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Do you belive in eternal recurrence?

 
 
Nitish
 
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2008 11:39 pm
Eternal return (also known as "eternal recurrence") is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur in the exact same self-similar form an number of incomprehensible and unfathomable number of times. The concept has roots in ancient Egypt, and was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics. With the decline of antiquity and the spread of Christianity, the concept fell into disuse, though Friedrich Nietzsche briefly resurrected it.
In addition, the philosophical concept of eternal recurrence was addressed by Arthur Schopenhaeur. It is a purely physical concept, involving no "reincarnation" but the return of beings in the same bodies. Time is viewed as being not linear but cyclical.
The basic premise is that the universe is limited in extent and contains a finite amount of matter, while time is viewed as being infinite. The universe has no starting or ending state, while the matter comprising it is constantly changing its state. The number of possible changes is finite, and so sooner or later the same state will recur.
Physicists such as Stephen Hawking and J. Richard Gott have proposed models by which the (or a) universe could undergo time travel, provided the balance between mass and energy created the appropriate cosmological geometry. More philosophical concepts from physics, such as Hawking's "arrow of time," for example, discuss cosmology as proceeding up to a certain point, whereafter it undergoes a time reversal (which, as a consequence of T-symmetry, is thought to bring about a chaotic state due to thermodynamic entropy).
The Oscillatory universe model in physics could be provided as an example of how the universe cycles through the same events infinitely.



It happened to me one night.i had a dream.the dream was i won a football match and i scored five goals in it.i woke up and thought that this dream had no sense.in the next two weeks the dream came true,with the exact way it had happened in the dream.that is,the way i scored the goals i could see in the dream.i scored the goals the way it came in the dream.I think i was predicting the future.i asked my friends,they said they had dreams where they saw the future.only small incidents,like this one.they did not see incidents like 9/11.HAVE YOU HAD SIMILAR EXPERIENCES?i think all the events of the universe had already happened once and it is repeating.this has nothing to do with reincarnation.:confused:

Nietzsche calls the idea "horrifying and paralyzing," and says that its burden is the "heaviest weight" imaginable. The wish for the eternal return of all events would mark the ultimate affirmation of life:[INDENT] What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.'- The Gay Science:mad:

[/INDENT]Walter Kaufmann suggests that Nietzsche may have encountered this idea in the works of Heinrich Heine, who once wrote:[INDENT] [T]ime is infinite, but the things in time, the concrete bodies, are finite. They may indeed disperse into the smallest particles; but these particles, the atoms, have their determinate numbers, and the numbers of the configurations which, all of themselves, are formed out of them is also determinate. Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations which have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again...

Proofs against eternal return

Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann has described a proof originally put forward by Georg Simmel, which refutes the claim that a finite number of states must repeat within an infinite amount of time:[INDENT] Even if there were exceedingly few things in a finite space in an infinite time, they would not have to repeat in the same configurations. Suppose there were three wheels of equal size, rotating on the same axis, one point marked on the circumference of each wheel, and these three points lined up in one straight line. If the second wheel rotated twice as fast as the first, and if the speed of the third wheel was 1/π of the speed of the first, the initial line-up would never recur.
[/INDENT]It can be argued that this proof is flawed. Even if a system contains an infinite number of states as considered from the perspective of classical mechanics, applying quantum mechanics reveals that the system will repeat after an arbitrarily long time due to discretizaton(Classical mechanics is only a rough approximation to the physics that goes on at the atomic scale.) However, not all quantum-mechanical operators have discrete spectra.
:confused: [/INDENT]
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Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Feb, 2008 04:54 am
@Nitish,
Nitish,

I think it comes down to whether or not we are to realistically accept the concept of eternity. If we accept it then it seems we're bound to accept also the concept of eternal recurrence in one form or another. Science must accept the fact that time is limitless and matter is finite, whereas Christians on the other hand must believe that Christ will come one day and end time. So on this point I will have to say that I am with the scientists.

I would further say that it seems that the ultimate physical exhaustion of the universe is a necessary feature of its very existence. The universe is finite in nature and all of the material of which the universe is made up of is finite in nature. So that if either all of the matter in the universe or any fraction of the matter in the universe be arranged in any way whatsoever, I would say that such arranging will come eventually to a point of exhaustion.

There is, I believe, a definitive limit to the arrangement of matter in the universe, no matter how small or large or various we make the arrangements. And that beyond all of these arrangements one will eventually reach a point where one has run out of possible future arrangements. To put it another way, the number of physical models that are possible to actually build within the universe is limited.

In other words, there will be a limit of physical arrangements or compositions that are possible in the universe beyond which there will be only a duplication of our previous arrangements (this duplication we can call "the eternal return"). So there exists a finite non-duplicative number of possible physical arrangments in the universe.

Also, the types of feeling, emotions, states of soul, ideas, or experiences, etc., that any being in the universe can have are likewise limited.

This point here is the same as that of the physical states of the universe. The composition of subjective experiences or objective expressions that a living being in the universe can possibly posess are also limited in nature. There is no creation of "new" emotions and we will some day reach a point where all feelings and ideas are recorded and categorized by convenience for the external use of communication between people. By this I mean that 'ideas' will eventually prove to exist externally in relation to the human mind which uses them, or will eventually use them, as objects. This will be the advent of artificial intelligence!

--Pyth
ltdaleadergt
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2008 10:36 am
@Pythagorean,
yes and no. Yes since our body well come back after so many years when it is fully being disintegrated into the earth soil as various things! No as it well not be me since it can really only ONE ME!
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2008 12:28 pm
@ltdaleadergt,
not-second (because a second would denote linearity) and thus fulfilled its circular trajectory in not-time.
ltdaleadergt
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2008 07:31 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
not-second (because a second would denote linearity) and thus fulfilled its circular trajectory in not-time.

I dont get this! Can you please explain in a manner that thus of us that dont have such knowledge can learn from it. I saw many post by you in such manner and it kind of anoys me since I know it is something good in it but the way it is worded I can never learn from it! So yea can you please explain in a manner that thus of us who doesnt understand logic or much about philosophy can also learn from it ? With many thx in advance Surprised
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2008 11:06 am
@ltdaleadergt,
Sure, I'll break it down.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
First.

Now for eternal recurrenceDEFINITION
"Eternal returnuniverse has been recurring, and will continue to recur in the exact same self-similar form an number of incomprehensible and unfathomable number of times."(Nitish)concept which states that the universe has been repeating, and will continue to repeat in the exact same self-silmiliar form LINEAR TIMEIt is important to note that this is a hypothetical assumption for our inquiry, so don't assume this is the real way the fabric of time and space are. THIS IS NOT HOW THE UNIVERSE IS ACCORDING TO ETERNAL RECURRANCE.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

ETERNAL RECURRANCE AND NON- LINEAR TIME
In eternal recurrence, time is non-linear, which means that it is circular. Of course it does not have to be circular like the shape we know and love, it can be any shape off by a fraction of a degree that eventually intersects itself. But this is where it gets interesting, and I quote again from Nittish.

"will continue to recur in the exact same self-similar form an number of incomprehensible and unfathomable number of times."(Nitish)itself in a homeomorphic way, that is, in a similar shape. Why in the heck do I say homeomorphic?

Obviously, and this is very important, TIME DOES NOT EXACTLY REPEAT ITSELF. Read Spinoza and the bundle theory of self to get more of an idea of this topic.time is circular

We have an image of what eternal recurrence might actually look like. Take a piece of paper and draw a circle really fast ten times. The circle is not a perfect circle, it has deviations when you draw it from going so fast. But it is still connected because you did not take the pencil up when you drew all ten circles.


We want to say that ETERNAL RECURRANCE IS DEFUNCT because Circular time could never be (at this point) because of XENO'S PARADOX.THERE WAS A REDUCTION IN DISTANCE IN THE SAME TIME THERE WAS EXTENSION OF DISTANCE!!!!!!! HENCE THE PARADOX.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


How can circular time go its distance when logically (taking into consideration Xeno's paradox) it never even reaches a fraction of a percent of the distance it must travel?????

I posit that perhaps that existence could be circular, or linear, or trapezoidal, or whatever. It doesn't matter because time never progresses LOGICALLY to perform that shape for lack of a better word.
I also posit that there could be a possible rationalization to eternal recurrence. Suppose we encapsulate Xeno's paradox as a constant and call it "not-time." This is very abstract and possibly ridiculous. If we venture outside the box and say that the shape of time, its continuity, beginning and end, are all encapsulated in the circular shape (much like a symbol), the mere occurrence, no matter how small or reduced it is, has the map so to speak of the universe within it.

Daleader, I am glad that you express interest in abstract metaphysics. This is the first step in understanding "root" metaphysics, or the origin of being. If you have anymore questions or need more clarification, I'll be happy to provide it. Seeking knowledge for its own gain and not for any others is admirable.
ltdaleadergt
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2008 04:33 am
@Nitish,
thx really apperciate it. I get it someday. Dont mind your post it was perfect but I guess I am just stupid Sad
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2008 11:14 am
@ltdaleadergt,
But here is a general critique. When students learn philosophy, they are expected to expand their vocabulary and paper length to say 10 pages to argue for a simple point. But, in the four years studying philosophy, they never teach you the hardest part of that requirement, which is breaking down that 10 page paper to an abstract, or a summery, of all the fluff that you were forced to inject into a paper to reveal the same point that could have been revealed in a few sentences. Many philosophy students fail to grip that concept and pay the price for it.

The pointer. The trick to understanding the most difficult and abstract writings is to break it down. If you see, when I wrote my second response, I divided the logical chain with a line. The concepts trapped within those lines in individual blocks can be translated into a simple sentence. That full page of hundreds of words translates to.


1.Sorry for the corny joke.
2.Here's what I think eternal recurrence means
3.Lets examine at the opposition, linear time.
4.Lets examine eternal recurrence, and why it comes to be wrong.
5.This is why eternal recurrence is wrong
6.Xenos paradox
7.What I think time could be.



Its useful and will help you assimilate more information than the other guy.
0 Replies
 
ltdaleadergt
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2008 07:56 pm
@Nitish,
thank you very much for your nice respond. It really made my day. I just begun studying philosophy. I mostly do it on my free time. I know one cannot learn philosophy via studying but yea i begun reading about various people not yet up to the stage that can understand theories. BUt once again appreciate your kind words. Really means a lot to me Smile
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2008 10:10 pm
@ltdaleadergt,
No prob. The task of learning philosophy is daunting because there exists so much material and so little time. Also, the ideas conflict so much with the other that it all ends up so confusing.

If I could suggest a book.

20 questions about philosophy by Bowie, Mitch, and Solomon.

It takes the 20 greatest issues in philosophy and divides it into those respective sections. In each section, the authors give you a three page summery of the issue and solutions. But whats nice about it is that following the authors summary, they give six or so three to four page excerpts of major texts, from Descartes, Nietzsche, etc. that further elaborate on the issue. Its like a comprehensive cheat sheet for philosophy that cuts out all the crud from long texts and gives you the relevant information.

Heres an example.

Chapter 12 - What is the meaning of death?

379-380 3 page synopsis of the issue
381-382 Plato, the death of scorates
383 Chuang-Tzu, A taoist view of death
384 -388 Nagel, Death
etc.
4614
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Apr, 2008 11:58 am
@Nitish,
ok,
here is my simple question about Nietzsche and Eternal Recurrence...

when Nietzsche wrote about Eternal Recurrence was he speaking figuratively or
literally?
Did he mean to use E.R. as a standard to measure ones actions and ones disbelief in
in an afterlife and true belief in THIS life?

From what i get from his image of the overman...
a true overman lives each moment to the fullest and without regreat as if he would have to live it over and over forever. if that thought drives one insane then this person has not achieved
the overman status. if one lives life to the fullest without regreat...
then living this life over and over would be a blessing not a cures.

If he meant it literally where can i find his argument for it?

I hope i don't come off like a jackass...:confused:
thanks.
4614
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Apr, 2008 06:17 pm
@4614,
But can any simple question be raised about a man with a dwarf on his shoulders questioning the fabric of the universe itself in front of a big gate named "moment"?

If your looking for a particular argument, the best Nietzsche could put forward is in "Thus Spoke Zarathustra."

But I'm not much of a fan of Nietzsche when it comes to eternal recurrence, he just seems to have ripped a page out of Indian theology and called it his own... literally and figuratively.

(But isn't it curious how Zarathustra and the dwarf approach "moment" from outside the paths of eternity... I guess there must be some sort of service road or something like that, or maybe a nice bike path.)

Hmmm... picture superman with a midget on his shoulders, riding a bike on a little road who's very existence defies his own predefined cyclical notion of space and time. Ubermensch is Uberironic
0 Replies
 
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 09:47 am
@ltdaleadergt,
<daleader> wrote:
yes and no. Yes since our body well come back after so many years when it is fully being disintegrated into the earth soil as various things! No as it well not be me since it can really only ONE ME!


deleader,Smile

This could lead into a dialogue as to what or how one comes to the belief in personal identity, which is also by defination separate. The odds of reoccurence restating every tiny detail of a subjects experience in one given moment is hard to imagine. Reoccurence of a personality would require that the complete and flawless reproduction of the subjects experience be fully duplicated, in other words, not just in the moment, but his whole history of experience, for that is what an identity is, his/her experience.
0 Replies
 
BaCaRdi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 12:59 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Well Said;)

The more you learn the more there is to learn Smile

-BaC
VideCorSpoon wrote:
No prob. The task of learning philosophy is daunting because there exists so much material and so little time. Also, the ideas conflict so much with the other that it all ends up so confusing.
**SNIP**
0 Replies
 
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 07:35 am
@4614,
4614,Smile

I do not believe you will find a resonable argument for the eternal reoccurrence there is no reason for such a belief unless you believe that infinity is limited, it is a notion. I believe it would require of one a leap of faith in the absence of any tangible evidence. I think however Nietzsche must have been thinking of the source of creation as a process, a circular process, but here again there is nothing one can hold onto. Does Nietzsche no where expand upon this idea, I am not saying it is wrong, just that there is nothing to indicate its probablity. It seems I might add quite out of character for Nietzsche to say something for which he can give no reasonable account. Is this not just pure wonder, pure speculation, wonderful in itself, and one day something intelligent may be able to be said of it.
0 Replies
 
BaCaRdi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:05 am
@Nitish,
My take on this, is I do believe we are reoccurring, my theory is that we are in sort of a sling-shot world, were the boundaries are Membranes. I can get more into it if needed. But I don't believe we would be exactly the same. In my theory we at one point stop completely thereby stopping time, we then reverse back toward the singularity.

When we start over time would have to also start, I believe in a Fractal type design. Since time started over evolution would start again as well, but this time it can change drastically.

I believe these advanced type of civilizations such as the Egyptions have "reoccurred" in these slingshots before, and many times as well, this is why they seem so advanced for their time. Really their only ignorance was they believed time would "start-up" again exactly where they left-off.

Just some thoughts is all;)

-Marc

Nitish wrote:
Eternal return (also known as "eternal recurrence") is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur in the exact same self-similar form an number of incomprehensible and unfathomable number of times. **SNIP**
0 Replies
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 10:44 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
Obviously, and this is very important, TIME DOES NOT EXACTLY REPEAT ITSELF. Read Spinoza and the bundle theory of self to get more of an idea of this topic.


Wouldn't Spinozan metaphysics imply that time would exactly repeat itself? He was a necessitarian.

Also, I need to know why the bundle theory of identity would say anything about the similarity of the repetition.
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 04:12 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power,

Wow, this thread is a blast from the past. You had stated that Spinozian metaphysics would imply that time exactly repeated itself. I don't follow your supposition, so you would have to elaborate on that. I don't entirely disagree with your comment that Spinoza is a "necessitarian." Spinoza's notion of causation in Ethics basically states that everything has to follow with necessity from active/passive causes. So I agree with you on that part.

But the comment you cite from post #6 was part of a sequential argument in an overall analysis of eternal recurrence so that it would be eventually refuted in the proceeding section. Basically a set up for my main argument. Looking back on it, that particular post was very axiomatic and epideictic so it looks misleading. My bad.

The reference to the bundle theory of self was a loose reference to the particular framework of how Spinoza views infinite attributes (extension and mind) and a juxtaposition to time (which has nothing to do with what Spinoza talked about apart from a potential analogy). That was also another axiomatic assertion. Another my bad.

I'm curious to hear your views on Spinozian metaphysics and time though.
BaCaRdi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 05:54 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Well said! I was just reading a paper about a proposed Null Axiom off topic I know, but nonetheless related..hehe I think I finally found my home!..

-Marc
Cheers everyone for the Ceribral stimulation..
VideCorSpoon wrote:
Mr. Fight the Power,

Wow, this thread is a blast from the past. You had stated that Spinozian metaphysics would imply that time exactly repeated itself. I don't follow your supposition, so you would have to elaborate on that. I don't entirely disagree with your comment that Spinoza is a "necessitarian." Spinoza's notion of causation in Ethics basically states that everything has to follow with necessity from active/passive causes. So I agree with you on that part.

But the comment you cite from post #6 was part of a sequential argument in an overall analysis of eternal recurrence so that it would be eventually refuted in the proceeding section. Basically a set up for my main argument. Looking back on it, that particular post was very axiomatic and epideictic so it looks misleading. My bad.

The reference to the bundle theory of self was a loose reference to the particular framework of how Spinoza views infinite attributes (extension and mind) and a juxtaposition to time (which has nothing to do with what Spinoza talked about apart from a potential analogy). That was also another axiomatic assertion. Another my bad.

I'm curious to hear your views on Spinozian metaphysics and time though.
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 12:03 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Recurrence is a necessity for non linear, infinite possibility, systems, it is built into their function.

As for the "self same exact" business, can't really say and I highly doubt.

Take for example the system of language. It can create an incalculable number of expressions because recurrence is built into the its system. A sentence can be infinite and grammitcally correct as long as it follows the system rules. This happens to be the main reason why Artificial Language generation programs have yet to conquer an AI/Human equivalent language.
plot a sentence as such with a recurring Positional clause.
I saw ((((((the man) that was near the brook) that was out of town) by the cemetery) in Logan)over by the interstate.)

This recurrence can happen in any number of clauses, sub clauses etc... in every human language. It in effect takes a finite number of elements and manipulates a rule to make an infinite and given the constant evolution of language somewhat circular system.

Other things in physics and biology use much the same recurring systems.
So i would argue that reccurence is universal although i would argue that recurrence is in the system not in the exact representation of the system.
 

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