In regards to the universe if it said to have a start (Beginning) does that imply that it will have an end? Are beginning and ends implied when either ones is said to be true of a proposition or can we have an eternal universe with an end or a universe with a beginning and no end?

  • hello i don't know tbh but would like to point out that does it end and does it begin ARE different questions
    – user6917
    Oct 13 '14 at 10:27
  • Surely there are mathematical models to the contrary. The real line has no beginning or end. The set of nonnegative reals has a beginning but no end. The set of nonpositive reals has an end but no beginning. The set with two elements {0, 1} has a beginning and an end but nothing in the middle. The open unit interval (0,1) has no beginning and no end, yet it's bounded. Many such examples are available. I offer them as conceptual models to help you clarify your woo about the universe.
    – user4894
    Oct 13 '14 at 16:05
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is a matter of cosmology, not philosophy. Oct 13 '14 at 18:52
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    @JamesKingsbery Plato, Aristotle and Kant were off-topic? At the heart of this question, it is dealing with infinity - and infinity has been a philosophical topic since forever. The way I read it, it asks if infinity must be infinite "in both direction" or if infinity can be "capped" at one side. Since that question hinges on the notion of infinity, on the meaning of "infinity" I think it is well located on this site.
    – Einer
    Oct 14 '14 at 8:08

The general view amongst Cosmologists is that the fate of the Universe depends on its overall shape or geometry.

The shape of the universe depends on the density of matter contained therein and is usually expressed using a parameter called the density parameter, which is the ratio of the observed density to the critical density. (Naively, one might say the more matter the more gravitational pull, while a smaller density of matter means there is not enough gravity to pull it all back together.)

The critical density is currently estimated to be approximately 5 atoms (of hydrogen) per cubic meter.

The observed density of ordinary matter is estimated at 0.2 atoms per cubic meters. This leaves us having to estimate the density of the exotic dark energy.

If the ratio is greater than 1 (high density, positive curvature), then the geometry of space is closed, meaning that it has a finite future. This case corresponds to our universe having a spherical shape.

If the ratio is less than 1 (low density, negative curvature), then the geometry of space is open, meaning that it has an infinite future. This case corresponds to a saddle shaped universe.

Finally, if the ratio equals 1 (the "Goldilocks" scenario, no curvature), then the geometry of space is flat, as in the Euclidean geometry we learned in school. Here, the universe expands forever, but the rate of expansion decreases and asymptotically (tends to) zero (over time).

When dark energy estimates are included, our current best guess is that our universe is within 0.4% of being flat, implying an infinite future.

Regarding the past, our science and observation strongly suggest that our universe has a finite past.

In recent years, a multiverse view of reality has become mainstream. Here, our universe is just one instance of many universes that make up a multiverse. In this vision, the multiverse is infinite in both directions.


Current cosmology, largely based on General Relativity, allows the universe could have a beginning in the sense of extending only finitely far into the past, and could have an end in the sense of extending only finitely far into the future, or both, or neither. Currently observation is taken to suggest a finite past going back to a "big bang" though it could also be that the universe vanishes asymptotically over an infinite past. And it is taken to indicate an infinite future, but this could possibly change as new ideas of "dark matter" and "dark energy" emerge. Of course those scientific ideas could all change if currently unknown data come in.

On the other hand if you want to know what Aristotle, or Kant, or Mahayana Buddhism say about it, those are other questions.



I would say that "Does A imply B?" is equivalent to: "Are there zero valid models where A is true but B is not?" If there are valid models where A is true and B is not, then it is not the case that A implies B. This is a useful definition of the word "implies".

Are there valid models where the universe has a beginning but does not have an end? Yes. Therefore it cannot be the case that the universe having a beginning implies it must have an end.

Do we live in a universe that had a beginning but will not have an end? That is a different question. My understanding of the data available is that the answer to this question is "probably".


Well, I don't think there can be such things as "beginning" or "end". There are just sequences of events, we choose to call it "beginning" or "end". For example, suppose I kick a piece of sand in the desert; we may classify my leg going in the direction of the sand as the sequence of events which classify the "beginning", and the sand being kicked and flying away as the "end". But the event truly not ended, because the sand continues to fly and react to another substances, which react with others in an infinite chain. That's why people make jokes about going back in time, stepping in a bug and change the course of history! Anyway, things just happen in their proper instants of time, the "begin" and "end" part is our doing.

Have a nice day.

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    Imagine once there was no universe. Than there was one. Does that mean, that once there will be no universe anymore? And if one day the universe is no more, can it than have always been there? I think this question can be formulated without referring to events. If I'm right, your solution seizes to work.
    – Einer
    Oct 13 '14 at 13:22
  • @Einer I think the first question might depend on physical aspects. The material existence of the universe depends immediately on the laws of physics which allows it to exist, so tHe best person to answer is a physicist. Regarding events, we can talk about events of not happening events at all. E.g, with change of time, all events in the sequence would be similar, but not equal (since times flows uniformly).
    – Ricardo
    Oct 13 '14 at 13:29

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