The Idealistic Concept of a "Finite Universe" Must Be Criticized

Contemporary Chinese Thought 19 (4):80-83 (1988)
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On the question of whether the universe should be infinite or finite, there has been throughout the history of physics a struggle between materialism and idealism, between dialectics and metaphysics. Materialism asserts that the universe is infinite, while idealism advocates finitude. At every stage in the history of physics, these two philosophical lines have engaged in fierce struggle. Although developments in physics always demonstrate the failure of the finite universe doctrine, with every new advance in science the idealists distort and take advantage of the latest results of physics to "prove" with varying sleights of hand that the universe is finite, serving the reactionary rule of the moribund exploiting classes. In the early part of this century after the rise of quantum theory and relativity theory, physics arrived at a new stage of development. After General Relativity was announced in 1916, a lot of people used it and similar theories of gravity to produce all sorts of models of the universe. The "finite universe" point of view became even more fashionable. Lenin pointed out that "That certain schools of the new physics have various dealings with Machism and other variants of modern idealism, is a fact not to be doubted for a moment." It is clear from reading all sorts of foreign literature that the schools of physics promoting a finite universe are linked up with all sorts of idealist philosophy, including theology



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