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Thread: Refutation of "Time" in 4 easy steps.

  1. #1 Refutation of "Time" in 4 easy steps. 
    Forum Freshman Munk's Avatar
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    This is a little deductive argument I formulated that would suggest that time doesn't exist. Enjoy.

    Premise 1: In order for something to be real, it must exist.
    Premise 2: In order for Time to exist, so to must the past, present, and future.
    Premise 3: By definition, the past is that which no longer exists.
    Premise 4: By definition, the future is that which is yet to exist.


    Conclusion: Time cannot be not real because the past and the present are intrinsically non-existent. In fact, it's a logical paradox to say that "the past is real", or that "the future is real", since the qualifier "is" can only apply to the present-tense. Similarly, something cannot "be in the past", nor can something "be in the future", since "being" is also intrinsically present-tense. These ideas are just logical impossibilities made to seem possible with the misuse of language (and the concepts relayed therein).

    Its like saying "the impossible is possible". It sounds ok, grammatically speaking. But the concepts expressed in that phrase are fundamentally incompatible.


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  3. #2  
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    It all depends on your definition of time and the context in which your premises intend for it to be used.

    Past and future remain to be referred to, the past does exist, it is just not happening anymore.

    We do not say that human life does not exist simply because an aspect of humanity (an individual human) no longer does.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeera
    ... the past does exist, it is just not happening anymore..
    This is exactly what I am talking about. By using the word "exists" (which only makes sense when in regard to the present) and applying to something outside of the present tense, you are inadvertently creating a logical paradox. If it is not happening anymore, then it "does" not exist (by definition). Perhaps it used to exist, but in order for it to qualify as "the past" it must cease existing, otherwise it would still be in the present.

    Saying the past is real is like saying "I am 1 year old" simply because I was 1 year old at some point.The state of me being "1 year old" does not exist, and therefore is not real (since I am 25). The fact that it may have been real at some point is irrelevant to the fact that the state is no longer real/existent. Similarly, though I will be dead, by saying the future "is" real, you are saying I "am" dead.

    It's a misapplication of language.
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    So you're saying we need to hit the books and redefine the word 'exists'?
    I would agree with that.

    So time itself will remain to exist until we redefine what exist means, when that happens time will still occur though.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeera
    the past does exist, it is just not happening anymore.
    Actually it would be more legitimate to say that the results of the past exist today, and in fact will never change no matter how long the human concept of time lasts, however the past itself, has ceased the moment it eventuated.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xeera
    So time itself will remain to exist until we redefine what exist means, when that happens time will still occur though
    Time is either a subjective concept or an objective reality, and it's with this dilemma where we naturally become confused. If it's a subjective concept as it appears on the one hand to be your definition, then we really need to cease relating to it as an objective reality - or vice versa.

    In other words, until we make up our mind, we will continue to mix the two opposites as if they are the same thing, and we will always struggle to understand and define it.

    For mine, time is an entirely human convention = is subjective and conceptual. Therefore it is entirely irrelevant apart from man's perceived limitations and requirements.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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    I would agree to your change... it is in fact the results of the past that exist. The present is formed through the past.

    The past ceasing to exist the moment it eventuates indicates the once, the past was the present, but this cannot be because as we've already determined, they are very separate things.
    Perhaps it is more correct to hypothesise that the past does not exist instead of trying to find that time does not exist... at least as a first step.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeera
    Perhaps it is more correct to hypothesise that the past does not exist instead of trying to find that time does not exist... at least as a first step.
    Except it could be argued that the past, does in fact still exist - everywhere - in the results it has produced. However the conceptual time that the past was all about - at least as far as our preception was, at that moment concerned - has indeed ceased, and will never be again.

    As for your statement "The present is formed through the past", I doubt that you could be more correct.

    **My apologies that your response (above), appears to have been towards an incomplete post.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Freshman Munk's Avatar
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    Perhaps time is more of a verb than a noun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Perhaps time is more of a verb than a noun.
    I would suggest that time is neither verb nor noun, for in effect it does NOT exist in reality - extraneous to our own imagination, that is.

    It's a little like Santa Clause, who for some reason everyone imagines is a reality - one way or another. And we at least can see, touch and talk to him for around a month each year, right?
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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    Well, if you imagine time as a dimension...

    The 3 dimensions of space allow for size , and 4th dimension of time allows change. If time doesn't exist, than neither can change. So the question then becomes: Can change really exist, if it can only be qualified by contrasting that which is real (in the present) and that which isn't real (past/future)? Or is change itself an illusion created by how our minds interpret stimuli?
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    **My apologies that your response (above), appears to have been towards an incomplete post.
    No worries, this is how discussions work

    I think before we get too much further into philosophical thinking we need to define time and all of its parts. Our thoughts are virtually meaningless if we are not 100% sure what we are thinking about.
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  13. #12  
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    You go first.
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    I think you're confusing here a subjective conception of time, as in past/future/present versus what is essentially an objective unit of measurement. Time has an objective reality, but humanity has developed subjective interpretations and rationalizations of how we exist within chronological frames of reference.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
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  15. #14  
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    what is the "objective" time?
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    what is the "objective" time?
    Time as a unit of measurement, i.e. within a single frame of reference.

    Moreover, your argument depends on some rather weak presumptions. Why my must past, present and future exist for time to exist? Past, present and future are merely qualitative assessments of our own position within a framework of chronological continuum. If the passage of time is unidirectional, than by logic there must be a point prior to where we stand in that chronology, a point where we stand, and a point where we will stand.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Why my must past, present and future exist for time to exist?
    This was simply an operant definition based on the common understanding of the concept of time. Like everything, it is up for debate if you disagree...

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Past, present and future are merely qualitative assessments of our own position within a framework of chronological continuum. If the passage of time is unidirectional, than by logic there must be a point prior to where we stand in that chronology, a point where we stand, and a point where we will stand.
    By saying there must "be" a point prior to where we stand, and there must "be" a point where we will stand, you are inferring that those points actually exist. And yet, by definition you are referring to something that has ceased to exist (past), and something that is yet to exist (future).

    So on the contrary, how is it possible for the present be a reference point in time, if its only counterpoints are nonexistent? This would be like trying to make a case for the existence of "distance" by using Narnia, New York and Never-Never Land as reference points. With only one real/existent point to go off of, relative inferences cannot be made.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    So the question then becomes: Can change really exist, if it can only be qualified by contrasting that which is real (in the present) and that which isn't real (past/future)?
    Or is change itself an illusion created by how our minds interpret stimuli?[/
    For mine, we really need to define that term 'real'. Time is NOT real, so any moment of such perception in the past, present or future, simply is NOT! I mean even if it is grossly impaired, the perception is real enough, yet the ‘time’ associated with it will always fail such qualification. So any consistently verifiable definition of time will require an exclusion of the term 'real'.

    Secondly we cannot determine 'real' on the basis of our emotions - which again, are NOT - therefore will inevitably give us false readings all over the place.

    Thirdly, the past is actually real and will always be so – but only as far as the outcomes, with which we subsequently have to deal. However the time involved with the past is not real - then, now or ever.

    Finally, before you answer the question about whether change exists or not and ‘how our minds interpret stimuli’, I would suggest you take 20 minutes and view this extremely interesting video. Even though I do not accept a couple of the points made towards the end of it, as a whole this youtube presentation is invaluable to an organic awareness, which appears to be your noteworthy blessing.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    Thirdly, the past is actually real and will always be so – but only as far as the outcomes, with which we subsequently have to deal. However the time involved with the past is not real - then, now or ever.
    So, would you then agree that the past is not real, but its effects in the present are?
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    Thirdly, the past is actually real and will always be so – but only as far as the outcomes, with which we subsequently have to deal. However the time involved with the past is not real - then, now or ever.
    So, would you then agree that the past is not real, but its effects in the present are?
    Indeed the past (in terms of time) wasn't even real at the instance it eventuated, however the results of the past will be reality for eternity - even if they are subsequently changed or destroyed.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    This was simply an operant definition based on the common understanding of the concept of time.
    And what is the common understanding of the concept of time?

    Time is a measurement. At least for us.

    Past, present and future are not measurements, they are merely descriptions of time.

    As far as I understand it, there are is a large (it may be infinite, but I'm not sure) number of dimensions. Humans experience the third dimension directly. Time is the fourth dimension and passes through the third dimension, allowing humans (and of course others but the conversation would be even more confused if we went that far) to experience time.
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  22. #21 Re: Refutation of "Time" in 4 easy steps. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Premise 3: By definition, the past is that which no longer exists.
    Premise 4: By definition, the future is that which is yet to exist.


    .
    This carries with it the assumption that backwards time travel is totally impossible, something that science has yet to verify.

    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Why my must past, present and future exist for time to exist?
    This was simply an operant definition based on the common understanding of the concept of time. Like everything, it is up for debate if you disagree...

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Past, present and future are merely qualitative assessments of our own position within a framework of chronological continuum. If the passage of time is unidirectional, than by logic there must be a point prior to where we stand in that chronology, a point where we stand, and a point where we will stand.
    By saying there must "be" a point prior to where we stand, and there must "be" a point where we will stand, you are inferring that those points actually exist. And yet, by definition you are referring to something that has ceased to exist (past), and something that is yet to exist (future).

    So on the contrary, how is it possible for the present be a reference point in time, if its only counterpoints are nonexistent? This would be like trying to make a case for the existence of "distance" by using Narnia, New York and Never-Never Land as reference points. With only one real/existent point to go off of, relative inferences cannot be made.
    According to modern physics, it is not possible for any kind of information to travel faster than light. That means that, to a beam of light, distance and time are exactly the same thing.

    In a sense that means that any object say 5 kilometers ahead of you is also at least ~1/60,000 seconds in your future. An object 5 km behind you would have to be at least ~1/60,000 second in your past. (Rounding C to 300,000,000 meters/second)
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Premise 3: By definition, the past is that which no longer exists.
    Premise 4: By definition, the future is that which is yet to exist.
    This carries with it the assumption that backwards time travel is totally impossible, something that science has yet to verify.
    Until now, it sure appears time travel is nothing more than a fanciful concept which presumably originated over 100 years ago in the imagination of H.G.Wells, and some of us have ever since swallowed on the profoundly incorrect assumption that time itself is a reality.

    So time travel seems to be yet another myth that requires refutation - or more appropriately; proof, which I strongly doubt will ever be forthcoming.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    how is it possible for the present be a reference point in time, if its only counterpoints are nonexistent? This would be like trying to make a case for the existence of "distance" by using Narnia, New York and Never-Never Land as reference points. With only one real/existent point to go off of, relative inferences cannot be made.
    According to modern physics, it is not possible for any kind of information to travel faster than light. That means that, to a beam of light, distance and time are exactly the same thing.
    Huh? Even though I accept the first sentence, would you mind running the entirety of that by a Reject again? And then kindly explain how a conceptual non-reality such as time, and a reality such as light can possibly have anything to do with each other?
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeera
    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    This was simply an operant definition based on the common understanding of the concept of time.
    And what is the common understanding of the concept of time?

    Time is a measurement. At least for us.

    Past, present and future are not measurements, they are merely descriptions of time.

    As far as I understand it, there are is a large (it may be infinite, but I'm not sure) number of dimensions. Humans experience the third dimension directly. Time is the fourth dimension and passes through the third dimension, allowing humans (and of course others but the conversation would be even more confused if we went that far) to experience time.
    We imagine we experience time, yet in reality; we cannot on the basis that it is only possible to experience (in an objective sense); that which exists physically. Time is in no way a physical entity, so no-go there.

    So you might now ask about a non-physical (subjective) experience of time - being more likely to be a positive; yet about as possible as having an encounter with the purple flying unicorn at the bottom of my garden. I mean, sure I can experience it, yet any such experience will always only exist in my imagination - interestingly also being where time lives.

    So time may be a measurement for the purposes of our imagination, yet as Munk posted earlier; it is like a measurement between Narnia and New York on the one side, and New York and Middle Earth on the other - where only one of the three can, in reality be considered extant.

    Also, you are correct with "Past, present and future are not measurements", yet neither are they descriptions of time. They are in fact, descriptions of conditions that existed, exist, and will exist.
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