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Author Topic: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent  (Read 4428 times)

Eastling

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Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« on: May 21, 2016, 07:26:05 pm »
"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit." (Everything changes; nothing perishes.) -- Ovid

"Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back." -- Bruce Springsteen

A lot of religions and philosophies are based in the idea of cycles--that things endlessly wax and wane, die and return and die again. Science and the natural world often seems to support this.

On the other hand, many cosmologies and philosophies also suggest that people and things in general have degraded since Creation and continue to do so. Again, you can find support for this in science.

So we have two opposing concepts here: the idea that existence is a tight, eternal loop (perhaps one that looks something like ∞), and the idea that existence is an ever-widening entropic gyre that will someday dissolve.

There's one more possibility: existence is an ever-rising spiral cycling its way around to some higher apotheosis. That things improve instead of worsen, ascend instead of decline. This seems relatively rare in religion and philosophy, but it crops up now and again. You can argue that the same is true for science too.

Which is reflected in your belief systems? How is the issue dealt with there? What other metaphysical paradoxes does it touch upon?
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Faemon

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 09:25:58 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;191600
Which is reflected in your belief systems? How is the issue dealt with there? What other metaphysical paradoxes does it touch upon?

 I have this idea I call the cycle singularity, and that's similar to enthropic infinity described, it's cosmic. This doesn't mean that value judgment has no place, but a smaller place, psychological and social rather than cosmic, and value judgments are important precisely because they're small.
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Skumring

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 10:09:08 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;191600
"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit." (Everything changes; nothing perishes.) -- Ovid

"Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back." -- Bruce Springsteen

A lot of religions and philosophies are based in the idea of cycles--that things endlessly wax and wane, die and return and die again. Science and the natural world often seems to support this.

On the other hand, many cosmologies and philosophies also suggest that people and things in general have degraded since Creation and continue to do so. Again, you can find support for this in science.

So we have two opposing concepts here: the idea that existence is a tight, eternal loop (perhaps one that looks something like ∞), and the idea that existence is an ever-widening entropic gyre that will someday dissolve.

There's one more possibility: existence is an ever-rising spiral cycling its way around to some higher apotheosis. That things improve instead of worsen, ascend instead of decline. This seems relatively rare in religion and philosophy, but it crops up now and again. You can argue that the same is true for science too.

Which is reflected in your belief systems? How is the issue dealt with there? What other metaphysical paradoxes does it touch upon?


My belief system is sort of straightforward with this. It's a creation/destruction/creation cycle. We're all here to learn the lessons we must in order for our and our clan/tribe's soul to grow.

Now, there is a caveat. I'm notr sure if you knew this but some of latest ideas coming out now say that reality may be far more individualized than science has up to now allowed for. Basically, if you believe it, then it will e true - for you.

If that is indeed the case then yes - the universe does indeed revolve around you. Though I think that the effect is likely limited as terrible things still happen to people. The universe still wants us to learn and grow stronger, after all, and that can't happen without grief and struggle.

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 05:40:50 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;191600

many cosmologies and philosophies also suggest that people and things in general have degraded since Creation and continue to do so. Again, you can find support for this in science.

 
This assumes that Creation occurred some time in the far past; I disagree.

In my view, the future does not exist, and the past does exist and cannot be unmade; creation is happening right now, which we experience as the present. This moment never existed before, but from now on, it always will have happened.  

(There was a thread a while back about the nature of space-time, where I described time as a growing crystal.)

Of course, since humans are able to choose what does and does not happen, we are active participants in creation (scary thought!)

I don't know if the universe will grow into the future forever, or eventually stop; but if it does end, it won't be because the universe is degraded or dissolved, but because it is completed.

Lana288

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 07:54:53 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;191600
"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit." (Everything changes; nothing perishes.) -- Ovid

"Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back." -- Bruce Springsteen

A lot of religions and philosophies are based in the idea of cycles--that things endlessly wax and wane, die and return and die again. Science and the natural world often seems to support this.

On the other hand, many cosmologies and philosophies also suggest that people and things in general have degraded since Creation and continue to do so. Again, you can find support for this in science.

So we have two opposing concepts here: the idea that existence is a tight, eternal loop (perhaps one that looks something like ∞), and the idea that existence is an ever-widening entropic gyre that will someday dissolve.

There's one more possibility: existence is an ever-rising spiral cycling its way around to some higher apotheosis. That things improve instead of worsen, ascend instead of decline. This seems relatively rare in religion and philosophy, but it crops up now and again. You can argue that the same is true for science too.

Which is reflected in your belief systems? How is the issue dealt with there? What other metaphysical paradoxes does it touch upon?

 
This is actually really interesting to me, because the foundation of my religious work has a lot to do with cycles and motion and how I maintain Ma'at for myself despite the movement of the world.

What I think is that everything is in a constant state of decline. From that, I think that maintaining ma'at is all about working to build things up despite the decline, or slowing it down, or sometimes speeding it up. (It's a theory that's pretty heavily influenced by Diane Duane's "Young Wizards" books. In my defense, those books are really, really deep. :eek: )

I definitely don't think things improve on their own. That doesn't make any sense to me. I don't think it really bears out in real life; once people stop paying attention to things, ultimately those things collapse. (And, of course, this can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what you're going for.)

Lana288

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 07:57:22 pm »
Quote from: Skumring;191767
Now, there is a caveat. I'm notr sure if you knew this but some of latest ideas coming out now say that reality may be far more individualized than science has up to now allowed for. Basically, if you believe it, then it will e true - for you.

 
I'm really curious about this. Do you have any links or resources I could check out to learn about it?

Skumring

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 09:00:02 am »
Quote from: Ian288;191855
I'm really curious about this. Do you have any links or resources I could check out to learn about it?

 
It'd take me a while to pull together the links since I didn't save them. However, I do recall that Michio Kaku touched on this briefly in his book Physics of the Impossible. I'll see if I can find you a few tonight when I get home and post them here.

Skumring

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 09:58:55 pm »
Quote from: Skumring;191886
It'd take me a while to pull together the links since I didn't save them. However, I do recall that Michio Kaku touched on this briefly in his book Physics of the Impossible. I'll see if I can find you a few tonight when I get home and post them here.

 
So, I can't find the originals just yet, but I did find some others on the same subject to get you started.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm

This one's a bit new-agey for my tastes but I'm including it anyway as one should have a variety of sources:

http://2divineways.com/Spiritual-Wisdom/Quantum-Physics-Consciousness-Shift.html

And then:

http://www-physics.lbl.gov/~stapp/jcs.txt

Hope this gives you a good start!

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 11:09:15 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;191600
"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit." (Everything changes; nothing perishes.) -- Ovid

"Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back." -- Bruce Springsteen


 
I prefer it phrased in a way that has a mathematical lineage:
"Eadem mutata resurgo"

...which are the last words spoken by Night, a transformative god (to oversimplify him greatly), as he ascends at the end of my myth cycle, to start the cycle anew.

Entropy is constantly tearing at things, and yet despite this irresistible principle, order--systems of ever increasing complexity--blossom in our universe on various scales. For me, that goes to the heart of the wonder and mystery of existence.
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Lana288

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2016, 07:03:36 pm »
Quote from: Skumring;191915
So, I can't find the originals just yet, but I did find some others on the same subject to get you started.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm

This one's a bit new-agey for my tastes but I'm including it anyway as one should have a variety of sources:

http://2divineways.com/Spiritual-Wisdom/Quantum-Physics-Consciousness-Shift.html

And then:

http://www-physics.lbl.gov/~stapp/jcs.txt

Hope this gives you a good start!

 
Thanks so much! :) I really like the first one especially.

Skumring

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2016, 07:30:19 pm »
Quote from: Ian288;192005
Thanks so much! :) I really like the first one especially.

 
You're very welcome. I'm glad to have been of assistance.

Eastling

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2016, 03:21:18 pm »
Quote from: Altair;191917
I prefer it phrased in a way that has a mathematical lineage:
"Eadem mutata resurgo"

...which are the last words spoken by Night, a transformative god (to oversimplify him greatly), as he ascends at the end of my myth cycle, to start the cycle anew.

 
Fascinating! Especially given that I've been working with building aspects of my practice out of the Ancient Near Eastern dying-and-rising god.
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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2016, 04:28:24 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;192037
Fascinating! Especially given that I've been working with building aspects of my practice out of the Ancient Near Eastern dying-and-rising god.

 
It seems to me that the only belief systems which favor an ultimate end to all things or with a final end of paradise/hell are the Middle Eastern ones and Atheism. Is this actually the case or are there a few I haven't heard of before now?

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2016, 06:53:41 pm »
Quote from: Skumring;192041
It seems to me that the only belief systems which favor an ultimate end to all things or with a final end of paradise/hell are the Middle Eastern ones and Atheism.

 
Insofar as atheism can be considered a 'belief system', its sole tenet is 'does not believe in the existence of deity/ies'.

I suppose that, in imputing an 'ultimate end to all things' as part of atheism, you must be referring to the heat death of the universe, but that's not a tenet of a belief system; it's a scientific hypothesis, one of several competing hypotheses about the future of the physical universe. Atheists are under no compulsion to favor any particular one of these hypotheses, and physicists are not required to be atheistic.

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Re: Entropy vs. infinity, and decline vs. ascent
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2016, 09:30:23 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;192050
Insofar as atheism can be considered a 'belief system', its sole tenet is 'does not believe in the existence of deity/ies'.

I suppose that, in imputing an 'ultimate end to all things' as part of atheism, you must be referring to the heat death of the universe, but that's not a tenet of a belief system; it's a scientific hypothesis, one of several competing hypotheses about the future of the physical universe. Atheists are under no compulsion to favor any particular one of these hypotheses, and physicists are not required to be atheistic.

Sunflower

 
Actually, I was referring to the belief that when we die we cease to exist since Atheists tend to disbelieve in any sort of afterlife.

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