Possible and the actual.

I’ve now come to find that the present is like a great sift filtering the actual out from the mere possible. But this has almost nothing to do with the question I’m about to ask.

The question is: If my existence, this existence, was possible once then can it be correctly assumed that it shall always remain possible for all of infinity? Meaning, that since the nothingness, whether through a God or not, has arrived at this moment, can the nothingness always arrive at this moment? Is what’s possible once by this nothingness eternaly possible?

I’m propably more interested in the arguments against this to be honost, but all feedback is apreciated.

If you will agree that we are energy (be-it our mind and/or body or both) then it follows that we can never be destroyed, according to Einstein. He said that energy can never be created or destroyed it just chronically changes forms. I just wonder the origin of the energy…

Matter decays. It decays into radiation, usualy a form of elecromagnetic energy, like say a photon. The interaction of energy is what creates matter. And all chemical properties are derived from electrons. The reason you cannot walk through a wall is because of these electromagnetic forces. Matter appears to decay because matter is not the most stable form of energy. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that energy also decays. But I wouldn’t know much about this.

Even if energy stayed around forever, couldn’t the forms that energy consists of have an infinite range of change, and if so could the present be only a unique arrangement of the energy, one that is never to occur again because it has an infinite range of changes?

Hi Solitarely,

Please be careful with that word “possible.” A glass of water at room temperature consists of an enormous number of water molecules. Some of these molecules are vibrating very rapidly, others slowly. It’s a statistical possibility that at some instant all the fast moving molecules just might happen to end up in the top part of the glass, while the slow moving molecules end up at the bottom. If that should ever happen, then the water in the top part of the glass would explode into steam vapor while the water in the bottom would freeze-solid. I’ve said this is possible, but what I didn’t say is if it were probable. In fact, the probability is very, very low. So low, in fact, that we need never expect to observe such a thing.

Please remember that an event can be possible even if the odds of it ever happening are vastly improbable. Almost everything we can imagine is possible. I’m generally interested not in what is possible, but what’s probable.

Vance wrote:

If that were so, then how could I destroy your new BMW sportscar (itself made of indelible rest-energy) by placing it into a car-crusher? But supposing I did, could you expect to drive the resulting cube of metal to the beach?

It might be difficult to destroy energy, but people are inordinately fragile creatures. A few moments without oxygen is sufficient to render the strongest man into a pile of compost.


Polemarchus, were you showing me another example of the distinction between possible/impossible and propable. Meaning that, although many imaginable things lay within the range of possible, something as ludicrous as TheVance’s having a new BMW sportscar remains in the relms of the impossible. Thanks, I think I’m beggining to understand…

hahaha… no no… even if you crushed and destroyed my car it is still energy… it is still protons neutrons and electrons at the basic level… by crushing it you would just be changing the form of the energy… you can never destroy it… we cant walk through walls because our energy is vibrating to slow thus solidifying us and the same applies to the wall… complimentary to what Sol said… Sol… I actually do own a BMW… an older Z3 :sunglasses:

Hi Vance,

We don’t seem to be on the same wavelength. I’m saying that a car crusher crushes cars, not energy. I chose this as an analogy to your statement that humans can never be destroyed because we are energy. Whether or not energy is destoyed, cars and people surely can be.

Vance, I think you’re making a categorical error. As children, most of us had Lego blocks, and we made all sorts of things with them. Suppose you built a model fire engine using your Lego blocks, but then you decided to take it apart to build a rabbit instead. Now, when your father comes in and asks you what you’ve made, do you really tell him it’s a fire engine? Even though all the Lego pieces are still there, the fire engine is gone. Do you see the distinction?

It’s the same with human bodies. We’re made of constituent components (molecules, atoms, quarks, etc.). You might even think of all these bits of matter as rest-energy. But rest-energy or Lego blocks, the principle is the same. A human body has all the ingredients of a barnyard compost pile. But just as with the fire-engine and the rabbit, a compost pile is not the same thing as a human. It’s fine that energy is durable, but people are fragile. You can’t put your little brother through a meat grinder, and when your mom asks where he is, point to the pile of hamburger. Even if all the bits and pieces are still there, a pile of meat is not equivalent to your little brother.