Can you comprehend FOREVER?

  • metalxracr

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    Aug 22, 2008 7:23 AM GMT
    I can't and for some reason it scares me. If I think of space, and time it scares me. I remember in church people would say aren't you excited that you could possibly live forever? and I would be so scared at the though because I can't comprehend it.

    I have to stop talking about this now because I'm starting to have a small panic attack!

    It's like a phobia my hands are shaking and sweaty.
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    Aug 22, 2008 8:13 AM GMT
    No, none of us can. And yet it is one of the most basic facts of our universe.

    We can put it in equations, put it in symbols, but our mind simply can not grasp the sheer reality of infinity.

    Which is why I find it laughable that humans would dare try to quantify and limit 'God' by making religions. An infinite being wouldn't give a shit if a man makes love to another man in the third planet of an ordinary Orange star in the arms of a regular galaxy in a Universe so vast (and space is probably infinitely vast) we can't even begin to understand how vast it is.

    We are merely a lifeform only taking the first steps in the technological race. Do you think we are really the chosen race of a being that designed the universe? Think of it - time, space, matter, the creator of photons, of black holes, of stars so massive they would stretch out to Jupiter's orbit, of things so bright they could be seen billions of light-years away, of gigantic gas clouds that envelope several entire stellar systems within them in what would be starless worlds, in galactic cores where stars are virtually rubbing shoulders with each other and darkness is an unknown thing, in the empty spaces in between galaxies where dark matter supposedly thrive and affect the movements of brilliant matter, of antimatter that when coming in contact with normal matter would release energy that would dwarf most nuclear explosions, of numbers that are a part of the space-time fabric like the simple Pi that describes the circle which has numbers that stretch out to infinity and yet never repeats itself or makes a pattern, of subatomic particles that appear and disappear out of existence in a span of milliseconds to god-knows-where... so on and so forth.

    So tell me, does any being who can make this be confined in a single book of several hundred pages?

    No.

    The great mystery is a great mystery. Nothing we can even IMAGINE can begin to bring light into it. And we have the arrogance to say that 'God made man in HIS image'?!! Oh my fucking god. If there is a God he wouldn't look anything remotely human. I doubt if even we have the ability to sense his presence, he may not even be in a dimension that we are part of. And note that we exist in only three - space, matter, and time. Earth or even the solar system would be nothing to him as a single quark in the atoms of one of our brain cells is nothing to us.

    Agnostics have it right. We don't KNOW. Not the pope, not Jesus, not the Dalai Lama, not the Caliphs, no one knows.

    I am atheist, not because I do not believe in something far greater than us but because I believe that ALL the religions of the world are bullshit, simply because of one reason: We can't comprehend Eternity, how dare we try to comprehend God?
  • Barricade

    Posts: 457

    Aug 22, 2008 12:51 PM GMT
    I agree with you Sedative. Very well said and that is coming from a Christian. icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 22, 2008 12:57 PM GMT
    Kant called this "the sublime"--it's the inability of the mind to grasp infinity, whether that's the infinite space of the universe or the infinite sequence of numbers.

    He argued that the sublime could be a source of a kind of terrifying pleasure, as the mind tries to form an image of something too big for it to comprehend.

    I would advise you to steer clear of oceans and high mountains--the Alps, in particular.
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    Aug 22, 2008 1:21 PM GMT
    I remember when I was younger I used to be terrified of death. Not because of the actual aspect of death, but that if you have an afterlife, you never get to die from it, and that would f'ing suck! So you pretty much spend your afterlife lasting to infinity. Lol. I was a weird kid.
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    Aug 22, 2008 1:26 PM GMT
    yeah.. forever is a long ass time and a long ass time im not sure about. whether its heaven or hell, earth or space, or energy or not, whatever it is you believe, wherever u end up it never ends. i just cant inagine. wherever it is though, i hope its fun because if it is not, it will totally suck LOL.
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    Aug 22, 2008 1:56 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidDon't think of it as forever. There is no concept of time in space for the nonphysical.

    I don't believe that when we die our minds are going to hold onto the concept of time and we'll all be sitting around saying, "Shit, these past 400 years floating around in space are really starting to bore me to tears." I don't think it will be anything like that.



    LOL... I certainly hope not.
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    Aug 22, 2008 2:19 PM GMT
    When I was young (around the time of the Crusades), I tried to imagine infinity.

    The best I could come up with was this mind game: I went outside at night to look at the sky, and then I focused in on the farthest, faintest star I could see. Then I mentally transported myself to that star, and repeated the process from THAT point. I did this a few times until my head started to ache.

    And then I went back inside and make a sandwich.
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Aug 22, 2008 2:25 PM GMT
    I just hope Eternity has a good gym.
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    Aug 22, 2008 2:45 PM GMT
    see forever

    I cant....

    Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
    see Obama pictures
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    Aug 22, 2008 2:49 PM GMT
    There is a folk story called "The Shepherd Boy" by the Brothers Grimm where a wise shepherd boy is brought to a king to answer three questions. The third question the king asks is "how many seconds of time are there in eternity?" To which the shepherd boy replies, "In Lower Pomerania is the Diamond Mountain, which is two miles (3 km) and a half high, two miles (3 km) and a half wide, and two miles (3 km) and a half in depth; every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on it, and when the whole mountain is worn away by this, then the first second of eternity will be over."
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    Aug 22, 2008 2:50 PM GMT


    Our Sedative said,

    "Which is why I find it laughable that humans would dare try to quantify and limit 'God' by making religions. An infinite being wouldn't give a shit if a man makes love to another man in the third planet of an ordinary Orange star in the arms of a regular galaxy in a Universe so vast (and space is probably infinitely vast) we can't even begin to understand how vast it is."

    .....which is why I absolutely adore atheists! Thanks Sed!

    signed, your favorite christian heretic,
    - Doug


    No I can't comprehend FOREVER, or the infinite, but I enjoy contemplating it!

    metalxracr, I sure sympathize. Attempting to comprehend it, I had a weightless feeling, much like an absence of up and down - interesting disorientation, probably because when I try truly comprehending something, my brain tries to imagine experiencing it...
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    Aug 22, 2008 2:53 PM GMT
    funny pictures
  • SuneFL

    Posts: 129

    Aug 22, 2008 2:56 PM GMT
    I'm not going to get into the religious-thing as many of you have touched-on my feelings and sentiments.

    I would never denigrate someone's views unless they wish harm to others.

    As for FOREVER...have FAITH and BELIEVE there's always more!
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:01 PM GMT
    peterstrong saidI sometimes used to groan at many of your cats

    dog
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:03 PM GMT


    jprichva says, "When I was young (around the time of the Crusades), I tried to imagine infinity."


    heh. Beat ya - pyramids for me.
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:04 PM GMT
    this'll make you see forever...

    Engrish picture of product package that says hyper wank device cornbrator ... I dont know...dont ask me .. icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:13 PM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantor's_diagonal_argument


    QUOTEThe diagonal argument shows that the set of real numbers is "bigger" than the set of integers.


    So apparently, there are some infinities (infinite sets) that are "bigger" than others. What fun.
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:17 PM GMT


    ....well, there goes gravity! That was quite the wade, Rune! I'm now wading around in eternity up to my knees.icon_eek.gif
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:24 PM GMT
    No. I am looking forward to sleeping for eternity. That is about the only way I will catch up on all the sleep I have missed during my lifetime (I figure I have a sleep deficit of 1,000+ hours a year).
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:28 PM GMT
    I was raised a Jehovah's Witness, so I understood the concept of "forever" from a young age. It's funny, my Mom is 82 years old and a devout JW, yet she is totally obsessed with death and dying. I tell her all the time "For someone who has taught me all my life about the thrill of living forever, you sure are obsessed with getting life over with!".icon_confused.gif
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:35 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidI love topics like these. However, it's best to talk about them in person because typing out every nuance, every detail would make my fingers fall off. I have so many thoughts racing through my mind at the possibilities.

    I think there are things that are forever but they are not of the physical world. But then again without the physical world there is no concept of time. Time is for the physical. So how do we then apply the concept of forever or eternal if matter from the physical world does not apply or that time does not apply to the nonphysical plane?
    So is energy physical? I would say that energy inhabits physical beings. But once the need for the physical life no longer is needed (ex. physical death of the body) then where does that energy go? Physicists believe that energy is finite. I believe this too. Perhaps this energy searches for another body to inhabit, hence...reincarnation? Hey it may sound hokey but it can't be anymore disproved than saying something like once you die that's it. There's nothing more. We can't go around proving the other person right or wrong. It certainly would be amazing to understand the laws of the universe. I think if we did we'd be so much more evolved and our focus would radically change.


    First off, damn you metalxracr for this topic.... I hate the concept of forever and I can feel my lips going numb from the stress of thinking about it. I spent my childhood praying in church to NOT go to heaven because infinity is my worst nightmare.

    About the concept of energy being finite. Yes, this is true.. however , energy can become unusable. Like food that is left to spoil. The energy the food COULD give is potentially less valuable if it is left in a plastic container only to rot. Or a match that just blows out instead of lighting a candle becomes useless to you. I think this is where I find the practice of spirituality fascinating. For example.
    When my father died in June I sat at the funeral staring at his ashes and listening to the prayers and well wishes and hopes etc. I wasn't sure what I felt but I knew that I did not want his or that energy to become unusable. If we had denied the possibility of anything beyond this life and plain of existence, his and their energy would become unusable to me. If I channeled all of the energy that was within the walls of the church that day into possibility and action, it would sustain whatever energy was there. I may be wrong, but I think it is what got me through those days.... a conscious effort to channel that energy back into the universe as something useful and infinite. I think this is something most of us felt collectively during 9/11. All of that energy was palpable.
    I think you can be an atheist and believe this , maybe? but then there wouldn't be a church humming with energy either..
    I don't know where the dead are, but it is just as true that I don't even know where we are. Whatever the universe is, we see so little of it , in its depth and complexity that even that TINY bit is too much for us to comprehend.


    (90% of the universe is dark matter and whoever discovers what this matter is will likely radically shift the laws that we presume to know about the universe).
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    Aug 22, 2008 3:39 PM GMT
    smalltownboy saidI was raised a Jehovah's Witness, so I understood the concept of "forever" from a young age. It's funny, my Mom is 82 years old and a devout JW, yet she is totally obsessed with death and dying. I tell her all the time "For someone who has taught me all my life about the thrill of living forever, you sure are obsessed with getting life over with!".icon_confused.gif


    JW's are not afraid of dying because they believe they will be brought back in the end times. It's nice to think that a person can rest in the grave until the end of the world, then be brought back to life in a perfect world. Somehow it seems to me like cheating, to not make it through armegaddon and still acheive the ultimate reward of everlasting life.

    Also being raised a JW, I think that's why I don't really morn death. I miss the person, sure. But I believe in my subconcience that I will see them again. It makes loss easier to handle. I was always told that death was not forever, that we would see that person again.

    another way one can look at "forever" is to watch the movie A.I. I love the end of that movie. Maybe it's easier to think in terms of never rather than forever.
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    Aug 22, 2008 4:08 PM GMT
    Has anyone read or even just seen Carl Sagan's Contact? That had pretty thought provoking imagery about 'God' and eternity.
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    Aug 23, 2008 12:29 AM GMT
    Sedative saidHas anyone read or even just seen Carl Sagan's Contact? That had pretty thought provoking imagery about 'God' and eternity.


    Yes! I loved the movie and agree about the imagery. As for the poster, I grew up in a religious family too. Going to church and being told we would all be together forever was the SCARIEST thought EVER!!! I don't fear death, but I have no idea what 'Forever' must be like. In any case, I don't worry about it. I just hope that I can find someone special to spend it with.