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  1. #181
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    The "universe" as an entity might have had a beginning (in that sense, it's finite)... but then what of the frame it rests within? Our minds cannot comprehend infinity, but they are also drawn to the concept because if something we imagine is "finite" (i.e., has boundaries), then we automatically think "But what lies beyond those boundaries?") How can something be suspended in nothingness? This could just be a flaw in our human minds.

    Who/What created the frame that the finite universe rests within? And if creator god exists within that frame, then he is not all-encompassing, is he? But if he is outside of it, then he "is" the frame per se and we still have no idea of how to define this being.

    (I've been skimming back, and this seems to be where Mycroft went -- if God is sitting in a room on a chair he created, then who created the room?)
    Oh so I'm the living Laser now eh?

    I think you are just trying to restate what Mycroft has said, but I don't understand why some of these conclusions have to be made. For example why couldn't the whole of a finite reality be suspended in nothingness? What property does reality have that requires it to be suspended in something?

    If reality has finite dimensions then why must the frame of reality have a creator? Couldn't the frame of a finite reality be part of God? Assuming we believe there was something "before" the Big Bang then why must we apply time to this reality? The space-time continuum is contained within the known universe. Anything outside this universe (or "before" if you will) would not necessarily be subject to time.

    Also when discussing infinity it is common to imagine this applying to spacial dimensions, but why must everything be infinite? If all of reality had no spatial boundaries then couldn't it still contain finite energy? If God is infinite, but not all encompassing, then couldn't he create our finite universe and decide not to be part of it?

    I suppose my overall point is that there seems to be a lot of assumptions made that don't really need to be made. It is possible to chose one set of assumptions and say, "Ok these assumptions are illogical when put together. A God like this cannot exist." However it is very easy to change the assumptions. There is so much we don't know about God (or the whole or reality) that it is easy to imagine God having many different properties. It seems absurd to insist on one set of assumptions for what exists outside the Big Bang when we really don't know anything about it.
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  2. #182
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
    What-about-3's?
    In one sense, 3 is the number of God, as someone said before, and in the other sense, it takes from the days of Genesis (like man on the 6th day), so the earth and plants were created the third day.
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  3. #183
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Asking "what is beyond the universe?" is just nonsensical...
    So long as you equate reality with the universe, we will be discussing entirely different things. The universe we inhabit is the sum of our finite interpretations of the infinite reality. Stars, black holes, the whole lot of it -- exists to us only as we perceive them. A "star" exists sans perception no more than the color orange.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  4. #184
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I think you are just trying to restate what Mycroft has said, but I don't understand why some of these conclusions have to be made. For example why couldn't the whole of a finite reality be suspended in nothingness? What property does reality have that requires it to be suspended in something?
    First, even if all of the universe were, indeed, suspended in an endless expanse of nothingness, of muu, this expanse would still adhere within reality. What cannot exist, by definition, is non-reality. Secondly, reality, being infinite, must also be uniform. Any "section", if you will, will contain all states, being infinite in all respects.

    Like Reason (the poster), you continue to equate reality with "matter- or energy-derived objects as we perceive them". Does our finite reality, which we call the universe, have a boundary? Most certainly. We are finite beings. We perceive of the infinite reality as a vast collection of separate and distinct finites. A universe composed of finites will most certainly be finite itself.

    Reality is not our finite universe. Reality is all that is. Nothing can lie beyond all that is.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  5. #185
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    ^Not that this refutes what you're saying, but reality is finite. (How else would the law of conservation of energy/mass work?)

  6. #186
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ^Not that this refutes what you're saying, but reality is finite. (How else would the law of conservation of energy/mass work?)
    Not reality, our experience of it. We need to draw this distinction if we've to have any hope of fruitful discussion beyond this point. Bear in mind that scientific laws can only tell us things about our finite experience of reality.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  7. #187
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Not reality, our experience of it. We need to draw this distinction if we've to have any hope of fruitful discussion beyond this point. Bear in mind that scientific laws can only tell us things about our finite experience of reality.
    Sure, but what reason do we have to believe reality is infinite? At least we have reason to believe it's finite...

  8. #188
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Sure, but what reason do we have to believe reality is infinite? At least we have reason to believe it's finite...
    I've tried to outline the rational basis of this concept as clearly as possible. Unfortunately, I'm finding that even when people accept the logic of it, many lack the imagination to adequately synthesize the concept.

    I'll try to restate this, once more, as clearly as I am able:

    Anything which exists, in any shape, form, or fashion, including shapes, forms and fashions which are unimaginable to us, most adhere within something. Reality is all of existence. To put it another way, it is the "forum" in which all "existence" occurs. Anything that exists, in whatever manner that it exists, must adhere within reality. As reality, encompassing all of existence, cannot be hung amid non-existence or non-reality (not nothingness! nothingness, after all, exists), reality, at its highest level must be infinite in all respects, even those respects which we never encounter in our finite experience of reality and which are incomprehensible and unimaginable to us. Any form of finiteness, including those forms unimaginable to us, would entail a "boundary", but as reality cannot simply "end", giving way to non-reality, this cannot be.

    If it still puzzles you as to why something can't exist outside of existence, then, quite simply, you've not yet come to terms with the concept. If your personal definition of what it means to "exist" allows for things to exist outside of existence, you must continue to contemplate and expand the boundaries of your imagination.

    No amount of clarity in expression, no diagram or analogy on my part (or anyone's part, for that answer) can substitute for this personal reflection. Discussions like these can give you hints in the proper direction, but no one can do the mental work for you.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  9. #189
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Mycroft,

    In my previous comment I equated "universe" with "all of reality" or "everything that exists." I was not just talking about matter, energy, and whatnot, but everything: matter, energy, ideas, numbers, perceptions, feelings, etc. regardless of whether anyone thinks, knows, suspects, or cares whether they exist.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #190
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I've tried to outline the rational basis of this concept as clearly as possible. Unfortunately, I'm finding that even when people accept the logic of it, many lack the imagination to adequately synthesize the concept.

    I'll try to restate this, once more, as clearly as I am able:

    Anything which exists, in any shape, form, or fashion, including shapes, forms and fashions which are unimaginable to us, most adhere within something. Reality is all of existence. To put it another way, it is the "forum" in which all "existence" occurs. Anything that exists, in whatever manner that it exists, must adhere within reality. As reality, encompassing all of existence, cannot be hung amid non-existence or non-reality (not nothingness! nothingness, after all, exists), reality, at its highest level must be infinite in all respects, even those respects which we never encounter in our finite experience of reality and which are incomprehensible and unimaginable to us. Any form of finiteness, including those forms unimaginable to us, would entail a "boundary", but as reality cannot simply "end", giving way to non-reality, this cannot be.

    If it still puzzles you as to why something can't exist outside of existence, then, quite simply, you've not yet come to terms with the concept. If your personal definition of what it means to "exist" allows for things to exist outside of existence, you must continue to contemplate and expand the boundaries of your imagination.

    No amount of clarity in expression, no diagram or analogy on my part (or anyone's part, for that answer) can substitute for this personal reflection. Discussions like these can give you hints in the proper direction, but no one can do the mental work for you.
    I don't have trouble following anything you've said so far. You just haven't provided good enough support for your claim that "reality, at its highest level must be infinite in all respects".

    I don't disagree with your conclusions. I don't disagree with anything else you've said. I just think a) your claim about reality is unfounded, and b) it's not even a necessary claim to get to the conclusion you put forward.

    Maybe instead of me "lacking imagination", you lack the ability to articulate yourself clearly. I'd be interested to see where you're coming from with your reality must be infinite thing, but I honestly can't see how you could logically get there from the premises you've stated. Your argument looks like this to me:

    A->B
    A
    Z
    Therefore B

    Why Z?

    How exactly do you define infinite in all respects anyway?

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