Getting Deep

I love stories. I spend as much of my time as possible immersed in a book, game, or movie, placing myself in a sort of “safe” reality. In books and movies, I know everything will work out in the end, and no damage will come to me physically. In games, I am in control of the story, and I can change the difficulty, giving me the power to overcome any obstacle. Also, the stakes are low: if I lose, I can just start over and learn from my mistakes—the game doesn’t matter.

So when, like me, you constantly dwell in these false realities (I personally prefer books, but games are more relevant to this discussion), it becomes very easy to let the entertainment mindset bleed over into the real world. I have found myself deciding, without even thinking, to take a break and come back after I’ve thought awhile—except you can’t take a break from life. Sometimes I get frustrated with something in my life, and my mind will tell me it doesn’t have to be that hard: just drop the difficulty and blow the obstacle to smithereens. I have even found myself getting so tired of aspects of life that I want to just give up, “lose,” and start over.

Except you can’t do any of these things with life. Time floats on, whether you want it to or not. You can’t pause the game of life. There are no checkpoints in life. There is no respawn in life. There is only one difficulty setting: hard. And if all of that wasn’t pressure enough, life actually matters. And you only get one shot.

But there is hope, because we are not playing to win. Our object is not the accumulation of wealth or our own personal happiness. No, our object is to do the Lord’s bidding. When you wreck your car and can’t afford a replacement, take heart: Jesus didn’t need a car to do His Father’s bidding. When your house catches fire and all your wealth and pride is devastated, take heart, for your life has not been in vain. When depression strikes, your happiness is destroyed, and you lose your hope for the world, take heart, for you are not here to be happy. You are not losing at life when you are unhappy. You are not losing at life when you can’t get a girl or see how you will fit in the world. Only give up your own desires and plans, obey your General, and you will find purpose, identity, and fulfillment.

Life is not a game.

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Some More Thoughts on Relativity

I admit it, I’m a terrible blogger. At least I am when life happens. Which it kind of always does. Otherwise, I, you know, wouldn’t have one. But if I can’t keep up with a consistent posting schedule, the least I can do is follow up on a promised post. Unfortunately I haven’t done any of the math-work on the promised Special Relativity post (I’ve had enough school to do without calculating a new definition of motion), but I can update you on my discoveries about General Relativity.

As I mentioned in my last post (over two months ago…), I had a chance to talk to Korean physicist Min Seong Lee about my ideas on relativity, and what he had to say enlightened me in a few ways, both positive and negative.

First, it turns out that the problem I found in relativity is actually only a problem in the oversimplification of the theory that is used to explain it to high schoolers. To recap, my problem with the theory was that a simple warp in space time would cause particles to curve in observed space, but not at all in the way we see gravity behaving, and it would never accelerate a particle from a stationary position relative to the space-time. To solve this problem, I proposed that instead of mass warping space-time, space-time moves towards mass. What Min Seong pointed out to me is that, while a particle may be stationary relative to the three dimensions of space, no particle is ever stationary relative to time. Time is always flowing, providing the moving dimension that I proposed was necessary to create motion within space. I am still not sure entirely how this works, even though he showed me an equation that demonstrated how moving time acceleration (or if I did, I have forgotten my understanding in the months it has taken me to get this written down).

Now, the happy part of this is that, because of the moving time aspect and some of the math involved, my idea is basically just another way to say what already existed in the theory, so while I wasn’t the first to come up with this idea (though maybe the first to state it the way I did), my idea was, in fact, correct (or at least mostly so). While I may be merely following in the footsteps of minds greater than mine, it is still exciting to follow their footsteps with my own mind, rather than getting pushed along the path in a stroller. Textbooks are great for learning things, and I would never have been able to discover what I have without the foundation they gave me, but there is nothing like discovering cool science stuff for yourself.

Logical Proof of God’s Existence

I will start with the assumption that logic itself is valid, because as a human being I cannot do otherwise. There is technically no reason whatsoever to make this assumption, because if logic is invalid, then logic could be both valid and invalid with no contradiction whatsoever, because any contradiction would be solely a logical contradiction, and logic is invalid. To argue that logic “makes sense,” or that we see it happening all around us, and that it agrees with the outside world are all simply begging the question. These arguments use logic to prove that logic is valid, but if logic itself is on trial, logic cannot be entered into evidence. However, if logic is invalid, both sides of this argument fall apart, and I have no clue whatsoever of how to proceed with an argument if logic is invalid, so it must be assumed, if for no other purpose than for the sanity of the human race.

Thus, starting from logic alone, we know that either the universe exists or it does not. There is no third alternative. We perceive that the universe exists. If the universe exists, then either it has always existed or it has not. If the universe has always existed, either nothing has ever happened or every conceivable possible occurrence has already occurred an infinite number of times, and the mere thought of a “present” is mere nonsense, because there is no way to point to a specific point along an infinite line as viewed, theoretically, in its entirety. Infinity is infinity, and any finitude associated with it is simply nonsense. An infinite yet changeable being is thus a nonsensical construction (sorry Hindus). Thus, the universe must have had a beginning.

Now, so far, I have only proven that which is already commonly accepted, or at least given lip service to. However, the evolutionary hypothesis is that a tiny speck (presumably a singularity) once contained all mass in the universe, and it exploded into the universe. This returns us to the argument of finitude or infinity: either this singularity has existed for eternity or it has not. If it has, then the Big Bang has happened an infinite number of times (we can say for certain that it didn’t not happen, because the world exists), and the thought of “this particular occurrence,” and thus a “present,” and therefore time in general, is completely meaningless. If it hasn’t, then the logical law of causality states that something else must have caused it. If this singularity represents the entirety of the universe at this point (which it both does by hypothesis and must, due to the previous argument of finitude and infinitude, which I will not repeat yet again), then this cause must be outside of the universe. In this case, there is really no point in developing the idea of the Big Bang, because there must still be a “super-natural” cause of the universe.

So the universe is finite, with a beginning and end, and as such requires that something have created it. Now, I could stop there, and just leave it as yet another modified version of the law of causality, but all this has actually just been setup for the “real” thing I have been trying to get to: this whole argument applies to any object to which time can be applied. If a thing is temporal, it is either eternal and unchangeable (in which case it also could not affect anything outside of itself, because that would require it change–it would have to be a completely passive object, completely disconnected from the outside world, and it is strongly questionable that such a concept even makes sense to coexist with any other entity, unless every other entity with which it coexists is precisely such as it), or it is finite, in which case it had a cause. Thus, the fact that the universe exists today means that it had a first cause, and that first cause must, by necessity, be outside of time, or it itself would need a cause. Thus, the mere existence of the universe, or even my own existence as a being (apart from any sensory data, just the raw fact that cogito ergo sum) requires the existence of a being that exists outside of time, that created this universe. And any being that creates a self-contained universe will, automatically, have complete and total control and knowledge of everything that occurs within that universe (think of an author writing a book: nothing happens in a book without the author’s knowledge, consent, and active causing, and if the author stops writing the book, the universe in the books simply ceases to exist at the point at which the author stopped writing).

Conclusion: the universe is finite, God exists and created the universe, He is outside of time and the universe, and He is omnipotent and omniscient with regard to the universe.

I could go on to derive other characteristics of God, but I will stop there, because that is all that comes to me spontaneously, without me specifically trying to intuit other characteristics of the Author Being.

 

Time Theory

My favorite genre of pretty much anything (books, movies, TV shows, etc.) is science fiction, which shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the subject of this blog. I particularly enjoy the ones in which time travel is a main theme.  However, every time I watch anything with time travel, I just try to accept its theory of time travel, because there are so many theories, and they all have problems.  So I was talking about this to a friend, and he encouraged me to make my own time theory, so that is what I am doing.  This is by no means set in stone for me, and I would love to talk about it in the forums.

The first order of business would be paradoxes. This is dangerous ground to tread, because they cannot exist, but time is not an entity than can prevent them.  So what do we do?  Well, let’s think about time as a set of dimensions. It is common to think of time as a fourth dimension, but what I am suggesting is, if only for argument’s sake, to think of it as a fourth and fifth dimension, so that basically, time has its own “timeline.” Every time a paradox is created, a change is made in time, and it moves time a little further along its timeline.

Another way to think of this is that every time a paradox is created, an alternate universe is created for that paradox to happen in. If this is the case, if a paradox creates a parallel universe, which universe does the creator of the paradox end up in? Well, the time traveler left his spot in time and moved to a different spot. If he then travels to the future, it will be his future that he travels to, which would be the future of whatever universe/dimension he leaves to go to the future. Thus, if he makes any changes to the future while he is in the past, his future will contain the effects of those changes. Therefore, if the time traveler creates a paradox, he is stuck in the version of the universe with that paradox. Following this line of reasoning, since the very existence of a time traveler in the his own past inherently makes some changes, however minute, to the world the time traveler left, it would be impossible to return to the exact universe you left. You might return to the same spot in your life, and you might not even notice any changes, but you would not be the same you your friends knew. As far as the world around you is concerned, a version of you left, and a version of you may or may not have come back, depending on the extent to which you changed the past, but the you that came back is slightly different from the one you left. Another facet of this is that there will be some versions of reality that have multiple copies of a certain time traveler (because the time traveler’s adventures in the past caused his future version to never time travel, thus leaving two copies of the same person in the universe) and other versions in which the time traveler left and never came back (because no version of the time traveler changed the past of this version of the time traveler to cause him to leave, thus the time traveler essentially dies to his family and friends when he leaves for the past.

There are a few fascinating things to note about this hypothesis:

  1. Each universe would be either
    1. full of perceived paradoxes, because the people who caused the paradoxes would be from a different version of the universe, so the paradox actually contradicts nothing, or
    2. completely devoid of paradoxes, but full of random people appearing out of nowhere. I am not sure which of these would happen
  2. Circular reasoning within time (going back in time and causing yourself to go back in time and cause yourself to go back in time, etc) is no longer a paradox, because every time you go back in time you enter a different universe. What would likely happen is that each iteration of time travel would produce a slightly different result, until the apparent circle reveals itself as a tight spiral within the overall timeline of time.
  3. Time travel would be very dangerous: not for you, but for those who know you. Depending on the history of your universe (whether there was a version of you that entered in the past who left his present under similar circumstances as you), you may or may not come back to those who care about you. Also, depending on how much you change (and/or how much the other version of you that entered your past changed) in the past, the friends that you come back to will be different than the ones you left (or the version of you that comes back to your friends will be different than the one that left)
  4. The existence of each new version of the timeline is dependent upon each previous iteration of the timeline, because if the “creator” timeline had been different, the created timeline would have been proportionally different. This reasoning is valid for each version of the timeline, either until the version of the timeline God originally created, or ad infinitum, depending on your worldview. Thus, because each version of time is connected to the previous in a continuous stream of timelines, it can be said that the timeline is actually experiencing change.

Now, change is relative. Any time something changes, it is changing relative to something. When a top is spinning, it is spinning relative to the things around it, but nothing on the top is changing relative to itself. All change, however, can be described relative to a fixed idea called a dimension.  A bead on a string can move along the string, but nowhere else, so it can move in one dimension.  A figure on a screen can move up and down or side to side on the screen, but it can’t reach out of the screen, because it can only operate in two dimensions. We can move up and down, side to side, and backwards and forwards, because we have three dimensions. But change as a concept makes no sense whatsoever aside from the context of time. This hypothesis postulates that the very context that makes sense of change is changing, but for that to make sense, it must change within a time-like dimension of its own. Thus, time actually experiences time! If we could travel between the versions of time and change them, the entire timeline of time would be changed, so we know that the time that time experiences also experiences time. How far does this go? Are there an infinite number of dimensions? Another way to put this is that the bead on the string can move on the string, but the entire string can move back and forth on a piece of paper.  The figure on the screen can only move on the screen, but the screen can move towards and away from you.  So you can move in space, and space moves in time.  So each successive dimension is like a time for the last dimension. So if space moves in time, what dimension does time move in?  That may be a little harder to grasp, but I feel like it gives a better understanding of what is going on.

This brings up an interesting theological question. If there are infinite dimensions, how many dimensions does God have?  Or does he have dimensions at all? Or maybe he has all the dimensions. I don’t have any answers for this, but I would love to talk about it in the comments.

Finally, the worldview concept I touched on briefly, about whether time’s time had a beginning actually can be used in a proof for the existence of God, which I will be posting soon, so consider this a teaser for that.

Anyway, I hope this made sense. I started it several months ago and heavily edited it, but seeing how much I found to edit, there are probably still lots of errors.