One facet of non-belief still leaves me puzzled. No one has discussed this before, at least I have not seen it. The two terrifying aspects of the universe. What if there is absolutely no end to it, the other being, what if there IS an end. I find no problem wrapping my mind around there is no Theist God, all the evidence is there. But how can we, at our un-evolved state, grasp the immensity of a non-ending, or ending universe without clinging to inbred superstitious awe of some immense other power or force. I wldome your comments and advice.

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I have no idea what you mean. I find it totally easy to understand that something is finite without any superstition. My life and the heat life of the universe, ending in my death and the heat death of the universe respectively, are finite,and I understand that just fine without superstitions.
I wonder what it is that is terrifying?
If it is infinite, then that is gorgeous! If it is finite, it is so vast in comparison to us, that it may well never be fully seen or explored by humans. Perhaps your brain is seeing the many beautiful possibilities?
I find no terror, unrest or inbred superstitious awe in the either infinite or the finite universe...or multiverse should that hypothesis play out. The fear of the unknown is part of reason we have make believe deities in the first place. FOD, do we fancy ourselves a "deist"?
Terrifying? Shirley you jest? For us, here and now it is, at best, a philosophical question. The universe may end - somehow, or it may continue - in some form, forever. Either way, what possible relavence could it have to beings such as we, whose existence, both individually and as a species, is the merest flicker? If it does end it will only be many billions of years after we have ended.
I think I have stated my thought with the wrong words. I am not a believer in the mystical or god like entities. Lobo made an excellent point, it really does not matter either way to us with our short time here. I just was pondering the concept of traveling for eternity and still having a long way to go. Mind boggling but you are all right "not terrifying". I thank you for you comments, but most of all, am thankful that we have the Nexus to allow us to express ourselves. thanks all
"The two terrifying aspects of the universe. What if there is absolutely no end to it, the other being, what if there IS an end. "

Why? do you feel you would fly off forever? or possibly your second option is smacking into a wall or falling off the edge? I don't want to make light of your concern, but personally I don't think about the Universe much.

I do think about my local environment & how we are having fish and bird die offs in our lakes, and the fact that the tent catepillars have eaten the leaves from hundreds of acres of our forests locally (literally!) the universe is the least of my worries, but hey thats just me.

As far as being un-evolved I think some might evolve to survive the toxic environment we have created in the past 150 years and I need no "inbred superstitious awe" to appreciate the beauty of a storm or the changing seasons or appreciating the fact that occasionally I get to see the northern lights.

Be good, be kind and enjoy the moment, thats really all we have.
I have given the universe a lot of thought, spent many many hours reading on all sorts of phenomena, theories, physics, and formed my own ideas and opinions based on them. I had more or less concluded that it is finite, although the edge could not be reached due to the rate of expansion and the edge not being quite like the edge of, say, a bubble of air.
Not to long ago, however, I got a new insight while working on a short essay for mathematics which has led me to adjust my view; the universe would appear to simultaneously be finite and infinite. I will attempt to explain.

I would considered it to be finite for at least one of two reasons, namely that it won't be around forever (although "forever" is an interesting and debatable notion and might not even really apply), and/or that the "volume" it resides in is of finite size, although not technically a volume, as the "exterior" of the universe lacks spacial dimension, but if it had, the universe would be measurable. The reasons for it not being around forever would be theories such as the Big Crunch or the Big Freeze (which I think would also result in a type of crunch as the energy would have become too thin-spread to sustain the dimensional structure of the universe, causing utter collapse of existence "as we know it"). I do not believe the universe could reach a stable state, and even if it did, it wouldn't be any different from not existing to anything contained within it.

Now comes the infinite part.. Simply put, as seen from the inside, the universe is infinite in size. That is to say, one could travel an infinite distance in a straight line and never reach the edge and without travelling in circles, as the result of the nature of space. The easiest way to explain this is by referring to non-Euclidean geometry, esp. hyperbolic geometry. Even disregarding the curvature of space, one could draw a circle, a disc to represent the universe in 2D (about trying it in 3D, I have only one suggestion: don't). Any line on this disc, running from one side to the other, is infinite. This is because due to the nature of space, the ratio of the distance measured on the disc to the actual distance changes away from 1:1 as one moves away from the centre (that is to say, there is no comprehensible centre, because of the inverse of what follows next) but approaches 1:infinity as one nears the edge of the disc. This doesn't mean we reside in the area around the centre, just that it takes some seriously advanced maths to calculate the actual distance between two points in space, vaguely similar to determining the distance on two points on a flat map of the earth, except that the earth is spherical, whereas space is inversely spherical, which in turn requires a lot more complicated maths and makes it significantly more difficult, if not impossible, to draw an approximation onto a flat map.

I hope this was somewhat comprehensible and/or useful. I'd like to think I comprehend it all quite well, but I know of myself that I can say a lot without clearly getting my point across.
Incidentally, I need to give a 10 minute comprehensible presentation on non-Euclidean geometry in a few days, so I suppose I'll consider this good practice!
Methis, wow, you have me boggled, and thats good. You express the very complicated in an understandable way. of course!! you're a teacher.
Amer, this in fact was my first question, then a very wise Atheist suggested, "who cares", I share his belief (pardon the pun) that with our lowly evolved brains, we are trying to sove the mystery of existance with a 3 megabite mind, when we need a billion terrabite one or more. Be satisfied that the idea of a celestial dictator is rediculous and enjoy the life you have, free from fear, superstition and stress. Go to You Tube and watch 8 or 10 Christopher Hitchens videos, that will help a lot. good luck and thank you for responding
Christopher Hitchens is one of our leading intelligentsia, who's views of both religion and the universe are great fun to watch. He, by the way, also wrote the (millions sold) best seller "God is Not Great" "Religion poisons everything" I just thought you might find him interesting.......dear
On the end-ability of the Universe I cannot comment much. I only know what I have read and not much more.

On the horror of either outcome, I can share an opinion. For me, I have the same Epicurean response that I have to my own unavoidable end: that it does me no good to fear it because whatever the result, it will happen and I have no power over it; what's more when it does happen (or doesn't as the case may be) I will no longer be around to experience the 'end' so worry isn't merited.

There are several theories on how it will all end:
If there is no end, the Universe will approach absolute zero long after all of the stars have collapsed, after the planets have fallen out of orbit. All matter will be consumed by black holes that will then dissipate their energy into the Universe as photons and all that will be left of all of this is discrete, low energy photons.

The other theory is the Membrane Theory where, when two universe membranes collide, there will be another big bang event that restarts the cycle. As for the contribution of the Membrane Theory to the "end or no end" discussion, it's a bit of a non-starter as one must then ask whether or not the membranous system will end or not.

Truly fascinating, but not anything to fret about. :)
Ah, but should attention not be given to the nature of existence also? After all, if weren't for people looking at things other than the more worldly problems, we would've never developed flight, or understood the physics behind buoyancy, or even have running water.
Without dreamers and theorists, we would stagnate ;)


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