A paradox of time.

squirrelyguy

Active member
Aren't we just Begging the Question by saying that the present moment has arrived? Why couldn't we just as easily assume it never left? Since when does the present moment go anywhere?
The present moment will go away when the next moment arrives. You state in the following paragraph that the past doesn't exist; if that's so, then the present moment will cease to exist once it becomes the past.
I don't see any proof of time being anything more than an idea, or an invention of the mind. By definition, the past and future don't exist.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
The present moment will go away when the next moment arrives.
The present moment isn't going anywhere anytime soon or later.
You state in the following paragraph that the past doesn't exist;
Yep, by definition, it will never exist.
if that's so, then the present moment will cease to exist once it becomes the past.
Fallacy of Begging the Question and the Non Sequitur.

The present doesn't become anything. You're mixing contradictory ideas together. The past and future are not the present. Being and becoming are likewise not equivalent either.

Existence is eternal. There can be no beginning or end to existence without venturing into contradiction. If I say that existence doesn't exist, I'm contradicting myself. If I say nothing exists, I'm contradicting myself. By definition, nothing doesn't exist.

I'm not suggesting or equating what exists with existence though. Things may have a beginning or end, and existence is a thing, but it is also a verb, e.g. "be-ing".

Those who assume the existence of time, will inevitably assume that there must be some time before the beginning of time or after the end of time. This is incoherent nonsense. There can be no time before the beginning or time, or after the end of time.

Ultimately, time only exists within the concept itself, and concepts don't exist as anything other than concepts.
 

squirrelyguy

Active member
The present moment isn't going anywhere anytime soon or later.
I'm speaking of "the present moment" in reference to a specific moment in time, and you're using "the present moment" to refer to the present moment generically. That's not the meaning I'm using.
Yep, by definition, it will never exist.
It will never exist, but it did exist at one point. It's the past, so of course it can't exist in the future.
Fallacy of Begging the Question and the Non Sequitur.
Are you sure you know what these things mean?
The present doesn't become anything. You're mixing contradictory ideas together.
Generically speaking, the present doesn't become anything. But if I identify a specific moment that is present, it will certainly become a past moment once the next moment arrives.
The past and future are not the present. Being and becoming are likewise not equivalent either.
I didn't say those were equivalent concepts.
Existence is eternal. There can be no beginning or end to existence without venturing into contradiction.
Really?
If I say that existence doesn't exist, I'm contradicting myself. If I say nothing exists, I'm contradicting myself. By definition, nothing doesn't exist.
You're making the same mistake you made earlier in regards to "the present moment." I'm speaking of existence in the concrete and you think I'm speaking of existence in the abstract. Of course something can't be existent and non-existent at the same time...but something that exists now can cease to exist later. Or, something that was non-existent yesterday can exist now.
Those who assume the existence of time, will inevitably assume that there must be some time before the beginning of time or after the end of time.
Wait, what? If I assume the existence of time, then I take that to mean that I would believe time to be eternal. Isn't that what it means to just assume that time exists? If I do that, then how could I inevitably come to the conclusion that time has a beginning or end? Once I put a beginning or end on time, I am no longer assuming its existence.
This is incoherent nonsense. There can be no time before the beginning or time, or after the end of time.
True
Ultimately, time only exists within the concept itself, and concepts don't exist as anything other than concepts.
I doubt one can logically maintain that time only exists within the concept itself. You and I both can recall individual moments of time in the past, can't we? Doesn't that prove that they were once existent in the concrete even though they now exist in the abstract?
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
I'm speaking of "the present moment" in reference to a specific moment in time,
I haven't forgotten or misunderstood your argument. You're simply assuming what you would like to prove. This is the fallacy of Begging the Question.
and you're using "the present moment" to refer to the present moment generically. That's not the meaning I'm using.
A distinction with no effective difference.
It will never exist, but it did exist at one point.
The past and future simply do not exist. By definition.
It's the past, so of course it can't exist in the future.
The future, likewise can never exist in the past.
Are you sure you know what these things mean?
Most definitely, and see above.
Generically speaking, the present doesn't become anything. But if I identify a specific moment that is present, it will certainly become a past moment once the next moment arrives.
These are nothing more than assumptions. Prove it.
I didn't say those were equivalent concepts.
I'm pointing out that they are in that neither of them exists.
Yes, really.
I'm speaking of existence in the concrete and you think I'm speaking of existence in the abstract.
No. I'm simply pointing out that regardless of what you think you're saying, you're contradicting yourself.
Of course something can't be existent
False equivalency. I'm not referring to things existing, but to existence or being (itself).
something that exists now can cease to exist later. Or, something that was non-existent yesterday can exist now.
I already addressed this issue in a previous post. I distinctly pointed out that my argument is not with reference to things existing, but to existence itself.
If I assume the existence of time, then I take that to mean that I would believe time to be eternal. Isn't that what it means to just assume that time exists?
No. This is yet another Non Sequitur. Regardless of what you're assuming exists, it doesn't then follow that it must therefore be eternal.
Once I put a beginning or end on time, I am no longer assuming its existence.
You're assuming it's existence between the beginning and end just like you would for anything that has a beginning and an end to its existence.
I doubt one can logically maintain that time only exists within the concept itself.
I am, and it's a quite logically consistent.
You and I both can recall individual moments of time in the past, can't we?
You and I can both assume individual moments of time in the past. You are recalling an idea or thought. You are not recalling the past at all. Science has proven this. What we recall are referred to as memories, but they're not memories of an event but memories of memories or memories etc.

How often have you recalled an event only to then see video taped footage of that very event that doesn't match up with what you remembered? It happens. It just doesn't happen all the time because time doesn't actually exist..
Doesn't that prove that they were once existent in the concrete even though they now exist in the abstract?
Moments of time do not actually exist 'in the concrete" or otherwise. Abstractions are not real. They are derived from reality. That's literally what the term means, from "drawn, drag away, detach, etc. It is pulled from reality. Things that are detached from reality are not real. Assuming they are doesn't prove they are. It's a fallacious argument.
 

squirrelyguy

Active member
These are nothing more than assumptions. Prove it.
This very thread is proof. This reply that I am typing is in the present moment, and if/when you reply, this sentence you're reading will have been written in the past. It would be a contradiction in terms to say that you are replying to this sentence at the same time that I am writing it, since the words "reply" and "response" both imply an action that follows a prior action.
You and I can both assume individual moments of time in the past. You are recalling an idea or thought. You are not recalling the past at all. Science has proven this. What we recall are referred to as memories, but they're not memories of an event but memories of memories or memories etc.
Is this thread a record of past events, or am I only thinking that we're having this conversation? I find it ironic that you're claiming that science has proven your claim when you're also claiming that what is real might actually be an illusion, or a figment of one's imagination. How can science exist without making certain assumptions about what is real?
How often have you recalled an event only to then see video taped footage of that very event that doesn't match up with what you remembered? It happens. It just doesn't happen all the time because time doesn't actually exist..
But incorrect memories are a product of human frailty and have no bearing on whether time exists, the material world exists, etc. It would be one thing to see a video tape and draw a wrong conclusion about what it shows; it would be quite another thing to see the video footage and tell myself that I'm not really watching video footage.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
This very thread is proof.
Nope. Try again.
This reply that I am typing is in the present moment,
No, it isn't. This reply that I am typing isn't in the present moment.
and if/when you reply, this sentence you're reading will have been written in the past.
Will have been? Nope. Never happened. Again, the past doesn't exist.
It would be a contradiction in terms to say that you are replying to this sentence at the same time that I am writing it,
Sure, but so what? I'm not making that claim either.
since the words "reply" and "response" both imply an action that follows a prior action.
Just because one domino falls before another one, it doesn't then follow that time actually exists. Some people like to fantasize that reality is a simulation, but what you're seeing, doing, etc. is all being filtered through your own intellect which is in itself a simulation. For all practical intents and purposes, what you recognize is all a simulation. NONE of it is happening at all. It's all just a simulation which assumes that something must have happened, but again, the past doesn't exist either.
Is this thread a record of past events, or am I only thinking that we're having this conversation?
You're filtering everything through your intellect which serves only to separate you from reality. So, yes this conversation is only what you think of it.
I find it ironic that you're claiming that science has proven your claim when you're also claiming that what is real might actually be an illusion, or a figment of one's imagination.
Just to make sure we're on the same page, could you plug in for what you're referring to by "real" and "illusion"? In other words, please show what you're referring to.
How can science exist without making certain assumptions about what is real?
Not sure what you're trying to say here.
But incorrect memories are a product of human frailty and have no bearing on whether time exists,
They most certainly do, especially when those frail ideas assume the existence of time.
the material world exists, etc.
Again, my argument is with regards to existence specifically.
It would be one thing to see a video tape and draw a wrong conclusion about what it shows; it would be quite another thing to see the video footage and tell myself that I'm not really watching video footage.
Yep. Glad you can distinguish between the two. However, there is one glaring exception, i.e. When one assumes that they're watching video footage when in reality they're not, they've drawn the wrong conclusion about what it shows as well.

Reality can be a bit mischievous at times. The reality of the whole is not the whole of reality.

I like that you're using the exact same metaphors used by eastern mystics. They will routinely point out that what you're watching on a screen isn't happening. The only thing that is real is the screen itself.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
But you're counting time in a progression from the current moment (a beginning) to the infinite past. Time is moving in the opposite direction from the past to present.
Why should direction affect possibility? If the future can be infinite then so can the past. No actual counting is required in either case.

As I said in my OP, this would necessarily mean that the present moment would not have arrived yet. If you're trying to count one moment after another in sequence (since this is the only way in which time happens), you cannot arrive at any particular moment without selecting your starting point first. But as soon as you select your starting point, you're chosen not to count from infinity.
It begs the question to assume a starting point is required for arriving at the present.
 
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