Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Time and Being

From guest blogger, Shao.

What is the definition of timelessness? How can something be out of time? It seems that when we talk about God, we assume that God is out of time because God always has to exist and seems not under the influence of time. But Abrahamic religion seems to suggest that God was also in time. 

I think in order to determine if God is in time or outside of time, we need to understand what is time. Is time a matter? A property? Truly we understand the temporal relationship between things. Like I did my homework yesterday and I go to school today, and I will do certain things tomorrow. But when I really  think about time it seems that time is not a particular thing, although it influences everything in the physical world. 

The only way that we know that time exists, is that we developed a way to measure it. We look at clocks and recognize that time is moving forward, and such deduction is based on days and nights on earth. Also, we can see that things grow old and die or break and become something else and we deduce that there are temporal relationship between things. However, are we right about that? I mean first of all, if all matters are never created or destroyed, but simply become something else, then how can we say that because a creature is getting old, it is because of time? Or how can we say that because there are days and nights on earth, then we have experienced time? Could it be the case that time is simply the measure of change in the universe? In other words, we develop the concept of time because we observe changes, and we use time to measure the sequences of such changes. And besides that, there is actually no such thing as time. So for God, because he does not change at all, he is not measurable by time. 

Also, people may argue that we can certainly understand that there are past and present and future. And we cannot go back to ancient Greece because it was in the past. However, as we might also know that time is not absolute in the universe, that if things travel fast enough, as close to light speed, time becomes slower. Could there be a case that when an entity travels fast enough, maybe millions or billions time faster than light, then time becomes infinitely slow and eventually such entity is out of time? So a thousand years for such entity is less than a billionth of a second. And if this could be the case, time seems does not matter to such entity. Whether is future, or present or past, no matter how long the time is, it is shrink to the point that the variation of time just does not matter. If that is the case, then it seems that God could be such an entity. 

Overall, I think that maybe time is purely a delusion of human beings that we only understand it because we can see such representation from natural world without actually see what is "time". And if under the scope of universe or even beyond, time is not as absolute as we think it is on earth. And it might be the case that an entity arrives at a point that time just does not apply to it. 

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