Infinity

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Infinity

Postby Joe121589 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:54 pm

I was just wondering what infinity actually means in a theological sense. I know in mathematics and physics, it is used to describe something without limits. Translated in our common sense notion, endlessness. Abstractly speaking, the concept is perfectly logical, but hard to concretely grasp at. The best we can think of Infinity is something fleshed out in a form of endless progressive time. Or in theological terms, it is referred to as eternally travelling in hope without ever arriving.

I understand there are some logical implications used to describe theological principles. Like the primacy of God, and Good being superior to evil. Good and evil are traditionally understood as not two opposing forces, but good being existence and evil a lack of existence. So God is infinite existence, therefore unsubtractable. As infinity - 1 is still infinity. Logically speaking, he cannot have any evil, if he cannot be subtracted in any way. Which I know is a crude analogy. I also read another definition that explains infinity as a wholeness indivisible internally speaking. Like how we dont have God + creation = greater than God, or how the Holy trinity is not three separate parts of God, like 33 1/3% Father, 33 1/3% Son, or 33 1/3% Holy Spirit, or Jesus as being half God and half Man. Which I know are concepts that are impossible to intellectually grasp at.
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Re: Infinity

Postby davo » Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:07 am

Joe121589 wrote:Or in theological terms, it is referred to as eternally travelling in hope without ever arriving.

That would indeed be a desperate theology to be caught in… “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.Prov 13:12
“...the power and mercy of God’s grace is NOT limited to man’s ability to comprehend it...”
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Re: Infinity

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:48 am

Take a look at Infinity in theology and mathematics. Also look at the entry in the Catholic encyclopedia (i.e. The infinity of God section). In the Wiki article it says,
In Judeo-Christian theology, for example in the work of theologians such as Duns Scotus, the infinite nature of God invokes a sense of being without constraint, rather than a sense of being unlimited in quantity. I


Now can someone here finally answer this question from the middle ages?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
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Re: Infinity

Postby Paidion » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:59 am

All of them, if the head of the pin is infinite in extension.
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Re: Infinity

Postby DaveB » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:26 am

I personally witnessed 14 angels on the head of a ball-peen hammer, but it was really crowded...
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
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Re: Infinity

Postby Joe121589 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:50 pm

randylkemp wrote:Take a look at Infinity in theology and mathematics. Also look at the entry in the Catholic encyclopedia (i.e. The infinity of God section). In the Wiki article it says,
In Judeo-Christian theology, for example in the work of theologians such as Duns Scotus, the infinite nature of God invokes a sense of being without constraint, rather than a sense of being unlimited in quantity. I


Now can someone here finally answer this question from the middle ages?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?


I read the paper. It was a difficult read. Almost impossible to understand, as it would be to imagine being outside time. But then, all earthly analogies cannot even begin to grasp at God.

Now to answer the angels and pins, Peter Kreeft answered it by saying that infinitely, because angels are non-material, and therefore dont take up space, like a pin does
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Re: Infinity

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:14 am

I read the paper. It was a difficult read. Almost impossible to understand, as it would be to imagine being outside time.

Hi, Joe. Don't worry about it. I assume you mean "INFINITY IN THEOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS?" The problem is that historical and contemporary philosophers are sometimes both mathematicians and philosophers. And they write for those who have a background in both those subjects. Somebody needs to just translate it into a Cliff Notes or Readers Digest version, for the lay person.

Here's a joke I shared elsewhere about Zeno's Paradoses, and underline the important part:

The dichotomy paradox leads to the following mathematical joke. A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer were asked to answer the following question. A group of boys are lined up on one wall of a dance hall, and an equal number of girls are lined up on the opposite wall. Both groups are then instructed to advance toward each other by one quarter the distance separating them every ten seconds (i.e., if they are distance d apart at time 0, they are d/2 at t=10, d/4 at t=20, d/8 at t=30, and so on.) When do they meet at the center of the dance hall? The mathematician said they would never actually meet because the series is infinite. The physicist said they would meet when time equals infinity. The engineer said that within one minute they would be close enough for all practical purposes.


Here's a tidbit of research from Chicago's Straight Dope columnist Cecil Adams on Did medieval scholars argue over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin?. This point is extremely important, so I will quote it:

According to unimpeachable sources, it's not how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it's how many can do it on the point of a needle — which, of course, makes more sense.
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Re: Infinity

Postby Joe121589 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:21 pm

I guess a better question is how do we as mortals experience infinity? The popular concept is to see the human experience of infinity in quantitative terms. Case and point, the idea that Heaven is endless time, which sounds pretty scary to me. This reminds me of the question of how to tell if something is super or sub rational. On the surface, they have the same appearance of lacking explanation, only with the sub-rational, there is no explanation, and the super-rational, the explanation transcends rationality.
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Re: Infinity

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:09 pm

Joe121589 wrote:I guess a better question is how do we as mortals experience infinity? The popular concept is to see the human experience of infinity in quantitative terms. Case and point, the idea that Heaven is endless time, which sounds pretty scary to me. This reminds me of the question of how to tell if something is super or sub rational. On the surface, they have the same appearance of lacking explanation, only with the sub-rational, there is no explanation, and the super-rational, the explanation transcends rationality.


Here's an interesting thread from Quora: How could we better imagine infinity?
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Re: Infinity

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:29 pm

DaveB wrote:I personally witnessed 14 angels on the head of a ball-peen hammer, but it was really crowded...


I never witnessed angels on a ball peen hammer, but personally know a man that used a ball peen hammer on the hood of a '72' ford station wagon...

Busted up his knuckle changing the water pump... must of hit that hood a least 50 times :oops: Looked like real bad hail damage :lol:
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Re: Infinity

Postby Joe121589 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:56 am

Is infinity just a negation. Like the ideas that Heaven is endless time and space that goes on forever. Or if Infintiy is even an accurate term? I have noticed that infinity understood as Endless numbers, which compares God to being infinite in numerical terms, and that Humans are finite in numerical terms. But it sounds like a still ultra-rational way of understanding God, and still reductionist.
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