Comments

  • Is time travel possible if the A theory of time is correct?
    The idea of time travel is that someone (or something) is moving in time (at a different than normal rate), while everyone and everything else goes on as if nothing happened.SophistiCat

    If that is the case, then the standard conception of backwards time travel of simply going back to the past is strictly impossible, because your actions from there on out will inevitably affect the present, and everything from the time you have left will not go on "as if nothing happened".

    However, I don't think there is any specific definition of what time travel is, apart it being some mechanism that can get you to a world which is in "2000 AD". There are many different ways which one can conceivably do just that in fiction, some of which involve divergence (like multiverse theory) and others which don't (like simply rewinding the universe).
  • Is time travel possible if the A theory of time is correct?
    Suppose that the metaphysics behind the A theory of time is correct, is it possible to travel to the year 2024 (or the "future") or the year 2000 (or the "past") or does time travel require the B theory of time to be correct?Walter Pound

    Travel to 2024 is simple. Just wait 5 years or less and the passage of time will take you there. Of course, it's past travel is where things get tricky. If one assumes presentism, then there is no time that exists apart from the one that we are in in 2019. Because there exists no year 2000 destination to travel to, then it's impossible to really "travel" to 2000 like you would "travel" to France for vacation. But that doesn't mean you can't create your destination. Just think of the universe as if it were a movie playing on a VHS, and hit the rewind button. Give it 19 years and soon you'll find youself in the year 2000. Simple as that. No extra times or 3D universes required and everything is kept in the present.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    Best I can explain the general stance is that eternalism gives equal ontological status to all events. What that status is isn't necessarily part of the view. My opinion on that is certainly not typical of eternalists.noAxioms

    Suppose I am an ontological nihilist who believes that nothing exists, including events. In that sense, all events have the same ontological status, that of not existing. Would that count as "eternalism" then under your view?
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    I thought I was pretty explicit in my comment there, so you either have no understanding, or you refuse to accept the way I am using the word.noAxioms

    Of course I have no understanding of the way you are using the word, and I have tried to make it explicit why in my analysis, which you have declined to comment on. If you have a disagreement with the way I have analyzed your definition, then please point out where that disagreement is.

    The reason why I have been using "currently" is because that is the only way I can make sense of your claims, but I very much welcome an alternative conception, so long as it makes sense. Indeed, that is the very reason why I am having this discussion with you.

    I have given some points where we may differ and what I find lacking in each of them but if you don't want to engage with them, then I would assume that either you don't have an actual response, in which I suggest you reevaluate your views, or you're just not willing to respond for whatever reason.

    So you're not trying to drive it to self-inconsistency, but merely decline to accept it, which is fine.noAxioms

    It's neither. Like I just said, it's that I don't understand it. My acceptance of eternalism isn't really relevant here since my main goal is to try to understand what "tenseless existence" amounts to.

    And again I must add that this isn't really just a problem exclusive to me. There is actually an entire debate centered around what eternalism even means, and I think it's this idea that there is some form of non-temporal existence that leads people to draw mistaken or confused ideas about these views about time, which includes questioning whether the eternalism vs. presentism debate is merely semantical, which it obviously isn't. I would suggest you look at the link I gave you earlier to the triviality problem, but if you don't know where that is, then here's the link again here. If you don't want to respond to my points, then feel free to respond to theirs. Or not, it's up to you.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    I'm asking you to explain it for me since that's much more faster than asking me to read a 42 page paper. I assume you read the link yourself. Or maybe you never did in which case it's probably a good idea to not chime into discussions all arrogant when you have no clue what you're talking about.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    No one is claiming that space flows. If they did, then you can rest assured that that flow would need to be with respect to something.Inis

    Of course no one isn't. All physical objects exist in a backdrop, called space. What backdrop does space exist in? Perhaps we need a hyperspace to contain space. But what backdrop does hyperspace exist in? And so on and so forth.

    Claiming that space and time are merely the setting for events is B-theory.Inis

    Nope.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    That everything at all times exists (some say exists "simpliciter"); i.e. the block universe theory.Luke

    And what does "exists simpliciter" mean here? This is just replacing one word with another. It could mean "existed, exists, or will exist", but that doesn't really get us anywhere new. Don't know what else it could possibly mean though so if you have something then now is a good a time as any.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    Couldn't it equally be said that the tensed version of existence is reducible to the tenseless version?Luke

    What is the tenseless version of existence then? That is what I am trying to get at here. I have no clue what the notion of saying something exists means other than saying that it either was, is, or will be.

    Presentism is the view that only present objects exist.A Defense of Presentism, Ned Markosian

    Some people would suggest that that definition is trivial. "Of course everything that exists is present, that is what 'exists' means!", they'd claim, and in a sense they'd be right. I believe that in all views about time wouldn't disagree with the notion that what exists is present at heart, but where they differ is in really the extent of what exists (that and whether there is this thing called the passage of time). Markosian brings up the idea of listing "existing" things, which is a good place to start. The presentist's list would be much smaller than the growing block theorists, and the growing block theorist's list would be smaller than the eternalist.

    If time flows, as A-theory claims, what does it flow with respect to?Inis

    This is like asking "what contains space?". It's a confused question that I think is based upon the mistake of treating the background as part of the foreground. Space and time are the setting for objects to exist and events to take place, but they are not objects and events themselves.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    The fact that 'exist' appears on both sides. 'Exist' means 'presently existing'. 'Hot' means has a hot temperature. Those are useless circular definitions.noAxioms

    Fine then I can substitute those terms with "is", "was" and "will be". Doesn't really change my point that those are the only senses in which I can understand something existing. There shouldn't be any problem in understanding what they mean which was what I am concerned about here.

    If I say a T-Rex exists, I mean it is a member of the set of objects contained in the universe. I don't mean it is a member of the set of objects currently contained in the universe.noAxioms

    I still do not see how you're using the term "is" in a manner that isn't present tensed though. Also what exactly is in the "set of objects contained in the universe"? I assume that it is going to contain the set of objects that are currently contained in the universe. In addition, I imagine that you're also going to say that the set of objects contained in the universe also includes the set of objects that once existed in the universe, of which your T-Rex is a member of. Finally, you will probably also say that it includes the set of objects that will be contained in the universe as well, so as to include things like the 2024 Olympic Stadium, which you will say "exist" as well under the B-theory.

    The problem as I see it, though, is that these are the only sets that I can think of. I do not know of any other sets that could or should be included in your set and from my point of view, those three sets mentioned above are exhaustive. And if these three sets are all that exhaust what you mean by the "set of objects contained in the universe" then to say that something "exists" under your use of the term is just another way of saying that it either "was, is, or will be", all of which are temporal forms of existence. So this doesn't really offer up a new form of existence at all, one that isn't reducible to a tensed version of existence.

    Of course, you may want to say that there are actually other sets that could be included in the "set of objects contained in the universe", but this just leads us back to the original problem. Just like you want to find a fourth sense of "existence" you need to find a set of existing objects that is distinct from the ones that I've just described.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    I dislike calling it B-theory since that name includes growing block view, which is still presentism.noAxioms
    :brow:
    All three of those are circular definitions, and thus not really definitions.noAxioms
    How so? What's so circular about them?
    I did my best to describe how I use the word in the tail of my prior post. You didn't comment on it.noAxioms
    It means 'is a member of' [the universe], and not just 'is a current member of'.noAxioms
    What does "is" mean here? I take it that "is" means that it currently is, but then again, I'd think you would have a problem with that so if you have an alternative conception then please take this opportunity to offer one. I still have yet to understand what other sense of "exists" there is if there is one.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    But as for the run of the mill B-theorist, they'd not ever say that the universe exists now, or it once existed, or will exist.noAxioms

    I'd imagine that alot of them would try to say that, but that leads to an incoherent view which in turn leads to confusion and mistakes. Confusion to the point where people even question whether or not there is an actual disagreement between the A and B-theories of time. And when you have people questioning the substance of a core issue in a field of philosophy, you know that something's gone wrong.

    I think a lot of people see the universe as an object like that, coming into being somehow from non-being, just like every actual object in the universe. I don't. I think it contradicts what a universe should be.noAxioms

    I don't think a creation event or beginning to time exists either, but that is irrelevant to the B-theory or the A-theory since an eternal universe is compatible with both.

    Are you saying you don't understand the view or you simply disagree with it? It's hard to tell from you posts.noAxioms

    I have an understanding of the B-theory and the A-theory of time which I believe captures the essence what most people understand the view to be. That version of the B-theory I also happen to disagree with but that is not something I will go into here.

    The problem that I have is how A-theorists and B-theorists describe their views, which I honestly find baffling given how confusing it can be. I feel like the reason why some people (don't know if Terrapin Station is a part of that group) say that the B-theory is nonsensical is because they hear phrases such as "all times exist, but by 'exist' I don't mean it in the way we traditionally mean it". Well what does it even mean then? Given the lack of a satisfactory response on some fourth "tenseless" version of existence, then one may conclude that the view makes no sense at all.

    You seem to want a different word since you disapprove of it being said that those events 'exist' in the same way that I exist. Then I would still balk at that same word being used to say that the universe exists, since it doesn't seem to be an event or a created object or anything.noAxioms

    It's not that I disapprove of the word being used. I gave a number of different ideas of what the B-theorist idea of "all times exist" could mean, and all of them are A-series terms, which you have denied. My question is what other meaning of "exists" could there be if it doesn't refer to "presently existing", "did exist" or "will exist". Feel free to use the term, but just be clear on what it means.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    There is no 'the present' or 'now' in the view, so I'm not sure what is being referred to with that comment.noAxioms

    What I am saying is that first part of your sentence, that there is no "present" or "now" doesn't make sense. There is no meaning to the idea that the "block universe exists" without stating that it either exists now, did exist, or will exist.

    We cannot eliminate the present from our discussion, especially if we are talking about what exists (which is by the way, a present tense term). Just look at our conversation right now, for instance which is embedded in the now.

    As a result, I believe that all views about time are "presentist" to the extent that everything that is said to "exist" is presently existing. It is sort of trivial, but that is what "exists" technically means (as again, it is a present tense term). Of course, this is not to say that we cannot distinguish the views about time in a substantive way, as I do believe that there is a deep disagreement between them, but such a difference shouldn't be based upon a rejection of the above statement.
  • B theory of time and free will vs determinism debate
    A-series terms which leads to nonsense when discussing a B-series view. So "could have done otherwise" is an example of an A version of the definition.noAxioms

    Well, what sort of non A-series terms are there? I actually think the attempt to remove A-series terms from a description of the B-series is what leads to nonsense (such as this whole "triviality problem" that people are currently discussing about the A vs. B theories of time). Just take what you said later as an example:

    The block view just is (my emphasis).noAxioms

    What could the "is" mean other than that it is present, or that it exists now (both being A-series terms)? Of course, I imagine you don't want to say that you mean that by your use of the term, but what else could it possibly be? A tenseless use of the term? What could that possibly mean?

    Now as for my own views on the matter, I think that the B-theory of time does make alot of A-series terms irrelevant, but does not eliminate them altogether. The idea that things "will happen" or "did happen" make no sense in a world where time doesn't pass.
  • Arguments for discrete time
    Problem is that means a second and a year would have the same information content which does not seem right. Clearly more information in a year - the continuum seems paradoxical. Maybe it's one of those concepts that we can conceive of in our minds but never occurs in reality? Reality seems deeply logical and free of paradoxes.Devans99

    Thing is, you're arguing against the opposite of my position. I never advocated for the point continuum where everything is made up of an infinite number of points (which would lead to your criticism), but instead a gunky continuum that doesn't contain any such fundamental units at all. Personally, I find the point continuum to be a useful tool that doesn't describe reality, but that does not mean I take reality to be discrete, which is a concept I also consider to be problematic in other ways.
  • Arguments for discrete time
    What structure does time have if it's not a series of instants?Devans99

    Just a series of events without any smallest units. Similarly space without points would simply be space without any fundamental composition. There is no need for time to be a series of instants or fundamental units any more than there is a need for space to be composed of fundamental units or points.

    But if an event has no duration it would not exist. 'Now' could not exist if it had zero duration. Think about filming someone for zero seconds - you'd have no film right?Devans99

    I never said that there are events that are instantaneous nor that time is composed of them. Quite the opposite really.
  • Arguments for discrete time
    I have a couple of arguments for time being discrete rather than continuous (actually similar arguments can be used for discrete space too). Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    1. A point in space cannot have size=0 because it would only exist in our minds and not reality (no width; insubstantial)
    2. Similarly, the point in time ’now’ cannot have length=0 (if it exists for 0 seconds, it does not exist)
    3. Or if a ‘now’ had length=0, then a second would contain 1/0=UNDEFINED ‘nows’
    4. So ‘now’ has length >0
    5. Can’t be length = 1/∞ because ∞ does not exist (∞ + 1 > ∞ making a nonsense of ∞. Or if you define ∞ + 1 = ∞, implies 1 = 0)
    6. So a ‘now’ has a finite, non-zero length. Time is composed of a chain of ’nows’ so time must be discrete

    Or

    a) Imagine a second and a year
    b) By the definition of continuous, both time period are graduated identically (to infinite precision).
    c) So there must be the same information content in both (same number of time frames: ∞)
    d) But a year should contain more information than a second
    e) Reductio ad absurdum, time must be discrete
    Devans99

    Who says the temporal continuum needs to contain instants? Likewise who says that the spatial continuum needs to be pointy? Perhaps the continuum has no fundamental level at all, no unit with which all other quantities are multiples of.

    If that is the case, then the idea of "now" as a snapshot moment in time is mistaken and the passage of time as a succession of said moments (not unlike a succession of strips on a piece of film) is also confused. This is what you seem to implicitly assume in the your argument. Just as objects may be distant from one another without any fundamental length, events simply come and go continuously without any fundamental duration.
  • Time and the law of contradiction
    It's continuous, as opposed to discrete? "Gunky" seems to imply a mixture of both.Metaphysician Undercover

    I don't define the terms. I would've liked to refer to it as continuous, but there are also continuums that contain fundamental units in the form of dimensionless points/instants which should be contrasted with that of gunk.

    In any case, this discussion is getting off-topic.
  • Time and the law of contradiction

    Means it doesn't have instants, no fundamental units. Gunky space has no points either if you're wondering.
  • Time and the law of contradiction
    If that is how we must view time then the LNC is meaningless because it requires the notion of an instant of time. Nothing happens in an instant/moment/single point of time.TheMadFool

    The LNC can be expressed without instants of time just fine. Take the statement "I am happy during the interval of 1pm - 2pm". This statement is incompatible with the statement that "I am sad during the interval of 1pm - 2pm" as that would imply that "I am not happy during the interval of 1pm - 2pm". A clear contradiction as both statements overlap one another and require inconsistent ideas to hold during the same period of time. This can all be stated even in a world where time is gunky.
  • Does science make ontological or epistemological claims?


    So far as I understand it, scientific theories consist solely of models which are used to make predictions about the world. These predictions are then tested in experiments which would either confirm or falsify them. However, none of these models are, strictly speaking, tied to any particular sort of ontological view of the world in and of themselves. A good example of this would be with Quantum Mechanics and the many, many, different ontological interpretations that are often attached to the theory (though you'll also find the same sort of situation in other theories like Relativity to a lesser extent), some of which treat the world as indeterministic, and others as a multiverse, to name a couple. In that sense, they have no relevance to matters of ontology or epistemology. Any attempt to attach an ontological view to a scientific theory would thus be going beyond the model itself and into the realm of philosophy.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    That's why I wonder about before-before, which blatantly puts cause well after effect, and in any reference frame. Or at least it does in non-local interpretations.noAxioms

    Again, the paper suggests otherwise. Given that my expertise on the matter is not that deep, that your knowledge level on the issue appears to be similar to mine, and the fact that the source that I have referenced appears to know much more about the before-before experiment then either you and me, I can only take his word on the matter that the before-before experiment does not violate causality under non-local interpretations, contrary to your own claims..

    The thing about the before-before experiment is that there isn't that much literature on it. The only person who seems to be writing about it extensively is the author of the source that I have referenced, Antoine Suarez. At least this is what I've gotten from google searches into the matter.

    I assume that you would probably make the same statements about causality violation for other attempts at proving retrocausality in QM. The delayed choice quantum eraser comes to mind here. With respect to experiments like those, I can certainly say that the apparent retrocausal effects found in those experiments are merely that and that different interpretations, including that of Bohmian Mechanics, can accomodate it without giving up causality. There is alot more literature on the matter that would demonstrate that.

    It has that. Is this something different than Lorentz Ether Theory, because I found no mention of flow in any description of it. Maybe Neo-Lorentz adds that on top of LET.

    LET and the Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation are one and the same. In other words, LET was simply the scientific theory of SR with the Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation. I don't know if there is any explicit mention of the flow of time in it's description, but it would be hard to deny that it included one given that it preserves the traditional view of absolute time.

    How could CMB possibly suggest a preferred moment??? A preferred frame, sure, but not preferred moment. The A-Theorists similarly do not base their definition of the preferred moment on the CMB. Their moment is simply 'now'. Easy-peasy.

    So do you think that the preferred moment should be equated with the set of moments picked out by the CMB? It seems like one moment you think that it should (like in your previous response to me), then the next you think it shouldn't (like you are here).

    I do not understand these paragraphs. I think you meant to say preferred frame. What is 'physically distinguished'?

    We've just gone over how the CMB frame was not physically distinguished in the sense given by the postulates of relativity.

    Since there is no difference between the CMB frame and any other in that sense, then that should give us reason to not take the former to represent the preferred moment that the A-theorists want. At least, this is part of the reason why I feel hesitant to call the CMB frame anything more than one that has some interesting properties.

    It would be a different matter if that wasn't the case though. If the laws of physics do single out a particular foliation of events then it seems to be more of a stretch to deny that the present moment picked out by such a foliation is not the same as that of the metaphysical present, at least in my opinion.

    All causes seem to be effects of prior causes, but barring an infinite past, there must be a first cause, uncaused. Surely you've heard of that. Block theory has one, but it is just a (perhaps blank) initial condition. Not sure how becoming is expected to fit into that.

    I suppose I don't find anything wrong with an infinite past, or infinities in general really, but I don't want to argue that here. There's also the possibility of cyclical time as well, if one doesn't want a first cause or an infinite past.

    The block universe, as I understand it, is compatible with a first cause or none at all. It doesn't necessarily have one or none.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    A model is considered time ordered when it proposes that a cause event tomorrow can effect a measurement taken yesterday in the same place? Perhaps I don't know what 'time ordered' means, as used in that article. The one picture in there showed non-local influence arrow in a spooky-action setup, and without a preferred frame, the direction of the arrow would be ambiguous. So maybe that's what they mean by time-ordered: Not that the arrow always points forward, just that it doesn't point either way. In the before-before, it doesn't point in an ambiguous direction. It is consistently pointing backwards.noAxioms

    I feel like you're being obtuse at this point. I see no ambiguity in the use of "time-ordered". It means that causes always precede their effects in time. The author has been pretty clear in referring to time-order in that sense. Here are a few examples:

    Section 2 considers time-ordered Leggett models assuming thatone event can be considered the cause (occurring before in time), and the other the effect (occurring later in time). — Antoine Suarez

    “Nonlocal realism” (as defined in [1, 5]) fails if experiment proves wrong that one of two non-locally correlated events occurs before and is the cause of the other.

    Models assuming that the “realistic” mechanism happens in a single preferred frame even in relativistic experiments with devices in motion, are not refuted by the before-before experiment, but such models bear a fundamental oddity: since they assume that each event has a cause preceding it in time, they actually dispose of the freedom of the experimenter.

    My emphasis on all except for the second. The last is more relevant to the discussion than the others. The reason why, to my understanding, that the experiment does not undermine causality is because models such as that of the Bohm interpretation restrict the freedom of the experimenters. The experiment is already predetermined, which is to be expected of a deterministic theory.

    Thus, if one wishes to save time-ordered causality one is forced to assume that the outcomes are determined at the beam splitters (like De Broglie and Bohm did). — Antoine Suarez

    Any "retrocausality" observed would only be apparent.

    Only SR says it is undetectable. GR does not, since it isn't just a local theory. There are non-local tests for an isomorphic foliation, which isn't an inertial frame, but seems to be the most viable candidate for some kind of preferred ordering of all events anywhere.noAxioms

    As far as I can tell, the CMB frame is not a physically distinguished frame in the sense that a preferred frame in SR is physically distinguished (as in the laws of physics are observed to be different in that frame). In that sense, so much as it is preferred, such a fact would be undetectable.

    For that matter, I don't understand what possible problem is solved by growing block as opposed to presentism. I looked up the wiki page, and it defined it, but went no further in pointing out a single benefit of it.

    It solves the problem of truthmakers for the past. In saying that the past exists and is real, the Growing Block Theorist has the resources to talk about it unlike the Presentist. Personally I think the truthmaker argument begs the question against Presentism in assuming that truthmakers all must currently exist, but I won't go into that here.

    The Minkowski model is one specifically of a block scenario. It is a straight metaphysical interpretation of time, making no empirical predictions distinct from the flowing model. Einstein drew on the mathematics of this model and Lorentz's work in producing his theory of relativity. But yes, the theory of relativity does not itself assert those metaphysics. It just uses the mathematics of spacetime, and refers regularly to spacetime as a unified whole.

    Sorry, I thought you were just referring to QM interpretations, and missed the "relativistic". In that case, the alternative interpretations to the Minkowski Spacetime such as the Neo-Lorentz interpretation of SR do include a flow of time as it is supposed to preserve the traditional view of time as a dynamic succession of events in a 3D universe. Such an evolution refers to what people often understand as becoming.

    Really?? Do any of them suggest another, like the frame of the solar system perhaps? That would suit the purpose of some people that would seem to have a requirement for A-theory.

    It's not really the A-theorists who are making that claim, but the B-theorists who are objecting to the CMB as a means of defining a preferred moment because it appears to be arbitrary to do so. According to them there is no clear link between the CMB and the preferred moment in metaphysics that should lead us to equate one with the other. In a sense, I can see where they're coming from since, as noted above, the CMB is not physically distinguished like we would want it to be. In that regard, we have just as much reason to prefer it over any other alternative foliation of events.

    Of course, if the CMB were to be physically distinguished and people are making the same objections then that'd be another story altogether, for one could very well have made such an objection prior to relativity in the 1800s with respect to the absolute time of Newtonian physics. At that point it would be unreasonable to require that there needs to be a neon light sign that says "This is a preferred moment of metaphysics" over the preferred moment picked out by physics in order to say that they are both equivalent.

    It does? I wasn't there at the time. Couldn't say.

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. The entire thread is based around that specific argument.

    I find becoming to be difficult to explain, with all the uncaused-cause contradictions.

    This is confusing to me. Becoming conceptually requires no uncaused causation, and even I see nothing contradictory about an uncaused cause.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    No frame, preferred or otherwise puts cause before effect in the Bohmian interpretation of before-before results. So I guess I don't understand where the article addresses that. The two events are separated time-like, so there is no ambiguity to their ordering that can be disambiguated with a preferred frame.noAxioms

    This just sounds like a bald assertion on my end. The issue of a preferred frame model is clearly addressed in the section that is titled as such. Again, the author refers to the preferred frame model of Bohmian Mechanics explicitly as one that is time ordered, and admits that it's empirical predictions are compatible with the correlations found in the before-before experiment. Take no offense, but at this point, I am more willing to side with his view over yours.

    From what I read, A-theory includes growing block and presentism, which differ in the ontological status of past events, but both posit the flow of a preferred moment, so all my comments about presentism so far also can be applied to growing block. Perhaps you can explain the distinction if it is more than that.

    There's also the moving spotlight view of time as well, which says that all events in the universe's history exist but that there is a dynamic spotlight that shines on the set of events that represents the present. This is what I have told you at my first reply.

    I'm saying that no QM or relativistic interpretation seems to propose flowing time. I'm probably wrong, but I'm just unaware of one. Some assert a preferred frame, but that isn't flow.

    No interpretation says anything about the existence of the block universe either. None of them have any direct say on the matters of the metaphysics of time. The only thing that I can say is that, in including a preferred frame, some interpretations are more compatible with the idea of a flow of time than others.

    Relativity just says it isn't locally detectable. Non-locally, one does suggest itself, and GR very much acknowledges it. It is the foliation where spatial expansion is symmetric/isomorphic.

    Yeah, the direct implication of Relativity's postulates is that if there were such a preferred frame, it would not be empirically detectable, which some have taken to be evidence of it's nonexistence. The CMB is taken by some to be a preferred foliation of the universe in a sense, but it is debatable whether it is good enough for the A-theorist's purposes.

    The concept of becoming seems required only for the flowing model, but doesn't fit well at all with the block model. That's a good deal of the appeal of the block model is it doesn't need to explain the becoming.

    I would actually argue that, in rejecting the idea of becoming, the block model has more trouble accounting for why the universe appears to become in time (given its structure), and that this is a weakness of the view relative to its alternative. This is the argument that I have been trying to push here in this thread.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    I don't see a description of before/before. I see it named, but not described.noAxioms

    Not sure why you feel the need to say that. If you're concerned about whether the author understands the before-before experiment or is knowledgeable of it, than he is one of the two people who proposed the very idea in the first place and one of the main authors of papers about the experiment from what I can see.

    Unfortunately, the before-before experiment (which I didn't see described) very much violates time-ordering since the effect measurement events by Alice and Bob are separated from the cause decision event by Victor in a time-like separation, not a space-like separation.

    The article very explicitly addresses the before-before experiment and clearly states that preferred frame models such as that of Bohmian mechanics do not violate time-ordering. You're free to disagree with that but that is what the article states.

    I'm not sure how Bohmian mechanics describes the before-before experiment. I thought it explained spooky-action through hidden variables, not through time ordered non-local influence, but I don't see how hidden variables can explain before-before.

    It's both. Bohmian Mechanics is a deterministic non-local hidden variable interpretation.

    BTW, none of this directly relates to presentism, or A-theory as you call it.

    Presentism is not equal to the A-theory. It is a subset of it. What the argument in the OP tries to support are the set of views that include a passage of time, Presentism being one of them.

    A preferred frame is not a preferred moment, even if a preferred moment seems to require a preferred foliation if not a frame.

    A preferred frame/foliation allows us to define an absolute order of events, and in turn the preferred moment. The reason why Relativity undermines the idea of a preferred moment is because it states that there is no way to choose one frame or foliation of events, and that therefore there isn't any preferred frame/foliation. Without it, we would not be able to make sense of the passage of time, as least that is how it is commonly viewed. Now there appear to be some who dispute this, who claim that a concept of becoming can exist without a global now but for the most part I am just going off of the traditional opinion on the matter.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    Both chrome and IE show no page, just the download.noAxioms

    Okay, here's a separate link from another site. For the record, I'm using chrome so best start there.

    OK, but your thoughts were only that it doesn't have collapse. It does.noAxioms

    Um, no. My thoughts were mainly that I thought it sounded idealistic (again not saying it is idealism). The idea that it didn't contain collapse was an incorrect assumption on my part. But like you said earlier, this is all irrelevant.

    I might say I support this interpretation, but you'd then say that means I find the other interpretations wrong, and I don't. So I am again agnostic by the way you explain above. To deny other interpretations is to deny that they are inconsistent with themselves. That they are inconsistent with my preferences is evidence of nothing if I have no empirical evidence that my preferences are correct.noAxioms

    It depends on what you mean by "support" then. If by the term you meant that you find that interpretation more useful as a practical tool for understanding QM, then that's one thing. Some physicists may find the block universe model helpful as a tool to do relativity, but that is not really taking a metaphysical stance. Similarly, I don't find my oven "wrong" just because I prefer to microwave my food. They are just alternative tools to do the same job.

    However, if you mean that you believe in one interpretation being true, then if that interpretation is logically incompatible (as in mutually exclusive) with another interpretation, then you believe that other interpretation to be wrong. If I believe that object over there is a square, then that means that I think it isn't a circle. It is just a matter of basic logic so you simply can't have it both ways, but if you disagree with this for whatever reason, then I'm not gonna push it.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    Cannot read it. It downloads a pdf with an unreadable font.noAxioms

    It should be viewable without download in the link provided. Just scroll down.

    Neither of those interpretations require the observer to be a living thing. As I said, a rock will do.

    I wasn't disputing that. I understand that the definition of an "observer" needn't refer to a guy in a lab coat.

    We're getting kind of off-topic here.

    Agreed that the issue appears to be irrelevant to the OP. Just giving my own side thoughts about the relational interpretation since it was brought up and all.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    A good habit to hunt down critique. Helps point out which parts on which focus should be placed. I do it myself for papers whether or not I agree with them. I'll try to look at that link closer, but a good deal of it is beyond me.noAxioms

    No worries. I won't be able to fully engage with it anyways at least until I get a proper education on these matters so we're mostly in the same boat here.

    Idealism has to do with relations to consciousness. The relational view, being non-anthropocentric, is relative to anything at all.

    I never said it was idealistic, just that it has a very idealistic tone to it since it makes everything observer dependent. I suppose the same problems I have with it are similar to that of the copenhagen interpretation. You know that quote about the moon not being there where you're not looking at it? That's what first came to my mind.

    Relation interpretation has collapse. Collapse is what makes the red ball real. MWI does not have collapse.

    So it is. What I wanted to say was that I thought the copenhagen interpretation allowed for some observer independent states after collapse, unlike the relational interpretation, but that may not be correct.

    Bohmian mechanics is not refuted by any experiment. I never claimed that. It just denies locality, and so allows effect before cause, as does any interpretation that denies locality. That makes the interpretaion invalid only if you assert otherwise.

    And if you look at the paper I linked the author seems to suggest otherwise. He brings up the problems with the preferred frame view (it's empirical unobservability, the free will problem), but he does not mention the lack of a time order which he considers to refute the other non-local views.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    You can also look at Tegmark's paper referenced at the top of that answer. It is 400 pages and I think only deals with the dimensionality aspect.noAxioms

    Actually, I had a look at the paper linked and it was just 7 pages long. I think you're mixing up the book with the paper.

    I was actually able to follow a good portion of it surprisingly, but unfortunately, I don't consider myself to be capable of engaging with these arguments in a proper manner. Regardless, I still checked the citation list for the article to see what others thought of it (a habit of mine), and I found some objections (here is one of them) to the unpredictability argument that Tegmark promotes in his paper. Not sure what to make of it, but I'd thought I'd throw it out for those who do understand it to look at for themselves.

    The 'tachyons only' choice? You can publish that if you can think of a way for tachyons to interact coherently to be structure, let alone one that is a life form. The author Mauro seems to think so, but he omits Tegmarks commentary on that. I think Mauro is mistaking the condition for 3 space and 1 time, but everything moves faster than light, not slower.

    I honestly don't know, but I'm just going off of the summary that you gave me. Tachyons, though weird, are not completely impossible from what I can tell but I have no idea how they work to say one way or the other.

    I think it violates every attempt at a definition of life that I've seen. Perhaps you'd like to give one that would include this timeless configuration of state.

    If one is looking for a more practical definition of "life" then sure I am willing to grant that temporal persistence is necessary. But I wasn't trying to argue with those kinds of definitions.

    My concern is with the possibility that we could, as conscious beings, be located on a single static moment of time. Like the situation with Boltzmann Brains and Descartes Demon, I was willing to grant that, given what we currently find in our experience, that we cannot deduce that we are not such beings.

    So yes, can be thought of as one collective determined state. I call that soft determinism since the future measurement of some trivial experiment still cannot be predicted even given perfect knowledge of the system and infinite computing capability. It's determinism only because every possible result happens, and that list of results can be (and already is) computable. The relational interpretation is similar, but says the results that were not measured are not real (they didn't happen 'elsewhere'), and is therefore not a deterministic interpretation.

    Hmm, the relational interpretation sounds pretty idealistic to me. From what I've read it seems to suggest that there is nothing to the physical world other than our own observation of it. That is, there is no noumenon, no red ball in itself, since there is nothing to it if we are not looking at it. This goes further than the copenhagen interpretation since at least that view allows for the collapse of the wave function.

    I don't know what to make of that (especially since I am not qualified to look into it more deeply), but with regards to the topic in the thread, it doesn't seem to undermine the concept of time as we traditionally define it. Physical reality is constituted by the states that are observer dependent, but that doesn't undermine the view that it is a series of states of the same things. And neither does the many-worlds interpretation as far as I see it.

    No, there are quantum experiments that seemingly effect past measurements by decisions made in the future of those measurements. The before-before experiment is one of them. Only interpretations with locality explain that without reverse causation. A preferred frame helps not at all. The issue is not ambiguous ordering such as spooky action between two events outside each other's light cones. The issue here is blatant cause after effect between events that are within each other's light cones.

    No, I don't think this is correct. Contrary to your claims, it would appear that preferred frames are the only the thing that saves nonlocal interpretations like Bohmian Mechanics from being refuted by the before-before experiment. This paper is very relevant to that.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    The representation as a dimension would not reflect reality.noAxioms

    The representation would reflect reality as a dynamic succession of events. It would of course not reflect reality in the same way it would under the block universe, where time is all laid out like space, but that is not to say that it doesn't reflect the nature of the world.

    If there were no space, then yes, there would be just this linear series of events. But most pairs of events are ambiguously ordered (at least in the eternal model), so time would then not be a series of events.

    I believe you're focusing too much on the fact that there is no clearly preferred way of ordering events while ignoring the fact that no matter which way we do order them, space-time as a whole would be broken down to a series of events describing an evolving 3D universe.

    Time seems to be relevant only to causally related events, so time seem more to be a a product of a structure with causal relationships. That's how I tend to view it at least. YMMV.

    Even if you choose to view time in a local manner, I think that that is still enough to get my argument rolling. As it goes we represent events locally as a changing series of moments with all of the features mentioned above. The A-theory accounts for it through the passage of time, and the B-theory takes it as simply part of the structure of the Block Universe.

    I would think not. If there is a present, it is an absolute state, however undetectable, and other abstract slices of the block are simply misrepresentations of reality. There is no arbitrary choice about it. An arbitrary guess if something preferred suggests itself, and yes, it does.

    Doesn't matter. The fact that the Presentist would argue that past and future events aren't real does not change the fact that they do view reality as a series of events. Unless they are temporal solipsists, then they should not disagree with that understanding of time. The only difference between them and the Eternalist is that they would take these series of events to describe a succession of events via. the flow of time, while the Eternalist would view them as locations in the Block Universe.

    There's a list of stuff that can vary, and a list that cannot. Yes, the cosmological constant is one, and the hardest one to get to a workable value if you're just pulling random values out of your arse. I guess that implies a lot of bubbles.

    But does that list of stuff include the time dimension? I have yet to see a source that says yes.

    Try this, which was the first item on my little google of it:
    https://www.quora.com/If-there-are-3-physical-space-dimensions-why-arent-there-3-time-dimensions

    That isn't what I'm asking for. I wanted a source that says that under the inflationary multiverse, the number of dimensions of time does vary. This link doesn't do that. However it does address the other concern that I had about why we should prefer a 3+1 Universe on anthropic reasons. I am assuming you're referring me to the first answer in the post, which references Tegmark, but if not then please direct me to the appropriate answer.

    With regards to that answer, I don't think he actually demonstrates that life cannot work in a universe that does not contain one time dimension. In fact, the author seems to indicate that a world that contains 3 time dimensions and 1 space dimension is possible, albeit very strange, for life. That in itself would rule out the requirement for time to be linear. In addition, in addressing the possibility of multiple time dimensions, the author suggests that the problem with these universes lies in the fact that they are "unpredictable", but it isn't clear to me how that precludes life. Perhaps the argument is going over my head (likely is in a large sense) it apart from the strangeness, I don't see how life cannot work there.

    The article I linked gets into this.

    For the record, I was objecting to the idea that other combinations of dimensions is somehow incompatible with life, regardless of the sort of universe we these dimensions exist in. I'd imagine if we have sufficient freedom over other factors such as the laws of nature we could potentially build a world that contains multiple dimensions of space and time yet houses life.

    Yes, but most of them not macroscopic. We're counting the macroscopic ones here.

    Fair enough.

    Makes no sense to me. You seem to describe a photo of a dog, which is not a living thing. It isn't life if there are no dynamics.

    Not a photo of a dog, but a state of a universe containing a real dog while it's alive. Perhaps one can debate whether or not a single instant is sufficient for life, but I see no reason why it doesn't.

    Well, take the relational interpretation then, which has no meaningful state except as measured, and nothing measures the universe (the big bang is a point of view that sees nothing), so the universe has no state, just relations. Everett would say it has solutions to Schrodinger equations. Neither of those has meaningful state. The Bohmian interpretation has it (hard, single-outcome determinism), but it does so at the cost of cause before effect (locality). I personally find the latter more offensive, but that's just my taste.

    Not entirely sure if that really solves the problem or makes it worse. At least with respect to the Many-Worlds interpretation of Everett it would appear that the number of states that exist would be multiplied, since they would all be realized together. As for the Bohmian interpretation, I don't think that adopting non-locality would require rejecting causality, provided one introduce a preferred frame to preserve it. In a sense it would make the interpretation quite compatible with Presentism in that regard since it would give us reason to have a notion absolute time again, though I'd imagine that wouldn't make it any more appealing to you.

    I am a squishy eternalist. I only take firm stances against positions which don't seem self consistent.

    If you're an Eternalist then you think Presentism is wrong. That's what it means to be an Eternalist.
  • An Original Argument for the A-theory of Time
    The philosophical positions you are describing is presentism and eternalism, with the former asserting a flowing preferred moment in time separating all events into 3 distinct ontological states of happened, happening, and yet to happen. The latter gives equal ontological status to all events and disallows references to the nonexistent preferred moment.noAxioms

    Not really. The A-theory as I described it is meant to encompass all forms of the view, including the Moving-Spotlight and Growing Block views. If it was Presentism I was referring to exclusively, then I would've specified that only the present exists when describing that view. As for the B-theory being equated to Eternalism, that would be true simply because there are no other versions of the B-theory that people take seriously.

    The A-theory and B-theory for the purposes of this thread deal with the reality of the flow of time. Issues pertaining to the ontology of time are irrelevant.

    It is certainly more practical, which is why A-series is used in everyday language and intuition. I can similarly argue that B-series gives a more practical framework in which physics can be discussed. But lacking an empirical distinction between the two, I don't see a proof being likely. Everyday life can be awkwardly described in B-series, and physics can be awkwardly described in A-series.

    Note that first, I am not claiming to provide a proof of the A-theory, just an argument in it's favour.

    Second, the features that I am claiming here are accepted even in the context of physics. The laws of nature operate on the assumption that time is a connected linear series of events describing the story of the same universe.

    Finally, third, your argument for the B-theory pertains to a practical argument based upon it's usefulness in physics, while mine is an argument from explanation. Two different types of arguments.

    I can say the same with slices of space. The word 'history' carries an implication of a past, which is a presentist interpretation.

    How so? I'm curious to see you try. What exists in space can be completely random. They do not all represent different versions of the same object. However, the red ball at t1 and the red ball at t2 apparently do and we describe it as such. Space defines what things exist, while time defines how they exist.

    Spacetime has connectivity yes. Calling them slices is from the eternalist interpretation. The presentist would only have the one current state of space, with no other 'slices' to connect with it.

    The Presentist (nor the A-theorist) would not disagree with the representation of time as we normally understand it, where adjacent events are related to one another via causality. They would still understand time as a series of interconnected events.

    It isn't a dimension at all if time flows.

    Why? The Presentist (nor the A-theorist) again does not disagree with the representation of time as a linear series of events, so whether they all exist together or occur one by one is irrelevant. It wouldn't be a dimension like space of course but that is not to say that it cannot be described as a dimension at all.

    4D spacetime can have all four axes oriented arbitrarily, so yes, there's one time axis, but its orientation is arbitrary within the confines of the speed of light. Rotate beyond that, and a different axis assumes the role of the time axis.

    That is irrelevant, since it doesn't change the fact that there is only one time dimension in contrast to the three dimensions of space.

    Entropy defining the direction of the arrow. If entropy stabilizes, there would be no arrow.

    The objective status of the arrow of time isn't completely settled, so that is one area that I am willing to grant may not hold. However, that still leaves the other three features left unaccounted for.

    Both account for it all just fine.

    The question is not whether the B-theory is able to account for it. It can accommodate it simply by positing it as a brute fact about the nature of time, but that doesn't make it equal in strength to the A-theory's account of it, which I argue here explains it better.

    ??? It isn't in either view.

    Really? It seems very obvious that time is a series of events.

    The former has no slices, just a changing 3D state. The latter has a block with no slices other than abstracted considerations that can be oriented any way one chooses, similar to the way the 3D universe has no mandatory choice for the X axis.

    As stated before, the Presentist would still agree that time can be described with the features mentioned above. As for Eternalism, the fact that, under relativity, we can slice spacetime up in practically an inifnite number of ways does not change the fact that no matter how we look at it (under any given slicing), that time is a series of 3D slices of space.

    From what I've read on inflation theory, this is chance. There are a lot of dimensions and some inflation bubbles have different numbers of macroscopic spatial and time dimensions. So maybe one bubble has 2 spatial and 3 time dimensions.

    Not sure about this. I've heard inflation being used as a way of solving the cosmological constant problem, but varying constants is not the same as varying dimensions of time. People have also spoken about the "dimensionality" varying between universes, but as far as I can tell, this "dimensionality" that people speak about as varying refers strictly to space (and even then it is only the apparent dimensionality that is claimed to vary), not time, which is what I am concerned about. Do you have a reference that says that the time dimension can vary across bubble universes?

    Also given that inflation is a dynamical process, it should unfold in time no? If so, then I have trouble imagining how inflation would lead to the creation of universes with varying time dimensions given that the process of bubble universes being formed is something that occurs within a time dimension itself. Of course, it could be that I am misunderstanding something here, which is also a possibility.

    The idea of a multiverse is still debatable (at least of the stronger forms involved here), but if there can be other universes that exist along our own that contain more than one time dimension (or none at all), then that would undermine the linearity feature of my argument.

    Only the 3/1 configuration seems to allow the sort of physical mechanics that permits complex structures like atoms to form. Most of those strangely configured bubbles collapse immediately or explode into featureless fog. That 3/1 bit is part of a much longer list of tunings required to allow us to exist.

    This just sounds plainly wrong to me. I don't see why life would require 3+1 dimensions in order to exist. For one, such an idea would falsify string theory on the basis that the latter requires alot more than 3 dimensions of space to even work, but I imagine that they wouldn't be persuaded to drop it based upon anthropological concerns. In addition, on the issue of time, I also fail to see why life would require a single dimension of time in order to operate. Although it isn't clear to me what it would exactly mean to say that there is more than one dimension to time I do not see what about it's nature would preclude conscious beings like us from existing in it. With respect to a world that contains no time at all, the same reasoning applies. It could be that that some form of temporal solipsism is true, where one 3D slice of time exists and only that time, but that time can in theory describe a world where living animals and conscious beings such as us exist.

    There is still quantum indeterminacy, so no brute fact implied by the block. A lot here depends on your quantum interpretation of choice. Hard determinism seems to be what you're describing here, and both time interpretations allow it but don't assert it.

    Don't see how quantum indeterminacy undermines or accounts for any of the features of time. A block universe with quantum indeterminacy (assuming that an indeterministic interpretation of QM is true) is still just as problematic as one that doesn't have it. Can you explain how it is relevant here?

    I prefer the eternal model, but I don't assert that the presentist model is wrong.

    Then you are a presentist then? My assumption is that you're a firm eternalist, but in that case, you would believe that presentism is wrong.
  • Is destruction possible?
    That which we have no knowledge of we should just shut up about. There are plenty of other things that are knowable and about which we can do something.Bitter Crank

    Well, I think there's very little that we can know for certain. Apart from our own direct experience and existence that doesn't leave much for discussion.

    If I find reincarnation depressing, that need not stop you from being enthusiastic about it. Being reincarnated as a slime mold was just not a good thing, back 5862 tears ago, and I still resent it.Bitter Crank

    I can't say that I'm really that enthusiastic about reincarnation either. My opinions on the value of non-existence are actually sort of mixed (on the one hand I find the idea of an afterlife to be comforting like alot of people, but at the same time I also find non-existence to be liberating in a sense) so I can't really say what I think about death from a personal level. Not comfortable with my neutral stance, but I like to think that it makes me more objective when thinking about topics such as life after death.
  • Is destruction possible?
    This is actually one of the reasons why I'm partial to the idea of reincarnation. Basically everything in the world that we know about follows the laws of conservation. Nothing can be created, nor can it be destroyed in other words. There are just things that change their state as they interact with one another. Therefore, given that "we" also exist as a part of this world (a little self reflection would help to demonstrate that much), shouldn't we be "conserved" as well? Of course, what "we" are is debatable (it may be that "we" aren't matter and energy at all), but whatever "we" are should follow the same laws as everything else right? At least it seems that the onus is on those who suggest otherwise. Reincarnation sounds like a natural way of making sense of all of this.

    One possible objection to all of this would be to say that what "we" are refers to an arrangement of matter rather than the matter itself (as @Bitter Crank suggests). Unlike the elementary particles, we have no trouble talking about things like "chairs" being created and destroyed, so it may just be that who "we" are is more like the latter than the former, the objection goes. Putting aside any thoughts about whether an arbitrary arrangement of matter is who "we" really are, I don't think this means that reincarnation is impossible even if true. I mean, even if what comprises "us" is the specific set of particles that makes up our bodies right now, and even if that structure will cease to be in the future, there is nothing saying that that arrangement won't repeat itself. Regardless of whether one considers such an event likely or unlikely it is a possibility. In a sense, then given that such a structure refers to "you" then technically that could also be considered a form of reincarnation as well.
  • Spacetime?
    Keep in mind that the absolute frame is not an inertial one, nor accelerated or anything else. All the things you can do with a frame are not valid even in this absolute non-frame.noAxioms

    I was operating from SR at that point. In GR we don't have inertial frames, but there can be a preferred foliation, which serves the same function with respect to this conversation as an absolute frame that describes the correct order of events in the universe's history.

    I thought about it, and light speed is constant only in an absolute sense. Of course light speed is constant, just as is sound in a stationary medium. But if you are moving at 1/2c, delta real light speed in one direction is .5c, and it is 1.5c in the other. The subjective moving observer will not notice that since he's perhaps measuring round trip, not one direction... So he puts a mirror 300000 km away (they have these), and it takes 0.666 real seconds one way and 2 seconds the other way, which is 2.66 seconds round trip. But his clock runs slow and the mirror appears to be 346000 km away, so it says 2.3 seconds have elapsed and hides the fact that light in one direction moved slower than the other way.

    I probably screwed up the maths somewhere, but it was my shot at it. This is what I mean by more complicated to do it in 3D. In 4D, it is just 2.3 seconds for a 692000 round-trip with everything being stationary in its frame.
    noAxioms

    The differences you describe appear to be purely conceptual. Under the 3D view, time dilation and length contraction is a real effect on moving objects whereas in the 4D view it arises from moving through space-time. The results and the mathematical work used to get them are the same in both cases for both observers however, which again restates my point that it is not the equations that are different (so one cannot be more complicated than the other) but the metaphysical framework with which we interpret them.

    Interestingly, the first light speed measurements were done in one direction by putting a clock very far away and then syncing a local clock to our image of it as its light arrives here at (unknown at the time) lightspeed. Now you move that distant clock even further away and notice the amount that it gets out of sync. You move it closer again and it appears to catch back up. In this way, light speed was measured by dividing the increase in separation distance by the amount of time the two clocks appeared to get out of sync. No compensation for relativistic implications (all unknown at the time) of accelerating clocks, but good enough for the precision they were after.noAxioms

    Hmm, you have a reference for this? The best example that comes to mind is Galileo's proposed experiment which involved lanterns but not clocks.
  • Spacetime?
    And all measurements of time and distance are false as well only if you consider them to describe the 3D metaphysical interpretation.noAxioms

    With the exception of the absolute frame measurements. Other than that, the rest will be distorted due to a certain degree and will have to be adjusted, but they will all find the speed of light to be constant.

    It is an interesting exercise to do just that. Assume that the train is the thing stationary, which helps one see past the bias that the platform is always the stationary thing. The platform observer detects the two events at once and is equidistant from the marks left by the events. Why is he wrong in concluding simultaneity?noAxioms

    Cause he is operating from the incorrect frame of reference. Assuming that the absolute rest frame is the correct one, then the events are actually ordered according to the train observer. The speed of light being measured the same in all frames would lead the platform observer to deduce the wrong set of simultaneous events.
  • Spacetime?
    Well, those equations describe a 4D model, even if a 3D interpretation is assumed.noAxioms

    The equations are the equations. Whether they describe a 4D or 3D world is what is up to interpretation.

    To do it in 3D, each experiment must adjust for inaccuracies of measured mass, length and time since all these are dilated if one is moving.noAxioms

    Of course, if one assumes a preferred order of events, then every other order that people find in other reference frames will be considered false. But to my mind there is no difference in the scientific approach for someone who has different interpretations of relativity, which is what you seemed to have stated earlier. Like with QM, the equations remain the same regardless of your metaphysical views and the maths aren't any different.

    The train thought experiments assume a non-absolute definition of space, which is incorrect in the 3D model. Incorrect conclusions of event simultaneity are drawn.noAxioms

    The train thought experiments are a demonstration of the relativity of simultaneity, describing a situation where two or more observers have differing views on the ordering of events. The presentist version of this situation would certainly describe it differently, as it will take one or more of these observers as being incorrect in their assessments.
  • Spacetime?
    That is a metaphysical view, and one that renders the relativity equations so much simpler, but relativity also works in a 3D model (at a massive expense of complexity) so doesn't assert those metaphyiscs.noAxioms

    To be clear, both the 3D and 4D interpretation use the same mathematical equations, so one approach mathematically isn't any more or less complex than the other. In other words, physicists will calculate the same results in the same way regardless of their metaphysical views. This is why they are empirically equivalent to one another, since the only difference lies in the interpretation and not in the equations themselves.
  • Spacetime?
    I don't know how that's made consistent with Relativity, but I guess some of the concepts of spacetime in GR are rejected (replaced by presentist concepts), although not the experimental results.Marchesk

    It's easy to make it consistent with relativity theory, though it has its costs. One could simply define a foliation of spacetime as being the preferred one, or argue that one of the many foliations out there is the objective one. Empirically the worldview would be equivalent to both SR and GR so it would be like an alternative interpretation ala the interpretations of QM. The problem? There are too many foliations to choose from and we have no way of determining which one is correct without arbitrarily saying so, but this is not an insurmountable problem if one's motivations are strong enough. However, speaking of time travel, such a move would certainly not work if we are talking about spacetimes with time travel, like in Godelian Spacetimes with closed-timelike curves.

    HG Wells The Time Machine could not be written under a presentist view of time. A machine can't be traveling from the future to kill Sarah Conner or her son, and there is no parallel timeline/universe for Donnie Darko to save his family from the end of the world (or whatever he was doing).Marchesk

    Haven't read the Time Machine, but I do believe that there can be some forms of time travel that are consistent with presentism. If we were to take time travel as a process of reversing the universe's history while the time traveller stays within a bubble for instance, in a manner similar to rewinding a cassette tape, then everything stays within a single 3D universe and we can visit 1850 and kill our ancestors without problem.
  • Is God Timeless or Eternal?
    An explanation that posits the existence of objects without explaining where the objects came from is not complete.Devans99

    Does there need to be an explanation? That's what needs to be justified isn't it?

    I’d also argue if we give any of these objects a mind then it has an infinite personal history which is impossible.Devans99

    You keep saying these things are impossible without giving a solid reason as to why. Until you do, then I can only assume you have none and this discussion can't really go forward.

    In addition, those objects require motion to achieve anything useful. What imparted the first motion to be one of these objects?Devans99

    There is no first motion as there is no creator. You have to stop thinking about things in terms of fundamental level. That's the idea.

    You are still invoking infinity in the time dimension when talking about the physical universe; it leads to paradoxical problems like everything that can exist must of existed and we should all be Bolzman brains...Devans99

    Having an infinite amount of time doesn't entail that possibilities become necessities. That is based upon a faulty application of probability to infinities. You can flip a coin an infinite number of times and they can all turn up heads, for example, despite tails being a possible outcome in every coin flip. But anyways, even if everything that can exist must exist given an infinite time, then that doesn't sound like a problem in itself or paradoxical in any way.

    As for your idea of Boltzmann Brains, I don't understand where you're coming from with that, specifically how it would entail a paradox that makes a beginning-less universe impossible.
  • Is God Timeless or Eternal?
    “Things could’ve always been” - what created the things then?Devans99

    Nothing. That's the idea.

    How can they exist at all?Devans99

    Is there any reason to believe that they can't exist? I see nothing to preclude the idea or require the introduction of a first event.