Last updated 24/8/2021
This post consists of the following parts: “Existence, reality, and the imagination”, “Hypothetically possible versus hypothetically impossible”, “Determined versus random”, and “Time travel”.
Relevant from what was established in “Wrongly embracing absurdities in the name of unknowns, and the indubitable nature of semantics and reason” are the following truths:
It is hypothetically possible to have more than one galaxy, planet, or universe, but it is impossible to have more than one “Existence”. By “Existence” I mean that which all things exist because of or as a result of. Without Existence, nothing would encompass or unify all things into one Existence. This would mean that it is possible for one set of existents to be in existent A, and another set of existents to be in existent B, such that no existent encompasses A and B. Since no existent encompasses A and B, this means that non-Existence separates A from B. For non-Existence to separate A from B, it would have to exist. It is contradictory/absurd (semantically inconsistent) to say non-Existence separates A from B because non-Existence does not exist for it to do this. Hence the necessary existence of Existence. Semantics exist in Existence, as do imaginary unicorns (I imagined one just now). How real something is in Existence, is another matter. In any case, if x exists, then it either belongs to Existence, or it is Existence.
It is also possibly good to be aware of the following truths before proceeding:
Anything that is semantically inconsistent or contradictory (such as a word, statement, or belief), is definitely not true of Existence.
The existence of unicorns on our planet can be meaningfully doubted by beings who do not have absolute knowledge of what’s on our planet whilst being aware of our planet, but the existence of Existence can never be meaningfully doubted by any being. There are things/existents beyond our being/existing, but there are no things beyond Existence. Existence is never absent or not-Existing.
There is Existence, therefore, there is no non-Existence. Married-bachelors, round-triangles, existing-non-existing things, and non-Existence are all absurd/contradictory (semantically inconsistent).
Existence, reality, and the imagination
It is impossible to be thinking about nothing. One is either thinking about something, or one is not thinking at all (like a rock that is insentient). We cannot view thoughts as not being in Existence because that would imply they are “in non-Existence” (which is absurd). Also, thoughts cannot pop in and out of Existence because nothing can enter or exit Existence. There is no “bridge” or “door” or “connection” or “existent” separating Existence on one side from non-Existence on the other. If Existence was spatially or temporally finite, then that would mean that it has an end. If Existence has an end, then non-Existence has a beginning (either spatially or temporally). Nothing can have a beginning in non-Existence (because non-Existence does not exist for something to have a beginning in it). Hence the absurdity of non-Existence. A finite dream or tree begins and ends in Existence (as do all other things with beginnings and ends). Existence does not begin or end in Existence because Existence is Existence (it encompasses all beginnings and ends). Since non-Existence existing is contradictory, Existence is spatially and temporally infinite. Thus, anyone who holds the belief that Existence is finite, holds a contradictory/irrational belief.
Since there is no “bridge” to non-Existence in Existence for something to exit to; or put differently, since there is no non-Existence for something to enter Existence from, we are forced to conclude that all items of thought (including semantics) or potential are in Existence. To reject this is to say items of thought do not exist in Existence, or that they are nothing, or that they are in non-Existence, or that they come from non-Existence. It is absurd to describe an existing thing such as an item of thought as existing in non-Existence (or independently of Existence).
We know that dreams and items of thought exist. The question is, how are they existing? We describe our waking experiences as being our most real, our dreams as being less real than our waking experiences (although some have claimed to have had dreams more real than that of their waking experiences), and our imaginative thoughts as being less real than our dreams. You’ve surely heard of someone comforting someone else who woke up from a nightmare saying “it wasn’t real, it was only a dream”. Nightmares or dreams cannot be said to have no reality whatsoever (by this I mean they cannot be said to be wholly independent of Reality). If you experience x, then x is a real experience for you (even though realer experiences may be hypothetically possible). How truly/potently/completely real the experience is, is another matter.
Can we describe virtual reality as a kind of reality? Surely if some virtual world (like the one that is depicted in the movie “The matrix”) felt as real as our real world, we’d have to describe it as feeling equally real. And if the virtual world felt more real than our real world, we’d have to describe it as feeling more real than our real world. In that scenario, we’d have to describe the mechanism that takes us from our less real “real” world to the more real “virtual” world, as a bridge between that which is less real to that which is more real. Thus, our standards would have to shift such that we label the “virtual” world as our real world, and our “real” world as our less real world. A priori speaking, how real something is, is the only relevant factor to describing how real something is. Whether a posteriori mechanisms such as being a brain in a vat, or being plugged in to the matrix is the truth or not, is another matter. So long as the a posteriori is interpreted in line with the a priori such that it does not contradict the a priori, we have no contradictory, absurd, or semantically inconsistent beliefs/theories/interpretations/sayings.
As far as we know a posteriori, all virtual reality
worlds games (such as those playable on Playstation vr) are designed by some designer who uses software to build them. The worlds are made accessible once the relevant device has been turned on, and they are accessed once the software is run and the headset is put on. Thus, with regards to virtual reality worlds games, we have an a posteriori understanding of how they are made and how they are instantiated. When it comes to dreams, we are not as well informed. We need to be asleep. That’s all we know a posteriori. What are the tools used to build the dream worlds (if any)? Who designs the dream worlds (if anyone)? We recognise that there are an endless number of hypothetical possibilities or items of thought. Do we create these items of thought from nothing? No, because that would mean something has come from non-Existence.
Consider my current situation and what I’m doing now very specifically. I am doing activity a (sitting), in location xyz, at time t, in world p. With this being the case, can you meaningfully assert or imagine me doing a different activity b (standing), in the exact same location xyz, at the exact same time t, and in the exact same world p? No, because that would amount to you imagining me as sitting and standing at the same time. You cannot imagine this. At best, you can imagine me doing activity b (standing), in location xyz², at time t², in a different world p², but certainly not in world p.
The previous paragraph shows that for some reason, we are not able to imagine anything or anyone as sitting and standing at the same time. What is it that renders one thought as being irrational or hypothetically impossible, and another as being meaningful or hypothetically possible? With regards to our irrational thoughts, we can simply say that they are hypothetically impossible because they can never exist, therefore, they are absolutely not true of Existence. For example, a round square can never exist, therefore, round squares are hypothetically impossible. If it was possible for them to exist in any way, shape, or form, then they would not be classed as a hypothetical impossibility. This explains why we can never make sense of them. How can we make sense of something that is not true of Existence whilst we are wholly dependent on Existence? We cannot.
Hypothetically possible versus hypothetically impossible
With regards to items of thought such as meaningful non-absurd concepts, hypothetical possibilities, theories, stories, and so on, we can say with certainty that the mind isn’t accessing non-Existence (again, this is because non-Existence does not exist for it to be accessed). We can also say that it’s not creating something from nothing (or non-Existence). This means that it’s either creating something from something, or it’s just accessing something that’s already there. For the sake of highlighting a particular point, for the next three paragraphs forget the earlier conclusion of Existence is necessarily infinite.
Hume suggests that all our items of thought are constructed from simple concepts that we have attained through experience. For example, we experience shapes by seeing them, and we acquire them through this experience. Infinity is not an absurd concept. It has clear semantical value. Although we have not experienced anything infinite, we are aware of this semantic. So Hume’s empirical approach won’t work here. Where does infinity come from? What makes it possible for us to have awareness of such a semantic? As with everything, Existence (as opposed to non-Existence) makes it possible for us to have awareness of infinity. But how does It do this? What is the link between Existence and infinity? In other words, how do we explain infinity in terms of Existence?
Some, such as Hume himself, have argued that infinity is the negation of finite. We acquire awareness of finite by seeing finite things, and acquire awareness of infinity by negating finite. Thus, infinity is linked to Existence via finite. But how would this negation work? Semantically/meaningfully/rationally speaking, If you were to negate/erase the boundaries of anything, you would either be left with a smaller version of that thing, or the non-existence of that thing. If Existence was finite and you were to negate it, you would be left with non-Existence, not something infinite. On the other hand, if you were to negate all finite things within an infinite Existence, then all you would be left with is something infinite. But this is still not the same as “negating X results in an infinite X” (which is what Hume appeared to have had in mind). Y is infinite, X is finite. Negating the boundaries of X results in the non-existence of X and the continued Existence of Y. Or alternatively, it results in an even smaller version of X, and the continued Existence of Y. What it does not result in is the non-Existence of Y and the existence of an infinite X. Hume’s belief that we obtained infinity from finite, is clearly absurd/false/contradictory in relation to Existence or not true of Existence.
If we are to say that our minds (or us beings) have constructed the concept of infinity, with what have they constructed it with? We know that we cannot count or add to infinity (we can try, but we will never reach infinity). Is this truth something that our minds have constructed on their own, or is it simply a feature/truth/aspect of Existence that we are aware of (just as 1 + 1 = 2 is a truth of Existence)?
Clearly, when it comes to infinity, it’s not that the mind creates something from something (we do not create the semantic of infinity from the semantic of finite), it’s more a case of it focusing on or being aware of something. Does this mean that that which is infinite actually exists in Existence? That which is truly infinite cannot exist in Existence because It truly has no beginning and no end. The only thing that can truly have no beginning and no end, is Existence Itself (not something in It or encompassed by It).
If we don’t view Existence as being truly infinite, then we cannot explain infinity in terms of Existence. This would mean that nothing infinite has ever existed or will ever exist. This would mean that infinity is hypothetically impossible. How can we who are wholly contingent on Existence make any sense of infinity if Existence was finite? How can a finite Existence conceive of an infinite Existence independently of an infinite Existence?
All irrationalities/absurdities/impossibilities or semantical inconsistencies/contradictions such as round squares, are hypothetically impossible precisely because they don’t exist in any manner, way, shape, or form. They absolutely/necessarily don’t exist. Unicorns exist as meaningful imaginary animals, whereas round-squares don’t exist as imaginary shapes because round-squares are not rational/meaningful shapes for one to be able to access imaginatively or otherwise. Put differently, Existence is such that there’s no such thing as a round-square, therefore, round-squares are hypothetically impossible (absolutely/objectively/necessarily not true of Existence). There being unicorns on our planet is subjectively not true of Existence (as in we as subjects have this interpretation of our planet, but because we lack omniscience with regards to what’s on our planet, or because we have not empirically verified what’s on our planet in an absolute sense, we do not know if it is absolutely/necessarily true or false that there are unicorns on our planet). The claim “there are no unicorns on our planet” is an educated guess/assumption/conjecture by us. It is not knowledge that we have. It is knowledge that any being that has omniscience with regards to our planet has. We know triangles have three sides (as in we have knowledge of this). We don’t know if there are unicorns on our planet. We assume there aren’t (but it is probably not an unreasonable assumption for us given what we have been exposed to and our limitations to further empirically verify. In contrast to this it is probably or possibly unreasonable for us to assume that the earth is flat or that our neighbours are androids. It is certainly unreasonable for me to assume that the earth is flat or that my neighbours are androids. You may have been exposed to something that I have not that would make it reasonable for you to assume that your neighbours are androids or that the earth is flat). Clearly, there is a clear distinction between what we know and what we assume.
If infinity is a hypothetical impossibility, then it should be an irrational concept like “round-square”. It might be objected here that whilst all irrationalities are hypothetical impossibilities, not all hypothetical impossibilities are irrationalities/contradictions. Just as ‘three-sided shape’ and ‘triangle’ denote the same thing, ‘hypothetically impossible’ and ‘irrational’ also denote the same thing. What is the difference between them? Is it not the case that when we find a proposition to be hypothetically impossible we label it as being irrational/absurd/false or not true of Existence? And is it not the case that when we find a proposition to be absurd/false, we find it to be hypothetically impossible? My friend says that I’m at the park right now despite me being at home. It’s absurd/false/irrational/impossible for me to be at the park and at home at the same time. It is not true of Existence that I’m at the park when I’m at home (unless I have one foot in the park and one foot in my home. Still, the whole of me cannot be at home whilst the whole of me is at the park).
Suppose we were to say that infinity was hypothetically impossible but not irrational. How then would we be able to account for our awareness of it? We would be saying that infinity has nothing to do with Existence, yet we as beings who are fully dependent on Existence, have somehow managed to gain awareness of it from non-Existence. This is absurd. We know we could not have constructed the concept from other concepts, or reached it via the negation of some other concept. So what has allowed for our awareness of infinity if not Existence being truly infinite Itself?
As highlighted near the beginning of this post, Existence is necessarily truly infinite. Therefore, infinity is not an absurd concept. As already highlighted but in different words, we cannot confine the truly infinite to just being in Existence (just as we cannot confine Existence to just being in Existence). Since nothing can become truly infinite (you can expand to infinity but you will never become truly infinite. You can count to infinity but you will never reach infinity), we are semantically/rationally obliged to say that infinity is not a hypothetical possibility. So the truth is not that Existence has the potential to be truly infinite, or that it is possibly truly infinite, or that that which is truly infinite is confined to our minds. Rather, the truth is that Existence is certainly infinite. We must view Existence as being truly infinite as that is the only way Existence can accommodate the semantic of infinity. That is the only way we can explain infinity in terms of Existence. That is the only way we can avoid the absurdity of something (our awareness of infinity) coming from nothing or non-Existence. That is the only way we can avoid the absurdity of non-Existence existing.
Infinity solves a lot of problems for us. If we were to view Existence as truly infinite, then all hypothetical possibilities truly become hypothetically possible. This is because there is infinite potential (some would call this Omnipotence) available for any given state of affairs, worlds, or beings to occur. In other words, in a truly infinite Existence, all hypothetical possibilities exist such that they can all come to attain reality or truth in relation to us (this does not mean that they necessarily will. Can and will do not mean the same thing). Which is the same as saying all hypothetical possibilities truly are hypothetically possible. Now consider the alternative. Not all hypothetical possibilities can come to attain reality or truth in relation to us. Which is the same as saying not all hypothetical possibilities are truly hypothetically possible. If x can’t ever be brought about or come to attain reality/truth (like a roundsquare), then how can x be considered as hypothetically possible? Shouldn’t it be considered as hypothetically impossible? If something is hypothetically possible, then it truly is a hypothetical possibility. We cannot say if something is hypothetically possible, then it may be a hypothetical possibility. It either is or it isn’t. This is different to saying that something like a 10th sense is a possibility. When we say 10th sense, we don’t have enough information to classify as absurd (hypothetically impossible) or hypothetically possible. A 10th sense is an unknown to us. It is not a known hypothetical possibility to us. We should not be saying a 10th sense is hypothetically possible. We should be saying a 10th sense is an unknown to us. Similarly, we don’t have enough information to know if our Joe Biden (the one in our world) is doing anything right now. This is just another example of an unknown, but unlike a 10th sense, it is not as absolutely unknown to us. We can have some reasonable assumptions about Joe Biden but we cannot have any reasonable assumptions about a 10th sense (except other than that it is a sense, but then that is a fact not an assumption). One such reasonable assumption is that he was born in America. The assumption is reasonable for us (or at least me) given our (or at least my) empirical observations.
Assume we don’t know if time travel is hypothetically possible or not. Now compare the following two sentences:
A) It’s possible that time travel is hypothetically possible.
B) It’s unknown whether time travel is hypothetically possible or not.
There are things that we know to be hypothetically possible (such as me raising my arm in the next second), things that we know to be true (such as triangles having three sides), things that we know to be hypothetically impossible (such as a triangle having four sides), and things that we know we don’t know to be true, hypothetically possible, or hypothetically impossible (such as a 10th sense, or who will (not can) win the next World Cup, or whether I will raise my arm in the next second or not, or whether there will even be a next World Cup). Regarding the first three categories, we know the truth in relation to Existence. As in we know that Existence is such that my arm can (but not necessarily will) be raised in the next second, or that It is such that triangles have three sides, or that It is such that it does not include four-sided triangles. Regarding the fourth category, we don’t have the truth or knowledge in relation to Existence, and we know this (or are aware of this). As in we know there are things about Existence that we don’t know. For example, we don’t know if Existence is such that time travel is hypothetically possible or not. This is the same as saying we know that we don’t know if time travel is possible or not. We also know that we don’t know if it’ll rain tomorrow, but we can make educated guesses/assumptions.
There is no difference between something that’s possible and something that’s hypothetically possible. My usage of the phrase “hypothetically possible” instead of the word “possible” in A, was intended to highlighted the difference between our two different semantical usages of the word “possible”. In one usage, “possible” is used to highlight our ignorance of something in relation to Existence. In another usage, “possible” is used to highlight our awareness/knowledge of something in relation to Existence. In the statement “it’s possible that time travel is possible“, the first “possible” highlights our ignorance about something in relation to Existence (does it include within it the potential for time travel? In other words, is time travel possible/knowable/meaningful/rational?), whilst the second ‘possible‘ highlights true potentiality or possibility. A possibility (something that we know can attain reality in relation to us in Existence) can be contrasted with an unknown (something that we don’t know can attain reality in relation to us or any being in Existence (like a 10th sense), or, something that we don’t know will attain reality in relation to us (like our hands being raised in the the next minute), or, something that we don’t know to be real/true or not real/true in relation to us (did I take out the trash?) or Existence (does Existence have more dimensions than I currently know?)).
So, we don’t know if a 10th sense is absurd like a round square because we don’t have enough information about Existence to conclude absurd/irrational, or meaningful/rational. Do we have enough information about unicorns to conclude rational or irrational/impossible? If we say unicorns are hypothetically impossible, then consistency in semantics would have us say unicorn is an absurd/irrational concept. Unicorn is clearly a meaningful/understandable concept, therefore, it is not a hypothetical impossibility. Furthermore, if we say unicorns are as meaningless to us as a 10th sense, or as ambiguous to us as time travel, we would be falsely describing ourselves as not clearly understanding what a unicorn is. Again, ‘unicorn’ is clearly meaningful to us, therefore, unicorns are at least hypothetically possible. By this I mean Existence has the potential to produce/create/sustain unicorns. Some may have already had dreams with unicorns in them. Some may have had some experience with unicorns. How real their experience was, is another matter.
If Existence is truly infinite (which it is), then it is not finite in terms of potential. It is absurd to say “Existence does not have the potential to produce another world similar to ours in terms of realness that contains unicorns”. To say such a thing is to say “unicorns as real as our horses are hypothetically impossible”. Such a statement logically implies that Existence is not truly infinite (due to limitations in potential), and Existence not being truly infinite is an irrational/contradictory statement. Round-squares are hypothetically impossible, but unicorns-as-real-as-our-horses is not an impossibility/absurdity. Nor is it an unknown (we know Existence can produce unicorns-as-real-as-our-horses precisely because It is truly infinite. Whether It will, is another matter).
Again, for emphasis, if unicorn is a hypothetical impossibility, then it should be an irrational/absurd concept. It should be meaningless or non-sensical. Clearly, it is a meaningful concept (not unlike how a musical note is an actual pitch or sound). Similarly, unicorns-as-real-as-our-horses is also a meaningful concept. It doesn’t matter that we reached the concept or semantic of ‘unicorn’ or ‘unicorn-as-real-as-our-horses’ by combining other concepts or semantics. I constructed the concept of ‘asfhjk’ (which denotes a tyrannical round square with horns and wings) from multiple concepts too, but somehow, unicorn instantiates clear meaning, whilst asfhjk instantiates clear absurdity. We know that no being can make sense of ‘asfhjk’, but we can make clear sense of ‘unicorn’. We must rationally account for why this happens. In other words, we must explain why this happens in terms of Existence, and in relation to Existence. Our task is simple: Since it is clearly absurd for Existence to be finite, it is clear that all meaningful things are meaningful as a result of Existence being what it is (truly infinite). A finite Existence cannot accommodate an infinite number of semantics (or possibilities), and something cannot come from non-Existence.
Not all hypothetical possibilities have to attain reality in relation to us in order for us to consider them as true hypothetical possibilities. Will attain reality in relation to us, and can attain reality in relation to us are two different truths/semantics. The former does not have to be true of all hypothetical possibilities for us to be able to say all hypothetical possibilities truly are hypothetically possible; but the latter does. We are rationally/semantically obliged to abstain from saying unicorns will attain physical reality somewhere in our universe, or have attained physical reality in our universe, because the matter is unknown to us (and that is because we are not omniscient with regards to what’s in our universe, or what will be in our universe in the future). But we are rationally/semantically obliged to say Existence can produce physical unicorns (physical by our standards) because we know ‘unicorn’ (or even ‘physical unicorn’) is a meaningful concept.
Joe Biden flying is not an impossibility. We are rationally obliged to acknowledge that a Joe Biden can fly because we know the proposition is meaningful. Do we have the same rational authority to say “our Joe Biden, the one in our world, can fly”? Could there be premises in place that render such a thing as absurd? The answer to this question will hopefully become clearer and clearer to the reader in the posts that follow.
We know that whatever the mind does, it does so within Existence and with what Existence provides or sustains. It does so because of the nature of Existence (truly infinite). Given the necessity of a truly infinite Existence, and the semantical implications of a truly infinite Existence, it is clear that our minds never create something from something. They simply access, or focus on, or experience one of an endless number of hypothetical possibilities (which they sometimes reach by combining or adding different concepts and traits). This means that these hypothetical possibilities or items of thought are all in Existence (which is no different than saying hypothetical possibilities exist in Existence as opposed to exist in non-Existence, or not exist at all). As highlighted near the beginning of this post, items of thought cannot pop in and out of Existence. The same is true of hypothetical possibilities.
From an allegorical perspective, if you imagine an image that has not been coloured in as being a real/true hypothetical possibility, and imagine an image that has been coloured in in some way or to some degree as being a real hypothetical possibility that has attained reality/truth in relation to us (because we experienced it in some way or to some degree), then the point I’m trying to make might become clearer. That is, that all hypothetical possibilities exist in Existence irrespective of whether we’re imagining them, dreaming them, or experiencing them in a more potent manner. How else can we account for the semantical value of clearly meaningful things in terms of Existence? If one carefully reflects on this matter, they will see that rejecting this logically implies the acceptance of something coming from nothing. Also, the Copenhagen interpretation of the double slit experiment (which I will not go into detail) might serve as food for thought here.
Is nothingness or non-Existence meaningful? If Existence gives meaning to everything by everything existing in Existence, then that means that nothingness or non-Existence must also exist. This is false. Non-Existence is the negation or absence of Existence (which is absurd/contradictory/irrational). When someone says “there’s nothing in the box” they do not mean ‘there’s non-Existence in the box’. They mean ‘there’s only air inside the box’ or ‘there’s nothing relevant in the box’. When one tries to think of nothing, they probably think of a vacuum (which is not nothing). Non-Existence is the very definition of false/absurd or not true of Existence. Married bachelors are non-Existent or not true of Existence. Non-Existence is non-Existent or not true of Existence. If I meaningfully say I know what “nothing” or “married bachelors” are, then I’m saying I know they are absurdities. I’m saying I know that they are things that are not true of Existence. What I am not saying is that they are things that are true of Existence that I or some god have made sense of. It would be absurd/contradictory of me to say this.
One can think by focusing on sounds or letters that appear to have no purpose or meaning (for example, I’m thinking about “fsjkgfnsjkgsnjkg”). One can think by focusing on what is false or absurd (for example, I try thinking about “round squares”, “sitting and standing at the same time”, or “non-Existence”. If I’m doing any actual meaningful thinking in these cases, then I am simply thinking about how these propositions, or concepts, or phrases are absurd). One can also think by focusing on what is rational/meaningful (for example, I’m thinking about ‘unicorns’, ‘whether to sit or stand’, ‘Existence’, ‘infinity’, and so on).
Let’s recap what has been said so far. All meaningful things (which include hypothetical possibilities) and hypothetical impossibilities exist in Existence. The former are true of Existence (as in what they describe actually exists in Existence, or is descriptive of Existence. This is why they are meaningful) the latter are not true of Existence (as in what they describe doesn’t exist. This is why they are meaningless, non-sensical, or impossible). An important relation between rational/irrational, truth/falsehood, Existence/non-Existence has hopefully been made clear (or clearer).
The truth about Existence is such that in the next second, I can physically raise my hand. In other words, it is hypothetically possible for me to raise my hand in the next second. If I do this, then the truth will be such that the hypothetical possibility of ‘p (a hypothetically possible me) doing action q in location xyz at time t’, attained physical reality in relation to me (the me that we think is the real me). Which would mean the proposition of ‘p did action q in location xyz at time t attained truth/reality in relation to me‘ is true of Existence. If I do not do this, then that hypothetical possibility will not have attained physical reality/truth in relation to me, and that proposition is not true of Existence. If physically travelling back in time is hypothetically impossible, and I did not physically raise my hand at that point in time, has the hypothetical possibility of me raising my hand at that point in time become hypothetically impossible?
“my” reality is such I am such that in addition to being able to stay or go back to any location xyz in “my” physical world, I can also physically (not just mentally) go back to any time t. Further suppose I raise my hand in the next second such that ‘p has committed action q at location xyz at time t’ attained reality/truth in relation to me. I then desire for this hypothetical possibility (p committing action q at location xyz at time t) to attain reality again in relation to me. So I physically go back in time in an attempt to raise my hand again when that time physically comes. Wouldn’t that mean that I would find my past self sitting there? If I ask him to move in order to take his place and raise my hand, it is no longer the same hypothetical possibility attaining reality. Even if the past me moved over and I raised my hand in the exact same place, time, and manner to how the past me raised his hand, there is still a difference in what has attained reality/truth in relation to me. There is a difference between the present me and the past me such that the p that’s tied to me (or rooted in me) is not absolutely the same as the p that’s tied to the past me. The p in relation to the past me does not semantically encompass ‘he is physically travelling back in time‘, where as the p in relation to the present me does. This clear difference in who’s hand is being raised, means that both the propositions and the hypothetical possibilities are not the same. If I went back in time purely as an invisible observer, has the hypothetical possibility of p committing action q at location xyz at time t attained reality in relation to me (or even me) a second time? No.
If I go back in time to before the hypothetical possibility occurs or attains reality in relation to me, then at that past point in time that I’m in, the truth is such that the hypothetical possibility has not yet attained reality in relation to me. But has it attained truth/reality in relation to me? Since the hypothetical possibilities are not the same (because in one version it includes me being there, in another it doesn’t), the answer is no. Furthermore, for me to go back in time to raise my hand a second time at that point in time, or to just not raise my hand at that point in time, would amount to me raising my hand twice at the same time, or me not raising my hand and raising my hand at the same time (both of which are contradictory. You cannot raise your hand and not raise your hand at the same time. Also, you cannot raise your hand twice at the same time. You raise it the first time, then you raise it the second time at a different time to the first time). Time travel (the one where you go back in time to change the future you really truly came from) is clearly contradictory.
Determined versus random
Suppose we have a random number generator that can only be used once. It is definitely going to be used and it can generate any number from 1 to 100. Whilst any of these 100 hypothetical possibilities can come to attain reality in relation to the number generator, only one of these 100 hypothetical possibilities will come to attain reality. My friend and I are in the same world as the number generator. My friend has some knowledge of the future of this world such that he knows exactly what number the random number generator is going to generate. He says “there aren’t 100 hypothetical possibilities that can come to attain reality in relation to the random number generator. There is only one.” As far as he’s concerned, the other 99 hypothetical possibilities are actually impossibilities because they will not attain reality in relation to the number generator. Who is right? Me who believes in 100 hypothetical possibilities, or my friend who believes in one?
Compare and contrast two different number generators that can only be used once. Both generate the number 19. One was set to generate the number 19 in a determined manner, whilst the other was set to generate any number from 1 to 100 in a random manner. This literally means that whilst it (the random number generator) could have generated only one number (call this layer 1), that number could have been any number from 1 to 100 (call this layer 2). This is the same as saying any number from 1 to 100 was hypothetically possible for the random number generator to generate. Denying this would be an utter disregard for the semantics and the mechanisms involved in the numbers being generated. Knowledge of the future does not alter the mechanisms involved in the numbers being generated. One future outcome does not render all past possible outcomes as not being possible at that past point in time.
Consider the alternative: It’s only hypothetically possible for the random number generator to generate the number 19 (which is clearly descriptive of a
random determined number generator. There’s no such thing as a random-determined, and there’s no such thing as a married-bachelor). But it’s not just a hypothetical possibility as far as my friend is concerned, it’s a reality/truth in relation to our world who’s time has not yet been reached. A hypothetical possibility that has not yet attained reality/truth in relation to our world yet (but certainly will). So my friend has not just discovered what is hypothetically possible and what is not hypothetically possible. We “discovered” this together when we read the instruction manual for the random number generator which clearly stated “this random number generator can only generate one number from 1 to 100, and we guarantee that it really is random”. My friend has discovered which of these hypothetical possibilities will come to attain reality/truth. This discovery does not render the non-reality attaining hypothetical possibilities as being hypothetically impossible at that past point in time. Back then they were hypothetically possible, now they are hypothetically impossible. Further compare and contrast the following two sentences with regards to two number generators that can only be used once:
Sentence A: 100 hypothetical possibilities can come to attain reality and 1 (the number 19 being generated) will come to attain reality.
Sentence B: 1 hypothetical possibility (the number 19 being generated) can come to attain reality, and it will come to attain reality.
Both sentences A and B accurately describe the truth with regards to the state of two number generators before and after generating their number in world w. If we focus on the future aspect of their respective timelines, the truth is such that they both generate the number 19. The truth is also such that at this future point in time, all 100 hypothetical possibilities from sentence A, and the 1 hypothetical possibility from sentence B, are no longer hypothetically possible. They are, at this future point in time, hypothetically impossible because the past cannot occur in the future, and their time has passed. This does not mean that they have ceased to exist in Existence. The past does not go out of Existence, therefore, those past hypothetical possibilities also do not go out of Existence. This is why we are meaningfully able to say it was hypothetically possible. If those past hypothetical possibilities weren’t/aren’t/won’t be in Existence, no being would ever be able to talk about them at all as it would be a case of something coming from nothing. This is why we can imagine a different past to the one that actually/really/truly occurred for us (or in relation to us). Different pasts truly were hypothetically possible for us. We can also imagine futures that haven’t occurred for us. But unlike the past, we have no solid a posteriori idea of what the truth will be in relation to us (despite there objectively being such a truth in relation to us). I have no solid a posteriori idea if I will die tomorrow or go to the park, but I have a solid a posteriori idea of what I ate last night.
It might be objected that since it was determined beforehand that the random number generator was going to generate the number 19, the number 19 wasn’t randomly generated. Where things are pre-determined, randomness is absurd. Is there a difference between something being known in advance, and something being pre-determined?
Consider free-will or our supposed ability to choose. For God who knows all that is knowable, it is determined/known that I’m going to choose y in circumstance x. This is a hypothetical possibility to me who’s truth is unknown to me, and a hypothetical possibility to God who’s truth is known to God. It’s a hypothetical possibility who’s truth is unknown to me in that I don’t know what I would choose in circumstance x despite knowing what I can choose in circumstance x. It’s a hypothetical possibility to God who’s truth is known to God in that God knows I can, and will choose y in circumstance x.
If God brings about circumstance x, I choose y (which of course means that I was determined to choose y and this was not a random choice. This is not unlike me being determined to choose to do things that I think are good, if I choose to be good that is). I literally choose. Can one non-absurdly say that I did not choose? The hypothetical possibility semantically/meaningfully contains the word choose. This is the first indication of it being true that I chose (but of course I will defend/illustrate this further). If God does not bring about circumstance x, then the aforementioned hypothetical possibility does not change. As in it remains true of Existence that at that point in time, if I was exposed to circumstance x, I would have chosen y. But it may be that at a different future or past point in time, if I am/was exposed to x, I would not choose y. I will hopefully discuss free-will in my future posts. For now, let’s go back to number generators. The number generators that will be discussed in the proceeding paragraphs can be used endlessly.
God knows that it is determined that random number generator r, will generate 19 at G. G contains all information such as time, place, external factors in relation to r, and internal factors in relation to r. The following is absurd: Where the reality/truth is such that r is absolutely random, G is wholly irrelevant to r. It is absurd because it is the internal/inherent nature of r that determines whether r is truly random or not. So G cannot be irrelevant to r because G encompasses r fully/absolutely.
Let’s say q contains less information than G (it includes everything except internal factors in relation to r). Where r is generating its numbers such that q has no effect on the reality/truth in relation to how r is generating its numbers (randomly), then r can be said to be generating its numbers in a random manner. Where a specific location results in r generating a specific number (for example, if r always generates the number 19 in the kitchen), then r is not a wholly random number generator because it is determined to generate the number 19 in the kitchen. Thus, where a change in r’s location alters how r generates its numbers, then r’s manner of generating its numbers is disrupted or changed by a change in its location. But a change in location can only meaningfully impact r’s manner of generating its numbers where there is some meaningful thing about this change in location that effects r’s manner of generating its numbers. It also means there either was, or there has come to be something internal/inherent about r that clicks with that external location, or change in location, such that r no longer generates its numbers in a completely random manner. The former is not absurd in any way. The latter can either be viewed as absurd, or non-absurd. It is absurd in the sense that going from absolute randomness to any level of determinedness, means the potential/possibility to become determined was actually always inherently there. It is not absurd in the sense that r was truly/absolutely random because it had 0 inherent potential for determinedness, but some external force changed it internally or inherently such that when its location was changed, it would click with that location, whereas before, it wouldn’t.
So long as its interior angles add up to 180 degrees, x is absolutely/perfectly/truly triangular. So long as it is generating numbers in a purely random manner, r is absolutely/perfectly/truly random in generating its numbers. It is determined that the semantics of random and triangular are both indestructible/immutable (as are all other semantics in Existence, and of course Existence itself). It is also determined that a triangular thing, or a random number generator, are both mutable or destructible.
For God, it is determined that determined number generator d, will always generate 19. In this case, d is maximally determined and q is irrelevant to d’s inherent nature (unless of course d’s inherent nature is changed to something els, but by q here I mean external factors clicking with d’s inherent nature, not changing it).
The last three paragraphs show that you can have a maximally random number generator, and a maximally determined number generator. You can also have all that is in between randomness and determinedness. The last three paragraphs show this because the denial of their meaningfulness, leads to an inconsistency in semantics. Consider the following spectrum:
The closest to random semi-random number generator (call any semi-random number generator s-r), will almost always generate numbers randomly in an absolute/complete sense (what I mean by absolute here will hopefully become clear further on). There will be one q wherein which it will generate a specific number (let’s say the number 19) purely as a result of this specific q. Call this one specific q “qx” or “external circumstance x”, but don’t take it as an absolute specific (so instead of it being one absolutely specific Sunday, it is any given Sunday in July in world w). This nearly maximally random s-r, will always generate 19 in/at/on qx, but will generate randomly in all other qs (external circumstances). But it can get even more random (or closer to randomness if we are to be absolute with regards to our standards).
Instead of s-r being determined to generate its number 19 in qx, it is instead determined to generate any of its numbers except the number 19. Let’s unpack this: Suppose s-r only generates one number a day (it is guaranteed to generate one number a day). Further suppose qx is Sunday, and qxS is any absolutely specific Sunday. So there is one qx, and an endless number of qxSs. If we say s-r has a 1% chance of generating any number but 19, and a 99% chance of generating any number randomly in each qxS, then that is necessarily absurd due to the following: Unlike each qx (which encompasses an endless number of qxSs), each qxS does not encompass anything other than itself. One qxS, one assigned number to that qxS. An endless number of qxSs, an endless number of numbers (one assigned to each qxS with the exception of the number 19). It is for this reason we are able to meaningfully/truly say “s-r can generate any number, but at qx it will generate any number but 19″.
If we say s-r has a 99% chance of generating randomly (it can generate any of its endless numbers) and a 1% chance of generating semi-randomly (it can generate any of its numbers except the number 19) in/at qx (which is one layer higher than qxS), then that is absurd because we need to be one layer higher than qx for this to be possible. We need something that encompasses an endless number of qxs such that in 1% of the qxs, it generates any of its numbers but 19, whilst in the other 99% of the qxs, it generates any of its numbers.
I should perhaps highlight here that a number generator that is able to generate only two numbers but does so in an absolutely random manner, is still absolutely random relative to its potential (because it generates without q influencing it in any way; unless of course you argue that q has made it so that it can only generate two numbers as opposed to more; but then that would be a case of q either creating its inherent nature by giving it only two numbers (as well an absolutely random disposition), or by changing it so that now it only has two numbers (whereas it was originally created with more). This is not the same as q clicking (as opposed to creating or changing) with what is already inherently there). However, its unpredictability or randomness is not with as much depth and breadth as a number generator that generates three numbers in an absolutely random manner (because it is potentially less random to an external observer in the sense that it has less numbers to generate in an absolutely random manner). Thus, whilst both number generators can be said to be absolutely random in the manner in which they are generating their numbers relative to their potential, the latter (the one with three numbers) is harder to correctly predict with regards to what number it will generate next (not with regards to what are the odds of it generating the number 1). There is less room for error regarding the former, hence the justification for describing it as being easier to predict despite it being absolutely random. Of course, neither of these two random number generators are absolutely/objectively/completely/truly completely random (their inherent potential is limited due to the limited number of numbers they encompass) because the potential for greater randomness exists in Existence (not in them). Only a number generator that possesses all possible numbers (as opposed to just two or three) can (but not necessarily will) be truly completely random in generating numbers.
The closest to determined semi-determined number generator (call any semi-determined number generator s-d), will almost always generate the number 20. Suppose a number generator generates 20 in all qs, but at qx it generates 19. We cannot describe this number generator as being random in any way (so it is not an s-d at all). It is fully determined to generate 20 and 19 in a determined manner.
Call Sunday qx, and any absolutely specific Sunday qxS. Where s-d generates either 20 or 19 in qx, then p% of qx (that’s p percent of all qxSs) consists of 19, whilst the other percentage consists of 20. Hence the randomness. With this being in place, we can describe this number generator as an s-d. The smaller the p%, the closer s-d is to being maximally determined in generating 20. Put differently, the greater the odds of s-d generating 20 at qx, the closer it is to being absolutely determined in generating 20.
Since the past cannot occur in the future, the future cannot occur in the past. This clearly proves that time travel is absurd. If time travel is to have any semantically consistent or relevant value in relation to its label, then I believe the following is it:
From the present to the past: The present me, can enter another world that is identical to the world the past me occupied, and then start interacting with it.
From the future to the present: If a future “me” comes to me now and tells me that he is me from the future, I would know a priori that he doesn’t mean from the same world. The future “me” from the other world, is from a world identical to the one I would have found myself in had the future “me” not interfered. Though we’re not truly/really the same being (just as no two right angled triangles in two different locations are truly/really the same triangle, even if they are internally semantically identical), the future “me” a posteriori knows what kind of life I would have had had he not interfered. This a posteriori knowledge is possible here because everything about our two worlds is identical, right up until the point the future “me” interacts with me. Even if the future “me” travelled to my world as an invisible observer and did not interact with me, the two worlds are no longer identical. In one version/hypothetical possibility of my world (or in one possible truth/reality in relation to the world I occupy), the future “me” is present as an invisible observer, whereas in another version, the future “me” is not present as an invisible observer.
So, where the future “me” does interact with me, it is no longer hypothetically possible for me to be identical to the future “me”. Where the future “me” is just an invisible observer that does not alter the course of events in my world beyond just being there invisibly, I will continue to be inherently identical to the future “me”. Given the infinite regress that can follow from this, there will have to be one original “me” that never had a future “me” observe “itself”.
From the past into the future: The same principle applies but in reverse. If a past “me” comes to me now and tells me he’s from the past, I would at first think that he is probably mistaken because I have no past memories of visiting a “me” that I am identical to now. But just as I necessarily stop being identical to the future “me” after he interacts with me, the past “me” necessarily stopped being identical to me after he differed to my past. Clearly, both the past “me” and the future “me” are not truly me. Despite this, it appears that I have a closer resemblance to the future “me” because I would have definitely become identical to the future “me” had the future “me” been entirely invisible when travelling
back in time to my world to see me. The past “me” would not have become identical to me unless he somehow travelled to the future my world to see me as an invisible observer, and then travelled back in time to the world he came from, and then suffered amnesia. This would then mean that the present me identically did all these things but just can’t remember. No amnesia is required of a future “me” for us to be identical. All other things being equal, the more memories I have of myself, the more I am me (or the greater I am in me-ness).
For any given subject, real happiness, fulfilment, satisfaction, and pleasure, is better than pretend/illusory/imperfect versions of those things (though some level of happiness and satisfaction is better than no level of happiness or satisfaction. Thus, it is better to be somewhat happy and satisfied, then to not exist at all). The reverse of this is also possible: For any given subject, real unhappiness, anguish, grief, meaninglessness, and suffering is worse than pretend/illusory/imperfect versions of those things. If God put me in hell to satisfy Perfection/God, then surely I would rather not exist (unless I believed there would be an end to it and that something good would follow it such that it outweighed all the bad before it). If I was mildly unhappy and unsatisfied, and there was never any way for this to turn into something good (like mild happiness or potent happiness), then it is better for me that I don’t exist at all. If some other being is benefitting from my suffering, then it is better for him that I exist. Whether objectively this is right or wrong, depends on whether I’m objectively good or evil. It also depends on whether he is objectively good or evil. He does not deserve to be benefitted if he is evil, and I do not deserve to suffer if I am good. Nothing is worse than seeing good sacrificed for evil. The inverse of this is perfection/good.