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  1. #41
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    You're yet to make one argument as to why we won't come back...
    I see no reason as to why we would. I can observe birth, life, death, and the non-existance that preceeds and follows this cycle, but I see no rationale to an assumption that the universe loops. This is to ponder the fate of the universe beyond its death (or rebirth), which is interesting to consider but well beyond our grasp to assume any confidence of.

    Even if the universe did loop, and infinite times, you start to run across rather odd logics regarding time. If the universe repeats itself, then the system is a closed loop and repeating your actions is less of a reincarnation and more of a rerun, fated to the same actions and the same life. If the universe does not repeat itself, then time is infinite, and possible situations are infinite, and nothing ever has to repeat.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    which is interesting to consider but well beyond our grasp to assume any confidence of.
    Exactly my point. It's a massive extrapolation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    Even if the universe did loop, and infinite times, you start to run across rather odd logics regarding time. If the universe repeats itself, then the system is a closed loop and repeating your actions is less of a reincarnation and more of a rerun, fated to the same actions and the same life. If the universe does not repeat itself, then time is infinite, and possible situations are infinite, and nothing ever has to repeat.
    That's what I was saying (though reruns and reincarnation would both occur). I'm not claiming magic, spiritual, god, and whatever else you can think of. I simply think it is absurd to make an assumption, with any confidence at all, about anything outside of what we have observed so far. Those examples I gave were simply ways in which oblivion as the end state could be false. Ways which you would not dismiss as 'magic'.

    I don't claim to know the fate of the universe. You are claiming that you do know it.

    Ask me about the nature of consciousness, qualia and identity. I don't know.

    Ask me what happened before the big bang. I don't know.

    Ask me what state our universe will be in a googelplex years from now. I don't know.

    Ask me anything about 'things' outside our own universe. I don't know.

    Ask me if I experienced anything before or after my conscious life. I don't know.

    Hence, all I have to do is look at the big picture, and realise any assumption I make on that scale is likely a foolish one. Hence, agnosticism.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, smaller scale assumptions can be made. The larger the scale (e.g time span), the less confidence one has in making predictions.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    I never claimed to know the ultimate fate of the universe.

    I claimed that oblivion was a rational conclusion given what we do know. Absolute certainty in anything is absurd. To assume the sun will exist in a decade with 100% confidence is not reasonable, but to assume ~100% confidence is reasonable.

    Within that frame of reference, we are familiar with the birth-life-death cycle, and we have no cause to assume things could be otherwise, even at a scope of a 2^trillion years from now. I'm not 100% certain, but I am ~100% certain.

  4. #44
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    I think I've found a good way of expressing my views:-

    Any unobservable, thus non-falsifiable claim is made from a pool of infinite such claims. (A god who's sacred number is 1, a god who's sacred number is 2...)

    To take one claim, such as the existence of a specific god, and say it is true, is to say with certainty something which actually has 1/infinite probability.
    (Actually the probability is infinite/absolute infinite because there are infinite possibilities involving say, a god who's sacred number is 1, but it is essentially the same as 1/infinite)

    So, any specific definition of an unobservable thing has a 1/infinite probability. Each individual unfalsifiable belief is highly unlikely, ~0% chance.

    However, to claim no such unobservable possibilities exist, is also a specific unobservable claim, and thus follows suit.

    Thus, agnosticism (to be without knowledge) is the most rational position on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    I never claimed to know the ultimate fate of the universe.

    I claimed that oblivion was a rational conclusion given what we do know. Absolute certainty in anything is absurd. To assume the sun will exist in a decade with 100% confidence is not reasonable, but to assume ~100% confidence is reasonable.

    Within that frame of reference, we are familiar with the birth-life-death cycle, and we have no cause to assume things could be otherwise, even at a scope of a 2^trillion years from now. I'm not 100% certain, but I am ~100% certain.
    The main problem with that point is that we are not talking about a mere 2^trillion years. We are discussing infinite years from now.

    Whether or not time is infinite, one cannot, at this time, make a rational conclusion on the matter (because it is unobservable at this time).

    Also, a definition of whatever turns into oblivion is needed, in order to have a clear definition of oblivion. (what is lacking in order to create oblivion?)
    Last edited by erm; 05-23-2009 at 02:12 PM.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Abstract math and semantics make Feops go something-something...

    I've made my stance on the matter clear. We simply disagree.

  6. #46
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    Two new things:-

    One, another common assumption I've come across about the unobservable is that of 'no other intelligent life in the galaxy'. We have only observed within ~100 lightyears of our position, so we haven't observed the majority of the modern universe.

    Two, that assumption, as well as all the others are often justified with Occam's razor.

    To make it clear, Occam's razor states one should use the explanation that requires the least number of assumptions. Without evidence, the least number of assumptions is to make none. Apply that to intelligent life and all the other unobserved things I've listed = Agnosticism.

    Occam's razor is also a a 'razor', it needs something to cut around, aka evidence.

    Occam's razor based conclusions have been, and often are, wrong.

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