Re: Time

From: Paul Greaves (
Date: Fri Sep 05 2003 - 15:00:19 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: clarification request from Re: Van Till's Ultimate Gap"

    I've heard an illustration that may help here... start by assuming that
    there was an infinite amount of time in the past. Now infinity does not
    just mean an extremely long time, or even unimaginably long time. It means
    *infinitely* long... one consequence of it would be that everything that
    would be possible within the limits of possibility (that is, the physical
    laws) would have had time to happen already. So everything we experience
    should have had plenty of time to have happened long ago. Why then, would
    we be here "now"?

    Another way of looking at it is that a million years ago would be just as
    close to "the infinite past" as today is, so why didn't the "now" events
    happen a million years ago? Or some other time, even earlier? There was
    plenty of time available... (it turns into a kind of logical infinite

    Infinite past time seems to remove any firm footings to establish a
    reference point in time, by which "today" can be understood as a logical
    consequence of the past. I'm having a hard time putting it into words, but
    hopefully you can see what I'm getting at.

    Here's another thought... if past time was infinite, every possible event
    would have already happened, and every possible meaning to life would have
    been fully explored and fully satisfied, so wouldn't that make our current
    existence kind of pointless?

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Debbie Mann" <>

    > From J. B.
    > "However, how does something exist for infinite time and reach the
    > This seems like an illogical statement, it can never exist for long enough
    > to reach the present and therefore is impossible to have always existed.
    > Thus time and "existence" must have a point of origin from which to count
    > finite period of time, however great or small, to reach today."
    > Why? On an infinite line there are infinitely many points. They are in an
    > order, though not a countable one. Our moment is on the graph. The fact
    > the moment exists, or that the point exists, does not mathematically
    > upon the rest of the line. Infinity does not effect, positively or
    > negatively, the fact that this point, and this segment exist. I am

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