Time: Does it exist or not?


Here I am presenting two arguments in favor and against time. The first argument is mine and the second argument is McTaggart argument.

Here is my argument: Changes exist. Any change refers to two state of affairs. These two state of affairs cannot lay on the same point therefore they lay on different points. We know that one of these points follow another one. There is however a duration for reaching from one point to another point otherwise the change will never take place. This means that these points are related to a variable that we call it time.

Another argument is the McTaggart argument which is presented nicely in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG-vauq7Dhw.

What do you think?


A-theory assumes the present as a reference point and I think is more accurate but it need to state " with respect to the now". B - theory does not account for the now at all.

Time exists.


But can you prove your theory? How do we know one point in time is in front of the other?


Actually all that exists is “Now”. The past is only memory and the future speculation. We call this arraignment “time”.


McTaggart argued that time is unreal. Time is real only if real change occurs. An A-series describes real change. An A-series does not exist.

B-series: event series ordered by the relation of earlier than.
A-series: B-series with some moment as the present moment.
C-series (inclusion series): one series for which each perceiver, and each element (a misperception of reality) in the series has as a proper part its predecessor.


I suggest that you read through Augustine’s explanation of time. In book Eleven of his Confessions, Augustine goes through a detailed analysis and pondering of the question of time, and if the past, present, and future exist.

Even though it is called “Book Eleven”, it is actually more like just a chapter of Confessions, and what it calls “chapters” are for the most part little more than a paragraph or a few each, so overall it is a relatively short read:


Some of the things he ponders and explains are:

"…There was no time, therefore, when thou hadst not made anything, because thou hadst made time itself. And there are no times that are coeternal with thee, because thou dost abide forever; but if times should abide, they would not be times.

For what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? Who can even comprehend it in thought or put the answer into words? Yet is it not true that in conversation we refer to nothing more familiarly or knowingly than time? And surely we understand it when we speak of it; we understand it also when we hear another speak of it.

What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks me, I do not know. Yet I say with confidence that I know that if nothing passed away, there would be no past time; and if nothing were still coming, there would be no future time; and if there were nothing at all, there would be no present time.

But, then, how is it that there are the two times, past and future, when even the past is now no longer and the future is now not yet? But if the present were always present, and did not pass into past time, it obviously would not be time but eternity. If, then, time present – if it be time – comes into existence only because it passes into time past, how can we say that even this is, since the cause of its being is that it will cease to be? Thus, can we not truly say that time is only as it tends toward non-being?"


Time is God’s way of making sure that everything doesn’t happen at once.


Exactly. Time is God’s gift to give us a way to gradually come to know Him, so that we may freely choose to love Him and to serve Him.

The gift of time allows us to not be mentally overwhelmed all at once so that we as creations may both sequentially understand and progressively react with our rational intellects to the infinitesimal amount of reality that we individually experience.

Time is a gift so that we as creatures can observe and come to formulate an understanding of Him who is eternal. All of creation and time exists for Him as an eternal now.

If we experienced the same, I think our brains would overheat and explode and we would pop like the lemmings in the old SNES game.


Only “Now” is important.


The knowledge of the lessons of the past and the potentiality of the future serve only to aid in how we accomplish the actualization of the present.


I agree. The past did exist but the future does not exist yet.


Have you watch the second video? It clearly explains that trying to conceptualize now leads into infinite regress.


We know that changes occurs in chronological way because we are able to memorize them. So that is in fact a fact that we know that one point related to a change is before or after another point.


I agree but how do you define now? How can you show that what you think is right? Can you prove it?


I don’t agree. Time exists whether there is a change or not. In fact that is time which allows a change.


Didn’t we do this twice? What did we decide. ?

I seem to remember the outcome was it started at the instant of creation.


Actually one can show that time cannot be created. That I discuss it in another thread: Time cannot be created.

Actually I can define time: Time is an entity which allows a change to occur. We have memory of changes that belong to past, we experience now and we are waiting for or manipulate future.


Could you please elaborate what are m, c and theta?


Have you watch the videos? What is your opinion about the arguments made in video?


I am afraid I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

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