Is our existence/universe a paradox?

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  1. #1
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Is our existence/universe a paradox?


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    If the universe is/was infinite, it would have no end nor beginning; it would have just 'always been there'... But infinity is not possible, nor real, it is an irrational number usually used for/as an expression or exaggeration of something. So the notion of an infinite universe can be ruled out.

    On the other hand, if the universe is not infinite, what lies outside of it? Because, just like the 'number' infinity, the physicality of 'nothing' is not real and can not exist either, but something has to lie outside of it, because as I just stated, 'nothing' can't be outside of it, 'something' has to be.

    Discuss please


  2. #2
    Non Omnis Moriar Kreeate is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice For All View Post
    But infinity is not possible, nor real, it is an irrational number usually used for/as an expression or exaggeration of something. So the notion of an infinite universe can be ruled out.
    I can't even...

    Or I shall try at least. Infinity, in its mathematical sense is not only real, but absolutely required for anything whatsoever to have any meaning at all.

    It is our 'human' nature to resist and in fact sometimes outright deny ( looking at yer quote JFA :P ) the possibility of infinity due to our limitations in understanding it.

    The fact that we as humans are unable to fathom infinity, more or less forces us to deny it. We can give it fancy names, or abstract values that mean something to us in our language, but in essence it remains unknown and unreachable (for lack of a better word :P)

    The key here, in my opinion, is how we approach it. Scientifically, or philosophically. You said "But infinity is not possible". By scientific standards it is possible by default. Our understanding or definition of it is not a requirement for its existence. It simply exists. Kinda like time.

    Then you mentioned "...nor real". Here lies the philosophical aspect of it and this could be debated until the end of time or... infinity, lol. When it becomes philosophical the focus shifts from science to conjecture and it quickly becomes a trap of circular reasoning.

    Aaanyway... These are my thoughts. I am by no means an expert on the subject. The above are simply my opinions.

    Have at it :P
    IXXI

  3. #3
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    But infinity isn't a 'real thing' is what I meant to say, as in you can never have infinity of something. Because like I said originally, for something to be infinite, it would have to have no beginning, therefore no end, for it to have no beginning, it would not have a 'present' - nor inherently, an end - therefore it could not exist. I know it is used in math but it's used more as an expression rather than a 'real' number like 1 through say, a Googolplex. I agree debating the concept of infinity is rather rhetorical, time or quantity wise, but I explained it sort of how Stephen Hawking explains it in one of his lectures on time and the age of the universe, and I think it illustrates pretty well the concept of infinity being an impossible number.

  4. #4
    Non Omnis Moriar Kreeate is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice For All View Post
    But infinity isn't a 'real thing' is what I meant to say, as in you can never have infinity of something. Because like I said originally, for something to be infinite, it would have to have no beginning, therefore no end, for it to have no beginning, it would not have a 'present' - nor inherently, an end - therefore it could not exist. I know it is used in math but it's used more as an expression rather than a 'real' number like 1 through say, a Googolplex. I agree debating the concept of infinity is rather rhetorical, time or quantity wise, but I explained it sort of how Stephen Hawking explains it in one of his lectures on time and the age of the universe, and I think it illustrates pretty well the concept of infinity being an impossible number.
    I'm trying to see what you mean. Infinity is not a 'tangible' thing. It is not quantifiable. That much I agree with. It is however a real thing.
    Consider a particle for example. Say, a proton. Theoretically, the proton can be broken down into smaller particles. If those sub-particles are broken down again and again to infinity, it does not mean that they cease to exist. It just means that they become infinitesimally, or eventually, infinitely smaller.

    See where I'm going with this?
    IXXI

  5. #5
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreeate View Post
    I'm trying to see what you mean. Infinity is not a 'tangible' thing. It is not quantifiable. That much I agree with. It is however a real thing.
    Consider a particle for example. Say, a proton. Theoretically, the proton can be broken down into smaller particles. If those sub-particles are broken down again and again to infinity, it does not mean that they cease to exist. It just means that they become infinitesimally, or eventually, infinitely smaller.

    See where I'm going with this?
    Eventually you can't break the particle down anymore though, and once you get to that point, what is that referred to as? I mean, aside from the point of singularity/event horizon of a black hole, or a string from string theory, there is theoretically a limit to how many times you can keep breaking that particle down.

  6. #6
    Non Omnis Moriar Kreeate is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    Agreed. That's when science breaks down and philosophy steps in.
    IXXI

  7. #7
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    I want to discuss physics though - I've been studying physics/thermodynamics not philosophy!

  8. #8
    That one pokemon thing Luxray is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    Well you made me think about this and my mind went blank for a few seconds, thinking about how the universe originated in the first place. Who can prove the universe is infinite? Anyone walking the Earth can say it's infinite, as you never reach an end, but in reality the Earth is round and you will end up in the same place. Could the universe work the same way? Of course, there's no way to find out, considering you will have died a million times before ever reaching the same place you've originated from.

    Aside from an infinite universe, my thoughts stumbled upon the basics; materials (gasses, liquids, solids). I understand how planets are made out of materials drawn together by a self-sustained gravity (don't quote me on use of words) over the years, resulting in a rock that can contain an atmosphere or other phenomenons, but how did material originate? Thinking like that either supports the thought on a higher being, or leaves room for the thought that the universe is a part of an even bigger picture.

    All things aside, I can't imagine we'll ever find the truth without the human race going extinct.


  9. #9
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luxray View Post
    Well you made me think about this and my mind went blank for a few seconds, thinking about how the universe originated in the first place. Who can prove the universe is infinite? Anyone walking the Earth can say it's infinite, as you never reach an end, but in reality the Earth is round and you will end up in the same place. Could the universe work the same way? Of course, there's no way to find out, considering you will have died a million times before ever reaching the same place you've originated from.

    Aside from an infinite universe, my thoughts stumbled upon the basics; materials (gasses, liquids, solids). I understand how planets are made out of materials drawn together by a self-sustained gravity (don't quote me on use of words) over the years, resulting in a rock that can contain an atmosphere or other phenomenons, but how did material originate? Thinking like that either supports the thought on a higher being, or leaves room for the thought that the universe is a part of an even bigger picture.

    All things aside, I can't imagine we'll ever find the truth without the human race going extinct.
    We generally believe nowadays that the universe originated from the Big Bang (that is the generally accepted theory of the creation of the universe). There are plenty of other theories such as the Big Bounce and the Steady State Theory, but both of those have more grey areas, mathematical issues, and mysteries that don't make sense and/or form paradoxes - the Big Bang generally has less of these and makes more sense in all cosmological areas of consideration. That being said, that doesn't mean that the Big Bang is 100% correct, it just means again that is the theory we generally accept nowadays. But, as another user Wreckless said in one of his posts in another thread, the scientific community frequently proves itself wrong. So today the Big Bang may make the most sense in terms of universal creation - but tomorrow, some new discovery or revolution may prove it wrong and another cosmological model of creation may emerge.

    There is definitively no way to prove an infinity, though. It's infinite, so as I said earlier, it has no beginning, it has no end. There is no way to view it in a light-like form (in terms of physics). The Earth is made up of a different kind of matter though - referred to as 'normal' matter - rather than the 'empty' space of the universe. 'Normal' matter makes up only about 4% of the universe and consists of planets, stars, comets, asteroids, etc. The rest of the 96% of the universe, is made of something called Dark Energy. Dark Energy is different than 'normal' matter and does not conform to the laws of gravity the same way. (In other words, the reason the Earth is a ball is because gravity binds 'normal' matter into a ball - Dark Energy and Dark Matter behave different and are not bound into a ball) But, in relation to the shape/curvature of the universe, there are mathematical models that say it may be horse-saddle shaped rather than flat.

    Your analogy of walking around the Earth being infinite isn't exactly accurate though... That wouldn't be infinite, as you have a starting point, and eventually an 'end' point once you reach the point at which you started. To quote a math exchange site, "lines seem like infinite circles, but the problem remains that if a circle is the set of points a fixed distance from a fixed point in the plane, then there are no infinite circles, because there are no points in the plane infinitely far from each other."

    Not to bring the topic of religion into the matter (the question of there being a higher being) but, I'm not sure which thread it was, as I said before for there to be a higher being, there would have to be a creator of that being, and a creator of that being, and so on and so on, infinitely back through time - but then we come back to the issue of the reality of infinity not being a tangible concept nor quantum of time - the same can be said about an infinite universe. So now, we are left with the question of the universe having a beginning at some point in time... but as you said, what created that matter/how did that material originate? Because, once again, it has to have an origin because it can not go back nor forward infinitely. That's where the Steady State Theory of creation comes into play, that is that the universe has no beginning or end in time, it just has a conceivable 'present' that we exist inside of.

    Why do you think that we won't ever find the truth without the human race going extinct, though? I personally do not agree when people say that we won't accomplish certain major feats or solve certain major mysteries of the universe in our generation/lifetime. The power and advancement of technology increases exponentially as the years go by - computing power alone (the number of transistors on an integrated circuit), according to Moore's law doubles every 2 years. We already have supercomputers that are capable of simulating solar systems; and are in the process of quantum computing which will revolutionize our age of technology. Combined with the usage of computers is the power of the human brain - or brains, I should say - as-well as years and years of study and research. What I mean of-course, is we have very intellectual people such as Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and even other historical yet prominent figures, that study these problems and these 'impossibilities' such as time travel or finding other habitable planets, their entire lives.

    I don't know, maybe I'm just too... 'optimistic' when it comes to the power and reach of technology nowadays and the foreseeable future. I see the kind of inventions people are working on and making, and the historical problems that have been/are being solved which help make revolutionary advances in specific fields of study, and I can't help but think that we will continue to make great strives in solving mysteries of our universe, if not at a steady pace, than at an exponentially increasing pace.

  10. #10
    Mod and Dev - C9, 4Story fallenfate is online now
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    Re: Is our existence/universe a paradox?

    I'm pretty philosophical on this topic and from this mindset I agree. We accept and believe that all things have a start and an end and cling to this fact because we get some measure of control or understanding from it. For many, it's hard to believe something exists for what we'd label 'an eternity', but on the other hand those same people willingly believe in something they don't see that they see is all powerful, omnipresent and eternal and worship it.

    I think ultimately life or the view of the existence around us stems from how we view it. I believe it's infinite and beyond our comprehension, but being humans we NEED to find some way to control how we see things, so we start to create 'facts'. 1000 years ago it was a fact the Earth was flat.

    tl;dr I believe existence as humans is cyclical - we're beings of carbon, if there is something labelled a 'soul' it would be closest to 'energy' and as such, it could have some factor in the universe we're unaware of, presuming of course that as with everything, the universe and existence is formed of energy. The concept of existence itself I believe is infinite.

    And I can also readily admit that as a human I could be totally, completely wrong and that my viewpoint is just something that, as mentioned, gives me a measure of control in feeling I have a sliver of understanding of a grand concept. A paradox of understanding and misunderstanding perhaps at the same time?

    Interesting topic... I like you.
    Last edited by fallenfate; 13-03-17 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Grammar :D
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