1. Standard memberwittywonka
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    24 Feb '14 04:35
    Could someone please explain to me the reasoning that concludes that our universe may be beginning-less and end-less, with respect to time?

    I have read about this theory before, and I have had conversations with friends about it, too. In those conversations, I have in some form always asked the question, "How could it be that if in nearly every facet of our lives we observe, understand, perceive things as temporally, causally related, why wouldn't we apply that paradigm to our understanding of the existence of our own physical existence?" To which I was met with a swift retort of, "Well just because we can't fathom the concept, or just because we're not familiar with it, doesn't mean it isn't so." To which I stopped talking altogether.

    I'm not trying to be small-minded, or shallow. But I genuinely don't understand on what basis I should even consider rejecting a fundamental physical premise of our (universal) existence.
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    24 Feb '14 04:40
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Could someone please explain to me the reasoning that concludes that our universe may be beginning-less and end-less, with respect to time?

    I have read about this theory before, and I have had conversations with friends about it, too. In those conversations, I have in some form always asked the question, "How could it be that if in nearly every facet o ...[text shortened]... is I should even consider rejecting a fundamental physical premise of our (universal) existence.
    google on

    universe may be beginning-less and endless

    without "s and see what you get.
  3. Standard membersonship
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    24 Feb '14 05:46
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Could someone please explain to me the reasoning that concludes that our universe may be beginning-less and end-less, with respect to time?

    I have read about this theory before, and I have had conversations with friends about it, too. In those conversations, I have in some form always asked the question, "How could it be that if in nearly every facet o ...[text shortened]... is I should even consider rejecting a fundamental physical premise of our (universal) existence.
    Do you mean Steady State theory or an Oscillating Universe theory of some type ?
  4. Standard memberwittywonka
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    24 Feb '14 06:03
    Originally posted by sonship
    Do you mean Steady State theory or an Oscillating Universe theory of some type ?
    I've heard of the Oscillating Universe theory, though I don't know much about it. And I have no idea what the Steady State theory is.
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    24 Feb '14 06:27
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Could someone please explain to me the reasoning that concludes that our universe may be beginning-less and end-less, with respect to time?

    I have read about this theory before, and I have had conversations with friends about it, too. In those conversations, I have in some form always asked the question, "How could it be that if in nearly every facet o ...[text shortened]... is I should even consider rejecting a fundamental physical premise of our (universal) existence.
    Not sure if this belongs in science forum or here. I guess you need to do some more reading, but as I understand it the Big Bang theory of the start of the universe means it had a start and therefore must have had a cause. If it had a start then it must be possible to have an end I suppose. However we must define what start and end are.
  6. Standard memberwittywonka
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    24 Feb '14 06:42
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Not sure if this belongs in science forum or here. I guess you need to do some more reading, but as I understand it the Big Bang theory of the start of the universe means it had a start and therefore must have had a cause. If it had a start then it must be possible to have an end I suppose. However we must define what start and end are.
    Not sure if this belongs in science forum or here.

    By no means would it prove the existence of a supernatural ("God"-like) being, but it seems to me that a finite beginning of the universe would make the existence of such a being more likely--we're back to the old, "Well what caused the one 'beginning'--the ultimate cause itself?" But I digress.
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    24 Feb '14 06:56
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    [b]Not sure if this belongs in science forum or here.

    By no means would it prove the existence of a supernatural ("God"-like) being, but it seems to me that a finite beginning of the universe would make the existence of such a being more likely--we're back to the old, "Well what caused the one 'beginning'--the ultimate cause itself?" But I digress.[/b]
    I don't have any issue accepting the possibility of higher creative authority however likely or unlikely the various polarised parties present it. Personally I find all this philosophical hypothesising of no value whatsoever although I understand why people look at it. The questions I have are more practical such as:

    Why is the gospel so critical for salvation and so simple, and yet the bible itself often (too me) seems so complicated and sometimes some key issues are unclear?

    What is god's purpose?

    What is the point of suffering?

    Etc.
  8. Standard memberlemon lime
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    24 Feb '14 07:48
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    [b]Not sure if this belongs in science forum or here.

    By no means would it prove the existence of a supernatural ("God"-like) being, but it seems to me that a finite beginning of the universe would make the existence of such a being more likely--we're back to the old, "Well what caused the one 'beginning'--the ultimate cause itself?" But I digress.[/b]
    I believe the question can apply to either science or spirituality. One of the statements found in the kalam cosmological argument is "The universe had a beginning". This statement is backed up by some interesting reasoning that shows how it's impossible for there to have been an infinite number of past events. It seems there are a few unresolvable paradoxes associated with the idea of an eternal past.

    Aristotle on the other hand had an argument to prove there could have been an infinite number of past events, but as I recall his argument included a patch to make it work. In other words, his theory needed the help of a mysterious outside force in order to eliminate the paradoxes.

    Sorry I can't be more specific... it's been awhile since reading either one, and I've forgotten most of the details.
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    24 Feb '14 08:06
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    By no means would it prove the existence of a supernatural ("God"-like) being, but it seems to me that a finite beginning of the universe would make the existence of such a being more likely.
    Can you give any reasons why you think this?
  10. Cape Town
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    24 Feb '14 08:08
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    This statement is backed up by some interesting reasoning that shows how it's impossible for there to have been an infinite number of past events. It seems there are a few unresolvable paradoxes associated with the idea of an eternal past.
    I have never seen any reasoning to this effect that stood up to scrutiny. Would you care to try and provide any such reasoning?
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    24 Feb '14 08:12
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    I'm not trying to be small-minded, or shallow. But I genuinely don't understand on what basis I should even consider rejecting a fundamental physical premise of our (universal) existence.
    Its quite simple, the so called 'physical premise' you are relying on is based on subsets of the universe ie it is a law/premise internal to the universe. There is no reason whatsoever to think any such law/premise applies to the universe as a whole.
    Further, the so called physical premise, would seem to suggest the exact opposite of your conclusion. If everything in the universe is temporally, causally related then it follows that everything in the universe has a prior cause - also contained in the universe. If everything in the universe has a prior cause contained in the universe, then the universe necessarily has no beginning.
  12. Standard memberlemon lime
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    24 Feb '14 08:401 edit
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    I've heard of the Oscillating Universe theory, though I don't know much about it. And I have no idea what the Steady State theory is.
    A steady state universe means the universe has always existed in its present form.

    An Oscillating Universe contracts but stops short of reaching a singularity before it begins expanding again. The Oscillating Universe theory was proposed to overcome a problem with trying to reverse engineer the Big Bang back to its very beginning. The theory resembles the Big Bang without actually having a beginning, so it supposedly eliminates first cause and the need to explain how something could have come from nothing. IMO it's simply a variation of the Steady State universe, except that it oscillates instead of remaining in a steady state of existence.
  13. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    24 Feb '14 09:06
    If we define universe as everything including the supernatural and anything else you want to throw in.

    There are only 2 positions:

    Something came from nothing.
    OR
    Something has always existed.

    There is no 3rd alternative.
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    24 Feb '14 09:52
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Something came from nothing.
    I have never liked that phrase as it can be incoherent. Much better would be:
    'time is finite in the past'
    or
    'time is infinite in the past'.

    A finite past does not mean the existence of 'nothing' beyond the start. There is no beyond.
  15. Standard memberlemon lime
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    24 Feb '14 17:47
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I have never seen any reasoning to this effect that stood up to scrutiny. Would you care to try and provide any such reasoning?
    As I said before I've forgotten most of the details, but both arguments begin with the assumption of an infinite number of past events. The Kalam systematically scrutinizes this assumption whereas Aristotles' thesis attempts to prove it. The mysterious force Aristotle inserted into his argument was to keep the chain of cause and effect events chugging along with no apparent loss or dissipation of energy.

    In a closed system (such as the one you described) energy isn't lost, it dissipates. If it dissipates to the point where there is no longer an imbalance of forces then all physical motion ceases... and when physical motion ceases, cause and effect ceases. Aristotle recognised the need for adding energy into an infinite number of cause and effect events so as to explain a perpetual motion machine that has always chugged along (and will continue to chug along) for eternity. He didn't expect to find problems (or paradoxes) associated with a chain of past events that forever extend backwards in time, so he didn't look for any... he simply assumed it was true.

    By the way, I don't want to try explaining what the paradoxes are until I've had a chance to review them again. Nevertheless, I am confident none of it will stand up to your scrutiny.
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