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kitszu's avatar

Does killing Time damage Eternity?

Asked by kitszu (1311 points ) November 24th, 2012

I don’t remember where I first heard this quote but it has stuck with me for years. It could just be a rhetorical question without any deeper meaning but I was wondering if someone else had a different perspective on it.

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16 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Nah, killing time with class strengthens Eternity

Jeruba's avatar

Time and eternity have no relation to each other. Eternity isn’t a lot of time. Eternity is no time.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Yes. How can one damage a timeless eternal thing?
The only time killing time that might have damaging consequences would be procrastinating/hesitating too long. If a deer stares into your headlights too long it is roadkill. lol

kitszu's avatar

@Jeruba They do if you are going to use one to define the other.

SavoirFaire's avatar

One problem here is that “eternal” is used in two different ways in ordinary English. Sometimes it means “atemporal” or “lacking temporal duration in virtue of being outside of time,” while other times it means “everlasting” or “having infinite temporal duration in virtue of obtaining at every point in time.” Philosophers often call the latter “sempiternality” in order to reduce confusion.

We might ignore all of this, however, and give a more direct answer in the form of another aphorism: “the time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” What one person might see as appalling damage to some higher order—perhaps on the basis of some objection to our not using every waking moment in furtherance of some putative good—another might argue is the key to living well.

If Epicurus was correct that the fundamental obstacle to happiness is anxiety, then the tranquility of periodic leisure may be the cure to many modern ills.

josie's avatar

An equivocation on the word kill. The question is cute, but not valid.

wundayatta's avatar

You can only kill your own time. The way you do it is by choosing to think that you have wasted time. In deciding you have wasted time, you do hasten your own death. You denigrate your own experience. You diminish the value of your own life.

Why do people do this? Because they live according to shoulds. The live according to what they believe other people think they should. If you throw off the yoke of others’ expectations, you can no longer kill time.

You start to live your life more fully. You pay attention to each moment instead of judging it. In doing this, your death recedes from you. Eternity steps away.

So I would say killing time doesn’t so much damage eternity as hasten it. You diminish your own life. But living fully reinvigorates your life and makes eternity less relevant. When you finally hit eternity, you will not notice, since you will be so full of life.

At least, this is my fondest hope. I do not want to die kicking and screaming. I want to die accepting and joyful and grateful.

kitszu's avatar

@wundayatta “diminish your own life” That is F-ing exactly it.

ragingloli's avatar

Not just damaging, but killing it.
Eternity is an infinite amount of time, thus it is a function of time.
Without time, there can be no eternity.

Jeruba's avatar

@kitszu, that was not a defiinition.

bob_'s avatar

Nah, it’s cool.

Symbeline's avatar

Only if Eternity is the name of a character in a fighting game called Killing Time.

WyCnet's avatar

If someone were to kill time, so to speak, that being would negate all possibility of enduring. The crux of the matter would then lie upon whether it was a local instantiation, or a global action.

kitszu's avatar

@Jeruba

You said “Time and Eternity have no relation to each other. Eternity isn’t a lot of time. Eternity is no time.”

Any noun, adjective, or verb used to describe (define) what something is or is not, becomes part of it’s definition and therefore is related to the word.

1: the quality or state of being eternal
2: infinite time <lasting throughout eternity>
3:plural: age 3b
4: the state after death : immortality
5: a seemingly endless or immeasurable time
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eternity)

That said, maybe I’m not understanding what you originally meant…

Jeruba's avatar

To the best of my ability, I accept Joseph Campbell’s explanation, here. Any failure of comprehension belongs to me rather than to him.

I’m not inclined to digress into a definition of definition, lest from there I have to digress into a definition of digress. However, I don’t believe you can logically graft my intention onto the word itself. My intention remains mine, and the word remains the word. Rather, I’d like to rephrase my original answer as follows:

No.

Unbroken's avatar

Thanks @Jeruba. No matter how many times I watch Bill Moyers interviews with Joseph Campbell, I find I always learn something new or focus on a different aspect.
@kitzu thank you for the question. Please keep up with good ones.

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