View Poll Results: Which exists?

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  • Present only

    1 8.33%
  • Present and past

    3 25.00%
  • All three (past, present, and future)

    4 33.33%
  • Your mom / Betty White / TB is a loser

    4 33.33%
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Thread: Random Friday Question

  1. #1
    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    Default Random Friday Question

    So forums,

    I'm gonna put a poll question about something random that doesn't have an obvious answer, and y'alls can do with it what you will. Don't think about it too much. I want to know what your gut reactions are .

    Which of the following exists?
    > The past
    > The present
    > The future

    If you want more info, because you're a loser like me:

    The common sense view, if there is one, is probably that only the present exists. The past used to exist, but it stopped existing after it passed by. The future hasn't yet come into existence. So the only thing that exists is the present!

    But that view runs into all sorts of real problems. For example, we think it's true that the Americans won the Revolutionary War, but the Revolutionary war (supposedly) happened in the past. And if that doesn't exist, how can a sentence about it be true or false? Seems like the past has to exist for that to be the case.

    But if you buy that, then the same argument will work for future things. If I say "I'll see you tomorrow," that's going to be either true or false based on whether I see you tomorrow.

    "Stop right there," says the person who thinks that the present and the past exist, but not the future, "there's a problem with that argument!" I can say something like "that phrase will become true tomorrow when I either see you or don't, but for now it has no truth value." I can also say "that sentence is true or false now based on whether or not you mean to see me tomorrow; after all, I wouldn't say you lied to me if you sincerely planned on seeing me tomorrow, but then something came up, like say, you had a heart attack."

    The person who wants to say all 3 exist has one final argument: general relativity. According to Einstein's theories, how fast time moves is relative to how quickly one is accelerating. Accelerate quickly through space, and one will move more slowly through time. But this suggests that time is a medium like space that we are traveling through. And space all exists whether we're in it or not. If time is like space, then time all exists whether we're in it or not, and bingo, the past and future should exist even though we're not experiencing them at the moment.

    Further discussion can be found on all three of these major views:

    Original argument that brought the question into modern philosophy -- warning, the view advanced by the author is crazy, but quite interesting; he thinks time doesn't exist itself. The argument is objectively incorrect, but it started the conversation.
    http://www.ditext.com/mctaggart/time.html

    Good overview of all 3 views: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/t...reEteGroUniThe
    "Presentism" (only the present exists) -- http://fas-philosophy.rutgers.edu/zi...0Presentis.pdf
    "Growing Block" Universe (past and present exist) -- https://archive.org/details/ScientificThought [Warning: this is the least useful. If you don't intuitively believe this, this book will not convince you.]
    "Eternalism" (all times exist) -- http://283403168925209589.weebly.com...liams_1951.pdf



    Next Random Friday Question
    Last edited by The Burninator; 03-03-2017 at 12:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Consul Lurk's Avatar
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    Past only. As soon as you've perceived the present it's already gone. It's kind of like The Game. The past exists because it's a "set" record that influences the present/future.

    The present exists only in the sense of potency - it has existed and will exist, but only because of the causal record created by the past.
    Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    Past only. As soon as you've perceived the present it's already gone. It's kind of like The Game.
    The whole past or just a moment of it though?

    I see what you're saying, but for the sake of the poll, I want to call that either "just the present" or "present and past."

    EDIT: @ your edit: I want to call that "past and present." I think because your reason for wanting it to just be the past is that the present is too tiny. It's like a point on a graph -- no width or height. So you just want it to be part of the past. Which is legitimate, but largely philosophically in line with past and present views.
    Last edited by The Burninator; 02-25-2017 at 12:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    The whole past or just a moment of it though?
    Yes to both but in different senses.

    The whole past exists in the "present" (using that word for lack of a better term; I can acquiesce to common parlance since language is fluid anyway) because it's a "set" record. We "know" there has been a past; it is empirically verifiable that there is a past that is continually growing as events fold into the record, but due to the limits of human knowledge and the miniscule nature of some events, it is not always certain or verifiable that the entire past - still exists - what I mean here is, perhaps there can be theoretically an event in the past that has absolutely no effect on today's status quo. Absolutely none. I am highly skeptical that this is possible, but someone with a better imagination than my own could perhaps think of an example.

    The past exists as a moment - what I mean by agreeing to this term is that one moment is linked to another; for example in one millisecond my index finger is moving toward the letter "t" to type these sentences and this word. At some point due to the amount of force, muscle memory, and intention of my will it is "inevitable" in another particular millisecond that the letter "t" will be struck and typed onto this screen, and then that moment occurs and it, too, is folded into the historical past over time.
    Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.

    [7:32 AM] Jason (Al Bundy raidslave): Who the **** loses an arti to 18 phalanx
    [7:32 AM] Old Timer US1: The same faction that loses one to 66 legos

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    Yes to both but in different senses.

    The whole past exists in the "present" (using that word for lack of a better term; I can acquiesce to common parlance since language is fluid anyway) because it's a "set" record. We "know" there has been a past; it is empirically verifiable that there is a past that is continually growing as events fold into the record, but due to the limits of human knowledge and the miniscule nature of some events, it is not always certain or verifiable that the entire past - still exists - what I mean here is, perhaps there can be theoretically an event in the past that has absolutely no effect on today's status quo. Absolutely none. I am highly skeptical that this is possible, but someone with a better imagination than my own could perhaps think of an example.

    The past exists as a moment - what I mean by agreeing to this term is that one moment is linked to another; for example in one millisecond my index finger is moving toward the letter "t" to type these sentences and this word. At some point due to the amount of force, muscle memory, and intention of my will it is "inevitable" in another particular millisecond that the letter "t" will be struck and typed onto this screen, and then that moment occurs and it, too, is folded into the historical past over time.
    Well every force moves through spacetime at a maximum speed of the speed of light. So anything that happens far enough away from us in space can't affect you at all. For example, if I'm 10 light seconds away from you (I'm probably closer), and I do something, that can't possibly affect you for 10 seconds. If something is far enough away in the universe -- say trillions of light years -- then the space in between us is expanding so quickly that nothing that happens there can ever influence anything that happens here. (Those events are called spacelike separated in Einsteinian relativity, as opposed to events that are close enough to be causally related, which are timelike separated.)

    But I digress a little -- I think you were looking for an event so small that it couldn't be influential, not an event that was so far away. It's the best I could do though.

    But anyway, I still think you want to be on the "present and past" team. People who think that don't always think that the two things exist in the same way, just say that they both exist. One of the most recent proponents of the view that the past and present both exist, Peter Forrest, says it something like "the past exists but is dead, and the present exists but is not yet dead." The more classical way of saying it was the way CD Broad said it, which was that you can imagine that the past exists and it is growing and the very edge of that past happens to be labeled "present." (Hence the term for that view, the "growing block" universe.) I think you're describing that -- a universe that has an extant past which is added to by infinitesimally small slices of "present" one slice at a time.

  6. #6

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    I voted present only, with a caveat, that your present may not be my present, so that the more correct answer might be that for every conscious being, a present exists.

    The past does not exist except as a consensus-derived construct of the "memories" of other presents that once seemed to exist, organised by a constructed definition of time, of all beings with a present.

    The future is a range of potential presents of which conscious beings have not formed "memories." We don't "move through time" from past to future, we select new characteristics for our present to encompass.

    Note: it is my personal belief that all consciousness is connected, and that everything possesses a form of consciousness, but this dies not, I think, materieally affect my response.
    Last edited by Meherrin; 02-25-2017 at 01:42 AM.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

  7. #7
    Philosopher н-υ-п-т-ε-я's Avatar
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    Time does not exists ... it runs ... it dies every split second ... and it moves forward.

    Time exists only in your mind, because if is a relation between moments!

    and yes that is not scientific proof, just looking at the problem superficially for some random friday answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avicenna
    That whose existence is necessary must necessarily be one essence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rumi
    What you are seeking is also seeking you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    Well every force moves through spacetime at a maximum speed of the speed of light. So anything that happens far enough away from us in space can't affect you at all. For example, if I'm 10 light seconds away from you (I'm probably closer), and I do something, that can't possibly affect you for 10 seconds. If something is far enough away in the universe -- say trillions of light years -- then the space in between us is expanding so quickly that nothing that happens there can ever influence anything that happens here. (Those events are called spacelike separated in Einsteinian relativity, as opposed to events that are close enough to be causally related, which are timelike separated.)

    But I digress a little -- I think you were looking for an event so small that it couldn't be influential, not an event that was so far away. It's the best I could do though.

    But anyway, I still think you want to be on the "present and past" team. People who think that don't always think that the two things exist in the same way, just say that they both exist. One of the most recent proponents of the view that the past and present both exist, Peter Forrest, says it something like "the past exists but is dead, and the present exists but is not yet dead." The more classical way of saying it was the way CD Broad said it, which was that you can imagine that the past exists and it is growing and the very edge of that past happens to be labeled "present." (Hence the term for that view, the "growing block" universe.) I think you're describing that -- a universe that has an extant past which is added to by infinitesimally small slices of "present" one slice at a time.
    Whew. I saw that post Burn, but for some reason, thought it was from Hunter. One of you needs some colour in your avi! I was about to accuse him of plagiarizing some english books, but got to the second paragraph and checked....
    So that future was averted. But there is always a future. Just because we don't know what it is, or might not be in it, doesn't make it un-exist (better term than non-existent for my purposes).
    But it's a while since I've delved into fissol-offikal depths to work out why I think that. I just do. So there (I have joined the ranks of..... ummmm... who are the absolutists?)
    Last edited by Rokchick; 02-25-2017 at 03:39 AM.
    I'm glad I'm not judgemental like all you smug, superficial idiots

  9. #9
    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    @ Meherrin: its interesting that you'll allow multiple presents. Most presentists go to great lengths to deny that possibility. Because if you and I can have different presents then presumably they can have some relation to one another, ie. mine before yours or yours before mine. And if that happens, it turns out you believe that from an objective standpoint, all times exist! So you're forced to say our presents can't have before/after relations to one another, which is weird.

    Your posts are always so interesting to read .

    @Rok: whoo you're on my team! Also, my avatar literally says my username . Also I had serious difficulty reading "philosophical" in your post . My last also is that the "all times exist" is usually called either "eternalism" or "manifold theory."
    Last edited by The Burninator; 02-25-2017 at 03:38 AM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    @ Meherrin: its interesting that you'll allow multiple presents. Most presentists go to great lengths to deny that possibility. Because if you and I can have different presents then presumably they can have some relation to one another, ie. mine before yours or yours before mine. And if that happens, it turns out you believe that from an objective standpoint, all times exist! So you're forced to say our presents can't have before/after relations to one another, which is weird.

    Your posts are always so interesting to read .
    I would not say that all times exist, rather that all times are present, but we do not perceive all of them.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

  11. #11
    Philosopher н-υ-п-т-ε-я's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokchick View Post
    Whew. I saw that post Burn, but for some reason, thought it was from Hunter. One of you needs some colour in your avi! I was about to accuse him of plagiarizing some english books, but got to the second paragraph and checked....
    so much desperate.


    I often use this:
    /text
    /endtext


    The past have died.
    The present is alive.
    The future will born.
    however time existence is not similar to material existence!
    Quote Originally Posted by Avicenna
    That whose existence is necessary must necessarily be one essence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rumi
    What you are seeking is also seeking you.

  12. #12
    Consul Lurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    But I digress a little -- I think you were looking for an event so small that it couldn't be influential, not an event that was so far away. It's the best I could do though.
    Precisely. While it is theoretically possible that you could do something that will have absolutely no impact on me at all, it will almost certainly have an impact on events/time/space/people much closer to you. Something as small as purchasing a soda from a vending machine has certain effects within your same time/space arena, especially if that type of soda is popular and/or the last one in line to be purchased. We could have a lot of fun times if we had a conversation about merely the economic impact of purchasing a soda.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    But anyway, I still think you want to be on the "present and past" team. People who think that don't always think that the two things exist in the same way, just say that they both exist.
    I want to be for the purposes of clarity and parlance, but I don't want to be because it seems illogical in a certain rock-hard sense to me. There doesn't seem to be a perceptible present to me except in a flexibily-literal sense. Obviously, for the sake of basic everyday living and interpersonal communication we talk about the present in a fluid sense, within a particular commonly accepted timeframe (e.g. "I'll do that right now" meaning "I'll get started on that within the next 5 seconds") but I believe we're talking philosophy here, if I'm not very badly mistaken.

    I will extend an olive branch here and say that perhaps there is a present that does exist but it is not perceptible to the human consciousness. In other words, I'll accept that there is a "now" as long as it is understood that as soon as we've spoken or even comprehended the reality of "now" we've already passed "now" and entered into the next millisecond of historical record.

    To be clear: I use the word "record" as a manner of conveniently saying "the sequence of events that have led into present reality".

    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    I think you're describing that -- a universe that has an extant past which is added to by infinitesimally small slices of "present" one slice at a time.
    Yes...If we can mutually accept that as a definition of "present" then I will give my acquiescence.
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    [7:32 AM] Jason (Al Bundy raidslave): Who the **** loses an arti to 18 phalanx
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  13. #13
    Consul Lurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    If you and I can have different presents then presumably they can have some relation to one another, ie. mine before yours or yours before mine. And if that happens, it turns out you believe that from an objective standpoint, all times exist! So you're forced to say our presents can't have before/after relations to one another, which is weird.
    I think that this is actually probable. Your present has some level of correlation to mine - let us consider our separate realities. You and I are both (let's assume for the sake of argument that we're both responding to this thread) typing upon keyboards produced through certain human effort through computers connected to the Internet. Even if we don't have the same ISP, the differing ISPs that we are using to communicate are competing against each other in a battle for commerce and that has some (minuscule) level of impact on others.

    (I could also extrapolate the notion that communicating upon an Internet forum also has economic and opportunity costs and such, but let's stick to horology....for now )
    Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.

    [7:32 AM] Jason (Al Bundy raidslave): Who the **** loses an arti to 18 phalanx
    [7:32 AM] Old Timer US1: The same faction that loses one to 66 legos

  14. #14

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    I voted for all three of them existing, but what I'm about to describe mostly suggests that past, future and present are abstract constructs and in this particular instance it can be argued that those terms are undefined and therefore completely meaningless.

    The view I'm about to present comes from Einstein's relativity theories and to some degree from the quantum theory. The important thing stated is that space and time are not two separate things, but rather uniform spacetime. The general concept describes our universe consisting of 3 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time. While we exist in those 4 spacetime dimensions, our movement through the time dimension depends on our movement through the spacial ones. In other words - the more you are moving through space, the less you are moving through time.

    Now why is that relevant to this discussion? Simple answer - time travel. As I mentioned already, moving through space affects movement through time, or as we perceive it - the passage of time. To be more specific, the faster you move through space, the slower the time is passing for you. Until you hit the speed of light, at which case the time passage for you will be completely halted, and if somehow you manage to accelerate further (though that's not possible theoretically just like it's impossible for any object with mass to reach the speed of light) , the time passage will reverse.

    Now I think we should all agree on the fact that traveling to something that doesn't even exists shouldn't be possible. And since in physics there is no law or rule that defines time travel as being impossible, that implies the existence of past and future as well as the present. But here is the interesting part:

    There is no difference between the directions in which time could flow. There is no law in physics that prevents events from accuring in reverse order. If you drop a glass of water sitting on a table down to the floor and it breaks and spills all of the water out, there is no reason why the water can't come back to the glass and why the glass can't just reassemble and ascend back onto the table. There is no distinction between past and the future, it's just the way human brain perceives time. So all I've been leading up until this point was this model of the universe:

    Each moment in time is represented by the 3-dimensional frame containing the entire universe. The next frame following it in any direction (backwards or forwards) is the same universe one fundamental time instance apart in one of the directions. The whole 4 dimensional spacetime consists of an infinite number of those frames. The time we perceive is just us moving from one frame to another constantly and in a single, pre-defined direction. That's the limitations of the human brain only able to observe 3 dimensions. Technically if you could access 4 or 5 dimensions, you could see your entire past and future all happening at once.

    In conclusion: the universe we see as constantly changing is actually completely static, therefore the concept of past, future and present is completely meaningless.

    Hope that made any kind of sense, I tried to explain it in simple terms, though I'm not sure that I managed, since the explanation I gave is very abstract (though if I was to dive into the details, I would never finish this post). My view is more science based and less philosophical, though some philosophy can still be found here.

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    @Banzai: that well describes my view as well. You would be surprised, though -- most scientists / physicists are attracted to the growing block picture (past and present only exist), and most will deny the philosophical possibility of time travel. (This if you can get them to consider the question )

    But yes, my general feeling is also that if general and special relativity are true, which they seem to be, then it is strongly implied that time and space are both media of the same sort, and just like places exist even when I'm not at them, times exist even when I'm not experiencing them.

    @Lurk: I don't recall how the classical growing block theorists define "present." If I'm not mistaken, you're supposed to conceive of the present as "all events occurring simultaneously with the 'now.'" All these are present. Some have been worried about whether present is actually instantaneous or whether it has some minuscule duration, but I don't think they all agree on this. (Seems like a side-issue to me.) More of their ink is spilled trying to say how events that are spacelike separated can be "happening simultaneously." I believe the usual way is to define a privileged reference frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai130 View Post
    Technically if you could access 4 or 5 dimensions, you could see your entire past and future all happening at once.
    This seems illogical to me as it assumes that choices that all creatures make are inevitable. The human will is dynamic; while many animals seem to follow some sort of basic script it could be argued that higher-functioning animals (dolphins, perhaps) have an element of "free will," so to speak. But even if the dynamic nature of the human will is accepted that alone is enough to argue that the future is not written as this theory seems to imply.

    This is why I would also philosophically deny the existence of forward time travel, though I would also deny it for traveling in the past on empirical reasons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    You would be surprised, though -- most scientists / physicists are attracted to the growing block picture (past and present only exist), and most will deny the philosophical possibility of time travel. (This if you can get them to consider the question )
    I think that's because one of the implications of the static universe picture is that our choices are either already made, or meaningless. If the future has already happened how do you know that you are making decisions yourself? basicly it puts human consciousness into question, causing a psychological issue. Most people prefer to believe that they are in charge of their own future.

    Though maybe this can work with free will, if we add the many worlds interpretation or smth...

    EDIT: actually, forget the last sentence, as the many worlds interpretation would likely imply the opposite...

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    Philosopher н-υ-п-т-ε-я's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    The human will is dynamic; while many animals seem to follow some sort of basic script it could be argued that higher-functioning animals (dolphins, perhaps) have an element of "free will," so to speak.
    Overestimating Our Intelligence: Just How Smart Are Other Animals?
    Quote Originally Posted by Avicenna
    That whose existence is necessary must necessarily be one essence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rumi
    What you are seeking is also seeking you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai130 View Post
    I think that's because one of the implications of the static universe picture is that our choices are either already made, or meaningless. If the future has already happened how do you know that you are making decisions yourself? basicly it puts human consciousness into question, causing a psychological issue. Most people prefer to believe that they are in charge of their own future.

    Though maybe this can work with free will, if we add the many worlds interpretation or smth...

    EDIT: actually, forget the last sentence, as the many worlds interpretation would likely imply the opposite...
    If all time and space are co-existing, and we can only see the present because we are incapable of perceiving in the necessary number of dimensions, could the many worlds theory not be accommodated by hypothesising a higher order of dimensions in which all the probable times and spaces also co-exist?

    The multi-verse, as it were, is static at this higher order level.
    Last edited by Meherrin; 02-25-2017 at 01:30 PM.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post

    This is why I would also philosophically deny the existence of forward time travel, though I would also deny it for traveling in the past on empirical reasons.
    Forward time travel is actually proven in a sense. Time dilation is a real thing. Real enough that the satellites orbiting the earth have to be adjusted for it in order to produce accurate measurements, for example - to find your location on the GPS.

    Forward time travel is basically getting to a certain point in time in less time then there is between the present and the point in time you wish to get to. And that is essentially what is happening here, as time is passing slower for those satellites then it is passing down here, so they get to those points in time slightly faster then the time interval between those 2 points is. They're essentially traveling slightly to the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    If all time and space are co-existing, and we can only see the present because we are incapable of perceiving in the necessary number of dimensions, could the many worlds theory not be accommodated by hypothesising a higher order of dimensions in which all the probable times and spaces also co-exist?

    The multi-verse, as it were, is static at this higher order level.
    Yes, such a multiverse you described would be static just based on the definition. Thing is that those singular branches of time, which the multi-verse consists of would also be static timelines. As far as free will is concerned a static multi-verse can be interpreted in one of two ways:
    1. Since every possible choice happens somewhere in the branches, there is no free will, because all of the choices are made and you are just randomly living on one of the branches of those choices.

    2. Free will exists in a form that your choices are made consciously and define which branch of those infinite number of realities you end up on.
    Last edited by banzai130; 02-25-2017 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Replied to Maherrin

  21. #21
    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    As the not-main-topic of my post, I think Hunter is correct about this -- we have a tendency to underestimate the intelligence of other animals. Crows, parrots, and horses are thought by people who work with them to have personalities. Even pigs are quite intelligent. If you've ever owned a dog, you'll know that they seem to have moods, emotions, and can think creatively to solve problems. Intelligence is hardly limited to the apex mammal species.

    As the main topic of my post, I want to reply to @Lurk and @Banzai who were bringing up concerns about whether free will is consistent with the future's existence. I do NOT believe that "free will" is threatened by the future's existence, and I think you're confused if you feel your free will is threatened.

    Point 1: Whether or not the future exists, if you believe in physics, your free will is threatened in exactly the same way.

    Your brains form the physical basis for your thoughts, and your thoughts are dependent on the biophysical interactions occurring in your brain. Whether or not you believe that the future exists, you believe that biophysical interactions follow the laws of physics, so the stuff in your brain is following the laws of physics. It would seem that given the current state of your brain, meaning every location and momentum of every particle in your brain, and also given the laws of physics, it doesn't matter whether the future states of your brain exist yet, they're already determined by the combination of the present state and the laws.

    Adding the existence of the future doesn't add any additional threat to your free will.

    Point 2: The apparent argument for why your free will would be threatened is invalid. (So if this is your argument, or your argument boils down to this, I won't be convinced.)

    The argument:
    1) If the future exists, whether or not I am killed by a bomb dropped by a German bomber is already necessarily determined.
    2) If I will be killed by a German bomb, it doesn't change anything if I seek shelter.
    3) If I won't be killed by a German bomb, it doesn't change anything if I seek shelter.
    ==> Therefore, if the future exists, it doesn't matter whether I act, because events are already determined.

    I'll explain first why this fails in English, then move to formal logic.

    English: The first premise just points out that if the future exists, it's necessary that something already happens. (In this case, I am killed by a German bomb or I am not.) That thing can be something that happens to me, or it can be a decision. All it says is "that thing happens," or "that decision is made." It does not specify why that thing happened or why that thing was decided. So say that it is true that I am not killed by a German bomb. It could also be true that the reason I am not killed by a German bomb is that I sought shelter, and otherwise I would have been killed! If you change this to a decision -- say it is already true (since the future exists) that I will choose to wear this particular shirt -- I don't see why that matters, since the reason I wear that particular shirt can still be "I chose to wear that shirt"! The mere fact that some thing is true about the future does not appear to take away my ability to explain that thing in terms of my own decisions, desires, actions, and wants. What else is free will but this?

    More formally, say it is time t0 and I am thinking about whether to wear this shirt or that one. I accept that if the future exists, then at future time t1, I will have already chosen to wear that one. So? If you were to ask me at t1 why I am wearing that shirt, I'm going to say "because I chose to at time t0." Just because the decision "is already made" doesn't threaten the decision being made at t0.

    Formal logic: The reason this argument is invalid is that in the base logic of these sentences, there is an invalid distribution of a necessity operator. That is, the first premise is this:
    "It is necessarily true that either A or not A."

    The second two premises say:
    "If A is necessary, then..."
    "If not A is necessary, then..."

    But you cannot proceed from "It is necessary that (A or not A)" to "If A is necessary..." and "if not A is necessary." If I use "[]" to stand for "necessary," then my point is
    [] (A v ~A) DOES NOT IMPLY []A v []~A.

    So, if A and ~A are by themselves not necessary, it is still within my power, in logic, to bring about A or ~A.
    Quote Originally Posted by banzai130 View Post
    Forward time travel is actually proven in a sense. Time dilation is a real thing. Real enough that the satellites orbiting the earth have to be adjusted for it in order to produce accurate measurements, for example - to find your location on the GPS.

    Forward time travel is basically getting to a certain point in time in less time then there is between the present and the point in time you wish to get to. And that is essentially what is happening here, as time is passing slower for those satellites then it is passing down here, so they get to those points in time slightly faster then the time interval between those 2 points is. They're essentially traveling slightly to the future.
    This is interesting, but I don't want to comment, because I wanted to save "is time travel conceptually confused" for another random Friday question
    Last edited by The Burninator; 02-25-2017 at 03:30 PM.

  22. #22

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    How do we define the present?

    A snapshot moment in time and space? Our central nervous system processing sensory information?

    If it were the first, if time stoped, there would be no light and no sound, a complete void of nothingness. The reason for that is because there is a lag before light reaches the earth from the sun - or any star for that matter. Sound also travels, like light, but at a slower speed. Therefore everything that is sensed are creations from the past, even if that past is moments ago. Our brains essentially are processing information that has already lapsed.

    So what about the future? Well, yes of course. Not only is there a lag of time before sensory information gets received, but there is also a continuum. In essence, without the future, there is also a void, darkness. The present depends on newer creations to push everything that is perceived forward.

  23. #23
    Philosopher н-υ-п-т-ε-я's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai130 View Post
    Forward time travel is actually proven in a sense. Time dilation is a real thing. Real enough that the satellites orbiting the earth have to be adjusted for it in order to produce accurate measurements, for example - to find your location on the GPS.

    Forward time travel is basically getting to a certain point in time in less time then there is between the present and the point in time you wish to get to. And that is essentially what is happening here, as time is passing slower for those satellites then it is passing down here, so they get to those points in time slightly faster then the time interval between those 2 points is. They're essentially traveling slightly to the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    Gravitational time dilation is a form of time dilation, an actual difference of elapsed time between two events as measured by observers situated at varying distances from a gravitating mass. The weaker the gravitational potential (the farther the clock is from the source of gravitation), the faster time passes. Albert Einstein originally predicted this effect in his theory of relativity and it has since been confirmed by tests of general relativity. [1]
    It is just speed of time to other observer, not future and present!

    times run faster there, but you will end up younger

    Why one of NASA's twin astronauts is younger than the other


    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    How do we define the present?
    Quote Originally Posted by google
    present
    ˈprɛz(ə)nt/


    adjective
    2.existing or occurring now.


    noun
    1.the period of time now occurring.
    Last edited by н-υ-п-т-ε-я; 02-25-2017 at 03:59 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Avicenna
    That whose existence is necessary must necessarily be one essence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rumi
    What you are seeking is also seeking you.

  24. #24

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    In 1911, the French physicist Paul Langevin put forward a thought experiment: What if one twin flies away from Earth at 99.99 percent of the speed of light? When the twin returns two years later, he expects that his twin, like himself, is two years older. But his twin isn’t there anymore – in the traveler’s absence, 200 years have passed on Earth, and his Earth-bound twin is long dead.

    In other words, because you're moving relative to your editor, a second lasts longer for you than it does for him. Time, as Einstein demonstrated, is relative.


    So, basically this article you linked describes time dilation similarly as I did - as a form of time travel. So I don't know what is it in my post that you're arguing against.




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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai130 View Post

    Yes, such a multiverse you described would be static just based on the definition. Thing is that those singular branches of time, which the multi-verse consists of would also be static timelines. As far as free will is concerned a static multi-verse can be interpreted in one of two ways:
    1. Since every possible choice happens somewhere in the branches, there is no free will, because all of the choices are made and you are just randomly living on one of the branches of those choices.

    2. Free will exists in a form that your choices are made consciously and define which branch of those infinite number of realities you end up on.
    My personal philosophy of 'how stuff works' is based on your second option, that free will is consciousness deciding which of the infinite bits of probable space-time are included in your own internal narrative.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

  26. #26
    Philosopher н-υ-п-т-ε-я's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai130 View Post

    So, basically this article you linked describes time dilation similarly as I did - as a form of time travel. So I don't know what is it in my post that you're arguing against.
    I believe in returnable travel as true travel, one way ticket is immigration to the future! but yeah you can say it is kind of future travel!

    and the article was for this:

    Quote Originally Posted by н-υ-п-т-ε-я View Post
    times run faster there, but you will end up younger
    Quote Originally Posted by Avicenna
    That whose existence is necessary must necessarily be one essence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rumi
    What you are seeking is also seeking you.

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