The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight

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.
devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 10th, 2019, 12:53 pm

RJG wrote:
March 10th, 2019, 12:23 pm
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")?
There is a difference over the use of the word ‘always’. I would rather say ‘permanent’. IE space/ matter cannot always exist in time because thats paradoxical. Instead space/ matter must have existed outside of time; hence the use of ‘permanent existence’.
RJG wrote:
March 10th, 2019, 12:23 pm
"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.
If you think of a 1-dimensional world (a finite line), it could be embedded in another 1-dimensional world (a longer finite line). So what is time in the first world could map to what is space in the second world. So time could have a start.
RJG wrote:
March 10th, 2019, 12:23 pm
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.
1. Stuff does not have start (call that t=0)
2. Implies Stuff does not have a next to start (t=1)
3. etc for t=2, t=3 ...
4. Implies Stuff does not have middle (t=k)
5. etc...
6. Implies Stuff does not have end (t=n)
7. Implies Stuff does not exist

I guess not everyone will accept this argument though, hence all the others I gave in the OP. For example, you must agree that an infinite being is impossible? So that would make infinite existence impossible too, for example:

A. ‘Infinite Being’ is impossible
B. ‘Being’ is possible
C. Is there something about ‘Being’ that makes ‘Infinite Being’ impossible? No
D. So it must be that infinite is not possible

User avatar
RJG
Moderator
Posts: 1248
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 11th, 2019, 7:22 am

RJG wrote: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:There is a difference over the use of the word ‘always’. I would rather say ‘permanent’. IE space/ matter cannot always exist in time because thats paradoxical. Instead space/ matter must have existed outside of time; hence the use of ‘permanent existence’.
So then do you agree with me that space and matter was "not created" (had "no start point")? ...Yes/No?

RJG wrote:"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:If you think of a 1-dimensional world (a finite line), it could be embedded in another 1-dimensional world (a longer finite line). So what is time in the first world could map to what is space in the second world. So time could have a start.
This is just "turtles-all-the-way-down" (a form of infinite regress). Claiming that another God created our God is not an explanation for the creation of our God (nor is claiming another time created our time). This only avoids the question by "kicking-the-can-down-the-road".

X<X<X is still impossible.

RJG wrote:There is no logic that proves that stuff MUST have a starting point. ...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.
Devans99 wrote:1. Stuff does not have start (call that t=0)
2. Implies Stuff does not have a next to start (t=1)
3. etc for t=2, t=3 ...
4. Implies Stuff does not have middle (t=k)
5. etc...
6. Implies Stuff does not have end (t=n)
7. Implies Stuff does not exist
Devans, no offense, but this is not a proper syllogism. Your logic needs to logically connect the "absence of a starting point" (and middle, and end point if you want) to the conclusion, the "impossibility of its existence", which it currently does not. You are essentially making the blanket statement "stuff that doesn't have a start, can't exist", but not showing the logic that connects the "no starting point" --> to it's "non-existence".

Again, there is NO logic that refutes "always existing" (the existence of something that was "not created"; had "no starting point"). It is only our preconceived indoctrinated beliefs that twists our heads into thinking that "stuff MUST have a start; have been 'created'." ...logic tells us otherwise!

Devans99 wrote:I guess not everyone will accept this argument though, hence all the others I gave in the OP. For example, you must agree that an infinite being is impossible? So that would make infinite existence impossible too, for example:

A. ‘Infinite Being’ is impossible
B. ‘Being’ is possible
C. Is there something about ‘Being’ that makes ‘Infinite Being’ impossible? No
D. So it must be that infinite is not possible
Again, this is not logically coherent (valid or sound).

In essence, you are saying:
"Red bananas are impossible, therefore the color red is impossible."

devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 11th, 2019, 9:04 am

RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:22 am
So then do you agree with me that space and matter was "not created" (had "no start point")? ...Yes/No?
I think it was most likely that there was some pre-existing matter and more matter was created during the Big Bang / Eternal inflation. The pre-existing matter is timeless so it needs no start point in time; it does not exist in time (it has a start point in all of its spacial dimensions).
RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:22 am
Devans99 wrote:If you think of a 1-dimensional world (a finite line), it could be embedded in another 1-dimensional world (a longer finite line). So what is time in the first world could map to what is space in the second world. So time could have a start.
This is just "turtles-all-the-way-down" (a form of infinite regress). Claiming that another God created our God is not an explanation for the creation of our God (nor is claiming another time created our time). This only avoids the question by "kicking-the-can-down-the-road".
No it is not an infinite regress; it is a solution to the infinite regress problem:

Something outside time is beyond cause and effect so it can be an uncaused cause (it does not need to be created itself). Hence no infinite regress required.

Your model requires an infinite regress in time, which is impossible, proof:

1. The number of items in a infinite regress is greater than any possible number
2. Contradiction, can’t be a number and greater than any number

My model does not require an infinite regress.
RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:22 am
Devans99 wrote:1. Stuff does not have start (call that t=0)
2. Implies Stuff does not have a next to start (t=1)
3. etc for t=2, t=3 ...
4. Implies Stuff does not have middle (t=k)
5. etc...
6. Implies Stuff does not have end (t=n)
7. Implies Stuff does not exist
Devans, no offense, but this is not a proper syllogism. Your logic needs to logically connect the "absence of a starting point" (and middle, and end point if you want) to the conclusion, the "impossibility of its existence", which it currently does not. You are essentially making the blanket statement "stuff that doesn't have a start, can't exist", but not showing the logic that connects the "no starting point" --> to it's "non-existence".
It’s perfectly valid reasoning:

1. Stuff does not have start
2. If stuff does not have a start, then it cannot have a ‘next to start’ (because that would qualify as a start and [1] says that stuff does not have a start)
3. So stuff does not have a next to start (by Modus Ponens on 1 and 2).
4. (And so on for the rest of the proof)
RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:22 am
Devans99 wrote:I guess not everyone will accept this argument though, hence all the others I gave in the OP. For example, you must agree that an infinite being is impossible? So that would make infinite existence impossible too, for example:

A. ‘Infinite Being’ is impossible
B. ‘Being’ is possible
C. Is there something about ‘Being’ that makes ‘Infinite Being’ impossible? No
D. So it must be that infinite is not possible
Again, this is not logically coherent (valid or sound).

In essence, you are saying:
"Red bananas are impossible, therefore the color red is impossible."
Not a very good example you have chosen:
A. ‘Red bananas’ are impossible
B. ‘Banana’ is possible (you missed this bit)
C. Is there something about ‘Banana’ that makes ‘red’ impossible? No
D So it must be that ‘red’ is impossible

Again this is perfectly valid logic (red bananas are in fact deductively possible so its not a good example). A better example:

A. Iced lollies below absolute zero are impossible
B. Iced lollies are possible
C. Is there something about ‘Iced lollies’ that makes ‘below absolute zero’ impossible? No
D. So below absolute zero is impossible

User avatar
RJG
Moderator
Posts: 1248
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 11th, 2019, 1:17 pm

RJG wrote:So then do you agree with me that space and matter was "not created"? ...Yes/No?
Devans99 wrote:I think it was most likely that there was some pre-existing matter and more matter was created during the Big Bang / Eternal inflation. The pre-existing matter is timeless so it needs no start point in time; it does not exist in time (it has a start point in all of its spacial dimensions).
Is this a YES or a NO? ...if No, then was the 'stuff' that created the 'stuff' "not created" itself? ...if No, then was the 'stuff' that created the 'stuff' that created the 'stuff' "not created" itself?

RJG wrote:This is just "turtles-all-the-way-down" (a form of infinite regress). Claiming that another God created our God is not an explanation for the creation of our God (nor is claiming another time created our time). This only avoids the question by "kicking-the-can-down-the-road".
Devans99 wrote:No it is not an infinite regress; it is a solution to the infinite regress problem: Something outside time is beyond cause and effect so it can be an uncaused cause (it does not need to be created itself).
Bingo! So the buck finally stops here with the realization that something "was not created", i.e that something "did not have a start".

RJG wrote:You are essentially making the blanket statement "stuff that doesn't have a start, can't exist", but not showing the logic that connects the "no starting point" --> to it's "non-existence".
Devans99 wrote: 1. Stuff does not have start
Stuff [X] exists. But the start [Y] (of this stuff) does not exist. ...okay, I'm good with this.
Y does not exist
Devans99 wrote: 2. If stuff does not have a start, then it cannot have a ‘next to start’ (because that would qualify as a start and [1] says that stuff does not have a start)
"Next-to-start does not exist"
Y+1 does not exist ...okay, still good.
Devans99 wrote:3. So stuff does not have a next to start (by Modus Ponens on 1 and 2).
"Next-to-next-to-start does not exist"
Y+1+1 does not exist ...okay, and still good.
Devans99 wrote:4. Implies Stuff does not exist.
This is the error. Where's the logic that gets you from "Y+1+1" to --> "No X (stuff does not exist)"?

Devans99 wrote:A. ‘Infinite Being’ is impossible
B. ‘Being’ is possible
C. Is there something about ‘Being’ that makes ‘Infinite Being’ impossible? No
D. So it must be that infinite is not possible
RJG wrote:Again, this is not logically coherent (valid or sound).

In essence, you are saying:
"Red bananas are impossible, therefore the color red is impossible."
Devans99 wrote: A. ‘Red bananas’ are impossible
B. ‘Banana’ is possible (you missed this bit)
C. Is there something about ‘Banana’ that makes ‘red’ impossible? No
D So it must be that ‘red’ is impossible

Again this is perfectly valid logic (red bananas are in fact deductively possible so its not a good example).
Sorry this is NOT "valid" whatsoever. D does not logical follow from C (or B, A), in any of your syllogisms.

devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 11th, 2019, 2:21 pm

RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 1:17 pm
Bingo! So the buck finally stops here with the realization that something "was not created", i.e that something "did not have a start".
Anything existing in time must have a temporal start. Things that do not exist in time do not need temporal starts (but need spacial starts). So maybe we are agreeing.

RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 1:17 pm
Devans99 wrote: 1. Stuff does not have start
Stuff [X] exists. But the start [Y] (of this stuff) does not exist. ...okay, I'm good with this.
Y does not exist
I don’t think you can start with the assumption Stuff (X) exists… that remains to be seen (it could be that all Stuff that presently exists has a start). All we know is that Stuff does not have a start… the argument then proceeds to demonstrate that Stuff therefore does not exist.

RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 1:17 pm
Devans99 wrote:4. Implies Stuff does not exist.
This is the error. Where's the logic that gets you from "Y+1+1" to --> "No X (stuff does not exist)"?
Well we can extend the argument Y+1+1 as far as we like IE Y+∞ to we get to the current day and establish that any Stuff without a temporal start does not exist.

Time works just like space in this regard - If Stuff does not have a spacial start, it has no middle or end either and it is nothing.
RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 1:17 pm
[
Devans99 wrote: A. ‘Red bananas’ are impossible
B. ‘Banana’ is possible (you missed this bit)
C. Is there something about ‘Banana’ that makes ‘red’ impossible? No
D So it must be that ‘red’ is impossible

Again this is perfectly valid logic (red bananas are in fact deductively possible so its not a good example).
Sorry this is NOT "valid" whatsoever. D does not logical follow from C (or B, A), in any of your syllogisms.
I admit I don’t think there is a rule of formal logic for what I am doing. But I maintain it makes common sense:

- The proposition A is made of two subcomponents: A1 (infinite), A2 (being)
- We know A as a whole is false
- We know A2 is true
- If we can establish there is nothing about A2 that precludes A1
- Then we know A1 is false

devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 11th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Actually, can't I just write it like this:

For all X
B = X is a being
I = X is infinite
we know (B and I) is false
we know B is true
So I must be false independently of B?

devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 11th, 2019, 2:48 pm

My bad... disregard that last post sorry...

User avatar
Plaffelvohfen
New Trial Member
Posts: 13
Joined: March 5th, 2019, 1:40 am

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Plaffelvohfen » March 11th, 2019, 3:21 pm

@RJG

Time is a dimension, so I kind of agree with you when you say that Time has always existed but only as a dimension, in the same sense as Depth exists whether we can measure it or not.

In a 2 dimension universe, Depth isn’t «expressed», it exists but you can’t measure it in any meaningful way... Was «Depth» created? I think the question makes no sense... So asking «was Time created» makes no sense in the same way in my opinion...

Time as a dimension, «expresses» itself in our universe in ways we can measure, and its «expression» in our universe vary according to speed...

So in our universe, Time definitely had a beginning, not a beginning of «being» but it began to be «expressed» at some point in the past, in our own universe...

Same goes for matter/energy, they are «expressions» of fundamental «strings» or of «certain combinations of certain strings» in String Theories... And they are not necessarily expressed in every possible universes...

If I understand it correctly that is, I’m not Edward Witten after all... ;)

User avatar
RJG
Moderator
Posts: 1248
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 11th, 2019, 4:01 pm

Devans99 wrote:Well we can extend the argument Y+1+1 as far as we like IE Y+∞ to we get to the current day and establish that any Stuff without a temporal start does not exist.
...but "Y", "Y+1+1", and "Y+∞" don't exist.

devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 11th, 2019, 4:15 pm

RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 4:01 pm
Devans99 wrote:Well we can extend the argument Y+1+1 as far as we like IE Y+∞ to we get to the current day and establish that any Stuff without a temporal start does not exist.
...but "Y", "Y+1+1", and "Y+∞" don't exist.
An object with no temporal start does not exist so we'd expect "Y", "Y+1+1", and "Y+∞" not to exist. It's a proof via contradiction. Start by assuming does exist and show that it does not exist:

1. The particle exists. We don't need to introduce a variable X here.
2. The particle does not have a (temporal) start point
3. If the particle does not have a start, then it cannot have a ‘next to start’ (because that would qualify as a start and [2] says that it does not have a start)
4. So particle does not have a next to start (by Modus Ponens on [2] and [3]).
5. etc… for start+2, start+3…
6. Implies particle does not have a (temporal) middle
7. etc… up to now (start+∞)
8. Implies particle does not have a (temporal) end
9. Implies particle never existed

User avatar
RJG
Moderator
Posts: 1248
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 11th, 2019, 5:02 pm

Devans99 wrote:An object with no temporal start does not exist...
...logic says otherwise.


@Plaffelvohfen
Firstly, welcome Plaffelvohfen to our group.

Secondly, all of what you say above still brings us back to Devans root question, "where did everything come from"? Did it "always exist", or "was it created?"

If it "was created", then did this creator of everything "always exist" or was he also "created"?

And if he "was created", then did this creator of the creator of everything "always exist", or was he also "created"?

And if he "was created", then did this creator of the creator of the creator of everything "always exist", or was he also "created"?

Hopefully, at some point during this never ending line of questioning, the realization will hit of the impossibility of denying or avoiding the certainty of something "always existing" (non-created).

To put it simply: There is absolutely no way to avoid that something has "always existed" (was not-created).

Either we can claim God 1 created God 2 which created God 3 which in turn created God 4 which in turn created "everything" -- OR -- we can invoke Occam's Razor and just say -- The "everything" has "always existed".

devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 11th, 2019, 7:59 pm

RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 5:02 pm

If it "was created", then did this creator of everything "always exist" or was he also "created"?

And if he "was created", then did this creator of the creator of everything "always exist", or was he also "created"?

And if he "was created", then did this creator of the creator of the creator of everything "always exist", or was he also "created"?
There could be a timeless creator...cause and effect do not apply to timeless things... it would be an uncaused cause so there is no infinite regress of creators.

User avatar
RJG
Moderator
Posts: 1248
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 11th, 2019, 8:06 pm

Devans99 wrote:There could be a timeless creator…
Was this "timeless creator" himself created? ...or was he NOT created? ...it's one or the other, right?

devans99
Posts: 159
Joined: June 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 11th, 2019, 8:10 pm

RJG wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 8:06 pm
Devans99 wrote:There could be a timeless creator…
Was this "timeless creator" himself created? ...or was he NOT created? ...it's one or the other, right?
Not created; just IS.

So cause and effect is a side effect of time; timeless things don't need causes.

User avatar
RJG
Moderator
Posts: 1248
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 11th, 2019, 8:42 pm

RJG wrote:To put it simply: There is absolutely no way to avoid that something has "always existed" (was not-created).
Devans99 wrote:There could be a timeless creator…
RJG wrote:Was this "timeless creator" himself created? ...or was he NOT created? ...it's one or the other, right?
Devans99 wrote:Not created; just IS.
Bingo.

Post Reply