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Time's Fabrication, or the Argument Burrito Supreme

Posted Aug 2, '14 at 5:12pm

crazyape

crazyape

1,800 posts

I was watching Lucy the other day, and through the disappointment at the movie, came something surprising. At one point, Lucy said "Time is the only true unit of measure, it gives proof to the existence of matter, without time, we donât exist."
For an attempted cerebral movie, I found this to be shockingly ignorant and Van Voorhis-esque. Before you flip your table in outrage, let me outline the facts. Please understand I am making a case against probably everything you believe in this thread. Bear with me here.

Throughout mankind's history, we have saught to understand, or at least account for what we cannot explain. Some of the best examples are magic, and in a somewhat directed format, religion. Since we're talking about time's validity, let's start from the beginning.
Artifacts from the Paleolithic suggest that the moon was used to reckon time as early as 6,000 years ago. This information was generally used to track crop cycles to know when to plant seeds. Basic survival stuff. But as villages formed, so did society diversify. There was more free time to sit around and think, "What in the actual **** is going on?" So came about leaders, philosophers, laws, mathematics, and measurements of time. We'll come back to this in a bit.

There are many measures of time, from a jiffy to a million years, the terms all vary. But what IS time? Most people agree that time is the flow of events, from past to present, stems from the beginning of time and disappears to the end. Here is where it gets sticky. We all know know time is going somewhere, but according to what some guy said, it all has to be recycled. That leads us to one of two conclusions:

Time is on a loop like a round treadmill, with a wall somewhere in the middle (wait, in the middle of a circular track? But where does it start and end?) That light you see at the end of the tunnel? That's the big bang. All matter and energy start to pile up, then finally pop through the wall, rearrange their ruffled feathers, and continue the cycle. Think fast, evolution.

Or:

Time is as much an illusion as color. Just another label for a reflection of something we barely understand. The thing we call "time" is simply a measure of points of events. Everything we invented to tell "time" is just based off of cycle reading. There is no time in a cycle. A cell does not know what hour or day it is. It splits on a cycle based on how many nutrients are available. The moon's cycle is based on an orbit induced by gravitational pull. We based our months off of the moon's cycle. We based our days off of the months, the weeks and hours off of days, the minutes off the hours, the seconds off the minutes, and so on. A cycle continues regardless of "time", and is only stopped by wear and tear or an outside influence. This means that "time" is neither linear nor circular, it is vast emptiness of nonexistence, and the great dates and deadlines we set are little more than buoys in the bay of reality. Once we escape the illusion of age and lack of time, we become free to be who we truly are. But doesn't that mean certain religions are...? No. In fact, I have a cute little tie-in argument.

Take a trip in imagination with me; it's 38,000 BCE, and we see a rudimentary ancestor of modern humans carving away at a little statue of a half-man half-lion. Is it a deity, or has our friendly whittler been making fire with the wrong plants?
Fast forward about 8000 years. the San peoples in northwestern Botswana are painting pictures on the walls of Tsodilo hills, believing that it was the sight of creation, and that disturbances or death near the hills would stir up some bad juju spirits.
By 9130 BC, early peoples had constructed Göbekli Tepe as a permanent place of worship over an ancestral holy site. Many archealogists believe the actual structure could actually be from as far back as 11,000 BCE, which predates the so-called Neolithic revolution. Go figure.
Now after all this history, at around 3750 BCE, proto-semitic peoples appeared in the Arabian people and moved around.

So, by the time abrahamic christianity showed up, religion had been around for something like twenty thousand years. These old pre-civilization deities predate modern religion by a bunch. So how do people still believe their religion is true?

Well, as I went from going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it, I came upon two Christians discussing with each-other what it means to be a Christian, or some such. I barged in, quite uninvited, and asked them about the concept of "faith". Well, being but followers, not actually knowing anything, they stumbled around verbally, preaching to me and condescendingly quoting bible verses about doubt and temptation to each-other. The conversation went on until I explained to them this:

Religion is a social construct. Way back in history, some leader of a tribe of cavemen (don't take that too literal) got wise and realized with a large group of people, you can't just let everyone do whatever they want. So he thought to himself, "Hey, if I tell people if they hurt or steal or are disrespectful to deities, when they die they're go to place full of dead people and fire. Dead people and fire are scary." And so the afterlife was born. If you notice, most religions have a guideline of being a better person to other people and just in general. Ceremonies were the earliest form of organization and rules. And that's where religion comes from, and what it does.

How does this tie in? Well, here goes!

So, if time never ends, there is no religion, what's the point of all of it?
Short answer: Reproduction. Making sticky. Doing wang chung.
Long answer: The point of life is whatever you make it about. With modern technology you don't have to worry too much about starvation, or dying of a small cut on our hand. You can make babies, or be an artist, or make art and paint babies. Hell, you could pretend to be crazy, or kill someone and be fed and taken care of for the rest of your life. It's up to you.

What SHOULD you do with your life?
You realize we live on the most biologically challenging planet in the known universe? We beat the Neanderthals out, even though they were smarter, faster, stronger, and grew faster than us. The Denisovans probably got smart enough to realize out they were screwed anyways and just sat there waiting to die. (Romeo, it's just that the time was wrong. Tear, tear.) We lived through floods, starvation, the host of venomous critters, ravenous beasts, our local apex predators. We conquered everything. All with under 10% of our brain's functioning capacity. For a long period worshiped deities that controlled the crops, fertility, the sun, the moon, sickness and health. We worshiped the gods of war and their ability to sunder armies. For our entire history, we have worshiped power. We have always had the idea that there is some powerful thing behind our success.

The human race has become like a race of demigods. We control the whole world. There is nothing we can't change, if we put our minds to it. We are the ultimate beings on this planet. I think everyone should try to further their own perfection. We may not become perfect in one or two generations, but in a few hundred years, we will be close.

Around the world, people are being discriminated against because of their color, their beliefs, their social status. And it will always be that way until we realize that we are the highest power. We are all equally capable of becoming perfect, through genetic research. Our grandchildren could have twice our lifespan, due to recent discoveries. I'm not saying immortality will be pretty, but I know the humans have already written their destinies across the stars. With understanding and discipline, we could spread across the universe infinitely.

In conclusion, mankind is bound by chains of dogma and imagined limits. Our weakness is ignorance, the fear of the unknown, insecurity in what is new. Our strength is in numbers, in our resilience, in our intellect, in our capacity for discovery.

I don't expect any more than to be ridiculed by some, and thought of as crazy by the rest. But there's always the low probability that someone will put the pieces together, and that's why I decided to post this. I will try to be timely in my responses, so give me your best shot, lurkers and skeptics alike. I apologize in advance for any errors in grammar or verbiage.

 

Posted Aug 2, '14 at 5:55pm

09philj

09philj

2,687 posts

Erm, but without time, we don't exist in any meaningful way. We can't think without time, and nothing occurs without time.

 

Posted Aug 2, '14 at 6:43pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,799 posts

Knight

So I seem to miss the point of all that; you're jumping around too much, at least it seems that way to me. To address the time issue: according to my current understanding, time is just the sum of events happening, and physics show its units are relative. In fact, time possibly did not exist before the Big Bang. But now stuff happens, and time is not non-existent; it is just what we use to qualify and quantify all those events.

----

The rest is a bit foggy, and I can't say that I agree with all of it. There are a few things in your so-called facts I want to address:

You realize we live on the most biologically challenging planet in the known universe?

I would argue Mars in its current state is magnitudes more challenging, and it certainly is not the worst, by far.

We conquered everything. All with under 10% of our brain's functioning capacity.

http://d3dsacqprgcsqh.cloudfront.net/photo/a6drXde_460s.jpg

The human race has become like a race of demigods. We control the whole world. There is nothing we can't change, if we put our minds to it. We are the ultimate beings on this planet. I think everyone should try to further their own perfection. We may not become perfect in one or two generations, but in a few hundred years, we will be close.

That is arguable. We do definitely not control the whole world, and reality shows us there are still many issues to take care of. With history repeating itself, we might never advance at all.

Our grandchildren could have twice our lifespan, due to recent discoveries.

Could not, at least not biologically. Telomer ends, look it up. I think the oldest we can get is about 125 years, which IS a lot compared to most people today.
 

Posted Aug 2, '14 at 7:42pm

FishPreferred

FishPreferred

2,145 posts

We all know know time is going somewhere, but according to what some guy said, it all has to be recycled.


Wrong on both counts. Time is not dynamic. It is dynamism itself, and it is not expendable.

That light you see at the end of the tunnel?


Um...What?

That's the big bang.


(see above)

Time is as much an illusion as color.


Colour is not an illusion. It is a property of light.

Once we escape the illusion of age and lack of time, we become free to be who we truly are. But doesn't that mean certain religions are...?


None of this is coherent, but the rest of the paragraph, minus rhetoric, is sound.

The rest of the OP is essentially drivel, and has no clear or direct relevance to the opening topic. Particularly odd is this paragraph:

The human race has become like a race of demigods. We control the whole world. There is nothing we can't change, if we put our minds to it. We are the ultimate beings on this planet. I think everyone should try to further their own perfection. We may not become perfect in one or two generations, but in a few hundred years, we will be close


1 How about reducing human greed? Or conceit? Or destructiveness? Those would be some changes I'd like to see.

2 Perfection is far more illusory than time. It's an absurd and self-defeating idea.
 

Posted Aug 2, '14 at 9:21pm

crazyape

crazyape

1,800 posts

Erm, but without time, we don't exist in any meaningful way. We can't think without time, and nothing occurs without time.

I already explained that time is a label that people came up with as an explanation for the forward momentum phenomena. We don't KNOW where "time" is going. Why should it go in any direction, if it has no direction?

So I seem to miss the point of all that; you're jumping around too much, at least it seems that way to me. To address the time issue: according to my current understanding, time is just the sum of events happening, and physics show its units are relative. In fact, time possibly did not exist before the Big Bang. But now stuff happens, and time is not non-existent; it is just what we use to qualify and quantify all those events

I agree with you. I say it is non-existent because the concept that is being labelled has no actual affect on the universe, or anything within it, and as well cannot be affected by anything.

I would argue Mars in its current state is magnitudes more challenging, and it certainly is not the worst, by far.

Please understand I meant biologically challenging. And Earth has a far more diverse set of things that challenge the survival of humans. Indeed, we cannot naturally inhabit nearly 60% of the Earth's surface.

"We do not use only 10% of our brains"

I will correct myself. According to Dr. Richard Cytowic, we use up to 16% of our brains at any one time. The fact remains there are many unharnessed areas of our minds that have room for improvement.

That is arguable. We do definitely not control the whole world, and reality shows us there are still many issues to take care of. With history repeating itself, we might never advance at all.

This is the issue I hope to fix. History repeats itself only as long as our behavior remains the same. I'm referring to Human Potential, not just what we are at this moment.

Could not, at least not biologically. Telomer ends, look it up. I think the oldest we can get is about 125 years, which IS a lot compared to most people today.

Everything you need to know about biological immortality

Wrong on both counts. Time is not dynamic. It is dynamism itself, and it is not expendable.

Dynamism? Characterized by action and progress is what I assume you mean. You cannot have progress without a goal. And there is no goal to time. It is not a cycle, unless it's to rid itself of parasites. But time has no needs, it has no goal. It is a nonexistent measurement that neither acts upon nor is acted upon by anything.

Um...What?

If you couldn't tell, I was dismissing the first scenario.

Colour is not an illusion. It is a property of light.

Color is not a thing in itself. It is an illusion because it is another label. The "color" you see is the only point in the spectrum that is not reflected by the object in question.

None of this is coherent, but the rest of the paragraph, minus rhetoric, is sound.

Thank you?

1 How about reducing human greed? Or conceit? Or destructiveness? Those would be some changes I'd like to see.

Without ambition and hubris we are slaves to society, and without destructiveness we cannot raze anything that would stop us from accomplishing our goals. Nothing in the human psych is useless, everything serves a purpose when properly directed.

2 Perfection is far more illusory than time. It's an absurd and self-defeating idea

It is illusory to you because you are not willing to sacrifice your weaknesses. It's absurd and self-defeating to those who don't know what achievement is. What purpose does ambition have if you do not strive to achieve your own goals? Why are we destructive if we do not destroy our obstacles? Why are we conceited if we are back-paddling in a stagnant pool of our own inaction? You understand that these things are only unhealthy when they aren't put to use. What kind of quality of life do you have if you are happy to sit in your own filth on some hellhole planet when you could try to become something better? Do you know why people are jealous of Hollywood stars? Because they went out and sold their souls or worked their ***** off to look and be better than you. That's why people like (and I really am about to go here) Justin Bieber can do nigh on anything they want and get away with it. Because at the end of the day, he's rich, good-looking, successful, and famous, while you are sitting there telling me that I should stop trying to make myself as close to perfect as I can in one lifetime. Perfection is the only thing that isn't natural to humans. That's why it's up to the conceited, greedy people to challenge nature.

But in the event that I am way off my mark, and you have personal goals for your own self-image that don't stem from a need for approval that everyone has, then I apologize, and if perfection is not your goal, then I will still applaud your progress as a socially independent person.


last edited Aug 02 2014 09:24 pm by crazyape
 

Posted Aug 3, '14 at 12:59am

FishPreferred

FishPreferred

2,145 posts

I agree with you. I say it is non-existent because the concept that is being labelled has no actual affect on the universe, or anything within it, and as well cannot be affected by anything.


It's merely a matter of definition. What you refer to as the forward momentum phenomena is also known as "time".

Please understand I meant biologically challenging. And Earth has a far more diverse set of things that challenge the survival of humans. Indeed, we cannot naturally inhabit nearly 60% of the Earth's surface.


And yet we can naturally inhabit all of 0% of Mars.

I will correct myself. According to Dr. Richard Cytowic, we use up to 16% of our brains at any one time. The fact remains there are many unharnessed areas of our minds that have room for improvement.


Dr. Cytowic is therefore in error.

Dynamism? Characterized by action and progress is what I assume you mean.


No; Dynamism. Time is the state, rather than the action, of occuring.

Color is not a thing in itself. It is an illusion because it is another label. The "color" you see is the only point in the spectrum that is not reflected by the object in question.


No. Colour is the quantity of transmissible energy in a given photon.

Without ambition and hubris we are slaves to society, and without destructiveness we cannot raze anything that would stop us from accomplishing our goals. Nothing in the human psych is useless, everything serves a purpose when properly directed.


And that purpose is ultimately self-destructive.

It is illusory to you because you are not willing to sacrifice your weaknesses.


No. It is illusory because it requires the summation of conflicting ideals. Hence the self-defeat. Hence the absurdity.

What purpose does ambition have if you do not strive to achieve your own goals? Why are we destructive if we do not destroy our obstacles? Why are we conceited if we are back-paddling in a stagnant pool of our own inaction? You understand that these things are only unhealthy when they aren't put to use.


No. They are unhealthy regardless of circumstances. Each is, in fact, an extreme excess of what would otherwise promote survival. Therefore, a substantial reduction is called for. It will never occur, however, because humanity as a whole is incapable of changing itself. That is the point.

What kind of quality of life do you have if you are happy to sit in your own filth on some hellhole planet when you could try to become something better?


By "hellhole planet", I presume you mean the once pristine and ritch ecosystem which has since been dragged through the mud, squeezed like a lemon, and tossed aside by human greed? Do you really believe that the species can do better starting from scratch somewhere else, when it cannot even maintain its native ecosystem?

Do you know why people are jealous of Hollywood stars?


Because those people (the former, although not necessarily excluding the latter) are vain and narrow minded.

[...] while you are sitting there telling me that I should stop trying to make myself as close to perfect as I can in one lifetime.


I'm also telling you that you should seek better ideals than notoriety, monetary wealth, and whatever you here construe as "success", as they are clearly useless, meaningless, and insignificant in the context of self-improvement.

Perfection is the only thing that isn't natural to humans.That's why it's up to the conceited, greedy people to challenge nature.


No.

But in the event that I am way off my mark, and you have personal goals for your own self-image that don't stem from a need for approval that everyone has, [..]


There is no such need. Need implies the imperative. There is only a drive, and I do not have it.
 

Posted Aug 3, '14 at 4:09am

crazyape

crazyape

1,800 posts

It's merely a matter of definition. What you refer to as the forward momentum phenomena is also known as "time".


Time is a label of the forward momentum phenomena.

And yet we can naturally inhabit all of 0% of Mars


That was just so unnecessary.

Dr. Cytowic is therefore in error.


He's a neurologist, you haven't given so much as a LINK.

No; Dynamism. Time is the state, rather than the action, of occurring


Time can't be a STATE of occurring because it has no affect on or from anything.

No. Colour is the quantity of transmissible energy in a given photon.


Photons, yo

And that purpose is ultimately self-destructive.


What purpose?

No. It is illusory because it requires the summation of conflicting ideals. Hence the self-defeat. Hence the absurdity.


And what ideals are these?

No. They are unhealthy regardless of circumstances. Each is, in fact, an extreme excess of what would otherwise promote survival. Therefore, a substantial reduction is called for. It will never occur, however, because humanity as a whole is incapable of changing itself. That is the point.


You have so little faith in humanity that it blinds you to our potential. We are a dread race. NOTHING can stop us once we get started. Greed, ambition, wanton destruction. Animals don't have this. Animals merely survive. Humans advance. Onward, ever onward. And all you can do is sit there with your "drivel" about monetary success and notoriety? I don't care about that. I care about people. I LOVE mankind. I know what our nature is. Anything that tries to help us gets chewed up and spit out. Don't even presume to tell me about how terrible people are. I actually feel physically sick just thinking about what a shriveled up person you must be, NOT to love the people around you.

There is no such need. Need implies the imperative. There is only a drive, and I do not have it.


You have no passion. No goals. You can't even find yourself. I see you around the forums. I know what you're about.

I have yet to see you back yourself up with any proof whatsoever.
 

Posted Aug 3, '14 at 5:55am

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,799 posts

Knight

I will correct myself. According to Dr. Richard Cytowic, we use up to 16% of our brains at any one time. The fact remains there are many unharnessed areas of our minds that have room for improvement.

Keyword being at any one time. I still don't think those 16% reflect the real situation nor is along the current consensus, but there is one thing you have to consider. There are situations where almost all of a people's brain is 'used': this is called an epileptic seizure. Thinking that just because we don't use all neurons simultaneously means we have unspent potential is a false syllogism.

That was just so unnecessary.

Why? That was exactly my point too! Earth is probably one of the least biologically challenging planet in the known universe; proof of that is the wide diversity of biological organisms inhabiting it.

This is the issue I hope to fix. History repeats itself only as long as our behavior remains the same. I'm referring to Human Potential, not just what we are at this moment.

We are mortal beings. History is bound to repeat itself. And if you want immortality to solve this, maybe a lecture of the book "Tous les hommes sont mortels" (All men are mortal) by Simone de Beauvoir will make you think about this again (or not, but anyway it is a worthwhile lecture I can only recommend).

Everything you need to know about biological immortality

As mentioned in that paper, telomerase is linked with cancer growth, and tinkering with our telomer ends is hazardous. Our life expectancy is not unlimited.
 

Posted Aug 3, '14 at 7:01am

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,799 posts

Knight

Oh, and sorry for the double post, but you don't have to go much further than Wikipedia to find good links on the Ten Percent of Brain Myth.

 

Posted Aug 3, '14 at 9:36am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,391 posts

Moderator

As HahiHa noted, your opening argument is very difficult to follow. But the discussion after isn't really helping either. It seems as though you're giving an argument that time is illusory and then using that to draw conclusions about religion. Much of the responses haven't really focused on these two main points. So maybe we can make them a bit clearer.

So here is where I see your first claim coming forward:

There are many measures of time, from a jiffy to a million years, the terms all vary. But what IS time? [...] according to what some guy said, it all has to be recycled.


You start with a uncontentious claim about how we measure time in a variety of ways and follow it up with a much more interesting question - what is time? But there are a number of ways of answering this question depending on what exactly you're asking. Are you asking if time exists and, if so, to what extent? Or are you asking what time is in the same sense that I might ask what length is - that is, as a measurement.

But the line after this that 'according to some guy it all has to be recycled' doesn't make sense here. Time has to be recycled? Why is this?

So then you move on to two possible conclusions, but seem to land on the notion that time is an illusion. I'm not sure what this means. Do you mean to say that the passage of time is an illusion? That time doesn't really pass?

What you say after this, however, suggests something completely different. You talk about how time is just measured by certain contingent facts about the world around us (e.g. the phases of the moon or our planet's path around the Sun). Now, I'm happy to grant that the way we measure time is pretty much arbitrary (it's actually not, but there's a technical definition of arbitrary and I don't think this is what the OP meant. The better word here is contingent). But this in no way leads to the conclusion that time doesn't actually pass. You say several times throughout that time cannot effect things nor be affected by things. A philosopher would sum this up by saying something like: 'Time is inefficacious'. But when a philosopher says that, they mean something very, very different from your point.

So maybe have a think about what your position is. Do you think that the passage of time is an illusion? Would events continue to obtain without humans to observe them (e.g. stars forming, planets moving, etc.)? What would change if the passage of time were not illusory?

I won't address the rest of the argument as it seems to rest on the passage of time *not* being illusory! Tracing human activities regarding religion throughout time seems inconsistent with your original point.

Thinking about and addressing those questions from above might help us better understand and engage with your position.
 
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