God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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Post by We_Are_VENOM »

.

First off, by "universe", I mean all physical reality govern by natural law. This would include universes that we know/don’t know about.

1. If God does not exist, then the universe is past eternal.

Justification: We know that the universe exist, and if there is no transcendent supernatural cause, then either

A. the universe either popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing.
B. OR, it has existed for eternity.

I think we can safely remove posit A from the equation (unless there is someone who thinks it is a plausible explanation).

Let’s focus on posit B.

Based on posit B, we need not provide any naturalistic explanation as to the cause of our universe, considering the fact that the term “universe” applies (as mentioned earlier) to all physical reality, which means that any naturalistic explanation one provides is already accounted for as “eternal”.

And if God does not exist, then physical reality (the universe) is all there is, and thus must be eternal.

2. If the universe is not past eternal, then God exists.

Justification: If the universe (all physical reality) is NOT eternal, then it had a beginning.

Since natural law (mother nature) cannot logically be used to explain the origin of its own domain, then an external, supernatural cause is necessary.

If “nature” had a beginning, one cannot logically use nature to explain the origin of nature, and to do so is fallacious.

So, where nature stops, supernatural begins.

3. The universe is not past eternal.

Justification: If the universe is past eternal, then the causal chain of events (cause and effect) within the universe is infinite. But this is impossible, because infinity cannot be traversed or “reached”.

If the past is eternal, that would mean that there are an infinite amount of “days” which lead to today. But in order for us to have “arrived” to today, an infinite amount of days would have to be traversed (one by one), which is impossible, because infinite cannot be “reached”.

Consider thought analogy..

Sandman analogy: Imagine there is a man who is standing above a bottomless hole. By “bottomless”, of course if one was to fall into the hole, he would fall forever and ever and ever.

Now, imagine the man is surrounded by an infinite amount of sand, which is at his disposal.

Imagine if the man has been shoveling sand into this hole for an infinite amount of time (he never began shoveling, or he never stopped shoveling, he has been shoveling forever).

Imagine if the man’s plan was to shovel sand into the hole until he successfully filled the sand from the bottom, all the way to the top of the hole.

How long will it take him to accomplish this? Will he ever accomplish this task? No. Why? Because the sand is bottomless, so no matter how fast he shoveled, or how long he shoveled, the sand will never reach the top.

So lets put it all together…

The sand falling: Represents time travel, and the trajectory of the sand falling south of the top represents time traveling into the past, which is synonymous with past eternity.

The man shoveling: Represents the “present”, as the man is presently shoveling without halt. This is synonymous with our present causal reality. We are presently in a state of constant change, without halt.

Conclusion: If the sand cannot reach the bottom of the hole (because of no boundary/foundation) and it can’t be filled from the bottom-up to the present (man), then how, if there is no past boundary to precedent days, how could we have possibly reached the present day…if there is/was no beginning foundation (day).

However, lets say a gazillion miles down the hole, there is a foundation…then the hole will be filled in a finite amount of time, and it will be filled from the bottom-up.

But ONLY if there is a foundation.

Likewise, we can only reach today if and ONLY IF there is a beginning point of reference, a foundation in the distant past.

4. Therefore, an Uncaused Cause (UCC) must exist: As explained, infinite regression is impossible, so an uncaused cause is absolutely necessary.

This UCC cannot logically be a product of any precedent cause or conditions, thus, it exists necessarily (supplementing the Modal Ontological Argument).

This UCC cannot logically depend on any external entity for it’s existence (supplementing the Modal Ontological Argument).

This UCC is the foundation for any/everything which began to exist, which included by not limited to all physical reality…but mainly, the universe an everything in it.

This UCC would also have to have free will, which explains why the universe began at X point instead of Y point...and the reason is; it began at that point because that is when the UCC decided it should begin...and only a being with free will can decide to do anything.

This UCC would have to have the power to create from nothing (as there was no preexisting physical matter to create from, before it was created).

So, based on the truth value of the argument, what can we conclude of the UCC?

1. It is a supernatural, metaphysically necessary being
2. A being of whom has existed for eternity and can never cease existing
3. A being with the greatest power imaginable (being able to create from nothing)
4. A being with free will, thus, a being with a mind

This being in question is what theists have traditionally recognized as God. God exists.

In closing, I predict the whole "well, based on your argument, God cannot be infinite".

My response to that for now is; first admit the validity of the presented argument, and THEN we will discuss why the objection raised doesn't apply to God.
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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #531

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:52 am This shows that numbers can be used as boundary concepts, but with infinity we are going the other way round, trying to see if a boundary concept can also be a number.
Are we trying to see that though? Through out this thread I've stated explicitly that infinity is not a number the way 5 is a number. All I am trying to do, is get you to affirm that infinity is a quantity AKA value.
Why is making a distinction between a quantifiable kind of thing and a quantity “an awful lot of hoops to jump through”? What is the difference you see between being a quantity/value and a specific quantity/specific value? How is that different than my distinction?
The difference is my stance a) fits the usual dictionary definitions, b) allows me to give a straight forward answer as to how many stars there are given an infinite universe.
Why is that a problem? Stars are the types of things that can be quantified. There is no limit to what the quantity could be, but the quantity they actually are is a specific quantity because that is how quantity works, 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or so on, even if that quantity is 'infinity'.
How can something that can be quantified, not have a quantity? It's a problem because it sounds the same thing as it can be quantified and it cannot be quantified. What does quantifiable mean, if not "having a quantity?"
But, at that point, this infinity is a specific quantity and not a boundary concept (even if it can be used as a boundary).
Why must a quantity be a specific quantity? Surely "having a quantity but not a specific quantity" is a easier concept to reconcile than "can be quantified but does not have a quantity?"
I mean ‘traversed’ in the sense of reaching that boundary point. I mean the number you start counting with is arbitrary, right? Why not count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5? Or 3, 4, 5? Then you would not have reached 6 in either sense. Or count this way: -5, -4, -3, …, 4, 5? There you have reached and passed 6.
So, perhaps there is an equivocation going on. The boundary is a different concept than the number of numbers you counted before reaching that boundary. Even if they share the same name or even mathematical value, those concepts are distinct ones, where the ‘6’ is being used in equivocal ways in spite of its value.
Okay, then lets stick to one particular meaning of traversed and reached. Counting 6 numbers means reaching 6 AKA traversing 6, regardless of where you start and were you end; Counting -5, -4, -3, …, 4, 5 means reaching and then passing 6, it means reaching 11. Given this context, you asked me if I believe an actual infinite can be traversed? Yes, I do believe that, an actual infinite can be traversed, in other words, actual infinite can be reached.
By definition, being infinite means having no end, no limit, right?
Or no start, no beginning, this is very important. This is how one can traverse the whole of an infinite set and reach the boundary, the end: by not starting, having always been moving through each of the elements, then reaching the end that is right there.
No, there isn’t just one step, but I think you are speaking to a better way to formulate the steps. Step 1 is to check to see if you have already written down all the numbers prior to 5. If so, you can move to step 2 and write the number 5 down. If not, then you’ve got to write those prior numbers down. Each previous number will have its own, identical, 2-step process.
Okay, but this doesn't seem to match you say here...
In this context we know there is a beginning. Not a beginning to the set considered in itself necessarily, but how we are going about using it. If you are writing the number 5, our step 1 will begin with checking if the number 4 is written down...
Here you are just checking number 4, the description of step 1 above says to check all numbers prior to number 5. Which is it?

If it is just checking one number, then clearly step 1 is finite, invalidating premise 3: The amount of actions within step 1 of our rule is an actually infinite set.

If it is checking all the numbers prior to number 5, starting at 4, then I agree step 1 cannot be completed. But then the objection becomes, the iterative process does not reflect an infinite past. An infinite step 1 would mean an infinite gap between consecutive events on a time line; where as an infinite past has infinitely many events, but a finite gap between them.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #532

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm 3. The universe is not past eternal.

Justification: If the universe is past eternal, then the causal chain of events (cause and effect) within the universe is infinite. But this is impossible, because infinity cannot be traversed or “reached”.

If the past is eternal, that would mean that there are an infinite amount of “days” which lead to today. But in order for us to have “arrived” to today, an infinite amount of days would have to be traversed (one by one), which is impossible, because infinite cannot be “reached”.
So it posits that there is no way to traverse an infinite number of days to get to the present. This assumption is incorrect. Between any two points in time there is a finite number of days, not an infinite number of days.
This is not strictly true, between any two dates and times there is a real number - of days - that can have an infinite number of decimal places.

1.6666 - recurring for example is the number of days approximating 40 hours, in other words 40 hours is an infinite decimal number of days.

So right there we'd need an infinite time to write down that number yet this is based on just two arbitrary points in time.
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #533

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:10 am
This shows that numbers can be used as boundary concepts, but with infinity we are going the other way round, trying to see if a boundary concept can also be a number.

Are we trying to see that though? Through out this thread I've stated explicitly that infinity is not a number the way 5 is a number. All I am trying to do, is get you to affirm that infinity is a quantity AKA value.

You gave an example where 6 (as a value), can also be used as a boundary and asked why the same couldn’t apply to infinity. We agree that infinity is a boundary concept. We disagree on it being a value. So, yes, I think we are trying to see the above however you phrase it. I do not think infinity is a quantity or a value, but (as a boundary concept) can be used to say something about quantifiable kinds of things, namely, that there is no limit to what the specific, finite value of the quantifiable kind of thing can be.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:10 am
Why is making a distinction between a quantifiable kind of thing and a quantity “an awful lot of hoops to jump through”? What is the difference you see between being a quantity/value and a specific quantity/specific value? How is that different than my distinction?

The difference is my stance a) fits the usual dictionary definitions, b) allows me to give a straight forward answer as to how many stars there are given an infinite universe.

Can you quote the usual dictionary definitions because either I disagree that your usage fits them or I am misunderstanding your usage.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:10 amHow can something that can be quantified, not have a quantity? It's a problem because it sounds the same thing as it can be quantified and it cannot be quantified. What does quantifiable mean, if not "having a quantity?"

That’s the point. If infinity is not an actual quantity, then ‘given an [actually] infinite universe’ is an incoherent statement on par with ‘given the married nature of the bachelor’.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:10 amWhy must a quantity be a specific quantity? Surely "having a quantity but not a specific quantity" is a easier concept to reconcile than "can be quantified but does not have a quantity?"

An actually infinite number of stars in existence right now is that which “can be quantified but does not have a quantity,” so I think that concept is impossible to reconcile. I’m not sure “having a quantity but not a specific quantity,” if it’s talking about things in existence right now, fares any better. I’m still not sure what a non-specific quantity could coherently mean.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:10 amOkay, then lets stick to one particular meaning of traversed and reached. Counting 6 numbers means reaching 6 AKA traversing 6, regardless of where you start and were you end; Counting -5, -4, -3, …, 4, 5 means reaching and then passing 6, it means reaching 11. Given this context, you asked me if I believe an actual infinite can be traversed? Yes, I do believe that, an actual infinite can be traversed, in other words, actual infinite can be reached.
By definition, being infinite means having no end, no limit, right?

Or no start, no beginning, this is very important. This is how one can traverse the whole of an infinite set and reach the boundary, the end: by not starting, having always been moving through each of the elements, then reaching the end that is right there.

I think you may be focusing on a narrower meaning of “end/limit” than I am. And I think that wording might be misleading your thoughts. You seem to be saying that one could traverse an infinite past moving from past to present but not be able to traverse it if one were to move from present to past. If it’s traversable, then it should be traversable either way. Going from -5 to 5 gives us the same result whichever way it goes. If it can be traversed one way, it can be traversed the other.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:10 am
No, there isn’t just one step, but I think you are speaking to a better way to formulate the steps. Step 1 is to check to see if you have already written down all the numbers prior to 5. If so, you can move to step 2 and write the number 5 down. If not, then you’ve got to write those prior numbers down. Each previous number will have its own, identical, 2-step process.

Okay, but this doesn't seem to match you say here…
In this context we know there is a beginning. Not a beginning to the set considered in itself necessarily, but how we are going about using it. If you are writing the number 5, our step 1 will begin with checking if the number 4 is written down…

Here you are just checking number 4, the description of step 1 above says to check all numbers prior to number 5. Which is it?

If it is just checking one number, then clearly step 1 is finite, invalidating premise 3: The amount of actions within step 1 of our rule is an actually infinite set.

It’s two ways to talk about the same thing. If you are wanting to write the number 5, following the rule, technically your first thought is to make sure the number 4 has been written down. If it has, then you should also see a 3 written down and a 2 and a 1 and a 0 and a -1 and so on (i.e., all the prior numbers). If you don’t see those numbers written down, then you haven’t followed the rule. There very well could be a better way to write it but we shouldn’t let semantics cloud the concepts that are understandable without the best semantics.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:10 amIf it is checking all the numbers prior to number 5, starting at 4, then I agree step 1 cannot be completed. But then the objection becomes, the iterative process does not reflect an infinite past. An infinite step 1 would mean an infinite gap between consecutive events on a time line; where as an infinite past has infinitely many events, but a finite gap between them.

I’m not sure that is correct but that treats the present moment as a member of the infinite past. The present moment is not a member of the actually infinite past. It is a member outside of that infinite set.

Yes, as a timeline, they would all have to be part of the same infinite set, but the above would also have to be true, which just shows the logical contradictions that result from an infinite A-theory past.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #534

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:47 pm You gave an example where 6 (as a value), can also be used as a boundary and asked why the same couldn’t apply to infinity. We agree that infinity is a boundary concept. We disagree on it being a value. So, yes, I think we are trying to see the above however you phrase it.
But the reason you gave for disagreeing that it is a value, is the same reason I gave for saying it is not a number like 6 is a number. It still sounds like we are agreeing on the features that infinity has, just disagreeing on semantics.
I do not think infinity is a quantity or a value, but (as a boundary concept) can be used to say something about quantifiable kinds of things, namely, that there is no limit to what the specific, finite value of the quantifiable kind of thing can be.
Ah huh, how is that different conceptually than infinity is the quantity (AKA value) of quantifiable things that has no limit as to what the specific, finite value they are? Look at how much simpler that sentence is.
Can you quote the usual dictionary definitions because either I disagree that your usage fits them or I am misunderstanding your usage.
infinity: the state or quality of being infinite. / a number greater than any assignable quantity or countable number.
infinite: limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate. / a space or quantity that is infinite.
quantity: the amount or number of a material or abstract thing not usually estimated by spatial measurement.
value: the numerical amount denoted by an algebraic term; a magnitude, quantity, or number.
That’s the point. If infinity is not an actual quantity, then ‘given an [actually] infinite universe’ is an incoherent statement on par with ‘given the married nature of the bachelor’.
Well clearly an actually infinite universe is a coherent concept. That's all the more reason to discard the premise that infinity is not an actual quantity.
An actually infinite number of stars in existence right now is that which “can be quantified but does not have a quantity,” so I think that concept is impossible to reconcile. I’m not sure “having a quantity but not a specific quantity,” if it’s talking about things in existence right now, fares any better. I’m still not sure what a non-specific quantity could coherently mean.
It means it is not any number on the number line.
I think you may be focusing on a narrower meaning of “end/limit” than I am. And I think that wording might be misleading your thoughts. You seem to be saying that one could traverse an infinite past moving from past to present but not be able to traverse it if one were to move from present to past. If it’s traversable, then it should be traversable either way.
Why would it be reversible, given that we've agreed on defining traversable along the lines of reaching the end? ..., 3, 2, 1 has an end; 1, 2, 3, ... doesn't.
It’s two ways to talk about the same thing. If you are wanting to write the number 5, following the rule, technically your first thought is to make sure the number 4 has been written down. If it has, then you should also see a 3 written down and a 2 and a 1 and a 0 and a -1 and so on (i.e., all the prior numbers). If you don’t see those numbers written down, then you haven’t followed the rule. There very well could be a better way to write it but we shouldn’t let semantics cloud the concepts that are understandable without the best semantics.
Well, even if the rule is worded in such a way that allows for both scenarios, it is still the case that either the number is there, or it isn't. If it is there, then premise 3 is invalidated. If it isn't, then there is an infinite gap between two numbers, which is not analogous to the infinite past. Both scenarios would sink your argument.
I’m not sure that is correct but that treats the present moment as a member of the infinite past. The present moment is not a member of the actually infinite past. It is a member outside of that infinite set.
That doesn't change anything, Monday the 17th is definitely in the past. If traversing an infinite past up to Monday is a coherent thing, then we can traverse an infinite past up to and including present moment. Everything I said still hold whether the present moment is treated as a member of the infinite past or not. Why don't we just dispense with the present moment completely and focus solely on reaching a member of the infinite past, namely Monday the 17th? It is still the case that there is a finite gap between every pair of elements, which means a sequence you had in mind of checking infinitely many numbers between writing numbers down is a false analogy.
Yes, as a timeline, they would all have to be part of the same infinite set, but the above would also have to be true, which just shows the logical contradictions that result from an infinite A-theory past.
Not exactly sure what contradiction you are referring to here, but does my answer above explain it away?

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #535

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmBut the reason you gave for disagreeing that it is a value, is the same reason I gave for saying it is not a number like 6 is a number. It still sounds like we are agreeing on the features that infinity has, just disagreeing on semantics.

Perhaps we are. What makes me think we aren’t is that you are still thinking that an A-theory infinite past makes sense.
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmAh huh, how is that different conceptually than infinity is the quantity (AKA value) of quantifiable things that has no limit as to what the specific, finite value they are? Look at how much simpler that sentence is.

I don’t see how that is simpler.
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pminfinity: the state or quality of being infinite. / a number greater than any assignable quantity or countable number.

I would question why infinity is being called a ‘number’ here, then. It’s a ‘number’ but it doesn’t share characteristics with other kinds of ‘numbers’? What’s the essential definition of ‘number’ in this usage?
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pminfinite: limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate. / a space or quantity that is infinite.

How can a measurable kind of thing (like size, space, extent) be impossible to measure?
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmquantity: the amount or number of a material or abstract thing not usually estimated by spatial measurement.
value: the numerical amount denoted by an algebraic term; a magnitude, quantity, or number.

I see no reason to believe infinity is a magnitude, quantity, or number, so I don’t see why it should be a value.
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmWell clearly an actually infinite universe is a coherent concept. That's all the more reason to discard the premise that infinity is not an actual quantity.

How is it ‘clearly’ a coherent concept? Don’t just beg the question.
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmIt means it is not any number on the number line.

Aren’t all numbers on the number line? If not, why not? If so, then how can infinity be a number not on the number line?
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmWhy would it be reversible, given that we've agreed on defining traversable along the lines of reaching the end? ..., 3, 2, 1 has an end; 1, 2, 3, ... doesn't.

End as in a limit, not in the equivocal, narrower sense of only the chronologically last limit. Both of your examples have ends/limits, they aren’t limitless in both directions.
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmWell, even if the rule is worded in such a way that allows for both scenarios, it is still the case that either the number is there, or it isn't. If it is there, then premise 3 is invalidated. If it isn't, then there is an infinite gap between two numbers, which is not analogous to the infinite past. Both scenarios would sink your argument.

The rule makes it impossible that any number can be written down; the number logically cannot be written down, even if you had an eternity of time to try to do so. Why does that mean there is an infinite gap between two numbers? Which two numbers? And even if there is, why is that not analogous to the infinite past?
Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:07 pmThat doesn't change anything, Monday the 17th is definitely in the past. If traversing an infinite past up to Monday is a coherent thing, then we can traverse an infinite past up to and including present moment. Everything I said still hold whether the present moment is treated as a member of the infinite past or not. Why don't we just dispense with the present moment completely and focus solely on reaching a member of the infinite past, namely Monday the 17th? It is still the case that there is a finite gap between every pair of elements, which means a sequence you had in mind of checking infinitely many numbers between writing numbers down is a false analogy.

How can the present moment be a part of the past? Past, present, future are mutually exclusive terms. This is definitionally true.

Here is the absurdity, which I was talking about last post, that we must believe to believe in an actual infinite A-theory of time. There is an infinite gap between moments in the past and the present, but as soon as that present moment becomes past, now there is a finite gap between the same events. How did that change?

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #536

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:16 pm Perhaps we are. What makes me think we aren’t is that you are still thinking that an A-theory infinite past makes sense.
Okay, that's why I am trying to get to the bottom of why you think it doesn't make sense.
I don’t see how that is simpler.
It's shorter with fewer qualifiers.
I would question why infinity is being called a ‘number’ here, then. It’s a ‘number’ but it doesn’t share characteristics with other kinds of ‘numbers’? What’s the essential definition of ‘number’ in this usage?
It shares some characters with other kind of numbers, just not all. Lets go back to the dictionary for the definition of number: an arithmetical value, expressed by a word, symbol, or figure, representing a particular quantity and used in counting and making calculations. / a quantity or amount.
How can a measurable kind of thing (like size, space, extent) be impossible to measure?
So don't use that particular meaning of infinite. I am just copying from a very popular dictionary. My argument is that you should adopt my usage because it matches the popular definitions, I didn't want you to think I was cherry picking so I copied the whole thing. It's not unusual to have parts of a definition be inapplicable depending on the context.
I see no reason to believe infinity is a magnitude, quantity, or number, so I don’t see why it should be a value.
That you can re-jiggle your word usage to match the dictionary definitions supplied here and still convey the same concept of infinity, is a reason to believe it is a magnitude, quantity, number, and value. You can do certain arithmetic with infinity like you can with the number 5, is another reason to believe it. Why aren't these good enough reasons?
How is it ‘clearly’ a coherent concept? Don’t just beg the question.
That it's the current scientific thought, isn't clear enough of a clue for you to conclude that it's not self-contradictory? Or just run though the mental exercise of travelling in space in a straight line and not hitting a boundary or loop back to the same place, is that self-contradictory?
Aren’t all numbers on the number line? If not, why not? If so, then how can infinity be a number not on the number line?
It depends on your definitions. According to the ones I posted here, no, not all numbers are on the number line. Why? Because it's defined that way according to the English language. Why is it defined that way in the first place? It's popular.
End as in a limit, not in the equivocal, narrower sense of only the chronologically last limit. Both of your examples have ends/limits, they aren’t limitless in both directions.
So according to you, the infinite sequence 1, 2, 3 ... has an end. So let me start right now and count: one, two, three and pause here. I have reached one end of the sequence, namely one. This infinite sequence has been traversed, according to the definition of traverse that runs along the line of "reaching the end." There, I have proven that infinite sequence can be traversed. Objections?
The rule makes it impossible that any number can be written down;
No, it doesn't though. The individual step 1s are either all finite or all infinite. If each one finite then all the numbers can be written down.
Why does that mean there is an infinite gap between two numbers?
You made the rule, did you meant to allow for an infinite gap between two numbers?
Which two numbers?
Any two numbers, 4 and 5 was the example in the last post. You told me the rule was to check if number 4 is written down before writing 5 down. If I am checking one number then that only takes a finite amount of time; if not then I have to check all prior numbers, which would take infinite time. You specified two possibilities here, only one of the two would stop me from writing 5 down, so why do you think the rule makes it impossible?
And even if there is, why is that not analogous to the infinite past?
Asked and answered: Because there is always a finite gap between any two events in the infinite past.
How can the present moment be a part of the past? Past, present, future are mutually exclusive terms. This is definitionally true.
Like I said, that's fine, don't include the present moment be a part of the past. The point was traversing the infinite past. Whether the present moment is included or not is irrelevant.
Here is the absurdity, which I was talking about last post, that we must believe to believe in an actual infinite A-theory of time. There is an infinite gap between moments in the past and the present...
No there absolutely isn't. Where on Earth did you get this idea from? Is this a new thing, or have you been trying to convey this message before? Either way, no, no, no: There is a finite gap between moments in the past and the present, given an infinite past.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #537

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amIt shares some characters with other kind of numbers, just not all. Lets go back to the dictionary for the definition of number: an arithmetical value, expressed by a word, symbol, or figure, representing a particular quantity and used in counting and making calculations. / a quantity or amount.

So, why do you think ‘infinity’ fits this definition?
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amSo don't use that particular meaning of infinite. I am just copying from a very popular dictionary. My argument is that you should adopt my usage because it matches the popular definitions, I didn't want you to think I was cherry picking so I copied the whole thing. It's not unusual to have parts of a definition be inapplicable depending on the context.

Not using that particular part of the definition seems to be turning to cherry-picking words to back up your argument.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amThat you can re-jiggle your word usage to match the dictionary definitions supplied here and still convey the same concept of infinity, is a reason to believe it is a magnitude, quantity, number, and value. You can do certain arithmetic with infinity like you can with the number 5, is another reason to believe it. Why aren't these good enough reasons?

I don’t see how your re-jiggling matches the dictionary definitions while conveying the same concept of infinity. Nor do I think you can do certain arithmetic with infinity like you can with the number 5.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amThat it's the current scientific thought, isn't clear enough of a clue for you to conclude that it's not self-contradictory? Or just run though the mental exercise of travelling in space in a straight line and not hitting a boundary or loop back to the same place, is that self-contradictory?

How is that the current scientific thought? Even with the thought experiment, at any point along our journey, we would still be a finite distance away from where we started our expedition. We would never reach an infinite distance.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amIt depends on your definitions. According to the ones I posted here, no, not all numbers are on the number line. Why? Because it's defined that way according to the English language. Why is it defined that way in the first place? It's popular.

Our definitions should be based on truth, not popularity.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amSo according to you, the infinite sequence 1, 2, 3 ... has an end. So let me start right now and count: one, two, three and pause here. I have reached one end of the sequence, namely one. This infinite sequence has been traversed, according to the definition of traverse that runs along the line of "reaching the end." There, I have proven that infinite sequence can be traversed. Objections?

The whole infinite past (not just one 'end') must be traversed before we get to the present moment.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amNo, it doesn't though. The individual step 1s are either all finite or all infinite. If each one finite then all the numbers can be written down.

The step 1s are all infinite, though, because you will have to mentally check if an infinite amount of numbers have already been written down. That mental check will have no end.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amAny two numbers, 4 and 5 was the example in the last post. You told me the rule was to check if number 4 is written down before writing 5 down. If I am checking one number then that only takes a finite amount of time; if not then I have to check all prior numbers, which would take infinite time. You specified two possibilities here, only one of the two would stop me from writing 5 down, so why do you think the rule makes it impossible?.

If you had done your previous steps correctly, then you would technically just need to check the number 4. But if the paper you hand in only has this set {4, 5} of numbers written down, then you’ve obviously not followed the rule because 4 couldn’t have been written down without a 3. This truth repeats for every previous number. There are an infinite amount of prior numbers, so, in the end, you will have had to, effectively, checked to make sure all numbers prior to 5 are written. However you want to word it to try to get around the truth of the matter.
Bust Nak wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:08 amLike I said, that's fine, don't include the present moment be a part of the past. The point was traversing the infinite past. Whether the present moment is included or not is irrelevant.

Absolutely. So, you are asserting that you can traverse the whole of an infinite set…not just have ‘reached’ one end, but traversed the whole thing. You must have ‘reached’ both "ends" of an endless thing. That’s illogical.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #538

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Fri Feb 04, 2022 11:10 am So, why do you think ‘infinity’ fits this definition?
Because infinity is a symbol that representing a particular quantity and used in counting and making calculations, and it is an amount.
Not using that particular part of the definition seems to be turning to cherry-picking words to back up your argument.
Again, it's not unusual to have parts of a definition be inapplicable depending on the context.
I don’t see how your re-jiggling matches the dictionary definitions while conveying the same concept of infinity.
"Infinity is a number except you can't count to infinity like you can count to 5" and "infinity is similar to but not a number because you cannot count to it like you can count to 5" sounds like the same concept with different definitions to me.
Nor do I think you can do certain arithmetic with infinity like you can with the number 5.
You can do infinity + 1; and you can do 5 + 1. Why doesn't that count?
How is that the current scientific thought?
https://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_shape.html
Even with the thought experiment, at any point along our journey, we would still be a finite distance away from where we started our expedition. We would never reach an infinite distance.
That's fine, but how is that suppose to be a counter to what I proposed? The universe could be infinite in size, where you can move in any direction indefinitely without looping back or hitting a boundary, and yet there is a finite distance between any two points. This is analogous to the infinite past.
Our definitions should be based on truth, not popularity.
That's like saying the presidency should be decided based on truth, not on popularity at the polling booth. The truth is, whoever is the most popular becomes the president, just as which ever is the most popular definition, is the definition used.
The whole infinite past (not just one 'end') must be traversed before we get to the present moment.
But earlier you said the direction didn't matter when it comes to an end, sounds to me like it does. Perhaps you would like to reconsider that claim.
The step 1s are all infinite, though, because you will have to mentally check if an infinite amount of numbers have already been written down. That mental check will have no end.
Then my precious objection suffice: your analogy is a false one, you have proposed a scenario where there is an infinite gap between each events, where as there is a finite gap between each event in an infinite past.
If you had done your previous steps correctly, then you would technically just need to check the number 4.
You just told me the step 1s are infinite, as opposed to would be infinite if..., which is it?
But if the paper you hand in only has this set {4, 5} of numbers written down, then you’ve obviously not followed the rule because 4 couldn’t have been written down without a 3. This truth repeats for every previous number. There are an infinite amount of prior numbers, so, in the end, you will have had to, effectively, checked to make sure all numbers prior to 5 are written. However you want to word it to try to get around the truth of the matter.
I don't need to get round it though, since a) it's a false analogy. Perhaps more importantly, all you have here is a "if..." conditional statements alone can't prove I can't write any numbers down. If I haven't followed the steps properly then I wouldn't be able to write 5 down... Okay, but what if I have been following the steps properly? Then I could?
So, you are asserting that you can traverse the whole of an infinite set…not just have ‘reached’ one end, but traversed the whole thing. You must have ‘reached’ both "ends" of an endless thing.
Why must I reach both ends to traverse the whole thing? Recall if you will, we agreed on defining traverse along the lines of reaching the boundary point, would you like to alter it?

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #539

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amBecause infinity is a symbol that representing a particular quantity and used in counting and making calculations, and it is an amount.

That’s just begging the question. Why do you think it is a symbol truly representing a particular quantity and used in counting and making calculations, and that it is an amount? Why isn’t it just a boundary concept alone that mathematicians have explored what it would look like if it was also a particular quantity? Some of those mathematicians simply assume it truly can be a quantity and, if that is true, speak about all the “truths” that follow in regards to mathematical calculations.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amAgain, it's not unusual to have parts of a definition be inapplicable depending on the context.

Of course. I don’t think that is what you are doing here, though. The context you are trying to bring in contradicts the definition. To make it work you aren’t just dropping the inapplicable elements but having to redefine the term itself to avoid contradiction.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 am"Infinity is a number except you can't count to infinity like you can count to 5" and "infinity is similar to but not a number because you cannot count to it like you can count to 5" sounds like the same concept with different definitions to me.

Yes, if infinity is assumed to be a number, then you couldn’t count to it like you can count to 5. The question is whether it is a number, though.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amYou can do infinity + 1; and you can do 5 + 1. Why doesn't that count?

Arithmetic is the branch of mathematics dealing with the properties and manipulation of numbers. If infinity is a number, then you can do arithmetic on it. But you are needing to establish that infinity is a number, not just what would be mathematically true if it were a number.

When we get into math on infinity, lots of absurdities arise that should tell us something isn’t quite right, that maybe we are making a category mistake. For instance, in arithmetic, any number minus itself is 0. That’s not always true with infinity, though. Well, can’t we just redefine that rule? Not simply on the assumption that infinity must be a number. We need to prove infinity is a number, not just assume it and then redefine everything on the basis of that assumption.

Well, there’s just different rules for finite math and infinite math. Again, that should tell us something isn’t quite right, that we are doing something different than what we were doing with arithmetic. It’s a different kind of thing. And, again, we need to prove infinity is a number, not just say what would follow if it is a number.

What’s really going on with ‘infinity + 1’? This is what I think is going on. If you have no limit to, say, what the number of stars could be [the concept infinity is describing] and you added one more star, then there would still be no limit to what the number of stars could be. That’s vastly different from what’s going on with ‘5 + 1’.

How can something with no boundary, that is actually, right now, stretching out forever, expand? Only things that are bound within a certain size can expand and get to a bigger size.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amThat's fine, but how is that suppose to be a counter to what I proposed? The universe could be infinite in size, where you can move in any direction indefinitely without looping back or hitting a boundary, and yet there is a finite distance between any two points. This is analogous to the infinite past.

My point is that in your thought experiment, at any moment, there would be no way to tell whether we are just far enough away from an actual, current boundary or that there is no boundary at all.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amThat's like saying the presidency should be decided based on truth, not on popularity at the polling booth. The truth is, whoever is the most popular becomes the president, just as which ever is the most popular definition, is the definition used.

That doesn’t mean that those definitions support the truth of the conclusion we are trying to reach. An argument’s premises must be true for a valid argument to be sound.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amBut earlier you said the direction didn't matter when it comes to an end, sounds to me like it does. Perhaps you would like to reconsider that claim.

You are mixing up contexts. You were using ‘end’ in a narrower sense than I was, so I needed to clarify that. You were viewing a move in direction from left to right, where there is a beginning (or no beginning) and where there is an end (or no end). I was using ‘end’ to cover both sides.

Now, when talking about traversing in A-theory time, the direction is from left to right, so to speak. And it's traversing from one side to the other side. The infinite past must be traversed, in that direction, in order to get to the present moment.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amThen my precious objection suffice: your analogy is a false one, you have proposed a scenario where there is an infinite gap between each events, where as there is a finite gap between each event in an infinite past.

It’s not a false analogy. There is a finite gap between each number mentally checked. However, there is an infinite step/gap before step 2 can occur. Just like there is a finite gap between each event within the infinite past but an infinite step/gap before step 2, i.e., the present moment, can occur.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amI don't need to get round it though, since a) it's a false analogy. Perhaps more importantly, all you have here is a "if..." conditional statements alone can't prove I can't write any numbers down. If I haven't followed the steps properly then I wouldn't be able to write 5 down... Okay, but what if I have been following the steps properly? Then I could?

No, the steps themselves, coupled with an infinite amount of prior numbers, make it logically impossible for you to write any number down. What you just asked is akin to “Okay, but what if I follow the definitions of a square and a circle properly, then I could make a square circle?” No, because of those definitions themselves.
Bust Nak wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:30 amWhy must I reach both ends to traverse the whole thing? Recall if you will, we agreed on defining traverse along the lines of reaching the boundary point, would you like to alter it?

I’m not altering anything. You understood an infinite past to fit how we defined ‘traverse,’ in the sense of it having one boundary point that is reached. I’ve since clarified that it’s not about just one “side” being reached.

In A-theory, one moves forward in time. In an infinite past, every single event from “side” to “side” must be moved through (traversed), but this means there is an endless, or to avoid possible confusion on this use of ‘end’ maybe we should say something like ‘ceaseless’, a ceaseless amount of events to move through. It is logically impossible to get to the point of ending/ceasing in an endless/ceaseless series. Yet, our A-theory scenario requires us to be able to cease that ceaseless series in order to then reach, traverse, move through the present moment. Thus, an A-theory infinite past is logically impossible.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #540

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Fri Feb 18, 2022 10:12 am That’s just begging the question. Why do you think it is a symbol truly representing a particular quantity and used in counting and making calculations, and that it is an amount? Why isn’t it just a boundary concept alone that mathematicians have explored what it would look like if it was also a particular quantity? Some of those mathematicians simply assume it truly can be a quantity and, if that is true, speak about all the “truths” that follow in regards to mathematical calculations.
Lets go there, don't you want to listen to mathematicians when thinking about quantity, counting and calculations? What reason is there to reject these assumption when it works out just fine mathematically?
Of course. I don’t think that is what you are doing here, though. The context you are trying to bring in contradicts the definition. To make it work you aren’t just dropping the inapplicable elements but having to redefine the term itself to avoid contradiction.
It is immeasurable in one sense, and measurable in another, so it just depends on the context like any other word.
Yes, if infinity is assumed to be a number, then you couldn’t count to it like you can count to 5. The question is whether it is a number, though.
Does the label "number" matter, if we agree on the features that infinity has?
Arithmetic is the branch of mathematics dealing with the properties and manipulation of numbers. If infinity is a number, then you can do arithmetic on it. But you are needing to establish that infinity is a number, not just what would be mathematically true if it were a number.
How do you tell the difference between the two? Is there an actual difference beyond semantics?
...in arithmetic, any number minus itself is 0. That’s not always true with infinity, though. Well, can’t we just redefine that rule? Not simply on the assumption that infinity must be a number. We need to prove infinity is a number, not just assume it and then redefine everything on the basis of that assumption...
Why this and not "in arithmetic, any number minus itself is 0 except for infinity. Well, can’t we just redefine that rule without the last clause? Not simply on the assumption that infinity isn't a number. We need to prove infinity isn't a number, not just assume it isn't and then redefine everything on the basis of that assumption?

Why this and not "there’s just different rules for finite math and infinite math. That there is something different between finite and infinite despite both being numbers?"
What’s really going on with ‘infinity + 1’? This is what I think is going on. If you have no limit to, say, what the number of stars could be [the concept infinity is describing] and you added one more star, then there would still be no limit to what the number of stars could be. That’s vastly different from what’s going on with ‘5 + 1’.
Is it different though? That "adding one more star" is the same as adding one more in 5+1. Same as "add one more" in there is an infinite number of stars, adding one more star and there would still be infinite number of stars.
How can something with no boundary, that is actually, right now, stretching out forever, expand? Only things that are bound within a certain size can expand and get to a bigger size.
First of all, do you now accept that according to current scientific thought, the universe is an actual infinite (as opposed finite in size but no limit as to how big it can get?) There is no conflict between not having a boundary and expanding, infinity + 1 is still infinity.
My point is that in your thought experiment, at any moment, there would be no way to tell whether we are just far enough away from an actual, current boundary or that there is no boundary at all.
Okay, there might be, but what reason do you have for thinking there has to be one? Remember, your original contention was that "given an actually infinite universe" might be an incoherent statement like a married bachelor.
That doesn’t mean that those definitions support the truth of the conclusion we are trying to reach. An argument’s premises must be true for a valid argument to be sound.
Right, but you accept there is no true definition as such? You said definitions should be based on truth, not popularity; but it's just a matter of convention, agreed upon for the sake of communication.
You are mixing up contexts. You were using ‘end’ in a narrower sense than I was, so I needed to clarify that. You were viewing a move in direction from left to right, where there is a beginning (or no beginning) and where there is an end (or no end). I was using ‘end’ to cover both sides.

Now, when talking about traversing in A-theory time, the direction is from left to right, so to speak. And it's traversing from one side to the other side. The infinite past must be traversed, in that direction, in order to get to the present moment.
I can work with that. Going back to your earlier point, you said if one was able to move from left to right most end then one should be able to move from right to left most end. No, the left most end does not exist, so you shouldn't be able to. It's still the case that direction matters, it's still the case that traversal is not reversible.

While we are here, I thought we agreed to exclude the present moment and focus only on the past? We are traversing the infinite past to Monday the 17th of Jan 2022, or just call it "Monday." I don't want to revisit the red herring of whether present moment treated as if it is a member of the infinite past or not.
It’s not a false analogy. There is a finite gap between each number mentally checked. However, there is an infinite step/gap before step 2 can occur. Just like there is a finite gap between each event within the infinite past but an infinite step/gap before step 2, i.e., the present moment, can occur.
No, there isn't. I asked you this before, where are you getting this infinite step/gap idea from? There is no such gap in an infinite past, therefore false analogy.
No, the steps themselves, coupled with an infinite amount of prior numbers, make it logically impossible for you to write any number down.
Why would it be logically impossible though, why would it be akin to a square circle? I kept asking you why, and that's what lead you to the "if there is an infinite gap then..." conditional statement. Well, what if there isn't? Then it wouldn't be akin to a square circle.
In A-theory, one moves forward in time. In an infinite past, every single event from “side” to “side” must be moved through (traversed), but this means there is an endless, or to avoid possible confusion on this use of ‘end’ maybe we should say something like ‘ceaseless’, a ceaseless amount of events to move through. It is logically impossible to get to the point of ending/ceasing in an endless/ceaseless series.
No it isn't. An ceaseless series can have either zero or one end. It would only be logically impossible to get to the point of easing in an ceaseless series with zero ends. Why would it be impossible for those ceaseless series one end?

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