You can't be a physicalist if you believe in objective time or that there is an objective now

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You can't be a physicalist if you believe in objective time or that there is an objective now

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

You cannot be a physicalist if you believe in an objective now.

This is because the scientific fact of The Relativity of Simultaneity is one of the most experimentally tested and proven facts in physics.

An object or event in spacetime (e.g. the birth or death of a specific dinosaur, the sun dying, the Earth being formed, Einstein's birth, my great grandson's death, etc.) cannot be said to exist/happen objectively in the past nor objectively in the future, nor could they or anything be said to be objectively happening now. Objectively and scientifically (i.e. in the sense of actual physics) there is no "the future", there is no "the past", and there is no "now", meaning there is no objective present.

Indeed, despite the misnomers we might give a so-called event or object in spacetime, or macroscopic large-scale abstract vague collection thereof, the very nature of a so-called event or object is relative. (In fact, as addressed much closer to the end of this post, the very existence of an object, such as a so-called particle/photon, is subjective and observer-dependent.)

Humorously, we can say that, if watch the movie Jaws backwards, it is a movie about a shark that keeps throwing up people until they have to open the beach.

More seriously and truly, what would be an object that moved through relative so-called space at speed 0 and relative so-called time at speed C in one reference frame (with a total motion of C, since C+0 is C) can be an object that (from infinite other equally valid reference frames) is moving near speed C through space and barely moving through time at all. But of course the idea that one direction is a or the time direction and another is a or the space direction is like the idea that one direction is a left-right direction and another direction is an up-down direction. It's just a relativistic projection which only exists as an artifact of a made-up reference frame, of which there are infinite counter possible reference frames that are all equally valid and contradicting. They aren't objectively true because they can't be: That would be a logical contradiction.

Indeed, just as it is possible that I am on your left while you are on my left, it's possible that your whole life and death is in my past even if my whole life and death is in your distant past. It can feel like a contradiction, but it isn't because objectively there is no "the left" and there is no "the past".

An object/event cannot and does not objectively exist in the past, the future, or the present in the same sense that Mars does not and cannot be said to exist objectively on "the right", objectively on "the left", nor objectively "up" on the axis equally between left and right, which is analogous to what many people think of as "the present".

A common human perception is to imagine there is this special singular origin point that is equally between left and right, equally between up and down, equally between future and past, and equally between forward and backward; and they see themselves as that special single origin point. It's a violation of the [wiki]The Copernican Principle[/wiki], but it is common, so we can usually know and understand what a human means when they talk about what's to their right or left or their future or past, as we can imagine ourselves as being in their shoes and seeing themselves as the singular center of the universe, the origin point where X = 0, Y = 0, Z = 0, and T = 0, where there nose points forward, and their 1-second-per-second ticking watch is measuring time, not space, and where their 1-meter rule is measuring space, not time. It's a wrong view that is (1) in violation of [wiki]The Copernican Principle[/wiki]. (2) easily disprovable through scientific experiments done in physics, and (3) also easily disprovable by simple logic through the fact that are infinite other equally valid but contradicting reference frames.

The upshot is that the joke about watching Jaws backwards is much like the way events cannot be described to be as we often label them.

What's electricity in one reference frame can be magnesium in another equally valid reference frame. Physically, electricity and magnetism are not two different things in the same sense that 'leftness' and 'rightness' are not two different things. In the same way, it cannot be true that Mars is objectively on the left side of the universe or the right side, it likewise cannot be true that a specific event involving electricity occurred at all (versus instead an event with magnetism) and no electricity. This is precisely a symptom of the fact that classical physics and Newton's physics have been as utterly debunked by modern science as Flat Earth Theory.

The imaginary duality/dualism imagined between space vs time or past vs future is analogous to the imaginary duality/dualism between electricity and magnetism.

In reality, it's not just false dualisms that it creates, because you can do more than just a binary rotation. For instance, you can do more than just inverse the left-right axis (e.g. by switching to a reference frame of someone standing nose-to-nose with the person whose reference frame you were alternatively using). You could instead rotate so that left becomes what was up, or so that left becomes what was halfway between right and down, or so that left becomes halfway between what was the up direction and the time direction.

In another example of how our proverbial shark movie tell us a completely different story in different reference frame, we can use Feynman Diagram, which were inspired by the One Electron Universe Thought Experiment, and also reveal our block universe of timeliess 4D spacetime is surprisingly well described by my analogy of Four-Eyed Freddy and these driverless cars in a timeless parking lot. The difference is we live in a 4D block universe, where Four Eyed Freddy and my colorful imaginary cars both live in a 2D universe.

Consider the following Feynman Diagram. I will post four copies, each rotated differently, but to understand it's the same exact diagram describing the same exact unchanging event (or pseudo-event if you prefer since Feynman's physics, like Einstein's physics, require a timeless block model universe, you can print it out on transparent paper, put it on a glass table, and then simply rotate yourself around looking at it from different perspectives. Realize then that the change in your perspective does not actually change the diagram (nor change what's 'happening' in it so to speak it, with the caveat that 'happening' is a terrible word for it since it is timeless and objectively unchanging).

In the diagrams below, the colorful line represents a lepton that can either be a positron or an election depending on the reference frame. It's an electron if the colorful arrow on the colorful line points towards the right, and it is a positron if the colorful arrow on the colorful line points to the left. The squiggly line is a photon of energy/light (i.e. a boson).


From this angle ("version 1"), our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of an electron and positron traveling towards each other in space, then colliding and annihilating each other, and releasing their mass/energy as a photon (light).
From this angle ("version 1"), our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of an electron and positron traveling towards each other in space, then colliding and annihilating each other, and releasing their mass/energy as a photon (light).
***

From this angle (&quot;version 2&quot;), our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of a positron traveling in space, then emitting a photon of light, and thereby going to a lower energy state. There is no electron in this version movie... <br /><br />By no coincidence, this way of watching the movie (&quot;version 2&quot;) depicts the time-reversed mirror image of &quot;version 4&quot;. If you were the lepton (i.e. the electron or positron), you generally wouldn't be able to tell if you live in version 2 or version 4 because from the lepton's perspective these two diagrams would seem the exact same, which makes sense is objectively they ARE the exact same. It's only from the view of an outside observer that the lepton ever appears like a positron. The lepton depicted in both Version 2 and Version 4 always sees itself as an electron, much like you always see your watch as ticking at 1 second per second and always see your nose as pointing forward. In analogy, it's as if we used the label &quot;electron-human&quot; to describe a human whose nose points forward and the label &quot;anti-human&quot;/&quot;positron-human&quot; to describe a human whose nose points backward. A human standing face-to-face with you would be a&quot;anti-human&quot; from your perspective, but you would be the &quot;anti-human&quot; from their perspective. The difference in your perspectives represents an objectively meaningless 180 degree rotation of the reference frame, just as the difference between &quot;version 2&quot; and &quot;version 4&quot; of our diagrams represents an objectively meaningless 180 degree rotation of the diagram, which changes nothing about its internal structure.<br /><br />Changing a reference frame does not change that to which it is referring and describing. The reference frame isn't physically real, hence why different reference frames can utterly contradict each other without either being any more or less valid and without either one being anymore wrong or right. Fictional stories cannot be right or wrong, even two different fiction stories (e.g. two different batman movies) tell contradicting stories (e.g. about Batman).<br /><br />Time doesn't exist in the same way Batman doesn't exist. It's an aspect of a fictional story, and different fictional stories contradict each other despite each being internally consistent.
From this angle ("version 2"), our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of a positron traveling in space, then emitting a photon of light, and thereby going to a lower energy state. There is no electron in this version movie...

By no coincidence, this way of watching the movie ("version 2") depicts the time-reversed mirror image of "version 4". If you were the lepton (i.e. the electron or positron), you generally wouldn't be able to tell if you live in version 2 or version 4 because from the lepton's perspective these two diagrams would seem the exact same, which makes sense is objectively they ARE the exact same. It's only from the view of an outside observer that the lepton ever appears like a positron. The lepton depicted in both Version 2 and Version 4 always sees itself as an electron, much like you always see your watch as ticking at 1 second per second and always see your nose as pointing forward. In analogy, it's as if we used the label "electron-human" to describe a human whose nose points forward and the label "anti-human"/"positron-human" to describe a human whose nose points backward. A human standing face-to-face with you would be a"anti-human" from your perspective, but you would be the "anti-human" from their perspective. The difference in your perspectives represents an objectively meaningless 180 degree rotation of the reference frame, just as the difference between "version 2" and "version 4" of our diagrams represents an objectively meaningless 180 degree rotation of the diagram, which changes nothing about its internal structure.

Changing a reference frame does not change that to which it is referring and describing. The reference frame isn't physically real, hence why different reference frames can utterly contradict each other without either being any more or less valid and without either one being anymore wrong or right. Fictional stories cannot be right or wrong, even two different fiction stories (e.g. two different batman movies) tell contradicting stories (e.g. about Batman).

Time doesn't exist in the same way Batman doesn't exist. It's an aspect of a fictional story, and different fictional stories contradict each other despite each being internally consistent.

***

From this angle (&quot;version 3&quot;), our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of a matter-less universe filled with only light in which a positron and electron pair suddenly pop into existence.<br /><br />By no coincidence, this way of watching the movie (&quot;version 3&quot;) depicts a time-reversed mirror image of &quot;version 1&quot;.<br /><br />From the perspective of a human on Earth, this interaction helps describe how matter formed during what they call the Big Bang, but as a result the observed &quot;matter-antimatter asymmetry problem&quot; remains an unsolved problem in physics.<br /><br />Although the diagram hints at possible solution in the way the two created leptons fly away from each other: Perhaps there is just as much anti-matter in the universe as so-called regular matter but it's just not in our solar system.
From this angle ("version 3"), our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of a matter-less universe filled with only light in which a positron and electron pair suddenly pop into existence.

By no coincidence, this way of watching the movie ("version 3") depicts a time-reversed mirror image of "version 1".

From the perspective of a human on Earth, this interaction helps describe how matter formed during what they call the Big Bang, but as a result the observed "matter-antimatter asymmetry problem" remains an unsolved problem in physics.

Although the diagram hints at possible solution in the way the two created leptons fly away from each other: Perhaps there is just as much anti-matter in the universe as so-called regular matter but it's just not in our solar system.

***

From this angle, our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of an electron traveling in space, emitting a photon of light and thereby going to lower energy state. There is no positron in this version movie... Even though it is really objectively the same movie. What different things would emerge from different ways of playing the same unchanging DVD movie (i.e. the different stories it tells depending on which outside angle you use to view the diagram) are not real differences; they are just different ways of looking at the same exact thing, i.e. they are just the same one thing described using different reference frames.
From this angle, our proverbial Jaws movie tells the story of an electron traveling in space, emitting a photon of light and thereby going to lower energy state. There is no positron in this version movie... Even though it is really objectively the same movie. What different things would emerge from different ways of playing the same unchanging DVD movie (i.e. the different stories it tells depending on which outside angle you use to view the diagram) are not real differences; they are just different ways of looking at the same exact thing, i.e. they are just the same one thing described using different reference frames.

***





Viewing the diagrammed block universe from one outside angle (a viewpoint that doesn't correspond to anything objectively real, and changes of which do not correspond to anything real), it seems to describe four different events. This is analogous to how which my car diagram are on the right or left might seem to change if you view the car diagram from a different angle, or what's on the right or left of Four-Eyed Freddy might seem to change if you look at his 2D world from above or below.





I've labeled the attachments "versions" but keep in mind each one is the same exact diagram/image, just rotated so you can see it from a different. What angle you are looking at the diagram doesn't change what happens or doesn't happen in the diagram itself; it only changes how it appears to you (i.e. subjectively).



The above diagrams are just one example, as are the examples mentioned throughout the post such as the fact that--like the seeming difference between space and time--the seeming difference between electricity and magnetism* is not objective and really they are the same exact one thing: timeless spacetime in the case of the former, and a timelessly quantum mechanical omnipresent field of electromagnetism in the latter.

However, there are countless other examples and illustrations of The Relativity of Simultaneity and the Unreality of Objective Time.

It is interesting that a particle's charge or such can be different, e.g. that whether a particle is considered an electron, a position, or naturally charged is a matter of subjective reference frame not objective fact. However, even more interesting and perhaps mind-blowing for some is things like Unruh Radiation which reveals whether a particle even exists or not

Of course, that is not nearly as surprising when one remembers how absurdly off-base most people conception of a 'particle' is. What most people think of as a 'particle' is something that (like time itself) definitely does not exist. Instead, the real physical phenomenon to which physicists use the word 'particle' to refer is just a localized wave. It's very roughly analogous to looking out into the ocean at the beach and asking if there are any "tall water waves". It's ill-defined, but more importantly it's also subject to Special and General Relativity such as length contradiction and time dilation (in timeless spaceless 4D spacetime, the phrases 'length contraction' and 'time dilation' refer to the same thing in the same way the two different words 'electricity' and 'magnetism' refer to the same one thing). The width and height of a wave is observer-dependent. The particle-like-ness of a local pseudo-discreet excitation/elevation in the omnipresent field/sea that is waving is observer dependent. Due to effects like so-called length contraction, one person can look out at the sea and see a huge tall narrow wave but another can look at the same sea and see no noteworthy waves only the negligible seemingly random and unpredictable sloshing around that the sea has everywhere even at it's lowest energy state. Just the regular old little energy of the uncertainty principle, spread out with near-perfect evenness throughout the whole sea/field.



What do you think?

Do you feel you understood what I meant by every sentence I wrote in the post above? If not, which is the very first sentence that you feel you did not understand?

If you understand what I meant; do you agree with it? In other words, do you doubt or disagree with anything I wrote above? If so, what is the very first sentence in my post above with which you disagree?


Please don't be afraid. I love constructive criticism about my own writings and philosophical arguments. And, even more, I love learning about different perspectives.

I love finding people who disagree with me about something, or otherwise have a different view/perspective/opinion. I love learning about what they believe and why they believe it and how those beliefs play a role in their life. :)




Thank you,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Omollo Joseph
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Re: You can't be a physicalist if you believe in objective time or that there is an objective now

Post by Omollo Joseph »

The relationship between physicalism and the nature of time is complex. While some physicalists argue that time is an emergent property of physical processes, others contend that incorporating objective time is consistent with a physicalist worldview. The debate often revolves around whether time is fundamental or derivative from other physical entities.
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