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Could everything have existed forever?

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devans99
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Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 8th, 2019, 8:02 am

The conservation of energy suggests a model of the universe where time is infinite and energy/matter was never created but instead has always existed. Is that actually possible? Most of those who believe in infinity and presentism (belief in the existence of only ‘now’) say yes. They hold the view that matter/energy has existed ‘forever’ and was never created.

A thought experiment is to examine the characteristics of an infinite being to see if it’s viable being or not. If an infinite being is not viable then maybe the infinite existence matter/energy and the universe is not viable either?

Infinite Being

So some characteristics of an infinite being:

1. No birth/coming into being event (obviously).

2. An infinite personal history.

3. At birth certain innate attributes are established permanently (like eye colour). For an infinite being, there is no time at which these attributes could have been established (cannot have been established infinity long ago as all events effecting the being must of taken place at finite period of time ago to class as an event).

4. The being would never be young: going back a billion years is just an infinitesimally small period of time compared to its infinite life span. No matter what finite period we go back in time, the being is not young.

5. The being has always experienced events. No matter how far we go back in time, the being experienced events. So it must have experienced some events greater than any number of years ago. Which is a contradiction (can’t be a number* and greater than any number at the same time).

6. Everything it remembers would have happened a finite time ago (if it remembers an event, it would remember when the event occurred, IE some finite time ago). But some things are infinitely memorable (first sex etc…). Remembering the first of something would contradict its status as an infinite being - it would remember that it first had sex X years ago - meaning it must of had a finite life span after all.

7. In fact the first of everything is always memorable so its a general problem for an infinite being. More to the point, it would never have taken a first breath. Nor a second breath either, nor third, no breathing at all in fact.

*(Infinity is a concept not a number, proof: Infinity, if a number, would be a number X which is greater than all other numbers. But X+1>X).

By these considerations, infinite existence seems untenable.

Infinite Particle

The arguments given above hold for a particle with a memory. For a regular particle with no memory, most of the arguments still hold:

1. There is no coming into existence event for the particle; how can the particle exist if it never started existing?

3. There must be some event (=time) at which the innate attributes (like mass of the particle) are established else it is not a particle. But no such time exists with infinite time. Without innate attributes, a particle is just null and void. So its not a valid particle.

4. It’s a general contradiction of infinity that applies to equally to infinite particles: they experience time yet they do not have the concept of young or old… contradictory.

5. This point demonstrates that an infinite regression in time is impossible... infinite regresses are needed for infinite time… events like particle collisions form infinite regresses... but again it's impossible.

7. The argument can be applied to events effecting the particle like collisions… no first collision, no 2nd, no collisions at all… no particle at all.


Can Time Be Infinite?

If the arguments in the previous sections are accepted, then infinite existence of matter/energy is impossible. If time is to be infinite, then this leaves only one possibility: creation Ex nihilo (creation of matter/energy from nothing). But if the natural creation of matter/energy is possible, with infinite time, matter/energy density would be infinite by now, which is clearly not the case.

Another way of considering the same problem is the creation event itself; if it was natural and time was infinite, we would expect infinite instances of creation, but of course there is only one instance of the Big Bang. The Big Bang is a singleton; natural events always come in a plurality.

So we have ruled out infinite time in combination with natural creation events, what about an ‘unnatural’ creation event? There would be a barren, empty stretch of infinite time before the creation event with nothing to cause it, which is impossible.

So that establishes there is a start of time.

Eternalism

Eternalism is the opposite view of presentism. It is the belief that past, present and future are all equally real. A proof via contradiction that Eternalism is true:

Assume only now exists (presentism)
So before the start of time there was nothing *
But creation ex nihilo / without time is impossible
So more than only now exists **

* If there is more than one time, this proof refers to the first or top level time (base reality).
** We know now exists and more than now exists. So at least one moment other than now must exist. But all moments are identical so they all must exist.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Scott » March 8th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Great topic! The arguments in the OP are very well organized!
The conservation of energy suggests a model of the universe where time is infinite and energy/matter was never created but instead has always existed.
Is energy conserved in quantum mechanics?
7. In fact the first of everything is always memorable so its a general problem for an infinite being. More to the point, it would never have taken a first breath. Nor a second breath either, nor third, no breathing at all in fact.
Do you remember your first breath? Do most people remember their first breath?

I suspect an argument can be made regarding the relationship of firsts to infinite history, but memory does not seem to fit into the picture.
1. There is no coming into existence event for the particle; how can the particle exist if it never started existing?
Particles come in and out existence all the time, and there is no relevant claims otherwise. Thus, the line of argument started with the quoted statement he appears to be a strawman argument.

Can Time Be Infinite?

If the arguments in the previous sections are accepted, then infinite existence of matter/energy is impossible. If time is to be infinite[...]
I suspect the problem is with the question itself. To ask if time is infinite is at best vague. Infinite by what measure? Is the question being asked in the context of accepting the relativity of spacetime as a premise?

To suggest time is infinite in such a simplistic way seems to absurdly imply time is being measured from some objective outside perspective, as if there could be some guy outside the universe was sitting there with measuring tape and stopwatches and could measure how wide the universe is spatially or how long it is temporally. That kind of thought experiment does create absurdities much like the ones shown in the OP, but the absurdities result from the nonsensical premises of the question: that there is some outside from which the length or age of the universe could be hypothetically measured. It's effectively contradictory because to really measure the sum of everything we would have to measure that 'outside' too; thus it would be as meaninglessly absurd to say the universe is finite in that sense as it would be to say it is infinite in that sense. Instead the universe has no qualities in that sense because that sense is nonsensical.

From relative perspectives, infinities emerge in spacetime all the time at least as simple products of math and basic calculus. For example, if we watch someone fall into a blackhole from Earth, it would take an infinite amount of time for the person to go over the event horizon. Likewise, if someone had just passed through an event horizon and we rewind time (from our perspective outside the event horizon) to see how long ago they passed through we would have to rewind time more than an infinite amount. Infinities in our Newtonian approximations of space or time are a necessary result of both space and time really being one in the same in a relative spacetime; or more simply put these kind of infinities are a necessary result of special relativity. Einstein discovered that neither space nor time are fundamental constants but rather only the speed of causality/"light" is. Space and time bend relatively (and often infinitely) to accommodate the constant, C. All massless particles/beings "move" at C in a timeless universe with collapsed dimensions. What we see from our perspective as 'time' (a pseudo-constant defining our relative perspective) and as the 'space' in which we can move during that time at a rate below C (the true constant) only relatively exist in that subjective emergent perspective. My perhaps wrong understanding is that, in analogy, if the fundamentals of the universe were cars on a congested highway, we are like an intangible traffic jam floating above it (and perhaps moving slowly in the opposite direction of the actual cars on the highway); we are just emergent inherently slower wave patterns in a sea of fundamentals and constants.

The answer to the question, "Can Time Be Infinite?", depends on the meaning of the question, particularly whether it refers to an objective non-relative infinity or a relative infinity. But generally I think the question is meaningless, and thus has no answer. In that particular case, we can only say something like, time is neither infinite nor finite rather but lacks the quality of being measurable. One could further argue that time is not fundamentally real at all, but rather time is just a facet of our approximations, namely Newtonian approximations, meaningful from our relative perspective; In other words, time is a useful illusion.
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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 8th, 2019, 1:38 pm

Devans99 wrote:A thought experiment is to examine the characteristics of an infinite being to see if it’s viable being or not. If an infinite being is not viable then maybe the infinite existence matter/energy and the universe is not viable either?
What does the viability of an "infinite being" have to do with the viability of an infinitely (always) existing universe (matter/space/time)? Where's the relevance? Or are you implying that an infinite being is necessary for there to be an always existing universe?

Devans99 wrote:Could everything have existed forever?
Yes. Logically, it can be no other way.

P1. Creation is an action; a happening.
P2. Actions (happenings) require Matter/Space/Time.
  • Without 'something' happening, 'no-thing' happens --> No Happening
    Without 'somewhere' to happen, there is 'no-where' to happen --> No Happening
    Without 'time' to happen, there is 'no-time' to happen --> No Happening
C1. If Matter/Space/Time exist, then it has ALWAYS EXISTED.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 1:43 pm

RJG wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 1:38 pm

What does the viability of an "infinite being" have to do with the viability of an infinitely existing universe (matter/space/time)? Where's the relevance? Or are you implying that an infinite being is necessary for there to be an always existing universe?
That does seem to be the issue here.
I might also propose that an infinite being could very well be created, just as how it is theorized non infinite beings came to be through evolution, but instead of becoming cells, the new creation was McJebus

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 8th, 2019, 1:53 pm

Intellectual_Savnot wrote:I might also propose that an infinite being could very well be created...
Not possible. "Infinite" implies "always existing" which contradicts the possibility of "created". In other words, if he were created, then he can't be infinite. And if he were infinite then then he can't be created.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 1:53 pm

Oh my bad right I was thinking "Infinitely powerful" I always do that

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 8th, 2019, 1:55 pm

Thanks Scott!
Scott wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 12:45 pm
1. There is no coming into existence event for the particle; how can the particle exist if it never started existing?
Particles come in and out existence all the time, and there is no relevant claims otherwise. Thus, the line of argument started with the quoted statement he appears to be a strawman argument.
There seems to be a difference though between transitory, virtual particles with a tiny life span and persistent particles. The conservation of energy is respected by quantum mechanics (only transitory fluctuations away from that are allowed). So my argument applies to the non-transitory kind of particle.

Scott wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 12:45 pm
To suggest time is infinite in such a simplistic way seems to absurdly imply time is being measured from some objective outside perspective, as if there could be some guy outside the universe was sitting there with measuring tape and stopwatches and could measure how wide the universe is spatially or how long it is temporally. That kind of thought experiment does create absurdities much like the ones shown in the OP, but the absurdities result from the nonsensical premises of the question: that there is some outside from which the length or age of the universe could be hypothetically measured.
But time does seem to exist (at the minimum as a degree of freedom) irrespective of whether we can measure it or not. So it could be that the question ‘is time infinite?’ is valid, but just unanswerable from our perspective within the spacetime.

An old belief is in timeless existence (of God typically, Thomas Aquinas most memorably). It is mirrored to a degree in Relativity with the photon being a timeless particle. If the universe was created, maybe the question is answerable by someone or something external to the universe?

Scott wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 12:45 pm
From relative perspectives, infinities emerge in spacetime all the time at least as simple products of math and basic calculus. For example, if we watch someone fall into a blackhole from Earth, it would take an infinite amount of time for the person to go over the event horizon.
I wonder how many of these infinities are down to Einstein’s assumption of continuous spacetime? Some/all infinities in spacetime would presumably disappear if we had a quantum theory of gravity? For example, a theory where spacetime is discrete would take care of infinite densities (density would be finite for the centre of a black hole as the matter would be contained within a discrete spacetime cell of a specific size rather than compressed into a mathematical point).

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Wait I can change the subject? I hope this doesn't bug anything

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 1:56 pm

But seriously, if it can't be made, it can't exist right? That is the argument against infinite existence and non infinite existence it doesn't disprove one in favor of the other it just disproves both. Which is in itself strange, because this logically sound argument is apparently false, because we do exist....

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by devans99 » March 8th, 2019, 2:01 pm

RJG wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 1:38 pm
P1. Creation is an action; a happening.
P2. Actions (happenings) require Matter/Space/Time.
  • Without 'something' happening, 'no-thing' happens --> No Happening
    Without 'somewhere' to happen, there is 'no-where' to happen --> No Happening
    Without 'time' to happen, there is 'no-time' to happen --> No Happening
C1. If Matter/Space/Time exist, then it has ALWAYS EXISTED.
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?

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by RJG » March 8th, 2019, 2:07 pm

Intellectual_Savnot wrote:But seriously, if it can't be made, it can't exist right?
Who says? Although we have been conditioned to believe that everything (that exists) MUST have a start, but in actuality there is no good rational reason why not to believe in "always existing".

Assuming that Matter/Space/Time exist, then it has ALWAYS EXISTED. ...and just because this contradicts our indoctrinations, does not mean that it MUST somehow be false.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 2:09 pm

I am pretty sure I posted but it isn't there anymore so....
devans99 but wouldn't it need to exist already to do that 4Head

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 2:13 pm

RJG based on the study of movement and of change it is not logical for things to exist without having been created because to exist one must have matter in some form, yet if that matter cannot logically trace it's matters origins back to anything, nothing in it could have logically existed, it can't be proven to have existed no matter what information is give.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 2:15 pm

I think this is a pretty useless point to argue, nobody knows the right answer and nobody can come conclusively to the right answer by thinking alone. You have to have solid evidence.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Bahman » March 8th, 2019, 2:39 pm

No, for two reasons: (1) It takes infinite amount of waiting to reach from infinite past to now and (2) The final state of the universe is heat death which this should be the state of the universe now because the universe has existed forever.

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Re: Could everything have existed forever?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 2:42 pm

I actually have no clue what that meant

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