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 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:59 pm

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
.

Ah. I think you've missed the logic of your own premise there. That's the wrong conclusion. Maybe I can explain why.

The "Eternal Return" argument, in layman's language, goes something like this: "Look, it's admittedly highly improbable that all the billions and billions of variables that come together in our universe would ever come together in precisely the same way a second time. Admittedly, we have zero empirical evidence it has ever happened or ever will again. But the universe is a really, really, really big place that has been going on for a really, really, really long time. So given enough time and space, the admittedly improbable becomes the likely...then the necessary...then the certain...and hence, though we don't know it, we are all "Eternally Returning" to the same exact collocations and interactions of atoms that form the universe as we know it."

But as I've pointed out, take out that element of "really, really, really" big, or "really, really, really" long (i.e. "infinite" or "eternal") and the idea of a "return" at all starts to look totally mythical. There would be no reason even to entertain it as a possibility if a) the universe were not so mind-bogglingly big as to cause us to imagine that *anything's* possible, and b) the variables and permutations in question were not limited in number. If these variables were infinite, then there's "Eternal" but no "Return."
If true we will live for eternity, and be reincarnated
Now to your conclusion. You seem drawn to two things: the idea of "eternity" making the Eternal Return plausible (which mathematically speaking, it simply does not, if the variables themselves are "eternal" in number, i.e. infinite), and secondly, the idea of reincarnation.

Well, "reincarnation" isn't the "Eternal Return" of course. "Reincarnation" is the Hindu/Buddhist idea that we are recycled in *different* forms to pay off our karma and eventually escape the wheel of samsara (suffering) that is our material reality. Nietzsche's idea of the "Return," in contrast, is that we recur in *the same form* an infinite number of times, and with absolutely no teleological purpose in view: it just happens, and we're trapped. No escape. No karma. No enlightenment. Just 'round and 'round we go.

Neither Nietzsche's "Return" nor "reincarnation" are plausible if the universe is as you now redescribe it: i.e. limited in size and duration. And if it's actually infinite, then the "Return" is simply mathematically impossible.

Finally, an additional problem is introduced by the idea of a "halting state." It would mean that the universe was obeying some sort of "law" external to the universe itself (for it would be necessary for it to establish all natural laws in all the "returns") a "force" which made it "halt" and "return," and which did so infinitely. Otherwise the mathematics goes wrong again, and you have simple infinity with no "returns." And what sort of force would that be? Why would we be rational to think it existed, and why would we think it did what you say it does?

For, of course, in thinking about this we always need to bear in mind that there is ZERO empirical (or scientific) evidence for an "Eternal Return." The truth is that the whole idea is actually premised on nothing more than a mistaken mathematical postulate, a theoretical guess without evidence or even the accurate use of concepts, as we have seen.

I actually think the whole appeal of the idea is purely aesthetic and irrational (i.e. it's fun to think it's so). But given the mathematical problems, I don't think it can be rationally sustained, even as a possibility.

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HexHammer
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Re:

Post by HexHammer » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:27 pm

henry quirk wrote:"How do you know?"

I see no *evidence of either, so I surmise that both are hooey.

I could be wrong, but till proven wrong, I say: You will not reincarnate and there's only one universe.

#

Straight to the point, as usual, Henry!

HA!


*if folks reincarnate, where are they? I don't know any reincarnated folks. if our universe is just a lobe in a larger multiverse, where's the proof? some math sez the multiverse is possible, but possibility is not certainty or necessity.
There has been many reports of children with intimite knowledge from other people who have died 100 miles away, how can such knowlege pass to small children? Either fraud or is it real?

I would like you to debunk that.

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

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:19 pm

There has been many reports of children with intimite knowledge from other people who have died 100 miles away,
Since the case you frame here does not involve single individuals recycling ("children" contrasts to "other people"), this would seem to be neither an instance of "reincarnation" nor one of "Return," so I suppose it must be a challenge directly to Henry's more general skepticism of that which he has not seen...is that what you mean, Hex? Or could you clarify?

thedoc
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Re: Re:

Post by thedoc » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:08 pm

HexHammer wrote:There has been many reports of children with intimite knowledge from other people who have died 100 miles away, how can such knowlege pass to small children? Either fraud or is it real?

I would like you to debunk that.

Do you have links to any of these reports, or are they the reports of a friends 2nd cousin twice removed?

It is certainly difficult to debunk something if you don't know what it is that you are debunking.

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HexHammer
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Re: Re:

Post by HexHammer » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:41 pm

thedoc wrote:
HexHammer wrote:There has been many reports of children with intimite knowledge from other people who have died 100 miles away, how can such knowlege pass to small children? Either fraud or is it real?

I would like you to debunk that.

Do you have links to any of these reports, or are they the reports of a friends 2nd cousin twice removed?

It is certainly difficult to debunk something if you don't know what it is that you are debunking.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S_Tg4-_WVk
You must really have had your head far far up ur ass to avoid any such stories, not that I find them highly credible, but still the thought linger.

thedoc
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Re: Re:

Post by thedoc » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:11 pm

HexHammer wrote: You must really have had your head far far up ur ass to avoid any such stories,

Excellent, Vulgar abuse, certainly encourages others to respond, or not.

I must remember to log on when I come here, it engages the ignore feature.

BTW, there are several possibilities to explain the child's knowledge, other than reincarnation.

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HexHammer
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Re: Re:

Post by HexHammer » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:02 pm

thedoc wrote:BTW, there are several possibilities to explain the child's knowledge, other than reincarnation.
Then please englighten me oh wise one!

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

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:55 pm

I see.

So another promising topic dies on the horns of puerile speculations and scurrilous personal abuse. How encouraging.

My thanks to the participants in the last three pages of posts. You have conducted a discussion with intellectual integrity and interpersonal civility. You've remained kind and focused on what matters, whether you agreed or not. You're what philosophy is all about. I tip my hat to you.

Best wishes.

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HexHammer
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by HexHammer » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:24 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:I see.

So another promising topic dies on the horns of puerile speculations and scurrilous personal abuse. How encouraging.

My thanks to the participants in the last three pages of posts. You have conducted a discussion with intellectual integrity and interpersonal civility. You've remained kind and focused on what matters, whether you agreed or not. You're what philosophy is all about. I tip my hat to you.
What wisdom have they actually provided to this thread?

thedoc
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Re: Are we eternal? (Eternal Recurrence)

Post by thedoc » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:46 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:I see.

So another promising topic dies on the horns of puerile speculations and scurrilous personal abuse. How encouraging.

My thanks to the participants in the last three pages of posts. You have conducted a discussion with intellectual integrity and interpersonal civility. You've remained kind and focused on what matters, whether you agreed or not. You're what philosophy is all about. I tip my hat to you.

Best wishes.

You're welcome, glad to be of service.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:31 pm

"I would like you to debunk that."

When you offer up 'credible' evidence, I'll give it a shot.

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HexHammer
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Re:

Post by HexHammer » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:45 pm

henry quirk wrote:"I would like you to debunk that."

When you offer up 'credible' evidence, I'll give it a shot.
What do you really consider "credible" evidence?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:14 pm

Well, as I say up-thread: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I'm not sure what any one could pony up as credible evidence of reincarnation or reincarnated information.

I am sure a little movie offa YouTube doesn't cut it.

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HexHammer
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Re:

Post by HexHammer » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:23 pm

henry quirk wrote:Well, as I say up-thread: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I'm not sure what any one could pony up as credible evidence of reincarnation or reincarnated information.

I am sure a little movie offa YouTube doesn't cut it.
Out in the real world, cops goes by "gut feel" and a "hunch".

Scientists goes by theories and thesis.

Baby huggers (politicians) goes by popular opinion no matter how absurd and stupid it is.

Mr quirk goes ONLY by solid evidence, yet I see each week science articles being rewritten due to new findings that contradicts the former, so that is hardly a relevant factor.

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

Post by henry quirk » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:31 pm

Cops may start with a hunch (based on the information available to them at the time) but they'll never make an arrest stick without evidence in keeping with the crime.

Scientists theorize (based on the information available to them at the time) and experiment (look for evidence) to support or discount those theories.

My hunch, my theory, (based on what’s available to me now) is there is no such thing as reincarnation or reincarnated information.

I await evidence my hunch is wrong.

*shrug*

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