Distinguishing Eternity & Infinity

Eternity and infinity are concepts that we learn about in school, but we often do not pay enough attention to them to truly understand their differences. While infinity is something that cannot be expressed or measured in units or measurements, eternity is something that exists at all times, having no beginning or end. Despite there being many similarities between these two concepts, there are still differences that need to be highlighted to enable readers to differentiate between them and use them correctly.


When something is said to last forever, it is described as being eternal. The concept is temporal in nature and applies to morals or right concepts that are believed to be timeless, such as honesty and integrity. The idea of the soul exemplifies eternity, where death signifies the end of the journey for a person’s physical body. Religion emphasizes the importance of good deeds, stating that they ensure a person’s name lives for eternity. Thus, eternity refers to timelessness or forever, depending on the perspective one chooses to view the concept. The idea of God as the creator of the universe is eternal, meaning it is a timeless concept. The universal symbol of eternity is a snake trying to swallow its own tail (Ouroboros), and a circle is sometimes used as a symbol of eternity as well.


When something is in a quantity that cannot be counted or measured, it is considered infinite. Anything that has no limits is inherently infinite. Infinity is a concept frequently used in mathematics and physics to refer to a number that is not real. If someone tries to create a set of real numbers, they will fail because real numbers go on infinitely, making such a set too large and impossible to create. Ancient Indian mathematics called Vedic math states that taking something away from infinity or adding something to infinity does not change it; infinity remains infinite in both situations. The concept of infinity has existed since ancient times, but its symbol was introduced to the world by John Wallis in 1655.

Key Takeaways

  • Eternity is a temporal concept and applies to things that are timeless, while infinity applies to things that cannot be counted or measured.
  • Religion and philosophy heavily use the concept of eternity, whereas infinity is used more often in mathematics and physics.
  • Eternity relates to time, whereas infinity relates to multiple dimensions.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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