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Author Topic:   Time and Beginning to Exist
Member (Idle past 453 days)
Posts: 72
From: United States
Joined: 06-30-2011

Message 186 of 289 (642719)
11-30-2011 9:40 PM
Reply to: Message 162 by designtheorist
11-30-2011 10:10 AM

What of this "immaterial realm", anyway?
designtheorist writes:

No, I couldn't. The existence or non-existence of an immaterial realm is irrelevant to the argument in the OP.

It is not irrelevant as you have already admitted in Message 124 where you wrote:

The argument deals with the case where there is no prior time in any time dimension. Assuming otherwise creates a contradiction.

As I made clear very early on, one does not have to assume the existence of an immaterial realm - only the possibility of an immaterial realm. As long as you refuse to admit a possibility of such a realm, then you are committing circular reasoning. If you admit the possibility of such a realm, then the issue you are discussing is immediately resolved.

You keep going on about this "existence of an immaterial realm" which you allegedly deduce. What is currently known about this immaterial realm? What else can be known about this immaterial realm? What specific properties (physical or metaphysical) would this immaterial realm possess? Can there be more than one immaterial realm, or must it be all one monolithic piece?

How big is this immaterial realm? How many entities (intelligent or otherwise) may comfortably reside in this immaterial realm? (Feel free to select from the various transfinite cardinalities for these last two questions.)

If this "immaterial realm" is so easy to grasp, as you say, you should be able to answer a few of these questions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 162 by designtheorist, posted 11-30-2011 10:10 AM designtheorist has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 194 by Rahvin, posted 12-01-2011 12:13 PM DWIII has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 453 days)
Posts: 72
From: United States
Joined: 06-30-2011

Message 197 of 289 (642813)
12-01-2011 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by kbertsche
12-01-2011 9:55 AM

kbertsche writes:

How about saying that the universe has a finite age?

Rahvin has a point: "begin to exist" does have its problems. Normally, when we say something begins to exist, we mean that there's a time when it didn't followed by a time when it did. But if, as many cosmologists seem to say, time is an aspect of the universe, then there was no time when the universe didn't exist, making it different from everything else that "began to exist".

I don't see how (A) "began to exist" implies prior time any more than does (B) "has a finite age". They seem pretty similar to me in this respect. Based on our normal experience, both would suggest prior time. But neither one necessarily implies prior time. Both imply a "zero-point" to the thing's existence,

No they don't both imply that (see below).

but neither one says anything about what happened "before" the thing's existence.

The main difference that I see between (A) and (B) is one of perspective. With (B), "has a finite age", one is viewing a thing's existence from the present, and looking backward toward when the thing "started" or "began to exist". With (A), "began to exist", one is viewing the thing from its origin or starting point.

Even more to the point, (B) "has a finite age" does not imply (A) "began to exist". If (B) is true and (A) is false, where does that leave the Cosmological argument, which requires a beginning in the first place?

Looking at the analogy of the North Pole, (B) is somewhat analogous to saying "this city is at a finite latitude", while (A) is somewhat analogous to saying "our latitude coordinate system begins at the North Pole". Both imply that there is a starting point to latitude coordinates. But neither one says anything about the possibility of {... latitudes greater than 90 degrees North...}.

Perhaps another analogy may be appropriate here. In thermodynamics, you could say that absolute zero is the lowest possible temperature, but in our universe (as far as we know), attaining a temperature of absolute zero is physically impossible. Thus, in a sense, there is no such thing as a starting point of temperature, in spite of the fact that absolute temperature can't get to either zero or less than zero.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by kbertsche, posted 12-01-2011 9:55 AM kbertsche has not yet responded

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