RE: Time

From: Debbie Mann (
Date: Fri Sep 05 2003 - 17:28:52 EDT

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    Now, that is very like the infinite universe theories. However, I have never
    bought into the aspect that having an infinite number of universes means
    everything should have happened or that an infinite amount of time implies
    this either.

    For one thing, there are two kinds of infinity (that I know of)- countable
    and uncountable. The rational numbers are countable. The real numbers
    aren't. The best way to picture this is to picture a planet spitting out
    space ships from all around it, one per second, forever. They all travel at
    a high rate of speed away from the planet. There are infinitely many space
    ships. But there is even more space. One can count the spaceships. One
    cannot 'count' the space.

    The existence of space doesn't mean that there are events in that space. The
    existence of universes does not determine what is in those universes. I in
    no way can picture myself in certain circumstances no matter what the
    environmental situation. The fact that I am who I am is determined by events
    that I affect. I affect them, at least partially, by my genetic make-up. Man
    and mankind is always affecting the environment and mankind itself. We are
    not random bits of flotsam, so all events will never occur. The choices that
    we would change may be countably infinite - but they are not all choices.
    There is space besides.

    Further. In time and space, there is no reason why these other times and
    spaces cannot contain the null set - or a set of items and happenings
    totally irrelevant to us.

    Our time is new and unique. Our choices are important. Infinite previous
    situations, infinite civilizations, infinite choices does not in anyway take
    away from the power of the choices we have over our situation today.

    One more try:


    is an infinite series

    It's a lot more interesting for a brief time in the middle than on either


    is another

    there are infinitely many infinite series. Infinite does not equal

    And another try:
    In another life I could imagine killing someone. I might do that to protect
    my children. But, I would never eat my children. Or torture them. If
    everything truly happens, then that would happen. I would never be
    half-whale and half-human. If everything truly happens - why wouldn't that

    If my parents hadn't had sex the night I was conceived - then they would
    have had a different child. So how do I exist in multiple universes when a
    variation so small effects my very existence?

    I don't buy it.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Paul Greaves []
    Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 2:00 PM
    To: Debbie Mann; Asa
    Subject: Re: Time

    I've heard an illustration that may help here... start by assuming that
    there was an infinite amount of time in the past. Now infinity does not
    just mean an extremely long time, or even unimaginably long time. It means
    *infinitely* long... one consequence of it would be that everything that
    would be possible within the limits of possibility (that is, the physical
    laws) would have had time to happen already. So everything we experience
    should have had plenty of time to have happened long ago. Why then, would
    we be here "now"?

    Another way of looking at it is that a million years ago would be just as
    close to "the infinite past" as today is, so why didn't the "now" events
    happen a million years ago? Or some other time, even earlier? There was
    plenty of time available... (it turns into a kind of logical infinite

    Infinite past time seems to remove any firm footings to establish a
    reference point in time, by which "today" can be understood as a logical
    consequence of the past. I'm having a hard time putting it into words, but
    hopefully you can see what I'm getting at.

    Here's another thought... if past time was infinite, every possible event
    would have already happened, and every possible meaning to life would have
    been fully explored and fully satisfied, so wouldn't that make our current
    existence kind of pointless?

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Debbie Mann" <>

    > From J. B.
    > "However, how does something exist for infinite time and reach the
    > This seems like an illogical statement, it can never exist for long enough
    > to reach the present and therefore is impossible to have always existed.
    > Thus time and "existence" must have a point of origin from which to count
    > finite period of time, however great or small, to reach today."
    > Why? On an infinite line there are infinitely many points. They are in an
    > order, though not a countable one. Our moment is on the graph. The fact
    > the moment exists, or that the point exists, does not mathematically
    > upon the rest of the line. Infinity does not effect, positively or
    > negatively, the fact that this point, and this segment exist. I am

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