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Besafe's avatar

Is time real

Asked by Besafe (441points) March 20th, 2008

Is time real or just our means of measuring or expressing what we observe in our universe. What if any is the relationship to Einstien (beyond his special theory)

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7 Answers

iSteve's avatar

Hmm….. Interesting question!
If we all perceive time it could technically be only as real as our minds are…
Wrapping my noodle around this one!!!

trainerboy's avatar

I believe it is a system of measurement created by us. In that sense, it is real. However, I also believe that past and future are illusions and the only real time, the only place I have any control over is right now, so in that sense, time is not real.
So i don’t really know!

bluemukaki's avatar

Time has to be real, the way in which we measure time and what we call it is invented, but time itself has to exist because otherwise objects couldn’t move or interact, because all motion is based off time/displacement/acceleration.

I always visualise time as a single instance, where everything happens all at once, but we are travelling on a linear path through that instance, giving us the impression of travelling forward through time. So as far as i’m concerned, it is always 19th October 1956 and 12 december 3456, we are just at one point where one is behind us and one is before us, and one is increasingly getting further away, while the other is getting closer.
Time isn’t linear, our perspective of time is linear.

gorillapaws's avatar

You may want to skim over this article. It’s a bit lengthy and addresses several additional philosophical issues related to time than just what you were asking, but it gives a pretty good outline of the various philosophical theories of time.

FlutherMother's avatar

Okay, I am sitting in a boring class and 10 minutes are left. My sister is at a party at the exact same time dancing up a storm and having a great time. For her, those 10 minutes go by in an instant, and for me, the minutes pass by like molasses dripping down a snow bank. It was the same time but each one of us could give a different definition of how long we think 10 minutes actually is. Now who is right? Are we both right? If time were a set thing, wouldn’t we all feel that 10 minutes pass by like 10 minutes regardless of what we are doing?

b's avatar

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

ordosingularis's avatar

FlutherMother: You’re blurring the line between perception and measurement. A schizophrenic might see a pink elephant, a colorblind individual may not see (“perceive”) the same colors as another, but this differs from what can be measured. Time is real. It is necessary for causality. Time can be warped however, but I won’t get into relativity or quantum physics.

Of course, if we get into metaphysics you could ask what measurement really is. Are all “sane” observers being collectively tricked – Matrix anyone?

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