## The Impossibility of Infinite Time

So what's really going on?

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Speakpigeon
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

odysseus wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:23 pm
You have to think of eternity/infinity to be outside time altogether. Infinity is not time forever, it is atemporal. It is the eternal now.
The concept of infinite time is not "time forever", since the notion of "forever" already implies that of an infinite time. The expression "eternal now" is also circular since "eternal" means without beginning or end in time, or continuing through time.
The idea of an infinite time is just the idea of time without a limit towards the past or towards the future.
The topic of this thread is whether an infinite past is possible, and given that nobody will go there to check and since we don't have empirical evidence either way, the question reduces to whether an infinite past is logically possible.
So, your comment here beside the point even though it might be that time is reduced to "now". However, if you think that today is different from yesterday, then it's also meaningless to claim time is only now because you'd have a changing now and a long line of nows, all possibly different from each other, something we normally just call time. So, what's the point?!
Unless you think now today is the same exactly as now yesterday, but then this flies in the face of our empirical perception of change.
EB

Logik
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Speakpigeon wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:42 am
The idea of an infinite time is just the idea of time without a limit towards the past or towards the future.
No it isn't - your imagination is very limited it seems.

"Past and future" implies that you conceptualise of time as a one-dimensional vector.

Why can't time be an N-dimensional tensor?

Infinite dimensions - none of which have a beginning or an end.

Speakpigeon
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Logik wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:56 am
your imagination is very limited it seems.
Little boy, you have really no idea about how imaginative I am.
EB

Logik
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Speakpigeon wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:45 pm
Little boy, you have really no idea about how imaginative I am.
If past evidence is anything to go by - you could only think of a single time dimension.

Bet you were TODAY-years-old when you first heard of N-dimensional time tensors or vector clocks.

surreptitious57
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Time could be anything at all but human beings usually think of it as a one dimensional vector with past / present / future
And this concept is very useful because it separates events and therefore makes it easier to reference them when required

Logik
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

surreptitious57 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:04 pm
Time could be anything at all but human beings usually think of it as a one dimensional vector with past / present / future
And this concept is very useful because it separates events and therefore makes it easier to reference them when required
it sure agrees with our experiences at the human-scale, but GR and QM has long taught us that appearances can be deceiving.

Things are "different" at small and large scale. All models tend to break down at the extremes.

All models have edge and corner cases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corner_case
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edge_case

surreptitious57
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Understanding time at the micro level however will not really affect how we treat it as an everyday phenomenon
We have memory so are able to access the past and this will not change no matter what quantum physics tells us

surreptitious57
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Logic wrote:
All models tend to break down at the extremes
More knowledge makes for better models but they will always be incomplete because of the problem of induction
But there is no better way to understand phenomena than through physical observation and mathematical models

odysseus
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Hello logic,
I’m writing from my phone and can’t do this properly. Oh well.
1. Conceptually infinitity and finitude are indeed opposites and contradictory. But this is true only in the conception. Up may be the opposite of down yet this does prevent the these terms from loosing their descriptive grip on the world considering alternative spatial perdpectivrs. It is not that one ignores logic. That is impossible. But one has to see logic in play in different contexts to truly address the world. And the world is not yet a logical singularity. Thank gif for that ( notwithstanding Hegel.

2. As to digging my own hole, you suppose time has no analyzable structure, and yet the very foundation of existential thinking rests with an analysis of time. Kant analyzed time famously, Hegel followed( I do not have much reading on Hegel behind me) then Kierkegaard came along and shattered the rationalism of these. But time has long been discussed, it’s structure and the self “within” this. Of course, these observations are phenomenological and the ontology as well. But I abide by Kierkegaard and not The Heideggerians who hold time to be the a projection of the past into existence with choice at the he center. Kierkegaard gave H this, but his thinking is that liberation from this forward movement lies with the discovery of our true self which is spirit. He thought real freedom occurs when one’s actions spring from the atemporal center. It is a difficult idea the defend, granted. But the atemporality here is not s concept of mere infinity. To understand this one has to take this merely mathematical abstraction out of character nsideration, nearly. Actuality in the world is not a concept and the world ntuition of eternity is not a conceptual abstraction. This is where serious thinking about the nature of being a self begins. Time here is this cup on the table and me in a dynamic that is forward looking, anticipatory and so on.
3. Time movement and change. The idea here is to reconceive time so as to show its existential nature. It is not a nathematician’s world and what is actual is what lies before you in the world when you ask basic questions about Being. Time is reducible to actual events. That is the idea.
4. Show you? Well, it is tempting to say read Kierkegaard , but no. If we look at time as events and not as a metaphysical abstraction, stoppage of time becomes the stoppage of events. But this is impossible for one cannot resist Heraclitus and embrace Parmenides. That is the way to nothingness (Sartre is not far away here). But if the eternal present is an actuality, nah, THE actuality that that discloses its nature to inquiry, if time is only time-as-we-know-it, and eternity does not so much as contradict temporal flux as it reveals the eternal nature that underlies it, then the matter is altogether different.
5. Please retract your middle finger. I assumed you held some standard scientific view of time. You’ve read Kant? If you have taken this first step then excellent. move on.
6 you can’t make sense of it because you haven’t read what it is about. Put down your symbolic logic text and pick up heideggers Being and Time b

Logik
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:21 am
Hello logic,
I’m writing from my phone and can’t do this properly. Oh well.
1. Conceptually infinitity and finitude are indeed opposites and contradictory. But this is true only in the conception. Up may be the opposite of down yet this does prevent the these terms from loosing their descriptive grip on the world considering alternative spatial perdpectivrs. It is not that one ignores logic. That is impossible. But one has to see logic in play in different contexts to truly address the world. And the world is not yet a logical singularity. Thank gif for that ( notwithstanding Hegel.

2. As to digging my own hole, you suppose time has no analyzable structure, and yet the very foundation of existential thinking rests with an analysis of time. Kant analyzed time famously, Hegel followed( I do not have much reading on Hegel behind me) then Kierkegaard came along and shattered the rationalism of these. But time has long been discussed, it’s structure and the self “within” this. Of course, these observations are phenomenological and the ontology as well. But I abide by Kierkegaard and not The Heideggerians who hold time to be the a projection of the past into existence with choice at the he center. Kierkegaard gave H this, but his thinking is that liberation from this forward movement lies with the discovery of our true self which is spirit. He thought real freedom occurs when one’s actions spring from the atemporal center. It is a difficult idea the defend, granted. But the atemporality here is not s concept of mere infinity. To understand this one has to take this merely mathematical abstraction out of character nsideration, nearly. Actuality in the world is not a concept and the world ntuition of eternity is not a conceptual abstraction. This is where serious thinking about the nature of being a self begins. Time here is this cup on the table and me in a dynamic that is forward looking, anticipatory and so on.
3. Time movement and change. The idea here is to reconceive time so as to show its existential nature. It is not a nathematician’s world and what is actual is what lies before you in the world when you ask basic questions about Being. Time is reducible to actual events. That is the idea.
4. Show you? Well, it is tempting to say read Kierkegaard , but no. If we look at time as events and not as a metaphysical abstraction, stoppage of time becomes the stoppage of events. But this is impossible for one cannot resist Heraclitus and embrace Parmenides. That is the way to nothingness (Sartre is not far away here). But if the eternal present is an actuality, nah, THE actuality that that discloses its nature to inquiry, if time is only time-as-we-know-it, and eternity does not so much as contradict temporal flux as it reveals the eternal nature that underlies it, then the matter is altogether different.
5. Please retract your middle finger. I assumed you held some standard scientific view of time. You’ve read Kant? If you have taken this first step then excellent. move on.
6 you can’t make sense of it because you haven’t read what it is about. Put down your symbolic logic text and pick up heideggers Being and Time b
My background is physics/computer science/systems engineering and you are going to refer me to Heidegger and Kant as authorities on time?

Come now! We are talking about science, not poetry

odysseus
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:30 pm

### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Hello EB. At my phone and can’t do this properly.

As to the circularity, in the utterance, the terms may bear this out. But the charge is inevitable and I yield to Wittgesteins Tractatus in which he say outright that he has had to speak nonsense I order to make his point. The term eternal present I actually borrow from first Kierkegaard then Wittgenstein. One has to suspend the attempt of rational categories to subsume the world. In the world things get nameless fast ininquiry when one gaze is on basic assumptions. What is the stoppage of time if not a cessation is something actual that would warrant the expression?
2. Of course, it is an extrapolation from what we do know that justifies moving to what is not known. Empirical proof of infinite regressive time is not available. We are however constrained intuitively by the apriority of time: one event must precede another and this apodictically so. Try to imagine otherwise. You cant. Things true apriority puts the matter on a par with logic and math in terms of veracity.
3 as to “what is the point”: what IS yesterday If not a recollection of yesterday? We interpret the world through recollection and being here thinking of time is a gathering of thought from my past( which a localized societal past). As is the case with all concepts, all are interpretative. On analysis any reference to the now, the past or future is a regioalized affair, that is, contextualized in gathered thought moving toward some actualization in what will be. The question is, in this flux, is there anything that abides throughout? The concept of an eternal now is the only way to conceive this. And if approached conceptually merely, it is nonsense. But there is beneath the Jamesuam steam of consciousness, or at the center of the perceiving agent something that is utterly ineffable. The transcendental ego, the ego center which is never observed.
I think talk about the difference between yesterday’s is reducible to talk about differences that can be ignored or go unrecollected. To the extent one can do this, ignore recollection, one discovers an abiding Sense is the present. This is why there is such an element of mysticism in much of existentialism, why Husserl’s epochs is more than logic can say. Time never was the concept of time.

odysseus
Posts: 139
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

Well logic, I can absolutely guarantee that we’re you to read Heidegger’s Being and Time, you would not think it poetry. The trouble with science in philosophy is that does not realize that the nature of what it does is derivitive. It merely assumes and thereby begs questions it cannot bear to behold.
Better to read philosophy first, then issue thought and judgment.

Logik
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:19 am
Well logic, I can absolutely guarantee that we’re you to read Heidegger’s Being and Time, you would not think it poetry. The trouble with science in philosophy is that does not realize that the nature of what it does is derivitive. It merely assumes and thereby begs questions it cannot bear to behold.
Better to read philosophy first, then issue thought and judgment.
If you can't answer those questions from first principles and through applied empiricism, you sure aren't going to answer them by reading books.

Like most philosophers, you are misguided. To speak of the "nature" of things is to speak of ontology.

If time is change "The nature of being (ontology) of change" is a recursive oxymoron. Both Heidegger and Deleuze commit the ontological error.

In this universe there is no ontology. Only complex system dynamics.

Speakpigeon
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

surreptitious57 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:33 pm
More knowledge makes for better models but they will always be incomplete because of the problem of induction
But there is no better way to understand phenomena than through physical observation and mathematical models
Knowledge by subjective experience works without model but it's true it's limited to some small area of reality which is a part of our brain.
EB

Speakpigeon
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### Re: The Impossibility of Infinite Time

odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 am
As to the circularity, in the utterance, the terms may bear this out. But the charge is inevitable and I yield to Wittgesteins Tractatus in which he say outright that he has had to speak nonsense I order to make his point. The term eternal present I actually borrow from first Kierkegaard then Wittgenstein. One has to suspend the attempt of rational categories to subsume the world. In the world things get nameless fast ininquiry when one gaze is on basic assumptions. What is the stoppage of time if not a cessation is something actual that would warrant the expression?
You would have to convince me the usual vocabulary and concepts relative to time are terminally problematic. Short of that, why the soup of nonsense?
So, what's the problem with the idea of an infinite past, or with the idea that time is a succession of moments only one of them is now?
odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 am
2. Of course, it is an extrapolation from what we do know that justifies moving to what is not known. Empirical proof of infinite regressive time is not available. We are however constrained intuitively by the apriority of time: one event must precede another and this apodictically so.
???
apodictic
Necessarily or demonstrably true; incontrovertible.
There's nothing apodictic in the idea that "one event must precede another". It's merely our impression that it is so and it is perfectly conceivable that there may have been one initial event without anything coming before.
odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 am
Try to imagine otherwise. You cant. Things true apriority puts the matter on a par with logic and math in terms of veracity.

You would need to make the distinction between on the one hand "imagination" properly so-called, which actually is quite limited, for example we can't imagine an actual infinity, and on the other hand "conception", which probably because it is abstract doesn't seem to suffer from the same limitations. So, while I can't imagine an origin of time or something like the first event of reality, that fact is that I can conceive of both and no problem. Really easy.
odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 am
3 as to “what is the point”: what IS yesterday If not a recollection of yesterday?
Gobbledegook. If that was true you would be a mere and rather vague notion in my imagination rather than any actual human being.
Yesterday existed 24 hours ago for real.
What is true is that we don't actually know anything about the physical world since all we know is our own private subjective experience and then only now. Not much and so we have to rely on memory to remember what we did yesterday or indeed that there was something like yesterday. But while we don't know that yesterday itself really happened, you can't pretend you know yesterday is mere recollection.
odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 am
We interpret the world through recollection and being here thinking of time is a gathering of thought from my past( which a localized societal past). As is the case with all concepts, all are interpretative. On analysis any reference to the now, the past or future is a regioalized affair, that is, contextualized in gathered thought moving toward some actualization in what will be. The question is, in this flux, is there anything that abides throughout? The concept of an eternal now is the only way to conceive this. And if approached conceptually merely, it is nonsense. But there is beneath the Jamesuam steam of consciousness, or at the center of the perceiving agent something that is utterly ineffable. The transcendental ego, the ego center which is never observed.

I don't think we need to indulge in that sorts of ridiculous antics. I'm sorry to hear Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein both could find a way to articulate their ideas. So much for our bright philosophers. So, instead, try this: we know what we subjectively experience now and we know it only now: pain, a smell, a kaleidoscope of colours, a memory of yesterday, an idea we may have, an intuition. We know these things whenever we experience them subjectively. All the rest we can only believe: yesterday's event recalled today, the tree we believe we're looking at, the wound we seem to be the cause of the pain we feel. Now (and here) is just what we know. The rest we have to conjecture or just believe, from memory or otherwise. That's a much more economical way to describe the situation we're in and there's no need for Wittgenstein's nonsense.
odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 am
I think talk about the difference between yesterday’s is reducible to talk about differences that can be ignored or go unrecollected. To the extent one can do this, ignore recollection, one discovers an abiding Sense is the present. This is why there is such an element of mysticism in much of existentialism, why Husserl’s epochs is more than logic can say. Time never was the concept of time.
You should try rationality.
Personally, I don't feel the pull for any mysticism and yet I accept I don't know whether the material world exists at all. In fact, I doubt very much there's anything even remotely like what I think of as the material world. I think of reality most likely as something essentially like subjective experience, unless anyone could convince me reality is dualistic, which maybe it is since there no logical reason that it shouldn't be.
odysseus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 am
Hello EB. At my phone and can’t do this properly.
Nah. In my imagination it is working fine. Don't try to make excuses.
EB

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