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Thread: What do we know?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    And isn't it conceivable, metaphysically, that there is always something beyond everything else, infinitely/recursively? Certainly if you allow things like "non-time" or "non-space".
    Yes, even without concepts like "non-time" and "non-space" (which, by the way, I cannot see as existing independently of each other).
    And that's why I think we'll never know (everything).

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    I like the idea of the Big Bang continuing to this moment and reaching forever in both directions of time.

    I wonder about the expanding universe. It's a little like predicting the weather. They thought they had it right at least once before, and discovered they were wrong. I think it's several times revising the speed and acceleration of what has been called an expanding or contracting universe until the latest theory where they seem to have settled on a constantly expanding universe that eventually dies because nothing is close enough to anything else and all energy is lost to entropy. Pretty dismal if you ask me.

    I guess we won't be around for any of that anyway. It would be so cool to KNOW though.
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    Pretty dismal if you ask me.

    I guess we won't be around for any of that anyway. It would be so cool to KNOW though.
    I agree. There are other similar things if you look at such a wide scale. The sun burning out is one example. Another was something I experienced at a museum on the Galapagos Islands-- they explained that in about 2 million years all of the islands would be underwater because as the tectonic plates shift, that part of the ocean floor (and the islands attached to it) is very slowly sinking to the point that in about 2 million years there will no longer be any islands there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscheuer1 View Post
    I like the idea of the Big Bang continuing to this moment and reaching forever in both directions of time.
    Me too. But what I'm most interested in is the question INTO WHAT (click!) the universe is expanding.

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    Hm. That's a cool video.

    Note that it opens with basically the same explanation I had-- we're within the universe so everything we know and can know is within our perception (within the universe).

    As for what it's expanding into, it's explained there-- either something we can't ever know, or not into anything at all. It's interesting to think about, but it's still hard to see it as a productive (answerable) question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    As for what it's expanding into, it's explained there-- either something we can't ever know, or not into anything at all. It's interesting to think about, but it's still hard to see it as a productive (answerable) question.
    That's exactly why the question excites me. The mere thought that there is something we will never know has mystic dimensions. In a very strange but absolute way, that gives me a feeling of great security (ever since I was very young). For me, it has a 'grandeur' that is absent in any religion. (Religions always somehow simplify things and take away the 'grandeur').
    Arie.

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    Ironically, it sounds to me like you've found something to have faith in. (Faith = believing in something despite the fact that it is logically impossible to know the facts about it)
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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    Ironically, it sounds to me like you've found something to have faith in. (Faith = believing in something despite the fact that it is logically impossible to know the facts about it)
    Yes, very true. (In all other respects, I'm quite normal, ha!).
    Despite the fact that I love logic / reasoning, that my job has always been to teach formal logics to students (within the field of linguistics), that I base my practical-life-decisions on the 'head' rather than on the 'instinct' (if that's possible), that I hate 'New Age' and that I don't trust 'convictions' that just come out of 'feelings', I allow myself to behave in a non-logical way as soon as metaphysics enter the scene, because there our human logic fails.
    And yes, I have been quite happy ever since the moment I realized you cannot 'know'. No need for searching anymore. But of course, that's only my personal truth.
    Well, this is getting too heavy perhaps.

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    It may be irony, after all isn't it said that if God doesn't exist we would have to invent him?

    But I think this is different. It is awe inspiring. Even though it's unknowable, it's also undeniable.

    Arie, I agree with you, most religions as presented to the world are kind of dry compared to an unknowable undeniable reality. But I'm not sure how deeply you've looked into the various religions. They almost all have one or more mystical components. The Jewish religion has Cabala, the Christians have their Gnostics, Islam has Sufism, Hindus have their Yogis, Buddhists have Zen masters. I'm sure that any other religion that's been around for a while has something of the sort. All of these apparently claim there's real mystical knowledge of both the self and the universe that can be apprehended via their various practices and studies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscheuer1 View Post
    It may be irony, after all isn't it said that if God doesn't exist we would have to invent him?
    But I think this is different. It is awe inspiring. Even though it's unknowable, it's also undeniable.
    Arie, I agree with you, most religions as presented to the world are kind of dry compared to an unknowable undeniable reality. But I'm not sure how deeply you've looked into the various religions. They almost all have one or more mystical components.
    I know. You're right. When I said 'religion', I was referring to the official versions of the various religions. But I think even the goal of their mystical components is/was to obtain truth. I don't want to obtain anything. But then again, that's also truth in a way. I think we mean the same.
    Arie.
    Last edited by molendijk; 11-13-2012 at 11:15 PM. Reason: English

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