I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

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I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Event Horizon on April 22nd, 2018, 3:08 pm 

The universe was around 14 billion years old the last I knew. And until 1969 when I was born I did not exist. I was kinda dead. Yet here I am.

For me to be able to exist, the conditions for my existence must also exist.

The thing is, my potential to exist has lasted for billions of years aparrently unmolested.

If the universe is going to expand infinitely your chance to exist will recur indefinately.
So perhaps your immortal potential to exist and mine could be considered to be our immortal soul. No religious mumbo-jumbo required!
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Serpent on April 22nd, 2018, 3:33 pm 

Event Horizon » April 22nd, 2018, 2:08 pm wrote:And until 1969 when I was born I did not exist. I was dead.

You can't be dead until after you have existed: were conceived, born, lived and died. Even then, you do not cease to exist: for decades or centuries - many centuries, if the body was buried in the right conditions - you may be a decomposing corpse, skeleton or mummy. In a less substantial kind of existence, your name and memory continue: depending on whether you preform acts of unusual significance to the human race, you may persist as a work of art, a historical figure, an iconic personifications of good or evil.

The colony on Titan isn't dead, but doesn't exist: it won't be established until 2311.
You can't tell whether God is dead or alive until you open his box, but Santa Claus certainly isn't dead, though neither exists.

For me to be able to exist, the conditions for my existence must also exist.

Indeed, the conditions must be present before you can be even a potential.

The thing is, my potential to exist has lasted for billions of years unmolested.

Nobody's been able to figure out how to molest a potential. They have to wait till it grows into at least a supposition, before they can even tweak it.
Besides, your specific potential to exist didn't last all that time; it only started when your parents met.

If the universe is going to expand infinitely your chance to exist will recur indefinately.

My chance to exist has already been fulfilled; thus, no longer exists. The size of the universe has no particular bearing on it, since I take up less than a cubic meter of it.

So perhaps your immortal potential to exist and mine could be considered to be our immortal soul.

You'll have a hard time haunting anyone with that.
Potential for any discreet object does not exist. It can't be separate from all the potential for everything that could possibly exist at some time in the future. Such general potential in the universe is not "yours" or "mine" - it's all the rocks and mag-lev trains and locusts, mixed in with explosions and weeping and snowfall. Potential isn't any thing, and can't be identified with any body.

Saying that universal potential is souls is very much like saying the universe is God.
That sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Event Horizon on April 22nd, 2018, 3:56 pm 

No. Most people think it makes a lot of sense.

If I am not alive then I am Dead. It is your default state when not alive, don't be ridiculous.

Infinitely expanding universe means infinite time. Given just 1 chance to exist in infinity, that chance has to occur. Its a mathematical truth.

Your potential to exist no way stops because you exist now. It validates your potential. It is proof.

If you're gonna write flippant or sarky comments at least think about them first please.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on April 22nd, 2018, 4:39 pm 

Even the brilliant mathematician and physicist Max Tegmark has allowed the possibility of eternal recurrence (first posited by Nietzsche iirc). It is widely accepted as a ramification of multiverse theories. We had a thread 3-4 years ago on the closely related concept "quantum immortality."
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Event Horizon on April 22nd, 2018, 5:29 pm 

Really? Wow! I just came to it myself. I need to read Nietzsche sometime. When I proffer my thoughts they're naturally arrived at. When I see there are supporting hypothesis by eminent people it's quite exciting.

Quantum immortality. I might search for that thread in case it relates to mine. Thanks.

It's really fairly simple and to me it seems logical. Even I can do the math, so it can't be that hard! What i dont know is if our existence manifests itself only as we are now, or other forms where the conditions for existence are different from here.
Once something has the potential to exist, that potential is eternal if the universe is eternal.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on January 24th, 2019, 9:01 am 

Event Horizon » April 22nd, 2018, 8:08 pm wrote:
For me to be able to exist, the conditions for my existence must also exist.



Seems to me what you say stands or falls on that sentence. But because the conditions exist doesn't guarantee your existence.

For mushrooms to exist there must be the right conditions - damp, soil, light, etc - but it doesn't mean there will automatically be mushrooms there.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby hyksos on January 25th, 2019, 6:46 pm 

If the universe is finite and time is eternal, then everything happening right now will happen again.
(Nietzsche)

If the universe is infinite in extent, and time is bounded, then there exists a copy of you somewhere.
(Tegmark)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on January 25th, 2019, 8:08 pm 

hyksos » January 25th, 2019, 11:46 pm wrote:If the universe is finite and time is eternal, then everything happening right now will happen again.
(Nietzsche)

If the universe is infinite in extent, and time is bounded, then there exists a copy of you somewhere.
(Tegmark)


No, no, no, don't quote other people to boost your argument. I want to know what you think.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Brent696 on January 29th, 2019, 5:06 pm 

In speaking of a soul we have to negate the body, to say we did not exist once is merely to say we do not remember existing beyond the programming of this physical machine as the soul has come to reside in it presently.

IN defining the soul, I would first posit the "mirror of self", many THINGS exist, but they do not KNOW they exist. They cannot contemplate their own existence, and this is also true of animals. A dog does what a dog does but does not think "why am I a dog", or "perhaps I could have been a bunny". The whole of the idea of "existence" escapes their consciousness and yet they are conscious.

Theologically it can be said that all dogs share in a single soul, or as it has been phrased, "each created after its kind". But with man each man would possess his own soul, his own sense of self, his own mirror. Consciousness provides the light, in this light the self is illuminated, and the "self" is the acknowledgement of our own individual "I am".

Try to consider whether in actuality a dog can think such a thought as "I am" despite the many human attributes we tend to attribute to them often.

Moving to "infinity", we make a mistake when we think of any "thing" as being eternal, infinity, eternality, these concepts really have no collusion with the finitude we experience here in this universe. To say time is eternal, as if time will continue forever, is to deny the very existence of Infinity, even potentially infinity can never be achieved within such a frame work.

Infinity exists apart from this finite universe, and as something "other than" since by definition it is without boundaries. It is a oneness beyond our comprehension as we think of "things that exist", it is timeless.

For the multiplicity of our existence though there are necessary factors, time and space. First create a 3d cube, then there is allowed a multitude of points, each point can be said to be s soul, a "location", more directly a "thing". The universe is like this cube, but to say the cube is eternal takes the attribute of time, that is internal to the cubes existence as it necessitates for consciousness, and forces or PROJECTS this attribute of Time as to be external to the universe or cube.

And so, to what exists as eternal and infinite, this cube does not exist with any actuality. And to what exists within and because of the cube, us, that which is finite, that which is whole, one, and infinite, expresses no Being. Oneness and multiplicity cannot share the same dimensions as it were.

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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on January 30th, 2019, 5:54 pm 

Brent696 » January 29th, 2019, 10:06 pm wrote:In speaking of a soul we have to negate the body, to say we did not exist once is merely to say we do not remember existing beyond the programming of this physical machine as the soul has come to reside in it presently


You're assuming a great deal here. You're right that it's 'merely to say we do not remember existing beyond the programming of this physical machine'. But when you talk of the soul, that may be unproven.

IN defining the soul, I would first posit the "mirror of self", many THINGS exist, but they do not KNOW they exist. They cannot contemplate their own existence


That is the mystery of consciousness, not the soul. The soul is a religious belief which may, or may not, have reality.

this is also true of animals


No, we cannot say what goes on in a dog's mind. It undoubtedly has consciousness because it has memory, is responsive, etc, but whether it knows that it knows is highly questionable. In fact, no one has any idea.

Theologically it can be said that all dogs share in a single soul, or as it has been phrased, "each created after its kind".


I'm glad you said 'theologically'. Theologically is not fact, much less proven fact. It's merely a belief.

But with man each man would possess his own soul, his own sense of self, his own mirror. Consciousness provides the light, in this light the self is illuminated, and the "self" is the acknowledgement of our own individual "I am".


You're quoting something.

Moving to "infinity", we make a mistake when we think of any "thing" as being eternal


We probably make a mistake when we 'think' anything at all!

To say time is eternal, as if time will continue forever, is to deny the very existence of Infinity


There may be a different kind of time, other than what we measure.

For the multiplicity of our existence though there are necessary factors, time and space. First create a 3d cube, then there is allowed a multitude of points, each point can be said to be s soul, a "location", more directly a "thing". The universe is like this cube, but to say the cube is eternal takes the attribute of time, that is internal to the cubes existence as it necessitates for consciousness, and forces or PROJECTS this attribute of Time as to be external to the universe or cube.

And so, to what exists as eternal and infinite, this cube does not exist with any actuality. And to what exists within and because of the cube, us, that which is finite, that which is whole, one, and infinite, expresses no Being. Oneness and multiplicity cannot share the same dimensions as it were.


You're quoting a belief, a philosophy. That's not the same as logical argument. Points should be made rationally.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby A_Seagull on January 31st, 2019, 10:36 am 

[quote=Event Horizon »
If the universe is going to expand infinitely your chance to exist will recur indefinately.
![/quote]

The universe cannot exist for an infinite amount of time. No matter how long it lasts for it will only have existed for a finite amount of time.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on January 31st, 2019, 11:24 am 

Unless it has no beginning point (as in big bounce theories or multiverse theories). And recurrence only requires an unbounded state, not an actual infinite extent.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on January 31st, 2019, 1:55 pm 

="A_Seagull » January 31st, 2019, 3:36 pm

The universe cannot exist for an infinite amount of time. No matter how long it lasts for it will only have existed for a finite amount of time.


If the universe is finite what is there outside it?

I know the unbounded argument. They get out a balloon and say you can walk around it infinitely, etc. But it's still a balloon with a specific shape.

So I don't get that argument :-)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on January 31st, 2019, 2:14 pm 

I meant unbounded in the temporal sense. Even in the universe were finite, recurrence can happen so long as there is no barrier to a future progression towards eternity. Given enough time, and continually iterating bubbleverses, the likelihood of my recurrence in the future becomes highly probable. P approaches 1.0 asymptotically.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Brent696 on January 31st, 2019, 3:21 pm 

charon » January 30th, 2019, 5:54 pm


(Brent)In speaking of a soul we have to negate the body, to say we did not exist once is merely to say we do not remember existing beyond the programming of this physical machine as the soul has come to reside in it presently


You're assuming a great deal here. You're right that it's 'merely to say we do not remember existing beyond the programming of this physical machine'. But when you talk of the soul, that may be unproven.[/quote]

We are all assuming since the very subject here is soul, those pro as well as those against. To speak of the soul is to speak of consciousness itself, and if that consciousness support "identity" beyond this physical existence. The claim by some (generically) that a lack of proof automatically denies its existence is oxymoronic, so lets consider the problem.

If you want to prove water exist in a room, you look for a puddle, stick your hand in it (feel it), perhaps taste it. All this information is received through the physical senses, if you want to prove humidity exists in the room you need a finer set of detectors, yet such realities and their proof is coming from outside the senses.

The soul, if it exists, does so behind the senses, it is made up of consciousness itself, it is the "observer", the invisible one who stands behind the senses, so proof cannot be found on a scale, by refraction, or mathematical inference. The soul, the "identity" which made up of consciousness, can only be measured by consciousness.

Ok, so some continue that our conscious identity is merely a result of chemical and neurological processes in the body, the problem with this is that Einstein's relativity and quantum physics has been ripping this away for nearly a century as consciousness is now beginning to be recognized as if it is a wave dimension of its own. If the universe is set in a block, including the dimension of time, then it is only consciousness as a living principle that is moving. The universe does not change but rather we experience change as consciousness moves ACROSS time just as we move across space and encounter different vistas.

So we have consciousness like an ocean, like a quantum wave throughout the universe and time, and somewhere within the ocean there appears a mirror, like steam condensing into a droplet, like the gaseous clouds in space condense into stars, consciousness condenses into the "identity" of a self. But is that "self", the gravity well, a product of the physical body, or does the architecture and complexity of the brain simply allow such a gravity well of consciousness to interact, like DOS beneath Windows.

I might pose the question here, does a random collection of matter produce gravity, or perhaps does a spinning vortex produce smaller vortexes into which matter accumulates to form planets. In my understanding of the universe, matter itself is inert in that it does not produce anything, weight, volume, etc... are external EFFECTS and the universe is produces by vibration through geometry. In short, what is seen is a product of what is unseen. So the idea that physical body, which even nuerologicolly is still chemical, can produce that which is of greater subtly and dimension, whether I speak of consciousness, or that "self" that has condenses within it.

But perhaps I assume too much.

That is the mystery of consciousness, not the soul. The soul is a religious belief which may, or may not, have reality.


The "soul" is simply the "self" as the one who contemplates, with or without any religious affiliations, the Id and the Ego, I am not sure how we can separate the "self" as a mystery of consciousness from the soul which has the same definition. In Hebrew the soul is Nephesh, and is used interchangeably often with "life" as it speaks of the "living force" within one. In Greek it is Pnuema

"" pneu·maDictionary result for pneuma
/ˈn(y)o͞omə/Submit
nounPHILOSOPHY
noun: pneuma; plural noun: pneumas
(in Stoic thought) the vital spirit, soul, or creative force of a person.
Origin
Greek, literally ‘that which is breathed or blown’.""

The word "soul" might take on some ideological concept through religious doctrine, but the word itself is generic.

(Brent) this is also true of animals


No, we cannot say what goes on in a dog's mind. It undoubtedly has consciousness because it has memory, is responsive, etc, but whether it knows that it knows is highly questionable. In fact, no one has any idea.[/quote]

Since I am a being, conscious even as I am made of consciousness, and supposedly a little bit superior to a dog's, then I have the instrumentation within my mind to contemplate and decipher what limits a dog might possess. Like any other "proof", one determines such by the effects, to say no one has any idea what goes on in a dog's mind is a cop out, when I hold a biscuit in front of my dog I know exactly what she is thinking. Consciousness is consciousness, a dog does not think Differently, just simply limited to the capacity I can. In short, I can think everything a dog can, but he or she cannot think everything I can.

I'm glad you said 'theologically'. Theologically is not fact, much less proven fact. It's merely a belief.


Everything is "belief", but I suppose you believe differently.

(Brent) But with man each man would possess his own soul, his own sense of self, his own mirror. Consciousness provides the light, in this light the self is illuminated, and the "self" is the acknowledgement of our own individual "I am".


You're quoting something.[/quote]

No, but for reference, to the eyes, the flower does not exist until the light illuminates it. In consciousness the self does not exist, unless it is first illuminated, and I cannot determine how the chemical reactions within the physical body can illuminate the much subtler form of the self as it is made of consciousness.

I see no use to move back to the subject of Infinity, diluting everything is not truly a thoughtful response. I have no more weight of proof than you do of disproof, so we have both given our opinions.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Brent696 on January 31st, 2019, 5:35 pm 

charon » January 31st, 2019, 1:55 pm



If the universe is finite what is there outside it?


Oh what the heck, I will give this a try,

Silence is infinite, compress the medium of air and sound arises, sound appears as a "thing", demonstrating also a beginning and an end, a finitude.

This universe, based upon vibration, expresses this finitude. As one sound speaking to another, you ask what lies beyond sound, the answer is silence or no "thing".

As sound arises from silence by being compressed into waves, so this universe arose from nothing, an infinite nothingness.

So the question now might arise, what causes this nothingness to compress, what produced the waves from which our finite universe arose?

Only that which is Infinitely Something, such an infinity, boundless in its nature, can only be ONE.

If you think hard about this you might realize only two infinities can possibly exist, yet one is not. An infinity of something, and an infinity of nothing.

And all the multiplicity of this universe has arisen from the nothingness as that which is truly something is indivisible.

Sound cannot measure or contain silence, motion cannot measure stillness, light cannot measure darkness, what lies beyond light, sound, heat, motion, is only nothing, and yet there must be something even beyond this nothingness.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on January 31st, 2019, 9:57 pm 

TheVat » January 31st, 2019, 7:14 pm wrote:I meant unbounded in the temporal sense.


Sorry, I don't know what means. Or what unbounded in the non-temporal sense means either!
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on January 31st, 2019, 10:34 pm 



We are all assuming


I'm not.

To speak of the soul is to speak of consciousness itself


You're saying one is the other. I wouldn't know. To me that's just substituting one word for another. And consciousness is a more sensible word because it's an obvious fact - we are conscious. But soul is not obvious.
if that consciousness support "identity" beyond this physical existence


Which is possible but unprovable by you and I since we're not dead yet. Others may claim it but that's not enough.

The soul, if it exists, does so behind the senses, it is made up of consciousness itself, it is the "observer", the invisible one who stands behind the senses


What we call consciousness is what we are. It's not something we possess. If it is, then who is this 'we' who possess it? Therefore, if one is the other, we ourselves are the soul. We don't 'have' a soul, we are the soul. By your definition.

it is the "observer", the invisible one who stands behind the senses


Sorry, I don't do invisible observers. The observer of consciousness is part of consciousness. So the observer is the soul, is consciousness. They're the same. By your own definition.

The universe does not change


Of course it does, it's changing all the time. There's the birth of stars, the death of stars, and the scientists claim it's expanding. Everything changes moment to moment. There's nothing that doesn't change.

Everything is "belief", but I suppose you believe differently.


Everything is belief? The sky, the clouds, are just a belief? This forum is a belief? Sun and rain are a belief? Toothache is a belief?

What are you talking about?

we have both given our opinions


Not at all, I'm not giving opinions. It's a completely lost mind that thinks everything is a belief or an opinion.

Come back to earth. And write shorter posts. You may love the sound of your own ideas but we have to plough through them. And we might have other things to do.

Silence is infinite, compress the medium of air and sound arises, sound appears as a "thing", demonstrating also a beginning and an end, a finitude.

This universe, based upon vibration, expresses this finitude. As one sound speaking to another, you ask what lies beyond sound, the answer is silence or no "thing".

As sound arises from silence by being compressed into waves, so this universe arose from nothing, an infinite nothingness.

So the question now might arise, what causes this nothingness to compress, what produced the waves from which our finite universe arose?

Only that which is Infinitely Something, such an infinity, boundless in its nature, can only be ONE.

If you think hard about this you might realize only two infinities can possibly exist, yet one is not. An infinity of something, and an infinity of nothing.

And all the multiplicity of this universe has arisen from the nothingness as that which is truly something is indivisible.

Sound cannot measure or contain silence, motion cannot measure stillness, light cannot measure darkness, what lies beyond light, sound, heat, motion, is only nothing, and yet there must be something even beyond this nothingness.


You're not talking to me, you're just talking to yourself. You're completely lost in science ideas, new age ideas, and you don't know where you are. Be factual. Life is not a belief or an opinion, it's real.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Brent696 on January 31st, 2019, 11:05 pm 

charon » January 31st, 2019, 10:34 pm

Be factual. Life is not a belief or an opinion, it's real.


Shadows are real, and still they are nothing.

Perhaps philosophy is not for you....
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 1st, 2019, 5:44 am 

Brent696 » February 1st, 2019, 4:05 am wrote:
Shadows are real, and still they are nothing


Well, at least that was shorter! Thanks.

Shadows are not nothing, they're the result of light being blocked, they're visible.

Perhaps philosophy is not for you....


What do you mean by philosophy? Intellectual indulgence? Getting carried away with a lot of words and ideas? Is that philosophy?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 1st, 2019, 10:40 am 

charon » January 31st, 2019, 6:57 pm wrote:
TheVat » January 31st, 2019, 7:14 pm wrote:I meant unbounded in the temporal sense.


Sorry, I don't know what means. Or what unbounded in the non-temporal sense means either!


Even if you were incapable of looking up temporal in a dictionary, i would imagine reading the rest of that post would make its meaning fairly clear. Perhaps it's best not to criticize other members for "intellectual indulgence" when you are showing no inclination towards the intellectual rigor (and disciplined study) that this field requires.

Given the context of the earlier discussion of recurrence, unbounded would refer to a lack of limiting boundary, i.e. a universe without an end point in time. Tegmark was cited earlier, and is worth reading on the possibility of a multiverse, and probability of repetition of your existence in such an eternity.

i believe Brent's comment on everything being a belief was an epistemological one, not ontological. Perhaps a less combative tone with him will help in elucidating what he meant.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 2nd, 2019, 9:10 am 



I can see we're off to a good start, Vat!

Even if you were incapable of looking up temporal in a dictionary

Perhaps a less combative tone


You should take your own advice! I'm allergic to finger-wagging moralists online, telling others how to behave whilst committing the same mistakes themselves.

I wasn't in the least bit combative with Brent, I was merely being honest. He's quite obviously using his posts, not to converse with somebody directly, but to platform his own rambling guru-type stream of consciousness ideas. That's not a discussion or a conversation.

It's also selfish to expect others to trawl through it as though it were some kind of revelation.

**************************

I don't need to look up temporal in any dictionary to know what it means. It was the meaning of unbounded in temporal and/or non-temporal contexts that was the issue.

i would imagine reading the rest of that post would make its meaning fairly clear


You may imagine what you like. If it was clear and simple I wouldn't be asking. It's not at all clear.

I've said what my objection is and it's valid. The way 'unbounded' is always demonstrated is by use of the sphere-idea. In short, it means 'having no edges'.

It's obviously possible to have a finite object without edges, as in a sphere or other shape. But it's still finite. My question was: 'If the universe if finite what is outside it?'

That's a 100% fair question. Finite means limited. Limited implies something beyond that limitation. Or something within which the finite thing exists. The only way space or existence could be completely unbounded is for it to be infinite. Otherwise it doesn't make sense.

If you want to drop your personal approach and explain it intelligently and coherently - if you can - I'll listen. If you can't then I'll understand :-)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 2nd, 2019, 9:21 am 

P.S. If you do manage to explain it coherently I'll be amazed and you should be heading for a Nobel prize. As far as I know it's still an open question.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby A_Seagull on February 2nd, 2019, 10:24 am 

TheVat » February 1st, 2019, 6:14 am wrote:I meant unbounded in the temporal sense. Even in the universe were finite, recurrence can happen so long as there is no barrier to a future progression towards eternity. Given enough time, and continually iterating bubbleverses, the likelihood of my recurrence in the future becomes highly probable. P approaches 1.0 asymptotically.


Following your approach, 'recurrence' could occur tomorrow or perhaps even yesterday. How could you tell if it occurred?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 2nd, 2019, 12:01 pm 

charon » February 2nd, 2019, 7:10 am wrote:


I can see we're off to a good start, Vat!

Even if you were incapable of looking up temporal in a dictionary

Perhaps a less combative tone


You should take your own advice! I'm allergic to finger-wagging moralists online, telling others how to behave whilst committing the same mistakes themselves.

I wasn't in the least bit combative with Brent, I was merely being honest. He's quite obviously using his posts, not to converse with somebody directly, but to platform his own rambling guru-type stream of consciousness ideas. That's not a discussion or a conversation.

It's also selfish to expect others to trawl through it as though it were some kind of revelation.

**************************

I don't need to look up temporal in any dictionary to know what it means. It was the meaning of unbounded in temporal and/or non-temporal contexts that was the issue.

i would imagine reading the rest of that post would make its meaning fairly clear


You may imagine what you like. If it was clear and simple I wouldn't be asking. It's not at all clear.

I've said what my objection is and it's valid. The way 'unbounded' is always demonstrated is by use of the sphere-idea. In short, it means 'having no edges'.

It's obviously possible to have a finite object without edges, as in a sphere or other shape. But it's still finite. My question was: 'If the universe if finite what is outside it?'

That's a 100% fair question. Finite means limited. Limited implies something beyond that limitation. Or something within which the finite thing exists. The only way space or existence could be completely unbounded is for it to be infinite. Otherwise it doesn't make sense.

If you want to drop your personal approach and explain it intelligently and coherently - if you can - I'll listen. If you can't then I'll understand :-)


I take “temporally unbounded” to mean no beginning or end to time. Contrary to what some have asserted, it is absolutely possible that there has been an infinite past, and that there will be an infinite future. The Big Bang may not have been the beginning of the universe, just a transition point to this state from a prior state.

If the Big Bang was a true beginning of the universe, then space and time began with the Big Bang. There would be no more sense in asking what came “before” the bang, than there would be in asking what lies north of the North Pole.

As to your question, “If the universe is finite, what lies outside of it?” It may, as you say, be a “100 percent fair question,” but it also betrays a lack of understanding of physical models of the universe.

The topology of the universe has three possibilities, which I recall first reading about as a kid in a book by George Gamow in the 1960s. It may be negatively curved, like a saddle, positively curved, like a sphere, or flat. If it is positively curved, or sphere-like, than it is spatially finite but unbounded. This means that you could, in principle, circumnavigate it — if you travel far enough and long enough, you would return to where you began. (This is only possible in principle, not in practice. The expansion of the universe, which from our perspective becomes superluminal beyond the Hubble volume, rules out anyone ever having contact with the regions beyond the observable universe. Superluminal universal expansion, incidentally, does not contradict relativity theory.)

The point is, nothing lies beyond a spatially finite but unbounded universe — or, at least, there need be nothing. Your question is ill-posed. It’s a flaw that probably arises from the balloon model of the expanding universe. The balloon is inflated, dots on the balloon represent galaxies growing more distant from one another as the balloon inflates (universe expands), etc. But all analogies should be taken with a grain of salt. A ballon clearly has an interior (which is filled with air) and an exterior. But in the model of the expanding, spatially finite but unbounded universe, there is no interior or exterior. The universe is all that there is.

Some have speculated that our 3D universe may be embedded in a higher dimension 4-space to which we have no access, and others have speculated about branes. But the model of the spatially finite but unbounded universe does not require such things to be real.

If the universe is flat — no positive or negative curvature — then it is spatially infinite. This has given rise to Tegmark’s model that under such circumstances, which should expect that the universe holds an infinite number of duplicates or near duplicates of earth, with an infinite number of copies of each us. Similarly, Brand Monton has argued that in a spatially infinite universe, we should expect an infinite number of inhabited worlds, no matter how rare or unlikely life is.

This is an empirical matter. It only became possible in the early 2000s to get actual evidence for the topology of the universe, from the WMAP surveys. The evidence is in: the universe almost certainly is flat, i.e., spatially infinite.

If the universe has always existed and will exist forever — is temporally as well as spatially infinite — some say that we should expect the eternal recurrence of every possible state of affairs, including our own lives. Right now, despite an internet search, I can’t find the paper that the physicist Sean Carroll wrote about this, but, from here, I believe this to be a summary of his argument:

Recurrence theorem: if Hilbert space H is finite-dimensional, states return to their starting points infinitely often. Problems with an eternal quantum universe: recurrences, fluctuations, Boltzmann brains. Entropy is usually maximal (equilibrium). Downward fluctuations are suppressed: Almost all observers are minimal fluctuations: “Boltzmann brains.”

Possible solution: Hilbert space is infinite-dimensional. There is no recurrence theorem in an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space. Quantum equivalent of an unbounded phase space. The quantum state has infinite room to grow and change. This is the kind of quantum theory that might ultimately have as an emergent classical spacetime a bouncing or reproductive cosmologies. Entropy growing without bound in both directions of time.



The upshot of his argument, as I understand it, is that a temporally infinite universe does not entail eternal recurrence.

My own personal pet speculation (which I’ve never seen specifically addressed anywhere, so far as I can recall) involves the block universe of Minkowski spacetime, the idea that past, present and future are all equally real. If so, then no one ever ceases to exist between the boundary conditions of his life and death. If that is the case, it seems that we ought to expect that after we die, we will subjectively live our lives over again from birth, and that we shall do so an infinite number of times — without, of course, having any recollection of having lived before.

P.S. If you do manage to explain it coherently I'll be amazed and you should be heading for a Nobel prize. As far as I know it's still an open question.


Shall I pick up my Nobel prize now?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 2nd, 2019, 12:44 pm 

[quote="davidm » February 2nd, 2019, 5:01 pm"
Contrary to what some have asserted, it is absolutely possible that there has been an infinite past, and that there will be an infinite future.


Agreed.

it also betrays a lack of understanding of physical models of the universe


Or a non-acceptance of them. They may be wrong and probably are. I don't think we can plot the whole universe, especially if it's infinite as you suggest above.

The point is, nothing lies beyond a spatially finite but unbounded universe — or, at least, there need be nothing


But it's one of the primary tenets of physics that there's no such thing as literally nothing. 'Nothing is still something'.

The universe is all that there is.


Well, there's your answer right there. If the universe is literally everything then it is unbounded and infinite.

If the universe has always existed and will exist forever — is temporally as well as spatially infinite — some say that we should expect the eternal recurrence of every possible state of affairs, including our own lives


Exactly. If it's finite then there's every possibility of patterns repeating themselves. Like a kaleidoscope, sooner or later the pieces of glass will fall into the same configuration. But not if it's infinite.

it seems that we ought to expect that after we die, we will subjectively live our lives over again from birth, and that we shall do so an infinite number of times — without, of course, having any recollection of having lived before.


That, of course, is nonsense, pointless, and completely unproductive, although I'm sure it would make a great Hollywood movie. And I don't think you'd agree with it either, thank god.

We can't have it both ways. If everything is eternal, without ending or beginning, then everything falls into place. Our problems only begin when limitation is either supposed or imposed on things. And it seems obvious to me that this is exactly what we're doing, actually and speculatively. Any measurement, by definition, means limited.

Shall I pick up my Nobel prize now?


Sure, go ahead :-)
Last edited by charon on February 2nd, 2019, 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 2nd, 2019, 12:51 pm 

Dave's post seems to cover much of what I had in mind as an answer. And offers a reasonable blueprint of the conceptual material (including Tegmark, cited several times here) that is needed to follow the topic. I remain underwhelmed by participants who skip researching a topic, then brand others as intellectually indulgent or a "guru." While there may be truth in that, and maybe the expression is "honest," I stand by my impression that it is a combative approach that ends discussion.
I wasn't being a "moralist," just a moderator, calling it as i see it. And this an Anything Philosophy thread, so i can't just forbid New Age perspectives. I would ask that Brent stick to the topic at hand, however, in future posts. And defining terms like soul is much appreciated.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 2nd, 2019, 1:07 pm 


Well, there's your answer right there. If the universe is literally everything then it is unbounded and infinite.
_ Charon

Unbounded, in the cosmological context, doesn't require infinite. A universe model can be of a finite universe but infinitely expanding in time. There is no "nothing" that lies beyond spacetime, because "beyond" or "outside" are simply not meaningful coherent concepts where a quantum vacuum sort of plenum is concerned. This plenum expands towards infinite extension even though it may be AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT finite. (or, as in other models, it has no beginning and is therefore "already" of infinite extent) In terms of expansion, there is no limit, no "void" into which it expands. It's not like a suburban subdivision in Denver, filling some waiting prairie or canyon.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 2nd, 2019, 1:18 pm 

TheVat » February 2nd, 2019, 6:07 pm wrote:

Unbounded, in the cosmological context, doesn't require infinite. A universe model can be of a finite universe but infinitely expanding in time. There is no "nothing" that lies beyond spacetime, because "beyond" or "outside" are simply not meaningful coherent concepts where a quantum vacuum sort of plenum is concerned. This plenum expands towards infinite extension even though it may be AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT finite. (or, as in other models, it has no beginning and is therefore "already" of infinite extent) In terms of expansion, there is no limit, no "void" into which it expands. It's not like a suburban subdivision in Denver, filling some waiting prairie or canyon.


I understand that but aren't we adjusting the (possible) fact to fit the theory?

Personally, the idea of a finite universe, whether bounded or unbounded, isn't feasible. If a thing is finite it means it's limited and potentially measurable. To me, open to correction, if a thing is finite it means it has a limit to it, a border, a boundary, however one cares to put it.

As far as I know there's no evidence for that. I may be wrong.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 2nd, 2019, 1:20 pm 

charon » February 2nd, 2019, 10:44 am wrote:Well, there's your answer right there. If the universe is literally everything then it is unbounded and infinite.


No, the universe, as I explained, could be finite but unbounded. The evidence suggests it is flat -- infinite -- but there is nothing conceptually incoherent about a finite but unbounded universe. As the above link notes, Einstein thought the universe was finite but unbounded. If you could circumnavigate the universe, which you could in principle if the universe was finite but unbounded, then the universe is assuredly not infinite.


Exactly. If it's finite then there's every possibility of patterns repeating themselves. Like a kaleidoscope, sooner or later the pieces of glass will fall into the same configuration. But not if it's infinite.


Usually the exact opposite is mooted -- if the universe is temporally infinite, eternal recurrence is entailed. As noted, Sean Carroll disputes this claim.
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