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I'm An Eternalist

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Posted by Harvey on April 5, 2002 18:57:42 UTC

Hi Aurino,

As my title makes clear, I too am an eternalist and I think it makes perfect sense.

***You can't solve a problem by resorting to arguments you don't understand. If everything exists "now", then past, present, and future are meaningless concepts. If I'm a 2 month-old baby, a 15 year-old teenager, a 67 year-old retired engineer, a sperm, a dead corpse, all at the same time, why in the world I'm convinced I'm a 38 year-old man typing a reply to Harv on a computer? Illusion? Sorry, I must have skipped my daily dosage of pot this morning! Oops, forgot, there's no "this morning".***

The terms past, present, future are no more meaningless than North America, Middle East, Asia, etc. We guage locations by what it is contained there and where it is in relation to something else. Similarly, past, present, future is all in relation to 'us' in the present 'now' and that's all there is to it. Just like we say that there is an Asia that is there 'now', we would be saying that there is a future that is there 'now'. I guess you are not one for time travel?

***Come on Harv, when did science become more esoteric than religion itself? I thought science was supposed to shine some light on the world, not make it darker, and certainly not make it disappear by turning our most basic certainties into hogwash.***

Science, as you know, is driven by necessity. GR and the philosophical discussion about the nature of time necessitate this kind of thinking. It doesn't take much scientific imagination to consider what would happen if space is curved and you could somehow 'cut' through spacetime to another location (i.e., wormhole through space). What ends up being valid theoretical models is time travel. Whether it is practically possible is not the question, the issue is that the theories suggest that cutting through space and time to another location that is already there makes for some interesting and esoteric possibilities.

***H: This picture, though, is not consistent with quantum mechanics since the uncertainty principle prohibits some of the features of this static eternal universe. A: Voila! Another triumph of reason over nonsense!***

This picture of QM as inconsistent with time as a dimension is gradually crumbling. Already string theories are suggesting how there can be one or more temporal dimensions and how space can be one or more spatial dimensions. I suspect that a quantum theory of gravity will open our understanding of time in such a manner that the tenets of GR will not be violated (e.g., treating time and space as dimensions, etc).

Warm regards, Harv

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