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On the Lighter Side => New Theories => Topic started by: Devans99 on 21/11/2018 13:08:29

Title: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 21/11/2018 13:08:29
Eternalism is the belief that past, present and future are equally real. It contrasts to Presentism; the belief that only now exists. Below I'm trying to show that time has a start and that this implies Eternalism is true. That result would be in agreement with Einstein's special and general relativity.

Outline of proof

 - Definitions
 - Proof Time had a start
 - Proof of Eternalism
 - Lemma: Actual infinity does not exits
 - Related Propositions

Definitions

We will be discussing infinity, so these two definitions of Aristotle will come in useful:

Potenial Infinity
Characterised by a repeating process, such as repeatedly adding to a number. These processes increases towards infinity without ever actually reaching it.

Actual Infinity
This is what most people think of when they say infinity; a non-finite number or quantity. Examples would be the actual existence of a completed infinite set or a physical property like length, mass taking on an infinite value.


Proof Time had a start

The counting paradox
 - Say you meet an Eternal being in your Eternal universe
 - You notice he is counting
 - You ask and he says ‘I’ve always been counting’
 - What number is he on?

It’s impossible to count to infinity so the being cannot be on that. If the being is on a finite number, then he is not eternal; he started counting a finite time ago.

This paradox highlights the nonsensical nature of anything eternal (in time). Such an entity has no temporal starting point so it’s impossible that it could exist.

The Measure Problem
This is a paradox of eternal time from Cosmology:

 - Assume time is eternal.
 - If it can happen it will happen.
 - An infinite number of times.
 - No matter how unlikely it was in the first place!
 - So all things happen an infinite number of times.
 - So all things are equally likely.
 - Reductio ad absurdum.
 - Time is not eternal

The solution to the paradox is to assume time is not infinite; it has a start

Proof time has a start:

 - Time is a series of moments. Take away one moment and the following moments are undefined/cannot exist. For example, take away Monday and the rest of the week does not exist. So there must be a starting moment; an anchor point for the whole time series or none of it exists.

 - Imagine Eternity, it has no starting moment, so none of it can exist
 
 - If time did not have a start then an actual infinity of time has passed so far which is impossible

 - Imagine an eternal being; he would have no start in time so could never exist. Being is possible we therefore conclude Eternal is not

 - Intense gravity causes the passage of time to slow so time came to an almost stop at the Big Bang (strong candidate for start of time).

 - A moment cannot of occurred infinity long ago, because there is no way for the effects of that moment to get to today (-∞ + 1 = -∞), so all moments happened finitely long ago



Proof of Eternalism

Assume only now exists
So before the start of time there was nothing *
But creation ex nihilo / without time is impossible
So more than only now exists **

* If there is more than one time, this proof refers to the first or top level time.
** We know now exists and more than now exists. So at least one moment other than now must exist. But all moments are identical so they all must exist.

Alternative Proof

 (top level) Time had a start
 Can’t get something from nothing so Something has always existed *
 Implies Time must have always existed
 IE Eternalism

Nothing is no dimensions, mater or energy


Note that Eternalism is in agreement with the Theory of Relativity whereas Presentism is not.



Lemma: Actual Infinity does not Exist

In set theory, actual infinity is defined to exist via an axiom; nowhere in maths is the existence of actual infinity proven. Its non-existence is quite straightforward to prove.
Actual infinity, if it existed, would be a quantity greater than all other quantities, but:

There is no quantity X such that X > all other quantities because X +1 > X
 
Further, actual infinity does not follow common sense or mathematical rules:

∞ + 1 = ∞ implies
1 = 0

The logical absurdity implies infinity is not a mathematical quantity.

Materialistic Argument
 - How exactly is Actual Infinity and the materialistic world view comparable?
 - For example, can a physical quantity larger than any other possible physical quantity exist?

Geometrical Construction
 - It is impossible to construct a line segment with the property that it is longer than all other line segments

Is there an Actual Infinity of points on a Line Segment?

 - Consider the points on a line segment length 1.
 - Does the interval contain an actual infinity of points?
 - No.
 - Points have length zero
 - So the length of the interval 1 divided by the length of a point 0 equals UNDEFINED.

The real number line

The situation is similar when we examine the real numbers:

 - Consider the Numbers on the real number line.
 - For example between 0 and 1.
 - Does the interval contain an actual infinity of numbers?
 - No.
 - Numbers have length zero
 - they are just logical labels on a line
 - So the length of the interval 1 divided by the length of a number 0 equals UNDEFINED.


Related Propositions

Time Has An End
If Eternalism and Finitism are both true, then time must have an end.

The Universe is Finite
- The universe is expanding so it cannot be infinite in space else there would be nowhere to expand to
The universe started with the Big Bang 14 Billion years ago and has been expanding since then; it must have a finite radius
Time has an end, so with the speed of light limit, the universe can only ever reach a finite size.
 - The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says if the universe has been around for ever then it should be in thermodynamic equilibrium by now. But the universe is not in thermodynamic equilibrium. So time must of had a start. Or to put it another way: If time did not have a start, and infinite amount of time has past, so we must have reached the big freeze. But we have not reached the big freeze, so a finite amount of time has past since the beginning of the universe, so time had a start.

Time is Circular

There is only one place in the universe to get all the matter and energy for the Big Bang; the Big Crunch has it in precisely the right quantity. IE time is probably circular (with a single set of time co-ordinates). This leads to a very simple model of the universe:

Everything has existed always (timelessly)
Everything is finite in time and space
Start of time is the Big Bang
End of time is the big crunch
Time is probably circular

We note that the expansion rate of the universe has slowed in the past (the end of cosmic inflation) and also that the universe is still very young; so the expansion of the universe could turn into contraction at a later time.

The state of the universe at the Big Bang and Big Crunch should be identical with all matter/energy packed into a single discrete space-time cell.

We also note that energy is conserved and there is nowhere for the energy to go at the end of (time apart from back to the start of time.

If the time is not circular, it leaves a puzzle as to where all the matter and energy goes at the end of time - it should be conserved in this universe.

If time is circular and finite then it implies Eternalism.
Space and Time are Discrete

Is it reasonable to regard the position of particles as information about the volume of space containing the particles? If yes, then there seems to be a simple argument for space being discrete:

- Assume space is continuous
- Implies particles have infinite positional precision. We might not be able to measure with infinite precision; but the underlying system is continuous so possesses infinite precision
- So there is an infinite amount of information in a spacial volume of 1 cubic unit
- And there is also an infinite amount of information in a spacial volume of 10000 cubic units
- Both infinities are the same kind and have the same cardinality
- But this is a logical contradiction, there must be more information in the larger volume.
- So there must be a false assumption in the argument; space must be discrete

A similar argument applies for time.

Paradoxes Solved
A paradox is indicative of an underlying logic error. In all the following cases, the logic error is the assumption that Actual Infinity occurs:

 - Galileo's paradox is solved: There are less squares than numbers because not all numbers are squares. Yet each number has a square so the number of numbers and squares must be the same. He is trying to compare two actually infinite sets, IE comparing two undefined things. A set definition is not complete until all its members are iterated.
- Hilbert’s infinite hotel paradox is solved; such a hotel cannot exist.
 - Cantor's Paradox: ‘The set of all sets is its own power set. Therefore, the cardinal number of the set of all sets must be bigger than itself.’ The set of all sets is an ACTUAL INFINITY so not a completely described set. You cannot soundly reason with it. Leads to the paradox.
 - Zeno’s paradoxes are solved. Time and space are discrete (separate proof)


The Anthropic principle
The Weak Anthropic explains the universe must be compatible with life for us to be here. It does not explain why the universe is compatible with life
The Strong Anthropic explains that the existence of multiple universes with different properties account for our existence. But other universes are statistically likely to be like this one (Life supporting) so the SAP does not explain why the multiverse is fined-tuned for life.


Quantum Fluctuations and Infinite Time

Could a Quantum Fluctuation have occurred infinity long ago?
No because there is no way for the effects of the Quantum Fluctuation to get to today (-oo + 1 = -oo)
IE There is no way to get from -oo to today, thats the definition of infinity
So all Quantum Fluctuations occurred finitely long ago.
So there must be a finite total number of Quantum Fluctuations
So ‘if it can happen, it will happen’ does not apply
So Quantum Fluctuations did not cause the Big Bang

Same argument for random particle collisions.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: alancalverd on 21/11/2018 13:25:16
Time Has An End..............Time is Circular


At least one of these statements is false: a circle does not have an end.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Halc on 21/11/2018 13:27:20
This is straight metaphysics and belongs in a philosophy forum, where you've already posted I notice (onlinephilosophyclub) where you ignore all the places where flaws in your argument were pointed out.

If presentism is false, then it should make some empirical prediction via which it can be falsified.  If that is not proposed, this isn't really a physics question.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 21/11/2018 13:31:32
Time Has An End..............Time is Circular


At least one of these statements is false: a circle does not have an end.

There is a start/end point on a circle, its just the choice of where the point is placed is arbitrary. I think the big bang / big crunch seems like the best place for the start/end of time?
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 21/11/2018 13:34:13
This is straight metaphysics and belongs in a philosophy forum, where you've already posted I notice (onlinephilosophyclub) where you ignore all the places where flaws in your argument were pointed out.

If presentism is false, then it should make some empirical prediction via which it can be falsified.  If that is not proposed, this isn't really a physics question.

Sorry, but I thought it would have been of some interest here too. For example if time has a start then that effects cosmology.

It makes the prediction that past, present and future are all real. You could argue the quantum eraser experiment confirms this.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Halc on 21/11/2018 13:50:45
Sorry, but I thought it would have been of some interest here too. For example if time has a start then that effects cosmology.
Except neither eternalism nor presentism assert that time has a start, or that it doesn't.

Quote
It makes the prediction that past, present and future are all real.
That's the premise, not a prediction.  A metaphysical assertion is not a prediction.  You've not described a test to falsify one or the other view.

Quote
You could argue the quantum eraser experiment confirms this.
Yes, you could, but you'd have to beg a certain interpretation of QM to do it.

I pretty much hold to eternalism myself, but I'm not so naive as to think that presentism has been disproven, or that eternalism requires a start to time any more than the integers require a lowest integer from which to start.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 21/11/2018 13:54:06
Except neither eternalism nor presentism assert that time has a start, or that it doesn't.

If you check my OP, you will see I first proof time has a start and then show that implies eternalism (hence ruling out presentism).
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Halc on 21/11/2018 14:28:11
If you check my OP, you will see I first proof time has a start
You posit an eternal being counting (essentially a device that gives a measure of the age of the universe), which begs a start to time, invalidating the 'proof'.
The argument also implies that infinity is a number, which it isn't.  You show the difference between Aristotle's two definitions of it, but then imply that said the current age needs to be actual infinity.

Quote
and then show that implies eternalism (hence ruling out presentism).
Didn't see it.  I see "So before the start of time there was nothing" which is contradictory.  You can't make reference to 'before the start of time' if it has a start.  If there was a before, then that wasn't really the start.

Alternate proof has a similar self-contradiction.
" (top level) Time had a start.   ...   Implies Time must have always existed"

If time must always have existed, then you've contradicted that time has a start.  This statement actually would disprove that time has a start if it were a valid argument.

That is followed by "IE Eternalism" which is just an assertion, since either view supports both finite and infinite past.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 21/11/2018 14:38:22
If you check my OP, you will see I first proof time has a start
You posit an eternal being counting (essentially a device that gives a measure of the age of the universe), which begs a start to time, invalidating the 'proof'.
The argument also implies that infinity is a number, which it isn't.  You show the difference between Aristotle's two definitions of it, but then imply that said the current age needs to be actual infinity.

If you check the OP, I gave 8 separate proofs that time has a start.

If infinity is not a number; it's not part of mathematics. Nature is modelled by mathematics, so we should not expect infinity in nature; indeed that has been our empirical experience so far.



Quote
and then show that implies eternalism (hence ruling out presentism).
Didn't see it.  I see "So before the start of time there was nothing" which is contradictory.  You can't make reference to 'before the start of time' if it has a start.  If there was a before, then that wasn't really the start.

So what do you claim is before the start of time if it is not nothing?




Alternate proof has a similar self-contradiction.
" (top level) Time had a start.   ...   Implies Time must have always existed"

If time must always have existed, then you've contradicted that time has a start.  This statement actually would disprove that time has a start if it were a valid argument.

That is followed by "IE Eternalism" which is just an assertion, since either view supports both finite and infinite past.

Its not contradictory, you need to think in terms of 4d space time. Best imagined as 3d space where one of the spacial axes has been changed to time. Then you can imagine the universe as a 3d object. It would have a start in the time dimension. If the shape is circular, the start corresponds to the end, if you see what I mean.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Halc on 21/11/2018 14:54:45
If you check the OP, I gave 8 separate proofs that time has a start.
You need to cut out the ones that beg the premise then.  Is there one?

Quote
If infinity is not a number; it's not part of mathematics.
Oh really....
Similarly pi is not a rational number, and is thus not part of mathematics.

So what do you claim is before the start of time if it is not nothing?
I don't.  There can be no reference to 'before the start of time' if it has a start.

Quote
Its not contradictory, you need to think in terms of 4d space time. Best imagined as 3d space where one of the spacial axes has been changed to time. Then you can imagine the universe as a 3d object. It would have a start in the time dimension. If the shape is circular, the start corresponds to the end, if you see what I mean.
I know how to envision it, being an eternalist myself.

The finite model is more typically envisioned as a sphere with time being the radial axis.  Making reference to a point before the start of time is similar to making reference to a point deeper than the center of Earth.  You just can't go deeper.  It isn't cyclic:  The center of Earth does not rest on itself at some point higher up.
The presentist model would say that only the surface of that sphere exists, not the points below or above.  It does not assert infinite radius to the sphere.

The infinite model is more like just a boundless coordinate system, with nowhere to point that is outside the model, and the presentist would say that only a cross section of that is real.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 21/11/2018 15:05:28
If you check the OP, I gave 8 separate proofs that time has a start.
You need to cut out the ones that beg the premise then.  Is there one?

Quote
If infinity is not a number; it's not part of mathematics.
Oh really....
Similarly pi is not a rational number, and is thus not part of mathematics.

Pi is an irrational number so it is part of mathematics. Actual infinity is just defined axiomatically in set theory; it does not actually exist. Something bigger than anything else possible? Come on pull the other one that's just magic and it has no place in maths or science IMO.


So what do you claim is before the start of time if it is not nothing?
I don't.  There can be no reference to 'before the start of time' if it has a start.
[/quote]
Exactly, so there is nothing before the start of time and the rest of my proof follows from that.




I know how to envision it, being an eternalist myself.

The finite model is more typically envisioned as a sphere with time being the radial axis.  Making reference to a point before the start of time is similar to making reference to a point deeper than the center of Earth.  You just can't go deeper.  It isn't cyclic:  The center of Earth does not rest on itself at some point higher up.
The presentist model would say that only the surface of that sphere exists, not the points below or above.  It does not assert infinite radius to the sphere.

The infinite model is more like just a boundless coordinate system, with nowhere to point that is outside the model, and the presentist would say that only a cross section of that exists.

I'm not referencing anything before the start of time, merely pointing out the impossibly of action without time (which is enough with the start of time to disprove presentism). Personally, my guess as to the 'shape' of the universe is a don ought/torus with the time axis running around the circle. It would be thin at one point (time=0 big bang, big crunch) and fat at the opposing point (the maximum spacial extent of the universe).
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Halc on 21/11/2018 16:00:35
Something bigger than anything else possible?
It isn't defined that way.

Quote
Exactly, so there is nothing before the start of time and the rest of my proof follows from that.
Your 'proof' references a time before the start of time.

Quote
Personally, my guess as to the 'shape' of the universe is a don ought/torus with the time axis running around the circle. It would be thin at one point (time=0 big bang, big crunch) and fat at the opposing point (the maximum spacial extent of the universe).
What precludes one slice of that torus from being 'the present'?
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Halc on 21/11/2018 16:38:58
I see this got pushed to 'new theories'.  It isn't really a new theory, just not a theory at all since it isn't science, even if it happens to be a mainstream metaphysical view.
I would have moved the topic to 'just Chat' since it just seems to be a demonstration of fallacious arguments.

Perhaps the suggestion of the cyclic model is what caused the thread to be moved here.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Kryptid on 21/11/2018 21:13:31
 - So all things happen an infinite number of times.
 - So all things are equally likely.

That does not follow. If the probability of getting struck by lightning is 1-in-1 million per year (just a random number), that probability isn't going to change just because you posit an infinite number of years over which it could happen. Even if such a hypothetical immortal gets struck an infinite number of times over an eternity, that won't change the average rate at which it happens.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Halc on 22/11/2018 00:45:30
- So all things happen an infinite number of times.
 - So all things are equally likely.

That does not follow. If the probability of getting struck by lightning is 1-in-1 million per year (just a random number), that probability isn't going to change just because you posit an infinite number of years over which it could happen. Even if such a hypothetical immortal gets struck an infinite number of times over an eternity, that won't change the average rate at which it happens.
I didn't think it followed either, but for a different reason.
If the probability of getting struck by lightning is 1-in-1 million per year, then given enough time, the odds of being struck by lightning is reaches any arbitrary high probability, and the odds of being struck any arbitrarily high number of times also reaches any arbitrary high probability.

So maybe not the best example.
My counter example was the counting numbers.  All the possible ones are hit, but each only once, not an infinite number of times.  Devans99 left off an additional postulate that only a finite number of things are possible, and that is needed for them to be probably hit an infinite number of times.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 22/11/2018 07:52:02
- So all things happen an infinite number of times.
 - So all things are equally likely.

That does not follow. If the probability of getting struck by lightning is 1-in-1 million per year (just a random number), that probability isn't going to change just because you posit an infinite number of years over which it could happen. Even if such a hypothetical immortal gets struck an infinite number of times over an eternity, that won't change the average rate at which it happens.

If you posit an infinite number of years then the number of people struck by lightening is infinite and the number of people not struck by lightening is also infinite (and equal).

You have got out of the paradox by removing infinity and using a million years instead (a finite period). The paradox goes away as soon as you use finite time.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Kryptid on 22/11/2018 17:57:48
If you posit an infinite number of years then the number of people struck by lightening is infinite and the number of people not struck by lightening is also infinite (and equal).

You have got out of the paradox by removing infinity and using a million years instead (a finite period). The paradox goes away as soon as you use finite time.

There is no paradox. Even if an infinitely-old immortal lived on an infinitely-old planet and had been struck by an infinite number of lightning bolts in the past, that wouldn't affect how likely he would be to be struck by lightning this particular year. The odds are still the same.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 22/11/2018 18:03:18
If you posit an infinite number of years then the number of people struck by lightening is infinite and the number of people not struck by lightening is also infinite (and equal).

You have got out of the paradox by removing infinity and using a million years instead (a finite period). The paradox goes away as soon as you use finite time.

There is no paradox. Even if an infinitely-old immortal lived on an infinitely-old planet and had been struck by an infinite number of lightning bolts in the past, that wouldn't affect how likely he would be to be struck by lightning this particular year. The odds are still the same.

Yes but you have shortened time to 1 year to get out of the paradox. The paradox calls for the likelihood over all of eternal time of being struck by lightening Vs not struct by lightening. Which is ∞ Vs ∞ IE same likelihood.

Here is the wikipedia entry for the paradox:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measure_problem_(cosmology)
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Kryptid on 22/11/2018 18:13:42
Yes but you have shortened time to 1 year to get out of the paradox. The paradox calls for the likelihood over all of eternal time of being struck by lightening Vs not struct by lightening. Which is ∞ Vs ∞ IE same likelihood.

Here is the wikipedia entry for the paradox:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measure_problem_(cosmology)

It depends on how you phrase the question. If you are asking "how likely is event x to happen over a given period of time?" then you will get a different answer than if you ask "how likely is event x to happen eventually?" If "event x" has a finite probability, then the chance of it happening eventually over an infinite period of time is indeed 100%. That still isn't a paradox because you're measuring probability in two different ways.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 22/11/2018 18:18:49
Yes but you have shortened time to 1 year to get out of the paradox. The paradox calls for the likelihood over all of eternal time of being struck by lightening Vs not struct by lightening. Which is ∞ Vs ∞ IE same likelihood.

Here is the wikipedia entry for the paradox:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measure_problem_(cosmology)

It depends on how you phrase the question. If you are asking "how likely is event x to happen over a given period of time?" then you will get a different answer than if you ask "how likely is event x to happen eventually?" If "event x" has a finite probability, then the chance of it happening eventually over an infinite period of time is indeed 100%. That still isn't a paradox because you're measuring probability in two different ways.

I'm not following your argument. It seems straight forward enough to me. Over eternity, there are an infinite number of days when the being is struck by lightening and also an infinite number of days when he is not. So the two are equally lightly?
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Kryptid on 22/11/2018 18:32:04
I'm not following your argument. It seems straight forward enough to me. Over eternity, there are an infinite number of days when the being is struck by lightening and also an infinite number of days when he is not. So the two are equally lightly?

The problem is that you are treating infinity like it is a number. It isn't.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 22/11/2018 18:43:37
I'm not following your argument. It seems straight forward enough to me. Over eternity, there are an infinite number of days when the being is struck by lightening and also an infinite number of days when he is not. So the two are equally lightly?

The problem is that you are treating infinity like it is a number. It isn't.

Infinity is something that exists only in our minds; nowhere is infinity found in nature. It's impossible to construct mathematically or geometrically. It's akin to believing in magic and it has no place in a material world view. It throughs up paradoxes like this one all over the place because it is such an illogical concept. The best conception we have of it is maybe the cardinality of the set of natural numbers. Clearly such an entity is pure magic.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Kryptid on 22/11/2018 21:14:18
It's impossible to construct mathematically or geometrically.

Then you must agree that any attempt to calculate probabilities using infinity doesn't work. This in turn means that your conclusion that all probabilities become equal after an eternity is flawed reasoning.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Devans99 on 22/11/2018 22:09:58
Then you must agree that any attempt to calculate probabilities using infinity doesn't work. This in turn means that your conclusion that all probabilities become equal after an eternity is flawed reasoning.

But it's not probability that's broken; it's actual infinity that is a broken concept. As you demonstrated, as soon as you take infinity out of the picture, the paradox disappears; so probability must be sound and infinity must be paradoxical.
Title: Re: Proof Eternalism is Correct
Post by: Kryptid on 23/11/2018 04:34:32
But it's not probability that's broken; it's actual infinity that is a broken concept. As you demonstrated, as soon as you take infinity out of the picture, the paradox disappears; so probability must be sound and infinity must be paradoxical.

That's like saying yesterday is paradoxical because you can't divide or multiply by yesterday. Yesterday isn't a number so of course you're going to run into problems when you try to do math with it. Same thing with infinity. That doesn't mean that both yesterday and infinity aren't useful concepts outside the realm of numerical calculations.