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Mark Southerland

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Infinity exists regardless of mankind's ability to conceptualize it.

Thought experiment:

Let's say we figuratively put everything in existence into a box. In order for that box to take shape as a 6 sided construct, we have essentially created boundaries to what is inside the box and what is outside the box.

What is outside the box is the continuation of infinity whether it be infinite solid, space or matter interspersed with space.

Infinity therefore cannot be bounded and cannot be measured. No limit exists as well as no point of origin. Infinity has always been infinite.

Now due to the universal truth that is infinity and I say that to mean that we can always trust infinity to be the quality of infinite, we can then know that infinity is a quality that can be applicable to an infinite number of qualities.

Infinitely large
Infinitely small
Infinite time
Infinite space
Infinite matter
Infinite levels of intelligence or life forms
Infinite forms of energy
On and on because infinity has room for everything.

Infinity has its concept and function in mathematics, but I think infinity proves itself to exist in the physical realm as well.

If infinity is limited, then educate me on the word that is that which is beyond infinity. If this is so, then our definition of infinity is incorrect.

Thank you

Topics: Infinity
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    May 13 2013: if infinity did not exist, the chance of this conversation would be infinitely smaller.
    Cheers
    • May 13 2013: Who made my point, there is always infinity even if we imagine it doesnt.:)
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    May 12 2013: Let's look at idea a different way.

    If, in the beginning, there was nothing, wouldn't there be nothing still?

    To me this implies that something has to exist in order to change the situation because nothing has 'nothing' to offer.

    In my own twisted way this implies that "something" in order to exist at all must be, itself, infinite or that we and all we are have always been.

    If we can neither create nor destroy energy, doesn't that imply that energy will exist forever in one form or another?

    Has it always been this way?
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      May 12 2013: Why science likes to say we are created from nothing is is that nothing or no thing can exist outside of mind. Our closest image is just 15 seconds after the big bang, which in the science community they call that image the face of god. Seems self fulfilling to me. Now before that 15 seconds there was no pattern, we are pattern thinkers, doers, that's actually all we have ever done. If you could big picture it it's a circle, any ray of light (a straight line) will eventually return to its origin and you will realize there are no straight line. This also how a single star can will and has always created its own negative. Since the light that would be coming back would literally be its equal but opposite reaction to self.
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        May 12 2013: If that happened infinity would not exist. It would just be a sphere within a sphere within a sphere.

        Two things science has yet to record are reflections off the edge of the universe or a beam of light sent off and detected coming back from the opposite direction.

        I'd look in a mirror or use a video cam Casey :)
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          May 12 2013: Isn't that what this is? If you have never seen the back of your head, how would you know it was your head?
  • May 5 2013: "The only Limit to the Distance we can Travel is our imagination." Kamel Edmond Barakat.
  • May 4 2013: An interesting subject, infinity. In English, it is a composite word: 'finite', meaning measurable, and 'in', meaning not. Therefore any infinity is not measurable - by definition. Whether there is a thing-in-itself out in the physical universe that is infinite - we can not know, and can not measure - by definition!
    In mathematics, we can always add one to any number, and therefore math demands infinity. But mathematics can not define reality, only attempt to describe it - check out Goodell's Incompleteness Theorem.
    Therefore, it is impossible to say with certainty whether infinity lies outside in the physical world - which is to say there is always an infinity of uncertainty. ( I'll catch you yet, Schrodinger's cat!)
    Infinite uncertainty leads to absurdity - which may be the word beyond infinity that I believe for which you were looking. Beyond infinity lies absurdity! ;-)
    • May 5 2013: Funny, I once made reference to Schrödinger's cat in an argument with my GF. She had no clue what I was talking about. The main point I got from Schrödinger's cat was that by making an observation, you can then affect the outcome of the observation.
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      May 12 2013: "...Beyond infinity lies absurdity" is implying that something lies beyound infinity? I think that is even more absurd. :)
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    May 3 2013: beyond infinity is of course infinity itself. Its like describing black. Darker than black,is black itself.
    or you can also equate it to being the same as multiplying something by the number 1. its always that number itself.
  • May 13 2013: Infinity exist if you are a theist, if you are humble, if you are selfless, if you are wise. Infinity exist because we know that we will never know everything and that there is either an eternal darkness that follows the grave for atheist or an eternity of regret or love for the believers. Infinity exist simply because there is such thing as oblivion, because if there is something missing(for oblivion's case everything and anything else) that fills it up(the endless source of everything and anything else.) GOD is infinity.
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      May 13 2013: I like that. That's profound. Lots of meaning in there.
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      May 15 2013: Poetic, and perhaps resonates with a particular type of Theistic world view that assumes wisdom and humility is tied in some way to believing in a specific Theistic god.

      Perhaps it is anything but wise and humble to assume to assume Deists, Pantheists, Polytheists and non believers are less likely to share these qualities.

      I suggest wisdom and humility is probably equally distributed between different believers and non believers.

      I suggest there is wisdom and humility in accepting you don’t know if there are gods, life after death and cosmic justice or punishment.

      I agree anyone who asserts they are absolutely certain there are no gods may be unreasonable. But so are Theists who are absolutely certain their particular version of a god and associated dogma is the one true interpretation and the thousands or millions of others are wrong.

      Most of the people I know who consider themselves atheists simply say they don’t find sufficient evidence
      for any particular god belief to be correct, so they don’t believe in any gods. However, they don’t deny the possibility of something(s) existing that might deserve the name gods or God.

      I suggest the intellectual concept of infinity exists for non theists as well. And believing in an infinite god does not mean it exists other than as a concept. There may also be gods that are finite.
  • May 12 2013: I must agree
    Infinity is surplus. Not needed.
    Infinity has no place at all.
    Infinity should be struck from the dictionary.

    Governments who fund study of Infinity are fools.
    Scientists who study Infinity are crazed.
    We, including I, who write this tripe are idiots.

    What happens when we die? Infinity?
    Does God manufacture Infinity?
    So many questions about nothing at all...
    • May 13 2013: "I think, therefore I am." - René Descartes (philosopher and mathematician)
      • May 13 2013: "Much ado about nothing"... a comedic play by William Shakespeare

        Where does this end???
  • May 8 2013: What would be the difference between infinity and nothing?
  • May 8 2013: Let me try two perspectives:
    1) The context by which we understand things.
    It appears that the basis for everything that we understand is in terms of comparison. How could we understand cold if there is no heat. Distance is relative to some point. All measurements are given quantity, relative values. We conceptualize infinity due to the finite things we perceive.

    Frankly from a mental state perspective - infinity is the border of insanity. We do not know how to conceptualize infinity because it defies the way we understand everything else. Suppose, we could stop measuring, analyzing, comparing and conceptualizing. We could then put ourselves in a state of "being". This may sound philosophical and it is. The first step in science is to philosophize.

    So I suggest that we shut off our current thought process, quiet the mind then enter the state of "Being". Welcome to the Infinite Universe. Oddly enough it doesn't require definition anymore. The choice is yours - accept the state of "Being", one with the Universe or pursue the thing that we can not understand and drive yourself insane.

    2) A spiritual approach.
    If there is such a thing as God I would have to ask the question, "What would be my greatest creation?" Here is my possible answer, "Self Realization". This is not a difficult concept to accept. We constantly challenge ourselves to see what we are capable of doing. Our accomplishments, capability and potential define us. It is our choice whether or not we live up to our potential. But the point is we don't know that limit. Creation can be extended by creating other things that can create also. Our nature is to create things. Interestingly we value our children over the objects we create. The creation of children extends our ability to create. And so on........
    Infinity means in this context that there may not be an end because as long as we continue to create, the Universe expands. Once the spirit dies, so does the Universe. Would that be so hard to accept?
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      May 8 2013: Hi Martin, you mentioned creation and there is a very strong connection, one way or an other, that should join Infinity with finite stuff like us.

      It is all about perspectives indeed. We often could not know what is in a picture unless a penny is included :)

      This treatise is about creation, and possibly why, just a perspective..
      http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/Creation.pdf
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      May 11 2013: Being naturally curious is a state of being. You don't have to be insane to indulge in it.
  • May 7 2013: We don't know if infinity is, but we can know what makes infinity possible, your unconditional awareness.

    Since for the purpose and function of awareness-as the human mind (consciousness, memory, etc)
    infinity is only an appearance therein, and thus a projection (as concept, unverifiable by any means),
    a mere idea (no matter how elaborated), limited to conditioned speculation (mental or physical, like the
    apparent infinity of space), research and "conclusions."

    Whether we unconditionally (in objectless meditation) or conditionally (in thought, belief, self-interest)
    look for the source of all appearances, we find nothing. Nothing that is, but awareness.

    Here we discover how all things are dependent on awareness to be, while awareness depends
    on nothing, and is indeed self-arising, uncreated presence, with a Heart of unconditional goodness,
    just like you...

    More, the appearance of self-recognizing unconditional awareness is proof of its singular unity
    with and as all appearances, including infinity.

    Likewise, God, and all His attributes are an appearance in awareness.

    This begs the question:

    Since unconditional awareness is presence, spontaneous universal wholeness, and is uncreated,
    the limits and ignorance of conditioned mind are obvious.

    But isn't freedom beyond "freedom from" likewise obvious?

    Now the world, society and human behavior are nakedly exposed for the inner dysfunction, the
    chronically incomplete view and understanding of this sacred moment's infinite potential.

    Since nothing can be done to change the changeless being of your unconditional awareness and goodness,
    how can you say there are "problems?"
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    May 7 2013: In plane geometry, isn't infinity defined by the circle?
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      May 11 2013: No. It is a closed function.

      A circle can be defined as the locus of all points that satisfy the equation
      x2 + y2 = r2
      where x,y are the coordinates of each point and r is the radius of the circle.

      Of course there are an infinite number of points on a circle.

      The circle is a strange element...... it attracts the curious minded.
  • May 5 2013: Of course mathematics can not define reality - and irrational numbers like pi and phi prove this point exactly. In mathematics, those ratios go on and never end. In nature, they are whole.
    Kind of like the way calculus and digital audio approximate a wave form by slicing them into many small slices - but never truly take the shape of the wave.
    Reality will always be much larger than a few formulas on a page.
    As for Schrodinger's cat having 18 half-lives - that's a good one!
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        May 12 2013: That symbol always bugged me. It looks more like a closed loop.
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    May 4 2013: hello Mark, please check out this video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHHz4mB9GKY

    Science v's God : Its The Collapse Of Physics As We Know it
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      May 12 2013: Vincenzo, aren't you a little lost here?
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        May 13 2013: I'm never lost John, everybody tends to tell me where to go. lol
        ok, on a serious note: No John, I have been blessed with internal GPS.
        I can only claim responsibility for the things that I say. What others say are reflections of themselves and that includes Dr. Michiu Kaku hypothesis.
  • May 1 2013: Consider the word Diety. It is the non-personal aspect of the Original Eternal Mind. Infinity does exist and is not fully understood by man. Good of you to think.

    How do you want to relate to infinity? Of what value is infinity to you and what are the possibilities for relating to life when infinity could be applied to anything?
  • May 14 2013: You people posting here need to take a look at www.topofthescale.com on infinite, intelligence, and many topics, he's a genius.
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    May 14 2013: I heard the definition: "set of all sets" as a definition for infinity in calculus class more than 20 years ago.
  • May 14 2013: Infinity is an idea that dodges anyone trying to approach it, people had lost their reason and even their life in trying to understand it. Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, imagine: staring at certain point in a plane you project 3 lines in of the same length with 120 degrees of separation, you can then connect the ending points of each line in order to form a triangle, if at half of the distance of each line (60 degrees) you project another 3 lines of the same length you can connect the ending points to form an hexagon, if you repeat the process over and over again, progressively you will get closer a shape that would look more and more like a circle, however in order to reach a perfect circle you will need an infinite number of lines... but what if: once you have a perfect circle you double the length of the lines?... you won't have a perfect circle anymore, there will be gaps that would only be filled by adding another infinite number of lines... can you see the implications?... This means: your assumption that infinite is equal to infinite is wrong, because there are infinities that are greater than others. In this exercise you started with 3 lines, then 6, and then doubled them over and over again, so this means: infinite can be divided exactly by 3, 6, 12, 24, etc.. but you can repeat the experiment starting with 2, 5, 7, 11 or 13 lines, and after a while you will realize that you can divide infinite by any integer number and the result will always be a number which is both integer and infinite.. so the conclusion that not all infinities are equal seems unavoidable.

    The reason of this is that "infinity" is only a mathematical concept designed to deal with numbers beyond human comprehension. Consider the number of grains of sand in a beach, it maybe so overwhelmingly huge that for practical proposes you can safely consider it infinite, but sure as the sun, there is a finite number of them, the same applies for the atoms in the universe, etc.
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    May 13 2013: I am sorry but i tire of having these types of conversations containig the words "no-things" , "existence" and " emptiness".
  • May 13 2013: Here I'll state an additional perspective on how the concept of infinity might work. Many are debating whether infinity is a closed or open system. I'm a visual thinker. That's why I've put forward the idea of applying the term infinity to a figurative box that holds everything in this universe. You simply scale it down to looking at a box in your backyard for instance. Of course the box is then surrounded by earths atmosphere to the space in our solar system and on and on until you finally see that "NO" that box that holds everything can't be infinity because much more goes on whether it be space or matter.

    Now on to that additional concept of how infinity could be both an open system and a closed one, meeting the stipulations of the paradoxical properties that infinity calls for.

    Imagine a Möbius strip. Now with an understanding of chaos theory and what bifurcations are, apply a bifurcation chart to each side of the strip of paper that will be made into the Möbius strip. Now imagine that Möbius strip is continually looping. The mobius strip represents space and time while the bifurcation chart represents matter and energy and how it changes from total consolidation to dispersion into the chaos of variation that matter and energy can manifest to become.

    Follow that looping Möbius strip around and you'll come to find there are infinite beginnings and endings for a universe as time infinitely goes on. Matter and energy continually consolidates and figuratively explodes or expands once again as time goes on. This is my scaled down analog of a universe.

    Now you may see that there is no beginning or end to the universe.
    That the 2nd law of thermodynamics holds true regarding entropy.
    That the law of conservation of energy holds true meaning that nothing is created nor destroyed...
    Hence, it was always there and always will be.
    The only thing different will be how it unfolds and how it collapses each time.

    Free yourself from your Galilean Invarience.
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    May 12 2013: Infinity is something that I cannot understand. Does my lack of understanding mean that it does not exist ?? If so then I am in control of what does or does not exist.
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      May 13 2013: Helen, I do understand that infinity doesn't exist. All in existence is finite.
      Infinity is the source of existence, generating all change in being.
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        May 13 2013: Hello...Put that way I can agree with you. The God I believe in is not a being. Regards from Helen
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        May 13 2013: I gotta ask in another place too. If this is where we discuss infinity, what is all this?

        0 = the null set; there is nothing in it. Zero is the opposite of infinity.
        :∞ = the set of everything or the set of all sets. This is the usual definition of infinity.

        (But What are these! Wikipedia has no clue!)

        ⧜ = incomplete infinity

        ⧝ = tie over infinity

        ⧞ = infinity negated with a vertical bar

        They all have UTF-8 codes and are included in multiple character sets/fonts. So some mathematician had to think these latter three up and give each one a meaning. They don't give UTF-8 codes to symbols that have no meaning or no utility. So what's up?
  • May 12 2013: " Infinity does not exist"

    Thank you for an alternative perspective.
    He's right we shouldn't assume it does. Not to get too obsessed with the geometry of infinity but as we approach a boundary it could fold back on itself like the folds of the brain. There is no outside- just infinite folds.
    Just fun speculation...
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    May 12 2013: We have problems conceptualizing large numbers, let alone the concept of the infinite. I don't believe anyone can really conceptualize the finite number one trillion, for example. Perhaps the limit of our ability to truly conceptualize numbers is 5 or 7, according to some researchers. After that, I just trust that the math works.
  • May 12 2013: Infinity does not exsist. It is a mathmatical/philosophical construct. Our universe is finite. It is both the box and the contents. There is no singulatity at the beginning of the universe neither did the universe come out of nothing. the universe has always exsisted only it's configuration changes which gives us a concept of time, which also does not exsist.
    • May 13 2013: "It is both the box and the contents". Ok, you've agreed to define the box, but what is cradling the box.
  • May 12 2013: The main point is that i don't give the mind metaphysical abilities. Although we can imagine a lot it is still a physical instrument not much different than a microscope,a thermometer or a telescope. It will give us only so much data and thats it..
    There are MANY, people that are smarter than me and so "imagine" more than i do.
    An infinite universe that exists in it entirety right now, without borders,or a container......
    well i just can't imagine that!
    And if infinity exist some other way i can't imagine that either.
    There is a school of thought that asserts nothing exists without an observer.That we create the universe by observing it. I say that is nonsense. The mind (we) evolved as a reaction to outside the mind events, For example mutations, sexual selection,and the enviroment.acting on US! We in other words are a subset of the universe, a part of it, Not the creators of it by the mere act of observation.( or measuring it as in quantum phenomena)
    Having the ability to define reality by choosing a reality might mean we only see that reality but the others are there whether we observe them or not.
    I get the feeling this is were these conversations are going... the mind as magic.
  • May 12 2013: There is no way that we can possibly attempt to understand this question. Our minds have evolved to comprehend the world under the parameters from which we evolved. In essence the question and the debate surrounding it, just produces mental noise. Our minds cannot grasp the ungraspable. Our cognition itself only works through concepts, so attempting to analytically transcend concepts is an uphill battle to say the least.
  • May 9 2013: (Mark Southerland)..."If infinity is limited, then educate me on the word that is that which is beyond infinity. If this is so, then our definition of infinity is incorrect".
    Hi. Let me give it a shot.
    Theory sais that the known universe as we know it 'came' out of the 'big bang'. Is the Universe Infinite at it's present form?
    I dont know, but it exist whether in a infinite or finite form. What about before the 'big bang'? Was there an infinite amount of nothing or infinite amount of something? Again, I dont know. But whether there was 'Nothing' or 'Something', there was an existence of 'IT'.
    Existence...whether infinity exist or has ever existed, it is still contained by existence...So in this train of thought existence is beyond infinity, and before infinity and everything that exist out of infinity...
    Note: Its kinda interesting how in the Torah God calls him self "Haya" which is hebrew for "to exist" or "existence".
    Just my thoughts ;)
    (please forgive any grammatical errors)
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      May 10 2013: Existence would not be beyond infinity. Existence is where and when we and god started contemplating infinity/eternity
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      May 11 2013: I wouldn't say we "and" God. From a religous perspective: Perhaps God alone.

      Infinity has no beginning because: if Infinity encompasses all things then what encompasses infinity? If we localize infinity, what to we pin the idea of localization to? All things together make up the elements of infinity, that is the best we can hope to accomplish.

      Perhaps our Idea of 'Universe' should be limited to the notion: it is an element of reality as opposed to the all, encompassing, set of all things -perhaps it is a mere building block of reality.

      Using the box anology, there is inside the box and outside the box. For the box to exist, it must exist inside inside of something else. If the implication is that something else must exist to house "stuff", then we are not allowed (by reasoning) to limited the deminsions of the constraining environment because all environments are constrained.
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        May 12 2013: I don't see the box as inside and outside. Because once you get out of one box you are just in another box. We are, man and god/gods prisoners of infinity/eternity
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        May 12 2013: Yeah but I don't think we can escape infinity. Unless that's what this is supposed to be? Where we can contemplate it but not "live" it
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        May 14 2013: I can't, in fact I am pretty sure we are
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    May 9 2013: Infinity: Einstein's general theory collapses at the singularity but, everything collapses at that point. At that point infinity begins. That is the theory.
    One can possibly physically measure to the singularity but, beyond that, one must accept the impossibility of physical measure. Infinity times infinity equals infinity. It is preposterous to assume that physics will compute beyond that. However, when one crosses that line he will find it easy looking for a Deity. This might possibly be due to the weight that is assumed to physics.
    Try this: close your eyes. Now, through your eyelids, can you determine where light starts and where it ends? Don't fret, here we have physics and the physical understanding that we are really looking at our eyelids.
    I am very comfortable that infinity is immeasurable and exist or doesn't. It is well the reason that finite is measurable......now, isn't that comforting? :)

    Cheers
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      May 10 2013: A singularity would still be infinite, our problem is we like to measure the immeasurable
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      May 12 2013: Actually it doesn't collapse. It just gets sucked inside with everything else.
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        May 13 2013: That might suggest that everything is the same but smaller. Everything collapses, everything breaks apart and sucked in, as you might suggest/.
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    May 9 2013: In infinity all labels and values are arbitrary, for there are infinite outcomes. What concept would you like to know about infinity? There is infinity in any whole...I repeat there is infinity in any whole
  • May 8 2013: Huh?