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Level1 Philosophicum: [Is time just a human construct?]

What condition/s need to be met to establish “real”?

Going back to gravity, there’s little dispute whether that is is real.

Arguing against it will likely shut you down pretty quick, becase we observe X, we can replicate Y and we can calculate Z.

Again, try to answer the question of why time is real instead of just “well, why isn’t it real?” “well, what is real?”

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Space and time are the same thing, spacetime. In this theory we say that time is like an additional axis to 3 axis of space. We say that there’s a property of spacetime called time dilation. We can and we did measure it.

Is that concrete enough for you? The theory of special relativity is well accepted and experimentally confirmed.

GPS wouldn’t work if time wasn’t real. Coz knowing that speed of light is constant we can measure the TIME it takes for a signal from GPS satellite to GPS receiver to measure the distance between the two. And the time dilatation is pronounced enough for the satellites (they are going fast, so time is slower) that we need to take that into account.

You could say that time in an emergent property of entropy though… :thinking:

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Surely the fact that time is related directly to space in a measurable way is proof enough? In fact, that relates it to gravity as well which has already been accepted as real.

Edit: For clarification. General relativity tells us that time dilates as we approach large gravitational wells. We don’t just note that things change and call it time, but we can predict the rate of change (passage of time) based on proximity to a mass.


Oh for sure time indeed is real, the previous comments were just speculation of what time itself is.

Don’t expect any fancy posts with arguments from me btw, I’m no academic lol

I think time is just used as human way of explaining change, we an calculate that in x seconds a ball will travel this distance and unranium-238 will decay this much.

Relativity makes things significantly more complicated. Showing us that a ball made of uranium will decay less than expected due to its high speed or whatever.

Is it even possible to find something truly fundamental to determine a second? With the meter, its based on a specific wavelength of light. But with seconds, it’s based on something with cesium that I don’t fully understand.

Is that even accurate? Since time is relative is that truly a second. Or are we as humans trying to make it a constant, something it might not be.


Okay. I just read the top post in full, the back and forward.

So for my opinion jumping in there. Yes time is a real thing. It passes and flows. But I think as far as our brain is concerned it is an elastic concept. Time flies when your having fun. or The day really dragging on. Something taking forever.

It is convenient that we live in a place/system that runs on a near perfect cycle. And we have now gotten to then point we can measure the vibrations of atoms to tell time. Our brains can only handle time as a general concept but the physical world can keep time perfectly and offers us a way to corelate events with memories in order.

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honestly time would be construct of the perception as in the sense of those “feeling time” so say the universe has grown dark and those computer minds live in the cold of space to better use their energy. in that state to keep things cool for this high level of computing slowing down perceived time would allow longer life and because the universe is dark and full of nothing happening slowing down “time” would be helpful.

then we have the idea of time in keeping causality in check. time is just a metric of space which is only important if you can measure any metric. basically: does time exist for ants ? does time exist for a fungus? does time exist for a rock, gas, etc…? that comes down to if you want to measure the perceived time of biology or the metric of time and interactions of spacetime/motion ?

Just as a reminder: The main reason why the burden of proof in a scientific context lies on the one making a claim is that it is impossible to prove a negative without a well defined framework. In a good discussion everyone should share the cognitive load.

This is not the case right now because most disagree with your statement and in this kind of discussion there aren’t any knock out arguments. (which means you have a big share of the cognitive load right now. this thread is a bit of an experiment and I hope we can improve on it) I think the main problem right now is, that we use different definitions for time, so our goal should be to find a definition we all agree on. (Though I have not read your links yet, thanks for those, will read with interest.)

I will quote my earlier post here, it probably went under in all the chaos. I would like to know your opinion:

p.s. technically you were the one making the initial statement :wink:, not that it matters really, but look what you have done :grin:

And the fact it changes “speed” when the clock is moving faster or close to a massiv mass i.e. black hole, makes it hard to clasify time as a constant witch would be helpfull for it to be real as we see it.

@anotherriddle and @BookrV I’m enjoying this thoroughly Thanks for setting it up and of course all the participants of the thread .


I’m enjoying it too! Although, I can’t participate a lot at the moment. Never thought there would be so much interest, I hope the interest will continue. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Well every now and again i saw some physics drifting by in the lounge so there’s a apattite for these things.

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I don’t know enough about this.

There is at least one very easy to define part of time from a human perspective and that’s the measurement of time. That is a human construct but based on some form of reality like most things. Distance is real, but Kilometres is a human construct so we can measure and understand distance. Similarly time most here are arguing is real, the measurement of time is absolutely though a human construct so we can understand time.

Time is weird though, unlike distance which is with few exceptions is explicitly definable and constant. Time seems to have loads of oddities. Past, present, and future, of which you can argue, 1, 2, or all 3 are real. then time changes depending on perspective. And i imagine more.

Time is real I would say. I just wrote that in the past, not now, a period of something happened to make that happen, we can define it in seconds based on the environment around us and our perception of time from within the environment.

The question might be what is time? it seems to be something that not necessarily an absolute constant, or at least it can be observed differently depending on how you observe it, but I think that still makes it real.

This might be a useful resource, something i’ve not read through yet but looks promising.

Anyone have any more? Or links to research on time?


You cannot write something in the past, you only write in the now, and introduce a change.

Same, I’ll get back to this when I’m off work next week.

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Would love if people read these and give their thoughts.

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It was written… semantics in language that is then. the text was still written in a past time, not now.

Experience of time is definitely subjective (how time seems to speed up as you get older [Probably because every unit of time experienced is a smaller proportion of the total time you’ve experienced?]).

Like the majority have said, time is objective and measurable. If you remove time, our physics models just don’t work, because energy can’t exist (at least, be observed) without some kind of change.

How long is now? How much time is the present? That would be subjective.

Change does not prove time.

What measurement would you want here, these questions assume time is real.

Time is human concept, but measurable as entropy in a system IIRC.