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The title might not be the best but it was the best I could do. The question presses on the matter of continuity of time and the necessity of existence as a connected metaphysical phenomena.

Just like the existence of space and time had to be and consecutively the big bang had to happen, specifically just like there is "something instead of nothing", why couldn't the exact opposite happen? At any time?

Other than the existence of the past what evidence do we have that any future will exist. Can we say with a 100% certainty that because all this time existence "was", that will always be the case, what I am trying to get at is just like everything exists matter, space, time couldn't everything stop existing at any time. Do we have any concrete evidence "everything" won't 'be' the very next picosecond or whatever interval of time you choose to use?

"Just because something didn't happen in the past doesn't mean it won't happen in the future" - is this a logically correct assumption?

Edit: From the answers so far, it kind of seems like I am asking about the Earth not existing, but I want to make it clear that I am asking about the universe and space and time and everything along with it. The question might be absurd, but I just want to point out that there is a scientific hypothesis that actually supports my frustration, it is said that at any point in time if the expansion of space is greater than the force exerted by the gravitational pull of the universe that the fabric of space time could tear which I think is absolutely absurd given the fact that we don't know the total gravity of the whole universe and the 'threshold of expansion of space time' space time could rip apart and reality could stop existing the very next second and this is the smallest hypothesis that I am putting forth to support my question.

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    No certainty al all: maybe this night the universe will disappear... Commented Apr 19 at 11:25
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    "existence of the past" - how sure are you about THAT?
    – kutschkem
    Commented Apr 19 at 13:03
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    @MauroALLEGRANZA I think you are right, I tried fixing it.
    – How why e
    Commented Apr 19 at 14:28
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    @ScottRowe I don't know what your definition of "now" is but evidence of the senses. Justification by sense. We can be sure something happened in the past because of evidence of memory, but the future it not only takes evidence of memory but also the projection (faith) of the past to happen yet again. Faith in the "consistency of existence".
    – How why e
    Commented Apr 19 at 14:52
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    It's the best we can do, I suppose.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Apr 19 at 14:55

4 Answers 4

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It is not possible to be 100% certain of anything that is not a logical necessity, which includes all statements about the nature of physical reality. The quest for certain knowledge about the real world is fundamentally wrong-headed and it is disappointing that philosophy (at least at an amateur level) is still pursuing it. We can only have uncertain knowledge - best to become comfortable with that as it is all that is available.

There have been cosmological "phase transitions" before, e.g. the inflationary expansion of the universe. There is no reason why there may not be some other "phase transition" that we don't know about that could essentially destroy space and time as we know it. Unknown unknowns are always going to be a problem here and mean you can't be 100% certain.

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    +1 "It is not possible to be 100% certain of anything that is not a logical necessity, which includes all statements about the nature of physical reality." And even one's conclusions about logical necessity and the use of it in reasoning should be suspect. See the IEP's article on Fallibilism.
    – J D
    Commented May 23 at 14:50
  • The definition of philosophy contradicts "The quest for certain knowledge about the real world is fundamentally wrong-headed and it is disappointing". Philosophy SE says "Philosophy Q&A for those interested in the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence" Commented May 23 at 15:11
  • @AlistairRiddoch philosophy includes uncertain knowledge, so there is no contradiction whatsoever. We can have knowledge, just not certainty. Commented May 23 at 15:17
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    @AlistairRiddoch "says "Philosophy Q&A for those interested in the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence" one aspect of the fundamental nature of knowledge is what we mean by certainty (and especially 100% certainty). Bloviation about men in togas is just a rhetorical device and I am not interested in blog rhetoric, just truth seeking discussion. Not being certain does not mean you don't know anything (c.f. Plato), you can have something in the middle - uncertain knowledge. Commented May 23 at 15:24
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    @DikranMarsupial I really appreciate your stance and this is the proper stance one should necessarily have. I mean for all we know actual 'reality' could maybe consist of higher dimensions and from these dimensions Earth and our dimensions of Space and Time might actually be considered flat even though that is not the case to our view as 3 dimensional creatures. Humans will always have relativistic knowledge which is not 100% certain.
    – How why e
    Commented May 24 at 1:45
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The question presses on the matter of continuity of time and the necessity of existence as a connected metaphysical phenomena.

There is no logical requirement (that I can think of) for time/existence not to end, or have started, at some "point".

Incidentally, I rather find your framing a bit objectionable: while there is no a priori guarantee that time and our Universe with it will not suddendly end, that "future" like "past" exist here and now is as true and immediate as that time here and now is "passing" at all.

"Just because something didn't happen in the past doesn't mean it won't happen in the future" - is this a logically correct assumption?

Of some things we do know that they cannot, or cannot but, happen, in so far as we believe in a continuity of the laws of nature (e.g. that gravity wouldn't stop working), but also and more fundamentally in the intrinsic rationality of the Universe. If we do.

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  • I have edited my question and I hope my framing becomes a little bit more acceptable.
    – How why e
    Commented Apr 19 at 14:25
  • @Howwhye You have not changed it. I meant: you say "that any future will exist", but it is not the persistence of "future" but rather that of "time" that is/may be in question. Anyway, it's more of a marginal point. Commented Apr 19 at 14:30
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We can use the stars and planets to plot the trajectory (past and future) of the Earth in a 3d Euclidian geometry space.

We can point along that trajectory and say "On this day the Earth was here"... and "on this day it was here" and to points in the future... "on this future date it will be here". The Sun's trajectory is almost the same as Earth's rotational axis. So, our joined path (the whole solar system) is heading towards the North Star (Polaris).

If you point a camera at Polaris and set it to long exposure, it creates an image called "star trails". They create a kind of "virtual tunnel" visually.

That "virtual tunnel" serves as a pretty good stand-in for the path of Earth's future. (there is a lot of looping and circling in the path... but inevitably it heads... "thataway" into the future:

enter image description here

We can do it so accurately that we know now that a particular meteor is going to pass between Earth and the moons orbit months from now.

Remember how tiny humans are... all put together the Earth out-masses us 12 trillion to one.

Some predict the position of planets by months.

I think as long as you look both ways when crossong roads, and are in decent health... tomorrow is certain.

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    Right, but ants vastly outmass humans also.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented May 20 at 0:56
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    @ScottRowe I think "used to" and that we caught up. We have gained a lot of weight since I was born (not that I personally have much responsibility for that)... but we've gone from 3 million to 8 million. Ants haven't changed much. And I think we about equal them now. Trees are the real winners, mass wise. But all of the above... are "along for the ride". Really Earth wins by such a margin that nuttin else much matters. Commented May 20 at 4:51
  • +1 I understand what you are saying and I know how you are cosmologically explaining that the existence of Earth through time and space is very imminent and that we have a solid understanding so we know, but my question is on a ontological and metaphysical level, I am asking just like how the big bang occurred and the universe unfolded according to the laws of nature what if the laws of nature and space break down or simply stop existing at any point. The very fabric of space and time tear or just stopped 'being'.
    – How why e
    Commented May 23 at 1:05
  • @Howwhye It seems to me (this doesn't make it a "necessarily so" claim)... that we have observations of billions of years of information of "consistent similar progression of events" where situations parallel ours.... meaning... within the aged/ageable observations of celestial events... nothing screams "That place acted way differently than that other place"... everything seems to point to a consistent predictable progression... billions of years worth. So we don't have to appeal to faith or trust... we can appeal to "cohesion with billions of years of observation". I suggest. Commented May 23 at 8:48
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    Quote from linked Wikipedia article: "Polls conducted in 2012 across 20 countries found over 14% of people believe the world will end in their lifetime, with percentages ranging from 6% of people in France to 22% in the US and Turkey. Belief in the apocalypse is observed to be most prevalent in people with lower rates of education, lower household incomes, and those under the age of 35. In the UK in 2015, 23% of the general public believed the apocalypse was likely to occur in their lifetime, compared to 10% of experts from the Global Challenges Foundation."
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented May 23 at 10:33
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It depends on your point of view. I am 100% certain that the Universe won't disappear overnight. I say that because the idea of the Universe disappearing seems utterly without justification, and conflicts with all we know about conservation laws in physics. On the other hand, people who believe the Universe is a computer simulation might be entirely content to entertain the possibility that the simulation might be switched off. It is up to you to form your own view. However, what I would say is that assuming something extraordinary with no shred of justification is possibly a sign of madness, so you might consider booking an early appointment with a local phrenologist to have your bumps carefully felt.

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  • Don't look up, Marco! Commented Apr 19 at 13:41
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    +1 For the effort. Conservation laws didn't necessarily hold for the beginning of energy and matter (the big bang - beginning of the universe), there was a beginning and matter and energy were created which does defy the conservative laws of matter and energy.
    – How why e
    Commented Apr 19 at 14:18
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    I really don't understand the argument that there was positive and negative energy before the beginning of time and space? How can there even be energy let alone positive and negative ones
    – How why e
    Commented Apr 19 at 16:56
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    No, the argument was that there was zero energy before the Big Bang and there is zero energy now. Commented Apr 19 at 19:34
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    @ScottRowe These anthropomorphisms are getting funnier by the moment
    – How why e
    Commented May 23 at 2:34

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