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Time Theories

phil42
Posts: 7
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7/29/2013 12:48:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hey guys! I've been reading up on some Time Theories, like what people believe about time and how it relates to Free Will. Some believe in the theory that time is like a cup being constantly filled, and every choice we make adds on to the cup. Some believe that time is all lain out in a certain script, where everything is already decided, like fate. what do y'all guys think and why?
And before I go, I just want to say you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic! And you know what? So was I!
DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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7/29/2013 12:55:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 12:48:13 PM, phil42 wrote:
Hey guys! I've been reading up on some Time Theories, like what people believe about time and how it relates to Free Will. Some believe in the theory that time is like a cup being constantly filled, and every choice we make adds on to the cup. Some believe that time is all lain out in a certain script, where everything is already decided, like fate. what do y'all guys think and why?

I'm a determinist, not a fatalist, and I believe in free will only when it's defined in certain ways. I also am an adherent to A-Theory of Time.
phil42
Posts: 7
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7/29/2013 1:58:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Determinist, but not fatalist? So is the difference that a fatalist would believe in a higher being, while a determinist just believes in a directed course of events?
And before I go, I just want to say you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic! And you know what? So was I!
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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7/29/2013 2:10:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 1:58:10 PM, phil42 wrote:
Determinist, but not fatalist? So is the difference that a fatalist would believe in a higher being, while a determinist just believes in a directed course of events?

Fatalism is the position that some outcome will result no matter what happens (i.e. it is "fate"); determinism is simply the position that a given closed sequence of events always produces some particular outcome. So, for the determinist, varying the sequence of events will alter the outcome, but for the fatalist the outcome is independent of such variations.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
Orangatang
Posts: 442
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7/29/2013 2:33:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:10:14 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/29/2013 1:58:10 PM, phil42 wrote:
Determinist, but not fatalist? So is the difference that a fatalist would believe in a higher being, while a determinist just believes in a directed course of events?

Fatalism is the position that some outcome will result no matter what happens (i.e. it is "fate"); determinism is simply the position that a given closed sequence of events always produces some particular outcome. So, for the determinist, varying the sequence of events will alter the outcome, but for the fatalist the outcome is independent of such variations.

If your a determinist doesn't that mean that every possible outcome is predetermined, as the supposed outcome are determined by preceding events (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). The definitions of determinism and fatalism (http://www.merriam-webster.com...) on webster are very similar. I believe that when Dakota says he is not a fatalist but is a determinist, he is saying that he does not believe that we are powerless in shaping our future, however all future events are still predetermined by previous ones.
Read and Vote Please! http://www.debate.org...
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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7/29/2013 3:10:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff."
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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7/29/2013 3:15:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:40:16 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Time is only an idea.

Indeed. It's what you make of it, I think. This could all just be your imagination for all you know. *makes spooky ghost-type noises*
Magic8000
Posts: 975
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7/29/2013 3:31:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm stuck between the Growing Block theory and the B theory. Moving spotlight contradicts special relativity, while B theory and the growing block seem to be compatible with it.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.

"So Magic8000 believes Einstein was a proctologist who was persuaded by the Government and Hitler to fabricate the Theory of Relativity"- GWL-CPA
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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7/29/2013 5:48:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:33:41 PM, Orangatang wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:10:14 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/29/2013 1:58:10 PM, phil42 wrote:
Determinist, but not fatalist? So is the difference that a fatalist would believe in a higher being, while a determinist just believes in a directed course of events?

Fatalism is the position that some outcome will result no matter what happens (i.e. it is "fate"); determinism is simply the position that a given closed sequence of events always produces some particular outcome. So, for the determinist, varying the sequence of events will alter the outcome, but for the fatalist the outcome is independent of such variations.

If your a determinist doesn't that mean that every possible outcome is predetermined, as the supposed outcome are determined by preceding events (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). The definitions of determinism and fatalism (http://www.merriam-webster.com...) on webster are very similar. I believe that when Dakota says he is not a fatalist but is a determinist, he is saying that he does not believe that we are powerless in shaping our future, however all future events are still predetermined by previous ones.

Yes, the bolded is more closely a statement of determinism. By contrast, fatalism would say that the future is fated (hence the name); that it is independent of all event sequences preceding it. That's the difference.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
Jack212
Posts: 572
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7/29/2013 5:55:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 12:48:13 PM, phil42 wrote:
Hey guys! I've been reading up on some Time Theories, like what people believe about time and how it relates to Free Will. Some believe in the theory that time is like a cup being constantly filled, and every choice we make adds on to the cup. Some believe that time is all lain out in a certain script, where everything is already decided, like fate. what do y'all guys think and why?

They have nothing to do with each other. Free Will is when you act without coercion. Whether your choice has been predicted already doesn't change the fact that you made it under your own steam.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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7/29/2013 7:19:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
FREEDO is right, there are only three ways to define time: The expansion of the universe, the increase in entropy, and psychological perception. By trying to construct some philosophical framework for what time is and how it must unfold, we are applying our perceptions in ways that we really don't understand. Nobody knows exactly why our minds perceive time the way they do, or even if each of our minds is experiencing time in the same way. When I hear about concepts like fatalism and determinism, I simply feel that these are overly simplistic explanations to questions that aren't even understood, sort of like when we attempted to define what the elements in the universe were and came up with earth, wind, water, and fire. Quantum mechanics seems to indicate that there is an incredible amount of statistical uncertainty in anything that might happen, yet our very existence and the intensely ordered local environment we exist in seem to indicate that there is predictability and stability that is even more fundamental than the uncertainty principle. My point is that whatever is going on, we are a long way from figuring out exactly what it is or how it works!
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/29/2013 7:38:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 3:31:43 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
I'm stuck between the Growing Block theory and the B theory. Moving spotlight contradicts special relativity, while B theory and the growing block seem to be compatible with it.

How is Growing Block compatible with Special Relativity? In the GBT, the future is not real. However, special relativity implies the future is real:

"Once we know that your "now" can be what I consider the past, or your "now" can be what I consider the future [which follows from the Minkowski space-time version of Special Relativity], and your "now" is as every bit as valid as my "now", then we learn that the past must be real, the future must be real" The past, present, and future are all equally real; they all exist." " Brian Greene
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/29/2013 7:39:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
B-Theory is hands down the best theory of time. It explains so much. Take quantum tunnelling. A particle borrows energy from the future to breach the barrier and thenA279; pays it back after it gets to the other side. However, how could that be possible if the future doesn't exist?!
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/29/2013 7:41:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 3:31:43 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
I'm stuck between the Growing Block theory and the B theory. Moving spotlight contradicts special relativity, while B theory and the growing block seem to be compatible with it.

Also, between GBT and MST, the MST has more of a chance of compatibility then growing block (the future is real under MST). The MST is a much better theory of time all around than GBT.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/29/2013 7:46:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Here is how I would rank the theories of time, in order of best to worst:

(1) B-Theory
(2) Moving Spotlight Theory
(3) Presentism
(4) Growing Block Theory
(5) Shrinking Block Theory
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/29/2013 7:57:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:40:16 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Time is only an idea.

The Fool: But an idea is as necessary and existing as anything else. I mean, most of what we are actually "seeing" here is organized symbols on a computer monitor, which is hardly, in itself,of any interest, but rather the ideas that are being conveyed back and forth through this medium. Quite a physicality dilemma I say, but then again I say the most foolish things sometimes. Take it for what it's worth.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/29/2013 8:16:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 7:46:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Here is how I would rank the theories of time, in order of best to worst:

(1) B-Theory
(2) Moving Spotlight Theory
(3) Presentism
(4) Growing Block Theory
(5) Shrinking Block Theory

The Fool: Then you must know what time is already to be able make the contrast.
Or are you just speaking foolishly.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
phil42
Posts: 7
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7/29/2013 8:24:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
huh, very interesting theories. R0b1Billion, I definitely liked what you had to say.
Still not sure I completely understand what the B-theory is, but I will look into it. Personally my opinion is closest to R0b1Billion's, that time is ultimately beyond true conception, but it still fascinates me every time the topic is brought up.

By the way, loving the Who reference, AnDoctuir!!! You should get extra credit just for that!
And before I go, I just want to say you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic! And you know what? So was I!
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/29/2013 8:48:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 8:24:14 PM, phil42 wrote:
huh, very interesting theories. R0b1Billion, I definitely liked what you had to say.

The Fool: I like many things too.

Still not sure I completely understand what the B-theory is, but I will look into it.

Personally my opinion is closest to R0b1Billion's, that time is ultimately beyond true conception, but it still fascinates me every time the topic is brought up.

The Fool: Ah, but if what you say is True, and "you" can't "conceive" of it, then it also follows that you "literally" Have no "idea" of what you're talking about, nor of what your own opinion is about. But if you speak sincerely, that could never be true, so you too must be mocking me, and speaking foolishly like myself, likes to speak, to myself. I like that, I like "you", like that, that way, the way you are to yourself, for me.
<(89)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
phil42
Posts: 7
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7/29/2013 10:20:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
... What was that last sentence?
And before I go, I just want to say you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic! And you know what? So was I!
Magic8000
Posts: 975
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7/29/2013 10:35:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 7:38:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/29/2013 3:31:43 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
I'm stuck between the Growing Block theory and the B theory. Moving spotlight contradicts special relativity, while B theory and the growing block seem to be compatible with it.

How is Growing Block compatible with Special Relativity? In the GBT, the future is not real. However, special relativity implies the future is real:

"Once we know that your "now" can be what I consider the past, or your "now" can be what I consider the future [which follows from the Minkowski space-time version of Special Relativity], and your "now" is as every bit as valid as my "now", then we learn that the past must be real, the future must be real" The past, present, and future are all equally real; they all exist." " Brian Greene

Lol forget my last post. I keep getting the growing block theory all mixed up with the moving spotlight.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.

"So Magic8000 believes Einstein was a proctologist who was persuaded by the Government and Hitler to fabricate the Theory of Relativity"- GWL-CPA
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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7/29/2013 10:37:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 7:57:06 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:40:16 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Time is only an idea.

The Fool: But an idea is as necessary and existing as anything else. I mean, most of what we are actually "seeing" here is organized symbols on a computer monitor, which is hardly, in itself,of any interest, but rather the ideas that are being conveyed back and forth through this medium. Quite a physicality dilemma I say, but then again I say the most foolish things sometimes. Take it for what it's worth.

I've missed you. You don't post much anymore.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/30/2013 6:05:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 12:55:38 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 7/29/2013 12:48:13 PM, phil42 wrote:
Hey guys! I've been reading up on some Time Theories, like what people believe about time and how it relates to Free Will. Some believe in the theory that time is like a cup being constantly filled, and every choice we make adds on to the cup. Some believe that time is all lain out in a certain script, where everything is already decided, like fate. what do y'all guys think and why?

I'm a determinist, not a fatalist, and I believe in free will only when it's defined in certain ways. I also am an adherent to A-Theory of Time.

I think you can be a fatalist without being a determinist but not the other way around. How do you define free will in this context?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/30/2013 6:17:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 5:48:18 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:33:41 PM, Orangatang wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:10:14 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/29/2013 1:58:10 PM, phil42 wrote:
Determinist, but not fatalist? So is the difference that a fatalist would believe in a higher being, while a determinist just believes in a directed course of events?

Fatalism is the position that some outcome will result no matter what happens (i.e. it is "fate"); determinism is simply the position that a given closed sequence of events always produces some particular outcome. So, for the determinist, varying the sequence of events will alter the outcome, but for the fatalist the outcome is independent of such variations.

If your a determinist doesn't that mean that every possible outcome is predetermined, as the supposed outcome are determined by preceding events (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). The definitions of determinism and fatalism (http://www.merriam-webster.com...) on webster are very similar. I believe that when Dakota says he is not a fatalist but is a determinist, he is saying that he does not believe that we are powerless in shaping our future, however all future events are still predetermined by previous ones.

Yes, the bolded is more closely a statement of determinism. By contrast, fatalism would say that the future is fated (hence the name); that it is independent of all event sequences preceding it. That's the difference.

I think fatalism and determinism are the same in terms of outcome, the main difference is causality. Determinism implies that causality is the reasoning, determinism is the position that the laws of nature and an initial state determine the future states. Fatalism doesn't necessarily speak to causality. A fatalist can be a determinist, but they don't have to be, you can be a fatalist without being a determinist. A fatalist might think the laws of nature and an initial state aren't enough to determine future states and appeal to some other determining factor such as a theistic belief in predetermination or the belief that "it is written". There are several ways to believe that past, present and future already exist and we are just passing through a fixed sequence of time.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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7/30/2013 1:37:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 6:17:52 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/29/2013 5:48:18 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:33:41 PM, Orangatang wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:10:14 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/29/2013 1:58:10 PM, phil42 wrote:
Determinist, but not fatalist? So is the difference that a fatalist would believe in a higher being, while a determinist just believes in a directed course of events?

Fatalism is the position that some outcome will result no matter what happens (i.e. it is "fate"); determinism is simply the position that a given closed sequence of events always produces some particular outcome. So, for the determinist, varying the sequence of events will alter the outcome, but for the fatalist the outcome is independent of such variations.

If your a determinist doesn't that mean that every possible outcome is predetermined, as the supposed outcome are determined by preceding events (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). The definitions of determinism and fatalism (http://www.merriam-webster.com...) on webster are very similar. I believe that when Dakota says he is not a fatalist but is a determinist, he is saying that he does not believe that we are powerless in shaping our future, however all future events are still predetermined by previous ones.

Yes, the bolded is more closely a statement of determinism. By contrast, fatalism would say that the future is fated (hence the name); that it is independent of all event sequences preceding it. That's the difference.

I think fatalism and determinism are the same in terms of outcome, the main difference is causality. Determinism implies that causality is the reasoning, determinism is the position that the laws of nature and an initial state determine the future states. Fatalism doesn't necessarily speak to causality. A fatalist can be a determinist, but they don't have to be, you can be a fatalist without being a determinist. A fatalist might think the laws of nature and an initial state aren't enough to determine future states and appeal to some other determining factor such as a theistic belief in predetermination or the belief that "it is written". There are several ways to believe that past, present and future already exist and we are just passing through a fixed sequence of time.

Actually, fatalism and determinism are logically independent positions entirely; here's how I underscore their central differences:

Let O_n be some outcome and P_n be a past which precedes that outcome. The past is some ordered set of events.

Let P_1= {Ex, Ey, Ez}, where the E are events. The determinist says that P_1 -> O_1.
Let P_2 ={Et, Eu, Ev}. The determinist says that P_2 -> O_2.
Thus, she will say that changing the P_n will change O: the outcome O has an active, functional dependence on P.

The fatalist says that (P_n -> O_1) for all n: a particular outcome will occur no matter what set of events precedes it.

To view this same thing from another angle:
The determinist is committed to affirming counterfactuals of the form: "If things had been done differently, a different outcome would have resulted." On the other hand, the fatalist asserts that a certain outcome is inevitable; they deny the determinist's above counterfactual; fatalism negates modal propositions about other possible worlds. Determinism does not do this. Thus, the determinist and fatalist pictures are really quite distinct.

Now, predeterminism claims that a certain outcome is chosen ahead of time, and that the past is actually a function of that preselection. This is, again, a very distinct picture in its own right. So, to outline:

Determinist -> O is a function of P
Predeterminist -> P is a function of O
Fatalist -> O is independent of P
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/30/2013 1:46:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
to add to the OP's questioning ...

If we're to think of time as a dimension similar to the familiar spacial dimensions, wouldn't that mean that all points are static and simultaneously existent? So it isn't that time moves forward, it's that we exist in space simultaneously with different temporal coordinates. Why is it then that we perceive time as the engine of spatial change, and how does the concept of 4 dimensions account for what we perceive time to be?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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7/30/2013 2:13:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 1:46:47 PM, 000ike wrote:
to add to the OP's questioning ...

If we're to think of time as a dimension similar to the familiar spacial dimensions, wouldn't that mean that all points are static and simultaneously existent?

It sounds like you're imagining an absolute reference frame here, which we know isn't representative of the physical world; special relativity establishes that any observed simultaneity of events can be violated simply by defining a different reference frame.

So it isn't that time moves forward, it's that we exist in space simultaneously with different temporal coordinates. Why is it then that we perceive time as the engine of spatial change, and how does the concept of 4 dimensions account for what we perceive time to be?

Well, events observed in a certain reference frame can't be called "simultaneous" while also having "different temporal coordinates". That's a contradiction. I think you might be mixing your Newtonian intuitions of absolute space and time (which are very, very difficult to escape) with your knowledge of relativity.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker