The Anti-Time Theory

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Hey everyone, I haven't posted in a few weeks; so I'm making this thread.
***Note I'm sure someone has thought of this before, but I came up with this on my own a while ago and decided to post it out of boredom***

Are you aware that time does not exist? That it is only a measurement? A means to organize your life into sections in order to get things done better.

Think about it, a year is one revolution around the sun, and other units of time are either just multiples or dividends of a year. And seeing as how the Earth revolving around the Sun once is movement, and distance - we call this a measurement.

This means that time is a measurement as well; a measurement of time (Ex: A year). This means whenever someone says "How old are you?", they are politically incorrect. They should be saying "How long are you?". And a proper response could be "I'm 15 years long.".

Basically, this theory states that time does not actually exist. Since it's just a concept created by man. It's all subconscious. There is no real point to this theory, it's just there to say "Hey, you! Time doesn't exist and I have proof! HARDY HAR HAR!".

Thoughts, everyone?

Yea, it's pretty much a "Ya know, technically it's like this..." thought. That's how it technically is but it has no precedence in anything.

Depends on the context.
Time refers to events as well as a unit of measurement.

Then there's also the 4th dimension.
We exist in the 3rd dimension and cannot see the 4th.
The 4th dimension is being able to see ALL events in time at once....it's very hard to imagine.

Actually, time is a measurement of the rate of change.
So, of course it exists.

I study the philosophy of time as the subject of my post-bac research.

To really have anything of much weight to contribute to the discussion, you'll have to read the 'required' piece for everyone interested in advancing the discussion. The work is 'The Unreality of Time' by J.M. McTaggart. It isn't that his position is particularly enlightening, only that the distinction he draws remains today - and the two sides are still at a stalemate.

He saw that in speaking about Time, we do so in two ways: In a tensed (Or A-Series) and tenseless (B-Series) way. The former, of course, corresponding to our everyday experience in the world. Tenses are in constant change and the truth value of tensed sentences likewise change as well. The latter is of relational and fixed temporal line, as in dates or in the way time is spoken of in the natural sciences (as a 'dimension' or as necessarily joined with space - making it spacetime).

There are many great resources if you're genuinely interested. Perhaps I've just become bitter after being treated as a novelty act for stoners and drunkfolk, but I find that it is only when people are in these inebriated states that they show any interest in the subject of time.

After you read McTaggart's piece, it will give you more of an idea where you stand and bring you into the modern discussion on the topic. The split now stands between the Philosophy of Language and Logic (who claim that tenses are real) and the philosophy of science - namely philosophy of physics - (who claim that time exists without tenses, and attempt to explain away the reason we may believe why tenses exist). Spoiler alert, as a rule of thumb it would be unwise to say Time 'doesn't exist' or to be 'anti-time.' The purpose of McTaggart's piece was to show the inconsistency of both theories on their own terms - not positing a conclusion, but attacking the premises of the arguments.

Berethond:
Actually, time is a measurement of the rate of change.
So, of course it exists.

That's circular - I agree with your conclusion, but this type of reasoning is suggesting that because we have a measurement for a phenomenon, then the phenomenon exists. Why do we know the phenomenon exists? Because we have a measurement for it. There's a better way to prove the phenomenon, and I'd attach it to entropy and space (as Relativity does).

Demented Teddy:
Depends on the context.
Time refers to events as well as a unit of measurement.
Then there's also the 4th dimension.
We exist in the 3rd dimension and cannot see the 4th.
The 4th dimension is being able to see ALL events in time at once....it's very hard to imagine.

Although there is a position one can take called Four-Dimensionalism, I don't believe 4d actually means what people believe it means. Time is no longer the 4th dimension, if my memory serves correctly. The 4th dimension is some weird, spatial abstract. But, I assume you mean 3+1 dimensions, or standard spacetime.

Oh god I remember thinking that. I also remember hearing about it in a movie or a show or something. But meh, time or no time, the real question is, why is a tree?

its also like how division dose not exists its only multiplying decimals. and time dose exsist but is only reliant to your location and movement. interesting fact. time moves slower when you move faster http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

Demented Teddy:
Depends on the context.
Time refers to events as well as a unit of measurement.

Then there's also the 4th dimension.
We exist in the 3rd dimension and cannot see the 4th.
The 4th dimension is being able to see ALL events in time at once....it's very hard to imagine.

its believed that our minds do not have a portion of the power needed to be able to comprehend the 4th dimension.

You said it yourself, there isn't any real point to this theory. You aren't going to get people to change the way they look at time anytime soon anyways.

marter:
You said it yourself, there isn't any real point to this theory. You aren't going to get people to change the way they look at time anytime soon anyways.

Stuff like that is entirely unnecessary to any discussion. Strictly speaking, we're all wormfood anyway, so no discussion really bears any merit in the end. The point, however, is that someone wants to discuss it, and is looking for others to do likewise. Naysaying isn't constructive criticism.

Meanwhile, on topic...
Time - as an independent dimension - really doesn't exist. First, when you look into astrophysics, the degree to which one's perception of time is dependent on gravity really renders the concept of time itself meaningless. When you can put a clock in orbit and keep one at sea-level directly below it and they keep time at different rates, which one is the standard? Phrasing it in terms of philosophy is a mistake; doing so gives one the impression that it's all one's opinion of time that matters (ever since Bertrand Russell turned philosophy into semantic sophistry). It's not "what you think of it" or even "can we comprehend it." We can demonstrate that the passage of time operates completely dependently on the nature of the gravity around it, and given that time is simply the rate of perceived change of an object, time would be more accurately be measured by something like atomic decay.

Something to consider: how do you know any one second is as long as any other? There's no independent measure. You might argue that you can tell by watching a clock, but if time fluctuated, the hands on a clock would pause all the same. It is literally impossible to objectively measure time. Insisting it exists is clinging to superstition and make-believe.

Guttural Engagement:

Are you aware that time does not exist? That it is only a measurement?

I thought this was general knowledge.

Time is a measurement but that doesn't mean it doesnt exist. Or rather time is an entity that we measure.
Just like length is measured by inches and centimeters time can be measure by seconds or minutes.
The UNIT of measurement is man-made however, if it were done differently you could say the length of your hand is 1 million metres and we're all 2 days old :p

If you like, time is a giant timeline and seconds and minutes are what we use to measure the space between 2 events.

Of course time exists. Things happen one after the other.

To argue otherwise is to claim that it's only our brains that separate cause and effect, and therefore is an argument for subjective reality.

mobuto:
its also like how division dose not exists its only multiplying decimals. and time dose exsist but is only reliant to your location and movement. interesting fact. time moves slower when you move faster http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

Apparent time moves slower when you near the speed of light. The thing that actually slows time is gravity.

Oh, and the "division does not exist" thing? Bunk. That's just a question of semantics and convenience, not plain truth.

Dexiro:

Guttural Engagement:

Are you aware that time does not exist? That it is only a measurement?

I thought this was general knowledge.

Time is a measurement but that doesn't mean it doesnt exist. Or rather time is an entity that we measure.
Just like length is measured by inches and centimeters time can be measure by seconds or minutes.
The UNIT of measurement is man-made however, if it were done differently you could say the length of your hand is 1 million metres and we're all 2 days old :p

If you like, time is a giant timeline and seconds and minutes are what we use to measure the space between 2 events.

The difference is that you can hold up two different blocks and compare them to each other to establish an objective measure of length. You can't do the same thing with seconds or minutes because to do so you'd have to step outside of time to observe them objectively. All experience of time is subjective.

True, time in and of itself, does not exist or more accurately time is the name for a type of measurement as you said. But then you could make the same argument that miles and kilometers don't exist, since we simply created them as certain measurement and there is no physical proof of their existence, but then you go into a whole philosophical argument that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.
Regardless entropy does exist and time is just a measurement of entropy, so therefor the whole "15 years long" thing doesn't make any sense, since you're not actually measuring a distance, your measuring the rate at which someone has changed/decayed.

Guttural Engagement:
"How long are you?".

I can think of more than a few sexual innuendos for that.

OT: So then there are only three dimensions? Because I was under the impression that the fourth dimension was time.

We see events in succession, objects do not move from one place to another instantaneously, therefore time must exist, for if it didn't, we'd see everything happen at the exact same time, every motion would be instantaneous because there would be no 'time' to allow for rates of change of position (velocity) or rates of change of rates of change of position (acceleration). So to say 'time does not exist because we measure it' is one of those thoughts people tend to have and then go 'wait a minute, I am in fact, wrong'.

Thank you, sane person. Wherever I've pointed out that time is just a made-up concept like luck, I get the response of 'no it's real see you can measure it with a clock.'

Guttural Engagement:
Think about it, a year is one revolution around the sun, and other units of time are either just multiples or dividends of a year. And seeing as how the Earth revolving around the Sun once is movement, and distance - we call this a measurement.

No. While it's true that our measurement of time is somewhat arbitrary (as are all our units of measurement, no matter if it's time, distance, temperature, etc), a year is the time it takes for the Earth to revolve around the sun, not the distance it travels during that time.

Guttural Engagement:
This means that time is a measurement as well; a measurement of time (Ex: A year). This means whenever someone says "How old are you?", they are politically incorrect. They should be saying "How long are you?". And a proper response could be "I'm 15 years long.".

You're misusing two terms here. First of all. the word "measurement" doesn't imply distance. You can measure time just as you can measure speed, distance, temperature, luminosity, weight, voltage, loudness and a thousand other things. Second, there is nothing "political" about this whole thing.

Guttural Engagement:
Basically, this theory states that time does not actually exist. Since it's just a concept created by man. It's all subconscious. There is no real point to this theory, it's just there to say "Hey, you! Time doesn't exist and I have proof! HARDY HAR HAR!".

Even if the rest of your reasoning was sound (which it isn't), it's no reason to say that time doesn't exist. At most you could say that the way we measure time is bogus, but any form of measurement is unnatural, man-made, and somewhat arbitrary. This means that a year, a mile, a pound, and a volt don't have any "real" meaning, it's just something we made up to describe certain natural occurrences (time, distance, weight, and electricity) in greater detail, and in a way that makes sense to everyone,

You all are completely missing the difference between the nature of a unit of time and a unit of length. I can physically produce a one foot long block of wood that we can both feel and agree upon. You can't do the same for a second; you can simple point to the change in the environment over the course of what you guess to be a second, but you can't individually produce a second to study objectively. Every second is experienced. It would be as though you couldn't measure a mile unless you walked it, and then, looking back, but without being able to actually go back and walk it again, had to say "that was a mile."

Edit: To expand on that thought, it really doesn't make sense to try and make sense of time as a dimension like we do length, width and height. Its nature is entirely different and, oddly, dependent on mass which the other dimensions are not. Hell, even the notion of "change over time" is perceptual: you only have your memories to prove that change actually happens without time travel, and perhaps our notion of time is simply our brain's way of making cognitive sense and order to a system that doesn't actually have cause and effect as we perceive it.

Xeros:
(...)

OT: So then there are only three dimensions? Because I was under the impression that the fourth dimension was time.

There are sixteen dimensions :p (M-theory (the M stands for whatever you want it to stand for))

Guttural Engagement:
(...)
This means whenever someone says "How old are you?", they are politically incorrect. They should be saying "How long are you?".(...)

Why? Wouldn't the closest correct derivative to your "How long are you?" be "How long has the earth travelled round the sun since you were born?"

GIJoker:
You all are completely missing the difference between the nature of a unit of time and a unit of length. I can physically produce a one foot long block of wood that we can both feel and agree upon. You can't do the same for a second; you can simple point to the change in the environment over the course of what you guess to be a second, but you can't individually produce a second to study objectively. Every second is experienced. It would be as though you couldn't measure a mile unless you walked it, and then, looking back, but without being able to actually go back and walk it again, had to say "that was a mile."

That makes sense, I accept it but am of course still open for discussion.
As you can see above I've barely scratched the surface of this time debate thingy.

Some of us, like me, want to post our thoughts before considering other's. Sometimes it's a good thing as more people will express themselves "in their own words". This doesn't mean that we neglect or ignore what other people say in their posts.
Welcome to the escapist! :)

mip0:

Xeros:
(...)

OT: So then there are only three dimensions? Because I was under the impression that the fourth dimension was time.

There are sixteen dimensions

Wow... seriously? *scurries off the read about this "M-theory"*

EDIT: My mind has been blown.

EDIT 2: Although, from what I've read thus far, there are only 11 dimensions; 10 dimensions with an 11th to unify them.

Multidimensional theory is just that: a theory. It implies the existence of a number of dimensions which we can't perceive which strikes me as the antithesis of empirical study. Simply because throwing a bunch of random variables into an equation can balance it out doesn't mean it's the right answer. I'm curious if calculations have ever been done assuming only three dimensions exist and if that leads to any more straight-forward results. Ockham's Razor in action.

You can argue all day about the validity of time but my accounting homework's still due Monday and I'm just as fucked if I don't do it Sunday night.

There's such a thing as overthinking and I think you're guilty of it.

Of course time exists. No offense, but what you're saying doesn't make sense, it's like saying that space doesn't actually exist because metres^3 is just a measurement created by man.

I thought time was an actual dimension? Or was that theory scrapped?

This is for another thread and I'm sorry if I started it but I'm still gonna give a quick reply to these guys. Maybe I can end the multi-dimensional-theory discussion right here or at least connect it with the "anti-time theory".

Xeros:

mip0:

Xeros:
(...)

OT: So then there are only three dimensions? Because I was under the impression that the fourth dimension was time.

There are sixteen dimensions

Wow... seriously? *scurries off the read about this "M-theory"*

EDIT: My mind has been blown.

EDIT 2: Although, from what I've read thus far, there are only 11 dimensions; 10 dimensions with an 11th to unify them.

Holy salamander shit! You can still read after getting your mind blown?
I'm glad I didn't get into that stuff too much or your news might have crumbled my world around me.
I guess it's changed since that documentary, like over time. Quite the rapid rate of change. A lot of busy seconds have passed, I wonder where they dispose of all those little ticks and tacks.

GIJoker:
Multidimensional theory is just that: a theory. It implies the existence of a number of dimensions which we can't perceive which strikes me as the antithesis of empirical study. Simply because throwing a bunch of random variables into an equation can balance it out doesn't mean it's the right answer. I'm curious if calculations have ever been done assuming only three dimensions exist and if that leads to any more straight-forward results. Ockham's Razor in action.

Yes it's just a theory, they can't prove it through experiments.
Just like the anti-time theory, right? Have there been any experiments on that?

Yeah, time is just a measurement. A ruler isn't actually 30cm long, we just say it is. Earth doesn't spin for 24 'hours', we just say it does.

Time is an abstract concept used to measure an abstract concept.

The same could also be said about colour, smell or any other human experience. We've reduced the phenomenom down to a finite judgement where the majority opinion is agreed upon for ease of relation to others.

Your theoreum fails as it's as invalid to use "long", as there's no set way of measuring it other than the way we use to measure its passing.

Well done for picking up on the failings of physics though. :)

Eternal_24:
I thought time was an actual dimension? Or was that theory scrapped?

The problem with that theory is that it could be, but we have no way of knowing, or testing, if it is or isn't. Therefore, it's more of a label for thought than a theoreum.
If it is a dimension, Timetravel becomes possible, but we have to accept the Infinite Universe theory, which disproves certain theories like Einstein's and Newton's, because then energy can be shifted to another dimension, and thus destroyed/created for us.

Guttural Engagement:
This means whenever someone says "How old are you?", they are politically incorrect. They should be saying "How long are you?". And a proper response could be "I'm 15 years long.".

[Mandatory Dick Joke]

"How long are you?" "8 inches"

HARDY-HAR-HAR

OT: While you points are true, it would just complicate things for us and is completely unnecessary to follow.

I would think it to be like dark matter, that it is invisible, and if we could actually see time, our minds would be totally blown by what it looks like.

GIJoker:
Multidimensional theory is just that: a theory. It implies the existence of a number of dimensions which we can't perceive which strikes me as the antithesis of empirical study. Simply because throwing a bunch of random variables into an equation can balance it out doesn't mean it's the right answer. I'm curious if calculations have ever been done assuming only three dimensions exist and if that leads to any more straight-forward results. Ockham's Razor in action.

Occam's razor is a very dangerous tool to use though as it fixes theory based on majority opinion. The obvious example is that it collapses the field of Quantum Physics because quantum flux isn't measureable therefore it provides no distinct differences between comparitive theories. That's why there's such a furor about the Higg's boson - as that would fuel Quantum Theory, while applying Occam's razor to other dependent theories like resistance.

It doesn't work like that. Yes, years and days as we know them are only relevant for Earth, and other units like months are pretty arbitrary, but time sure as hell exists. Environments change, lifeforms age, events come and go, etc. Nothing stands still. It's that simple.

Berethond:
Actually, time is a measurement of the rate of change.
So, of course it exists.

TBF, time was created as a measurement of the rate of change. And a subjective one at that. Although, as has been said, so is length, depth, breadth, colour, smell...

... I think people should look into the scholarship behind these questions before saying anything too definitively. The questions are far too complex to have an answer that can fit so concisely in a forum post. There are tomes dedicated to the subject. See my reply earlier on.

I'm seeing mostly conclusions - without any genuine arguments. I'm simply assume this to be a passing fancy and not a real inquiry into the ontology of phenomenon (as it usually the case, unfortunately).

Jezzy54:
It doesn't work like that. Yes, years and days as we know them are only relevant for Earth, and other units like months are pretty arbitrary, but time sure as hell exists. Environments change, lifeforms age, events come and go, etc. Nothing stands still. It's that simple.

How so, year refers to how long a planet takes to make a round trip around the star it orbits, and day refers to how long it takes a planet to complete a rotation on it's axis. While months are related to the motion of the moon, so it's not really important to moonless planets. I would consider these to be more relevant to the other planets in a sense.

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