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Thread: B Theory Of Time...

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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    That's what it would mean in A-theory, I don't think so with respect to B-theory. There is no motion between the clips in a static roll of film.
    A thing being in different spatial positions at different moments in time is the very definition of locomotion, whether on the A-Theory or the B-Theory. I'm honestly unsure why you think temporal becoming has anything to do with it.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    A thing being in different spatial positions at different moments in time is the very definition of locomotion, whether on the A-Theory or the B-Theory. I'm honestly unsure why you think temporal becoming has anything to do with it.
    Would you say that the cells on the static roll of film are in motion?

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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Would you say that the cells on the static roll of film are in motion?
    Are those cells in different spatial positions at different points in time?
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    Are those cells in different spatial positions at different points in time?
    It's analogous, BP. If you were to unfurl the roll and lay out flat the length of film it's analogous to the Block universe in which the whole of spacetime is real. Each cell represents an event in time and a position in space, but the whole of the film represents the whole of spacetime. Nothing actually changes with repect to the whole of the film, even though each event, each cell, differs with respect to time.

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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    It's analogous, BP.
    It's a false analogy. I said that motion is when a thing has a different spatial position at one moment in time than it does at another. You then tried to make an analogy to something which is in the same spatial position at different moments in time.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    It's a false analogy. I said that motion is when a thing has a different spatial position at one moment in time than it does at another. You then tried to make an analogy to something which is in the same spatial position at different moments in time.
    Okay, analogies aren't exact, but I can't come up with a better one at the moment. The only point I'm trying to make, and it seems we won't agree on this, is that a solid block spacetime is an object in which nothing actually changes, because the entirety of it has always been. I guess you don't agree with that, and you haven't convinced me otherwise either. I honestly wish you could have, but I'm not just not seeing it in your explanations. Btw, Einstein, the man who recognized time to be a dimension, did say "I recognize that it's not the fault of the axe murderer, that he is an axe murderer, but I wouldn't want to sit at tea with him." Einstein didn't believe in free will, and neither did his idol, Spinoza.

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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Okay, analogies aren't exact, but I can't come up with a better one at the moment. The only point I'm trying to make, and it seems we won't agree on this, is that a solid block spacetime is an object in which nothing actually changes, because the entirety of it has always been. I guess you don't agree with that, and you haven't convinced me otherwise either. I honestly wish you could have, but I'm not just not seeing it in your explanations.
    I've already defined change in a manner in which I thought we agreed-- in fact, I deliberately chose a definition for change which was given by a professed A-Theorist, Ed Feser. I'll offer it again, just to be sure that we are on the same page:

    Change is the gain or loss of a property in a persistent entity.

    Do you agree with that definition? If so, do you agree that on the B-Theory an entity at time t may have different properties than that entity does at time t+1?

    Btw, Einstein, the man who recognized time to be a dimension, did say "I recognize that it's not the fault of the axe murderer, that he is an axe murderer, but I wouldn't want to sit at tea with him." Einstein didn't believe in free will, and neither did his idol, Spinoza.
    I'm not saying that he never said such a thing. However, I've never actually read that quote in any of his work and a quick Google search didn't turn up anything on it. If you have a reference for it, I'd be much appreciative! I'll always welcome new insights into the man.
    Last edited by Boxing Pythagoras; Yesterday at 03:07 AM.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    I've already defined change in a manner in which I thought we agreed-- in fact, I deliberately chose a definition for change which was given by a professed A-Theorist, Ed Feser. I'll offer it again, just to be sure that we are on the same page:

    Change is the gain or loss of a property in a persistent entity.

    Do you agree with that definition? If so, do you agree that on the B-Theory an entity at time t may have different properties than that entity does at time t+1?

    I'm not saying that he never said such a thing. However, I've never actually read that quote in any of his work and a quick Google search didn't turn up anything on it. If you have a reference for it, I'd be much appreciative! I'll always welcome new insights into the man.
    BP, I have been following this interchange and it occurs to me, no one has clearly and unambiguously defined "time." Can you?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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  9. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    BP, I have been following this interchange and it occurs to me, no one has clearly and unambiguously defined "time." Can you?
    Well, obviously "time" will be defined differently depending on whether you believe the A or B series properly represents reality, so I'm not sure if "time" can be "clearly and unambiguously defined in such a way that people on both sides agree.

    I for example, tend to view "time" as the totality of change across all existence, so for me, "time" is not a real thing in and of itself, but simply change, and time going slower or faster would simply be the processes of change slowing down or speeding up. So for me, time is not a dimension in which change is made possible, but is that very change itself.

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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    BP, I have been following this interchange and it occurs to me, no one has clearly and unambiguously defined "time." Can you?
    Not easily, no. Unfortunately, whether one is an A-Theorist or a B-Theorist it is notoriously difficult to come up with a clear and cogent definition for Time. Classically, especially in the Aristotelian line, people have tried to define time as a relational measure of change; unfortunately, that then requires defining "change," which usually leads to circularity since it is rather difficult to define change without appealing to Time or notions of temporality.

    More modern understandings of Time become a bit more difficult to lay out, as at the very least they have to account for Relativity. Even that, however, is known to be lacking since Relativity is known to be incompatible with quantum mechanics. So far, the best ideas for defining space-time seem to be related to quantum mechanics, particularly as regards entanglement and decoherence.

    TL;DR-- Clearly and unambiguously? No, I don't think I can.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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