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If A Universe Ends And Nobody Was There To See It, Did It Ever Exist At All?


dagnarus
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Hello. Recently I re-heard the old question "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" This resonated with some other stuff which I had been pondering recently and resulted in this question here.

 

"If a universe ends and nobody was there to see it, did it ever exist at all?"

 

The crux of this is if we don't have some observer to validate our existence, does that mean that we don't exist. The interesting thing here is that it would seem that not just any observer would do. If my existence is only observed by myself then this is not good enough, I will die, no one will be their to see it, and it will be as if I never existed at all. Another finite person cannot fulfill this role, they also will die, as will all the finite people who observed them, and it will be as if they had never existed at all.

 

Is "God", what ever form he takes, be it YWHW, Shiva, the Life-Force of the universe, or whatever meant to fulfill this role. Did we create an omni-present, omniscient, and eternal entity because we want there to be someone who heard us fall in the forest. Could it be that even deeper than just offering an afterlife for us to live in forever, "God" offers us someone who is eternal, who will validates our existence eternally. Does God exist so that it will never be as if we never even existed.

 

Does what I'm saying make any sense? I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others about this?

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Hello. Recently I re-heard the old question "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" This resonated with some other stuff which I had been pondering recently and resulted in this question here.

 

"If a universe ends and nobody was there to see it, did it ever exist at all?"

 

The crux of this is if we don't have some observer to validate our existence, does that mean that we don't exist. The interesting thing here is that it would seem that not just any observer would do. If my existence is only observed by myself then this is not good enough, I will die, no one will be their to see it, and it will be as if I never existed at all. Another finite person cannot fulfill this role, they also will die, as will all the finite people who observed them, and it will be as if they had never existed at all.

 

Is "God", what ever form he takes, be it YWHW, Shiva, the Life-Force of the universe, or whatever meant to fulfill this role. Did we create an omni-present, omniscient, and eternal entity because we want there to be someone who heard us fall in the forest. Could it be that even deeper than just offering an afterlife for us to live in forever, "God" offers us someone who is eternal, who will validates our existence eternally. Does God exist so that it will never be as if we never even existed.

 

Does what I'm saying make any sense? I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others about this?

I know exactly what you are saying. I feel it a bit on my own personal level with my anticipaated personal demise.

 

In the movies, the movie doesn't stop when someone dies. Even "stopping" makes no sense to someone that actually dies. Everything disappears - memory, thinking, and all of the senses. It will be as though it never was to us "personally." That is one of the most wrenching realizations after I came to my senses regarding theism.

 

ASV Ecclesiastes 9:4-6

4. For to him that is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

5. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

6. As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun.

 

If only the memory of those who remain sustains what we were in life, then what happens when those people die, or when your story, labors, and accomplishments are forgotten? And when humanity perishes, through time, it's own fault, evolution, or natural disaster, then what are our accomplishments but ruins and dust that will never be known or remembered?

 

Yes, I understand what you are saying.

 

No universe, no existence. As though we had never been.

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Hello. Recently I re-heard the old question "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" This resonated with some other stuff which I had been pondering recently and resulted in this question here.

 

"If a universe ends and nobody was there to see it, did it ever exist at all?"

 

The crux of this is if we don't have some observer to validate our existence, does that mean that we don't exist. The interesting thing here is that it would seem that not just any observer would do. If my existence is only observed by myself then this is not good enough, I will die, no one will be their to see it, and it will be as if I never existed at all. Another finite person cannot fulfill this role, they also will die, as will all the finite people who observed them, and it will be as if they had never existed at all.

 

Is "God", what ever form he takes, be it YWHW, Shiva, the Life-Force of the universe, or whatever meant to fulfill this role. Did we create an omni-present, omniscient, and eternal entity because we want there to be someone who heard us fall in the forest. Could it be that even deeper than just offering an afterlife for us to live in forever, "God" offers us someone who is eternal, who will validates our existence eternally. Does God exist so that it will never be as if we never even existed.

 

Does what I'm saying make any sense? I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others about this?

I know exactly what you are saying. I feel it a bit on my own personal level with my anticipaated personal demise.

 

In the movies, the movie doesn't stop when someone dies. Even "stopping" makes no sense to someone that actually dies. Everything disappears - memory, thinking, and all of the senses. It will be as though it never was to us "personally." That is one of the most wrenching realizations after I came to my senses regarding theism.

 

ASV Ecclesiastes 9:4-6

4. For to him that is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

5. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

6. As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun.

 

If only the memory of those who remain sustains what we were in life, then what happens when those people die, or when your story, labors, and accomplishments are forgotten? And when humanity perishes, through time, it's own fault, evolution, or natural disaster, then what are our accomplishments but ruins and dust that will never be known or remembered?

 

Yes, I understand what you are saying.

 

No universe, no existence. As though we had never been.

 

Actually my main point of interest here is one of the reasons why we need (or think we need) God, because we need him as a means of validating our existence. I sometime wonder whether part of the reason for spiritual belief is a fear of validating one's self. I think this possibly becomes more pronounced when we look at things like the meaning of life. At some level it's scary to think that there is no set meaning to life. If there is no set meaning to life then there no way of validating our own achievements, our own progress if you will. Therefore we create God so that he can validate us. A Christian for example can have his achievements validated by God, all those related to God's will being approved by God. All that he does is graded and validated by God the ultimate authority. While without this God there is no ultimate authority, and no ultimate meaning. If there is no ultimate meaning that can be conveniently handed to me from on high however then that suggests that I must find my own meaning, I have to choose my own meaning, and validate my own achievements.

 

While this view may seem bleak to some, I think that ultimately it is a view which has it's own unique rewards. This is because quite simply those who have a pre-packaged meaning to life, while they may have a meaning it is ultimately not a meaning of their own choosing, it is the set meaning. In my view this can to an extent reduce people to little more than cogs in a machine, as the purpose of their existence is not to achieve their own goals but to achieve another entities goal. They are not working to achieve their own vision, but another entities vision.

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While this view may seem bleak to some, I think that ultimately it is a view which has it's own unique rewards. This is because quite simply those who have a pre-packaged meaning to life, while they may have a meaning it is ultimately not a meaning of their own choosing, it is the set meaning. In my view this can to an extent reduce people to little more than cogs in a machine, as the purpose of their existence is not to achieve their own goals but to achieve another entities goal. They are not working to achieve their own vision, but another entities vision.

I remember several episodes of Star Trek; The Next Generation in which a civilization perishes through natural disaster (or otherwise) but preserves its memories by sending out a probe into space. Contact reveals the society and people as they were, and validates their experiences and lives. Picard spent an entire lifetime on one such world, but the experience only lasted a few minutes of real time.

 

It is very curious that many concepts that I usually don't think about come to mind on this board, and they are all first shown on Star Trek. Artificial intelligence - Data and the thing in the First Star Trek Movie are two examples, and there are of course many others. God like powers (any civilization sufficiently advanced will seem like magic to a less civilized society - or something like that).

 

The destruction of entire civilizations, and hence massive destruction of individuals, is something that sci-fi deals with better than theology.

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The way I see it, if a universe/galaxy were to ever end even when no one ever observed it, there will be some remnants of that universe/galaxy that will indicate that it was there.

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It all boils down to self validation. It doesn't matter to me personally if my life's work dies with our species extinction or when our universe dies. I know who I am; I know what I need to accomplish as I am; and I know that 'I Am.'

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It all boils down to self validation. It doesn't matter to me personally if my life's work dies with our species extinction or when our universe dies. I know who I am; I know what I need to accomplish as I am; and I know that 'I Am.'

 

This mirrors my own personal philosophy.

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I remember stating the tree in the forest thing... :)

 

I'm only going to say why I think people feel the need to be validated. It will probably sound a little technical and then fluffy, but I'll say it anyway.

 

I think there are underlying assumptions in the way we view reality and it has to do with our understandings about reality through reductionism, our language and even the mythic system we are exposed to.

 

Reductionism looks at matter for what it is made of. This notion of a "maker" or "causer" is evident in reductionism. We wonder what is causing this to be what it is or what is moving it.

 

Our language requires that a verb be set into motion by a noun. Again, we have a "causer" that causes an event to happen.

 

The mythic system tells us the that people were created from the clay. We have here an architect, causer or a prime mover. When science rejected the "God" concept, they still kept the paradigm in which this "God" was formed.

 

Another area is we look at reality as being a symbol itself of something greater when "in reality", all of our symbols point to reality. A tree isn't a symbol for something other than itself. It isn't "made" of wood, it is wood. The ghost, causer, mover, architect, all vanish with this understanding.

 

This shows me that a new understanding of reality could be helpful. Reality is a self-directed process that doesn't point to anything other than what it is. There are no things, no matter, no nouns that exist. There are only processes. The meaning of life is then nothing more than the meaning found in reality. The process of life itself. The song. The dance. There isn't a destination that our particular form is stiving for because this would require telling a spontaneous process that it must exist.

 

We are a part of a wonderus universe that is also a part of us. We can't exist in a vacuum without all the other parts. I may even go as far to say that the universe wouldn't be the same without us either (not our bodily form). We were here from the beginning in one form or another. I am the dance. I find that validating for myself. :shrug:

 

Oh, IMO, if nobody was there to see a universe would it exist? Sight requires eyes. Measurements require a measurer. I don't think a universe could exist without all it's parts and its parts are able to observe.

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Oh, IMO, if nobody was there to see a universe would it exist? Sight requires eyes. Measurements require a measurer. I don't think a universe could exist without all it's parts and its parts are able to observe.

But then that means our universe could not have existed until there were living beings which didn't occur until a few billion years ago (depending on your calculations and assumptions).

 

That's like saying the universe didn't exist until I was born. All that history, stuff, and those other people aren't important or real.

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Oh, IMO, if nobody was there to see a universe would it exist? Sight requires eyes. Measurements require a measurer. I don't think a universe could exist without all it's parts and its parts are able to observe.

But then that means our universe could not have existed until there were living beings which didn't occur until a few billion years ago (depending on your calculations and assumptions).

 

That's like saying the universe didn't exist until I was born. All that history, stuff, and those other people aren't important or real.

Yes, that what that sounds like doesn't it? :HaHa:

 

Maybe I should have said "interact" instead of observe? There is some sort of primevil awareness of all the parts.

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I remember stating the tree in the forest thing... :)

 

I'm only going to say why I think people feel the need to be validated. It will probably sound a little technical and then fluffy, but I'll say it anyway.

 

I think there are underlying assumptions in the way we view reality and it has to do with our understandings about reality through reductionism, our language and even the mythic system we are exposed to.

 

Reductionism looks at matter for what it is made of. This notion of a "maker" or "causer" is evident in reductionism. We wonder what is causing this to be what it is or what is moving it.

 

Our language requires that a verb be set into motion by a noun. Again, we have a "causer" that causes an event to happen.

 

The mythic system tells us the that people were created from the clay. We have here an architect, causer or a prime mover. When science rejected the "God" concept, they still kept the paradigm in which this "God" was formed.

 

Another area is we look at reality as being a symbol itself of something greater when "in reality", all of our symbols point to reality. A tree isn't a symbol for something other than itself. It isn't "made" of wood, it is wood. The ghost, causer, mover, architect, all vanish with this understanding.

 

This shows me that a new understanding of reality could be helpful. Reality is a self-directed process that doesn't point to anything other than what it is. There are no things, no matter, no nouns that exist. There are only processes. The meaning of life is then nothing more than the meaning found in reality. The process of life itself. The song. The dance. There isn't a destination that our particular form is stiving for because this would require telling a spontaneous process that it must exist.

 

We are a part of a wonderus universe that is also a part of us. We can't exist in a vacuum without all the other parts. I may even go as far to say that the universe wouldn't be the same without us either (not our bodily form). We were here from the beginning in one form or another. I am the dance. I find that validating for myself. :shrug:

 

Oh, IMO, if nobody was there to see a universe would it exist? Sight requires eyes. Measurements require a measurer. I don't think a universe could exist without all it's parts and its parts are able to observe.

 

I would tend to agree with you on most of this, or at least I think I do. I wouldn't be certain whether I agree about the all observers all primeval consciousness bit. Then again what do we mean by consciousness anyway.

 

That all said my question was "If a Universe ends and nobody was there to see it, did it ever exist at all?" In this scenario the universe ends, as do all the observers/interacters within that Universe end with it. The entire universe is wiped alongside all the information contained in that universe. Everyone/everything who ever interacted in that universe ceases to be. Did it ever exist?

 

The second (and I now that I think about it you may have already answered) is, Do you think that the mythic systems create the eternal observer, along with his eternal purpose to provide people, to fill this hole in people. I.E. people need something to state to assure them of there continued memory, and to provide an overall meaning to life, and this is part of the reason for creating the mythic systems and what keeps people attached to them?

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That all said my question was "If a Universe ends and nobody was there to see it, did it ever exist at all?" In this scenario the universe ends, as do all the observers/interacters within that Universe end with it. The entire universe is wiped alongside all the information contained in that universe. Everyone/everything who ever interacted in that universe ceases to be. Did it ever exist?

 

ok let's scale it down a bit.

 

We have an isolated city. According to your example this city simply vanishes leaving absolutely no trace. No building remains, no artefacts, no human remains, no damage to the surrounding environment. Anyone who comes along to where this city was located would have no inkling of anything having been there, instead he would see only a vacant piece of land. There would be no way of knowing this city was ever there. So in the minds of the later observers the city never existed.

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That all said my question was "If a Universe ends and nobody was there to see it, did it ever exist at all?" In this scenario the universe ends, as do all the observers/interacters within that Universe end with it. The entire universe is wiped alongside all the information contained in that universe. Everyone/everything who ever interacted in that universe ceases to be. Did it ever exist?

I'm going to just speak from what I think instead of thinking about reasons why. :) Well, I'm having a hard time answering! :HaHa: (If you could see me sitting here staring at the screen, you would probably get a good laugh!)

 

I think I have to answer your question with another question. How many universes have came and gone without our knowledge? Did they exist? :shrug: All that quanta out there and nobody to notice. :)

 

I have a little praying boy on my truck window that is bowing to these words: "...Here and Now". I think the past only exists in our minds. The same can be said for the future. All there ever is and ever will be is right now; this moment; eternally.

 

The second (and I now that I think about it you may have already answered) is, Do you think that the mythic systems create the eternal observer, along with his eternal purpose to provide people, to fill this hole in people. I.E. people need something to state to assure them of there continued memory, and to provide an overall meaning to life, and this is part of the reason for creating the mythic systems and what keeps people attached to them?

I think it matters where a person is born. With our Western and Near Eastern worldview, I think this is probably correct. We want our form to continue forever in one way or another. Meaning is extracted by looking to something greater, something permanent. There are so many things at play under the surface of our being that we aren't even aware of, yet the effect on our well-being is profound.

 

Far Eastern views have a more unified understanding of themselves. A Chinese child might ask, "How do I grow", but they may not ask, "How did I get here". I'm pretty sure this can be taken back to early cultural differences playing a part in the development of the different worldviews. The unified worldview seems to be able to cope with the question of meaning a lot better than the dualistic worldview does. They know they are not a permanent being. They are a process of nature.

 

The "atheistic" nature of Buddhism is a very deep, and I would even say, religious experience (I'm only book educated and experience experiencer (??) :HaHa:). There is no need for a personal god. As Lao Tzu says, "It loves and nourishes all things, but does not lord it over them". What more meaning can one want?

 

I'm sorry...Sometimes I get on a tangent and fail to answer what was asked. :HaHa:

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