Physics

Is Time Real or Relative – Relative



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Time is subjective:

Time is one concept that has been studied extensively by philosophers and scientists for several hundreds of years. Yet, there are still many unresolved issues about time. Some of the issues not resolved include: what actually is time, does time exist when nothing is changing, was there time before the big bang, and is the future and present real? While some of these questions have been addressed by the advancement in science, others may yet still need to be addressed through philosophy. Philosophers have been greatly divided by the ontological differences that exist about the past, present and future. There are three competing theories. The Presentists are of the opinion that only present experiences are real, and that man is a conscious being, on the other hand, the growing universe theory is of the argue that the past and present are both real, but the future is not. The third theory which is more popular than the first two, suggests that there are no significant ontological differences among the past, present and the future because the differences to a large extent are merely subjective. This view is known as the block universe theory.

What quite fascinating about time, it's the way it tends to move from the past, present and to the future. The past in one sense, seems to be set in stone, and cannot be changed, the present now is being experienced and the future is yet to be experience, it is full of unlimited possibilities. In ones sense time seems to be moving sort of forward like an arrow, from the past, to the present and the future. But there are questions about time, does time move in a linear spectrum alone, or is it more of cyclical? Is there an origin of time, a particular moment that there was no time and is there an end of time? We as human beings seem to have a finite amount of time that begins at our conception and ends at our death. Could this be a finite line, or does the whole process of birth and death begin again? But to some extent there is a part of time which is cyclical; for instance the cycles of days, and nights, waking and sleeping, sun rise and sun set, the cycles of the seasons, of winter, autumn, spring and summer. It is these cycles of time that have been quite useful in the provision of the measurement of time.

What is this thing called time? Could it be an accurate measure of the clock; is that what time is? Alfred North Whitehead sees time as a form of becoming, philosophers such as Zeno simply say that time is nothing, because it does not exist and Bradley in his own opinion says that time like space has proved not to be real, but a contradictory appearance. Time is more of an artificial made construct or measure by man, intended for man to making some sense or meaning out of life. Time is more or less a measure used by man to assess his productivity and the way he spends his life. It offers man a way to make sense of the seasons in mans life.

Time in a sense is not real, it can not be touched, it cannot be held, or felt. To a great extent, time is a measure, just like most scientific instruments are also measures. The thermometer is a typical example of an instrument that measures temperature. It could be calibrated in Centigrade or Fahrenheit. However when a thermometer reads zero degrees centigrade or Fahrenheit, it does not mean that temperature does not exist below the level of zero degrees, centigrade or Fahrenheit. Of course, temperatures exist below zero degrees.

One particular feature of time, which eloquently displays its subjectivity, is the present moment, and its simple distinction from the non-present past and the future. The paradox of the present moment, is that is seems to be in always flowing, changing and transforming. Tomorrow becomes today, and today becomes yesterday, all in the same sequence of time. And more what is more mind blowing, is that remembrance and experience tend to enter the present as if from a non-past future. How then can time be said to be real or objective. For what was once present becomes past, and what was once termed present was at one time seen as the future? All time to a large extent is subjective. Always has and always will be.

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