Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
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03-02-2011, 06:00 AM
Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
I'd like to call this sort of ideas "Philosophical toys" (this is meant as a positive term). Wink
Their fun to play with, they keep your mind of the daily boring stuff, and they are also fun to share with friends. But for this moment they don't have much practical use and they collide with much of the naturalistic world-view I have as an agnostic atheist. Perhaps a few 1000 years later, your toy can have value, in a sense a 3000 year old Mayan doll has a new purpose today. The value lies in the fact that it is often good to "jog your mind".

Our time perception...
Can we really be sure on how we perceive time? Just a moment ago I was typing a question mark. That was right before I typed "time". This morning I woke up and had a coffee, I was born in 1975... etc... etc... Our perception in time lies in the continues flow of fractions of irreversible moments. Moments so tiny they are un-graspable. The "present" is so small, we can't even talk about it. Talking about what is happening only makes sense "in retrospect". You are NOT reading this sentence. You have just read it. (Eat your hearth out René Magritte") This all reminds me of FLAT-WORLD as described in this and this video. Our perception of time is completely flat. This "flat time" leads me to the following questions.

-theists state that God is infinite. Has no beginning, has no end. So even the theistic approach is based on this flat time.

-Imagine beings that can travel trough our flat time perspective but not to the left an the right. Should they drop a pencil and it rolls away, they won't be able to catch it. However they could travel back in time to prevent it from falling. Interaction with our universe would almost be impossible since the intersections with this world would be a theoretical time on a theoretical point on a XYZ axis somewhere in space. Provided both of us would be prepared to communicate at that moment.

-Imagine the being from above but with a 3d plain. He/she would have god-like properties since he/she will be everywhere at the same time. (this could explain "entanglement")

-Imagine our time perception as the following... A person without concept of left and right standing in the apex of a curved road. He/she would look to the left and see a straight road, he/she would look in front of him and see a straight road. He could assume that the road is straight. Should he/she be placed ON the road his mind would freak out since he would see a road bending to the left. A direction which he has no concept of. He could assume "leftness" or he could assume that the road ends there.

-imagine a world where time happens "at random" but your perception orders it. you could explain a lot of bizarre coincidences. You have no way of knowing the real order in which the events happened.

As I said I don't take this concepts really seriously. It's toys. Yet somehow, we don't really know what the fabric of time really is and I have a strong personal feeling that the great mystery of our existence lies somewhere there.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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03-02-2011, 07:27 AM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
Not to burst your bubble , but I'm more interested what's inside sub-atomic particles, how small can we go - strings , sub-sub atomic particles.
And in essence , time is an artificial construct we use to measure the change of matter.It was created around the movement of our solar system.Still , light vanishes in a black hole , I wonder if such a construct exists for time ?
As for a powerful being , I'd build a computer-god that could absorb the brain pattern of every human that ever lived and store them on its hard-disk and allow them a virtual paradise :
"If there were no god it would be necessary to invent him" - Voltaire
The device would transcend space and time ... Big Grin
Sorry , my imagination got the best of me - my apologies.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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03-02-2011, 07:49 AM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
(03-02-2011 07:27 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  And in essence , time is an artificial construct we use to measure the change
Is it? Do you mean that, should we don't measure it, it does not progress? Hmm... I doubt that...

Observer

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04-02-2011, 09:03 AM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
I think time is the least artifical... it is very natural indeed. It is almost like space dimensions, we can move in it, twist, and alter our speed in it. The main difference is like this: In a space dimension, without effort we are not moving. In a time dimension without effort we are moving at a maximum speed that is somehow light speed. Somehow, ... well.. this is how: If we go at light speed in space, we do not move in time. If we accelerate from 0 in space, our speed in time gets less. When going at half light speed in space, time gets half as fast as normally. It is like we are constantly going at light speed, it's just that we can divide it between time and space. Sure, in our lives speeds are so low, that we cannot feel this, yet it's an interesting consequence of special relativity.
The main differenci however lies in the fact that we cannot change direction in time, as we do in space.
Conclusion
-Space and time are tightly connected
-time is just as real as the keyboard I am typing this.
-time doesn't go. It's us who go in time.
-Science is awesome Big Grin
-One more thing that God forgot to mention in Bible.

Also time is as much devided as space. There is not only Planc-lenght but there is Planc-time. Theese are basic particles of time and space, like pixels.

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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04-02-2011, 06:37 PM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
I have not yet heard a description of time that I feel comfortable with. The facts about time I am fine with, but the theories leave me unsatisfied. Time seems to be, at least to me, something that is not a dimension or a process or anything at all. To me, time seems to be the result of the fact that, to qoute Einstein, "everything didn't happen all at once."

Yes, I know that in different situations time runs at different speeds, but different situations create different effects on the things in their area of influence. Those effects are on the objects in question and don't need to have time as an actual thing to have the different results. The results just don't parralel the results of different situations, so I don't see how this can undermine my arguement.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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05-02-2011, 10:53 AM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
(04-02-2011 06:37 PM)No J. Wrote:  To me, time seems to be the result of the fact that, to quote Einstein, "everything didn't happen all at once."
That's the best one of the brightest minds in history can come up with? Sounds like there is still a lot to discover. Confused

Observer

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06-02-2011, 10:27 AM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
(05-02-2011 10:53 AM)The_observer Wrote:  
(04-02-2011 06:37 PM)No J. Wrote:  To me, time seems to be the result of the fact that, to quote Einstein, "everything didn't happen all at once."
That's the best one of the brightest minds in history can come up with? Sounds like there is still a lot to discover. Confused


Why now? He was completely rightWink
I am still comfortable with the interpretation that time is a dimension. It separates things from each other in a way. Just as space dimensions do. Einsteint could have said this: "everything didn't happen on the same plane"

Quote:Those effects are on the objects in question and don't need to have time as an actual thing to have the different results.

Well, I think they do, or I might be misunderstanding you. Things need time to happen, just as we need a particular space dimension to go in. We couldn't go forward, if there would be no forward to go. Similarly, any effect to take place, needs time to take place in. If there would not be time, nothing would happen, since there would be nothing to happen in.

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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06-02-2011, 12:42 PM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
Here's an observation for ya. Most people have philosophical trouble defining time, but assume space to be axiomatically real. However, for one moment consider that time and space are actually both ultimately immeasurable and both for the same reasons.

Time, for instance, can be broken down infinitely so that it seems impossible to pass from one mark to the next. By this I mean that it is impossible to move from one second to the next without moving through an infinite number of fractions of a second. The same is true of space.

At the other end of the spectrum, it s impossible to imagine an ultimate end point to time. It is similarly impossible to imagine an ultimate endpoint to space. If i shoot a rocket into space in an unimpeded straight trajectory, it should theoretically never reach an endpoint to that trajectory. Space is philosophically (if not actually) limitless. So is time.

These two extremes seem contradictory, but are both apparent.
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06-02-2011, 11:59 PM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
(06-02-2011 10:27 AM)TheSelfishGene Wrote:  Well, I think they do, or I might be misunderstanding you. Things need time to happen, just as we need a particular space dimension to go in. We couldn't go forward, if there would be no forward to go. Similarly, any effect to take place, needs time to take place in. If there would not be time, nothing would happen, since there would be nothing to happen in.

I didn't say that I thought time didn't exist. I said it wasn't a thing like a dimension, in my opinion. When time is measured, it is based on events on events, not on time itself. With a dimension you can take a tape measure and measure a distance, and the go back to the point at which you started. If you measure a period of time, that time no longer exists and you can never go back to where you started. I also don't see why time has to be a thing. Is it not possible that time is just a measurement of the rate that events happen?

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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07-02-2011, 01:16 PM
RE: Philosophical toys: Timeconcept
Quote:If you measure a period of time, that time no longer exists and you can never go back to where you started.

I'm not so confident about the first part of that sentence. Consider this:

A photon goes with light speed, therefore time is stopped for it. It does not go in time. It is a direct consequence of relativity. So when you turn on the lights, photons come into existence. And they live their whole life in that very moment, since they do not go forward in time. Therefore, even though you passed let's say a minute, the photon is still in the time where you turned on the lights. Therefore that time, must exist. It's just that we (for whatever reason) cannot experience it. Because we passed through that moment, and didn't stay there.

I'm not so confident about this reasoning either, for it ignores the simple fact that photons still exist in the same time as we do. Well I am quite confused by nowAngel

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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