Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:14 pm

Agreed again. That's a good thought.

The thinking Theist and the thinking Atheist have lots to talk about, and lots about which they can agree. Truth is a destination; and the pursuit of it produces natural convergence, regardless of where a person happens to start.

What I like about Henry in particular is that he "is what he is," so to speak; he says what he believes, and seems perfectly ready to stand by what he says. Who can't respect that?

thedoc
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by thedoc » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:48 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:Agreed again. That's a good thought.

The thinking Theist and the thinking Atheist have lots to talk about, and lots about which they can agree. Truth is a destination; and the pursuit of it produces natural convergence, regardless of where a person happens to start.

What I like about Henry in particular is that he "is what he is," so to speak; he says what he believes, and seems perfectly ready to stand by what he says. Who can't respect that?

I agree, I've known Henry (on forums) for a many years. And he is one of the few I consider as a friend and would trust to tell him things I do not tell others.

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henry quirk
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by henry quirk » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:58 pm

Doc, Mannie,

I think a lot of the strong, clear, signal of alignment gets lost in all the noise of non-alignment mostly cuz the folks bashing up against one another would rather disagree, would rather never agree.

That is: the fight is the goal (and perhaps utter and complete submission by one to the other).

There's a certain appeal to the fight but age degrades that appeal (and impulse), especially when there's no real profit to be had.

Now, I'll easily take a razor to a body if there's a need, but largely, in this place, there isn't.


As for me being what I am: nuthin' that admirable about it (or me)...I'm just too friggin' lazy to be anything else.

Now, both of you stop it: all this love is makin' me diabetic.

therammo
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by therammo » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:31 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:Nietzsche's idea is based on a very basic error in logic that will be apparent if we think carefully at all.

An "Eternal Return" can only happen if two conditions apply:

1. An infinite span of time in which for events to recur, and

2. A finite number of variables capable of recurring.

If either of these two conditions is not applicable, his supposition becomes at least unnecessary, but more accurately, it becomes so mathematically improbable as to be (rationally) impossible.

Now #1 is possible, though we have no confirmation of it. It's perhaps even probable. So let's grant it. But #2 is certainly not applicable.

For supposing #1 to be true, there are an infinite number of universes or possible combinations of events -- in the dimension of time, certainly, as is obvious from the word "infinite," but then very likely in the dimension of space as well. So time and space are probably both of infinite largeness, if #1 is true. So far so good?

But if there is infinite time, infinite space, or both, then by definition there are also infinite variables within those dimensions. There are, in short, an infinite number of ways the universe could be.

Infinity is an odd thing. As the "Hilbert's Hotel" thought experiment shows, the rules of logic and mathematics simply dissolve when we try to use it to describe physical reality. And one of the odd effects that follows for the "Eternal Return," is that there is no longer any reason to suppose the universe must "return" to any state in which it has been already, no matter how long time persists.

And why is that? It's because no matter how much time there is, there are always an infinite number of other ways for things to be or become. So the way we are is one state out of an infinite number of possibilities, and the chances against any such state occurring are quite simply -- infinite!

In short, there is no "Eternal Return" if the universe is actually infinite. And postulating additional "bigness" does not make it any more likely, but rather infinitely less likely.
OK, I like the way you think, but if there are infinite number of ways things to be, and infinite number of possibilities, then it also means that there will always be infinite numbers of same stuff that made ''me'', wouldnt it?

Another problem.. what are the chance of my existing now? And why would it be my first time and last to exist? We know that if one thing can happen or happened , then it means that it breaks the law of time and space.

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Bill Wiltrack
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by Bill Wiltrack » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:32 pm

.






Think this GIF pretty-much proves it -
...................Image








.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:27 pm

OK, I like the way you think, but if there are infinite number of ways things to be, and infinite number of possibilities, then it also means that there will always be infinite numbers of same stuff that made ''me'', wouldnt it?
No. It would mean there was an infinite amount of stuff that is NOT you, arranged in an infinite number of combinations. It means that the universe would never run out of alternatives to producing you. In fact, after a billion years it would still have infinite alternatives rather than you.
Another problem.. what are the chance of my existing now?
By sheer accident? Very, very slim indeed. But what you're asking about is the chance of you "re-existing," which is far more complex.
And why would it be my first time and last to exist? We know that if one thing can happen or happened , then it means that it breaks the law of time and space.
I'm unclear on your point. Your wording seems to suggest for some reason you find it more probable to think you would live two, three or a thousand lives than one. But I think that just looks two, three or a thousand times less likely, especially given the possibility of infinite alternatives.

And...something "breaks the law of time and space?" Which "law"?

thedoc
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by thedoc » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:44 am

henry quirk wrote:Doc, Mannie,
Now, both of you stop it: all this love is makin' me diabetic.

I'll work up a dose of insulin, you grumpy old stinker.


BTW, give your nephew a hug for me.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:22 pm

"you grumpy old stinker"

HA!

You got me pegged.

#


"give your nephew a hug for me"

Consider it done.

thedoc
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Re:

Post by thedoc » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:46 pm

henry quirk wrote:"you grumpy old stinker"

HA!

You got me pegged.

#


"give your nephew a hug for me"

Consider it done.

I should, my grandkids call me Grumpa.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:02 pm

"Grumpa"

HA!

Me and mine started watching this cartoon called 'Gravity Falls'. One of the characters is Stan, the great-uncle of two other characters. Great-uncle gets truncated into 'grunkle' by Stan's nephew and niece. Before mine knew what 'grunkle' meant in the show, he started calling me that, reasoning that 'grunkle' meant 'grumpy uncle'.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by Arising_uk » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:05 am

Immanuel Can wrote:Nietzsche's idea is based on a very basic error in logic that will be apparent if we think carefully at all.

An "Eternal Return" can only happen if two conditions apply:

1. An infinite span of time in which for events to recur, and

2. A finite number of variables capable of recurring. ...
Can't remember, did Nietzsche give an explanation of the conditions for ER? My take was that it was his way of trying to introduce a kind of anti-kantian 'categorical imperative' to his individualistic morality.

Re: 1 & 2.

Couldn't it just be that a halting-state is reached and the whole thing is reset with the initial variables and re-run, needs a strictly deterministic viewpoint so that everything happens as it did before. So a finite time and a finite number of variables.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:47 am

Couldn't it just be that a halting-state is reached and the whole thing is reset with the initial variables and re-run, needs a strictly deterministic viewpoint so that everything happens as it did before. So a finite time and a finite number of variables.
Well, this is an interesting point: and if true, it makes the length of time in question even less useful as an explanatory element. For it's only the element of a time of infinite length that makes (at first blush) the idea of an Eternal Return even *look* plausible.

I see the problem you're implying. Without infinity being posited, there's no reason to think that a definite amount of time would be be necessary or sufficient to produce an inevitable, exact Return to the original state as required by Nietzsche's idea. In other words, the "Eternal" bit is non-negotiable in making the whole thing plausible. Yet if both the variables within the system have to be finite and the time allowed within the system has to be finite, just as you suggest, then there's *less* time for the "miracle" of recycling to take place! The whole thing just looks absurdly highly improbable (a recycling of exact events, an inevitable and eternally reproducing one, yet within a necessarily limited timespan, and with necessarily limited variables in play?), and then nothing any longer provides it with even the illusion of necessity! Wow. :shock:

And yes, I agree that to posit strict determinism would seem necessary as one component of that. It seems to me that otherwise "radical" elements could enter the cycle and prevent Return happening within the anticipated span at all, and that Nietzsche would surely have to rule out in order to advance his ER.

A very interesting advance on the mathematical problem with his idea. I hadn't considered that, but it's good. Thanks for it.

Impenitent
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by Impenitent » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:30 am

it's an ethical proposition...

amor fati

-Imp

surreptitious57
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by surreptitious57 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:40 am

I am the same as henry in that I am not interested in superfluous arguing. My thing is knowledge and so I want to learn as much as I can. And philosophy is one of the subject I am specifically interested in though I will consider anything which is serious. Now I will never be an expert in anything nor am I trying to be. But just to accumulate as much as I can is an entirely practical goal. So I come to debate in order to advance my understanding. I try not to hold fixed opinions on anything outside of mathematics for that is the one discipline that references proof and proof is absolute by default. And so less some thing is either demonstrably true or false I retain an open mind. And I never engage with out the most basic of respect for my opponents. And I think it is perfectly acceptable to take all ideas to pieces for that is the only way to ultimately determine their validity or lack of but I never engage in negative ad hom for that is entirely superfluous to what productive discourse should be about. Now that is where I am coming from with respect to that. I like this forum for it has interesting characters and interesting threads. And for those reasons long may it continue so a big up to Philosophy Now and all its members as well
Last edited by surreptitious57 on Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:37 am, edited 9 times in total.

therammo
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by therammo » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:11 am

Arising_uk wrote:
Immanuel Can wrote:Nietzsche's idea is based on a very basic error in logic that will be apparent if we think carefully at all.

An "Eternal Return" can only happen if two conditions apply:

1. An infinite span of time in which for events to recur, and

2. A finite number of variables capable of recurring. ...
Can't remember, did Nietzsche give an explanation of the conditions for ER? My take was that it was his way of trying to introduce a kind of anti-kantian 'categorical imperative' to his individualistic morality.

Re: 1 & 2.

Couldn't it just be that a halting-state is reached and the whole thing is reset with the initial variables and re-run, needs a strictly deterministic viewpoint so that everything happens as it did before. So a finite time and a finite number of variables.
I agree. It could really be that the halting-state is reached and simply all the matter as we know today (that makes our universe) is simply reproduced in same variables.
If true we will live for eternity, and be reincarnated.

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