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Can time be infinite on B-theory?

zmikecuber
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4/16/2014 11:16:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
It seems that it's even more implausible to suggest that time is infinite in B-theory as it is on A-theory.

If we accept that actual infinities are impossible, then under B-theory, it seems that infinite time isn't possible.

But it's not clear how this is the case with A-theory.

Opinions?
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philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:00:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 11:16:40 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that it's even more implausible to suggest that time is infinite in B-theory as it is on A-theory.

If we accept that actual infinities are impossible, then under B-theory, it seems that infinite time isn't possible.

But it's not clear how this is the case with A-theory.

Opinions?

Why do you think the impossibility of actual infinites works against the B theory but not the A theory?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
zmikecuber
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4/16/2014 12:02:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:00:52 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 11:16:40 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that it's even more implausible to suggest that time is infinite in B-theory as it is on A-theory.

If we accept that actual infinities are impossible, then under B-theory, it seems that infinite time isn't possible.

But it's not clear how this is the case with A-theory.

Opinions?

Why do you think the impossibility of actual infinites works against the B theory but not the A theory?

Because in B theory there IS an infinite amount of time, all existing right now. On A theory, it's something about a totality of moments which don't exist alongside each other all added up can't be infinite...

so it seems that it's alot more obvious that B-theory cannot have infinite time than A theory. It still might be the case that A theory can't be infinite, but B-theory seems much more obvious why.

Because something that's "actual" is something that exists right now.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:19:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.

Why do you say there's no collection? Because all the moments of time don't exist at the same time? Why would they have to? A collection of anything is an abstract thing. For example, "the collection of all chairs" isn't anything like a storehouse somewhere where all the chairs in the world exist. The collection is abstract. So I don't see any need for a collection to contain things that exist simultaneously. There can be a collection of events, a collection of ideas, a collection of moments in time.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:20:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
To say the universe has a finite past clearly presupposes a block universe, because if A-Theory is true, the past doesn't exist, and has no ontological place in reality. so, it would be false that the universe has a finite past, because the past doesn't exist, it isn't real. There is no collection.
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:22:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:19:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.

Why do you say there's no collection? Because all the moments of time don't exist at the same time? Why would they have to? A collection of anything is an abstract thing. For example, "the collection of all chairs" isn't anything like a storehouse somewhere where all the chairs in the world exist. The collection is abstract. So I don't see any need for a collection to contain things that exist simultaneously. There can be a collection of events, a collection of ideas, a collection of moments in time.

Because there is no collection of past events if A-Theory is true (at least presentism). All that exists is the present. To talk about anything other that the present is to talk about something that has no ontological place in reality. So, any "abstract" argument you can come up with has no bearing on reality.
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:26:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:22:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:19:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.

Why do you say there's no collection? Because all the moments of time don't exist at the same time? Why would they have to? A collection of anything is an abstract thing. For example, "the collection of all chairs" isn't anything like a storehouse somewhere where all the chairs in the world exist. The collection is abstract. So I don't see any need for a collection to contain things that exist simultaneously. There can be a collection of events, a collection of ideas, a collection of moments in time.

Because there is no collection of past events if A-Theory is true (at least presentism). All that exists is the present. To talk about anything other that the present is to talk about something that has no ontological place in reality. So, any "abstract" argument you can come up with has no bearing on reality.

But that assumes a collection is not an abstract thing, and I don't see any reason to believe that. There can be a collection of past events without those events existing in reality at the present because a "collection" is an abstract thing.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:27:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:26:13 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:22:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:19:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.

Why do you say there's no collection? Because all the moments of time don't exist at the same time? Why would they have to? A collection of anything is an abstract thing. For example, "the collection of all chairs" isn't anything like a storehouse somewhere where all the chairs in the world exist. The collection is abstract. So I don't see any need for a collection to contain things that exist simultaneously. There can be a collection of events, a collection of ideas, a collection of moments in time.

Because there is no collection of past events if A-Theory is true (at least presentism). All that exists is the present. To talk about anything other that the present is to talk about something that has no ontological place in reality. So, any "abstract" argument you can come up with has no bearing on reality.

But that assumes a collection is not an abstract thing, and I don't see any reason to believe that. There can be a collection of past events without those events existing in reality at the present because a "collection" is an abstract thing.

How is a collection an abstract thing? The collection of basketball cards in the binder beside is pretty concrete lol
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:30:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:26:13 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:22:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:19:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.

Why do you say there's no collection? Because all the moments of time don't exist at the same time? Why would they have to? A collection of anything is an abstract thing. For example, "the collection of all chairs" isn't anything like a storehouse somewhere where all the chairs in the world exist. The collection is abstract. So I don't see any need for a collection to contain things that exist simultaneously. There can be a collection of events, a collection of ideas, a collection of moments in time.

Because there is no collection of past events if A-Theory is true (at least presentism). All that exists is the present. To talk about anything other that the present is to talk about something that has no ontological place in reality. So, any "abstract" argument you can come up with has no bearing on reality.

But that assumes a collection is not an abstract thing, and I don't see any reason to believe that. There can be a collection of past events without those events existing in reality at the present because a "collection" is an abstract thing.

The problem is that this collection would only exist in your mind. It plays no part in reality. There have never been an infinite number of things existing in reality, because reality only consists of individual now points, which each only consisted of one moment. The arguments against an actual infinity are against an actual infinity IN REALITY. However, if reality only consists of individual "now" points, and at each "now" point, an infinite collection of "now" points never existed, then an actual infinite never exists IN REALITY.
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:30:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:27:22 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:26:13 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:22:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:19:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.

Why do you say there's no collection? Because all the moments of time don't exist at the same time? Why would they have to? A collection of anything is an abstract thing. For example, "the collection of all chairs" isn't anything like a storehouse somewhere where all the chairs in the world exist. The collection is abstract. So I don't see any need for a collection to contain things that exist simultaneously. There can be a collection of events, a collection of ideas, a collection of moments in time.

Because there is no collection of past events if A-Theory is true (at least presentism). All that exists is the present. To talk about anything other that the present is to talk about something that has no ontological place in reality. So, any "abstract" argument you can come up with has no bearing on reality.

But that assumes a collection is not an abstract thing, and I don't see any reason to believe that. There can be a collection of past events without those events existing in reality at the present because a "collection" is an abstract thing.

How is a collection an abstract thing? The collection of basketball cards in the binder beside is pretty concrete lol

Because you can talk meaningfully about collections of things without those things actually being collected together. For example, "The collection of all chairs" is just a reference to all chairs, whether they are all sitting in the same room or not. In this context, "collection" is just a word being used to refer to all the members of a kind, set, group, etc.

So you can talk meaningfully about "the collection of all past equal intervals of time" without them all having to exist in reality in the present.

The fact that some collections DO involve things being gathered together doesn't mean a collection is a concrete thing. It just happens in those cases that that particular collection is a collection of concrete things.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:34:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:30:51 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:27:22 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:26:13 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:22:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:19:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:17:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:09:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
Since time on a B theory is static, it can't grow. So if the B theory is true, and time cannot be infinite, it would follow that time has an end. On an A theory, time never ends, but it also never reaches infinity. This is one advantage I see to the A theory.

I agree that if actual infinities are impossible that it's more obvious that time must be finite on a B theory than on an A theory since the infinite collection on a B theory would all exist "at the same time," whereas on an A theory, the whole infinite collection does not exist at the same time. But I still think it works on an A theory because I don't think the collection has to exist at the same time to be impossible.

The problem is that with A-Theory, there is no "collection". All that has ontological existence is any one given "now" moment.

Why do you say there's no collection? Because all the moments of time don't exist at the same time? Why would they have to? A collection of anything is an abstract thing. For example, "the collection of all chairs" isn't anything like a storehouse somewhere where all the chairs in the world exist. The collection is abstract. So I don't see any need for a collection to contain things that exist simultaneously. There can be a collection of events, a collection of ideas, a collection of moments in time.

Because there is no collection of past events if A-Theory is true (at least presentism). All that exists is the present. To talk about anything other that the present is to talk about something that has no ontological place in reality. So, any "abstract" argument you can come up with has no bearing on reality.

But that assumes a collection is not an abstract thing, and I don't see any reason to believe that. There can be a collection of past events without those events existing in reality at the present because a "collection" is an abstract thing.

How is a collection an abstract thing? The collection of basketball cards in the binder beside is pretty concrete lol

Because you can talk meaningfully about collections of things without those things actually being collected together. For example, "The collection of all chairs" is just a reference to all chairs, whether they are all sitting in the same room or not. In this context, "collection" is just a word being used to refer to all the members of a kind, set, group, etc.

You can talk meaningful about it, but it has no bearing on reality. Reality, has only consisted of individual "now" points if we assume presentism, at no "now" point has an infinite number of moments existed, therefore, it follows necessarily that reality has never contained a collection of infinite moments.


So you can talk meaningfully about "the collection of all past equal intervals of time" without them all having to exist in reality in the present.

The problem, again, is that this collection isn't real. There has never been this collection in reality.


The fact that some collections DO involve things being gathered together doesn't mean a collection is a concrete thing. It just happens in those cases that that particular collection is a collection of concrete things.
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:35:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:30:48 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

The problem is that this collection would only exist in your mind. It plays no part in reality. There have never been an infinite number of things existing in reality, because reality only consists of individual now points, which each only consisted of one moment. The arguments against an actual infinity are against an actual infinity IN REALITY. However, if reality only consists of individual "now" points, and at each "now" point, an infinite collection of "now" points never existed, then an actual infinite never exists IN REALITY.

This just strikes me as being a word game. Granted, the past doesn't exist NOW on an A theory of time, but the past did, in fact, exist in reality. So there is a sense in which it is part of reality. It's part of reality in the sense that it was once real.

This distinction is clear when we compare something like the Battle of Little Bighorn to something like the Battle of Helm's Deep. Obviously, there's something that differs about the Battle of Little Bighorn from the Battle of Helm's Deep even though strictly speaking, neither one is a present reality. One actually happened, and the other didn't.

So I don't think can point to the fact that the past doesn't actually exist in the present as an argument against collections of past events or moments in time.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:37:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:34:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:30:51 PM, philochristos wrote:

Because you can talk meaningfully about collections of things without those things actually being collected together. For example, "The collection of all chairs" is just a reference to all chairs, whether they are all sitting in the same room or not. In this context, "collection" is just a word being used to refer to all the members of a kind, set, group, etc.


You can talk meaningful about it, but it has no bearing on reality. Reality, has only consisted of individual "now" points if we assume presentism, at no "now" point has an infinite number of moments existed, therefore, it follows necessarily that reality has never contained a collection of infinite moments.


So you can talk meaningfully about "the collection of all past equal intervals of time" without them all having to exist in reality in the present.

The problem, again, is that this collection isn't real. There has never been this collection in reality.

But all you're arguing is that the members of the collection have never all existed at the same time, and I see now reason for why they should before we can talk meaningfully about them being members of a collection. And it certainly does have a bearing on reality since past events really happened.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:40:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:35:04 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:30:48 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

The problem is that this collection would only exist in your mind. It plays no part in reality. There have never been an infinite number of things existing in reality, because reality only consists of individual now points, which each only consisted of one moment. The arguments against an actual infinity are against an actual infinity IN REALITY. However, if reality only consists of individual "now" points, and at each "now" point, an infinite collection of "now" points never existed, then an actual infinite never exists IN REALITY.

This just strikes me as being a word game. Granted, the past doesn't exist NOW on an A theory of time, but the past did, in fact, exist in reality.

Only one moment of the past could have existed in "reality" though, because "reality" would have only consisted of that "now" moment, at that time. You can only talk about individual past moments, you cannot talk about a collection of them, because there has never been a collection of past moments.

So there is a sense in which it is part of reality. It's part of reality in the sense that it was once real.

There was never "it" (a collection of past events) though. Reality only consists of ONE "now" moment. Therefore, you can only talk about individual past moments, not a collection.


This distinction is clear when we compare something like the Battle of Little Bighorn to something like the Battle of Helm's Deep. Obviously, there's something that differs about the Battle of Little Bighorn from the Battle of Helm's Deep even though strictly speaking, neither one is a present reality. One actually happened, and the other didn't.

Yes, they happened, but at different "now" points, and each individual "now" point is ALL that had ontologically viable existence. So, again, you cannot talk about a collection that never played a part in reality.


So I don't think can point to the fact that the past doesn't actually exist in the present as an argument against collections of past events or moments in time.
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/16/2014 12:42:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:37:46 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:34:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:30:51 PM, philochristos wrote:

Because you can talk meaningfully about collections of things without those things actually being collected together. For example, "The collection of all chairs" is just a reference to all chairs, whether they are all sitting in the same room or not. In this context, "collection" is just a word being used to refer to all the members of a kind, set, group, etc.


You can talk meaningful about it, but it has no bearing on reality. Reality, has only consisted of individual "now" points if we assume presentism, at no "now" point has an infinite number of moments existed, therefore, it follows necessarily that reality has never contained a collection of infinite moments.


So you can talk meaningfully about "the collection of all past equal intervals of time" without them all having to exist in reality in the present.

The problem, again, is that this collection isn't real. There has never been this collection in reality.

But all you're arguing is that the members of the collection have never all existed at the same time, and I see now reason for why they should before we can talk meaningfully about them being members of a collection.

Because there is no collection to talk about! Please, tell me, when has a collection of infinite past events ever existed? 5 minutes ago? A billion years ago? Never... It never played a part in reality.

And it certainly does have a bearing on reality since past events really happened.

Yes, but only one event at each "now" point.
Sswdwm
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4/16/2014 12:46:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If we assume time to be a fabric akin to space, where time is just another dimension. And all of the events at specific points of time are like drawing a 4 dimensional hypercube, with a changing function along the time axis.

Does it follow that the only reason time seems to 'progress' is the illusion from increasing entropy?

Not making too much sense to myself... I just haven't put a huge amount of thought into it yet...
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4/16/2014 12:49:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:40:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:35:04 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:30:48 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

The problem is that this collection would only exist in your mind. It plays no part in reality. There have never been an infinite number of things existing in reality, because reality only consists of individual now points, which each only consisted of one moment. The arguments against an actual infinity are against an actual infinity IN REALITY. However, if reality only consists of individual "now" points, and at each "now" point, an infinite collection of "now" points never existed, then an actual infinite never exists IN REALITY.

This just strikes me as being a word game. Granted, the past doesn't exist NOW on an A theory of time, but the past did, in fact, exist in reality.

Only one moment of the past could have existed in "reality" though, because "reality" would have only consisted of that "now" moment, at that time. You can only talk about individual past moments, you cannot talk about a collection of them, because there has never been a collection of past moments.

I think there is some equivocation going on about the word "reality." Certainly past events have some kind of relationship to reality that fictional events don't. But you are treating past events as if they are on the same footing since "reality" only consists of the present on an A theory. So there are two meanings of "reality" being used in our conversation.

When you say, "there has never been a collection of past moments," I take it that what you mean is that there has never been a moment in time in which all past moments existed at the same time, and my answer is, Well of COURSE not! But that doesn't mean there isn't a collection of past events whose members existed at different moments in the past, so I see no reason to think we can't talk meaningfully about a collection whose members do not exist at the same time, even on an A-theory.

So there is a sense in which it is part of reality. It's part of reality in the sense that it was once real.

There was never "it" (a collection of past events) though.

The "it" in my sentence refers to one member of the collection, not the whole collection, so you're equivocating on my pronoun. There is a sense in which past events are part of reality since they actually happened, unlike fictional events in Lord of the Rings.

Reality only consists of ONE "now" moment. Therefore, you can only talk about individual past moments, not a collection.

If reality only consists of one "now" moment, then there is no difference between the Battle of Little Bighorn and the Battle of Helm's Deep. But that's clearly absurd.

This distinction is clear when we compare something like the Battle of Little Bighorn to something like the Battle of Helm's Deep. Obviously, there's something that differs about the Battle of Little Bighorn from the Battle of Helm's Deep even though strictly speaking, neither one is a present reality. One actually happened, and the other didn't.

Yes, they happened, but at different "now" points, and each individual "now" point is ALL that had ontologically viable existence. So, again, you cannot talk about a collection that never played a part in reality.

I don't have to talk about a collection of all things simultaneously existing to talk about a collection of all things. I see no reason that I can't talk meaningfully about a collection of things that existed at different times. It makes just as much sense to talk about the collection of all battles that have ever happened in the past as it does to talk about the collection of all iphones that presently exist. The battles don't have to all be happening at the same time for them to be part of a collection. A collection is an abstract concept.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:53:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
RT, we're to the point of just repeating ourselves, and neither of us has budged, so I'm going to let it go.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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4/16/2014 12:58:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:53:23 PM, philochristos wrote:
RT, we're to the point of just repeating ourselves, and neither of us has budged, so I'm going to let it go.

Hey, that reminds me of a song. :-)
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/16/2014 1:02:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 12:49:49 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:40:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:35:04 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 12:30:48 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

The problem is that this collection would only exist in your mind. It plays no part in reality. There have never been an infinite number of things existing in reality, because reality only consists of individual now points, which each only consisted of one moment. The arguments against an actual infinity are against an actual infinity IN REALITY. However, if reality only consists of individual "now" points, and at each "now" point, an infinite collection of "now" points never existed, then an actual infinite never exists IN REALITY.

This just strikes me as being a word game. Granted, the past doesn't exist NOW on an A theory of time, but the past did, in fact, exist in reality.

Only one moment of the past could have existed in "reality" though, because "reality" would have only consisted of that "now" moment, at that time. You can only talk about individual past moments, you cannot talk about a collection of them, because there has never been a collection of past moments.

I think there is some equivocation going on about the word "reality." Certainly past events have some kind of relationship to reality that fictional events don't.

So you are saying the past has a relationship with the future? This is nonsense under Presentism though, because on Presentism, the past doesn't exist. How can non-existent things have a relationship with anything?! There is actually an argument against A-Theory along these lines that I read in a metaphysics journal.

But you are treating past events as if they are on the same footing since "reality" only consists of the present on an A theory. So there are two meanings of "reality" being used in our conversation.

This is a consequence of Presentism. The past doesn't exist, but neither does the unicorn I just imagined. No two meanings at all.


When you say, "there has never been a collection of past moments," I take it that what you mean is that there has never been a moment in time in which all past moments existed at the same time, and my answer is, Well of COURSE not! But that doesn't mean there isn't a collection of past events whose members existed at different moments in the past

So there IS a collection of past events who's members EXISTED in the past? Clear contradiction (McTaggart's Paradox).

, so I see no reason to think we can't talk meaningfully about a collection whose members do not exist at the same time, even on an A-theory.

Because it is a contradiction. You are talking like there IS a collection, when that isn't the case.


So there is a sense in which it is part of reality. It's part of reality in the sense that it was once real.

There was never "it" (a collection of past events) though.

The "it" in my sentence refers to one member of the collection, not the whole collection, so you're equivocating on my pronoun.

But there is no collection. A collection in reality (if Presentism is true) necessarily co-exists.

There is a sense in which past events are part of reality since they actually happened, unlike fictional events in Lord of the Rings.

Reality only consists of ONE "now" moment. Therefore, you can only talk about individual past moments, not a collection.

If reality only consists of one "now" moment, then there is no difference between the Battle of Little Bighorn and the Battle of Helm's Deep. But that's clearly absurd.

It is absurd, which is why Presentism is a flawed philosophy of time. The past is non-existent under presentism, but guess what? So is the dragon I just conjured up. There is no difference.



This distinction is clear when we compare something like the Battle of Little Bighorn to something like the Battle of Helm's Deep. Obviously, there's something that differs about the Battle of Little Bighorn from the Battle of Helm's Deep even though strictly speaking, neither one is a present reality. One actually happened, and the other didn't.

Yes, they happened, but at different "now" points, and each individual "now" point is ALL that had ontologically viable existence. So, again, you cannot talk about a collection that never played a part in reality.

I don't have to talk about a collection of all things simultaneously existing to talk about a collection of all things.

That's where we differ. I think you do if Presentism is true.

I see no reason that I can't talk meaningfully about a collection of things that existed at different times.

Because the collection never played a part in reality, it is something you made up for conceptual ease.

It makes just as much sense to talk about the collection of all battles that have ever happened in the past as it does to talk about the collection of all iphones that presently exist. The battles don't have to all be happening at the same time for them to be part of a collection. A collection is an abstract concept.
philochristos
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4/16/2014 1:16:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 1:03:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
(correction)


*So you are saying the past has a relationship with the present?

I'm trying to bail on the conversation, and you're asking me a question! And I hate ignoring people!

But to answer your question, yes. Please don't ask me any more questions. I don't like these conversations that go on and on without and end, and we're just repeating ourselves.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/16/2014 1:19:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 1:16:15 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/16/2014 1:03:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
(correction)


*So you are saying the past has a relationship with the present?

I'm trying to bail on the conversation, and you're asking me a question! And I hate ignoring people!

But to answer your question, yes. Please don't ask me any more questions. I don't like these conversations that go on and on without and end, and we're just repeating ourselves.

Well, how can the past have a relationship with the present, if the past doesn't exist? Are you saying non-existent things can have relationships? I think most philosophers would disagree.

PS. You don't have to answer that, as I know you want to end the convo, but I wanted to throw it out there in case you change your mind.