|In monotheism it is normal to think of God as the first cause, and this has been used as an argument for the existence of God. But this just moves the question back a step. We can now ask, “What was God doing before the universe was created?” If we answer, “God was always there.” Then we could save a step, by saying the universe was always here. Or, if we say “God created himself.” We could instead say the universe created itself, and again save a step. Or, if we say “Time began when the universe began.” we could make the same claim without God. Thus saying, “God did it.” just provides a convenient place to stop asking questions, it does not answer anything. By the principle called Ockham’s razor, we should just eliminate God in this case, since the universe is equally explicable without an external God. Thus the cosmological argument for the existance of God fails.
However, if we could argue that the universe had a first moment, and we rejected the idea that everything could spring from nothing, then we would at least have an argument for something outside of this universe. Can we reject the idea of infinite time?
There is a common argument against infinite time, that goes like this. “There can’t be an infinite number of steps in time leading up to today, because it is never possible to reach infinity.” The answer to this is that an analogy is being made between time and distance. It is impossible to cover an infinite distance, it is claimed. But of course, one can cover an infinite distance in an infinite time. Some will also claim that there is no place to start, so there is no way to measure anything. This is flawed as well. The situation is very much like a number line. We are at point zero, the present. There are an infinite number of negative numbers, or past events behind us, and an infinite number of future events, or positive numbers, ahead of us.
Both a "first moment", and an infinite regression seem to be possibilities.
If we do postulate a universe infinite in time and space, this brings up an interesting question. If the universe goes through cycles, will it eventually repeat? Might there be identical earths far away in time and space? For this we have to look at quantum phenomena.
As I pointed out in the section on quantum mechanics, a quantum event may be influenced by another one that happens simultaneously at a distance. That is, instant action at a distance is possible in the quantum world. However, these other events may also depend on other more distant events. In the end, the result is that any quantum event may be dependent, for its resolution, on an infinite number of other events stretched across infinite space.
Now, there are some ways around this. First we could reject some of the laws of logic, like the excluded middle, that states something can not simultaneously be both “A” and “not A”. But, assuming we reject those other alternatives, we have a universe that is deeply interconnected.
If the universe were not interconnected, in this manner, then we could guarantee that over vast distances of time and space everything would eventually have to repeat. That is the universe would have a finite complexity. However, if the universe is interconnected, as we have described, then there is no guarantee of repetition, although, it may still be quite likely. Here again, we can give no definitive answer.
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