Eternalism and Conscious Experience
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03-08-2012, 01:27 PM
Eternalism and Conscious Experience
Hello.

I don't know how intellectually fashionable the philosophy of Eternalism is in current academia or on this board;

(For those unfamiliar with the idea: It is that there is no actual "present moment" instead each moment in time is just as real and valid as any other i.e. every moment is still extant and it is really just the mind that creates the idea of a 'present.')

but it seems to me that given what our theories of Special and General Relativity tell us about time; Eternalism is most likely to be the correct interpretation of the nature of time.

(I admit that our current, popular formalisms of Quantum Mechanics seem like they are at odds with this but I think that once we eventually have a complete theory of Quantum Gravity, it will be a relativistic one.)

Following this; since our human conscious experience of reality is one of a present instant, with each following moment "arriving" in our awareness, with the preceding instants only being vaguely retained in our memories - this continuing down the dusty road to death (with one final moment and then...nothing.); my question is that - if the past remains real - to what extent would our conscious experience exist after our death? Certainly those moments of our extant consciousness are still "there" in Eternalist models so, since our consciousness doesn't actually "go away" anywhere and still remains at a different point in time, would it seem to us that our conscious experience of reality just "restarts" once it comes to its (relative) "end"?

Leonardo da Vinci Wrote:While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.
Epicurus Wrote:Death means nothing to us...when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we do not exist.
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03-08-2012, 01:43 PM
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
(03-08-2012 01:27 PM)Carnifex Wrote:  Hello.

I don't know how intellectually fashionable the philosophy of Eternalism is in current academia or on this board;

(For those unfamiliar with the idea: It is that there is no actual "present moment" instead each moment in time is just as real and valid as any other i.e. every moment is still extant and it is really just the mind that creates the idea of a 'present.')

but it seems to me that given what our theories of Special and General Relativity tell us about time; Eternalism is most likely to be the correct interpretation of the nature of time.

(I admit that our current, popular formalisms of Quantum Mechanics seem like they are at odds with this but I think that once we eventually have a complete theory of Quantum Gravity, it will be a relativistic one.)

Following this; since our human conscious experience of reality is one of a present instant, with each following moment "arriving" in our awareness, with the preceding instants only being vaguely retained in our memories - this continuing down the dusty road to death (with one final moment and then...nothing.); my question is that - if the past remains real - to what extent would our conscious experience exist after our death? Certainly those moments of our extant consciousness are still "there" in Eternalist models so, since our consciousness doesn't actually "go away" anywhere and still remains at a different point in time, would it seem to us that our conscious experience of reality just "restarts" once it comes to its (relative) "end"?

No, entropy gives time an arrow, making eternalism unlikely.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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03-08-2012, 02:01 PM
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
All the arrow of time tells us is that, as we go into (what we would call) the future direction entropy increases.

What you have to understand is that "entropy increasing in the future-direction" is not an arbitrary 'law' of reality. It is merely a statistical effect.
Consider if we had entropy increasing in both time directions, what would the result of this be? Well if entropy increased in the "past" direction it would mean that the evolution of the system in question would alter so that the entropy of some past event would be greater than the entropy of some event in the "future." If this continued you would always have entropy greater in only one time direction. This is we what we do observe and we call that time direction the "past."

Leonardo da Vinci Wrote:While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.
Epicurus Wrote:Death means nothing to us...when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we do not exist.
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03-08-2012, 02:05 PM
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
Please note the time of this post...
It's after yours.

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03-08-2012, 02:07 PM (This post was last modified: 03-08-2012 04:47 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
(03-08-2012 01:27 PM)Carnifex Wrote:  Hello.

I don't know how intellectually fashionable the philosophy of Eternalism is in current academia or on this board;

(For those unfamiliar with the idea: It is that there is no actual "present moment" instead each moment in time is just as real and valid as any other i.e. every moment is still extant and it is really just the mind that creates the idea of a 'present.')

but it seems to me that given what our theories of Special and General Relativity tell us about time; Eternalism is most likely to be the correct interpretation of the nature of time.

(I admit that our current, popular formalisms of Quantum Mechanics seem like they are at odds with this but I think that once we eventually have a complete theory of Quantum Gravity, it will be a relativistic one.)

Following this; since our human conscious experience of reality is one of a present instant, with each following moment "arriving" in our awareness, with the preceding instants only being vaguely retained in our memories - this continuing down the dusty road to death (with one final moment and then...nothing.); my question is that - if the past remains real - to what extent would our conscious experience exist after our death? Certainly those moments of our extant consciousness are still "there" in Eternalist models so, since our consciousness doesn't actually "go away" anywhere and still remains at a different point in time, would it seem to us that our conscious experience of reality just "restarts" once it comes to its (relative) "end"?

It appears you may not understand Relativity. Your assumption is that you could somehow exist in another frame of reference, simultaneously, with the one you are in. You can't. You have to pick your location, and relative speed. Another observer would have a different frame of reference, but each of the "yous", and any other observer, cannot be in more than one place, (or have a different relative speed/accereration, than one has). Your consciusness may not "go away", but you will never experience it again, unless you can figure out a way to be in two places at once, (and then adjust your speed and direction.) In this universe, space and time are inextricably linked, and there is no way you can ignore space, in spacetime.

BTW, welcome to the forum.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist and Levitating yogi, CAAT-LY.
Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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03-08-2012, 02:08 PM
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
In terms of general relativity or special relativity, time describes location more than anything - it's modeled as a dimension.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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03-08-2012, 02:09 PM
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
(03-08-2012 02:01 PM)Carnifex Wrote:  All the arrow of time tells us is that, as we go into (what we would call) the future direction entropy increases.

What you have to understand is that "entropy increasing in the future-direction" is not an arbitrary 'law' of reality. It is merely a statistical effect.
Consider if we had entropy increasing in both time directions, what would the result of this be? Well if entropy increased in the "past" direction it would mean that the evolution of the system in question would alter so that the entropy of some past event would be greater than the entropy of some event in the "future." If this continued you would always have entropy greater in only one time direction. This is we what we do observe and we call that time direction the "past."

But entropy's arrow is one-way.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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03-08-2012, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 03-08-2012 04:34 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
(03-08-2012 02:01 PM)Carnifex Wrote:  All the arrow of time tells us is that, as we go into (what we would call) the future direction entropy increases.

What you have to understand is that "entropy increasing in the future-direction" is not an arbitrary 'law' of reality. It is merely a statistical effect.
Consider if we had entropy increasing in both time directions, what would the result of this be? Well if entropy increased in the "past" direction it would mean that the evolution of the system in question would alter so that the entropy of some past event would be greater than the entropy of some event in the "future." If this continued you would always have entropy greater in only one time direction. This is we what we do observe and we call that time direction the "past."

Entropy is NOT a "statistical effect", on the macro level. It has applications in trying to understand micro vs maco systems. In Statistical Mechanics, a system has never been observed, as a whole to "run backwards". Before it was proven that the universe would expand forever, some thought entropy might reverse direction. You can speculate on this from now to kingdom come, but it's irrelevant to your existence, here, now, in this frame of reference. What you're suggesting, is that we could experience "simultanaity", some how. We could conceive of a "time machine", where a digital "copy" of a consciousness, could somehow be entangled with itself, maybe, and sent off to another location, but our technology at this point is not up to this. The "relativity" in Relativity, assumes two (at least), observers, or locations in spacetime.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist and Levitating yogi, CAAT-LY.
Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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03-08-2012, 07:44 PM
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
Location and locality. Angel

I have no reason to believe that prophetic times do not create prophets, for I am half the prophet I used to be. Thumbsup

If you wanna be alla way atheist about it, we're always making something outta nothing, otherwise we're aggie. Angel

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03-08-2012, 07:47 PM
RE: Eternalism and Conscious Experience
I personally believe that at night, while everyone is asleep (EVERYONE), the Universe resets and everything is placed with exact replicas. Exact.

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