More than 10 years later, and I have not progressed in clarifying anything regarding the concepts of infinity, and consequently, of the universe/cosmology.
I just took a look at this post that I had written back in 2005:
For me, the question remains, just as I had stated it then: “So how can the universe expand? This doesn’t seem logical to me.”
The idea of an infinite universe makes no sense to me, and neither does the idea of a finite one. In short, nothing makes sense. What’s even worse, nothing seems like it can make sense.
As I explained to Jack, if the universe is finite, where does it end? How can it have a boundary? And if it has a boundary, there must be something on the other side of the boundary, thus contradicting the very definition of “finite”. If it is infinite, how can infinity exist for physical things? It makes no sense to me. If the universe somehow loops onto itself, I’m lost as to how that could be.
“I was thinking along the lines of the problem that infinity is outside the scope of rational thought, or logical thought.”
That was another idea I had. But how could there not be a way to understand the universe rationally or logically? That doesn’t make sense either. In short, nothing makes sense. The more I think about it – not that this is a priority for me – the less anything makes sense, and I find no claim that lets me stand on firm ground.
Therefore, by exclusion of the two patently impossible explanations, that the universe is finite, and that the universe loops onto itself, I, for the moment, shall rest with the thought that the universe is infinite, even though my mind cannot comprehend or apprehend infinity applied to anything physical.
Who knows what the future shall bring!! 🙂
update Feb. 22 2016
A reader left a comment mentioning the idea that the universe would be like the surface of a ball. Right there it already doesn’t make sense to me. A 2-D surface cannot be 3-D space, so it makes no sense to me how you could logically talk about a surface being something that, by definition, is not and cannot be space.
However, as I mentioned in my reply to this reader, his comment made me realize something more accurately: the concept of infinity, by definition, requires that there be no boundaries ever in any direction or sense. I had thought of this before, but now it simply stands out so bright and clear, in the most fundamental way. This has a very important consequence: any concept, image, or framework that contains any boundary automatically contradicts the concept of infinity as applied to anything physical when related to space. That’s why I can’t imagine a ball or any surface as a model for infinity. It’s boundaries and more boundaries. Why do other people claim this is a logical way of thinking about space regarding it’s infinite aspect, that is, the very aspect they claim has no boundaries? I don’t know – it makes no sense to me.