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Are "infinity" and "forever' real?

Number strings suggest infinity and forever exist, even in both directions. Does this mean "beginning" and "end" are illusions in our brain?

The brain can only interpret the world by what it is able to perceive with our limited senses, sight,touch,hearing,taste, smell. Even with sensory aids like telescopes, microscopes, microwave arrays etc. we only perceive a limited part of the universe, and what we perceive is flawed. Solid objects are not really solid.

The universe appears to be in constant change, our world is in constant change, we are in constant change: perceived "beginnings" and "ends" may represent changes in form not substance. Our brains contrive the best explanation it can from what it is able to perceive.

The Big Bang may represent an event in a continuum of changes.

If forever and infinity are real, a creator is superfluous.

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    Feb 9 2013: What is 'real' ? Here is a story. Four blind men were taken to an elephant and they touched it with their hands. Elephant is like a snake, the one who touched it's trunk, said. No, it is like a pillar, said the one who touched one of it's leg. You both are mistaken, elephant is a fan shaped animal, said the one who touched the ear. I am sure it's like a rope, said the one who touched the tail. They never agreed.
    If I need, I have infinity between my two fingers and forever before my love is lost. If I need, they are real. It is dependent on how my consciousness is focused, in continuum or in discreet parts.
  • Feb 8 2013: Ma Chere Reine

    No "end"; no "beginning" of time or space.
    Il n'y a pas une fin ou un début.
  • Feb 10 2013: To Edward
    No. What I am saying is that without evidence (as opposed to conjecture) I'm not willing to commit myself to something that as far as I can tell (at the moment) is an idea made up by the brain doing the best it can (remembering and correlating) with what ever limited sensory input it can receive. I will commit myself to flying in an airplane because there is theory established by empirical evidence that an airplane can fly.
    All brains differ to some extent. I cannot tell what your brain perceives so cannot really judge what conclusions your brain ultimately comes to. Evolution may have endowed your brain with sensory capacities that I do not have. e.g. Certain European raptors have the capacity to see in the ultraviolet, certain humans perceive numbers in color. Science is parsing this phenomenon out slowly.
    The probability is, is that neither of us has it "right".
    I can only tell you what is in my brain.
    For the moment, I do not "pray" that the airplane will stay up, I am willing to conceive that "ends" and "beginnings" are not extant in the greater universe, so a creator is a contradiction. If supernatural is that which my senses cannot perceive, then of course it must exist as "all that I cannot perceive" but I cannot give it anthropomorphic essences or qualities that "explain" the universe.
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    Feb 10 2013: Yes

    Out of many, one = human existence
    Out of one, many = big bang
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    Feb 9 2013: The natural cannot explain the supernatural. We live in a natural universe functioning on Time and Space. Get rid of Time and you have Eternal. Get rid of space and you have Infinite. Much of science denies the very existence, or even possibility, of a supernatural realm so there can be no logical explanation for infinite and eternal. If by "real" you mean having weight and taking-up space, i.e. material, the answer is no. To consider eternity and infinity we must set aside the Humanist, Post-Modern presupposition that only material things exist. Contrary to your final statement if eternity and infinity do exist then a supernatural Creator is necessary. Mahalo!
    • Feb 9 2013: I think we can agree that the "natural" world is a construct in our brains developed by what the brain has perceived through our senses, as imperfect as that may be. In that the supernatural cannot be perceived, then the supernatural can only be an idea or construct that exists solely in and by the brain.
      Neroscience moves us along. Then of course we can politely agree to disagree. Thank you for your post.
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        Feb 9 2013: Not to be petulant, but are you saying absence of proof is proof of absence regarding the supernatural realm?
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    Gail .

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    Feb 9 2013: I agree with your sentiment, but I do not agree with your words, "If forever and infinity are real, a creator is superfluous"

    If a separation exists, then "God" can be infinite while we are finite. But if no separation exists, then if forever and infinity are real, and a creator is superfluous. I'm in the second camp myself.
  • Feb 8 2013: My understanding is that human beings cannot imagine fully and will never experience infinity, timelessness, and eternity while we are yet human. Passing on to next stages of afterlife we might see and understand more. To experience these as absolutes probably will never happen except for the Original One.

    All we humans have is imagination and opinion. Our minds are not capable of experiencing either of the above.

    But, Hey! Let's keep thinking anyway!!! Many posts here on TED are fun to watch!!
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    Feb 8 2013: Every time I consider that the universe might be finite, my mind instantly asks, "Then what's beyond the universe?" Likewise, when I consider the possibility that time will come to an end, I think, "Then what?"

    Thus, I tend to think there is always something next, always something beyond. While our minds may not be able to comprehend infinity, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
  • Feb 8 2013: Perhaps we could ask the question:

    "What do 'infinite' and 'timeless' mean?"