1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    17 Feb '07 22:48
    This may have been asked before but...does time really exist?

    I mean it's invisible , it has no mass to speak of , no radioactivity eminating from it etc etc . We are supposed to believe that it's really there , but is it? Is it any more substantial than God scientifically? Is belief in time a matter of faith?

    How do we define "existence"? If time can be said to exist in the real external world even though it's invisible and incredibly abstract then how do we not also say that beauty also exists in reality? How do we separate our conceptualisation of time with the objective reality of the external world? Time obviously exists subjectively (so does beauty) but objectively?

    We supposedly "observe" time passing but I look around and all I see is the world moving and my watch moving as well. How does that prove that time is doing this? So where is this "time" ? What is it made of? What makes time more than just a subjective concept that is useful in theoretical models?

    You may think this not relevant to Spirituality but many seem to talk about time in pseudo - spiritual terms as if all of existence depends on "time" and the universe "needing" time to exist "in". It's as if time takes on a life all of it's own and exists in reality in the same way as a tree exists in reality. But I know of no science that proves time exists conclusively , maybe I'm wrong. I believe that time exists like I believe that a metre exists , but then who has ever seen a "metre" or heard of a metre having mass?

    So do those who believe in time realise that they potentially believe in the existence of an invisible entity that is unproven scientifically ? If so how is that different from believing in God (another invisible entity that can't be proven scientifically) ? Are not both a form of faith and perception?

    The time believers will no doubt come down on me hard because I have stabbed at their sacred cow that cannot be questioned , but what evidence do they really have? Even though on balance I would say time is unlikely to exist I'm not saying time can't exist I'm just interested in why some people seem to think it's ridiculous to question it's existence.

    So please , in responding , bear in mind that I believe in the 4 dimensions and all that and I also believe that time is crucial to our understanding of the universe etc etc , BUT I also believe that the equator exists but that doesn't mean that when I go to Africa I expect to see a big black line on the ground. The equator , like time , exists in my mind as an idea but not in reality.

    Anyway that's enough ...I'm running out of....t
  2. Joined
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    17 Feb '07 22:54
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    This may have been asked before but...does time really exist?

    I mean it's invisible , it has no mass to speak of , no radioactivity eminating from it etc etc . We are supposed to believe that it's really there , but is it? Is it any more substantial than God scientifically? Is belief in time a matter of faith?

    How do we define "existence"? I ...[text shortened]... not in reality.

    Anyway that's enough ...I'm running out of....t
    Can you please summarise in a few sentences?
  3. Joined
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    17 Feb '07 23:16
    Originally posted by GinoJ
    Can you please summarise in a few sentences?
    Did time have a beginning? Is time linear or cyclic?
  4. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    17 Feb '07 23:22
    Originally posted by GinoJ
    Can you please summarise in a few sentences?
    I did.
  5. Joined
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    18 Feb '07 00:42
    Originally posted by josephw
    Did time have a beginning? Is time linear or cyclic?
    I did not read the post but I believe it is linear.
  6. Standard memberUmbrageOfSnow
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    18 Feb '07 02:07
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    This may have been asked before but...does time really exist?

    I mean it's invisible , it has no mass to speak of , no radioactivity eminating from it etc etc . We are supposed to believe that it's really there , but is it? Is it any more substantial than God scientifically? Is belief in time a matter of faith?

    How do we define "existence"? I ...[text shortened]... not in reality.

    Anyway that's enough ...I'm running out of....t
    You seem to think that for something to exist it has to have mass. This is simply not the case. As you point out yourself, you can't see a meter or the equator. But a meter is a measure of distance and is indeed man-made. Analogous would be the second or the hour. Saying time doesn't exist is like saying distance doesn't exist. We can observe both passing and measure them and we move through them constantly. It is ridiculous to claim they don't exist. Hours and minutes are man-made, but time is something that must exist and exists for everything (some would argue that it might not exist for God or whatever, but that is a debate for another thread).

    You don't really seem to have any argument. You point out all kinds of evidence that time is not an object, which anyone would agree with you on. I don't think anyone thinks of time as equivalent to a football or a cat or a body of water. It is a dimension. We exist in it and move through it constantly. The weight of observed evidence is against you, make a real argument or get off the soap box.
  7. Joined
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    18 Feb '07 02:11
    Originally posted by GinoJ
    I did not read the post but I believe it is linear.
    I highly recommend The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe
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    18 Feb '07 02:36
    It is not even that easy to define time. It seems that everyone knows what it is. But it is hard to discribe what it is.

    Anyone want to try without looking up a dictionary?

    Now I think to perceive time you have to use two other abstract entities - space and motion.

    I think time can only be measured if you also have space and motion.
    I could be wrong.
  9. Joined
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    18 Feb '07 02:37
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    This may have been asked before but...does time really exist?

    I mean it's invisible , it has no mass to speak of , no radioactivity eminating from it etc etc . We are supposed to believe that it's really there , but is it? Is it any more substantial than God scientifically? Is belief in time a matter of faith?

    How do we define "existence"? I ...[text shortened]... not in reality.

    Anyway that's enough ...I'm running out of....t
    My god, you're confused (and confusing). I just can't help but associate you with Billy Madison and the way in which the audience members all become dumber when Billy steps up to the podium.

    I think, roughly, you are interested in the inquiry that marks the reductionism versus Platonism debate on time: could time exist independently of the events (changes) that fill it?
  10. Joined
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    18 Feb '07 02:52
    Originally posted by josephw
    Did time have a beginning? Is time linear or cyclic?
    I think that time had to have had a beginning.

    Otherwise we could not have arrived at today. Because it would take infinitely long to traverse infinite time. If time had an infinite past then we could not have arrived at the present date.

    That's one argument anyway.
  11. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    18 Feb '07 03:29
    Originally posted by jaywill
    I think that time had to have had a beginning.

    Otherwise we could not have arrived at today. Because it would take infinitely long to traverse infinite time. If time had an infinite past then we could not have arrived at the present date.

    That's one argument anyway.
    Yes, and it's a dumb one. It's like saying that I can't walk from the bus stop to my house because there are an infinite number of points between here and there.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    18 Feb '07 09:34
    Originally posted by UmbrageOfSnow
    You seem to think that for something to exist it has to have mass. This is simply not the case. As you point out yourself, you can't see a meter or the equator. But a meter is a measure of distance and is indeed man-made. Analogous would be the second or the hour. Saying time doesn't exist is like saying distance doesn't exist. We can observe bot ...[text shortened]... weight of observed evidence is against you, make a real argument or get off the soap box.
    Saying time doesn't exist is like saying distance doesn't exist. We can observe both passing and measure them and we move through them constantly.UMBRAGE

    Have you considered that distance doesn't exist either !! When have you seen a "distance"? What is it that you are measuring?

    You need to define what you mean by "exist"? The concepts of distance and time could as easily be man made as the concepts of metres and seconds. And you would not say a second "exists" would you?

    If I asked you to measure the "distance" travelled along a road and also the "time" it takes for the car to travel that distance what thing can you point to that is this thing you call "distance"? You have only the car and the road and the energy that makes it move relative to your movement. You may also have a metal mechanism that moves called a "watch" and a long piece of plastic that you might call a "measuring tape".

    So where is this distance you talk about ? You might say you are observing distance and time "passing" but in real terms are you not observing the car "passing" , the road and your watch all moving relative to each other. Where is this ether of time that you saw the car pass "through"? If you dug up the road would you find the "distance" within it? If you took apart your watch would traces of time fall out? Do you have more chance of finding them than you have of finding a metre or a second?
  13. Standard memberknightmeister
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    18 Feb '07 09:43
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    My god, you're confused (and confusing). I just can't help but associate you with Billy Madison and the way in which the audience members all become dumber when Billy steps up to the podium.

    I think, roughly, you are interested in the inquiry that marks the reductionism versus Platonism debate on time: could time exist independently of the events (changes) that fill it?
    I'm not really confused. I know exactly why I am asking these questions. The fact that people seem to think that time sort of exists but maybe has no mass and is invisible but we are still dependent on it because we need to somehow exist "in" it , or pass "through" it etc etc is confusing.

    If you ask people what objective "thing" time actually exists as in the external world they can't give you a coherent answer. BUT if you suggest to them that time may be purely a mental construct or human concept they get all indignant and say I am being ridiculous .

    If I am confusing then it is time that is confusing . It has lodged itself in a special world all of it's own. Neither concept or reality.
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    18 Feb '07 09:47
    Originally posted by UmbrageOfSnow
    You seem to think that for something to exist it has to have mass. This is simply not the case. As you point out yourself, you can't see a meter or the equator. But a meter is a measure of distance and is indeed man-made. Analogous would be the second or the hour. Saying time doesn't exist is like saying distance doesn't exist. We can observe bot ...[text shortened]... weight of observed evidence is against you, make a real argument or get off the soap box.
    It is a dimension. We exist in it and move through it constantly.UMBRAGE

    And what is a dimension exactly? What's it made of ? I'm not saying they don't exist , I 'm asking why they talk about them "existing" with SUCH CERTAINTY without any scientific evidence.

    When theists talk about God atheists rant where is your God ? Prove him! All I am saying is where is your time? Prove "him"!
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    18 Feb '07 10:10
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    It is a dimension. We exist in it and move through it constantly.UMBRAGE

    And what is a dimension exactly? What's it made of ? I'm not saying they don't exist , I 'm asking why they talk about them "existing" with SUCH CERTAINTY without any scientific evidence.

    When theists talk about God atheists rant where is your God ? Prove him! All I am saying is where is your time? Prove "him"!
    Why do atheists need to prove time?
    We don't kill in its name. We don't abuse people because of their sexual orientation and blame time. We don't defer a woman's right over her body because of time. We don't rant and rave about praying to time in schools. We don't claim that time is the literal truth and there is no other.
    ...
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