will see there is a certain relationship between the images appearing on the two screens. For example, on screen A we may see an image of a fish, and on screen B we will see another such image. At any given moment each image will generally look different from the other. Nevertheless the differences will be related, in the sense that when one image is seen to execute certain movements, the other will be seen to execute corresponding movements. Moreover, content that is mainly on one screen will pass into the other, and vice versa (e.g., when a fish initially facing camera A turns through a right angle, the image that was on A is now to be found on B). Thus at all times the image content on the other screen will correlate with and reflect that of the other.
Of course, we know that the two images do not refer to independently existent though interacting actualities (in which, for example, one image could be said to 'cause' related changes in the other). Rather, they refer to a single actuality, which is the common ground of both (and this explains the correlation of images without the assumption that they causally affect each other). This actuality is of higher dimensionality than are the separate images on the screens; or, to put it differently, the images on the screens are two-dimensional projections (or facets) of a three-dimensional reality. In some sense this three-dimensional reality holds these two-dimensional projections within it. Yet, since these projections exist only as abstractions, the three-dimensional reality is neither of these, but rather it is something else, something of a nature beyond both."


(Bohm, David. "The Enfolding-Unfolding Universe and Consciousness." 1980. Reprinted in The Essential David Bohm, edited by Lee Nichol, 78-138. New York: Routledge, 2003. pp. 94-6)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 2:27 pm

devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 5:07 pm
I think if we define nature as the contents of spacetime - which I believe is a creation - then that leads to an 'unnatural' creator. I think that there is no difference between unnatural and supernatural. I believe that reality (including any aspects that we are not currently aware of) must follow certain common sense axioms, for example:

- The whole is greater than the parts
- Everything is finite
- Everything has a start and end

God, if he exists, must play by these rules too.
Are these logically or ontologically necessary truths? I don't think so.

As for the first statement, a mere whole is in fact nothing more than the sum of its objectual/substantial parts; but an integral whole such as a biological organism—which is not just a heap or jumble of things but an organized, structured system or complex of connected things—is more than the sum of its objectual/substantial parts, in the sense that the properties of and relations between its objectual/substantial parts are also part(s) of it. But then an integral whole is nothing more than the sum of its objectual/substantial parts plus the sum of their properties and relations.
devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 5:07 pm
I doubt the existence of the soul, but cannot disprove the it (neither can you I think). I believe in the existence of supernatural agents (using the above definition). I think an afterlife is a possibility - but it would probably be this life (see Eternal Return or Closed Timelike Curves from GR).
If the supernatural agents you believe in aren't (immaterial) souls, what kind of beings are they?
devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 5:07 pm
I am unsure with regards to eternalism. On the one hand, it neatly explains a lot of things, on the other hand it clashes violently with perception.
Does it? How?
devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 5:07 pm
Consul wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 4:06 pm
According to classical, traditional deism, God is a transcendent immaterial person just like the theistic god.
I am not sure. The evidence/arguments (IMO) points to spacetime being a creation. That would mean a causally efficacious timeless intelligence of some sort is required. I can say something about what God is not: the 3Os are disprovable and he is not infinite. But I cannot say much about what God is. Transcendent would seem likely. Not made from the same stuff as seems likely. Beyond that I am not sure. My guess is some sort of timeless, bored, astrophysicist of a god who decided an interesting distraction would be to create a life supporting universe.
So your God is a superhuman material person and scientist living on some planet in a parallel universe?
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Felix » July 10th, 2019, 2:31 pm

RJG: If time exists, then it has always existed. There is no other logical path.
The Universe is not obligated to conform to your logic.
RJG: If time is a property (dimension) of this universe, then it is always there.
Only if it's an essential property, required for existence. You'll have to prove that a static timeless universe cannot exist.
Felix: you may have to start from scratch, so to speak.
RJG: Does something come from nothing, or from something?
By "starting from scratch" I do not mean creating something from nothing but arranging or rearranging the basic elements in a new way: same ingredients but a different recipe.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 2:43 pm

Felix wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 2:31 pm
Only if it's an essential property, required for existence. You'll have to prove that a static timeless universe cannot exist.
Is a static, i.e. eventless or changeless, universe a timeless universe? Think of sentences such as "For a long time nothing happened"!
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 2:51 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 2:43 pm
Is a static, i.e. eventless or changeless, universe a timeless universe? Think of sentences such as "For a long time nothing happened"!
There's a relevant difference between a temporal world of concrete entities where nothing ever happens, and an atemporal world of abstract entities ("Platonic heaven") where nothing happens. In the former nothing ever happens, but something could happen or could have happened therein, whereas in the latter nothing happens, because nothing could happen or could have happened therein. So the first (concrete) world is contingently eventless/changeless, whereas the second (abstract) world is necessarily eventless/changeless.
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 3:11 pm

devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Please see the 'bit universe' example I gave above. A bit must be 1 or 0. If it is neither (as in the case of existing 'forever' - it has no initial value) then all subsequent states of the bit are undefined.
That's not true, because in a past-infinite series of 1s and 0s there is no element which isn't either 1 or 0.
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » July 10th, 2019, 3:21 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 3:11 pm
devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Please see the 'bit universe' example I gave above. A bit must be 1 or 0. If it is neither (as in the case of existing 'forever' - it has no initial value) then all subsequent states of the bit are undefined.
That's not true, because in a past-infinite series of 1s and 0s there is no element which isn't either 1 or 0.
There is also the possibility that the bit value is undefined/uninitialised - which would be the case if there was no start to the sequence. An undefined value can only lead to undefined values.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 3:31 pm

devans99 wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 3:21 pm
Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 3:11 pm
That's not true, because in a past-infinite series of 1s and 0s there is no element which isn't either 1 or 0.
There is also the possibility that the bit value is undefined/uninitialised - which would be the case if there was no start to the sequence. An undefined value can only lead to undefined values.
No, because then "neither 1 nor 0" is a third possible value #; and then we still have an infinite series of well-defined elements, e.g.:

…00001111#01####101010111111100000###1#0######000000111111010101#0#0#1#1

Once again, you're very wrong in (pre)supposing that a series of elements with an infinite regress cannot be well-defined, well-ordered, or well-structured. Consider the infinite series of negative integers, which is mathematically well-defined and well-ordered despite the absence of a largest negative integer: ..., -4, -3, -2, -1
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 3:43 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 3:31 pm
Consider the infinite series of negative integers, which is mathematically well-defined and well-ordered despite the absence of a largest negative integer: ..., -4, -3, -2, -1
Well, if -1 is the largest negative integer, then there is no smallest negative integer.
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 3:52 pm

Consul wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 3:20 pm
Moreover, as far as I know, it's not a scientific fact that quantum entanglement involves a "spooky" action at a distance, because correlation is not the same as and doesn't even entail causation.
"[T]he quantum theory has a fundamentally new kind of non-local relationship, which may be described as a noncausal connection of elements that are distant from each other…"

(Bohm, David. "The Enfolding-Unfolding Universe and Consciousness." 1980. Reprinted in The Essential David Bohm, edited by Lee Nichol, 78-138. New York: Routledge, 2003. pp. 94-6)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » July 10th, 2019, 4:08 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 2:27 pm
Are these logically or ontologically necessary truths? I don't think so.

As for the first statement, a mere whole is in fact nothing more than the sum of its objectual/substantial parts; but an integral whole such as a biological organism—which is not just a heap or jumble of things but an organized, structured system or complex of connected things—is more than the sum of its objectual/substantial parts, in the sense that the properties of and relations between its objectual/substantial parts are also part(s) of it. But then an integral whole is nothing more than the sum of its objectual/substantial parts plus the sum of their properties and relations.
I believe the axioms I listed are logically/ontologically true in all possible realities - you have IMO given a good demonstration of 'the whole is greater than the parts' axiom above (and expanded it). I obviously can't prove this but the axioms I listed are related to mathematical truths and I think reality is described by maths.

It could be I have it all wrong and somewhere there exists a crazy reality where true=false (true-same-false world I call it - there would be no information in such a world so we can probably rule this one out) but such realities I think would be hard to construct - contradictions would always surface - and I don't belief that contradictions are allowed in reality.
Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 2:27 pm
If the supernatural agents you believe in aren't (immaterial) souls, what kind of beings are they?
I am not sure. I believe that spacetime is a just a part of a larger reality that contains extra/supernatural agents. At least one of those agents must be uncaused and therefore timeless in a sense. It would not be part of spacetime so it maybe made from something quite different to us - maybe material of a different sort. Immaterial - I am not sure what that could be, a being must be composed of information of some sort or else it is null and void. Seems that some sort of material is required to represent information...
Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 2:27 pm
devans99 wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 5:07 pm
I am unsure with regards to eternalism. On the one hand, it neatly explains a lot of things, on the other hand it clashes violently with perception.
Does it? How?
If the universe was a completely static 4D spacetime block then everything is explained. Change is just an illusion. God has performed all his actions in the world already (in some sense). Our physical theories like SR/GR would make sense. But then everything would be predetermined. And I can only sense now - the argument being that is all that exists. And I do not feel as if I am a 4D spacetime worm.
Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 2:27 pm
So your God is a superhuman material person and scientist living on some planet in a parallel universe?
Maybe. It would definitely be timeless, intelligent and powerful. I cannot say on multiplicity - it seems that it maybe possible to prove the existence of a god (by my limited definition), but disproving the existence of more than one god seems to be doomed to failure - if one brute fact can exist, then more than one brute fact can exist. So I think that monotheism will always remain a belief.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 4:10 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 1:56 pm
"…Of course, we know that the two images do not refer to independently existent though interacting actualities (in which, for example, one image could be said to 'cause' related changes in the other). Rather, they refer to a single actuality, which is the common ground of both (and this explains the correlation of images without the assumption that they causally affect each other). This actuality is of higher dimensionality than are the separate images on the screens; or, to put it differently, the images on the screens are two-dimensional projections (or facets) of a three-dimensional reality. In some sense this three-dimensional reality holds these two-dimensional projections within it. Yet, since these projections exist only as abstractions, the three-dimensional reality is neither of these, but rather it is something else, something of a nature beyond both."

(Bohm, David. "The Enfolding-Unfolding Universe and Consciousness." 1980. Reprinted in The Essential David Bohm, edited by Lee Nichol, 78-138. New York: Routledge, 2003. pp. 94-6)
Bohm is especially famous for his version and interpretation of quantum mechanics called Bohmian mechanics, which is based on an idea Louis de Broglie had. A novel, nonclassical type of physical field (mathematically represented by a wavefunction) is an essential ingredient of its ontology. According to Bohm, this (particle-guiding) quantum field doesn't exist in ordinary 3D space (like the particles whose motions it influences) but in a mega-multidimensional space called configuration space.

"No one can understand [the de Broglie-Bohm] theory until he is willing to think of Psi as a real objective field rather than just a ‘probability amplitude’. Even though it propagates not in 3-space but in 3N-space."

(Bell, J. S. "Quantum Mechanics for Cosmologists." In Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics, 117-138. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. p. 128)

"N" stands for the number of particles in the universe; so if there were e.g. 100 particles in 3D space, the corresponding 3N configuration space would have 300 dimensions.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » July 10th, 2019, 4:20 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 3:31 pm
No, because then "neither 1 nor 0" is a third possible value #; and then we still have an infinite series of well-defined elements, e.g.:

…00001111#01####101010111111100000###1#0######000000111111010101#0#0#1#1

Once again, you're very wrong in (pre)supposing that a series of elements with an infinite regress cannot be well-defined, well-ordered, or well-structured. Consider the infinite series of negative integers, which is mathematically well-defined and well-ordered despite the absence of a largest negative integer: ..., -4, -3, -2, -1
UNDEFINED is not a third value - it is the absence of any valid value - an it is not a state that is valid in reality (it occurs in computer programming when someone makes a mistake of not initialising a variable - same situation with 'forever' - nothing is initialised to a valid initial value - so none of the subsequent values are valid).

With the negative integers, the '...' indicates the set is not fully defined = UNDEFINED. It is an incompletely defined set and as such cannot feature in reality.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 4:54 pm

devans99 wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 4:20 pm
UNDEFINED is not a third value - it is the absence of any valid value - an it is not a state that is valid in reality (it occurs in computer programming when someone makes a mistake of not initialising a variable - same situation with 'forever' - nothing is initialised to a valid initial value - so none of the subsequent values are valid).
With the negative integers, the '...' indicates the set is not fully defined = UNDEFINED. It is an incompletely defined set and as such cannot feature in reality.
If "neither 1 nor 0" isn't a third possible value # but nothing, then, of course, #s aren't part of the infinite series of 1s and 0s.

The set of negative integers as a whole and all its members are mathematically well-defined; and this set is complete in the sense that it contains all negative integers, which constitute an actual infinity of numbers.

Again, the beginninglessness or startlessness of a series doesn't prevent it (and its elements) from being well-defined and well-ordered.

I'm sorry, but you haven't presented any sound argument against the possibility of series with an infinite regress.
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Consul » July 10th, 2019, 4:56 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 4:54 pm
I'm sorry, but you haven't presented any sound argument against the possibility of series with an infinite regress.
By "series" I mean "series of mathematical or physical items".
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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