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Does Time exist?

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Old
09-13-2008, 11:17 AM
  #26
ExplosionsintheGine
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Time is a mathematical concept and we use it to keep track of our daily lives. Without it, the world as we know it would be a chaotic mess (some could argue that it already is).

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09-13-2008, 11:31 AM
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I guess I'll weigh in on time.. I just confused myself.

Does anyone ever think about structure? Someone said good/bad/evil?

Things like the speed of light, pi, the Leafs, ect. do these change over time (or our perception of time)?

I figured some absolute terms might make the picture clearer. anyone?

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09-13-2008, 12:41 PM
  #28
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I wrote an extensive paper on this topic (among others) last year. The answer is, of course, we can't possibly know, but it isn't out of the realm of comprehension that both space and time exist solely as faculties of human perception. Because we are unable to perceive the universe without space and time, we take the small part of the universe that we encompass, take all the sensory information that we receive from it, and order it into space and time.

I think the most useful way to think of this is to consider God as omnipresent and omniscient - not necessarily because he is all powerful, but because God exists outside of space and time. He sees the entirety of everything, while our minds are only capable of seeing small parts of the whole, and even then, we can only see small parts if we organize the information in such a way that we can comprehend it.

.... let me try this a slightly different way.

Everyone has seen the Matrix, right? Where we're all plugged into a computer system and the computer feeds us all the information we need to live our lives and understand them? That isn't all that different from how reality is - we exist in the universe, and the universe (through our senses) feeds us all the information we need to live and survive.

But there are two ways to comprehend how this works. First is that all the information that comes from the universe is pre-ordered in space and time because they are inherent qualities of the universe itself. Therefore our senses and our mind can understand the information that comes from the universe as it is, as pure information.

The second is that all the information that comes into our brain hasn't been pre-ordered in space and time, but is simply information input, and that it is the mind that takes all that information and orders it into space and time. The reason I subscribe to this particular theory is because it is impossibly for a human being to visualize information without first placing it in space and time - everything we think is ordered in space and time. Our minds exist as a localized stream of consciousness.

I'm not really sure if that's going to make any more sense. Go read Kant.

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09-13-2008, 12:48 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
The second is that all the information that comes into our brain hasn't been pre-ordered in space and time, but is simply information input, and that it is the mind that takes all that information and orders it into space and time.
I don't think I quite understand this part. Are you saying that the universe doesn't follow any type of chronology and that it's up to us to put those events in a discernible order?

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09-13-2008, 12:50 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Benny Lava View Post
I don't think I quite understand this part. Are you saying that the universe doesn't follow any type of chronology and that it's up to us to put those events in a discernible order?
Yes. But also note that that's not exclusive to time. The universe would also not exist in any kind of dimensionality - that's just how we measure it because it's how we perceive it - but that quality of the universe is a faculty of our perception of the universe, not of the universe itself.

We can't, in the way God does, perceive the universe without space and time. We're not omniscient or omnipresent. We're restricted to comprehending limited portions of the universe which we, as individuals, break into space and time so that we can understand them.

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09-13-2008, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
Yes. But also not that that's not exclusive to time. The universe would also not exist in any kind of dimensionality - that's just how we measure it because it's how we perceive it - but that quality of the universe is a faculty of our perception of the universe, not of the universe itself.

We can't, in the way God does, perceive the universe without space and time. We're not omniscient or omnipresent. We're restricted to comprehending limited portions of the universe which we, as individuals, break into space and time so that we can understand them.
I can understand that the way we measure the universe (time, length, width, etc.) is a faculty of our perception of it, but I've got a hard time believing that without that perception, events in the universe wouldn't occur in any type of order. If that were the case I could have died before I was born, the Sun could have exploded before there was life on Earth, the Big Bang might not have happened yet.

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09-13-2008, 01:01 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Benny Lava View Post
I can understand that the way we measure the universe (time, length, width, etc.) is a faculty of our perception of it, but I've got a hard time believing that without that perception, events in the universe wouldn't occur in any type of order. If that were the case I could have died before I was born, the Sun could have exploded before there was life on Earth, the Big Bang might not have happened yet.
If the universe exists outside of space and time, the universe would exist as a single whole, with all the events that we perceive as existing in space and in time simply... existing. Of course, this is impossible to describe in any real manner because we, as human beings, simply cannot perceive what it would be like because we cannot visualize anything occurring independently of space and time.

This is why I like to use God's point of view. Pretend you can be outside the universe and see the whole of the universe, both in terms of space and of time. To you, as a being that effectively exists everywhere and everywhen in the universe, describing it to you in terms of space and time would be meaningless. The universe just is.

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09-13-2008, 01:09 PM
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Well, I am confused to say the least

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09-13-2008, 01:16 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
If the universe exists outside of space and time, the universe would exist as a single whole, with all the events that we perceive as existing in space and in time simply... existing. Of course, this is impossible to describe in any real manner because we, as human beings, simply cannot perceive what it would be like because we cannot visualize anything occurring independently of space and time.

This is why I like to use God's point of view. Pretend you can be outside the universe and see the whole of the universe, both in terms of space and of time. To you, as a being that effectively exists everywhere and everywhen in the universe, describing it to you in terms of space and time would be meaningless. The universe just is.
That would mean that the universe would both exist (now) and not exist (pre-Big Bang) at the same time. That sort of paradox would confuse even God. But still, as an omniscient God, wouldn't you inherently know that things happen in chronological order? Part of being omniscient is the idea of knowing everything, so thinking of things in terms of dimensionality wouldn't be meaningless because you simply know everything.

Also, I don't think the universe exists outside of space and time, it just exists outside of our view of space and time. It's something we'll never know or understand because we'll never be able to experience the universe outside of our understanding of it, but I definitely think it has dimensions. They just aren't the dimensions we as humans use to measure it.


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09-13-2008, 01:36 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Benny Lava View Post
That would mean that the universe would both exist (now) and not exist (pre-Big Bang) at the same time. That sort of paradox would confuse even God. But still, as an omniscient God, wouldn't you inherently know that things happen in chronological order? Part of being omniscient is the idea of knowing everything, so thinking of things in terms of dimensionality wouldn't be meaningless because you simply know everything.

Also, I don't think the universe exists outside of space and time, it just exists outside of our view of space and time. It's something we'll never know or understand because we'll never be able to experience the universe outside of our understanding of it, but I definitely think it has dimensions. They just aren't the dimensions we as humans use to measure it.
The problem is saying they would exist and not-exist at the same time. It's not a question of existence simultaneously, because simultaneous existence would suggest that time would be a mandatory characteristic of the universe. We perceive events to take place in a linear fashion, but just because we perceive them to doesn't mean they actually do.

If you perceive the universe in space and time, moments in space are connected like moments in time - they flow smoothly into one another.

This really is just an interesting thought experiment, because it's impossible for either of us to prove either way.

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09-13-2008, 02:02 PM
  #36
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From the scientific POV, time is the 4th dimension, rounding out the dimensions of space/time and has something to do with Entropy, and only goes in 1 arrow

This is the bizzare thing, because we can go north and south, west and east, up and down, but we cannot go backwards and forwards in time

Many posit that this is essential to the stability of the universe, while others say that this is just our biased human interpretation of it

Time exists in a sense that things happen in a certain order due to cause-and effect. For example, if I drop a glass and it breaks, that was just the passage of time, from the cause (me dropping the glass) to the result (the glass shattering). However, time in the sense of "oh it is 4:51" is an artificial human thing

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09-13-2008, 02:06 PM
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In Indian religions, Moksha (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mōkṣa, liberation or salvation) or Mukti (Sanskrit: मुक्ति, release) is liberation from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth or reincarnation and all of the suffering and limitation of worldly existence. In Hindu philosophy, it is seen as a transcendence of phenomenal being, a state of higher consciousness, in which matter, energy, time, space, causation (karma) and the other features of empirical reality are understood as maya.
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"Stop! The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised."
I wonder, if "god" is always "god", what of man who transends reality to become "god" in his own right?


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09-13-2008, 02:06 PM
  #38
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If time didn't exist, how will we know when to show up for the 5 O'Clock free crack give away?

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09-13-2008, 03:26 PM
  #39
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Time exists just as any other material property exists. Perhaps if we were not constrained by the material, we would also not be constrained by time (as God is not).

But the universe, being also material, is also constrained by time. It's not just human perception.

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09-13-2008, 05:22 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
I wrote an extensive paper on this topic (among others) last year. The answer is, of course, we can't possibly know, but it isn't out of the realm of comprehension that both space and time exist solely as faculties of human perception. Because we are unable to perceive the universe without space and time, we take the small part of the universe that we encompass, take all the sensory information that we receive from it, and order it into space and time.

I think the most useful way to think of this is to consider God as omnipresent and omniscient - not necessarily because he is all powerful, but because God exists outside of space and time. He sees the entirety of everything, while our minds are only capable of seeing small parts of the whole, and even then, we can only see small parts if we organize the information in such a way that we can comprehend it.

.... let me try this a slightly different way.

Everyone has seen the Matrix, right? Where we're all plugged into a computer system and the computer feeds us all the information we need to live our lives and understand them? That isn't all that different from how reality is - we exist in the universe, and the universe (through our senses) feeds us all the information we need to live and survive.

But there are two ways to comprehend how this works. First is that all the information that comes from the universe is pre-ordered in space and time because they are inherent qualities of the universe itself. Therefore our senses and our mind can understand the information that comes from the universe as it is, as pure information.

The second is that all the information that comes into our brain hasn't been pre-ordered in space and time, but is simply information input, and that it is the mind that takes all that information and orders it into space and time. The reason I subscribe to this particular theory is because it is impossibly for a human being to visualize information without first placing it in space and time - everything we think is ordered in space and time. Our minds exist as a localized stream of consciousness.

I'm not really sure if that's going to make any more sense. Go read Kant.
I believe Plato is good to... he was with The Cave(the primary philosophy behind the Matrix), right?

or was it Socrates?
Aristotle?

I know it was one of those 3... damn, grade 12 philosophy class... can't remember these things after 3 years

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09-13-2008, 08:11 PM
  #41
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09-13-2008, 08:13 PM
  #42
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Yes, time exists.

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09-13-2008, 08:57 PM
  #43
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This thread reminds me of this:


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09-13-2008, 09:14 PM
  #44
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Consider the word "weight". It's defined as the amount of gravitational force is being exerted on one object in relation to another. However, thanks to Einstein, we now know that this is actually a false definition (as well as the classic definition of time). It may work well as a model of the Solar System (with the obvious exception of Mercury's orbit), but on a larger scale it is clearly flawed. So even though we know the definition to be inaccurate on a larger scale, we still use it as a way to measure and gain accurate scientific information. The reason we can continue to use Newton's laws is because it only a concept. It doesn't matter if it is "true" or not because it does not exist.

My point is that measurements are neither existent nor non-existent. They are simply ideas, concepts, tools that we have constructed to help us better understand the world around us.

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09-13-2008, 11:48 PM
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I've always felt that time exists as the 4th dimension... There is a video online called imagining the 10th that mathematically doesn't hold much weight but it does a splendid job of describing time and how it pertains to dimensions.

Imagine a 2nd dimensional creature living in a 2 dimension world. If a 3 dimensional being were to pass through that world the 2 dimensional being would see 2 dimensional cross sections of that being's 3 dimensional self.

Now, consider this, we are living in a 3 dimensional world as 4 dimensional beings-the 4th dimension being time. As 4th dimensional creatures living in a 3 dimensional world we can only see 3 dimensional cross sections of our 4 dimensional selves...

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09-14-2008, 01:44 AM
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09-14-2008, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
I wrote an extensive paper on this topic (among others) last year. The answer is, of course, we can't possibly know, but it isn't out of the realm of comprehension that both space and time exist solely as faculties of human perception. Because we are unable to perceive the universe without space and time, we take the small part of the universe that we encompass, take all the sensory information that we receive from it, and order it into space and time.

I think the most useful way to think of this is to consider God as omnipresent and omniscient - not necessarily because he is all powerful, but because God exists outside of space and time. He sees the entirety of everything, while our minds are only capable of seeing small parts of the whole, and even then, we can only see small parts if we organize the information in such a way that we can comprehend it.

.... let me try this a slightly different way.

Everyone has seen the Matrix, right? Where we're all plugged into a computer system and the computer feeds us all the information we need to live our lives and understand them? That isn't all that different from how reality is - we exist in the universe, and the universe (through our senses) feeds us all the information we need to live and survive.

But there are two ways to comprehend how this works. First is that all the information that comes from the universe is pre-ordered in space and time because they are inherent qualities of the universe itself. Therefore our senses and our mind can understand the information that comes from the universe as it is, as pure information.

The second is that all the information that comes into our brain hasn't been pre-ordered in space and time, but is simply information input, and that it is the mind that takes all that information and orders it into space and time. The reason I subscribe to this particular theory is because it is impossibly for a human being to visualize information without first placing it in space and time - everything we think is ordered in space and time. Our minds exist as a localized stream of consciousness.

I'm not really sure if that's going to make any more sense. Go read Kant.
Counterargument: I own a watch. A watch measures time. You can't measure what's not there. I win.





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09-14-2008, 01:54 AM
  #48
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09-14-2008, 10:48 PM
  #49
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there are a lot of complicated words in this post i just don't understand
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This is one that I was thinking about recently. I can't remember at the moment if this is the way I stopped thinking about it or not but I think the contradiction arises because both the idea of the moment and flow are seemingly or basically true as well as contradictory with one another. Why they're both seemingly or basically true? I think it's because the idea of the moment is consistent with the (merely cultural?) idea of absolute truth as unchanging at the same time that individual experience is consistent with the idea of flow. As soon as we think of change as constantly true or the moment as constantly changing we're already contradicting ourselves at some level. I think change must be able to be divided into smaller and smaller fragments forever and this by defintion is against any sort of individual isolated moment. Thus time is probably real and the 'moment' probably isn't. Time doesn't neccessarily move forward, it just moves in a given direction and this is consistent with existence or appearance as moving through infinite time or something.
Fixed.

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Originally Posted by glucker View Post
better question is does the present exist?


we can understand the past, we know the future is coming, but we can never actually pinpoint the present, by the time we actually comprehend a moment, it's already in the past
This is basically what I was trying to say too. I just added the idea that there is no truly singular moment because experience is like a flow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glucker View Post
I believe Plato is good to... he was with The Cave(the primary philosophy behind the Matrix), right?

or was it Socrates?
Aristotle?

I know it was one of those 3... damn, grade 12 philosophy class... can't remember these things after 3 years
It's Plato's allegory of the cave and it's in The Republic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richyrich View Post
I've always felt that time exists as the 4th dimension... There is a video online called imagining the 10th that mathematically doesn't hold much weight but it does a splendid job of describing time and how it pertains to dimensions.

Imagine a 2nd dimensional creature living in a 2 dimension world. If a 3 dimensional being were to pass through that world the 2 dimensional being would see 2 dimensional cross sections of that being's 3 dimensional self.

Now, consider this, we are living in a 3 dimensional world as 4 dimensional beings-the 4th dimension being time. As 4th dimensional creatures living in a 3 dimensional world we can only see 3 dimensional cross sections of our 4 dimensional selves...
Yeah, exactly. The idea of a pinpointed moment is probably unreal because, in theory, we could keep on dividing up the flow that occurs as experience forever.


Last edited by Hippasus: 09-14-2008 at 11:04 PM.
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09-14-2008, 10:51 PM
  #50
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Considering there comes a TIME where you die (naturally or not)...I think that alone proves for us humans..there is time.

If we lived forever, then its a good question.

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