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    Thread: An Interesting Thought About Time

    1. #26
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      Well, I am definitely more business minded and like history, while physics and science (which I think time could be categorized under?) are never things I boast of knowing a lot about or enjoying. After reading through the posts, and being thoroughly confused, a neat little paradox I heard a while back came to mind, and I figure that sharing it might help with the discussion, and a lot of you may have already read it, but it's Zeno's paradox.

      Here is a quote from wikipedia.
      "In the arrow paradox (also known as the fletcher's paradox), Zeno states that for motion to occur, an object must change the position which it occupies. He gives an example of an arrow in flight. He states that in any one (durationless) instant of time, the arrow is neither moving to where it is, nor to where it is not.[13] It cannot move to where it is not, because no time elapses for it to move there; it cannot move to where it is, because it is already there. In other words, at every instant of time there is no motion occurring. If everything is motionless at every instant, and time is entirely composed of instants, then motion is impossible."

    2. #27
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      itt: Newtonians and Kantians disagree.

      I will make a serious contribution later
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    3. #28
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      Well, this post was a slog which took multiple sittings and doses of caffeine. If it's also a slog to read and respond to, please focus on the final section rather than anything else.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      So? I guess I didn't read Nfri's post closely enough, and we certainly didn't plan our respective responses in advance. I'm honestly not sure why that matters, actually.
      It wasn't intended as any kind of rigorous point, it's just an interesting reflection on the discussion. You and Nfri were in vehement agreement about the nonexistence of time, but it turns out you have mutually exclusive thoughts on the matter. Such disparate and inconsistent arguments for the same conclusion indicates to me that there's some kind of fundamental confusion about definitions. But again, not a rigorous point worth dwelling upon.

      As far as I know, there is only one overall definition for space: nothing.
      In that case let me enhance your knowledge: there are two means of definition that come immediately to mind for me.

      The first is an ostensive definition, which is the means of definition for all basic observed phenomena; for example, red is defined by pointing to lots of "red" things; "solid" is defined by pointing to lots of solid things, and so on. The human cognitive apparatus is designed to make use of these kinds of definition. Space can be defined by referring to observed examples of space. A cardboard box; there's space in there. The sky; there's space there. Between here and that tree; there's space there. Between the surface of this wall and the selfsame surface? There's no space there. And so on.

      The second -- and clearly superior for these purposes, I think -- is an analytical definition; that is to say, the construction of a model. "Space" means a normed vector space. A normed vector space is a formal, symbolic structure with rigorous axioms (you can look them up). There's nothing empty or tautological about this definition; it's a distinct abstract entity with distinct properties and a distinct structure, and humans have the capacity to determine whether a certain abstract structure is observed in reality or not. A sphere can be defined analytically and humans are are able to judge that objects closely approximating spheres exist in reality. The same goes for... an energy potential. Or an electromagnetic field. Conversely, a hypercube can be defined analytically and humans are able to judge that they see no objects that can be reasonably modelled by a hypercube; hypercubes don't exist. In the same way, space, with all of the properties of a normed vector space -- and in particular a three dimensional one -- is observed. And not some other type of thing. That's still a sticking point for me. It is an observed fact that space is modelled by a very particular space. One of its many qualifications, for instance, is that it is three dimensional. A two dimensional space would give different observations; a four dimensional space would give different observations. How can three dimensional space not exist if it has a specific set of empirical consequences which are absent when it is absent? If there's no space then how is it that we observe a specific type of space? You can't qualify nothing. So what has three dimensions? I imagine you'll answer that space doesn't actually exist, but rather that observed matter behaves according to a cosmic conspiracy exactly as if three-dimensional space, and not some other type of space, exists. I have serious reservations about that type of argument, for reasons relating to the central issues that I will cover at the end of this post. But I can't understand how that account even works. For example, forget about action and consider something simpler: a stationary object; specifically, a cube frame, made of wire. How does it make sense to say the matter of this object is "just behaving as if three dimensional space exists, but it doesn't really"? The cube is in three dimensional space; we can see that. It couldn't possibly be there if two or one dimensional space existed; you can't have eight corners connected by non-intersecting lines like that in a one dimensional space. And if it can't do it in one dimensional space then matter certainly can't behave like that when there's no space at all.

      Aside from their not being definitions at all
      I never claimed to be defining anything; just pointing out that different analytical spaces exist, which is a fact.

      those mutually inconsistent models you list are not about space at all: they are models of the observed (either physically or mathematically) interactions of matter and energy occupying space (yes, you can occupy nothing). It isn't space/time that is warping, but observed light and gravity; it isn't that space is spherical or flat, but that the objects in it have arranged themselves in patterns that cumulatively assume those shapes, with space simply being the measure we use to describe that arrangement. Space remains the same -- nothing -- since you cannot warp, round, or flatten nothing.
      In that last part you beg the question; I don't think that space is nothing so you won't sway me by pointing out that nothing can't bend. I think that space has a particular structure that matches observations. This is all touching on the fundamental questions about what it means for a model to exist, how they relate to observations, what kinds of things are models, and so on, which I will lay out in a moment. For now I'll just make this point: what about gravitational waves? Gravitational waves are ripples in space. They're not ripples in the objects in space; they're ripples of the spacetime fabric itself, just like light is a ripple in the electromagnetic field, or a wave is a ripple in water. When these ripples reach us, we observe them. Why is it that water waves or electromagnetic waves (presumably?) exist, but gravitational waves are "just" a model which doesn't really exist?

      I would agree that the temperature in space that is devoid of any energy or matter would indeed be absolute zero.
      I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you misread or misremembered my post. But the predicate was not "is absolute zero", it was, "is colder than absolute zero". So this is no means of solution.

      ...the context of "nothing" in that case was not about space...

      There may be only one type of "nothing," but that fact does not preclude us from using the word in ways that depart from base meaning of "space."
      You've really stopped making sense to me, here. Not trying to be rude, just stating the fact that I am lost. Can you at least appreciate why these kinds of statement might be incredibly confusing? You said that space was defined as nothing. You've asserted that "space" and "nothing" are synonyms. If this was truly the case then they should be interchangeable. But then you say that they're not interchangeable; that "nothing" doesn't have to be "about space" (in what sense can space be "about" space? And how is it that space is sometimes not about space?) and that we can use "nothing" in ways that depart from "space" (how can the meaning of "nothing" depart from "nothing"?). In my view the only way the above sentences could possibly have made any coherent sense to yourself when you typed them -- even on a purely syntactical level -- is if, subconsciously at least, you don't truly define "space" to be synonymous with "nothing".

      I'm pretty sure I never said matter and energy do not exist. I'm not quite sure how you expected me to answer that question, since I have been implying as much throughout my posts; indeed, if I thought matter and energy did not exist, what I was saying would make no sense at all.
      This must just be a misreading. I was surmising that you thought they did exist, not that they didn't. Please reread what I said with this in mind to clear up any misconceptions about the point I was making.

      Also, energy certainly does not presuppose space because one of our tools for measuring it is a newton-meter.
      Please, please don't take this as an insult, because it's hard to state it in a matter-of-fact way that doesn't sound like an insult. But this is simply wrong. Newton-meters measure force, not energy. They can't measure energy. Force and energy are fundamental concepts in physics, and force is about as different from energy as a teacup is different from a tree; you can't help but have serious questions if a person jumbles them up. You could say I'm nitpicking and these details are irrelevant, but you have relied on the terms "energy" and "force" a good few times.

      I am not defining "exist," but yes, matter and energy certainly exist, because they have definite physical properties.
      Okay, it's time for the nitty gritty stuff. Honestly, I was disheartened that you simply dug your heels in at this point and stated that you wouldn't answer my question, without anything in the way of explanation; it suggested some kind of duplicity and an aspect of rhetoric, rather than mutual, constructive discourse in search of the truth. Especially as I personally consider this to be the nub of the whole thing, and tackling it to be the only way to make progress. I genuinely don't know what you mean when you assert that something exists or does not exist, because you assert existence of some things but not of others when I don't see any special difference between them. It surely follows that we don't know exactly what the other means when they assert something's existence. And progress is surely impossible until this is resolved.

      Here's what I can surmise from what you've said. You don't think that something exists simply because it models observations. For instance, you said that the bending of space models our observations of matter and so forth, but you don't think that space actually exists.

      But you do think that something exists when it involves energy and mass, because they're "physical properties" (which is left undefined).

      I don't understand this because I don't see the distinction; I don't see what makes those "physical properties" special, and distinct from other models. Take energy for instance. Energy is never "observed" in the sense of direct sense perception. Indeed it took a long time for anybody to even notice such a thing was a feature of reality -- the first inklings were around 1700. And what exactly was it that was noticed? A very abstract thing: if you take all of the speeds of a bunch of objects (N.B. e.g. in metres per second), square them, multiply by their masses, halve the result, and then total them, you get a value that does not change, even when the objects collide and change speeds. That's the most basic definition you can give of energy. It is a totally abstract piece of mathematics. It has no "physical" interpretation in terms of a physical object. It isn't "anywhere". It's just an analytical model used to generalise observations and make predictions. It wasn't ever perfect, either; and it didn't work at all for squishy objects, or objects with a lot of friction, and in many other cases. It was (and still is) an approximate model of observations. Here's one interesting point: you don't actually need to do the halving. You could just use the whole squared speeds multiplied by masses instead, and this would give you another quantity (double the previous quantity named "energy") which is just as useful a model. There's no reason to prefer one over the other. So... does the double of energy also exist, as well as energy? That would be rather bizarre. The moon exists. The moon doubled does not exist. And how about other arbitrarily defined quantities? Mass multiplied by velocity cubed, for instance, instead of squared. Does that "exist"? Maybe it's also useful in modelling sometimes. What about any other power of velocity? When does it give you something that "exists"?
      Last edited by Denziloe; 03-25-2015 at 01:35 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nfri View Post
      But moving things don't require an observer. Imagine you are last living man and then you die. Things don't stop moving or existing. They will happily continue to move. If alien race find your body year after your death and ressurect you, there would be evidence of year movement of things all over the place )

      Also if you would be last man on the earth and you would die, the concept of time in your head would ended, therefore no more time. What would left is just movement of things.
      But time doesn't require an observer. Imagine you are last living man and then you die. Time doesn't stop progressing or existing. It will happily continue to progress. If an alien race finds your body a year after your death and resurrects you, there would be evidence of a year's movement of things all over the place )

      Also if you were the last man on the earth and you died, the concept of movement in your head would end, therefore no more movement. What would be left is just time.

    5. #30
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      Denziloe:

      I'm just letting you know that I never got to that all-important last paragraph of your post because the condescension on your part was simply too sickening, as was the fact that you chose to cherry-pick my post in a manner that pretty much everything to which you responded (as listed) was taken out of the context of my post, and apparently meant to make me look like a fool. So, since you seem more interested in winning something than discussing a fairly simple philosophical concept, and I am not, I felt no need to sit here listening to your contrivances.

      But before I take the high road and cease responding to your sophomoric nonsense carefully cloaked in lots of words that pretty much keep saying the same two things (basically that you can prove the existence of space because it shows up in lots of math equations, which oddly ties right into what I was saying about space being a tool, and your odd obsession with the definition of nothing), here are a few quick points; read them if you care:

      * Gravity waves certainly exist; I never said they did not. Why does the fact that gravity can pass through space in waves, just like light, mean that space must be comprised of something?

      * If you look up the word "nothing" in pretty much any dictionary, you will find more than one definition. If you look up the word "space" in pretty much any dictionary, you will find more than one definition. You might also note that every definition listed for one word is not directly interchangeable with every definition of the other word. That was all I was trying to say; how you came up with all that other stuff is beyond me.

      * You completely missed/rewrote my point about newton-meters, as you also obviously missed my point about space (vectors, distance, shape, or however else you choose to describe it) being an important tool for understanding our universe. By proving how I am wrong with pretty much nothing but math examples sort of made my point for me.

      * Telling someone, while dripping condescension, that I "please don't take" what you're about to say "as an insult" is about as firm an insult as you can make. Thanks.

      * Finally, with all your math and projections of superior knowledge, you still did not tell me whether there is a space/time particle or wave, which really was all I was talking about.

      In a way I am sorry you spent so much time on that post, Denziloe, as you wasted both of ours. In your bizarre effort to either prove me wrong or prove how bright you are, you completely walked away from the very simple thing I was trying to say (basically that time does not exist as an entity unto itself). That's a shame, really, because it seems an interesting thing to talk about, and certainly more interesting than shredding my post and cherry-picking from my post a bunch out-of-context line-items that had pretty much nothing to do with what I said, all in the singular name of proving how right you are (and accidentally proving that you simultaneously missed my point completely and made my point for me by using space as a tool for measurement, conceptualization, and math rather than telling me what its physical properties are).

      So I guess this means you've won, Denziloe; I hope you enjoy your little victory (actually, that's not true: I honestly hope this mess came from honest passion, and not a need to win, or be right).

      Now, feeling that I have wasted far too much time with this and you, and tired of being called an idiot in 1,000 words or less, I'll go back to the high ground and ask myself why I even bother saying anything in the first place, and also quietly hope you don't do this to others, who might be too intimidated to call you on it.
      Last edited by Sageous; 03-25-2015 at 05:35 AM.
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    6. #31
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      I'll try not to get in the middle of yours and Sageous' despute here, denziloe, but if you are still interested in this discussion, I'd like to bring my perspective to the table because I think I may be able to reach a middle ground between your opposing viewpoints.

      So first off, do you believe it to be possible to conceptualise of space and time abstracted from all human experience?

      Secondly, you assert that the human cognitive faculty defines things as red or solid, but do these properties inhere in object themselves or are they only as those objects appear to us?

      You may point to the wavelength of light that determines the band of the colour spectrum red, but this has little meaning to the colour blind or the blind since birth other than as an object of the intellect. We do not experience time and space intellectually, but as the structure of our perceptions.

      I do not consider spacetime theory to contradict this proposition, on the contrary, relativity and the observer effect would seem to suggest a gap between things as experienced and in themselves.

      When I die movmment and entropy as physical laws may continue (to state otherwise would be solipsism) but time will have lost all meaning. Any time spent unconscious may as well be a second as a century, subjectively.

      The reason why you and Sageous have clashed is because you are speaking of time in itself whereas Sageous is speaking of time as we know it. No wonder there are misunderstandings in the thread when I'm not sure you are even disagreeing with each other on a structural level.
      Last edited by Ctharlhie; 03-25-2015 at 08:52 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      I'm just letting you know that I never got to that all-important last paragraph of your post because the condescension on your part was simply too sickening
      I'm sincerely sorry you feel that way. I was not trying to be condescending and explicitly tried to make it clear that I wasn't being rude but just responding to you as rigorously as I could, but it looks as though that has backfired and looked condescending instead. But in all honesty I can only really think of one part of my post that might have caused such outrage -- that is, the bit about the physics error, which apparently caused you to stop reading in disgust. I do stand by making that comment. Like I said, you have referred heavily to the concept of energy whenever you were pushed on the central question, so your large misconceptions about energy was of significant import to the discussion -- and if you'd continued reading you'd have found that energy was very important to the main point I was making. You don't seem to reject the actual content of my criticism as untrue, so I'm not sure what you'd prefer to me to have done. I could have not pointed out the weakness in this part of your argument, but that would have been dishonest of me, and really, one should be willing to have their arguments contradicted in such a discussion. Being frank is how I treat people with respect. Pulling punches for fear of upsetting somebody over a highly abstract discussion... that's the behaviour I would have considered condescending.

      but it looks as though that as was the fact that you chose to cherry-pick my post in a manner that pretty much everything to which you responded (as listed) was taken out of the context of my post, and apparently meant to make me look like a fool. So, since you are more interested in winning something than discussing a fairly simple concept, and I am not, I felt no need to sit here listening to your contrivances.
      You are not a fool and I had absolutely no designs on making you look like a fool. Everything I said was carefully considered as part of the overall argument, and nothing I said was contrived or intended to "win" by intimidation. I think this is a pretty unfair thing to say. You only need to scan my post to see that I have gone to a lot of effort to detail what I was thinking in simple terms. The only time I can recall using an obscure concept was when I referred to a normed vector space, but that's simply because that is the mathematical structure that corresponds to space, and you asked for a definition. It's not contrived at all. It's my answer. And like I said, you can look up the details. I only omitted them because they're simple and boring. And as you didn't ever actually read the central part of my post, which I repeatedly referred to, you're not really in any position to call anything I said "contrived". I literally asked you at the start to skip out all of this stuff if you wanted to, because the main argument was at the end... so complaining that I was trying to argue by contrivance and intimidation is just... dishonest on your part, really.

      But before I take the high road and cease responding to your sophomoric nonsense carefully cloaked in lots of words that pretty much keep saying the same two things (basically that you can prove the existence of space because it shows up in lots of math equations, which oddly ties right into what I was saying about space being a tool, and your odd obsession with the definition of nothing)
      That really wasn't my point. You didn't finish the post, and I made it very clear that the important stuff was at the end.

      Gravity waves certainly exist; I never said they did not. Why does the fact that gravity can pass through space in waves, just like light, mean that space must be comprised of something?
      It doesn't pass through space in waves, it's a wave of space. I stated this in the question.

      * If you look up the word "nothing" in pretty much any dictionary, you will find more than one definition. If you look up the word "space" in pretty much any dictionary, you will find more than one definition. You might also note that every definition listed for one word is not directly interchangeable with every definition of the other word. That was all I was trying to say; how you came up with all that other stuff is beyond me.
      Which definition of "nothing" were you taking to be synonymous with "space"?

      * You completely missed my point about newton-meters
      Well yeah, it was false.

      as you also obviously missed my point about space (vectors, distance, shape, or however else you choose to describe it) being an important tool for understanding our universe. By proving how I am wrong with pretty much nothing but math examples sort of made my point for me.
      All covered at the end of the post. Again, it's pretty unfair to be accusing me of intentionally ignoring points when you didn't actually read to the end of the post, and especially when I made it clear throughout that the important response was at the end. With that in mind, I don't really understand why you're asking me further questions.

      Telling someone, while dripping condescension, that I "please don't take" what you're about to say "as an insult" is about as firm an insult as you can make. Thanks.
      I've already covered this of course. Apologies again that you were insulted. The fact was that you didn't have a firm grasp on some of the basic concepts in physics. That's not saying that you're stupid, it's just saying that... you haven't studied much of the nitty gritty of physics. Most people haven't. So what? They pursue other interests. That's all I meant by clarifying it wasn't meant as an insult. It wasn't a personal attack. It was just very relevant to the argument, at least in my opinion.

      Finally, with all your math and projections of superior knowledge, you still did not tell me whether there is a space/time particle or wave, which was basically all I was talking about.
      I'm sorry I missed it. It depends on what you mean. Waves and particles are the same thing on a fundamental level. If you mean space/time as in relativistic spacetime, yes, they are the gravitational waves I referred to. If you mean space waves or time waves... well, there are waves in space, like electromagnetic waves, which wave over time. Is space made of particles, or is space made of particles? No, but neither's energy, which I discussed at length at the end of my post.

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      Ctharlie, I'll address everything that was an explicit question in case it helps you to follow up before next time. Too tired to engage beyond that now, I'll catch you tomorrow.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ctharlhie View Post
      So first off, do you believe it to be possible to conceptualise of space and time abstracted from all human experience?
      Can you clarify this question a bit?

      Secondly, you assert that the human cognitive faculty defines things as red or solid, but do these properties i here in object themselves or are they only as those objects appear to us?
      I don't believe that "objects themselves" is meaningful. That's not to say I deny their existence; I have no position on the statements "objects themselves exist" or "objects themselves do not exist" because I don't know what they mean and can't see any means of answering them.

      All I can say about red is that some objects I see I perceive as similar in some way (examples include strawberries and stop lights). By definition these objects appear red.

      Solidity can be defined in the same way (examples include this sofa, this laptop, but not air), but I could also take a different approach and break it down into simpler concepts, like rigidity and non-intersection. Many things I observe act according to this model.

    9. #34
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      Denziloe:

      First: I read the rest of that post, so you can drop your bizarre defense that I had no right even to point out your condescension because I didn't finish it (and no, it was not "all covered at the end of the post," BTW). And what did I find in the rest? Sadly, that it is simply more of the same; as was your last post to me above; including, incredibly, even more out-of-context cherry-picking. I cannot believe you are unable to see what you are writing... and I've actually got a fairly thick skin and enjoy a good argument.

      If you'd like to "directly observe" energy, stick your hand in a light socket, or have someone throw a rock at you, or just stand outside on a windy or sunny day. Please don't explain to me that energy is only a mathematically malleable concept, when we both know it has been proven to exist and clearly observed, in one form or another, since we were living in caves. Yes you can throw math at energy to "prove" it is just a concept, but energy's ubiquitous physical presence pretty much negates that math, at least on the philosophical level from which I was speaking, and which you still refuse to recognize.

      Speaking of condescension: as Ctharlhie much more diplomatically noted above, I was discussing time as we know it, and as we use it. I actually am reasonably well-versed in physics and math, and, believe it or not, already understand, agree with, and was already familiar with most of what you said -- I simply wished to discuss from a different perspective; this is a philosophy forum, after all. For you to choose to interpret my philosophic approach to this subject as ignorance is condescension enough, but then to compound it by explaining to me how simple you made everything so my small mind could understand was, well, astounding. Again, can't you even see this?

      If space is moving in waves and not gravity, why do they call them "gravity" waves and not "space" waves? Seems odd, since with, well, everything else (water, light/electromagnetic, wind, etc) the word in front of wave describes the composition of the wave, and not what caused it. Also, what does "waves and particles are the same thing on a fundamental level" have to do with describing to me the physical makeup of time or space? Or were you just gently helping me understand the concept? For what it is worth, I specifically asked the question like that because waves and particles are essentially the same thing on a fundamental level; if you weren't coming out of the chutes assuming that I know nothing about these things, you might have understood that.

      Finally, that was amazing how you continued to (apparently intentionally) misinterpret the cherry-pick from my post about newton-meters with yet another cherry-pick; that is chutzpah defined, I think.

      Since you have no interest in discussing with me what I hoped would be discussed (that our use of time as tool has turned into a perception of time, which has turned into an irrefutable assumption that time is real, even though it has no physical properties), and I can't stand the sort of conversation we are having now, there is no point in continuing to defend myself in this atmosphere.

      As an aside, I do hope you find time to respond to Ctharlhie's relevant questions.

      Take care, Denziloe. There is no need to respond, as I am definitely done (all questions are rhetorical), but I do hope that one day you can look at posts like these and realize what you were doing.
      Last edited by Sageous; 03-25-2015 at 08:20 AM.

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      I thought you were taking the "high ground"..? Please stop throwing jibes at me, I'm not attacking you. And please stop asking me questions if you don't actually want me to answer; it makes no sense, and my benign answers only seem to have insulted you even more. I think you should either put me on ignore or take a time out, because you're massively misreading or misrepresenting me now. For instance,

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      First: I read the rest of that post, so you can drop your bizarre defense that I had no right even to point out your condescension because I didn't finish your post.
      I literally never said this, let alone repeatedly. Read my post again. What I said was that it's unfair to call my points an attempt at contrived or intimidating arguments when I'd actually requested you skip through them to the end if you wanted to get to the point; and also that you couldn't really make any assertions about me leaving stuff out and missing the bigger picture when you hadn't read the end of the post where I tried to address the main issue. That has nothing to do with condescension or your right to think me condescending.

      This is not an argument, I'm just clarifying that this "bizarre defense" is not one I'm trying to make and is not present in what I wrote, nor are any other percieved arguments or insults. If you can believe this, I would enjoy a return to our discussion, and feel free to bring up any outstanding questions again. If not, please stop communicating with me, although I would regret that outcome. Thanks.
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      ^^ I called the questions rhetorical to save you the trouble of answering. If you'd like to do so, then go ahead.

      It is absolutely amazing, BTW, that you feel you are the one being massively misrepresented...are you not reading what I wrote at all?

      Okay, High ground for real now....
      Last edited by Sageous; 03-25-2015 at 08:35 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ^^ Yes, all those things will happen whether we are there to see them or not, but that correlation and predictability you discuss are not present unless sentient beings are observing the activity.
      This is only stating the obvious, which is why I don't get why there is really a debate (about this, at least) here at all. Obviously if there are no beings to do the predicting or correlating, the predicting and correlating cannot occur. What does not go away is what those beings were predicting and making correlations about. So again, "time" as the human concept of time does not exist without human beings, but "time" as in the observable and measurable process the concept is derived from still does. There isn't a point in even mentioning that time without humans doesn't exist during the course of the discussion of the original topic because it does nothing to add to the conversation that the topic was meant to discuss. That has been my point the entire time. If this rather odd technicality is preventing us from discussing anything meaningful (which it is), then why are we even bringing it up? We all know what we mean when we are saying "time" as its own functional process rather than our concept of time and ignoring the less useful meaning of the word helps with coming to a better collective understanding of one another. That's what we do when there are several meanings for a word, we pick the one most relevant and useful for the discussion because otherwise it's impossible to decipher what everybody is saying. Why is there so much friction here? It's got me completely baffled, I really am genuinely confused right now.
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      I agree and that's why I've been insistent on definitions for terms, although I'm not sure the disagreement can be resolved in exactly that fashion. The only form of the statement I've recieved from Sageous is "time does not exist" or "space does not exist". But if that's referring to the human concept -- which as you say, ceases to exist where humans do -- the fact is that humans obviously do exist, for aĺl of us. So surely the concept does, too? So whence the negation? There's a second problem of consistency. Sageous also insists that some things are totally distinct from time in that they do exist, such as energy. If it's just a matter of the concept vs. the thing it's derived from, how come energy -- also a concept and a thing -- gets treated differently from space and time?
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ctharlhie View Post
      Your argument hinges on the presupposition that the sciences grant us to things as they are in themselves, the empirical viewpoint. On the other hand, I and Sageous, would argue that we only know things as we know them, or as Heisenberg so memorably put it: "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."
      .
      Again, you are stating the obvious. I am not disagreeing with you, nor do I think Denziloe is. What you aren't getting is that this knowledge does absolutely nothing for us when discussing the OP. What you are stating, essentially, is that we should not be having this topic open for discussion in the first place because we can't know that time does not exist as we observe it if we aren't actively observing it. Again, this is actually true (the latter bit, no the part about not being able to discuss it)! HOWEVER, in the spirit of actually discussing what this thread was created for in the first place, we have to assume that it works as we observe it, without us observing it.

      To paint the picture better here, I will provide two different concepts for you to understand better:

      1) Ever watch South Park? There is an episode where Cartman and Kenny get sent off by child services to live with agnostic parents who constantly reiterate that nobody could ever know whether a god exists or not, so debating his existence is pointless and forbidden. You guys are acting like the agnostic parents in this example.

      2)In this very thread, 4 people are agreeing with each other, but for whatever reason arguing. Two of them recognize that they technically agree with each other, but the other two see it as a disagreement and are saying that, because we aren't recognizing the disagreement (which isn't actually occurring and even if it were, it would be pointless to discuss in regards to the OP), no further discussion of the original topic can take place.
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      Edit: this was a reply to Ctharlie, whose post has vanished at the moment, I guess because of a bug.

      My argument didn't actually hinge on that, and unfortunately I never really got to lay out my personal approach (I was just trying to probe what Sageous thought). As you rightly went on to say, I'm definitely not tryring to make a statement about things in themselves, as I don't think that language has meaning. Definitely not a Platonist, though; what did you think was Platonic? My guess would be that you thought I might be trying to invoke the Form of the red, but the Form of the red is a pretty hefty metaphysical assertion, whereas I made a very sparse -- tautologous, even -- claim; namely that we percieve a similarity between certain objects. This intentionally invokes nothing.
      Last edited by Denziloe; 03-25-2015 at 09:32 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post


      (that our use of time as tool has turned into a perception of time, which has turned into an irrefutable assumption that time is real, even though it has no physical properties)
      Denziloe, I would like to hear your clear statement written in simple english for not native english speaker about this above.

      snoop

      So again, "time" as the human concept of time does not exist without human beings, but "time" as inthe observable and measurable process the concept is derived from still does.
      How can you say in one sentence that time does not exist without human beings, but time as observable and measurable process the concept is derived from still does? As far I know only human can observe and measure time, so without human there is no concept. What would left I think is just movement of things.

      Denziloe

      Also if you were the last man on the earth and you died, the concept of movement in your head would end, therefore no more movement. What would be left is just time.
      I think we have just the opposite understanding of words. For you is my movement = time and for me is your definition of movement = time.

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      Okay this is my statement:

      There is ''everything". Evolution made our brains filter view of "something" from "everything". Let's now accept that ''something'' is only think that matters in our debates. (by this I mean our viewing of everything) Now: If you die, what will left? In the previous human view there would remain the same something including not existing concepts such as time etc. But if you don't include your previous human view, there couldn't left anything, because something is only think that we know. This trouble me a lot, because in this conlusion if it actually exists or not doesn't matter. My common sense tells me that only real existing things such as physics and movement and energy and these evident things would left and nothing else. Now when I think about it deeply, I'm not sure even about this ground.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Nfri View Post
      our use of time as tool has turned into a perception of time, which has turned into an irrefutable assumption that time is real, even though it has no physical properties

      Denziloe, I would like to hear your clear statement written in simple english for not native english speaker about this above.
      Sure thing.

      I think exactly the same statement applies to other things which you acknowledge to exist. I gave an extensive elaboration of this point in my discussion of energy at the end of the big reply to Sageous. Sageous was unwilling to consider the actual point that was being made there and pretended I was just trying to be a pedant about physics, but I hope that you can see what I was actually saying; energy itself is irrelevant, it's just being used as an example, to explore what it means to say that something exists. In case you don't personally believe that energy exists, just pick another example (like movement, for instance).

      These things are all noticed, then used as conceptual tools, and we say they exist. As to "physical properties", you haven't defined it so I can't answer to that.

      But if they're all the same in this respect then it's inconsistent to say some exist and some don't. We could either say they all don't exist, or they all do exist. That second approach is the one I'd take because it seems the most useful and common use of language, but it's really a matter of semantics at that point; we could take the opposite approach, but that wouldn't have any substantive consequences, it would just mean we were using words differently.

      I think we have just the opposite understanding of words. For you is my movement = time and for me is your definition of movement = time.
      I didn't actually believe what I wrote there -- I would say they both exist. My point was that you can swap the words and the argument isn't changed. Therefore the argument lacks substance; we don't quite have the opposite understanding of words, but the disagreement is an issue of definitions, and that was my point.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Denziloe View Post
      Sageous was unwilling to consider the actual point that was being made there and pretended I was just trying to be a pedant about physics, but I hope that you can see what I was actually saying;
      Nice.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Denziloe View Post
      energy itself is irrelevant, it's just being used as an example, to explore what it means to say that something exists. In case you don't personally believe that energy exists, just pick another example (like movement, for instance).

      These things are all noticed, then used as conceptual tools, and we say they exist. As to "physical properties", you haven't defined it so I can't answer to that.

      But if they're all the same in this respect then it's inconsistent to say some exist and some don't. We could either say they all don't exist, or they all do exist. That second approach is the one I'd take because it seems the most useful and common use of language, but it's really a matter of semantics at that point; we could take the opposite approach, but that wouldn't have any substantive consequences, it would just mean we were using words differently.
      What we're just trying to say is that there are 2 main categories of existing things:

      1. category of existing things: Tree'll still grow, rock'll still fall, water'll still flow. Energy'll transfer, sun'll shine. These things will continue if there is no man. I call this simply ''movement'' of things

      2. category of existing things: Concept of time as it was invented thanks to mathematics and other fabricated non nature existing things. The other example is empty space. Another good example is god. Money is good one.... These things would not be in the world anymore if there is no man, because they are constructed ideas in human's minds, not nature.
      Last edited by Nfri; 03-26-2015 at 11:11 PM.
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      I still don't understand the inconsistency. Why don't you list the "concept of energy" in the second category? And why don't you list "time", as opposed to the mere "concept of time", in the first category?
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      Well I'm finished making my point, if you guys don't want to accept or even try to understand what I'm saying, then whatever. I was never disagreeing with you, but proposing we simply allow the usage of the word "time" even when in a hypothetical situation humans don't exist, therefore "time" doesn't exist. It's like that topic about what would you do if you were the only person on earth, suddenly. I missed the apparent point of the topic and took it literally, whereas it was supposed to be a fun topic that didn't want to deal strictly with reality--which I wound up accepting. My proposition of using the word "time" was simply to make the conversation flow easier since we all know what we mean by time even when we're saying humans don't exist. If time can't be measured because humans don't exist, how can we be certain there is still movement in the universe if no one is there to see it? Yet you still claim there would be, and it's making the exact same point you're using in this argument. However, it's really not this big of a deal, unless you guys are responding to someone else making the argument, please don't respond to this. Enough topic space has been wasted on this stupid argument.

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      Interesting how this thread carried on for so long.

      Allow me to present my own "south park agnostic" side to the debate.

      The concept of time and movement are relative. This means that time and movement can only be measured in so far as comparing them to something else. Our entire existence is built on a reality molded by relativistic assumptions.

      This however in no way disproves or nullifies the concept that an absolute form of time exists. There may very well be a force that causes time to propogate in a forward motion. Whether it exists in nature is a moot point. Every single concept ever devised by man can be argued to not exists in nature.

      While I certianly enjoy seeing debate and critical thinking, I think we are putting too much time (pardon the pun) into discussing the merit of a human concept which at this point is but an abstraction of reality. We hardly understand the exact workings of subatomic particles, let alone the substance or (lack thereof) in which they preside. To make a statement such as "time is but a tool for humans, it has no basis in reality" or "time is the cause for all change" is equally erroroneous.

      All in all I would have much rather seen this discussion head towards the original direction both sageous and zoth had taken.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dutchraptor View Post
      All in all I would have much rather seen this discussion head towards the original direction both sageous and zoth had taken.
      Me too.

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      Hi ,sorry to intrude on u scientists,sages,philosophers.i liked the start of this debate but for some reasons everyone started showing muscle ,and the time and energie u have deployed run out on u guys,and sageous,u started seeing red and denziloe wanted to prove his knowledge and u deprived him of this pleasure and TIME run out on u guys ,philosophie means that any subject u start discussing with anyone grant them automatically the right to go on and on as they think the debate at hands would take them,but always staying polite,not condescending that would be fruitless and boring,because philosophie is therapeutic the sky is the limit,and sageous i would be more humble if I were u everybody likes ur jibes.good luck.

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