I need to ask this. What does everyone think of the words "Infinity" and "Perfection"?

Infinity:  Does it exist?  Mathematicians use infinity in their calculations ... but doesn't it usually imply something more like 'every possible number / term imaginable' ... so they don't have to plug in zillions of numbers? I contend that infinity does not exist in any sort of reality.  I think anyone that claims they DO understand infinity , or can conceptualize it is using more of a: "This is really really really really really really really LARGE number , or Universal Space is really really really really really really BIG"

 

Perfection:  How can this possibly exist?  I believe Perfection is subjective.  I also believe it isn't actually real. There is no such thing as "Perfect Love" , or a "Perfect car".  What is perfect to one , may not be perfect to another ... therefore Perfection just means "Something a person really really really really really thinks is better than another similar idea / object related to it ..."

 

This may help me understand some things a bit better.

 

 

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As a concept, infinity certainly exists. It's the amount of all the integers. Some infinities are countable (all the integers) some are uncountable (all the real numbers).

 

Of course, outside of the abstractness of mathematics, infinity doesn't seem to exist at all. Physicists seem to believe that a 'real' infinity is impossible. On the other hand, cosmologists are unsure whether or not the universe ITSELF is infinite. We're hoping to get measurements in the next few years that will help narrow that down.

 

But all this rolls back to the mathematical concept of infinity.

Infinity is tiny compared to uncountably many.  How about a perfect circle?

isn't a 'perfect circle' the same thing as just giving the equation of a circle? We already know a circle is a circle. Just like a 'perfect' square has 4 sides of equal length. But I think the term 'perfect' is being used to describe something that matches up with it's mathematical equation.

Isn't string theory a set of mathematical equations?  Of course you can set up mathematical equations that suggest laws of another universe - or probabilities that other universes could exist just like our own ... but how do we know the string theory equations point to reality outside of the equation itself?

 

I thought our Universe was a CLOSED system?

I thought our Universe was a CLOSED system?

 

And so do many others.  But, I have heard other theories dealing with the heat death of our universe resulting in a big bang.  Once heat death ensues, time ceases to exist.  Infinity "happens" and all possibilities, including something from nothing, are very likely.  Well, it is something that I heard on the SGU and I thought it was fascinating.  As the famous quote goes (I think), not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine".

Thanks, Doone!  I knew I didn't have it quite right.  That sounds much more familiar to my ears.

You're right that the human mind can't conceptualize infinity.  We're simply not wired for it, as there was no evolutionary need for such a thing.  That being said, our lack of ability to comprehend something does not preclude its existence (I know, same argument could be made for gods, but at least we have some math to back up infinity, lol).  So, it's quite possible that actual infinity DOES exist (multiverse theory being one example).

 

As for perfection, such a thing cannot truly exist because, unlike infinity, what is "perfect" is a subjective concept.  What you consider perfect, I might consider very flawed.

Galen, good point.  Not only are we not wired to handle infinity, we can't even handle a modest number like a billion.

Infinity: Unimaginable.

 

Perfection - subjective in some senses, but still has practical purposes.  Something can be perfectly round, or perfectly uniform in color.

Even things we might define as perfect (perfectly round, perfectly uniform color) are actually not, if you just look at them closely enough.  A perfectly round sphere, for example, will have microscopic imperfections in its surface, rendering more like a piece of clay rolled around in your hand with cracks and craters all over it and thus not perfectly round :)

 

(I'm such a downer, just shooting down everybody's ideas, lol, just slap me)

   I tend to agree Galen. The appearance of perfection falls by the wayside when one looks closely enough. Perfectly smooth or perfectly flat are ideal, un-achievable concepts. One can visualize perfection, one cannot achieve it.

   Subjectively, perfect is in the eye of the beholder. Perfect to me may be horribly flawed to you.   

 

I can conceptualise infinity - just not as a 'whole' but there isn't really any need for that. And no I don't mean it as "really, ad nauseum, really big" - I mean I have no problem grasping the concept of infinity in an abstract sense. But that is neither here nor there - the concept in my head does not mean that there actually exists something that is infinite. Of that I have no knowledge.

 

Perfection: I would think that if perfection is subjective then it subjectively exists. But perfection is merely an abstract - a way of describing something that fulfils a specific ideal. It no more exists in reality than does the number 4.

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