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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:26 am 
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Very simply put: If time were not a real thing then all of history would be one big contradiction. The universe would be a singularity and in its present form simultaneously. You would be both alive and dead simultaneously. The atoms that comprise your body would still be in the bellies of stars simultaneously. A particle would be both here and there simultaneously. A particle moves from here to there and then back to here again, but it does not go from there to here again by going backwards in time. It is still a forward motion through time.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:27 am 
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Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:49 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:32 am 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
pax wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Modern physics tells us no such thing.

Right.

We need to be careful about reifying mathematical terms, such as in space time, anyways. The interpretation of that, within the context of the theory of relativity, differs to.

Frankly, I have yet to see anything that refutes Aristotle's/Aquinas' conception of time. If relativity holds, it fits very well with Aristotle if you remove the primum mobile, the first moved thing. Basically Aristotle took as a premise that time was unified and therefore posited certain things to explain that. If you remove those you get disparate time due to different motion....sounds similar to relativity.


ETA: We should also add that time is not an accident the way quality or quantity is. It is not intrinsic, not a "real accident". It is something that is in part founded on reality (namely motion) and in part of the perception of an observer, since time is the numbering of motion according to before and after. Hence as an accident of a thing it is an extrinsic not an intrinsic attribute.



Time is as real as space. We move through time the same way we move through space, except that time is unidirectional. Without this very real dimension (manifold, field, continuum) of time all of history would be a complete contradiction.

Please prove all of your assertions above.

1. Namely prove that a B-theory of time is correct. That alone would be enough to make you famous in the academic community and beyond.

2. Prove also that particular B-theory held by 4th dimensionalists

3. Prove that such must be unidirectional

4. Please explain what you mean by dimension, field, and continuum. These words are not normally interchangeable, and for that matter, the "ok, but what is it?" of a field is conjecture and not settled. Much of the math is worked out, but ask what exactly is a field in field-theory, or even "what is force" and you are in a realm of conjecture, with many scientists having not the foggiest


Of course I am assuming that you are assuming a particular interpretation of the time quotient in the theory of relativity (again, as it exists in the theory it is a mathematical term, you are asserting a reification of that term which needs to be proven, something not down in relativity). So this would probably involve a conflict with quantum theory, and either you would be getting the nobel prize for reconciling/unifying the two or disproving one. After all, modern physics is actually bucking against spacetime within the realm of quantum gravitation (which works better with a Newtownian divorce of the two)


And I am curious about the assertion that history would be a "contradiction" if time is not as real as "space"

I will hasten to add that I deny that space is real. That is I deny that space is absolute (something both Aristotle and Einstein deny). I deny the Newtonian notion that extension can exist outside of something being extended. It seems odd to me that you speak of time and space as different entities (like Newton).

Hold on, maybe that is it. pax, are you asserting that Newtonian physics is fully correct, and that Einstein, Heisenberg, etc are all off? I mean, you are not speaking of spacetime, but are rather reifying both space and time. Einstein rejects the reification of space as Newton would have it.



Ok now it is clearer. By modern physics, you mean modern as in the 16th and 17th and 18th century, as opposed to contemporary physics. The same way we speak of Descartes as modern, but Heidegger as contemporary.


Anyhow, you should know that I deny the reification of either time or space. Maybe if I can find it I will post an article about Aristotle's ether, spacetime and quantum vacuums. There are a lot of similarities, though somethings need correction in Aristotle.


If I speak with the wisdom of angels, but have not charity, it is nothing.

Just saying... PED, you should care to guard your soul as much as you guard your pride. (and I am aware that this is good advice to take myself.)

I have not exited this conversation completely. I am just rereading notes on the subject as it has been a year or so since I debated this topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:47 am 
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And before we go down the rabbit hole you have proposed, I want to say that A or B theory of time has no bearing on the problems that Pax raises, for either theory will still have to face the objection of an actual infinite, but just a different kind. Actually, B-theory would have 2 kinds of actual infinite, and A-theory would have one. But, I really think it would be a mistake to introduce that into this discussion. So, I would recommend that Pax stay away from that altogether. Though, I do agree that the way he has phrased his objection is clumsy because it unnecessarily brings in a discussion of the nature of time, but that can easily be overlooked and his objection taken more philosophically.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:32 am 
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pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.

It is very helpful for physics to treat time this way; it appears to me to be an unsubstantiated leap to say that this entails real existence in the sense necessary to support an argument for the existence of God. But if this does come from Fr. Spitzer, I will add his book to my "look at list."

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:30 am 
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pax wrote:
Very simply put: If time were not a real thing then all of history would be one big contradiction. The universe would be a singularity and in its present form simultaneously. You would be both alive and dead simultaneously. The atoms that comprise your body would still be in the bellies of stars simultaneously. A particle would be both here and there simultaneously. A particle moves from here to there and then back to here again, but it does not go from there to here again by going backwards in time. It is still a forward motion through time.

What do you mean by a "real thing"? Certainly, if motion itself were "not real" I could see this argument. But why must time itself exist in the way "space" does?

For instance, if Aquinas' idea of time were correct, this does not follow, but neither does it follow that time itself exists actually. as a substinent thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:32 am 
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pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.

BTW, this doesn't exactly answer my question. In what sense is a "non-contemporaneous distensive manifold" a "thing"?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:45 am 
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pax, is this the argument you are referring to?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTyzf51vrI4

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:51 am 
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It looks like Spitzer wrote his Ph.D dissertation on time. I would be interested in reading that, because in the video at least he asserts certain contentious positions as established fact. Maybe he argued for these points in earlier videos, or in his book. In anycase, these proofs are all provisional so far (not just my judgment, he calls his conclusions a matter of higher probability). I am still searching for the contradiction argument pax stated.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:02 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.

BTW, this doesn't exactly answer my question. In what sense is a "non-contemporaneous distensive manifold" a "thing"?


"Thing" is pax shorthand for “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold”.

Hope that clears things up.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
I am still searching for the contradiction argument pax stated.


If an actual infinite number of things was posited it would produce contradictions. That is accepted by most people, regardless of their position on whether the past is infinite, or whether an infinite past would be an actual infinite.

But, I think that is a step ahead of ourselves. I don't think "the past is infinite" is itself a logical contradiction, but logical contradictions are not the only things that are wrong. I think the past cannot be infinite, because, regardless of simultaneity (as discussed in theories of time), I believe it would be positing an actual infinite number of events. And an actual number of anything is impossible. In A-Theory, this would be the case as well because the problem of this fact is not solved by merely stating the events do not all really exist at the same time. That does nothing to the fact that they would still be a countable group of things. If the past is infinite, regardless as to whether those past events really exist now or not, they still are things in the group called "past events" and they would be infinite. Thus creating an actual infinite. And arising from this would be contradictions as noted. In fact, the presence of the contradictions is a sort of inductive argument that even A theory infinite pasts produce an actual infinite.

I really don't see how modern physics or mathematics have done anything to counter this very simple claim. The only way you can defeat it is to show how an actual infinite number of things can exist.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:11 pm 
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pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.

BTW, this doesn't exactly answer my question. In what sense is a "non-contemporaneous distensive manifold" a "thing"?


"Thing" is pax shorthand for “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold”.

Hope that clears things up.


I think it best to stick to "events" which are most certainly "things" rather than discuss "moments" or "time", which are only arguably "things". It's inconsequential to your argument and avoids having to defend a certain theory of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:46 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Are events "things"? I am not so sure of that--certainly not sure enough that I would care to use the word for them univocally in the way it is used of substantial beings.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Are events "things"? I am not so sure of that--certainly not sure enough that I would care to use the word for them univocally in the way it is used of substantial beings.


That's fair, and I agree. I suppose a strict definition of "thing" here would not be helpful for anyone's case. I suppose "real" is better, for a past event is certainly real in a way that an A-theory adherent would not grant to a past moment. And that is simply because an event is something that a thing does, or that happens to a thing. It is a change of real things. It happens in reality. It is not, itself, something elusive like "time" or "moment" if one wanted to argue the reality of those latter terms.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:16 pm 
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ForumJunkie wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
I am still searching for the contradiction argument pax stated.


If an actual infinite number of things was posited it would produce contradictions. That is accepted by most people, regardless of their position on whether the past is infinite, or whether an infinite past would be an actual infinite.

But, I think that is a step ahead of ourselves. I don't think "the past is infinite" is itself a logical contradiction, but logical contradictions are not the only things that are wrong. I think the past cannot be infinite, because, regardless of simultaneity (as discussed in theories of time), I believe it would be positing an actual infinite number of events. And an actual number of anything is impossible. In A-Theory, this would be the case as well because the problem of this fact is not solved by merely stating the events do not all really exist at the same time. That does nothing to the fact that they would still be a countable group of things. If the past is infinite, regardless as to whether those past events really exist now or not, they still are things in the group called "past events" and they would be infinite. Thus creating an actual infinite. And arising from this would be contradictions as noted. In fact, the presence of the contradictions is a sort of inductive argument that even A theory infinite pasts produce an actual infinite.

I really don't see how modern physics or mathematics have done anything to counter this very simple claim. The only way you can defeat it is to show how an actual infinite number of things can exist.

FJ



But it is a contradiction.

The past is that which is already achieved.

An infinite can never be achieved.

Infinite past = what cannot be achieved is already achieved.

See?

Contradiction.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:23 pm 
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pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.



Manifold? Is he using that word in the technical sense, i.e. a topological manifold, i.e. a second countable Hausdorff space which is locally homeomorphic to Euclidean space? I've never heard time described as a topological manifold before... :scratch:


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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:29 pm 
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ForumJunkie wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Are events "things"? I am not so sure of that--certainly not sure enough that I would care to use the word for them univocally in the way it is used of substantial beings.


That's fair, and I agree. I suppose a strict definition of "thing" here would not be helpful for anyone's case. I suppose "real" is better, for a past event is certainly real in a way that an A-theory adherent would not grant to a past moment. And that is simply because an event is something that a thing does, or that happens to a thing. It is a change of real things. It happens in reality. It is not, itself, something elusive like "time" or "moment" if one wanted to argue the reality of those latter terms.

FJ


Present and future events are conditioned by past events. They are therefore very real. They aggregate.

Here is an example that I thought up.

You are waiting to get your back scratched by the guy behind you.

But he won't scratch your back until the guy behind him scratches his back.

And the guy behind him won't scratch his back so he can scratch your back until the guy behind the guy behind you gets his back scratched by the guy behind him.

Ad infinitum.

Guess what?

NOBODY gets their back scratched simply because everybody is waiting for the guy behind him to scratch his back so he can scratch the back of the guy in front of him.

Therefore, an infinite regression of past events, each one conditioned by the event prior to itself and conditiong the event after itself, means that nothing exists.

But something does exist.

Therefore, an infinite regression of past events, each one comditioned y the event prior to itself and conditioning the event after itself, is impossible.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:37 pm 
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Doom wrote:
pax wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Perhaps a definition of "thing" on pax's part would be helpful. Do you have one handy?


According to Father Spitzer, time is an asymmetrical “non-contemporaneous distensive manifold” which separates events.



Manifold? Is he using that word in the technical sense, i.e. a topological manifold, i.e. a second countable Hausdorff space which is locally homeomorphic to Euclidean space? I've never heard time described as a topological manifold before... :scratch:


You will have to ask the good Father that question.

But, now that you are here, what do you say about David Hilbert's paper "On the Infinite"? Father Spitzer uses Hilbert's prohibition against a non-imaginary infinity to support his definition of time as a series of asymmetrical aggregate events (I hope I got that right).

On the Infinite by David Hilbert

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