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 Current Replies for "Linearity"
  Linearity George Garnett
Posted: 5/2/2005

But the theory you describe is just as linear as the one you are seeking to replace. It just happens to consist of a sequence of expansions and contractions, one after the other. That may or may not be how things actually are but, whatever else it is, it is still linear.
  Re: Linearity Richard
Posted: 7/2/2005

Thanks again for taking the time to comment. My response has two parts.

Firstly, my strong inclination, as emphasised in the exposition of the theory, is that there is but one beat of the universal heart. Until there is evidence of repeats (hard to imagine what that might be) I think there is a very powerful case for wielding Occam's wise razor.

Secondly, if it does emerge that there are repeated contractions and expansions this amounts to a 're-cycling' account and cycles are, by definition, circular. Even with repeats, there is no 'first cause' difficulty nor are there struggles with uncashable terms such as 'infinity'and 'eternity'. Even if there is no way of telling how many cycles there are, we will still be able to refer to the process as 'indefinite' without breaking any rules of logic or semantics.

Thanks again.


  Re: Linearity George Garnett
Posted: 10/2/2005

I hear what you say, and thank you for responding, but I think the problem remains. I just don’t think you can dissolve away the first cause problem by appealing to your notion of ‘timelessness’ for some imagined state prior to the big bang. This fails the epistemological test of semantic ‘cash value’ to just the same degree as does the notion of ‘eternity’ which you reject on precisely these grounds. And if, as in your model, this ‘timeless’ state is supposed to consist principally of consciousness, there is the added conceptual problem of how consciousness can coherently be manifested except over time. Temporal extension is fundamental to any notion of consciousness we have and I really don’t think that appealing, for example, to the compressed sense of time we may have in dreams really helps here. I am afraid that your ‘single heart beat’ looks very like a physical event occurring within a universe with an indefinitely long pre-history and an indefinitely long post-history to me.

And, on the alternative hypothesis, it just isn’t true that if something is cyclical it follows that it has no beginning or end. The seasons are cyclical but this winter isn’t the same as last winter. A wheel rotates and can return cyclically to the same position as often as we wish, but each rotation is distinct with respect to the time at which it takes place. The entire physical universe may or may not go through a similarly cyclical process but, if it did, this would not in itself have any bearing on the problem of a first cause. It would simply push it forwards or backwards in time.

  Re: Linearity Richard
Posted: 25/2/2005

As I note in my reply to your other comments, I'm very much enjoying your very considered responses. Thank you again for taking the time. And in the spirit of respectful debate, I offer the following.

Just because the cycles which we know (rotating wheels, the seasons etc) occur within a completely deterministic system it does not follow that all cycles must be so. If, as many cosmologists suggest, the universe is finite in extent then it is not difficult, I think, to imagine the vast mass of energy operating in a cyclical way. I know that it goes heavily against the intellectual grain to accept that there is nothing other than this mass of energy but, at the current state of science, we have no evidence of anything other. 'The world is all that is the case'. What, other than mystical entities such as gods, are we to propose as first cause?

If, as I suggest, there is nothing other than the mass of energy we know, there can be no cause. But in an admittedly tricky way, Alphomism eases (I think) this intellectual headache by proposing a system in which the prime causal factor (will power) is internal and it is something which, admittedly in very small measure at this stage of evolution, we experience and thus know at first hand.

Concerning your point that consciousness must somehow exist in a time frame, I agree. Underpinning Alphoma will be the tiny amount of residual 'physical' energy but I think you and I will probably not come to a convergence on the nature of consciouness. I think the commonplace experience of time in dreams is highly significant as are the so called 'timeless moments' which many people have experienced, especialy when listening to music, meditating or contemplating nature. I think also that the writings of those people (usually described as mystics) who deprived themselves of physical stimuli and explored inwards suggest that most of us have but little idea, as yet, of the idefinite possibilities of the inner world.

And there is an important physical aspect to the argument which, in my view, does make timelessness 'cashable'. Science has struggled and continues to do so over the continuity/discontinuity problem. Waves v particles, quanta or strings? The suggestion is that in the Alphoma state of the universe the only manifestation of discontinuity will be in the residual 'processor'. In the vast mental sector there will be only continuity and without discontinuity there can be no real time.
Time will be virtual and therefore totally under control.



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