We often ask our ourselves, "what time is it?" and we always get an answer by simply looking at the clock face or the wrist watch. There are also other traditional ways of telling time like looking at the position and size of the shadow, position of the sun, etc. But why do we really bother ourselves so? Do we always have to associate everything we do with time? The below discussions looks at the shortcomings we have in the concept 'time' hence tends to justify the idea that time is not a reality.
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Time is ever continuous: - I believe that time has no particular point at which it starts and ends. It is like a circle. So when a measure is extracted from this continuity to determine what time an event has taken to happen, then this is not realistic, or to be precise, not accurate. We go round the clock from say 0000hrs to 2359hrs then back to 0000hrs. But at what point did this start being? Why does it start from the middle of the night then ends also almost at the middle of the night? Were it possible to have time as an entity that has a straight continuum just like a ruler, then it would sound a bit more realistic.
Time is constant: - The fact that time is ever constant makes its reality questionable. In many scientific equations, time always appear as a constant, i.e. nothing acts on it to change it, just like heat acts on temperature to result in an increase. Going by this argument, then time is a mere mental entity that universally exists in the mental sphere of humanity. We would like to have time as having a changing mechanism, like say when event X happens, time will move faster and when event Y happens then time will move slower.
McTaggart (1908) says that when we ask what we mean by saying that there were different moments of time or a certain moment or certain duration of time through which the thing was the same, we find that we say that it remained the same while other things were changing. He goes on to assert that a universe in which nothing changes would remain a timeless Universe. Closely related to this are sentiments posited by Emerson in his work entitled Reality and Time. He acknowledges McTaggart famous objection to the coherence of traditional expression of the dynamic concept, and rightly maintains that we should talk only of the past, present and future time but more fundamentally of past, present and future events
Unrealistic presentation of time: - The ways we present time seem quite unrealistic. McTaggart asserts this fact by borrowing from Bradley's idea that there might be several independent time-series in reality. For Bradley, time is only appearance and there is no time in reality at all. McTaggart therefore pumps in his argument here that time series would be real, while the distinction of the past, present and future would only have meaning within each series, and could not be taken as ultimately real. What comes out here is that the idea of time therefore actually refers to a happening and cannot exist devoid of the happening. The question that is prevalent here is, what the past/future is, and can only be answered by saying that when a given event had occurred, if we want to refer to the past, or when the event will occur when we want to refer to the future. Again, the past flows into the present and the present flows into the future in a way that there are no clear outlines that we can use to exactly pin point which is which form a glance.
The idea of wasting time: When one seems to be delaying on doing something, we often shout out that they are wasting time. This is a common phenomenon especially when the subject is getting involved in things that are not relevant or important in that particular context. For instance when it is time for preparations and revision, a student who is found chatting can be scolded and told to stop wasting time. We even go ahead to count the number of hours, minutes or seconds that have lost 'ut if reality. , it is not time that we have wasted but an opportunity to do something. Closely related to this is the idea of 'time is shord' instead of putting it directly as 'there is little oppordunity' or 'there is muãh time' instead of just saying that there,is plenty of an opportunity. By the mere fact that time is not wasted, it sounds not me not even being an idea, but a mere entity in the utopian realms.
Time is unnatural: In nature, time seems not to get a good place. Time is made of nothing, nothing at all, whether in substance or not. Its is by mere perception and count. McTaggart puts it that statements which involve reality of time are erroneous and that such an assertion involves a far greater departure from the natural position of mankind than is involved in the assertion of the unreality of space or the unreality of matter. The unnatural nature of time comes out when we find no answers to pertinent questions such us, 'what is the ultimate essence of time outside context?' This makes time a phenomenon which is not original in its own sense and which cannot exist without the presence of the context in which is mentioned or referred to. Time exists only in a particular context in which it is referred to by the subjects.
The dating system: The dating system makes time a very strange entity. Before the supposedly year 0000, years used to be negative, for example -1456 B.C. We can argue in essence that time is unrealistic because if we go back and back in time, we are going to move infinitely. Contrary to this, there is a belief that the world was created at some point and therefore we expect that time has some point it started from. McTaggart alludes to this when he says that in the philosophy of and the religion of the East we find this doctrine of cardinal importance. And in the West where philosophy and religion are less closely connected we find that the same doctrine continually recurs both among philosophers and theologians.
The accumulative nature of time: It seems that time is accumulating on and infinitely. Being irreversible makes it a debatable phenomenon. Emerson echoes Musser's words when he says that almost everything of significance that happens in the universe is irreversible, and the reason for this time-asymmetry cannot be found in any Laws of Physics. Being a forever thing, time therefore appears like an illusion and therefore comes out as a false thing.
In conclusion, the idea time seems important to humans, we cannot live without traces to time, but rime in its real own sense does not exist. The various characteristics that have been mentioned all point out to the uniqueness of time and they lead to the conclusion that it does not exist and therefore it is a phenomenon which is unreal.
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