Can time be infinite?

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nadavsof
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Can time be infinite?

Post by nadavsof »

Aristo proved that there cannot be an infinitely large piece of matter. He did that by saying that if you cut an infinitely large matter you get two distinct parts.

At least one of the parts is infinite (or else the whole thing is finite). Take the infinite part. It has at least one edge (where the cut was). Cut a small part of it near the edge. What you have now is surely finite. What's left is surely infinite. So what's left is missing a piece and yet it is the same size of the whole thing because both are infinite. And that cannot be.

So there isn't an infinitely large matter. And that's true for anything that can be cut in a way that can create an edge.

Then Aristo said that the same thing cannot be done with time because a moment cannot be seperated from the previous one nor the next one. So time cannot be cut in a way that creates an edge (he actually gave a more formal proof). And from that concluded that time can be infinite.

He also showed some other evidence that time not only could be but actually is infinite.

My question is.

If time is infinite then infinite number of seconds had to pass before the present time could arrive. But even after a lot of seconds still infinite number of seconds would be left.

It is possible for space to be infinite, yet if a person would walk through space he will never pass infinite number of meters. The same goes for time, it can be imagined as infinite as a whole. But present depends on the past so 'now' had to 'walk' through the past, second after second to reach present. And how could it walk through infinite number of seconds?

So if time were infinite, the present would have never come. Yet it did. So time is not infinite. It can only go to infinity forward, but it has a beginning.



I have a good reason to think I'm wrong yet i can't understand why.

The only thing i can think of is if time is modeled in a way such that everything is happening in parallel, both past, present and future, because this way the present does not really depend on the past (and the past doesn't have to pass for present to arrive), yet our senses point otherwise, that we do advance with time and that what's done is done. And if time doesn't behave like this, then the past has to pass and then it cannot be infinite number of seconds long.

Any help?
Philosophy Explorer
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

If one can't be around at the beginning nor the end of time, how can we tell it's infinite?

PhilX
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

Here's something deeper to think about. If both time and space are infinite, can time be of a greater infinity than space? (there is a concept of different orders of infinity in math)

PhilX
Ginkgo
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Ginkgo »

nadavsof wrote:Aristo proved that there cannot be an infinitely large piece of matter. He did that by saying that if you cut an infinitely large matter you get two distinct parts.

At least one of the parts is infinite (or else the whole thing is finite). Take the infinite part. It has at least one edge (where the cut was). Cut a small part of it near the edge. What you have now is surely finite. What's left is surely infinite. So what's left is missing a piece and yet it is the same size of the whole thing because both are infinite. And that cannot be.

So there isn't an infinitely large matter. And that's true for anything that can be cut in a way that can create an edge.

Then Aristo said that the same thing cannot be done with time because a moment cannot be seperated from the previous one nor the next one. So time cannot be cut in a way that creates an edge (he actually gave a more formal proof). And from that concluded that time can be infinite.

He also showed some other evidence that time not only could be but actually is infinite.

My question is.

If time is infinite then infinite number of seconds had to pass before the present time could arrive. But even after a lot of seconds still infinite number of seconds would be left.

It is possible for space to be infinite, yet if a person would walk through space he will never pass infinite number of meters. The same goes for time, it can be imagined as infinite as a whole. But present depends on the past so 'now' had to 'walk' through the past, second after second to reach present. And how could it walk through infinite number of seconds?

So if time were infinite, the present would have never come. Yet it did. So time is not infinite. It can only go to infinity forward, but it has a beginning.



I have a good reason to think I'm wrong yet i can't understand why.

The only thing i can think of is if time is modeled in a way such that everything is happening in parallel, both past, present and future, because this way the present does not really depend on the past (and the past doesn't have to pass for present to arrive), yet our senses point otherwise, that we do advance with time and that what's done is done. And if time doesn't behave like this, then the past has to pass and then it cannot be infinite number of seconds long.

Any help?
What you appear to have is the classical idea of infinity. Thanks to Cantor we now know there is more than one type of infinity. Apparently some infinities are larger than others.
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HexHammer
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by HexHammer »

nadavsof wrote:So if time were infinite, the present would have never come. Yet it did. So time is not infinite. It can only go to infinity forward, but it has a beginning.

I have a good reason to think I'm wrong yet i can't understand why.
You use poor logic, and weird circular logic.
Your definitions are wrong, presents will come regardless of infinity, that's where you first go wrong, the one has nothing to do with the other.

Quantum physics states that time can indeed go backwards, your definition of beginning seems wrong.
nadavsof
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by nadavsof »

HexHammer wrote:
nadavsof wrote:So if time were infinite, the present would have never come. Yet it did. So time is not infinite. It can only go to infinity forward, but it has a beginning.

I have a good reason to think I'm wrong yet i can't understand why.
You use poor logic, and weird circular logic.
Your definitions are wrong, presents will come regardless of infinity, that's where you first go wrong, the one has nothing to do with the other.

Quantum physics states that time can indeed go backwards, your definition of beginning seems wrong.
I am aware, like I said, i am probably wrong but i didn't understand why from your comment.
And no one knows how quantom physics relates (see its many interpretations) to the reality and so I wouldn't take anything from what it might imply. And from different interpretations it applies many different things.
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HexHammer
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by HexHammer »

nadavsof wrote:I am aware, like I said, i am probably wrong but i didn't understand why from your comment.
And no one knows how quantom physics relates (see its many interpretations) to the reality and so I wouldn't take anything from what it might imply. And from different interpretations it applies many different things.
Seems you lack basic cognitive abilities.
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

Infinite quantities cannot be divided logically.
If you divide an infinite quantity in two, you get two infinite quantities, and if you divide them infinitely you get an infinite number of infinite quantities. This is, of course absurd. Thus the idea of ANY infinite thing is absurd. Because you could never have any finite units such as minutes, seconds and hours without the ability to divide the quantity.
QED time is not infinite.

It might be of some use to acknowledge that when philosophers such as Spinoza used the term infinite they were not referring to a never-ending quantity, but a quantity of unknown size or magnitude.

"Inifnite" is only a mathematical theory, and like so much else in maths is not commensurate with reality; Sqrt -1, PI, other irrational numbers straight lines, perfect circles etc...
Philosophy Explorer
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

LM said:

"Infinite quantities cannot be divided logically.
If you divide an infinite quantity in two, you get two infinite quantities, and if you divide them infinitely you get an infinite number of infinite quantities. This is, of course absurd. Thus the idea of ANY infinite thing is absurd."

Not true. In math, e.g., we have the natural numbers. We can divide it into two: the portion where we can count up to 10 which is a finite quantity, and the portion we can count beyond 10 which is an infinite quantity. That's one of the exceptions to what you claim.

PhilX
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

Philosophy Explorer wrote:LM said:

"Infinite quantities cannot be divided logically.
If you divide an infinite quantity in two, you get two infinite quantities, and if you divide them infinitely you get an infinite number of infinite quantities. This is, of course absurd. Thus the idea of ANY infinite thing is absurd."

Not true. In math, e.g., we have the natural numbers. We can divide it into two: the portion where we can count up to 10 which is a finite quantity, and the portion we can count beyond 10 which is an infinite quantity. That's one of the exceptions to what you claim.

PhilX
Natural numbers are NOT infinite quantities. Do you have trouble reading? Your example assumes that a number is a part of an infinite quantity which is false. This is exactly the reason I said what I said.
A number only nominates a finite quantity of a finite thing. There is no natural example of any infinite quantity - they can only be used in reality to nominate objects.
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

Lev Muishkin wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:LM said:

"Infinite quantities cannot be divided logically.
If you divide an infinite quantity in two, you get two infinite quantities, and if you divide them infinitely you get an infinite number of infinite quantities. This is, of course absurd. Thus the idea of ANY infinite thing is absurd."

Not true. In math, e.g., we have the natural numbers. We can divide it into two: the portion where we can count up to 10 which is a finite quantity, and the portion we can count beyond 10 which is an infinite quantity. That's one of the exceptions to what you claim.

PhilX
Natural numbers are NOT infinite quantities. Do you have trouble reading? Your example assumes that a number is a part of an infinite quantity which is false. This is exactly the reason I said what I said.
A number only nominates a finite quantity of a finite thing. There is no natural example of any infinite quantity - they can only be used in reality to nominate objects.
I'm talking about groups of numbers, not just the nominate. When you talk about quantity, counting is involved which means the natural numbers. Infinite means you can't count them all. So yes, you can break up infinite quantities into portions you can count and portions you can't as I pointed out before (are you sure you're not talking about amount?)

PhilX
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

Here's a simple link about quantity (note the word "count"):

http://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/quantity.html

PhilX
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Lev Muishkin wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:LM said:

"Infinite quantities cannot be divided logically.
If you divide an infinite quantity in two, you get two infinite quantities, and if you divide them infinitely you get an infinite number of infinite quantities. This is, of course absurd. Thus the idea of ANY infinite thing is absurd."

Not true. In math, e.g., we have the natural numbers. We can divide it into two: the portion where we can count up to 10 which is a finite quantity, and the portion we can count beyond 10 which is an infinite quantity. That's one of the exceptions to what you claim.

PhilX
Natural numbers are NOT infinite quantities. Do you have trouble reading? Your example assumes that a number is a part of an infinite quantity which is false. This is exactly the reason I said what I said.
A number only nominates a finite quantity of a finite thing. There is no natural example of any infinite quantity - they can only be used in reality to nominate objects.
I'm talking about groups of numbers, not just the nominate. When you talk about quantity, counting is involved which means the natural numbers. Infinite means you can't count them all. So yes, you can break up infinite quantities into portions you can count and portions you can't as I pointed out before (are you sure you're not talking about amount?)

PhilX
You are contradicting yourself. On the one hand you are asking if time is infinite then you are insisting that it is by assuming that units of time are divisions of the infinite.
If time were infinite then no point in time would have any value, as the time before and the time after would be the same for length for all points in time.
This is absurd.
You seem to be confusing maths (a tool for modelling reality) with reality.
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

LM said:

"You are contradicting yourself. On the one hand you are asking if time is infinite then you are insisting that it is by assuming that units of time are divisions of the infinite.
If time were infinite then no point in time would have any value, as the time before and the time after would be the same for length for all points in time.
This is absurd.
You seem to be confusing maths (a tool for modelling reality) with reality."

I'm not asking if time is infinite. I asked for the OP:

"If one can't be around at the beginning nor the end of time, how can we tell it's infinite?" Different question.

If time were infinite from beginning to end, it's still possible to mark off points along the way, arbitrarily. So let's say we pick out a point and call it 0 time, then 1 second later we call it one second and so on. With this scheme, nothing would prohibit the timeline from having infinite extent, theoretically (although it would be impossible to verify that). So it's not absurd.

PhilX
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Can time be infinite?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

Philosophy Explorer wrote:LM said:

"You are contradicting yourself. On the one hand you are asking if time is infinite then you are insisting that it is by assuming that units of time are divisions of the infinite.
If time were infinite then no point in time would have any value, as the time before and the time after would be the same for length for all points in time.
This is absurd.
You seem to be confusing maths (a tool for modelling reality) with reality."

I'm not asking if time is infinite. I asked for the OP:

"If one can't be around at the beginning nor the end of time, how can we tell it's infinite?" Different question.

If time were infinite from beginning to end, it's still possible to mark off points along the way, arbitrarily. So let's say we pick out a point and call it 0 time, then 1 second later we call it one second and so on. With this scheme, nothing would prohibit the timeline from having infinite extent, theoretically (although it would be impossible to verify that). So it's not absurd.

PhilX
Sorry no. You can't have that. A point in time is a relationship between the start and the end. If a point in time renders equal values from now onwards, and from now backwards; and that is the same value for each and every point in time then points in time are meaningless; as what comes is infinite, and what has gone is infinite for all points in time.
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