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Tensed or Tenseless?

Meatros
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1/14/2011 2:48:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In another thread, Popculturepooka has made mention of tenselessness, with relation to thinking. I wanted to explore a similar, but more fundamental, issue:

What is the nature of time? Is it tensed or tenseless?

Is the A theory correct or the B theory of time?

(Granted, it's my understanding that there are multiple theories within theories)

Tensed time would be the A theory of time - or the notion:
1. The past is what happened and no longer exists
2. The present is *now* and exists
3. The future is what will happen, but does not exist yet

Tenseless would be the B theory of time - or the notion:
1. The past is what comes before (and still exists)
2. The future is what comes after (and exists)
3. The present is a place of existence

I realize that my definitions are a bit, jumbled, so if you aren't familiar, check out the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org...) - and if you are familiar, please elucidate on the differences.

With that said, what are people's thoughts? A theory is truth? B theory is truth?

Uh, "C" theory is truth?
CosmicAlfonzo
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1/14/2011 3:05:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There is no such thing as time. The universe is like a cartoon flip book where everything is already there.

God is ONE, the universe is GOD, and this post is complete and utter bullocks with no evidence to support it.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
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1/14/2011 3:06:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Which I guess would make time tenseless
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Meatros
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1/14/2011 3:09:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:05:12 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
There is no such thing as time. The universe is like a cartoon flip book where everything is already there.

God is ONE, the universe is GOD, and this post is complete and utter bullocks with no evidence to support it.

That sounds like the B theory.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
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1/14/2011 3:29:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 2:48:31 PM, Meatros wrote:
In another thread, Popculturepooka has made mention of tenselessness, with relation to thinking. I wanted to explore a similar, but more fundamental, issue:

What is the nature of time? Is it tensed or tenseless?

Is the A theory correct or the B theory of time?

(Granted, it's my understanding that there are multiple theories within theories)

Tensed time would be the A theory of time - or the notion:
1. The past is what happened and no longer exists
2. The present is *now* and exists
3. The future is what will happen, but does not exist yet

Tenseless would be the B theory of time - or the notion:
1. The past is what comes before (and still exists)
2. The future is what comes after (and exists)
3. The present is a place of existence

I realize that my definitions are a bit, jumbled, so if you aren't familiar, check out the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org...) - and if you are familiar, please elucidate on the differences.

With that said, what are people's thoughts? A theory is truth? B theory is truth?

Uh, "C" theory is truth?

Since time is the factor that decides tense, wouldn't it be out of the tense contention?
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
CosmicAlfonzo
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1/14/2011 4:01:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Time is relative.

I know these things, because I am time.

In case you were wondering, yes, it is quite b!tchin.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Ogan
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1/14/2011 4:17:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Time is motion. All motion is circular. Consciousness of motion, time or change is now – or our present experience. The ancient philosophers taught that Destiny is self-engendered by Freewill for its own instruction. They stated it was impossible to achieve much in a single life - therefore regular reincarnation was necessary for an individual to evolve. Whenever they wished to explain something they would do so in a kind of picture language not understood now, by most. An example which I have mentioned before:
They taught that there were three SYMBOLICAL 'gods' in charge of Destiny: Karma Nemesis or Necessity - who ruled the Past, 'Jupiter' or Providence - who ruled the Present, and a Mystery God held secret in the sanctuary and only revealed to the tried and tested Priesthood, who ruled the Future – actually Will along with its sacred applications rules the Future!
Jupiter was said to have 2 pots, one white and one black, which were filled from the receptacle of Necessity with our good and bad deeds (thoughts, words and deeds) and poured upon us in the Present by 'Jupiter' as certain mysterious lessons.
They taught that, unbeknown to us, that we are creative gods in the making, and that ultimately what we attune our minds too is what we draw toward us for our instruction - however pleasant or painful.
They also taught to the 'multitude' that we can perfect our Future by only attuning with the Good, whilst the Priesthood, by "living a rough life were polished to Goodness", thus avoiding evils "which otherwise await us in a future period of time". These latter were said to achieve a high state of Superior Consciousness (Cosmic Consciousness) attainable by all mankind, whereby Past, Present and Future are crystallized into an unfathomable NOW.
Do you regard the above as tensed or tenseless or neither – whatever they mean?
popculturepooka
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1/14/2011 8:12:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm not too sure at all of which theory, broadly construed, is correct. I think there are reasons for both that I find appealing.
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belle
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1/14/2011 8:15:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
my first impression is that B-type theories are more compatible with modern physics... but... thats on a fairly superficial reading.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
popculturepooka
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1/14/2011 8:19:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 8:15:23 PM, belle wrote:
my first impression is that B-type theories are more compatible with modern physics... but... thats on a fairly superficial reading.

Yeah, special relativity is usually mentioned and I get the feeling that most physicists are B-theorists but there are some pretty good philosophers of time who are A-theorists.
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Meatros
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1/15/2011 8:52:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 8:12:15 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
I'm not too sure at all of which theory, broadly construed, is correct. I think there are reasons for both that I find appealing.

First - I was thinking about it, and you might be right in the other thread, WRT tenseless thinking. I still think it's problematic to claim that god is timeless or doesn't exert sequential thinking. That said, I'm not sure that tenseless thinking itself is problematic, since it can still be sequential (so I'd probably concede that tenseless thinking isn't a game stopper - which is a change from the prior thread). In any event, I think that the notion of what does it mean to say God thinks is an interesting topic that should be explored in it's own thread.

SO, with that out of the way, I'm of a similar mind here, it seems. Although I think I favor the B theory because it makes more sense out of relativity, WRT simultaneous presents. What do you think?
Meatros
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1/15/2011 8:57:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 8:19:56 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 1/14/2011 8:15:23 PM, belle wrote:
my first impression is that B-type theories are more compatible with modern physics... but... thats on a fairly superficial reading.

Yeah, special relativity is usually mentioned and I get the feeling that most physicists are B-theorists but there are some pretty good philosophers of time who are A-theorists.

On Commonsense atheism, Luke actually has some numbers WRT philosophers. I don't remember them off hand, but *most* philosophers were *other*. B theory had something like 30%, while the A theory was something like 15%.

I can't really get a feeling for physicists, they don't really seem to address it outright (in fairness, I've only read a smattering of "pop" physicists, so my opinion isn't worth much).
popculturepooka
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1/15/2011 3:53:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/15/2011 8:57:22 AM, Meatros wrote:
At 1/14/2011 8:19:56 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 1/14/2011 8:15:23 PM, belle wrote:
my first impression is that B-type theories are more compatible with modern physics... but... thats on a fairly superficial reading.

Yeah, special relativity is usually mentioned and I get the feeling that most physicists are B-theorists but there are some pretty good philosophers of time who are A-theorists.

On Commonsense atheism, Luke actually has some numbers WRT philosophers. I don't remember them off hand, but *most* philosophers were *other*. B theory had something like 30%, while the A theory was something like 15%.


Hmm, I don't even know what "other" would mean. I was under the impression that A and B theories together were mutually exhaustive.

I can't really get a feeling for physicists, they don't really seem to address it outright (in fairness, I've only read a smattering of "pop" physicists, so my opinion isn't worth much).

I've read a couple of physicists and they *seem* to endorse B-theory but I only get that sense through implication so I'm not sure.
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popculturepooka
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1/15/2011 4:12:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/15/2011 8:52:57 AM, Meatros wrote:
At 1/14/2011 8:12:15 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
I'm not too sure at all of which theory, broadly construed, is correct. I think there are reasons for both that I find appealing.

First - I was thinking about it, and you might be right in the other thread, WRT tenseless thinking. I still think it's problematic to claim that god is timeless or doesn't exert sequential thinking. That said, I'm not sure that tenseless thinking itself is problematic, since it can still be sequential (so I'd probably concede that tenseless thinking isn't a game stopper - which is a change from the prior thread). In any event, I think that the notion of what does it mean to say God thinks is an interesting topic that should be explored in it's own thread.


Ah, I totally forgot to respond to you! My bad, I'll get around to a response.

SO, with that out of the way, I'm of a similar mind here, it seems. Although I think I favor the B theory because it makes more sense out of relativity, WRT simultaneous presents. What do you think?

I think that, too. Prima facie, at least. To make things more confusing there are several different interpretations of relativity (einstenian, neo-lorentzian, etc). I believe A-theorists counter this by taking a neo-lorentzian position on time. I am nowhere near caught up on relevant of the literature in philosophy of time to take a very solid position.
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Meatros
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1/15/2011 4:17:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/15/2011 3:53:56 PM, popculturepooka wrote:

Hmm, I don't even know what "other" would mean. I was under the impression that A and B theories together were mutually exhaustive.

Take it with a grain of salt, since I don't have the link handy. I honestly don't know what other would be - maybe it was simply "I don't know"... I've been reading about the various theories (a,b), but it is extremely slow going. I think there are multiple "a" and "b" theories.


I've read a couple of physicists and they *seem* to endorse B-theory but I only get that sense through implication so I'm not sure.

You could be right. I know that certain interpretations of relativity are supposedly in line with the A theory, but I haven't actually noodles through how that could be.

I know Craig says that the lorenzo (?) interpretation is, but I heard that on his podcast (no real elaboration). He mentioned something about our instruments not measuring stuff correctly at FTL speeds. I found this to be... Rather ad-hoc... I have one of his books (haven't read it, a bit behind at he moment) on the subject so I hope he clears it up. I disagree with a lot of his views, but he's pretty good at breaking stuff down into plain language.
Meatros
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1/15/2011 4:22:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/15/2011 4:12:10 PM, popculturepooka wrote:

Ah, I totally forgot to respond to you! My bad, I'll get around to a response.

Don't worry, that thread is all over the place. I think I'm losing track of people on it.

I think that, too. Prima facie, at least. To make things more confusing there are several different interpretations of relativity (einstenian, neo-lorentzian, etc). I believe A-theorists counter this by taking a neo-lorentzian position on time. I am nowhere near caught up on relevant of the literature in philosophy of time to take a very solid position.

Yes, I have heard that - do you know how these interpretations deal with simultaneous presents? Right now that's my main reason for thinking the B theory is closest to reality (well, that, AND I think it would be cool if time travel to the past was possible!).
Atheism
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1/16/2011 2:27:30 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
l;h,idr.
To me, it's just a big confusing mess that I may eventually start reading about.
However, doesn't number eight in this --> http://listverse.com... invalidate the notion that the future does not exist, since you can see the event before the cause?
I miss the old members.
Meatros
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1/16/2011 7:08:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/16/2011 2:27:30 AM, Atheism wrote:
l;h,idr.
To me, it's just a big confusing mess that I may eventually start reading about.
However, doesn't number eight in this --> http://listverse.com... invalidate the notion that the future does not exist, since you can see the event before the cause?

Maybe, it's the reason why I prefer the B theory. That said, certain interpretations of relativity supposedly account for it.
popculturepooka
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1/17/2011 12:14:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/15/2011 4:17:47 PM, Meatros wrote:
At 1/15/2011 3:53:56 PM, popculturepooka wrote:

Hmm, I don't even know what "other" would mean. I was under the impression that A and B theories together were mutually exhaustive.

Take it with a grain of salt, since I don't have the link handy. I honestly don't know what other would be - maybe it was simply "I don't know"... I've been reading about the various theories (a,b), but it is extremely slow going. I think there are multiple "a" and "b" theories.


Oh, that's right. That makes a lot more sense if more people just said "I don't know".

I was saying A and B theory as in just them covering the multitude of different theories that advocate absolute time and relative time respectively. That's why I was thinking they were mutually exhaustive. I could be wrong. *shrugs*


You could be right. I know that certain interpretations of relativity are supposedly in line with the A theory, but I haven't actually noodles through how that could be.

I know Craig says that the lorenzo (?) interpretation is, but I heard that on his podcast (no real elaboration). He mentioned something about our instruments not measuring stuff correctly at FTL speeds. I found this to be... Rather ad-hoc... I have one of his books (haven't read it, a bit behind at he moment) on the subject so I hope he clears it up. I disagree with a lot of his views, but he's pretty good at breaking stuff down into plain language.

I don't agree with him on a lot things but among other specialties (phil. of religion), he is a rather good philosopher of time, I think. Well, I think this because he gets a lot of replies and criticism in professional journals and philosophers often criticize the people they most respect...

Look at this paper for instance:

http://www.phil.uga.edu...

It also has a ton of good footnotes if you want to read further on the subject.
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popculturepooka
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1/17/2011 12:35:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/15/2011 4:22:19 PM, Meatros wrote:


Yes, I have heard that - do you know how these interpretations deal with simultaneous presents? Right now that's my main reason for thinking the B theory is closest to reality (well, that, AND I think it would be cool if time travel to the past was possible!).

I think I could tell you but I don't want to misrepresent A-theorists' position as I'm not too sure on it. I'll just refer to their work:

http://books.google.com...

I really suggest this one. Tons of philosophers of time in there. It's edited by Craig and Quentin Smith.

http://myweb.wwu.edu...

By Ned Markosian.

Check out Dean Zimmerman's papers on time (he's a leading metaphysician):

http://fas-philosophy.rutgers.edu...

Or Trenton Merricks (another good metaphysician):

http://pages.shanti.virginia.edu...

Check out the work of the physicist John Stewart Bell because I'm pretty sure he advocated something like A-theory as well.
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Illegalcombatant
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1/18/2011 5:41:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I am in the Tenseless group for the following reasons.....

1) Einsteins theory of relativity pretty blew the concept of 1 second is the same as 1 second some where else, eg some one travelling at the speed of light vs some one who is not in motion. One person ages five years in their time frame, the other person ages 1 year, who is right ? who is wrong ? neither, both are right from their own time frames.

2) If we regard the "present" as real, what about people who lived 1000 years ago, from out time reference point, was their "present" some how less real then ours ? I see no reason to accept some sort of egotistical time bias, oh my present is real, yours isn't, thus all moments of time are equally real. Some one might say, but the past doesn't exist, or the future doesn't exist, but this is only true from their respective time reference, our present is somebody else's future, and some body else's past.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12