Total Posts:9|Showing Posts:1-9
Jump to topic:

Time, Special Relativity, and the Kalam

a_drumming_dog
Posts: 93
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 6:30:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
http://www.askamathematician.com...

I have recently been studying Special Relativity and how it relates to time, as the nature of time is important when discussing the Kalam Cosmological argument. It seems to me that SR supports the so called B-theory of time (past, present and future all "exist"). Indeed, Einstein said that past present and future are all persistent illusions. But it doesn't seem to me that SR necessarily shows that all past present and future exist in some kind of "bread loaf" of time as I've heard it called. What is shows is that time is relative and malleable depending on which way you are moving and how fast you are going. There is still a definite past and a definite future, shown by the diagram in the article above. The past we cannot get to, and the future is still uncertain (I've heard that the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics can be used to justify this). Since there is a definite past and future, it seems as though a large "slice" of the bread of time is moving along the loaf as time goes on for everyone, rather than the whole loaf existing at once. I feel that I'm not able to formulate my thoughts into words as well as I'd hoped.

If anyone could clarify why SR does indeed support the idea of all time "existing" at once I would be grateful. Also, if anyone could direct me to some arguments for or against the B-theory of time I would also be grateful.
The truth will set you free
n7
Posts: 1,360
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 6:44:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The most common support for the B theory in SR is the relativity of simultaneity and the fact that time dilation exists

https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Most arguments against the B theory of time have to do with presentism being intuitive. We experience a flow of time which seems to exist objectively.

There is another objection I've seen around DDO that has to do with the flow of time and consciousness. If the flow of time is subjective based on consciousness, then so is that illusion of changing time. The changing illusion must itself of illusionary and so on, onto ad infinitum.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 7:15:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/4/2015 6:30:51 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
http://www.askamathematician.com...

I have recently been studying Special Relativity and how it relates to time, as the nature of time is important when discussing the Kalam Cosmological argument. It seems to me that SR supports the so called B-theory of time (past, present and future all "exist"). Indeed, Einstein said that past present and future are all persistent illusions. But it doesn't seem to me that SR necessarily shows that all past present and future exist in some kind of "bread loaf" of time as I've heard it called. What is shows is that time is relative and malleable depending on which way you are moving and how fast you are going. There is still a definite past and a definite future, shown by the diagram in the article above. The past we cannot get to, and the future is still uncertain (I've heard that the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics can be used to justify this). Since there is a definite past and future, it seems as though a large "slice" of the bread of time is moving along the loaf as time goes on for everyone, rather than the whole loaf existing at once. I feel that I'm not able to formulate my thoughts into words as well as I'd hoped.

If anyone could clarify why SR does indeed support the idea of all time "existing" at once I would be grateful. Also, if anyone could direct me to some arguments for or against the B-theory of time I would also be grateful.

As I understand it, SR does not fully support the thesis that all times are real. Rather eternalism is the only ontology of time compatible with the idea of relativity of simultaneity. As soon as you deny some "times" (analogous to 'places') as all other ontologies (presentism, growing/shrinking block universe) do, you seem to be committed to an objective border, so to say, an objective time before or after which time is not real.
Minkowski spacetime supports the eternalist thesis much stronger than SR alone.
I share your concerns and I don't think eternalism is true, it simply is closer to the truth than any other ontology.
That is at least as far as physics is concerned. I think there are independent philosophical reasons to accept eternalism, but those are beyond the scope of this reply.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 7:44:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/4/2015 6:30:51 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:

If anyone could clarify why SR does indeed support the idea of all time "existing" at once I would be grateful. Also, if anyone could direct me to some arguments for or against the B-theory of time I would also be grateful.

Essentially, it doesn't matter whether eternalism really is true and supported by SR. What matters is that relativity of simultaneity alone is reason enough to discredit presentism and with it the Kalam.

If you are however interested in (almost) purely philosophical arguments, then I recommend the upcoming debate on eternalism vs presentism of tejretics', Toviyah's and myself.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 7:45:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/4/2015 6:44:17 PM, n7 wrote:

There is another objection I've seen around DDO that has to do with the flow of time and consciousness. If the flow of time is subjective based on consciousness, then so is that illusion of changing time. The changing illusion must itself of illusionary and so on, onto ad infinitum.

Not implying that you agree with this, but this argument is pretty bad. Someone who believes in B-Theory obviously wouldn't regard the illusion as actually moving through time. In other words, the illusion is only illusory if one is under the impression that the illusion flows through time, which B-Theorists claim to not be. Second of all, B-Theory is not predicated on the existence of illusions. If B-Theory is true and everybody knows it, then there would be no real illusions; something does not falsely appear (is an illusion) to someone who knows how to interpret it correctly.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 7:53:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/4/2015 7:45:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 8/4/2015 6:44:17 PM, n7 wrote:

There is another objection I've seen around DDO that has to do with the flow of time and consciousness. If the flow of time is subjective based on consciousness, then so is that illusion of changing time. The changing illusion must itself of illusionary and so on, onto ad infinitum.

Not implying that you agree with this, but this argument is pretty bad. Someone who believes in B-Theory obviously wouldn't regard the illusion as actually moving through time. In other words, the illusion is only illusory if one is under the impression that the illusion flows through time, which B-Theorists claim to not be. Second of all, B-Theory is not predicated on the existence of illusions. If B-Theory is true and everybody knows it, then there would be no real illusions; something does not falsely appear (is an illusion) to someone who knows how to interpret it correctly.

I've seen many arguments of this kind. "You need temporal becoming to do logic!", "processes need temporal becoming!", "without temporal becoming there could not be causality!", "you need temporal becoming to do science!". They're all pretty ridiculous. Especially the conjecture of the latter two demonstrates a crude misunderstanding of science.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
kp98
Posts: 729
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 9:30:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I've seen many arguments of this kind. "You need temporal becoming to do logic!", "processes need temporal becoming!", "without temporal becoming there could not be causality!", "you need temporal becoming to do science!". They're all pretty ridiculous. Especially the conjecture of the latter two demonstrates a crude misunderstanding of science.

I haven't bothered with time theory, so I admit to not getting how causality works in B theory - even if that does expose my crude misunderstanding of science! I'd appreciate a clarification on that point so I know if I am an a- or b- type person!
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/4/2015 9:59:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/4/2015 9:30:20 PM, kp98 wrote:
I've seen many arguments of this kind. "You need temporal becoming to do logic!", "processes need temporal becoming!", "without temporal becoming there could not be causality!", "you need temporal becoming to do science!". They're all pretty ridiculous. Especially the conjecture of the latter two demonstrates a crude misunderstanding of science.

I haven't bothered with time theory, so I admit to not getting how causality works in B theory - even if that does expose my crude misunderstanding of science! I'd appreciate a clarification on that point so I know if I am an a- or b- type person!

I think it would make matters easier if you were to reply directly. That way I get notified when you address posts of mine.

There are several theories of causality.
The perhaps oldest are the so called regularity theories. To summarize them in one sentence one might say that A causes B, if and only if, B happens regularly after A happens.
Another one I personally favor is the so called counterfactual theory of causation. Of course all of these theories are more complex than I portray them here, but this one can be summarized as A causes B, if and only if, if A didn't happen, then B wouldn't have happened.
There are of course many others, yet none of them require temporal becoming.
Scientist do not even talk about causality, all they do is describe the change of a system over time.
Under an A-theory you could hardly hold to any of the theories of causality outlined above as no past objects exist, which causality could be based on.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,865
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/7/2015 9:16:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/4/2015 6:30:51 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
http://www.askamathematician.com...

I have recently been studying Special Relativity and how it relates to time, as the nature of time is important when discussing the Kalam Cosmological argument. It seems to me that SR supports the so called B-theory of time (past, present and future all "exist"). Indeed, Einstein said that past present and future are all persistent illusions. But it doesn't seem to me that SR necessarily shows that all past present and future exist in some kind of "bread loaf" of time as I've heard it called. What is shows is that time is relative and malleable depending on which way you are moving and how fast you are going. There is still a definite past and a definite future, shown by the diagram in the article above. The past we cannot get to, and the future is still uncertain (I've heard that the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics can be used to justify this). Since there is a definite past and future, it seems as though a large "slice" of the bread of time is moving along the loaf as time goes on for everyone, rather than the whole loaf existing at once. I feel that I'm not able to formulate my thoughts into words as well as I'd hoped.

If anyone could clarify why SR does indeed support the idea of all time "existing" at once I would be grateful. Also, if anyone could direct me to some arguments for or against the B-theory of time I would also be grateful.

Read "Einstein's Relativity, A Criticism"|, good read and rather eye opening.