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Cogito ergo sum

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Is time physical?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Ronson View Post
    My instinct is to say that anything that is not made of physical matter is not physical. Time is not made of physical matter. If nothing physical existed in our universe then there would be no time, since it is a measurement of the physical but not physical itself.

    That's the way it appears to me anyway.
    The way we normally use the word "physical", you would be correct. But philosophers don't generally use the word that way. (Of course, there is some disagreement among them on exactly how it ought to be used.)

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Stoic View Post

      True. Seer and I generally don't see things the same way, so I figured presenting it from my own POV would be less likely to be helpful.
      Well, not just in the way you presented it but also your argument. Nearly every atheist I've spoken to says that for a "God" to be truly omniscient - to be able to see the future with certainty - would negate human free will. God's existence not withstanding, they reject the notion even being possible. Your presentation runs counter to that.
      "You should just assume going forward that if I am ever wrong it is a typo" - Backup
      "
      Reality simply does not change based upon consensus or desire." - rogue

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Stoic View Post

        The way we normally use the word "physical", you would be correct. But philosophers don't generally use the word that way. (Of course, there is some disagreement among them on exactly how it ought to be used.)
        I would lean toward a definition from scientists rather than philosophers on this one. Time is like a human thought; its existence depends on acknowledgement. It can't exist on its own.
        "You should just assume going forward that if I am ever wrong it is a typo" - Backup
        "
        Reality simply does not change based upon consensus or desire." - rogue

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Ronson View Post
          Well, not just in the way you presented it but also your argument. Nearly every atheist I've spoken to says that for a "God" to be truly omniscient - to be able to see the future with certainty - would negate human free will. God's existence not withstanding, they reject the notion even being possible. Your presentation runs counter to that.
          I can't rule out a deterministic universe, which would effectively be the same thing. And while a deterministic universe is incompatible with libertarian free will, there are other conceptions of free will (Dennett calls it "freedom" to avoid confusion) that are entirely compatible with determinism.

          I don't think I'm that unusual among atheists in being okay with determinism.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Ronson View Post
            I would lean toward a definition from scientists rather than philosophers on this one. Time is like a human thought; its existence depends on acknowledgement. It can't exist on its own.
            Do you think of 'distance' the same way?

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Sparko View Post

              Not each frame exists as it's own time. I said the film's length was time, and each frame was one event in time at a specific location in time.

              Past, present and future are merely relative reference terms we use to refer to different times. It changes. Right now we talk about tomorrow as "the future" but tomorrow we will talk about it as "the present" and today will be "the past"

              On the film, the present would be whatever frame is being projected on the screen, the past would be the frames on the take up reel, and the future would be the frames on the feeder reel.
              Right, but there still is no actual flow of time, no actual duration, no actual direction. It all exists simultaneously, our experience of flow is an illusion. So in the big picture if time is not about flow or direction then what is it?
              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                It's the flow of time, and not time itself, that is an illusion (if eternalism is the case).

                If time, in the big picture, is not about flow or duration then what exactly is time?
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                  Do you think of 'distance' the same way?
                  I'd have to using the same rationale. It too cannot exist independently.
                  "You should just assume going forward that if I am ever wrong it is a typo" - Backup
                  "
                  Reality simply does not change based upon consensus or desire." - rogue

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Ronson View Post
                    I'd have to using the same rationale. It too cannot exist independently.
                    That could be true, but I think physicists generally think of space and time as things that exist independently, and can be influenced by matter.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      If time, in the big picture, is not about flow or duration then what exactly is time?
                      It could just be another dimension, such that to specify the location of an event in space-time, you need x, y, z, and t.

                      It would still be about duration (a measurement along the t axis), but not necessarily about flow.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                        It could just be another dimension, such that to specify the location of an event in space-time, you need x, y, z, and t.

                        It would still be about duration (a measurement along the t axis), but not necessarily about flow.
                        That would not give you duration, only flow can measure duration. Say that I had coffee last Tuesday morning - that is a meaningless distinction since that event isn't actually in the past tense, it still exists. So I will ask again, what is time?
                        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by seer View Post
                          That would not give you duration, only flow can measure duration. Say that I had coffee last Tuesday morning - that is a meaningless distinction since that event isn't actually in the past tense, it still exists. So I will ask again, what is time?
                          No, duration is measured by comparing different durations, just as distance is measured by comparing different distances.

                          The duration between Tuesday morning and Sunday morning is about five times the duration from sunrise to adjacent sunrise.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                            No, duration is measured by comparing different durations, just as distance is measured by comparing different distances.
                            Duration by definition is related to time: Duration;continuance in time.The time during which something continues.. With distances there is actual difference, with time that is not the case. All time exists at the same moment. No difference.

                            The duration between Tuesday morning and Sunday morning is about five times the duration from sunrise to adjacent sunrise.
                            Yet both events still exist simultaneously. So again, what is time? It is not flow nor duration, what is it?
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              Duration by definition is related to time: Duration;continuance in time.The time during which something continues.. With distances there is actual difference, with time that is not the case. All time exists at the same moment. No difference.

                              Yet both events still exist simultaneously. So again, what is time? It is not flow nor duration, what is it?
                              Both events would only exist simultaneously from the POV of someone outside of time (who would presumably need some different sort of time in order to be able to do anything). From that POV, space-time would be an unchanging block of four dimensions (the three spatial dimensions and time). But time would still be there, or they wouldn't be able to distinguish between the two events.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Ronson View Post
                                My instinct is to say that anything that is not made of physical matter is not physical. Time is not made of physical matter. If nothing physical existed in our universe then there would be no time, since it is a measurement of the physical but not physical itself.

                                That's the way it appears to me anyway.
                                even if there was no matter in the universe, space itself would exist. and so would time since they are intertwined as space-time. Just nothing would happen. One moment of time would be exactly like every other.

                                Comment

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