Time cannot be created


Yes… that’s exactly it! God is timeless and always exists in a timeless state. Even ‘once’ creation existed, God continues to be timeless. You’ve got it!

In a way… yes.

And no. Time exists within creation. God is ‘prior’ to creation, but not in a “chronological” sense.


Two questions more, STT:

  1. Is there any real change or movement in your brain?

  2. If motion is not real, but subjective, how do you explain that two individuals coincide in their description of a given movement?


From all of what the author of the article says, is there anything that coincides with your thoughts about time or your thoughts are different and even opposite to those in the article?


STT, that article is a lot of reading for me but I am going to try to get through on it on Friday because I’d like to understand what it means to perceive time as you do. Truthfully, I might not be able to do that quickly because I have a pretty good imagination but I have not been able to come to any new understanding of what a “slice of time” would be if I believed it were a thing as opposed to an idea, as you do. Also, I don’t understand what it would mean to view distance (or was it movement) as a subjective experience.

I don’t have any experience with your view and understanding of things. Have you always had this view on time and space? The reason I ask is because I am wondering if you understand my view, which I thought was the common view. In other words, if you don’t mind me asking, what’s the history of your understanding? If it is an understanding you have come to from the common view, maybe you could layout how you arrived at it. If it’s your natural understanding, it might be more difficult to make it relatable to me. I figure you are a patient person because this is already a long thread.


Of course there is real change in my brain. I meant things such as speed are subjective.

I have no idea how brain create the experience of speed. I know what we experience at any given moment is form, position of a particle for example. I also know that we have an inner clock. These seems two basic ingredients though.


Just a point that Nobel Prize in physics, David Gross expressed that viewpoint we don’t know any theory with time as a emergent property:

Everyone in string theory is convinced…that spacetime is doomed. But we don’t know what it’s replaced by. We have an enormous amount of evidence that space is doomed. We even have examples, mathematically well-defined examples, where space is an emergent concept…. But in my opinion the tough problem that has not yet been faced up to at all is, “How do we imagine a dynamical theory of physics in which time is emergent?” …All the examples we have do not have an emergent time. They have emergent space but not time. It is very hard for me to imagine a formulation of physics without time as a primary concept because physics is typically thought of as predicting the future given the past. We have unitary time evolution. How could we have a theory of physics where we start with something in which time is never mentioned?

He thinks that is hard to get a theory with time as emergent property but I think it is impossible.


Well, we only perceive forms, one of them being the distance between two objects. This is directly transformed into experience inside our brains. Speed however is a different thing. Speed is not a form so it cannot be perceived directly. Our brain however create speed and lets us to experience it.

I used to think that time as a relative change in objects, one of the object being standard clock. But I changed my mind recently. I think that time is fundamental entity of reality.


If there is real change in your brain it must consist in the relative movement of its constituent particles. If I, as an observer, focus my attention on the movement of two of those particles I could see that one moves in one direction and the other in a different direction, with respect to a position that I take as a reference. Couldn’t I say, objectively, if one particle moves faster that the other?

Are you postulating that all inner clocks in the world are synchronized?


Not objectively. The only real things that you have is dt, infinitesimal duration, and dx, infinitesimal change in position. You could keep dt constant for both particle and what you observe is that the particle with faster speed moves longer.

I think that inner clock of all humans is naturally pretty similar.


I have heard stories, and experienced myself during a car accident, the perception that time can seem to slow down during extraordinary events. So is the perception of time and speed certain to be similar? Though, one second moves the second hand of a clock only one tick whether it seems slow or fast. Do you think time is involved in moving things?


If we can say objectively that a particle has traveled a given distance; and if we can say objectively as well that this particle has traveled that distance before another; and if we say that a particle is faster that other when it travels a larger distance than the other when they started moving simultaneously, why is it not objective to say that one particle is faster than the other?

If you accept that it is objective to talk about “dx” (the displacement of a body), then why do you say that motion is not real, but subjective?


I think that is the perception of speed which slows down.

I think time is needed for any change.


Because there is no speed outside our mind. You can think of it this way. The only things that are objectively real are dt and dx. Given the same duration a particle travel distance dx1 and another dx2. We however experience that first particle moves faster than another if dx1>dx2.

Perhaps it is a misuse of words. dx is change in my vocabulary. Motion could be speed for example.


Absolutely! You need to study more, so that you can learn the meaning of the words that you are using trying to convey your thoughts.

If we say that a particle moves at a higher speed than other, we mean that it is faster than the other, which also means that it travels a larger distance than the other having both started moving simultaneously.

Motion and speed are not synonymous. Motion is a relative change in position. Speed is a relation that we establish between two movements to express “the rate of change”. As it is a relation, it is just a thought, not a physical object or “thing”. But to say that a relation is objective does not mean that it is a physical thing. It just means that it refers to an aspect of the real world.

So, when we say that speed is objective, we don’t want to mean that among the other physical objects that we find before us there are other “things” which we call “speeds”. We just mean that not all changes are equal, but that when we take a periodic movement as a reference, some changes happen in less periods of the reference and some in more periods.

Is it clear enough to you?


I see. Thanks for explanation.


Merely because there is duration between some, most or even all events, as a matter of fact, does not logically mean that duration between two events necessarily must be the case. There is no logical impediment to having two events (cause and effect) occurring simultaneously. Aristotle even distinguished between events that happen per accidens (in linear or “horizontal” sequence) and those which occur per se (essentially or “vertically”.) Per se events occur simultaneously because the cause sustains the effect here and now. Therefore, it isn’t true to say that duration between two events must take place.

Edward Feser has many examples of this distinction, also known as the difference between instrumental and principle causality (or second and first causality.)


There is a logical problem when you say that there exist not anything which can separate two state of affairs. The state of affairs as a whole is ill-defined.

Can you give me an example of essential events?

You didn’t notice that simultaneous cause is single and not plural. You however need to explain how a single cause can turn into a set of single causes. Are you suggesting that the information about all causes is pact into one single cause. You will be having difficult time to show that and I see contradiction in it.

Well, I think that the reality can be explained in term of linear cause which of course could have forks when we need to decide. That is only time that we can act as an uncaused cause.


There are two conceptions of observable reality. One views the observable universe mechanistically, much as a clock initially designed and built by some initial event or cause or God which merely unwinds itself. The other, the Aristotelian, Thomistic or hylemorphic view is that observable reality is more like a “performed” event which is maintained in existence at the present moment like a musical piece.

The problem with the mechanistic view is that it completely fails to explain what sustains the “mechanism” of observable reality – the “clock,” if you like – in existence here and now. What is the nature of the underlying reality that keeps things in existence at each moment?

The “linear” view of causation arises from the mechanistic view of the universe, and so causation proceeds from the past through the present into the future, sequentially in a way that requires time as the measure of change. This view merely assumes the mechanism keeps itself in existence a se at each moment and makes no attempt to explain why that would be the case.

The “vertical” or hylemorphic view adds the idea that causation also needs to explain why things exist at each moment in the here and now – how contingent things are sustained in existence at each present moment. According to this view of causation what needs to be accounted for is the vertical causal structure that makes things exist now – why there now exists something rather than nothing. That kind of causation can simply be encompassed in the present moment, in the immediate now and is not time dependent.

We thus have the two theories of time: A Theory and B Theory.

Now the truth might require something of both. That means secondary causation utilizing a series of accidental causes through time from past into the present and the future might be an aspect of reality. That does not exclude the necessity of per se or essential causation where a separate or vertical causal order is necessary to keep things in existence right here and right now. That kind of causation would be immediate, keeping things in existence completely absent any kind of time structure because the present moment might, in fact, be open to eternity and timeless.

You might want to view or listen in on these two clips:

An explanation of the two theories of time…

A discussion of two of Edward Feser’s proofs for the existence of God that gets fairly deep into the difference between accidental and per se causation and why the contingency of things in the here and now does not sufficiently explain the existence of things here and now.


I have problems with second view: (1) How God could know the state of affair if He is supposed to hold things timelessly and (2) How a timeless act can be turned into temporal acts.

There is no underlying reality. Things exist and have some properties. This properties tell us how things interact with each other. Why are you looking for an underlying reality?

I am discussing the same problem with another friend in another thread. The universe could not existed, is contingent. Why it follows that it should be created?

I see, A theory is related to linear causation and B theory is related to vertical causation.

I see what you are trying to say in here. But I see no reason that things could not be stable and need no sustainer.


Well, because there must be a reason why THOSE “things exist” here and now, and why those things that do exist have the specific properties that they do have and not some others.

You don’t suppose that THAT entire aspect of reality ought to be ignored and left unexplained do you?

All of that just happened magically for no reason and requires no explanation, is that what you suppose?

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