chris peck wrote:

Im fairly sure you are attacking a straw man. We can just say that 'now' races towards the future rather than the opposite without us exerting any effort, whilst 'here' doesnt really move at all. Especially for a rock. At least the a priori notions of each spatial dimension dont involve change of position, but our a priori notion of time at least involves a change of time. If time has no arrow one way or the other, if there is no succession of events, then time stops.


I am left wondering whether you know what I mean at all when I say that we are embeded in time in a way we are not in space. Its more the point that there is a direction to time rather than whether we characterise the direction one way or the other, or whether it can be flipped, or whether backwards in time need be or neednt be represented by positive integers. One way or the other, time moves on. And if it doesnt, everything stops.

But there's no need to understand this in terms of time "moving", we can just understand it in terms of our brains having different memories and anticipations of the future at different points along our worldline. Relativity poses severe problems for the idea that there is actually a single "present moment" which is constantly moving towards the future in some universal, objective sense. In relativity, simultaneity is relative, meaning that two events which happen at the same time-coordinate in one reference frame will happen at different time-coordinates in another reference frame, and relativity says that no reference frame is physically preferred over any other. I suppose you could still imagine that one reference frame is "metaphysically preferred" and thus has the "true" definition of simultaneity, even though there is no experiment you can do to find out which reference frame this is, but this view seems rather inelegant.

For more on relativity and why it tends to favor the "block time" view over the "moving present" view, see this article by Paul Davies:

http://tinyurl.com/dlo3v

Jesse


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