1. Standard memberknightmeister
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    03 Jun '08 23:351 edit
    Many of you will be aware af my arguments concerning Free will , omniscience , time and eternity and I'm sorry if it's sounded incoherent to you.

    I 've had a light bulb about this. I think a step was missing from my argument that I took for granted.

    Step 1 should have been to clarify how I view time. Before we even start to think about the associated problems of God's omniscience versus free will etc we need to ask ourselves what we mean by certain terms as follows...

    a) "the" future versus our future. What do we mean by "the" future? Do we believe that our future is "the " future as if our perspective on time is the only perspective possible? For example Hitler's future is our past , so is it "the" past or "the " future or both?

    b) "now" --- what do we mean by "now" ? Is the now we are living in and moving through the dimension of time in the only "now" possible? Is it not "now" for Hitler as much as it is "now" for us in 2008? Our " now" could be described as the "past" of those born in 2090 , is their "now" les valid than ours because we won't live in it?

    c) "time" ---is time a constant throughout everything ? Or can we have different perspectives on it? For example , june 4th 2008 is "now" for us , it's the "past" for those born in 2090 and it's the "future" for Hitler. Does this mean that we are right and they are wrong just because we happen to be stuck in this particular position in time? Could one say that looking at time is a bit like looking at any dimension in that it can be viewed differently from different positions.?

    I wonder if we all assume certain things about time and relate it to how we experience time without realising it. Does the future only exist when we get there? Or can it exist in the future just as much as what we call "now" exists for us? Do we only call it "the" future because it is ahead of us? Would it not be more accurate to call it "our" future?

    You see it could be a bit like when we used to look at the universe as if the earth was at the centre of it all . If we only think about time by placing ourselves at the centre we just look at space/time from our own relative position in time.

    So when you hear me say "we know Hitler's future before he gets there" it's because I'm looking at time from both Hitler's "now" and from my "now" and not discriminating in favour of my "now" just because I'm in it. This is one aspect of my position that I know is solid . The idea that time is looked at from relative positions by us because we are stuck in one aspect of time.

    Overall , we need to think about our assumptions and perceptions of what time is before we can address the question " how can God know what I will do tomorrow if I have free will?".

    We need to ask what actually is tomorrow? Just because it's my future can it not also be God's past? Similarly , isn't Hitler's future our past? Do we not need to question whether we are looking at time only from our own perspective?
  2. Donationbbarr
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    04 Jun '08 01:041 edit
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/eternity/
  3. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    04 Jun '08 02:29
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Overall , we need to think about our assumptions and perceptions of what time is
    No. Just you need to do this. Starting with a dictionary might help.
  4. weedhopper
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    04 Jun '08 03:22
    I had a professor once who asked why can't we remember the future. It didn't make a lick of sense, then or now.
  5. Cape Town
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    04 Jun '08 06:51
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I 've had a light bulb about this.
    I've had one too. I am in the process of reading an article in Scientific American which has some very interesting ideas on time that I never understood before (though I have heard of it). I think I'll start a thread in the science forum. But a rough summary is:
    The arrow of time is caused by entropy.
    The laws of physics all work both ways, so we can think of time moving in either direction and the laws of physics still work.
    We can only accurately remember the past because of entropy. (PinkFloyd's professor apparently understood this.)
    It works like this:
    When a photon is absorbed, it is often possible to identify exactly which direction it came from in the past.(the eye does this).
    When a photon is emitted however it can leave in a totally random direction and there is no direct feedback from the future as to which way it went.
    This disparity is due to the flow of entropy with time. If entropy was not increasing with time we would remember the future just as easily as the past.
    The interesting thing for me, is the implications for quantum mechanics.
    When we are unable to accurately 'remember' the past, the past ceases to exist, or more accurately, becomes a wave function of all possible pasts which fit the memories. When only one past fits the memories then it sort of 'snaps' into place. Schrödinger's cat turns out to be either alive or dead.
    We can do the same with the future, except that due to entropy, the wave function always covers such a wide range that the future remains a blur. Schrödinger's cats future remains largely unknown.

    I think all this leads to two possible ways of looking at it:
    1. There is one continuous time line that we travel through, but we always know more about the past than the future.
    2. There is an infinite number of timelines, continuously branching, and we are on one of them.
    I don't think either suits knightmeister.
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    04 Jun '08 21:01
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    No. Just you need to do this. Starting with a dictionary might help.
    You have to say this to protect yourself from exploring your own assumptions.
  7. Cape Town
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    05 Jun '08 07:20
    KM, since you are into definitions please give a full definition of what you mean by 'free will'.
  8. Cape Town
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    05 Jun '08 07:24
    Originally posted by knightmeister (from another thread)
    We know his timeline but there's nothing in that knowledge that rules out the potential for another timeline.
    And what do you mean by 'potential' in the quoted sentence?
  9. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    05 Jun '08 08:46
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You have to say this to protect yourself from exploring your own assumptions.
    Well, the concepts of space time are very well explored by people far better qualified than either you or me to do it, and yet you appear adamant to ignore the whole body of theoretical physics and make up your own definitions based on a book of bronze age myths.

    If you want your definitions of time and space to hold water, you are going to have an aweful lot of scientific investigation before you to overturn things like Relativity. Until then, stop clogging the forums with your pseudo-intellectual ramblings.
  10. Standard memberknightmeister
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    05 Jun '08 14:03
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Well, the concepts of space time are very well explored by people far better qualified than either you or me to do it, and yet you appear adamant to ignore the whole body of theoretical physics and make up your own definitions based on a book of bronze age myths.

    If you want your definitions of time and space to hold water, you are going to have an a ...[text shortened]... like Relativity. Until then, stop clogging the forums with your pseudo-intellectual ramblings.
    You seem to deem it fit to criticise my musings when all I am asking is some basic questions about time. Since the jury is still out on the nature of time and timelines anyway (even the experts do not agree) then I think that my questions deserve to be aired. I have not said that I am an expert and not being one does not exclude me from thinking about time , which is more than you are doing.

    If you have nothing to add or contribute to this debate then why criticise the questions? If you think the questions invalid (which I am sure they are not) then say why they are not. If you don't want to examine your assumptions about time then don't , but don't then think you have the right to slag off those who do.

    You have an axe to grind and it stops you from looking at your posts objectively. It is you who are rambling. Your agenda drives you. The huge chip on your shoulder is plain for everyone to see.
  11. Standard memberknightmeister
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    05 Jun '08 15:13
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    KM, since you are into definitions please give a full definition of what you mean by 'free will'.
    We have done this before , can you address yourself to my questions since this is my thread.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    05 Jun '08 15:24
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And what do you mean by 'potential' in the quoted sentence?
    Ok , I will answer this one in another question and I will anticipate where you are going with this. Potential just means that the possibility of a different outcome might be possible. So if you say catagorically that there is no possibility that the solar system could have been any different then you are in fact saying that the universe (solar system ) is operating under 100% hard determinism.

    But you could say that potentially the solar system might have been potentially different . So my question is ---If I say that the solar system potentially could have been different does this neccessitate that two solar systems actually exist? (yes /no /maybe)

    I ask this because in the past you have argued that for potential to exist in time requires more than one timeline to exist whereas I have argued that this may not be the case. Since it is you that seems to be being catagorical about things when we discuss this I think I am entitled to ask you for either a) your proof OR b) the retraction of your catagorical statements.

    I see no logical reason to assume catagorically that just because a timeline exists that that timeline could never have been different. I also await any conclusive proof from you that this cannot be the case. In essence I'm still waiting for you to back up your certainty with hard evidence or proof.
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    05 Jun '08 20:15
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Many of you will be aware af my arguments concerning Free will , omniscience , time and eternity and I'm sorry if it's sounded incoherent to you.

    I 've had a light bulb about this. I think a step was missing from my argument that I took for granted.

    Step 1 should have been to clarify how I view time. Before we even start to think about the asso ...[text shortened]... nly from our own perspective?
    For wanting to be clear on how you view time, this all seems clear as mud to me.

    For starters, I would like to hear your thoughts on the Reductionism versus Platonism debate with respect to time. This topic is briefly touched on in the time link (the second link) that bbarr posted above.
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    05 Jun '08 22:051 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    For wanting to be clear on how you view time, this all seems clear as mud to me.

    For starters, I would like to hear your thoughts on the Reductionism versus Platonism debate with respect to time. This topic is briefly touched on in the time link (the second link) that bbarr posted above.
    My thoughts are very clear. I am definitely a reductionist with regards to time. Time for me cannot exist without motion or change. Infact I would go as far as saying that time IS just a description of motion and change.

    If the universe froze then for me time would stop. I have argued on other threads that time is just a descriptive word and doesn't actually exist. I guess that's ironic with all my talk about time.

    My overall view is that if we could see the universe the way God sees it then it would completely blow our minds. It would be like a deep sea fish with no eyes developing eyes and then looking at the earth from space (or something like that).

    I imagine God seeing the universe as a series of events one after the other but seeing all events equally in one huge "now". Maybe like a long train with carriages but each carriage is equally "now" as the next. God would not foresee events because he would not be on the train track himself. We are moving forward along the track and are in a specific carriage. For me God is not moving along our track and exists in no particular carriage. He would not look "down the track" but sideways at the the track.

    What interests me about this debate is how some of you seem to think that the debates on time are already settled by the scientific/philosophy community and then take one (newtonian?) version of time and apply it to my arguments re- Hitler without acknowledging their original assumptions. Take a look around and you will see people countering my argument with pure statements which they consider self evident and not requiring of proof rather than an actual argument itself. I can only assume they hold an unexamined position on this.
  15. Donationbbarr
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    05 Jun '08 23:58
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    My thoughts are very clear. I am definitely a reductionist with regards to time. Time for me cannot exist without motion or change. Infact I would go as far as saying that time IS just a description of motion and change.

    If the universe froze then for me time would stop. I have argued on other threads that time is just a descriptive word and doesn' ...[text shortened]... n an actual argument itself. I can only assume they hold an unexamined position on this.
    By 'ironic' do you mean 'contradictory'? If God ever acts or changes, then by your definition of time he is not in any sense outside of time.
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