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Response From A Platonist - Of Sorts

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on December 1, 2003 05:36:38 UTC

Hi Kyle,

"Now here's the big philosophical question that will separate the Platonists from the Idealists, the Realists from the Anti-Realists, and the Newtonian Absolutists from the Leibnizian Relationalists (respectively):

What if the universe froze into absolute stasis with no motion whatsoever... Since our brains would be frozen too, we could not subjectively experience the passage of time... BUT (~the big question is~) would Time be passing nevertheless?

The answer is "Yes"
...IF Time is independent of change-- as Newtonian Realism/ Platonism/ Absolutism would say. This classical view of time says that there is one true Time "out there""

Since I have identified myself as a Plantonist, I guess I had better explain my position on your question.

I think the situation is more complex. In particular, I think that the meaning of 'universe' isn't clear. In my view, the scientist's conception of the universe, i.e our 4D space-time continuum, makes up only a part of reality. If that part is the only thing that froze up, then in my view, there very well could be additional temporal dimensions beyond our 4D universe that keep right on ticking.

On the other hand, I don't claim that time is independent of change. The question is, what exactly is it that can change? To keep this short, I'll cut to the chase and answer my own question. In my view, the only thing that exists is a single consciousness with thoughts and those thoughts are the only things that can change. It is those thoughts which comprise all of what we customarily think of as space and its contents. And it is the change within those thoughts which constitute any and all temporality in any of the thoughts (read 'universes').

Now, if all of reality froze up, i.e. if that one consciousness quit thinking, then not only would there be no time but there would be nothing at all. There would be nothing to ask the question, "Why is there nothing and not something?"

Warm regards,


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