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Thread: Where did the universe exist before the big bang?

  1. #1 Where did the universe exist before the big bang? 
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    Hi all.

    A simple question really! For the universe to exist prior to the big bang, it surely had to exist somewhere by virtue of existing. Nothing can exist nowhere.

    On that basis, can we say that some sort of empty space existed before the big bang and that the empty space had to be alive because it existed.

    Therefore, can we say that before the big bang, there had to be a consciousness of some sort in existence?


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  3. #2 Re: Where did the universe exist before the big bang? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    A simple question really!
    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    For the universe to exist prior to the big bang, it surely had to exist somewhere by virtue of existing.
    Circular reasoning. You state it existed before the Big Bang and then go on to say it must have been somewhere because it existed. But you have not established that it had to exist before the Big Bang. That may be where it began. That could be the origin.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Nothing can exist nowhere.
    I think that is exactly where nothing exists. And it never has.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    On that basis, can we say that some sort of empty space existed before the big bang
    No, we cannot say that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    that the empty space had to be alive because it existed.
    Absolutely not. There is empty space between the galaxies. Are you seriously claiming this emptyspace is alive? Nonsense.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Therefore, can we say that before the big bang, there had to be a consciousness of some sort in existence?
    A compeletly unwarranted assumption. Even if all your other incorrect assumptions were true there is no requirement that something that is alive has to be conscious. (I am reasonably sure you are alive. I have yet to see any evidence you are conscious.)


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  4. #3  
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    Maybe I shouldn't be having a philosophical debate on a science forum given that my first response has been an insult

    Let me clarify. For the universe to expand, it surely had to expand into something. It couldn't expand into nothing. Before it expanded, it had to exist somewhere, it couldn't exist nowhere, if you like. So does that mean some sort of empty space already existed, therefore by virtue of existing had to be alive.

    Yes, alive! Because air, as an example, contains atoms. Therefore, it is in a sense alive. 'Empty' space may be 'empty', but it still exists therefore surely has to be alive? And what is the consciousness or intelligence or energy providing life for those atoms?

    That was my question.
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  5. #4 Re: Where did the universe exist before the big bang? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    A simple question really!
    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    For the universe to exist prior to the big bang, it surely had to exist somewhere by virtue of existing.
    Circular reasoning. You state it existed before the Big Bang and then go on to say it must have been somewhere because it existed. But you have not established that it had to exist before the Big Bang. That may be where it began. That could be the origin.
    It's not circular reasoning, it's an assumption.
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  6. #5  
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    Let me clarify. For the universe to expand, it surely had to expand into something.
    That is a common misconception. Space is space, as in the three dimensions. Non-space is non-existence. Something that exists cannot expand into something that doesn't.

    Think of the early universe as similar to the surface of an inflating ball. If you start walking on the ball you will eventually end up back where you started. As the ball expands you'll have to cover more and more distance before you can end up at the starting point. Also, similarly to there not being a centre to the surface of a ball, there is no single centre of the universe. Everywhere is the centre.

    The mistake that is made is that when people think of the supposed singularity, they imagine a little dot sitting in a void. The problem is that the void doesn't exist. It doesn't exist in the same way that a 7th side of standard dice don't exist. You can't even think about it, because there is nothing to think about. Does that make sense?

    Currently science can describe the formation of the universe only from a starting point slightly after the "bang". We really don't know what this starting point was.

    Yes, alive! Because air, as an example, contains atoms. Therefore, it is in a sense alive. 'Empty' space may be 'empty', but it still exists therefore surely has to be alive? And what is the consciousness or intelligence or energy providing life for those atoms?
    This bit doesn't make any sense. Air is not "in a sense" alive. While the definition for life is not that clear cut, it certainly does not include air and space as part of any legitimate definition. One thing that has emerged from our investigation of the natural world is that it doesn't seem to need any kind of intelligent guiding hand or designer. It just does it's thing all on its own and the rules of the universe is more than enough to allow for this to happen it would seem.

    PS: Ophiolite was not insulting you so much as letting you know how little your post made sense.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  7. #6  
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    Hi Kalster.

    Does that not there in lie the problem. Science at this stage can only describe slightly after the Big Bang.

    My question is, where and how the universe existed before the big bang.

    My questions only make no sense if you try and answer them to explain the big bang theory because, rightly or wrongly, they're questioning the theory so will naturally not make sense to the theory of the big bang.

    You say there was no void, I say how can that be? It only didn't exist if we assume the theory of the big bang. How do we know the void didn't exist if we don't know what happened before the big bang?

    My question re life is one of - take a cup as an example. It is not necessarily sentient, but to exist it surely has to have a life force of sort i.e. atoms. Oxygen in air has to have some degree of life force to exist. Is empty space really empty?
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  8. #7  
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    hi Generationb, Are you saying that atoms have life because of the movement of subatomic particle? I agree there is movement, but this doesn't mean life. If movement meant life than cars are alive.

    Now if you want to imply that there is some 'spirit' at work, some type of non-physical reality, then that can't be proven one way or the other by science. Science deals with the physical, material reality. To say that nothing existed before the big bang means that no physical, material thing existed. There was NO THING. That's really all that science can say. Whether there was/is some type of non-physical reality is really the question of the ages.

    Science can't answer questions about the spirit, which, to me, is another word for No Thing - nothing.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Maybe I shouldn't be having a philosophical debate on a science forum given that my first response has been an insult .
    If you seriously think my post was insulting please identify which elements of it were insulting. I shall readily retract and apologise for any statement that you demonstrate was invalid.

    Perhaps what you meant was, "I shouldn't be attempting a philosophical debate until I can express myself clearly using generally accepted meanings for important words."
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Maybe I shouldn't be having a philosophical debate on a science forum given that my first response has been an insult .
    If you seriously think my post was insulting please identify which elements of it were insulting. I shall readily retract and apologise for any statement that you demonstrate was invalid.

    Perhaps what you meant was, "I shouldn't be attempting a philosophical debate until I can express myself clearly using generally accepted meanings for important words."
    Considering this is a philosophy thread, I wasn't expecting people to be so literal about the term 'alive' or 'life'. I'm looking at the life behind inanimate objects so my wording is quite deliberate.

    Maybe I took the words "I have yet to see any evidence you are conscious" out of context. Maybe because of the general tone of your reply.

    You know, I watched a programme about the big bang by Stephen Hawking last night. He's perfectly happy to admit that there is still much to learn.

    So this is why we ask these questions, because there is still so much to learn.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Considering this is a philosophy thread, I wasn't expecting people to be so literal about the term 'alive' or 'life'..
    I think it is now you who are being insulting to philosophers. Your statement implies that philosophy uses terms that are vague, fuzzy and ambiguous. The reverse is true. One of philosophies strengths is its requirement that terminology be very precisely defined: the devil is in the detail.

    If you genuinely think worthwhile philosophical discussions can take place with loose terminology then you are interested in a bar room conversation, not true philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    I'm looking at the life behind inanimate objects so my wording is quite deliberate.
    Until and unless you can demonstrate that there is life behind inanimate objects your wording is quite wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Maybe I took the words "I have yet to see any evidence you are conscious" out of context. Maybe because of the general tone of your reply.
    My tone was combative because I think you have presented a very weak case poorly. I do not believe it is to your benefit for me to pretend otherwise. I hope and intend that you should take the criticism positively and improve your arguments accordingly (or, if appropriate, abandon them).

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    You know, I watched a programme about the big bang by Stephen Hawking last night. He's perfectly happy to admit that there is still much to learn.
    I haven't said anything contrary to that. I probably think there is more to learn than Hawking thinks, but that may be because he knows more than me.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    So this is why we ask these questions, because there is still so much to learn.
    But not any question will do.

    Questions need to take cognisance of current knowledge and current theory. Yours don't.

    Questions need to make an accepted use of words. Yours don't.

    Your questions were poor questions. I pointed that out. Directly. That is why you felt I was insulting.
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  12. #11 Re: Where did the universe exist before the big bang? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    A simple question really!
    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    For the universe to exist prior to the big bang, it surely had to exist somewhere by virtue of existing.
    Circular reasoning. You state it existed before the Big Bang and then go on to say it must have been somewhere because it existed. But you have not established that it had to exist before the Big Bang. That may be where it began. That could be the origin.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Nothing can exist nowhere.
    I think that is exactly where nothing exists. And it never has.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    On that basis, can we say that some sort of empty space existed before the big bang
    No, we cannot say that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    that the empty space had to be alive because it existed.
    Absolutely not. There is empty space between the galaxies. Are you seriously claiming this emptyspace is alive? Nonsense.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenerationB
    Therefore, can we say that before the big bang, there had to be a consciousness of some sort in existence?
    A compeletly unwarranted assumption. Even if all your other incorrect assumptions were true there is no requirement that something that is alive has to be conscious. (I am reasonably sure you are alive. I have yet to see any evidence you are conscious.)
    Thatís... paranoia.

    Something alive has to be conscious... something conscious doesnít HAVE to be alive.
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  13. #12 Not Alive? 
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by In infinity
    Something alive has to be conscious... something conscious doesnít HAVE to be alive.
    Please feel free to share with us; a couple of real life examples of something that is conscious, but not alive.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  14. #13 Re: Not Alive? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    Quote Originally Posted by In infinity
    Something alive has to be conscious... something conscious doesnít HAVE to be alive.
    Please feel free to share with us; a couple of real life examples of something that is conscious, but not alive.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aC7K-SOwCg&fmt=18
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  15. #14 Re: Where did the universe exist before the big bang? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by In infinity
    Thatís... paranoia.
    I was afraid you would think that.
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  16. #15  
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    Hey there.

    Well, interestingly and coincidentally, there was a programme on the TV last night called 'what happened before the big bang'. It covers the questions which prompted me to post the question in the first place and in the video you'll find physicists asking the same questions about empty space, existence of energy before the big bang and so on.

    I hope this clarifies my questioning in terms of energy in empty space (vacuum) i.e. having life (existing), the problems with the big bang theory and so on.

    Please also understand that my questions stem from Quantum Physics and the Unified Field theory - though not covered in this video.

    I hope this explanation clears up any vagueness in my questioning and can open the path to clearer discussion based on scientific theory based on research and philosophical theory.

    Here's the link to the show.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode..._the_Big_Bang/
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  17. #16  
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    Pre-big bang is pre-logic. Therefore discussing it with logical minds and words will not work.

    The number 42 therefore makes sense. Because it doesn't.
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  18. #17 Re: Where did the universe exist before the big bang? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by In infinity
    Something alive has to be conscious... something conscious doesnít HAVE to be alive.
    Do you perhaps mean; Something conscious has to be alive, something alive doesn't have to be conscious.
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  19. #18  
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    Apparently the human mind would not be willing to relinquish the thought of having the ability of understanding the pre-cosmos.

    If we were to turn to religious understandings, Buddhism talks about sequential starts and ends of consecutive universes. In other words, somewhat of an elastic kind of presence, and multiple bigbangs and reverse-bigbangs.

    I am deeply perplexed by such a situation and cannot offer any philosophical argument, except for a baseless "evidence".

    Hmm, but who says that having no thought is having no thought? And that having no thoughts would mean no logic? If you ask me, we need to incorporate more than just logical reasoning in philosophy, to transcend its mental barriers, but to effectively and logically understand illogical happenings is like trying to think a sphere as a cube.
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