If the reality of the just passed moment is gone, and the reality of the just to be moment, it seems that
the only reality is this instant, (and that is gone as we think). Is it possible then that time is not a real
dimension rather just a derivative of what we assume when we measure events that are happening or
the duration it takes us to traverse a measured distance? Is then distance not the same since both
time and distance are measured as derivatives of each other. Just as well, isn't that true for velocity
(and the velocity of light).
When we think of it, we believe in the future based on what experiences we had in the past and a
projection of what will be in the future. That expectation is what can be referred to as "faith" but there
is nothing but statistical collection of past occurrences to lead us to believe an event in the future will
ever happen. This question takes us into the realm of things we call constants such as speed of light,
gravity, mass, and other "things" we use to measure each other with respect to each other. I think
these definitions are derivatives of each other and therefore subject to setting of false and conflicting
baselines with self-fulfilling proofs.
Well first of all, the reality of the present isn't an instant... the psychological, experienced present
extends into the past through brief and fading memories (retentions), and into the future through
equally brief expectations (protentions). Husserl wrote about this quite extensively (Husserl, E. On the
Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time.Edited by R. Bernet. Vol. IV, Edmund
Husserl: Collected Works.Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1990.). Next...
yes, it's quite possible that time is not a "real" dimension... Kant wrote on that (e.g., Kant, I. Critique of
Pure Reason.Translated by W.S.T. Pluhar. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.,
1996.). We impose, according to him, structure on a reality which we can never directly experience,
and our experience of time is part of what we impose on reality... where "impose" does not mean that
we create anything external... the imposing we do is in our interpretation of whatever is "out there"
which we cannot experience as it "really" is. I'm using all the quotes to emphasize aspects of my little
explanation here which are almost totally inadequate, inasmuch as they barely touch on what Kant
actually said. But what you're saying about measurement and light is not what underlies this little
problem we have with reality. Once you accept measurement, duration, length, you're locked in to the
No, that expectation is not "faith", in the usual sense of the word. It is an assumption, or a set of them,
that we make, and if you want a thoroughly skeptical take on that one, read David Hume (Dialogues).
Also, you need to take a look at a basic book on statistics; you're using that word incorrectly. A
"statistical collection" is a kind of sample, and that's not what expectations based on past occurrences
are, or are based on... at least, not as you're using the term. Now, as far as your last sentence... no,
I'm afraid you're simply wrong here. The question of the interdependence or circularity of these
physical dimensions and measurements, has, believe it or not, occurred to others. And great care is
taken to avoid this kind of circularity. If you have been taught otherwise, you have been taught
There are a couple of things you need to get clear here. First, you're asking interesting and profound
questions. That's good. Second, you are assuming that no one else has asked them, or that the
people who have are not very bright. That's bad. Why don't you try another perspective, and assume
that those people were as smart as you... maybe sometimes even smarter, and that they put some
thought into these issues? And go find what they said about them. I think that you'll be pleasantly
surprised, after you begin to understand what they've said... which, actually, is in many cases quite
difficult to grasp without a lot of background. Start with the Hume; that's pretty easy and direct, and go
from there. Kant, in fact, was at least in part responding to Hume.
Steven Ravett Brown