## Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

### Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Time can be proven to have infinitely existed by a couple of methods.

METHOD #1 - Basic Logic
The first and most obvious is the logical impossibility of "something existing before it exists". In this case, Time cannot exist before it exists. Which means there can't be a "beginning of Time", as "beginning" is itself a temporal word. In other words, since "beginnings" don't yet exist in the absence of Time, there can't be a beginning of Time. And if Time had no beginning, then Time must have always infinitely permanently existed.

METHOD #2 - Imagination Experiment
Imagine there is nothing outside this universe; it is the totality of everything. Imagine this universe has a big "Power Off" button/knob. If you push this knob, it shuts off Time, which in effect, stops all activity within the universe. It shuts off and stops all movement, motion, change, and interactions of matter within the universe. Pulling on the "Power Off" button/knob will turn Time, and all activity, back on again.

Okay, now imagine that someone or something within this universe pushed the "Power Off" button. Now what? What activity is there left to turn it back on?

The point is that if Time has ever shut off, it would forever be permanently off. Which means our existence today is proof of infinite Time.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Well, this looks good, but I have things to do... plus tard, mon ami!

stops all activity within the universe

Is that possible?
charon
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan wrote:...stops all activity within the universe.

Charon wrote:Is that possible?

Without Time, there can be no change of states; no motion/movement; no action/activity; no events can occur.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

The sticking point may be in assuming time has any ontological independence of matter/energy, rather than just being a mathematical convenience (an abstraction) used to describe change.

McTaggart is a fun place to start....

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/#McTArg

TheVat

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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Section 5, of that SEoP entry, is also quite useful because it gives anyone who delves into temporal philosophy a grounding in the nomenclature - and the A Series and B series are pretty handy in chatting on these topics.

TheVat

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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan » July 23rd, 2020, 3:12 pm wrote:Without Time, there can be no change of states; no motion/movement; no action/activity; no events can occur.

More like the reverse…

There is ever change; nothing particular lasts for even an 'instant', but changes; I'll accept the Planck duration as the base 'instant'.

So, the 'instant' is not 'at once' but has a finite duration and so 'time' happens due to change.

DragonFly
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan » July 23rd, 2020, 9:12 pm wrote:
CanMan wrote:...stops all activity within the universe.

Charon wrote:Is that possible?

Without Time, there can be no change of states; no motion/movement; no action/activity; no events can occur.

charon
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

@CanMan

It is the finite interval that undoes Zeno's apparent paradox. While we're at it, not anything is infinitely divisible.

So far, we also have no beginnings or ends but that something is ever, plus that change is necessity…

1. All is finite; no infinite.
2. No stillness.
3. Something is eternal.

DragonFly
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan » July 23rd, 2020, 12:59 pm wrote:Time can be proven to have infinitely existed by a couple of methods.

What is time?
Serpent
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

TheVat wrote:The sticking point may be in assuming time has any ontological independence of matter/energy, rather than just being a mathematical convenience (an abstraction) used to describe change.

Yes, correct. "Time is infinite" assumes that the dimension of Time is real in the first place, and is not merely just a man made concept to help describe relative change in matter.

But nonetheless, if Time does exist, then it has infinitely existed. A "Beginning of Time" is therefore a falsehood.

Serpent wrote:What is time?

Time is a dimension, specifically the 4th dimension which allows the motion of 3D objects.

DragonFly wrote:…'time' happens due to change.

To me this is backwards. Though ultimately I suppose it depends on how we define it. This is how I see it:

- Zero dimensional point can't change/translate into a line without a 1st dimension.
- One dimensional line can't change/translate into a plane without a 2nd dimension.
- Two dimensional plane can't change/translate into a solid (object) without a 3rd dimension.
- Three dimensional object can't change/translate into motion without a 4th dimension.

The 4th dimension is called Time. Without Time, there could be no motion or change of 3D objects.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan » July 23rd, 2020, 8:55 pm wrote: This is how I see it:

- Zero dimensional point can't change/translate into a line without a 1st dimension.
- One dimensional line can't change/translate into a plane without a 2nd dimension.
- Two dimensional plane can't change/translate into a solid (object) without a 3rd dimension.
- Three dimensional object can't change/translate into motion without a 4th dimension.

The 4th dimension is called Time. Without Time, there could be no motion or change of 3D objects.

All right. That's a description of how the universe operates. As long as the universe works, all of those dimensions must be in continuous effect; the universe works because those dimensions are in continuous effect.
What's the point of 'proving' that it is as you define it?
Of course time has always existed. Always is a property of time.
Serpent
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Serpent wrote:What's the point of 'proving' that it is as you define it?

My point was to prove that Time is infinite as per the 2 methods stated. My definition is in response to your and DragonFly's questions.

Serpent wrote:Of course time has always existed. Always is a property of time.

"Always" can also be used in an infinite, and permanent sense, and not just in a temporal sense.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan » July 23rd, 2020, 10:59 pm wrote:Always" can also be used in an infinite, and permanent sense, and not just in a temporal sense.

No, it can't: always is temporal - literally: "at all times". Permanent [lasting indefinitely] is also a time-dependent word. Any word you can apply to time was invented specifically to reference some aspect of time, with the possible exception of 'infinite'. While that means unending, and beginnings and endings are time-dependent, it can also mean unlimited in spatial extension. But that brings you back to the question of the looped universe, which is unanswerable; worse, it drives you smack into the wibbly-wobbly space/time/matter/energy can't tell where one doesn't leave off 'cose the others can't exist without interacting problem.

What does "infinite" mean in your vocabulary?
Last edited by Serpent on July 24th, 2020, 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Serpent
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Serpent wrote:What does "infinite" mean?

Without end. Limitless. -- All dimensions are infinite, including the dimension called Time.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan wrote:[What does "infinite" mean?]
Without end. Limitless.

Obviously. So, reality is limitless, and time is an aspect of reality - insofar as we are able to know.
And every "proof" you come up with is going to eat its own tail. We have no terms of reference outside of time, outside of space, outside of the universe that we can apply to time, space and the universe. All of our languages and perceptions are of a very finite species in an infinite reality-loop. We can blather on about it, but we can't apprehend it. (And it really doesn't need proving.)
Serpent
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan » July 23rd, 2020, 11:30 pm wrote:All dimensions are infinite, including the dimension called Time.

Nomenclature:

'Infinite' is used in regard to extent, size, number sequences, calculus series, all of which must remain only as 'potential' since they can never complete. Thus, one cannot have an actual 'infinite', which is what the definition 'infinite' is trying to say, as that in doesn't end.

'Eternal' is used in regard to time and duration.

We can show that something is eternal because not anything can become of a true nothing. Some still have 'Nothing, which isn't there, and isn't a 'what' turning into plus and minus or such, but this is a faux Nothing because it would have a capability of production—and it is this capability that would be eternal.

So, something is eternal, as in always and ever, to use some 'time' words. We have yet to find if this 'eternal' is in time, as in presentism, or all at once, permanent, already made but never really made—just always there, as in eternalism—which, curiously has no time in it.

The Eternal ever remains as itself, at heart. Because it was never designed, it cannot be anything in particular, and so it has to be Everything.

Either we traverse through this fixed block block of everything, in our own emergent sense of 'time', as in externalism, or the Everything is a potential everything, it proceeding though real time, as in presentism, the Cosmos created anew at every Planck 'now'. We cannot yet tell the difference between these two modes of time.

Still, by the OP, the permanent Everything is thus eternal, along with its eternal production of temporaries through change via what we would call the laws of nature. 'Topologically', it is ever itself that it can return to any of its states and perhaps this is why the laws of physics are independent of time. There is, though, the nagging evidence of cpt violation and the worry that there wasn't anything to make the Eternal of.

What's the Fundamental Eternal seems to have to be something simple, for if it is complex or even just composite, the parts would have be even more fundamental, nixing the supposed Eternal, such as it being a Person.

DragonFly
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

DragonFly » July 24th, 2020, 9:09 pm wrote:'Infinite' is used in regard to extent, size, number sequences, calculus series, all of which must remain only as 'potential' since they can never complete. Thus, one cannot have an actual 'infinite', which is what the definition 'infinite' is trying to say, as that in doesn't end.

It is possible that the universe is infinite in extent. I wonder about the ontological implications of this. Can an infinite universe be regarded as a 'thing' that is 'there'? Is it 'all' there, or only partly there? If it is only partly there, does the 'part' correspond to the extent to which we can conceive it?
Positor
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Positor » July 24th, 2020, 7:42 pm wrote:It is possible that the universe is infinite in extent. I wonder about the ontological implications of this. Can an infinite universe be regarded as a 'thing' that is 'there'?

No. It can only be regarded as everything that is everywhere.
Is it 'all' there, or only partly there? If it is only partly there, does the 'part' correspond to the extent to which we can conceive it?

The universe is in no way dependent on our perception of it. We are not the central fact of the universe.
If anything is only partly somewhere ('there' is an unspecified, unlocatable point in space), it's us. We are brief and insignificant and what we conceive makes no never mind to the universe - it's barely even a blip in the experience of this minuscule planet in a peripheral solar system of an unremarkable galaxy among uncountable galaxies.
Serpent
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

DragonFly wrote:'Infinite' is used in regard to extent, size, number sequences, calculus series, all of which must remain only as 'potential' since they can never complete.

If they can complete, they would be finite, not infinite. It is precisely that "they can never complete" is why they are "infinite", and not "potential".

Is Pi no longer Pi because it can never complete?
Is ⅓ no longer ⅓ because it can never complete?

Positor wrote:It is possible that the universe is infinite in extent?

All dimensions (3D space + time) are infinite in extent. For what else is there left to stop them?

Positor wrote:Can an infinite universe be regarded as a 'thing' that is 'there'?

The infinite universe is a "where", where all finite objects exist.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan -

You haven't commented on this:

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=35955&p=351871#p351871
charon
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Charon wrote:You haven't commented on this: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=35955&p=351871#p351871

CanMan wrote:Without Time, there can be no change of states; no motion/movement; no action/activity; no events can occur.

This explains why activity is not possible without time:
CanMan wrote:- Zero dimensional point can't change/translate into a line without a 1st dimension.
- One dimensional line can't change/translate into a plane without a 2nd dimension.
- Two dimensional plane can't change/translate into a solid (object) without a 3rd dimension.
- Three dimensional object can't change/translate into motion without a 4th dimension.

The 4th dimension is called Time. Without Time, there could be no motion or change of 3D objects.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan -

You're missing the point. Time and motion go together. Your question was whether time/motion has always (infinitely) existed.

When you use the word 'always' it implies time, right? So the question is tautological. It may also imply that time is eternal, which is a contradiction. Unless the real nature of time is no-time.
charon
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Charon wrote:Time and motion go together.

...only in the sense that one enables the other. You can't have motion without time, but you can have time without motion.

You can't move a train (motion) without a train track (time), but you can have a train track (time) without a moving train (motion).

Time is a dimension that allows motion, not the other way around.

Charon wrote:Your question was whether time/motion has always (infinitely) existed. When you use the word 'always' it implies time, right?

No. See the parenthesis "(infinitely)". I'm using the 'infinite' sense of the word "always", not the 'temporal' sense of the word.

I'm not referring to time 'within' time, I'm referring to the infinite nature of the 'dimension' itself (called "time").
Last edited by CanMan on July 25th, 2020, 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

What is time without motion? Would the universe exist at all without motion?
charon
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 TheVat liked this post

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

charon wrote:What is time without motion?

Still a dimension.

Would the X dimension still exist if nothing is in that direction? - Yes.

charon wrote:Would the universe exist at all without motion?

Yes. 4D space would still exist. Why would it disappear if motion stopped? Matter would just be motion-less. Nothing would or could happen in a time-less or motion-less universe.

Without motion, there is only no motion. But without time there can be no motion.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Without motion, there is no change. Without change, time could not be detected. But that's okay, because there would be nothing sentient to detect it. But then, what could tell whether the motionless universe existed?
Serpent
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Good point Serpent.
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan wrote:- Zero dimensional point can't change/translate into a line without a 1st dimension.
- One dimensional line can't change/translate into a plane without a 2nd dimension.
- Two dimensional plane can't change/translate into a solid (object) without a 3rd dimension.
- Three dimensional object can't change/translate into motion without a 4th dimension.

The 4th dimension is called Time. Without Time, there could be no motion or change of 3D objects.

It boils down to this -- if you believe Time is truly a dimension, then motion is a function of time (not the other way around).
CanMan

### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan -

Still a dimension

A dimension is something measured, it's not something beyond measure.

Your question was 'Has time always existed?'. If time were beyond measure then the answer to your question might be yes.

But it's not.
charon
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### Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

CanMan » July 25th, 2020, 4:12 pm wrote:It boils down to this -- if you believe Time is truly a dimension, then motion is a function of time (not the other way around).

And if I don't?
You have described time as a dimension, which is fine, as a description of what you perceive.
But why should I believe that time is a dimension - rather, than, say an attribute or function of matter/energy or a convenient fiction or the thought-process of God?
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