After looking around and reading a few reasons people give for being atheist, I've been quite surprised to find that nobody seems to share the reason that first made me an atheist. I've always thought it funny that people turn to religion to answer questions like where we came from, where the world came from, and what are purpose of life is. Most religions attribute such things to the presence of a creator of some sort, a supreme being that made everything. However, this idea has a serious flaw... what created the creator? What created existence in the first place? Why does anything exist? These are questions I've never been able to answer, and I doubt anyone ever will be able to.. not even religion. I was just wondering if anyone else had ever wondered about these things, and what they thought.
Dude: for the universe not to exist means there is absolutely nothing (all nothings are the same), anything at all (such as protons as big as beach balls), would be some variant of infinitely many universes.
In either case, there is a universe that exists, it may have a limited time span (whatever that would mean, since universe is space and time and stuff) but in some form it existed. Now I can't separate a universe that ceases to exist from the fact that it did exist, and in other time lines continues to exist. But I can only conceive of one way to have no universe, and that is no space, no time, and no stuff. If the universe doesn't exist, you can't even talk about how long it hasn't existed.
Doone: How can a non existing universe have a past? I think I understand what you and Dave are saying, but those universes you posit are not "No universe" there was something sometime somewhere. In "No Universe" there never was anything anytime anywhere. You are supposing that the universe is contained in a bag. The bag is either filled with stuff or it's empty. In "No universe" there isn't even a bag.
When you imagine this non universe that "contains nothing at this time", you are still giving it space and time (I imagine you have an image of blackness and floating freely in space). In a non existing universe, space and time don't exist either, no blackness, no floating, just NOTHING not even the absence of something, since something has never existed in the first place.
I will grant that, but that is not "no universe" that is an empty universe (the bag with nothing in it!) In No Universe there isn't even a bag with nothing in it, the bag cannot even exist. Nothing is a very difficult concept to grasp, we naturally substitute the absence of something but nothing is not even an absence.
I find myself frustrated because I know you and Dave to be very intelligent people, and I seem incapable of defining NOTHING in the way I understand it, that you can understand. Not your fault dude, the fault is within me, but I assure you that the Nothing universe I understand is the only one.
Ever read up on M-theory, Doug? Or brane theory? When postulating a multiverse (particularly multiversal theory that includes multiple universes possibly existing at the same time), you cannot assume that a single universe is all that there is.
I agree with that Dave, but our disagreement is over "No Universe" If there is no universe then you can't talk about other universes. I grant freely that infinitely many universes may exist, but there is only one way there can be "No Universe". You and Doone keep allowing time, you can't do that if there is no universe. You are talking about empty universes, which are very different from "no universes". You are looking into a bag and either seeing stuff or not seeing stuff, but in "No Universe" there is no bag to look into. The bag is full of space and time, but in "No Universe" there is no space nor time, and no bag to put it in.
You're still defining 'Universe' as 'absolutely everything that there is', which is not necessarily accurate when discussing multi-universal theory. In M-theory, for example, our universe is just one 'bubble' among many in the M dimension (which I think is the 13th, I'd have to check). The M dimension is your 'bag'. A similar concept exists in brane theory.
In either case, it's perfectly possible for one universe to not exist, while other universes do exist.
I didn't know universe had any other meaning Dave. Even if it is a multiverse each is a part of the whole. There may be parts that can never communicate with other parts and are therefore a universe unto themselves, but ultimately the Universe is composed of all of it, a meta verse if you want.
"it is perfectly possible for one universe to not exist"
meditate on the bag simile, the bag can contain everything that exists including a multiverse, the bag can contain nothing; an empty universe (how many empty universes could you have? The bag is empty, there are not pockets of emptiness just one big empty bag). But if there is no universe, there is no bag.
Now, you may be defining Universe in some way that I don't. Like Einstein's definition of God, even I can believe in that god, but that's not what I mean by god. My definition is the totality of all that is.
Once again I find myself arguing semantics! Sheesh!
Yep, it's semantics. And universe has come to have multiple meanings, simply because it has traditionally meant our own, personal universe (which was all we knew about and all we thought there was), and also 'absolutely everything'. And now that we suspect that our own, personal universe may not be all there there is, the word has split.
Multiverse is often used as the new 'all there is' term, as is cosmos or reality. I've heard metaverse, but less often. (And mostly in RPGs)