Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by SeveredNebula223, May 16, 2004.

  1. What are your thoughts on time?

    I personally believe that the past and future do not exist at all. They are either just memories or hopeful imaginings. But they really arent REAL.

    And time. In my eyes it is just a system of measurement, not a tangible governing force that some people seem to think that it is.

    What do you think?
  2. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    time is a man made creation.

    it is helpful at times, to organize.

    but i agree, the only time is now!
  3. Professor Jumbo

    Professor Jumbo Mr. Smarty Pants

    I wouldn't say that time is man made. Or, saying that time is man made is like saying that sound and smell are man made. Just as sound and smell are ways in which we interpreet the world, time is as well. However, to say that time is man made is rather misleading.

    Does time have objective a priori extitence? Maybe, maybe not. It is a bit different from sound and smell in this way. We know, for example, that sound and smell are concepts that only make sense as artifacts of human perception. We can discuss time in a much broader and objective sense than we can discuss sound or smell. Additionally, while sound and smell are aspects or products of other things, time is not, or does not seem to be. Time looks like it is its own thing, we cannot find any external source for it as we can with sound and smell. We find that thing that is making the bad smell or the annoying sound and then alter that thing in order to alter the sound or the smell, we can do likewise with all of the other physical senses, viz., sight, taste, and touch. We cannot, however, find the thing that produces time.

    This is a jump here I know.
    It would seem that time, rather than being an artifact of human perception, is an artifact of motion. Imagine, if you will, a world in which there was no motion at all. There would be no physical senses at all (I would challenge anybody to come up with one that would exist in such a world) nothing would ever change or be altered in any way whatsoever. There would be no though or thinking as movement of chemical signals in the brain is required for though. The very idea of time would be meaningless in a world without movement.
  4. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    time is most definatley man made.

    do you see a big clock in the stars? no... i sure dont.

    time is relative.
  5. beachbum7

    beachbum7 Lookin' for any fun

    What is time? I really don't know how I'd answer that question. I believe that time has gone faster since I've gotten older. Time, I feel, goes very, very fast in Japan (of course, I'm living in a huge metropolis).I think the future does exist. It'll come before you know it.
  6. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    the future is merely an idea. you are never in the future.

    it is still now, always has been, always will be.
  7. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    To quote (and paraphrase as little as possible) Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainance. This is a bit when John and the narrator are sitting in a bar talking, the narrator is talking with his son Chris and his friend John. I have cut out most of where John and Chris say something.

    "'Modern man has his ghosts. The laws of physics and of logic, the number system, the princible of algebraic substitution. These are ghosts, we believe in them so thouroghly they seem real.
    For example, it is perfectly natural to assume that gravitation and the law of gravitation existed before Isaac Newton. It would sound nutty to think that until the seventeenth century there was no gravity.
    So when did it start? Has it always existed?
    What I am driving at, is the notion that before the beginning of earth, before the sun and the stars were formed, before the primal generation of anything, the law of gravity existed.
    Sitting there having no mass of it's own, no energy of it's own, not in anyones mind because there wasn't anyone, not in space because there was no space either, not anywhere- this law of gravity still existed.
    If that law of gravity existed, I honestly don't know what something has to do to be nonexistant. It seems to me that law of gravity has passed every test of nonexistance there is. You cannot think of a single attribute of nonexistance that that law of gravity didn't have. Or a single scientific attribute it did have. And yet it is still "common sense" to believe that it existed.'
    John says, 'I guess I'll just have to think about it'
    Well. I predict that if you think about it long enough you will find yourself going round and round until you finally reach only one possible, rational, intelligent conclusion. The law of gravity and gravity itself did not exist before Isaac Newton. No other conclusion makes sense.
    And what that means is that the law of gravity exists nowhere except in peoples heads.'"

    Ok that took my time.


  8. Gravity, smells, tastes, etc. all affect the physical environment. Time however is an idea. Its not something that moves like the clock leads us to believe. It is peoples ideas of organizing things, synchronizing the world. It is not a governing force. It cant be. The future and past are not real, because like Fractual said, you are never in the future nor past. You are always now. Its based on your perception.

    Time is a manmade law, not a fact.
  9. Time is basically a measurement of speed. Speed is the rate of locomotion from point A to point B. So speed is something that affects the physical because it places you in different positions. It affects where you are physically. Time however, is just used to measure that rate. Lets say you wanted to move two feet forward. It there is no elapsed "time". It is just how fast or slow you closed the distance between those two points.

    "Time" doesnt move. We do.

    ANd about past or future. Lets say you wanted to go "into the future" five minutes from now. So you waited until the five minutes was up. Now,you would not be able to say that you are now in the future because you arent. And you arent in the future in relation to five minutes ago because that point is no longer there.

    Im not saying time is bad, because it is a pretty good measuring tool, but once people think that it governs their lives, thats where problems can arise.

    Just some thoughts.
  10. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

  11. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    Present exists because I'm living it. Past exists because it has made me who I am. Future exists because it is becoming the past this moment.

    Time exists. The question is, really, if we need to separate present, past and future.
  12. Peace

    Peace In complete harmony.

    Time is man's attempt to turn an imperfect nature into a parallel world where everything is predictable.

    If a second were to go forward to the next second, it's also appropiate to say that the new second comes to the older second. They meet at a point directly between them. The older second coming toward the new second could be displayed as +1, where as the newer second coming toward the older second could be -1. When added together, they equal 0. So relatively, "Time" is at a dead stop.
  13. Sky pink- Previous experiences, not the past, have made you what you are. But the "past" is no longer relevant. It is what you do with NOW that makes you who you are.

    The future is nothing but an assumption. It is not relevant to this moment. You cant do anything "in the future". When things happen, they happen when the moment is now. Therefore, it is not real.
  14. totally agree with you there. ive thought about this many a time and i didnt realise there was someone out there who shared my cynical belief on mankind's time.
  15. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    In essence, previous experiences are the past. Time is defined by something happening (the speed of something happening). The importance of the past in my life can be discerned easily enough - one must only ask if I would be any different had I not experienced the past. I would, which means the past is not unimportnant.

    And how are you going to tell me what IS the future and what is not, considering that time is not absolute?
  16. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    the so called speed is relative though.

    the past does not exist anymore... it never will exist again, except in your head~!
  17. Professor Jumbo

    Professor Jumbo Mr. Smarty Pants

    You may think that it is infinitely clever of you to say thinks like this or to claim that time is man made simply becasue you don't see a gaint clock in the sky, but please can we have more than a string of worn out borrowed cliches? Please add some substance to your positions, explain why you hold the views that you do. Repeating old cliches but offering no additonal insights is as bad a quoting scripture without backing it up with anything.

    As for the clock in the sky, well I don't know what sky you have been looking at, but the one that I see does in fact have not only one, but four giant clocks in it. These gaint clocks are called "the stars", "the Sun", "the Moon", and "the planets". Human kind has been around for, it is generally estimated, close to one millions years. For all but the past 8,000 years humans told time and the seasons almost exclusively by the relative positions and movement of Sun, Moon, stars, and planets. Are these then man made? Only in the last 700 years have we had man made clocks more accurate than clepshydra and sun dials.

    The idea that time is made man because there is no giant clock in the sky demonstrates just how arrogant we ["civilized" people] have become. Let us take as a demonstration the following: Imagine that you are standing somewhere in the norther hemishpere, [where colcks were developed] lets make it somewhere along the medditerranian or in Europe [where the clocks used today were developed] or at least in that general latitude. You are in a flat open area with one tall, straight tree in it. It is just nearing dawn and there is not a cloud to be seen. Now, from dawn til dusk (assuming that you are not attacked by vampires) if you observe the shadow cast by the tree you will notice that it appears to progress in a "clockwise" fashion. Nothing about this is "man made" yet it happens nonetheless. While it is the case that the particular visual images that we percieve are an artifact of human perception, whatever it is that insipres these visual images is most certainly not man made. The visual images that we have are mere our involuntary way of interpreting the event, yet it will be visually interpreted the same way evey time it happens.

    Such and similar observations by humans thousands of years ago must necessarily have been the inspiration for the first sundails, we still use a slightly modified "clockwise" progression in face clocks today. By our arrogance (didn't think I'd get back to that did you?) we assume that we simply cooked up the whole thing by ourselves from the very start, when in fact no man made thing is required at all. All we need do is look at the sky or the shadow of a tree. All that is accomplished by man made things is greater comfort and ease of determining the time.

    So you see, saying the time is man made because there is no clock in the sky would be like saying that tuna fish are man made because there are no cans of tuna swimming around in the ocean.
  18. gnrm23

    gnrm23 Senior Member

    & --- the observer...
  19. POPthree13

    POPthree13 Member

    I see a big clock in the sky. I see the big dipper (and all other stars) revolve around the north star every single day (which we have arbitrarily assigned 24 hours to). I see our seasons repeat themselves every 365.242199 times the big dipper does this. I see our moon repeat it's cycle every 28 days.

    I also see life on earth adapted to sun cycles, moon cycles, day cycles. The universe is full of clocks.

    It is precisely our ability to recognize the cyclical nature of the universe that has brought us to the powerful position we are in today. We can rememebr what happened yesterday, or last season, and we can project those memories into our future and predict with some level of assurance what will happen then (based on what we saw in our past). It allows us to undertake projects that may take many years to complete by visualizing our future. It allows us to sidestep and avoid the mistakes we have made in our past.

    Time is a real thing and I think it is quite beyond us to theorize whether or not the future or the past exist. It is a sticky subject that has had some of the greatest minds known to man chipping away at it. We do know that negative time exists - reverse time - anti time. So what does that mean?

    I think it means that it is possible to run time in reverse, however, it would not produce exactly what was held in the past. Instead reverse time would run with the same chaotic unpredictability with whcih forward time runs. Things would 'devolve' so-to-speak, but changes would be introduced such that the Earth run backwards for a day would not look much like the Earth did yesterday.

    Time can be looked at as the fabric upon which all things are built (since it is part of the basic definition of motion). Whether we can poke holes in this fabric, warp this fabric or even reverse the fabrics flow is up for debate I think.
  20. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    im a simple man.i dont tend not to write essays on here, as i have seen you do, because i know they bore people, and they most likely wont read them anyways. like i didnt read yours! no offense, but the subject is not THAT interesting.

    time IS man made! do the squirells have to be home at six oclock every night? do the rabbits have a bedtime of 10 pm?


    sure cycles exist... but they go by at different speeds for everyone! time is relative, like everything!

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