The Paradox of Infinity

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by TruthSeeker, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Actually, it used to, just like Newtonian laws were good enough while we were exploring the solar system (well, aside from some bizarre imbalances in the orbit of Mercury).

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  3. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Where did the sun go every night? Where does the moon go? Why does the moon look round? How can the sun's rays reflect off the moon much as they do on a sphere? Where did volcanos come from? How can China have sun light but not France at the same time?
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  5. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    So what? What's the point of those questions?
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  7. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    They are in response to your claim that the "flat earth" theory could explain natural phenomena.
  8. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, whatever. What is the noun then?

    Yes. Did I say that is not true?

    Well, ok

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    Imagine the universe is infinite. You look at the universe from outside. What do you see? Well, that is undefined, because by definition, there is no "outside" of infinity. But if you look from within infinity, you observe finity, regardless of where you are in the universe. For a matter of fact, even if you keep going farther and farther away from galaxies and everything, you still observe finity, regardless of the infinity of the universe.

    In other words- from an internal perspective, infinity will always be perceived as finite.

    Well... unless you understand that size is relative to the observer that is perceving the object in question. Because you have to remember that whatever we perceive is always compared to other objects that we perceive. For instance, you say that an ant is small when you compare it to an elephant, but you say it is big when compared to an atom.
  9. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    You tell me what "finity" means. I am not a dictionary.

    You said, and I quote: If you take a portion of infinity, you have finity.

    At least you know what you are dealing with

    Imagine an infinite 2D universe. Look at it from the outside, that is in the third-dimension. What do you see? An infinite universe in 2D. You are stuck looking at n-dimensions from and n-dimension perspective.

    Technically, infinity is boundless. By your definition, infinity can be bounded but it is impossible, realistically or not, to observe from outside this border (pending it exists).

    Depends on where you are.

    No response.

    One can see into the infinite. Imagine two perfect mirrors parallel to eachother. What do you see (in theory)?
  10. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Yes, and you said that finity and infinity are both subsets of infinity- and I agreed with you. So? What's the difference here?

    So? What's your point? As I said, you can't observe infinity from outside infinity because that is impossible. Infinity goes on forever- it has no boundaries.

    I never said infinity can be bounded. And yes, it is imossible to observe it from the outside, which is why it is considered "undefined" from an external point of view.

    Oh really? How about an example?

    Well, yes, but you cannot see the whole of infinity. As I said before, our brains cannot process that amount of information. That just proves my point!

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  11. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Look at the logical structure of your statement. And define finitity... I like how you dodged that.

    The point is that from my example, I am clearly observing infinity. You are arguing from the viewpoint of a human and only what a human can actually see is the real-world. Are we really that arrogant that we think all that exists is what a human can see with his five-sense?

    I never said that you claim infinity to be bounded. I am simply fixing your definition. Why is it impossible to view from the outside?

    Again, you are stuck looking at the universe from YOUR point of view. Drop the idea.

  12. Possumking I think, I am? Registered Senior Member

    Another groundless assertion, but lets not get distracted by this. Continue reading.

    The big bang theory was mathematically inferred and is supported by a HEAP of evidence. How can quantum physics as a whole be inferred? That's like saying paleontology is inferred. Sure elements and thoeries of quantum physics are inferred but they are also supported by a HEAP of evidence. Your inference that matter and time are infinity divisible is supported by barely any evidence, and is in fact opposed by much evidence.

    To further my point, I quote from wikipedia: "[T]he pioneering work of Max Planck (1858-1947) in the field of quantum physics suggests that there is, in fact, a minimum distance (now called the Planck length, 1.616 × 10−35 metres) and therefore a minimum time interval (the amount of time which light takes to traverse that distance in a vacuum, 5.391 × 10−44 seconds, known as the Planck time) smaller than which meaningful measurement is impossible."

    This basically means that any application of either general relativety or of quantum mechanics breaks down at either plank time or plank length. The fact that nonmeaningful and arbitrary answers are produced at shorter lengths or time intervals implies that matter and time is in fact indivisible at a certain point.
  13. Parmenides Registered Senior Member

    Infinity is an extremely interesting concept. It also makes you think about things like zero, nothingness, being, space, time, and so on.

    Strictly speaking, going infinitely fast isn't possible. The highest speed of a material object always must be less than that of light, while that of light itself is exactly the value of c (photons are massless). As for space and time being infinitely divisible, quantum mechanics also appears to prevent that from happening because of the uncertainly principle, which only allows for a 'Planck time' and a 'Planck length' to exist.

    Is the universe infinite in size? Possibly. Empirical evidence does seem to suggest it may well be so.

    Is being infinite? Are all beings merely part of an infinite yet simple One? Spinoza's very beautiful intellectual concept of the universe held all things to be modal occurences of a single infinite substance. Plotinus believed in a One above being which had a sort of qualitative infinity. Georg Cantor identified an 'absolute' infinite.

    Infinity is a rich area for philosophical, logical, mathematical and scientific investigation. It is also quite beautiful. Personally I don't have an issue with the Infinite existing in a real sense, though mystical admiration of it I would leave in silence.

    On Parmenides himself, while he believed Being was One and unitary and eternal and unchanging, I don't think he believed it was infinite. Many Greeks actually believed infinity or the 'unlimited' indicated some kind of deficiency because what was perfect could be defined and was limited.

    As he says in his poem:

    " How could what is (being; to eon) perish? How could it come to be (be born)?

    20 For if it came to be, it is (was) not, nor if it is ever about to come to be.

    21 In this way coming to be has been extinguished and destruction is not heard of.

    22 Neither is it divisible, since it is all alike (like);
    (OR:..., since all is alike (like)

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    Nor is it in any way more in any one place, which would keep it from holding itself together;

    24 Nor is it in any way less; but all is full of what is (being; eontos).

    25 Therefore all is continuous; for what is (being; eon) comes near to what is (being; eonti).
    (OR:Therefore it is all continuous; for...)

    26 But unmoving in limits of mighty bonds

    27 It is without beginning and without cease, since coming to be and destruction

    28 Wandered very far off, and (but) true assurance pushed them away.

    29 Remaining the same and in the same place (way), it lies by (according to) itself

    30 And thus it stands fast on the spot, for mighty Anankē (Necessity)

    31 Holds it in bonds of limit, which shuts it in all around (on both sides)."

    Parmenides sense of Being is strongly limited and divisible, and therefore definable. While One and eternal, it has definition and form, which he identifies with a sphere.

    "But since a limit is outermost, it (i.e., what is) is completed (perfected),

    43 From every side like the bulk of a well-rounded sphere,

    44-45 In all ways equally balanced from the middle, for it is necessary that it be neither something greater nor something smaller in one way or another (in this or that);"
    Nor does what is (being; eon) not exist, which would prevent it from attaining

    47-48 To the same thing; nor is what is (being; eon) such that it could be more than (of) what is (being; eon) in some way (place) and less in another, since it is all (since all is) inviolate.

    49 For from all sides (in all ways) equal to itself, it proves to be uniformly within limits."

    This identification of Being as a perfect sphere was also common to Xenophanes (a contemporary of Parmenides).

    Plato in his dialogues does not say explicitly that the Good or any other Form is infinite (though eternal and unchanging) and Aristotle argues strongly against infinity in his works, including Physics and Metaphysics. Plotinus hinted the One was infinite though he didn't say so explicitly, rather emphasizing it was not bounded to quantity (as the One is above number). It was really the later Platonists and especially the Christian theologian/philosophers like Gregory of Nyssa, who explicitly began to argue Being/God was infinite and undefined, to defend God's mystery against precise definition or else to maintain the hyper-transcendence of the 'One.' (This is particularly the case in Proclus and Iamblichus).
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2006
  14. Possumking I think, I am? Registered Senior Member

    Are you sure that empiricle evidence has suggested this? The big bang theory clearly presents a finite universe, as do the many experiments which show an expanding universe. The idea of a static, infinite universe, according to my knowledge, was thrown out a long time ago.
  15. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Well, as I have thought.. the universe is much more than what is contained inside of it. Not that I am agreeing with him or disagreeing with you, but it's my thought.
  16. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

  17. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    In that thread, posted by Cris...

    "Problems with The Big Bang.

    Top 10 problems (Meta Research).

    A short list of the leading problems faced by the big bang in its struggle for viability as a theory:

    1. Static universe models fit the data better than expanding universe models.
    2. The microwave "background" makes more sense as the limiting temperature of space heated by starlight than as the remnant of a fireball.
    3. Element abundance predictions using the big bang require too many adjustable parameters to make them work.
    4. The universe has too much large scale structure (interspersed "walls" and voids) to form in a time as short as 10-20 billion years.
    5. The average luminosity of quasars must decrease with time in just the right way so that their mean apparent brightness is the same at all redshifts, which is exceedingly unlikely.
    6. The ages of globular clusters appear older than the universe.
    7. The local streaming motions of galaxies are too high for a finite universe that is supposed to be everywhere uniform.
    8. Invisible dark matter of an unknown but non-baryonic nature must be the dominant ingredient of the entire universe.
    9. The most distant galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field show insufficient evidence of evolution, with some of them apparently having higher redshifts (z = 6-7) than the faintest quasars.
    10 If the open universe we see today is extrapolated back near the beginning, the ratio of the actual density of matter in the universe to the critical density must differ from unity by just a part in 1059. Any larger deviation would result in a universe already collapsed on itself or already dissipated.

    Ref: -

    Top 30 problems (Meta Research 2002).

    Is the universe expanding? Expansion has not yet been observed."
  18. Possumking I think, I am? Registered Senior Member

    Absolute, 100% bullshit. Ever heard of redshift? . Is this not an observation?

    "Redshift typically occurs when a light source moves away or towards an observer, analogous to the Doppler shift which changes the frequency of sound waves. While redshift has a number of terrestrial uses (e.g. Doppler radar and Radar guns), it is famously employed in astronomy where it is used as a diagnostic in spectroscopic astrophysics to determine information about the dynamics and kinematics (i.e. movement) of distant objects. Most famously, redshifts are observed in the spectra from distant galaxies, quasars, and intergalactic gas clouds to increase proportionally with the distance to the object. This is generally considered to be one of the major forms of evidence that the universe is expanding, supporting the Big Bang model."

    For further detail look at
  19. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    I provide you with links containing clear evidence of many problems associated with the Big Bang and this is how you respond?

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    No. Redshift does NOT imply expansion.
    Here's an example:
  20. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    This is about as stupid as it can get. I thought this was about Zeno's paradox... now it is about the size of the universe and the validity of the Big Bang.
  21. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    And TS, reply to my post before all this... please.
  22. Possumking I think, I am? Registered Senior Member


    While I do agree that the big bang theory still may be incomplete and with possible holes, it is supported by such overwhelming evidence that any "new theory" would without a doubt not replace it, but instead need to incorporate it. In addition to that, throwing an article at me that was written by some miniscule dissident of relativity shows nothing. You read his ideas and assert them as fact? What about Einstein's Relativity? Has the great mind of Tom Van Flandern undone these theories and the empericle evidence that greatly supports each? Please, before basking in your "*sighs" of self-righteous, shit-eating confidence try opening your eyes.
  23. nubianconcubine ...observing... Registered Senior Member

    could someone tell me if this theory (one i thought of but may already exist paired with the fact that i have very limited knowledge of astronomy

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    ), since you guys are on the subject of the big bang, holds any water?
    okay. i read in a magazine article that most scientist are leaning toward the fact that universe will continue to expand until all energy and matter are reduced to trace gases and radio waves. now blackholes swallow everything around them right? blackholes also have gravity (duh). would it be possible for all the matter and energy in the universe to eventually end up in one black hole or another and then all the black holes gravitate toward one another until one megablackhole exists. but just as this megablackhole is coming together the density of it becomes so great that the tiny, incredibly dense particle of matter at its center "overloads" and explodes outward, effectively creating another big bang?

    just a thought.

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