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  1. Welcome to Reddit,
  2. Your Answer
  3. Is the universe finite or infinite?
  4. ELI5: Is time infinite or finite? : explainlikeimfive

Construct intervals of infinite length that have an end, and with a smidgin of mathematical sophistication, 4.

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Construct intervals of infinite length that have a beginning and an end Furthermore, given any interval at all without a beginning, it's easy enough to construct an 'idealized' point to serve as its beginning. Hurkyl , Dec 12, Dec 12, 8. Dec 12, 9. Dec 12, Jul 23, I am a novice but it appears to me that you guys confuse actual infinites with potential infinites.


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We live in a finite universe, finite space, finite mater, and therefore finite time. While the idea of actual infinites can be postulated and theorized none can, in actuality, be experienced since we ourselves are finite beings. Care also has to be given, Jarle, if you are taking a materialist position, since this position would preclude metaphysics entirely. While I agree on whether time had a beginning or not does not prove nor disprove the God of the Bible, particularly, it would only substantiate that time did have a beginning.

Want to add to the discussion?

As we all know, whatever has a beginning has to have a cause, but to say what that cause is, once we hypothetically show that time did have a beginning, is a long way off from substantiating the God of the Bible. Other arguments have to be reasoned before one can go there. However, for now and for us, it would appear that time, space and matter did indeed have a beginning.

To put forth ideas about other dimensions beyond our scope and ability to observe goes beyond the scientific method and undoubtedly enters the realm of metaphysics. However, if one claims to be a materialist, in the strictest definition of the word, can the materialist discuss issues of metaphysics since that person rejects any explanation of reality that does not fall within the scientific field of study and observation?

Schnoodle , Jul 23, Jul 24, WaveJumper , Jul 24, I can appreciate your response and thank for responding. However, just because we, as in us in the here and now, do not have a frame of reference that does not mean, explicitly or implicitly, that time did not have a beginning.

Nevertheless, I do have a question, and it is possible that my application or the application I have heard from others, is incorrect. It has to do with the second law of thermodynamics, more specifically entropy, of which I am sure you are more familiar than I. If everything is moving in a direction of usable energy to unusable, that is winding down so to speak , does this not imply a beginning? If so, does this also imply a beginning of our time? Because that is what we are actually referring to, that is, time in our space. It does no good to speculate about other reference points or rather, planes of existence, because it has no bearing on our continuum.

I have a hard time with an eternal universe, philosophically, as the universe has not the explanatory power for itself. That is, it cannot explain its own existence. The natural laws do not prescribe the existence of anything they only describe current predictable conditions. Are you stating that the universe itself, that is, matter, may have had a beginning but time did not? No sarcasm intended, a question in earnest. Because we know based on the second law that the clock has been ticking for all matter, so I assumed a beginning not just for matter but also for time as it relates to space and matter.

Schnoodle , Jul 24, I don't think the question even makes sense. It's like asking "Is distance infinite" or "is mass infinite" in that distance, mass, and time are abstract concepts defined for measurement; they're dimensions. It depends on your personal definition. If you perceive time as the change in a thing, like a thing moving from spot A to spot B with the passage of time, then time is infinite.

The universe will constantly be changing for eternity because the universe is expanding. If you view it as a sequence of events, then it is finite. Once the last stars burn out nothing will really happen anymore except for the expansion of the universe. Provided dark energy continues to act as it does now, there is a point when the universe expanding also ceases to be relevant.

Eventually everything will have expanded far and fast enough away that everything not gravitationally or chemically bound will be outside of the visible universe. Every point in the universe will be an island in an infinite empty sea. Time is a construct of the human mind.

Infinite space, infinite time (Anthony Aguirre)

There was no such thing as time before the first man thought of the idea. Since then we've stretched time back and forward to logically represent events in some sort of order. As far as I know time will always exist, even when we're all dead, since we have the ability to estimate enormous amounts of time into the future, then again you could argue when the last living being that understand time dies, so does it.

Your Answer

But will there ever come a time where nothing There's something that people don't realize about very advanced math and physics science in general ; it's as much about philosophy as it is about numbers and ideas. Let me ask you back, do you understand infinity? Do you know it isn't a number at all? Infinity is an idea. Thus, time is an idea. Time only exists because we want or need order to our existence. So yes there will be a time from now where all matter deteriorates, evaporates, dissipates into nothingness.

How far along is that? I've read estimates of it taking something like a googleplex I think that's 10 23 or something years.

Times keeps "ticking" because the idea is infinite, and even when everything is gone, is the idea of time gone when no one is around to experience it? Who knows man, great philosophical questions though.


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One form of time we have no idea about or at least very little understanding, the one that started with the beginning of everything. I would argue that the time that existed before our time is one in the same. The concept was non existent. The mere fact that you think there could be a "time" that existed before our creation of common-place time just means that time is only a construct of human consciousness. I had this in Astronomy when we did Astrophysics.

The concept of infinity they said admittedly means every possible organization of this matter exists somehere- there is literally a version of me somewhere writing this in Gaelic. It also extends to the nature of reality, existence, the limits of knowledge. There's plenty of ideas floating around that have heavy implications for their respective theories. Time is an abstract concept created by humans to keep track of things. At some point in the future, it is theorized that yes everything in the universe will stop, as all energy will have been exhausted.

By that time, time will have stopped existing because there is basically a percent chance humans will be entirely extinct, and without us, or someone time is meaningless. I suppose the argument could be made that at the moment of the big bang time began, but while arbitrary isn't the right word. It just seems silly.

Is the universe finite or infinite?

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ELI5: Is time infinite or finite? : explainlikeimfive

Become a Redditor and subscribe to one of thousands of communities. Want to add to the discussion? Coulden't you argue that there are 2 forms of time?