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A/B theory of time??

Skepticalone
Posts: 6,093
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12/29/2014 4:26:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Can someone explain what the A theory and B theory of time to a layman?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/30/2014 1:40:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 4:26:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain what the A theory and B theory of time to a layman?

I believe that a-theory believes that only the present moment exists. There are at least two different variations: 1) only the present exists; the past and future do not exist. 2) only the past and present exist; the future does not exist. A-theory says that all conceivable temporal moments are relative to the present moment. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow would be an expression of time as it relates to the present moment. Linear time does not exist under a-theory, at least according to the presentism model, which is defined in1. There is only one moment, and all that has occurred in the causal history of the universe has occurred in this one moment.

B-theory of time believes that time is linear. Each day and each moment in each day may be considered at separately existing, real moments in time. All moments in time exist (or existed, or will exist) according to b-theory. There is a variation of b-theory that believes that past events actually exist in somewhat the same sense that the present exists. There is also a variation that believes that all future moments really exist in the same sense as present moments exist. B-theory would describe time objectively, and not relatively from the current moment (such as saying it rained on December 29th, as opposed to saying that it rained yesterday).

Both theories of time have something true to say about the reality of our temporal notions. They are probably not as opposed to one another as some would have us think. In my opinion, it is possible both to think of time as a single moment while also considering past events to have really occurred in the same moment. One way to look at it is that causal events unfold into effect in the single moment. Only the configuration of matter in space changes. And yet, we believe that what we remember happening 10 minutes ago actually happened. And it seems to us to have been at a different time, moment, or segment of time.

Time is far from completely comprehensible. I do not pretend to understand it. I only enjoy considering the possibilities of definitions of its true nature and origin.

It should also be said that humans have evolved to perceive time in a specific way, and without understanding humanity's unique vantage point, time is perhaps totally incomprehensible.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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12/30/2014 8:35:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 1:40:41 PM, tabularasa wrote:
At 12/29/2014 4:26:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain what the A theory and B theory of time to a layman?

I believe that a-theory believes that only the present moment exists. There are at least two different variations: 1) only the present exists; the past and future do not exist. 2) only the past and present exist; the future does not exist. A-theory says that all conceivable temporal moments are relative to the present moment. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow would be an expression of time as it relates to the present moment. Linear time does not exist under a-theory, at least according to the presentism model, which is defined in1. There is only one moment, and all that has occurred in the causal history of the universe has occurred in this one moment.

B-theory of time believes that time is linear. Each day and each moment in each day may be considered at separately existing, real moments in time. All moments in time exist (or existed, or will exist) according to b-theory. There is a variation of b-theory that believes that past events actually exist in somewhat the same sense that the present exists. There is also a variation that believes that all future moments really exist in the same sense as present moments exist. B-theory would describe time objectively, and not relatively from the current moment (such as saying it rained on December 29th, as opposed to saying that it rained yesterday).

Both theories of time have something true to say about the reality of our temporal notions. They are probably not as opposed to one another as some would have us think. In my opinion, it is possible both to think of time as a single moment while also considering past events to have really occurred in the same moment. One way to look at it is that causal events unfold into effect in the single moment. Only the configuration of matter in space changes. And yet, we believe that what we remember happening 10 minutes ago actually happened. And it seems to us to have been at a different time, moment, or segment of time.

Time is far from completely comprehensible. I do not pretend to understand it. I only enjoy considering the possibilities of definitions of its true nature and origin.

It should also be said that humans have evolved to perceive time in a specific way, and without understanding humanity's unique vantage point, time is perhaps totally incomprehensible.

Dayum...well done tabularasa.
"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
tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/30/2014 9:26:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 8:35:53 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 12/30/2014 1:40:41 PM, tabularasa wrote:
At 12/29/2014 4:26:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain what the A theory and B theory of time to a layman?

I believe that a-theory believes that only the present moment exists. There are at least two different variations: 1) only the present exists; the past and future do not exist. 2) only the past and present exist; the future does not exist. A-theory says that all conceivable temporal moments are relative to the present moment. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow would be an expression of time as it relates to the present moment. Linear time does not exist under a-theory, at least according to the presentism model, which is defined in1. There is only one moment, and all that has occurred in the causal history of the universe has occurred in this one moment.

B-theory of time believes that time is linear. Each day and each moment in each day may be considered at separately existing, real moments in time. All moments in time exist (or existed, or will exist) according to b-theory. There is a variation of b-theory that believes that past events actually exist in somewhat the same sense that the present exists. There is also a variation that believes that all future moments really exist in the same sense as present moments exist. B-theory would describe time objectively, and not relatively from the current moment (such as saying it rained on December 29th, as opposed to saying that it rained yesterday).

Both theories of time have something true to say about the reality of our temporal notions. They are probably not as opposed to one another as some would have us think. In my opinion, it is possible both to think of time as a single moment while also considering past events to have really occurred in the same moment. One way to look at it is that causal events unfold into effect in the single moment. Only the configuration of matter in space changes. And yet, we believe that what we remember happening 10 minutes ago actually happened. And it seems to us to have been at a different time, moment, or segment of time.

Time is far from completely comprehensible. I do not pretend to understand it. I only enjoy considering the possibilities of definitions of its true nature and origin.

It should also be said that humans have evolved to perceive time in a specific way, and without understanding humanity's unique vantage point, time is perhaps totally incomprehensible.

Dayum...well done tabularasa.

Well, thank you friend. I believe that the original poster has kindly answered several of my physics questions in the Science forum, so I am more than happy to give answer.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.