Is The Physical Universe Finite Or Is It Infinite? -- By: L. Franklin Gruber

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 082:327 (Jul 1925)
Article: Is The Physical Universe Finite Or Is It Infinite?
Author: L. Franklin Gruber


Is The Physical Universe Finite Or Is It Infinite?

L. Franklin Gruber

Is THE physical universe a finite entity, or is it infinite in extent of space and quantity of so-called matter? If it is a finite entity, then it must necessarily be limited by and dependent upon some other entity or entities, even as all things within it are interdependent from the minutest constitutive particles to the universal whole. And that other entity, or the ultimate entity upon which all intermediate and therefore also finite and dependent entities would have to depend, must necessarily be infinite, even though its infinitude be of a different kind. Then also it must follow that the physical universe, or any other entity less than infinite upon which even the universe might be contended to depend, must have its existence by or from that only infinite entity as its ultimate cause. Moreover, as is already implied in what is said above, that ultimate infinite or unlimited entity must necessarily be different from the finite physical entity whose cause it is, that is, it must be non-physical, or what with our limited knowledge we can simply call spiritual. For, if it were of the same nature or essence as the universe itself, or what we call physical, it would come under the same category, for the reasons above given, as a finite entity,—which would be in contradiction of what we have concluded above, namely, that it must be infinite.

It is thus seen that at least in a consideration of the universe as a finite entity it is impossible to eliminate the existence or reality of what we call a spiritual, and necessarily infinite, entity, that corresponds to what we worship as the causative or creative Deity, however far below the Christian’s conception such pure reasoning may leave us. The full argument for this and the above points need not

Copyright, 1925, by L. Franklin Gruber.

be given here, as it is rather unwieldy for our space and can be found elsewhere.1

If, on the other hand, the physical universe were infinite, then the contention that it itself might be eternal and the ultimate reality, with supposedly inherent potentialities for its whole constitution and eternal history, might be urged with some force. Thus the conception of an infinite universe would carry with it an at least superficial suggestion against the existence of that spiritual being whom we call God.

It is thus seen that there is not a little involved in a correct answer to the question as to whether the physical univ...

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