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Thread: Can you answer the most fundamental question about time?

  1. Top | #21
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Words have meaning, but (some) also have referents. Most all words have meaning while merely some (substantively less than most) have referents. The referent of a word, however, exists independent of the word. Take the moon for example. The object (the thing we call a moon) has been orbiting this planet we call Earth a very long time before there were even people, and certainly before our labeling of it. Language is not a necessity for the existence for many of the things that would be referenced should there be words to reference them.

    The moon, however, is a concrete object, but an abstract object (a highly misunderstood phenomenon resulting in widespread objection) is neverless a reality for the discovering that may include man, conventions, and language to describe them, but that they exist independent of abstraction (which also is easily confused with the completely distinct notion of an abstract object) is important, as non-concrete phenomenon exist independent of our ability to engage in abstract thinking. To illustrate, before man, there exists the moon, but so too does the time it takes to orbit the sun.

    There can be no woo before humanity, and I’m giving an example that predates humanity, so I’m not injecting any woo.
    The Moon isn't concrete. It's basalt covered in regolith.

    It does look a fair bit like grey portland cement concrete though.








  2. Top | #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Words have meaning, but (some) also have referents. Most all words have meaning while merely some (substantively less than most) have referents. The referent of a word, however, exists independent of the word. Take the moon for example. The object (the thing we call a moon) has been orbiting this planet we call Earth a very long time before there were even people, and certainly before our labeling of it. Language is not a necessity for the existence for many of the things that would be referenced should there be words to reference them.

    The moon, however, is a concrete object, but an abstract object (a highly misunderstood phenomenon resulting in widespread objection) is neverless a reality for the discovering that may include man, conventions, and language to describe them, but that they exist independent of abstraction (which also is easily confused with the completely distinct notion of an abstract object) is important, as non-concrete phenomenon exist independent of our ability to engage in abstract thinking. To illustrate, before man, there exists the moon, but so too does the time it takes to orbit the sun.

    There can be no woo before humanity, and I’m giving an example that predates humanity, so I’m not injecting any woo.
    The Moon isn't concrete. It's basalt covered in regolith.

    It does look a fair bit like grey portland cement concrete though.







    Oh please, this is coming from someone (you) who still thinks the moon landing wasn’t faked—all because of some supposed extremely low likelihood of a mass coverup including the secrecy a great number of people.

    Your mistake is in not considering all the evidence. Look not only at what you do see: also (I advise you) take note of what you do not see and factor that into your final analysis: for instance, where are all the reports about cheese? Do you (honestly) think people who have landed would have done so AND NOT brought back samples?

    Let me guess, you think it all melted? No, maybe you thought their space rations were so delightful and filling and they just forgot because they weren’t hungry. It really doesn’t matter the reason. What’s important is that there were no newspaper reports circling the globe about any cheese samples being brought back. Nothing on TV either. Something on the radio about how awesome the cheese is? If it was stale? Had holes in the cheese or how many?

    No, nothing, nada

    Atheists. You people. Evidence you always scream. Yeah, well, where’s the damn cheese?

    (No smileys included*)

    * pursuant to the no smiley clause addendum added to the user/members guide

  3. Top | #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon
    Strictly speaking, you don't observe motion. At any moment in time, you can only look at what is happening in that moment. Obviously, our senses suggest the reality of motion and indeed the reality of time. But, strictly speaking, perception doesn't "imply" anything.
    I am not sure that I quite follow your meaning entirely, especially considering the way it is (probably necessarily) worded. I would contest that I, or anyone else, does observe motion but, I think your argument is that you can only observe a "moment" (I assume an infinitessimally short period of time) without reference to the preceding or subsequent moment and that our senses construct the sequence of events. The term "happening in that moment" seems inappropriate since nothing can be happening in no time, only things being.
    I don't assume "infinitesimal". If we only observed infinitesimal moments, we wouldn't observe anything at all because, as you say, things cannot happen.

    However, it is still wrong to claim we observe things like some dude walking in the street. Or if we really want to keep the term, then "observe" is a vacuous term only referring to a sort of after the fact reconstruction of an historical event.

    So, if we don't observe infinitesimal moments and if we don't observe Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon, what it is that we actually observe?

    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    I think that, contrary to your statement, the apparent sensation of time not only suggests, but implies that the passage of time is a real thing.
    Ah, implies? If by that you mean that the subjective impression we have of time implies the reality of an objective time, then, sorry, I disagree. Suggests, yes, why not, but imply, no. We could be hallucinating time, you see.

    However, I agree that we have a subjective impression of time. I don't see that this implies anything. We just have this impression. Yet, I would say that this impression is effectively crucial because, what is time exactly? Do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    If there is more than one moment to observe and construct as the sense of time passing, then how else could those two moments exist unless they were in fact separated by a period of time.
    But again we don't observe two moments. We only observe one moment, the present one. And then, sure, we remember observing a previous moment. But remembering you observed isn't observing, or the next best thing, knowing that you observed. All we can do is believe we observed a previous moment. So, yes, this suggests the passage of time, what we could call "objective time" since we will agree with each other that time does fly, This suggests the passage of objective time but that doesn't make it something we observe. Rather, something we believe exists. And we certainly do. But belief doesn't imply reality of what we believe of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    Maybe, as you suggested and I mused earlier, time is like a fourth spatial dimension where two events that we would ordinarily describe as separated by time could be viewed by something with four dimensional perception as existing at the same time with separation along the fourth axis. However, I question whether it would be sensible to consider the same object separated on a time axis as having different identities at different positions in time.
    Yet this is the logic of it. Unless you want to save time by throwing away the law of identity? We are what we are at the moment that we are. Sure, we have a sense of our own identity, but this is transparently a psychological trick that has no import on the reality of what we are. We are two different things and one of them remember being the other "at some moment in the past". All that you have to prove your identity is your memory of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    In any case, I don't think this negates our sensation of time as being reflective of reality.
    I would say we have a sensation of time, what we could call subjective time. And? How would you know that to be a reflection of reality. Maybe it is, but how would you know that?
    EB

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    Now I know what you are saying fast. I am a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to metaphysics.

    The way I look at it is the moon exists regardless of what we call it. If all humans die off and there is no one to name the moon what is it?

    The moon persists even if humans never lived. The meter is a human concept that dies when humans do.

  5. Top | #25
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    We do not perceive moment by moment, that is a subjective emotional view.

    Our brans continuously respond to stimulus. Like a computer our brains have a processing latency, response always lags behind stimulus.

  6. Top | #26
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    Hi Steve, it's been a while since I've participated in any substantive thread on these fora, so it's refreshing and I appreciate your call for precision. While Speakpigeon's OP may have lacked specificity, I'm not sure that it is reduced to babbling by that lack. Maybe I was too generous in my assumptions that the OP referred to time in the common, colloquial sense of being the measure of when events take place or how long they take
    Hello connick. The OP is one in a very long series of EB OPs on what time is. Those like me resond time is defined as the second, time is a measure of observed change.

    EB and some others argue time is something else but are unable to articulate it. Time is another dimension as portrayed in scifi, it has a kind of independent reality.

    The topic helps pass the time and stay mentally active.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    The way I look at it is the moon exists regardless of what we call it.
    Exactly! And that’s the very view I hold and espouse as holding too. It, whatever it is, exists, and it does so whether we name it and regardless if we name it.

    If all humans die off and there is no one to name the moon what is it?
    It is what it has always been since it’s been what it is. We, the people speaking the English language, call it our moon, but confuse not what WE label something with WHAT is being labeled.

    The moon persists even if humans never lived.
    I agree 100%. That thing up above is what it is, and when we observe it and give it a name, we didn’t create the thing up above. It doesn’t become human-interdependent because we humans have now named it.

    The meter is a human concept that dies when humans do.
    I disagree. Why I disagree hinges on a distinction I make between something and the concept of something. The moon’s very existence doesn’t depend on our human conception of it. Like you said, the moon will persist when we all die off; indeed, it was around before we were even us.

    Our concept of the moon, however, does depend on our having a concept. The ideas we hold and the concepts we have, and all the other internal phenomena will cease to be when we perish. It’ll be gone as surely as there weren’t human ideas and human concepts back before there were humans to have them.

    The concept of time ... that requires conceptualization.
    Time ... that is independent of our concept of it

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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Our concept of the moon, however, does depend on our having a concept. The ideas we hold and the concepts we have, and all the other internal phenomena will cease to be when we perish. It’ll be gone as surely as there weren’t human ideas and human concepts back before there were humans to have them.

    The concept of time ... that requires conceptualization.
    Time ... that is independent of our concept of it
    And you only know of concepts, not the things themselves.

    And you also don't have any means of verifying that the concept is true of the thing.
    EB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Our concept of the moon, however, does depend on our having a concept. The ideas we hold and the concepts we have, and all the other internal phenomena will cease to be when we perish. It’ll be gone as surely as there weren’t human ideas and human concepts back before there were humans to have them.

    The concept of time ... that requires conceptualization.
    Time ... that is independent of our concept of it
    And you only know of concepts, not the things themselves.

    And you also don't have any means of verifying that the concept is true of the thing.
    EB
    You don’t know that the formation of our planet predates the growth of the trees upon it? Study!

    I do know it (and believe it), but you claim to only believe it because you mistakenly believe that we can only believe what our brain has access to (mental percepts/models of the outside world). What I (that would be me) can do is press my lips upon the lips of a woman while listening to a mix of upbeat and romantic music while on the dock out by the water on a moonlit night.

    My brain, well, it doesn’t have any lips. How it is that a brain functions that allows for what I can do is irrelevant. I believe it, and I have overwhelming justification for my belief, and if (if I say) the truth condition just so happens to not have been met, then know THAT or not, I don’t know P, but if the truth condition is met, know it or not, then I do know P.

  10. Top | #30
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    fast

    The concept of time ... that requires conceptualization.
    Time ... that is independent of our concept of it
    Again you are using the wird time without any definition.

    You are inferring time has a reality of its own yes or no?

    Change exists we observe it. Without humans time does not exist. The universe exists without clocks. The moon exists regardless of how we conceptualize and name it.

    Unless you have an explicit alternative view time is a label we create to describe change.

    Perhaps you are conflating subjective perception and sensation of the experience of change in the day with something else? You take your perceptions as reality?

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