1. ## Causality

 Personally, I don't see how there can be an uncaused cause, a beginning of time, or a smallest/indivisible unit of matter. To me infinity makes a lot of sense. There is an infinite series of causes, there is no beginning of time (what would come before that?), there is no indivisible unit of matter (everything gets infinitely smaller. If something has a left and a right side, it must be divisible. Then again, If something was 1-dimensional, by definition, it wouldn't have a left and a right side. But I don't think 1-dimensional objects (points) can exist because they could not lie contiguous to each other to create 2-D. If they did, they would have a left and a right side). I'm not entirely sure of any of the above. I don't have an extensive knowledge of string theory or any of that.

2.  Originally Posted by kidjordan Personally, I don't see how there can be an uncaused cause Why? Do you believe that two events that are simultaneous for one person could happen at different times for another? Do you think two parallel lines will never meet?

3.  Originally Posted by Xei Why? Do you believe that two events that are simultaneous for one person could happen at different times for another? Do you think two parallel lines will never meet? Parallel lines by definition cannot meet. If they do, they aren't parallel. I do know enough about relativity to know that events that appear simultaneous to one person don't appear that way to another person. And I know that the whole common notion of causality is that an event has to precede another event and be a necessary, sufficient, or contributing cause, but I haven't read anything that clearly explains how there can be "backward" causality in time (QM).

4.  Let me clarify; say you have two lines pointing in exactly the same direction. If extended linearly, would they ever meet? You never really addressed the main question I want you to answer: why does everything need a cause? How do you know this is a universal principle?

5.  I had the EXACT same thoughts for a few months now. That if people would embrace the Infinity, instead of searching for a beginning and an end, many things would actually make more sense. Recently I watched an interesting documentary. Where they explained the scientific search for the very beginning The Big Bang. Among other things they mentioned a theory where is possible that there are more then 1 universes. And that when 2 universes collided particles that got separated from the collision are actually the same particles that made everything around us. Which is a pretty interesting theory and got me to think more abut it. So you go back, to the beginning. And realize that there is still something 'before' that. So my current theory is: Everything that has a beginning has an end. Everything aroud us is energy. Energy cant be destroyed it just changes form. So if it cant have an end does that mean that it never had a beginning? And to answer question that Xei asked. Yes, 2 infinite parallel lines would meet at some point. Time-space continuum actually bends around something that has a strong gravity field (like planets). So even if those 2 lines are a bit separated they would eventually meet.

6.  Originally Posted by Ivan452 I had the EXACT same thoughts for a few months now. That if people would embrace the Infinity, instead of searching for a beginning and an end, many things would actually make more sense. Recently I watched an interesting documentary. Where they explained the scientific search for the very beginning The Big Bang. Among other things they mentioned a theory where is possible that there are more then 1 universes. And that when 2 universes collided particles that got separated from the collision are actually the same particles that made everything around us. Which is a pretty interesting theory and got me to think more abut it. So you go back, to the beginning. And realize that there is still something 'before' that. So my current theory is: Everything that has a beginning has an end. Everything aroud us is energy. Energy cant be destroyed it just changes form. So if it cant have an end does that mean that it never had a beginning? And to answer question that Xei asked. Yes, 2 infinite parallel lines would meet at some point. Time-space continuum actually bends around something that has a strong gravity field (like planets). So even if those 2 lines are a bit separated they would eventually meet. I thought we were talking about hypothetical lines like the ones in algebra. The concept of a line composed of 1-D points doesn't work in reality. It's an abstraction. Also, if the lines were sufficiently far apart, they probably wouldn't cross would they? Also, nice deduction.

7.  Hmm, well, not really. Straight lines are abstractions, but they're still abstracted from real things. The question is about any of the 'abstractees'. Something that never has cause to deviate from its path defines a straight line; a particle never influenced by a force, or a beam of light. Or a straight-edged physical object, like a perfect crystal. But this was only ever supposed to be an auxiliary example. Why won't you engage with my question?

8.  Originally Posted by Xei But this was only ever supposed to be an auxiliary example. Why won't you engage with my question? I could have sworn I posted a response. I listed 3 issues in the OP of things that seem contradictory or incomplete unless you introduce the concept of infinity. So if you think that time either has a beginning or it doesn't and if it can't have a beginning because you could always ask "well what happened before that?" then it follows that time is infinite. It gets confusing when you talk about QM and backwards causality through time because our normal conception of time requires that an event take place before another event in order to cause it.

9.  Well if you go back before time existed, infinity really doesn't matter does it? If something caused time to exist, then that cause doesn't really need a cause(though it might have one too), because it exists outside of time. In essence, if the first cause was always there or not, doesn't really matter, because time did not yet exist. Stuff outside of time might be kind of disambiguous but that doesn't mean the stuff doesn't exist. After time came into the world, things would have a cause, but before time came into the world do they really need a cause? String theory and stuff like that has some ideas on it. Basically nothing was just hanging out, being nothing but was unstable and eventually did something. When it did something, time and the universe was created. In a way the nothing could of been there for an 'infinite' amount of time, but time had no meaning, so that isn't really true. And if you measured time backwards you would eventually find the point in which time was created.

10.  Originally Posted by kidjordan I could have sworn I posted a response. I listed 3 issues in the OP of things that seem contradictory or incomplete unless you introduce the concept of infinity. So if you think that time either has a beginning or it doesn't and if it can't have a beginning because you could always ask "well what happened before that?" then it follows that time is infinite. It gets confusing when you talk about QM and backwards causality through time because our normal conception of time requires that an event take place before another event in order to cause it. You're not following. You said "I don't see how there can be an uncaused cause", thus the universe is infinite. There is no problem with this deduction. But A implies B doesn't mean that A is true, and finding other evidence for B certainly doesn't imply A. I'm asking you why you think 'everything has a cause' is a universal principle. Further, I'm asking you why you think that you think it. Because, if it isn't necessarily true, your main argument doesn't go through, and we can't conclude if the universe is infinite or not. If you contemplate this clearly enough I think you'll get to the answer.

11.  All experience says nothing happens in isolation, every process is caused by another, anything else is understandably hard-pressed imagination.

12.  Originally Posted by Alric Well if you go back before time existed "Before and After" is a reference to the timeline with respect to some event and an observer. You can't go before time when there is no time to go before. Anyways, I don't understand how an event can be causeless either, or how it would be possible. If there is a beginning to the timeline, technically there can't be any event prior to have caused it... But that doesn't make sense to me. Why would the timeline exist at all? HOW would it exist?

13.  Time is interesting. Spoiler for : Nothingness uncoiled its interminable length through the draughty spaces at the end of time. Death waited. After a while his skeletal fingers began to drum on the handle of his scythe. Darkness lapped around him. There wasn't even any infinity anymore. He attempted to whistle a few snatches of unpopular songs between his teeth, but the sound was simply sucked into nothingness. Forever was over. All the sands had fallen. The great race between entropy and energy had been run, and the favourite had been the winner after all. Perhaps he ought to sharpen the blade again? No. Not much point, really. Great roils of absolutely nothing stretched into what would have been called the distance, if there had been a space-time reference frame to give words like "distance" any sensible meaning any more. There didn't seem to be much to do. PERHAPS IT'S TIME TO CALL IT A DAY. He thought. Death turned to go but, just as he did so, he heard the faintest of noises. It was to sound what one photon is to light, so weak and feeble that it would have passed entirely unheard in the din of an operating universe. It was a tiny piece of matter, popping into existence. Death stalked over to the point of arrival and watched carefully. It was a paperclip. Well, it was a start. There was another pop, which left a small white shirt-button spinning gently in the vacuum. Death relaxed a little. Of course, it was going to take some time. There was going to be an interlude before all this got complicated enough to produce gas clouds, galaxies, planets and continents, let alone tiny corkscrew-shaped things wiggling around in slimy pools and wondering whether evolution was worth all the bother of growing fins and legs and things. But it indicated the start of an unstoppable trend. All he had to do was be patient, and he was good at that. Pretty soon there'd be living creatures, developing like mad, running and laughing in the new sunlight. Growing tired. Growing old. Death sat back. He could wait. Whenever they needed him, he'd be there. Terry Pratchett - Eric

14.  Huh. Terry Pratchett. I keep hearing how great he is, and still haven't read him. Now I guess I gotta. That was pretty brilliant, though I did find myself wondering what the hell Death is doing when there's nothing alive for him to bother with. Oops! Didn't mean to just post off-topic!! Um... you've just caused me to want to read Pratchett!

15.  Do it. I suggest it from bottom of my heart. He is great humanist, humorist, writer and I respect his philosophical ideas. He has many interesting ideas, especially with time. Death is a being that exists outside the time in his books, thus he has seen the recreation of world again and again. Also, Death can remember past, present and future because they have already happened. Personally, I don't find it impossible that nothing began something like Alric said in his post. Surely, it feels stupid and impossible now because we think how we think, but it could easily be so. It would explain a lot of things. And raise new questions... There are most likely laws that we do not know.. patterns that work so that we cannot understand or see it. A mere thought of these possibilities makes me giddy and excited Spoiler for moar: All other clocks, even the handless clock of Death, were reflections of the Clock. Exactly reflections of the Clock; they told the universe what the time was, but the Clock told Time what time is. It was the mainspring from which all time poured. And the design the Clock was this: that the biggest hand only went around once. The second hand whirred along a circular path that even light would take days to travel, forever chased by the minutes, hours, days, months,years, centuries and ages. But the Universe hand went around once. At least, until someone wound up the clockwork. - The Reaper Man -

16.  Originally Posted by Unelias Do it. I suggest it from bottom of my heart. He is great humanist, humorist, writer and I respect his philosophical ideas. He has many interesting ideas, especially with time. Death is a being that exists outside the time in his books, thus he has seen the recreation of world again and again. Also, Death can remember past, present and future because they have already happened. Personally, I don't find it impossible that nothing began something like Alric said in his post. Surely, it feels stupid and impossible now because we think how we think, but it could easily be so. It would explain a lot of things. And raise new questions... There are most likely laws that we do not know.. patterns that work so that we cannot understand or see it. A mere thought of these possibilities makes me giddy and excited Spoiler for moar: All other clocks, even the handless clock of Death, were reflections of the Clock. Exactly reflections of the Clock; they told the universe what the time was, but the Clock told Time what time is. It was the mainspring from which all time poured. And the design the Clock was this: that the biggest hand only went around once. The second hand whirred along a circular path that even light would take days to travel, forever chased by the minutes, hours, days, months,years, centuries and ages. But the Universe hand went around once. At least, until someone wound up the clockwork. - The Reaper Man - Well, if you could elaborate on why you believe that nothing can cause something, then that would be great. I mean, it's simple just to say "I don't know" so there an infinite number of possibilities or "scientists can't prove X" and therefore, Y is a possibility. However, unless you give some supporting evidence for Y, I have more reason to justify X and just as much reason to justify some absolutely absurd claim like Z (a giant sphaghetti monster). Also, I think it's interesting that some languages don't have words like "is". I imagine that would eliminate the whole field of ontology wouldn't it?

17.  Time only goes one way, forward. So if you really think about it, time shouldn't be infinite backwards, but only infinite forwards. For time to be infinite going backwards it would have to be traveling backwards, which it doesn't appear to do. Which means at some point it started, and is now traveling forward towards infinity. Though if you think about it, we are not at infinitely right now, we are just at some point, and we can measure time to this point we are at now. And no given point is time at infinity, it is just traveling towards it. At no point would time be at infinity going backwards, it has to be traveling towards it, but time doesn't go backwards. If you think about it like that, time most likely started at a single point, and is going only forward to infinity.

18.  If time began with the Big Bang, and scientists theorize that the universe could end with a Big Crunch, then time would not extend infinitely forward either.

19.  I claim to have a question that will help you work out the answer, and you just repeatedly ignore it. Why did you make this thread?

20.  "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." I do not necessarily believe in any of that, thus I do not see myself making a real claim. I rarely do any claims, I do not see myself qualified enough except for my own forté. I just play with ideas. Considering how little we know about world there could be a lot of surprises of its true nature. I am merely entertaining myself with this idea. There is no "proof" if that is what you are asking. I just simply think that there is a great probability that there are things that we cannot grasp or perceive. If you want to know why I am able to accept such possibility then I cannot give you a simple answer. I also do understand that not many people stand the conversation that is full of "if"s and lacks hard proof, but I do find it entertaining. My mind enjoys it. It doesn't mean I believe in it. Also, I think it's interesting that some languages don't have words like "is". I imagine that would eliminate the whole field of ontology wouldn't it? Interesting. I did know that some languages that tribes in Amazo n forests speak do not have words for numbers or means to speak of past or future, only the present. What are these languages, I would gladly read more about them About time, well, I am not a physicist, but I am aware how they think of time. Let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if all we knew was wrong. What we know now time is an arrow that goes forward. I just love the ideas that are tossed into the air ie. in Thief of Time. Anyways, sorry if I disappoint you jordan, I simply have no proof to show.

21.  Originally Posted by Unelias we know now time is an arrow that goes forward. How very Newtonian! What about Timespace Continuum? This may also be what Xei keeps teasing us with but refuses to spill. Some theories claim the Big Bang didn't just originate from nothing, but possibly squirted like a fountain from a wormhole, growing as another universe collapsed into a connected wormhole (or something like that). I heard Steven Hawking say that the Singularity was about the size of a single subatomic particle, and they appear and disappear all the time.

22.  Actually what I was trying to say has nothing to do with physics, really; it was about epistemology.

24.  Oookay, cool. I don't really see how #3 (I assume you meant 'time does have a beginning') is contradicted by the stuff you say about lines and points. Could you please explicate the logical inference there? Also (but this is only secondary), I don't agree with what you do say about lines. I think it's quite evident why the argument is incorrect: you're assuming that 1D lines made of 0D points DO exist (I assume you confused points as having one dimension instead of none). How do you know your argument doesn't just prove that they don't? And in fact, science has showed us that continuous physical lines don't really exist, and that they ARE made of tiny points. I'm not sure how you didn't consider this...

25.  If time is infinite and thus going backwards, then cause and effect doesn't mean much anymore. Since things in the future that have not happened, are causing things in the past to exist. If you really believe everything has a cause, then time can't be going backwards, and thus time would have a starting point.

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