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Eternalism and Presentism (Merged)
Posted: 26 April 2011 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 April 2011 12:40 PM

After you Kkwan, what does change the present mean? Edit: Change it from what to what?

You define change and what you do you mean by “change from what to what” before we proceed further.  smile

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Posted: 26 April 2011 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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kkwan - 26 April 2011 01:05 PM
StephenLawrence - 26 April 2011 12:40 PM

After you Kkwan, what does change the present mean? Edit: Change it from what to what?

You define change and what you do you mean by “change from what to what” before we proceed further.  smile

Oh Ok then.

Change is a difference between…....................

So change over time is a difference between the state of the world at one time and another. What to what, in this case, refers to the state of the world at one time and the state of the world at another.

Change over space is a difference between one area of space and another. What to what refers to the state of the world in one area of space and another area.

OK, now explain what change the present means? From what to what?

Stephen

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Posted: 27 April 2011 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 April 2011 01:19 PM

Change is a difference between…....................

So change over time is a difference between the state of the world at one time and another. What to what, in this case, refers to the state of the world at one time and the state of the world at another.

Change over space is a difference between one area of space and another. What to what refers to the state of the world in one area of space and another area.

The expression, “the state of the world” is vague. What is “state” and what is “world”?

Also, can one precisely determine the “state of the world” in isolation at any one time and does it mean anything at all? If not, then change is not defined.

Consider QM and it’s concepts of “state” and “world”.

From this essay in the SEP on Relational Quantum Mechanics

From the introduction:

The core idea is to read the theory as a theoretical account of the way distinct physical systems affect each other when they interact (and not of the way physical systems “are”), and the idea that this account exhausts all that can be said about the physical world. The physical world is thus seen as a net of interacting components, where there is no meaning to the state of an isolated system. A physical system (or, more precisely, its contingent state) is reduced to the net of relations it entertains with the surrounding systems, and the physical structure of the world is identified as this net of relationships.

It makes more sense to relate change to time, i.e. if there is no change, there is no time and if there is time, there is change.

If time is a continuum, how does one differentiate between the past, present and future? The fact that we only experience the present, not the past or the future indicates that the past/future do not exist. We can only remember the past or imagine the future.

At any present moment, it is possible to act thereby influencing/changing the outcome of subsequent present moments in time. This is what is meant by influencing/changing the present.

It is that simple, otherwise, we cannot make sense of reality at all.

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Posted: 27 April 2011 10:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Kkwan


At any present moment, it is possible to act thereby influencing/changing the outcome of subsequent present moments in time. This is what is meant by influencing/changing the present.

At the present I’m acting, my action is typing.

The question is how is that changing the present? Changing it from what to what?

What is meant by my actions influence/change the outcome?

Change the outcome from what to what?

Stephen

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Posted: 28 April 2011 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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StephenLawrence - 27 April 2011 10:15 PM

At the present I’m acting, my action is typing.

The question is how is that changing the present? Changing it from what to what?

What is meant by my actions influence/change the outcome?

Change the outcome from what to what?

Presumably, the intention/action of your typing is to reply to my last post. The outcome is my reply now.

If you did not type to reply, the outcome is there will be not be a reply from me now.

Hence, by typing your reply, you have influenced/changed the outcome of the present now from no reply to a reply from me.

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Posted: 28 April 2011 11:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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kkwan - 28 April 2011 09:32 PM
StephenLawrence - 27 April 2011 10:15 PM

At the present I’m acting, my action is typing.

The question is how is that changing the present? Changing it from what to what?

What is meant by my actions influence/change the outcome?

Change the outcome from what to what?

Presumably, the intention/action of your typing is to reply to my last post. The outcome is my reply now.

If you did not type to reply, the outcome is there will be not be a reply from me now.

Hence, by typing your reply, you have influenced/changed the outcome of the present now from no reply to a reply from me.

Ok, agreed.

So by replying I’ve changed the future from what it would have been had I not replied.

Does Eternalism make the future immutable in this sense of change? And if so why?

Stephen

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Posted: 29 April 2011 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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StephenLawrence - 28 April 2011 11:44 PM

So by replying I’ve changed the future from what it would have been had I not replied.

Yes, but with presentism “the future” is the subsequent present as “the future” does not exist.

Does Eternalism make the future immutable in this sense of change? And if so why?

With eternalism, change in this sense is problematic because the future exist, is immutable and there is no objective flow of time.

1. Because the future already exist and it is immutable, it cannot be changed.

2. With no objective flow of time, there is no “bridge” between the present and the future.

3. Time is not related to change.

The only way out is to propose multiple universes with different futures.

Eternalism is spatio-temporal determinism which is synonymous with logical determinism (belief that the future is fixed).

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Posted: 29 April 2011 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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kkwan - 29 April 2011 11:40 AM

With eternalism, change in this sense is problematic because the future exist, is immutable and there is no objective flow of time.


If flow of time is required for change over time is a different question, I dunno.

1. Because the future already exist and it is immutable, it cannot be changed.

Assuming eternalism the future exists and it would be other than it is if the present and past had been different.

It isn’t immutable in the sense we are interested in.

The only way out is to propose multiple universes with different futures.

How does presentism solve this?

Eternalism is spatio-temporal determinism which is synonymous with logical determinism (belief that the future is fixed).

But Logical determinism does not prevent us from changing the future from what it would have been.

That was why I persisted with asking you what change the future means.

Stephen

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Posted: 30 April 2011 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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StephenLawrence - 29 April 2011 11:17 PM

It isn’t immutable in the sense we are interested in.

What sense of immutable are you interested in?

How does presentism solve this?

Presentism does not need to propose multiple universes to account for change, if time implies change and time flows.

But Logical determinism does not prevent us from changing the future from what it would have been.

That was why I persisted with asking you what change the future means

Firstly, the future must be shown to exist as distinct from the present or the past. This is the problem of the demarcation of time wrt the nature of time.

Secondly, whither free will if the future already exist, it is fixed and immutable?

Thirdly, what is logically true does not entail reality must be limited to only true/false.

From the wiki on determinism

Logical determinism or Determinateness is the notion that all propositions, whether about the past, present, or future, are either true or false. Note that one can support Causal Determinism without necessarily supporting Logical Determinism (depending on one’s views on the nature of time) and vice versa. The problem of free will is especially salient now with Logical Determinism: how can choices be free, given that propositions about the future already have a truth value in the present (i.e. it is already determined as either true or false)? This is referred to as the problem of future contingents.

And this essay on logical determinism/fatalism

Central premise:

Logical determinism is one of those views which right away appears to have something wrong with it, although explaining exactly what is wrong may not be so easy. The argument’s central premise is that a description of the actual future (given now, or in the past for that matter) is true.

Logical determinism is not a valid option wrt to an open and undetermined future:

The choice open to us is as to whether we should call a description of a future that is as yet undetermined “true”. We can choose to call it “true” and keep a two-valued logic (as there seems to be no reason not to do this), or we can maintain that it is neither true nor false and take up a three-valued logic. I don’t think there is a substantial distinction here. It’s merely a matter of preference which way of speaking we’d rather adopt. What is not a valid option, however, is logical determinism. For from the fact that we call a description of the actual future “true”, it does not follow that the described future must inevitably take place.

So, logical determinism is fatal for free will and changing the future even though it seems possible to do so

[ Edited: 02 May 2011 08:45 AM by kkwan ]
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Posted: 01 May 2011 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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kkwan - 30 April 2011 07:47 PM

What sense of immutable are you interested in?

The sense we’ve established, unchangeable from what it would have been if…........................

So chopping trees down in your garden changes the future from what it would have been if you had not done so.

Presentism does not need to propose multiple universes to account for change, if time implies change and time flows.

How does presentism account for changing the future from what it would have been, better than eternalism ?

Stephen

[ Edited: 01 May 2011 12:47 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 01 May 2011 12:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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kkwan - 30 April 2011 07:47 PM


From the wiki on determinism

The problem of free will is especially salient now with Logical Determinism: how can choices be free, given that propositions about the future already have a truth value in the present [/color](i.e. it is already determined as either true or false)? This is referred to as the problem of future contingents.

Why not? What difference does it make? I think it’s true that I’m going to the park today for a picnic, a game of tennis and a bit of paddling, with members of my family.

I can’t imagine why the truth of that would mean I’m not freely choosing to do so.

As long as what is true could be false there is no problem.

Stephen

[ Edited: 01 May 2011 03:32 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 02 May 2011 12:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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kkwan - 26 April 2011 12:55 PM
dougsmith - 26 April 2011 04:09 AM

Oh lordy; once again with kkwan. Under presentism it’s not that the future is changeable, it’s that the future doesn’t exist. Anything that doesn’t exist a fortiori isn’t changeable.

Under presentism, the future is exactly the same as the past: neither exist. All reference to past and future are fictional.

The future does not exist in the sense that it is open and undetermined, therefore it can be influenced and changed. A quantum object does not exist until a measurement is made.

Definition of exist: “to have real being whether material or spiritual” 

The past, unlike the future, is closed and determined. One can remember or note the events of the past even though it does not exist but not so the future.

influenced, yes.
changed, no.

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Posted: 02 May 2011 01:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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whether the world is governed by perfect causality or not, we are proximal agents (along with others, such as the weather) that determine the shape of the future.  Our actions shape, influence, affect the future.

but they don’t change it.

in a deterministic world they can’t change it.

in a non-deterministic world there is nothing to change.

subjective futures, of course, can be changed.  Your apparent fate was one thing yesterday, but may be another today.  That’s why determinism is not fatalism.

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Posted: 02 May 2011 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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StephenLawrence - 01 May 2011 12:09 AM

The sense we’ve established, unchangeable from what it would have been if…........................

Not quite so.

Definition of immutable: “not capable of or susceptible to change”

Hence, it is not possible to influence/change the future if it is immutable.

How does presentism account for changing the future from what it would have been, better than eternalism ?

Presentism considers “the future” does not exist (it is a projection from the present), is open and undetermined, therefore “the future” can be influenced/changed.

Eternalism considers the future exist and it is immutable.

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Posted: 02 May 2011 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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StephenLawrence - 01 May 2011 12:23 AM
kkwan - 30 April 2011 07:47 PM


From the wiki on determinism

The problem of free will is especially salient now with Logical Determinism: how can choices be free, given that propositions about the future already have a truth value in the present [/color](i.e. it is already determined as either true or false)? This is referred to as the problem of future contingents.

Why not? What difference does it make? I think it’s true that I’m going to the park today for a picnic, a game of tennis and a bit of paddling, with members of my family.

I can’t imagine why the truth of that would mean I’m not freely choosing to do so.

As long as what is true could be false there is no problem.

From the wiki on the Problem of future contingents

Future contingent propositions (or simply, future contingents) are statements about states of affairs in the future that are neither necessarily true nor necessarily false.

Conflict with free will:

This conflicts with the idea of our own free will: that we have the power to determine the course of events in the future, which seems impossible if what happens, or does not happen, was necessarily going to happen, or not happen.

Possible solution with three truth-values:

One of the early motivations for the study of many-valued logics has been precisely this issue. In the early 20th century, the Polish formal logician Jan Ɓukasiewicz proposed three truth-values: the true, the false and the as-yet-undetermined.

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