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Is all time subject to infinite regress?

Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?
Graincruncher
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5/23/2013 10:44:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Could you explain a bit more, please? I'm not really sure what you mean or which philosophers you're referring to.
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 10:51:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 10:44:45 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
Could you explain a bit more, please? I'm not really sure what you mean or which philosophers you're referring to.

Pretty much every theistic philosopher arguing that the past being eternal is illogical in an attempt to show that the universe must have had a beginning.
Graincruncher
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5/23/2013 11:27:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Ah, I see what you mean. It isn't just restricted to philosophers, much less theistic ones; it'd require a violation of the laws of thermodynamics. So not in a universe setup the way all the evidence suggests ours is, no.
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 12:03:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 11:27:38 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
Ah, I see what you mean. It isn't just restricted to philosophers, much less theistic ones; it'd require a violation of the laws of thermodynamics. So not in a universe setup the way all the evidence suggests ours is, no.

I did not say a universe like ours, I said any type of hypothetical hyper-time or metaphysical time.
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 12:27:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Wes Morriston argues that metaphysical time would not have to have a beginning (http://www.colorado.edu...). However, I think I would have to agree with Dr. Craig on this one if he is arguing against that notion. Any type of time would seem to be subject to infinite regress.
Graincruncher
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5/23/2013 1:07:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Then we're in a position which would require us to consider all possible worlds, which we can't do because we don't have a complete data set to work from. Proposing a metaphysical explanation is nothing more than a blind guess, which is why the word 'metaphysical' is one of those words that can be taken to mean 'baseless speculation' for at least the vast majority of instances it appears.

Going just from what we do know - and can imply with reasonable probability - is that thermodynamics would forbid such a state of affairs. Since any universe that was subject to any recognisable processes - change, differentiation between regions of space-time - would require the progression of time and our only example of progression of time is (at least as far as all the evidence we've so far collected suggests) inextricably tied up with entropy, it would seem that the only assumption we can jump to is that the situation you suggest is impossible.
tBoonePickens
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5/23/2013 1:14:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical.
Anything involving the concept of infinity is illogical. This is because "infinity" (used in this manner) is not a coherent concept: it essentially boils down to "nothing" which is also a contradictory concept.

Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?
Adding "hyper" to time doesn't change anything: the problem is with infinity.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
SovereignDream
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5/23/2013 1:19:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

What is (a) hyper-time?
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 2:15:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 1:19:05 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

What is (a) hyper-time?

Or metaphysical time...Whatever you want to call "time" that does not apply strictly to our universe. Can a time like that exist without inferring an infinite regress of past events, or would any type of time imply an infinite regress of past events? Wes Morriston argues that metaphysical time would not have a beginning in a rebuttal to the Kalam. This has me guessing Craig has the opposite view. It would seem to me that any type of time would imply an infinite regress of past events
medv4380
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5/23/2013 6:06:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

An infinite regress is not possible under A-Time theory only. The reason it's exclusive to A-Time is because it has a starting point, and the only thing that exists is the now. An infinite number of past events under A-Time would be illogical.

Under B-Time you can define it in a loop, or other configurations. From their you can go infinity back and just keep looping over the same points forever. There is no now in B-Time, just an illusion of now so there is no contradiction or issue. The only issue is with finitists when it's not in a loop, and the fact that we experience time in only one direction.
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 7:07:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 6:06:10 PM, medv4380 wrote:
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

An infinite regress is not possible under A-Time theory only. The reason it's exclusive to A-Time is because it has a starting point, and the only thing that exists is the now. An infinite number of past events under A-Time would be illogical.

Under B-Time you can define it in a loop, or other configurations. From their you can go infinity back and just keep looping over the same points forever. There is no now in B-Time, just an illusion of now so there is no contradiction or issue. The only issue is with finitists when it's not in a loop, and the fact that we experience time in only one direction.

The problem with B-Theory is the fact that it posits an infinite set of events existing statically. How can an infinite amount of things be possible?
Sidewalker
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5/23/2013 7:13:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

Many cultures have considered time to by cyclical, to which the concept of an infinite regress wouldn't apply.

Regarding hyper-time, whatever that is suppose to be, it stands to reason that other conceptions of time would have different characteristics to which the concept of infinite regress may or may not apply.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 7:28:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 7:13:42 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

Many cultures have considered time to by cyclical, to which the concept of an infinite regress wouldn't apply.

Regarding hyper-time, whatever that is suppose to be, it stands to reason that other conceptions of time would have different characteristics to which the concept of infinite regress may or may not apply.

So the universe could have been the caused by some Hyper-natural mechanical process in some Hyper-nature without being subject to infinite regress? Does that not undermine the KCA which states that the universe must have been caused by an atemporal cause, due to the fact that temporal types of causation would lead to infinite regress?
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/23/2013 7:29:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 7:13:42 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

Many cultures have considered time to by cyclical, to which the concept of an infinite regress wouldn't apply.

Regarding hyper-time, whatever that is suppose to be, it stands to reason that other conceptions of time would have different characteristics to which the concept of infinite regress may or may not apply.

If something temporal can exist without infinite regress, then this takes care of the need for an atemporal cause no?
Sidewalker
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5/23/2013 7:39:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 7:28:20 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/23/2013 7:13:42 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

Many cultures have considered time to by cyclical, to which the concept of an infinite regress wouldn't apply.

Regarding hyper-time, whatever that is suppose to be, it stands to reason that other conceptions of time would have different characteristics to which the concept of infinite regress may or may not apply.

So the universe could have been the caused by some Hyper-natural mechanical process in some Hyper-nature without being subject to infinite regress? Does that not undermine the KCA which states that the universe must have been caused by an atemporal cause, due to the fact that temporal types of causation would lead to infinite regress?

I suppose so, but it's not my thing, I don't find proofs of God such as the KCA very interesting and I don't consider them to be relevant.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
medv4380
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5/23/2013 8:13:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 7:07:23 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/23/2013 6:06:10 PM, medv4380 wrote:
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

An infinite regress is not possible under A-Time theory only. The reason it's exclusive to A-Time is because it has a starting point, and the only thing that exists is the now. An infinite number of past events under A-Time would be illogical.

Under B-Time you can define it in a loop, or other configurations. From their you can go infinity back and just keep looping over the same points forever. There is no now in B-Time, just an illusion of now so there is no contradiction or issue. The only issue is with finitists when it's not in a loop, and the fact that we experience time in only one direction.

The problem with B-Theory is the fact that it posits an infinite set of events existing statically. How can an infinite amount of things be possible?

Mathematics solved that question long ago, and is only an issue for people who reject the math. Time and space is treated as a continuum in science and math. So from that perspective they are infinity divisible. Some people would try to defy that using Zeno, but I'd counter using Cantor and modern math. Heck the Zeno effect actually proves his Arrow paradox isn't a paradox, but actually how things work.

Once you accept that something like time is infinity divisible accepting an infinite number of "things" is trivial.

And as for B-Theory I think it's far more interesting to a define what kind of "Set" it is. Is time a countable set like Rational Number or is it Uncountable like Real Numbers. Both are Actual Infinite sets but one is more infinite than the other.
TheElderScroll
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5/23/2013 8:56:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 10:31:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many philosophers argue that an infinite regress of past events is illogical. Could some hyper-time not subject to infinite regress be feasible, or would all hypothetical versions of time be subject to some kind of infinite regress?

Why is it illogical? If 0.9999...=1 (true actually), then why time cannot be expressed in the sense of infinite regression? It may not be the concept of time we know however.
tBoonePickens
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5/24/2013 11:01:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 2:15:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/23/2013 1:19:05 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
What is (a) hyper-time?
Or metaphysical time...Whatever you want to call "time" that does not apply strictly to our universe.
So if it doesn't apply to our Universe, what's the difference or the point? Especially since the issue is about infinite time regression as it applies to the Universe.

Can a time like that exist without inferring an infinite regress of past events, or would any type of time imply an infinite regress of past events?
Well if you're going to go on a "speculation cruise", then the sky's the limit! Speculate away!

Wes Morriston argues that metaphysical time would not have a beginning in a rebuttal to the Kalam. This has me guessing Craig has the opposite view. It would seem to me that any type of time would imply an infinite regress of past events
You still haven't defined or explained what you mean by metaphysical time.

At 5/23/2013 8:56:20 PM, TheElderScroll wrote:
Why is it (infinite regress) illogical?
Because in the case of time, one could never have arrived at "now" if there is an "infinite" past. The bigger picture is that the concept of infinity itself is illogical.

If 0.9999...=1 (true actually), then why time cannot be expressed in the sense of infinite regression?
That doesn't follow. The fact that "0.999... = 1" simply means that our system of mathematical notation allows for different "names" for the same value. I think that I can illustrate the problem of infinite regression of time using this mathematical notation.
1) Which number is larger A or B: (A) 0.999...91 or (B) 0.999...88 ?
2) Which number is larger C or D: (C) 0.999...19 or (D) 0.999...79 ?

Before you answer, I will tell you that the above "numbers" A to D are not valid because they violate the rules of the notation; no numbers are allowed to follow the ellipsis (ie ...) That aside, one might think that the answers are A > B and C < D but you'd be wrong. The answer is that A = B = C = D = 1. This is because one can NEVER reach the numbers past the ... because there is no "after" to infinity. For the same reasons, if the past was an infinite time ago we could never be "after the past" (ie the present) because there is no "after" to infinity.

It may not be the concept of time we know however.
Don't know what you mean by this. Anyways, dump the meaningless concept of "infinity" and a new understanding will follow!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
RoyLatham
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5/24/2013 11:34:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
In modern cosmology, the test for a theory is whether the math used to describe the theory contradicts a known property of the universe. Time seems to us as if it cannot start and stop, but time only exists if there is motion, so a universe without motion has no time. Also Hawking has proposed a two dimensional model of time that is finite and boundless. He compared his time theory to the surface of the earth. There are no edges to the earth 's surface --no start or stop-- yet it is finite. Our universe may be a bubble of time and space in finite multiverse.

The fault in the original question is that it assumes a particular model of time that's not likely to be true.
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/24/2013 10:10:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/24/2013 11:01:14 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/23/2013 2:15:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/23/2013 1:19:05 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
What is (a) hyper-time?
Or metaphysical time...Whatever you want to call "time" that does not apply strictly to our universe.
So if it doesn't apply to our Universe, what's the difference or the point? Especially since the issue is about infinite time regression as it applies to the Universe.

Because if some time can exist without infinite regress, then the one can say the universe came from that type of domain with regards to some meta-natural laws we do not know of that follow different rules than our laws of nature. The Kalam rests upon the notion that the universe must have came from a state of no time, but this would be false if some time can exist without infinite regress (as the infinite regress implications of time is the reason why the it is argued that the cause must be timeless in the first place). If this is true, then one dodges the "temporal effect from an atemporal cause" problem as well. This would be because there would be no problem if the cause was due to some mechanical meta-natural force existing in some foreign time totally different from ours. It seems the strength of the Kalam rests upon the notion that the universe could not have come from any temporal domain because that implies an infinite regress. However, if some time can exist without regress then this argument gets thrown out the window.


Can a time like that exist without inferring an infinite regress of past events, or would any type of time imply an infinite regress of past events?
Well if you're going to go on a "speculation cruise", then the sky's the limit! Speculate away!

Wes Morriston argues that metaphysical time would not have a beginning in a rebuttal to the Kalam. This has me guessing Craig has the opposite view. It would seem to me that any type of time would imply an infinite regress of past events
You still haven't defined or explained what you mean by metaphysical time.

At 5/23/2013 8:56:20 PM, TheElderScroll wrote:
Why is it (infinite regress) illogical?
Because in the case of time, one could never have arrived at "now" if there is an "infinite" past. The bigger picture is that the concept of infinity itself is illogical.

If 0.9999...=1 (true actually), then why time cannot be expressed in the sense of infinite regression?
That doesn't follow. The fact that "0.999... = 1" simply means that our system of mathematical notation allows for different "names" for the same value. I think that I can illustrate the problem of infinite regression of time using this mathematical notation.
1) Which number is larger A or B: (A) 0.999...91 or (B) 0.999...88 ?
2) Which number is larger C or D: (C) 0.999...19 or (D) 0.999...79 ?

Before you answer, I will tell you that the above "numbers" A to D are not valid because they violate the rules of the notation; no numbers are allowed to follow the ellipsis (ie ...) That aside, one might think that the answers are A > B and C < D but you'd be wrong. The answer is that A = B = C = D = 1. This is because one can NEVER reach the numbers past the ... because there is no "after" to infinity. For the same reasons, if the past was an infinite time ago we could never be "after the past" (ie the present) because there is no "after" to infinity.

It may not be the concept of time we know however.
Don't know what you mean by this. Anyways, dump the meaningless concept of "infinity" and a new understanding will follow!