# the problem of infinity

There are numerous almost incomprehensible scientific concepts that are very difficult for us to understand. There are physics concepts such as quantum mechanics; extra/hidden dimensions and theories of relativity; biological concepts such as the mind/brain duality, free will, self-identity, and the nature of consciousness; there is the mathematical concept of the square roots of negative numbers; and metaphysical/philosophical questions like why is there something rather than nothing or what exactly is the nature of reality.

But one of the most mathematical/physical/theological/philosophical enigmas is the concept of infinity, or infinity. That is up for discussion in this round.

All infinities are equal, but some are more equal than others.

basic definitions

*Nothing: Nothing is defined here as the complete absence of all particles of mass and force (ie electrons, photons, etc.). That’s nothing.

*Infinity: Infinity means that no matter how far you go (in time or space), you can always go further. That is infinite.

Basic premises

*Nothing can create itself.

*From nothing, nothing comes.

*Only from something, something comes.

*Something cannot be created out of nothing.

*There are no spatial/temporal limits or walls.

*If N, then N+1.

Infinity and Mathematics

*When it comes to pure mathematics, we know that there are an infinite number of negative numbers; an infinite number of positive numbers; an infinite number of even numbers; an infinite number of odd numbers; an infinite number of values between two consecutive integers (such as between 10 and 11). We know about infinity in mathematics, that, for example, Pi has an infinite number of places after the decimal point. We know that there are an infinite number of lines that can be drawn between any two places.

But all of that is pure abstraction with little or no connection to actual existence and the practical affairs and operations associated with it.

Infinity and Physics

*Time and Space: The basic premise here is that no matter how far you go, temporally or spatially, you can go even further. In other words, if N, then N + 1.

*Matter and Energy: The basic rule here is the First Law of Thermodynamics. Matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed. The obvious implication is that therefore matter/energy has existed infinitely.

*Infinity can be unlimited or bounded. Infinity has no limits, as in the case of two parallel lines that extend indefinitely without ever meeting. Infinity can be bounded. For example, the Earth is limited because it is finite, but you can travel around it in time and space an infinite number of times.

*And even some scientists who should know better throw around the term “infinity” or “infinity” with rather reckless abandon as when stating or referencing “infinite density” or “infinite temperature”. That’s silly.

Infinity and Theology

* Either a deity or deities exist or they do not exist.

*If a deity or deities really exist, then they are eternal or created by a previous deity or deities.

*If a deity or deities are eternal, eternal, exist forever, that is equivalent to infinity.

*If a deity or deities are created, that necessarily leads to infinite regression.

*Therefore, no matter how you slice and square, there is a theological infinity to contend with, even more so when many theologies promise an eternal existence in the afterlife.

* However, an eternal existence in the afterlife would be an eternal and boring hell. Unlike the Vulcan philosophy of events having infinite diversity in infinite combinations (IDICs), only finite diversity is actually possible in finite combinations. Therefore, in an infinite/eternal afterlife, he will eventually endlessly repeat what he has already done before endlessly and repeatedly. Bored.

Infinity and Philosophy

*It is even claimed that God (as a representation of some deity and the supernatural) could not reach the “now” of His infinite past to do what God wanted to do “now”. Swill!

*So the philosophical/metaphilosophical question is, if there is an infinite past, can you get to now? It is too easy.

*The timeline: In an infinite timeline there are an infinite number of events, each of which is finite (ie, like the event that is you). Here is a useful analogy. Let us assign each unique and finite event a unique number. How many unique numbers are available to be assigned? Well, we know from the above that there are an infinite number of unique numbers available that it would take an infinite amount of time (an infinite timeline) to count that infinite number of unique numbers.

*No matter where you are on an infinite number line, you can progress, for example, by counting forward from 100 (where you are) to 150 (where you want to be “now”), or counting backward from 150 to 100.

*You can reach any specific event on an infinite timeline just like you can reach any specific unique number on the infinite number line. No matter where you are on an infinite timeline, you can move towards “now” by going, say, from Saturday to Sunday; January to February; 2001 to 2002 etc.

* One additional aside, you don’t actually have to make progress to get to the “now”, as long as you are in the present or the “now”.