Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: Bill S on 27/04/2018 18:31:47

Title: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Bill S on 27/04/2018 18:31:47
He said:

“Yet I say with confidence that I know that if nothing passed away, there would be no past time;
and if nothing were still coming, there would be no future time;
and if there were nothing at all, there would be no present time.”

How would we know if this were the case?

Jeffrey said:

Re: Is the "gate into yesterday" the gate to cloud cuckoo land?

“The more ordered universe no longer exists”.

If this is right, does that mean that everything we consider as a past state no longer exists – so there is no past?
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Kryptid on 27/04/2018 20:12:43
If this is right, does that mean that everything we consider as a past state no longer exists – so there is no past?

Semantically, it can be no other way. Terms like "exists" and "is" are present-tense. For the past, we have to say "existed" or "was". Saying that the past "exists" or "is" is an oxymoron.
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: evan_au on 27/04/2018 23:49:08
Quote from: Kryptid
Saying that the past "exists" or "is" is an oxymoron.
English grammar is a hodge-podge of conflicting contributions from various warring nations.

It wasn't designed to deal with the concepts of a 4-dimensional spacetime.

But until someone invents an effective form of time travel that go both forwards and backwards by a variable amount, it won't have to... (I recall reading a science fiction novel many years ago where they gave a tutorial on grammar for time travellers, with monstrous constructions to cover situations like "events that are in the past for the speaker, but in the future for the listener" and  "events in the past that would have occurred only someone came from the future and changed them"....)
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Bored chemist on 28/04/2018 00:05:39
Imagine, for the moment that St Augustine was right.
So what?
A stopped clock is right twice a day.
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Petrochemicals on 28/04/2018 03:06:21
In my opinion bill time is but a mere construction of conciousness, and like confucious says with no one to witness the reaction rates of matter and space does it make a sound ?

2 and  2 make 4 however, it is the recognition of interlectual conciousness  that gives these references actuallity. Are we travelling through time ? Everything that has existed exists and will ever exist is now, and it is merely the commencement or cessation of things in the present. To be or not to be that is the question.

Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Bill S on 28/04/2018 12:35:39
Quote from: Kryrtid
Semantically, it can be no other way. Terms like "exists" and "is" are present-tense. For the past, we have to say "existed" or "was". Saying that the past "exists" or "is" is an oxymoron.

Of course, that’s right, but Augustine didn’t say that; and nor did Jeffrey.

The situation is probably more complex than the semantics.  Possibly we should think in terms of “here and now” rather than just “now”.   This admits things like “The past may not exist here, but it could still exist in some other place”. Thus, “the past exists” becomes acceptable.
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Bill S on 28/04/2018 12:48:19
Quote from: Petrochemicals
Everything that has existed exists and will ever exist is now,

As Marcus Aurelius said:  “No man liveth more than that infinitesimal point of time that is the present”.

Quote
…..and it is merely the commencement or cessation of things in the present

That’s an interesting thought; it gives duration to the present.  So, how long does the present last?
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: jeffreyH on 30/04/2018 12:44:27
Things move. Once they have moved they no longer occupy the place where they were. It's that simple. Time is an irrelevance. Think more in terms of a change in state de-coupled from our concept of time.
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: guest45734 on 30/04/2018 15:19:11
He said:

“Yet I say with confidence that I know that if nothing passed away, there would be no past time;
and if nothing were still coming, there would be no future time;
and if there were nothing at all, there would be no present time.”
who said that ?
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: phyti on 30/04/2018 16:01:27
An event ocurrs once, but can be perceived many times. The images propagate in space to be intercepted in the 'future' of many.To return to the scene of the event is imposssible, since there are no historical markers for tourists. If anyone offers you time travel for a fee, invest your money in pizza.
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Bill S on 30/04/2018 20:48:21
Quote from: Jeffrey
Things move. Once they have moved they no longer occupy the place where they were. It's that simple.

That's true, but when a thing has moved, the place where it was still exists and, discounting extraneous factors, it can move back to that place .  However,  it cannot, as far as we know, return to the same time/place, so in that sense, time is relevant. 

Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: Bill S on 30/04/2018 21:00:30
Quote from: Disinterested
who said that ?

St Augustine.
Title: Re: Was St Augustine right?
Post by: phyti on 01/05/2018 17:14:14
Quote from: Jeffrey
Things move. Once they have moved they no longer occupy the place where they were. It's that simple.

That's true, but when a thing has moved, the place where it was still exists and, discounting extraneous factors, it can move back to that place .  However,  it cannot, as far as we know, return to the same time/place, so in that sense, time is relevant. 
The tourists stop by the old timer on the roadside to ask him for directions. He tells them, "it's about 5 miles that way, where the old schoolhouse used to be."

Joe eats lunch every day at maude's diner.  Does he eat at the same place everyday?
Only locally, relative to the town, and earth geography. The earth moves every day along its path relative to the sun, in addition to being dragged along with the sun along its path, etc.
There is no univarsal reference object known to enable a return to a specific place.
To elaborate a bit on Jeffreys point, the configuration of  the dynamic universe does not repeat itself due to its complexity. On a much smaller scale, why doesn't the broken glass on the floor reassemble itself?