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Thread: If matter came to existence, then matter never came to existence.

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    Default If matter came to existence, then matter never came to existence.

    If T is the time line, and if p is a point on T at which x starts, and if x can only start once, then everything that precedes p on T is non-x. Non-x necessarily extends infinitely to the left, because there cannot be a point on T preceding p that is x (since we assumed that x can only start once). Now, as non-x extends infinitely to the left, non-x must be infinite itself, which does not allow for a point at which x can start. Conclusion: if T is the time line, and if p is a point on T at which x starts, and if x can only start once, then x can never start.
    Replace x with matter: if matter started to 'be there' at some moment of time, then matter never started to be there.
    What's wrong with this kind of reasoning?
    ===
    Arie.

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    Default

    Someone brilliant out there for a solution on this 'matter'?

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    Default

    ex nihil nihil fit

    'from nothing nothing [is made]'

    This is the problem with any sort of belief system:

    1. If the scientific approach is correct, then what caused the big bang and what was there before?
    2. If God did in fact create everything, then how did he come into existence? Does he have a God? etc.

    Beyond our perception, there is always another layer, which must explain the furthest layer we do comprehend (or even barely grasp at).


    As for your reasoning, the specific problem is this:
    Now, as non-x extends infinitely to the left, non-x must be infinite itself, which does not allow for a point at which x can start.
    Infinity simply means non-ending. It does not mean entirely boundless- only partly boundless.
    That is, something can be more infinite than something else. The number sequence 1, 2, 3, 4... is infinite. And so is 1, 2, 4, 8, 16.... But the second one is, I would say, "more" infinite than the first.
    In your example, it extends infinitely to the left, but it does have a finite point of origin on the right. It is infinitely long, but only with one infinite side. Consider that you HAVE already set bounds by placing it on a line. It would be more infinite on a plane (extending up and down in addition to left and right) and even more so in 3D space (and you can keep adding dimensions).

    In math, there are lines (boundless on both sides) and rays (bounded on one side). In your example, you have defined a ray.


    However, this still has no explanation for how something can begin from nothing.

    If you take the example of God creating everything, and we assume he exists, then we are assuming that both he exists and he created everything that exists. Thus, everything that exists (of which he is a member) he created-- he created himself.

    One of the oddest concepts in religion, to me, is the idea that "God created the Earth in 6 days". Didn't he also, in that time, create days? How could his work be measured in time?


    Looking beyond all this at a wider view, string theory asserts that we simply perceive dimensions as meaningful (space or time, and possibility, probability and even infinity), but they exist simply as strings buzzing around in space (not the star kind, but rather the empty kind).
    That gives a decent explanation about time, in that we can no longer worry about when time started, as it is simply a perception we have from our viewpoint, and it doesn't really exist in any sort of linear fashion at all... it's just an impression from all this activity. (That is to say that your reflection in a mirror isn't all that meaningful by itself, that just the actual object creating the reflection, and the light, is significant.)

    It doesn't, however, give any better explanation for the important question of "what the heck are the strings doing there in the first place, and did something put them there?"


    In a more historical sense, I love the Greek myth explanation of this. Chaos (ignore the modern meaning of the word for a moment-- it is only a derivative) was at first alone. Chaos was empty and nothing and something beyond understanding. It also has a slight meaning of the modern sense of "chaos" in that it wasn't uniform or organized. It was void. From chaos were born, chaotically, I suppose, several gods, from which, over time, a more understandable system of births was conceived. Night and Dark gave existence to Day and Light, and eventually more tangible concepts like Earth and Sky were created. Then, from those, the primal Titans, more like real characters, came into being, through the first births from male-female unions. And soon, the Olympians, from the Titans, along with other cousins, were born, and at some point (I'm not sure on the specifics here) man came into existence.

    I kind of like that idea. It takes on "ex nihil nihil fit" and ignores it. From Chaos came a bunch of stuff. The end.


    In the end, this sort of reasoning leads only to prove that we can't understand the topmost layer (and that the layers must be infinite anyway).

    So deductive (top down) reasoning is difficult to justify (such as "There is a God, and therefore", or "There are a bunch of strings out there, and therefore"), so inductive (outward, expanding) reasoning makes more sense.

    We see something, and just like the typical scientific method, we try to figure out information. Suddenly we see that all red birds give birth to red birds and all green birds give birth to green birds, but when they inter-mate, they get red or green offspring. With that, the concept of evolution is born. And from that point, assuming nothing disputes it, we can infer through deductive reasoning this time, that it is in fact something that applies to more than just the birds. But to get to that topmost idea, we have to work up, not start at the top.

    It's also about perspective, as I said and the range of our perception. We must operate in a realm where everything is factual. If God exists, he may be outside of this realm, so I would argue he in fact doesn't exist. There is no God. At least to us. Intangible and out of bounds, God doesn't exist in any literal sense of the word. There may, yes, be a God, but not in a form we can comprehend. God may have created everything [still doesn't solve who created him], but from our limited perspective, that's irrelevant, to some degree.
    About dinosaurs, for example, they conflict with the bible [at least to some]. However, there is a loophole here. What if God created, about 6,000 years ago, a bunch of "old" dinosaur bones? In that case, to us, they are quite literally true.

    Within our realm of perception, anything we prove IS true. It may not be true outside of that realm, such as this idea of time, as it may just be random motion of strings, or perhaps the creation of a God, but either way, to us, trapped in the realm, it is true and factual.
    Last edited by djr33; 08-19-2008 at 12:23 AM.
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    Yes Daniel, the heart of the whole problem is whether or not infinity is line-like or ray-like. If infinity is line-like (as I assume in my reasoning, just for the fun of it, not because I know), and if we also assume that infinity exists, then my premise about
    x starting somewhere on the time line is false right from the start, which explains the contradictory result.
    ===
    Arie.

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