Sounds a little like xeno's paradox.
the past is gone, the future is yet to be, so the present is ......
quanta of time, droplets of experience.
Maybe I'm just too ignorent, but why the heck would anyone ask such questions?
Which relevance does it have?
What practical use does it have?
Does anyone actually have a premesis to know the answer?
..isn't this why a chineese emperor buried the intellectuals alive?
This has important implications in studying and understanding how the universe works. And hey, we'll need to know this stuff if we're ever going to figure out time machines.
Math is very logical but when it comes down to the individual functions and such, you can bend math around to come up with something illogical.
present is a term not a time era.
It may be the case that the present is all there is with no past neither future...
What is, is forever, and was forever, against what cannot be...
Hard Determinism does not have a problem with time, which to me makes yet another score for it to be believed...
What do you guys think?
Of course there is a present. As you noted, the present simply means a moment between the past and future. If there is no present, there is of course no past or future, since past and future are comparatives. If we claimed that the present doesn't exist but that the past and future do, it would be like claiming the number three doesn't exist but that numbers that are less than three exist and numbers that are greater than three exist. This is just nonsense, as you can see.
Our being able to pinpoint that moment with mathematics, or whatever sort of method, is irrelevant, by the way.
Well I sorta am saying the past and future don't exist either.. and that they are all just one block I refer to as 'time'. Since there's really no coherent way of separating them without a 'present'.
Of there there is a coherent way.
One year before now it was May 6th, 2009 (past)
Today it is May 6th, 2010 (present)
One year from now it will be May 6th, 2011 (future)
What about that is confusing, or incoherent? Suppose a professor tells you that assignment X is due in three weeks. Are you sincerely not going to understand that the assignment is due in the future, and not now?
Of course there is a present. As you noted, the present simply means a moment between the past and future. If there is no present, there is of course no past or future, since past and future are comparatives.
At a given event on a world line, spacetime (Minkowski space) is divided into three parts.
- The future of the given event is formed by all events that can be reached through time-like curves lying within the future light cone.
- The past of the given event is formed by all events that can influence the event (that is, which can be connected by world lines within the past light cone to the given event).
- The lightcone at the given event is formed by all events that can be connected through light rays with the event. When we observe the sky at night, we basically see only the past light cone within the entire spacetime.
- The present is the region between the two light cones. Points in an observer's present are inaccessible to her/him; only points in the past can send signals to the observer. In ordinary laboratory experience, using common units and methods of measurement, it may seem that we look at the present, but in fact there is always a delay time for light to propagate. For example, we see the Sun as it was about 8 minutes ago, not as it is "right now." Unlike Galilean/Newtonian theory, the present is thick; it is not a sheet but a volume.
- The present instant is defined for a given observer by a plane normal to her/his world line. It is the locus of simultaneous events, and is really three-dimensional, though it would be a plane in the diagram because we had to throw away one dimension to make an intelligible picture. Although the light cones are the same for all observers, different observers, with differing velocities but coincident at an event or point in the spacetime, have world lines that cross each other at an angle determined by their relative velocities, and thus the present instant is different for them. The fact that simultaneity depends on relative velocity caused problems for many scientists and laymen trying to accept relativity in the early days."
May 6th, 2010 is not "the present", from a mathematical/temporal standpoint. It's something more like May 6th, 2010, 6:22:2300000000010001000000000-etcetera to infinity. The parts of May 6th before that are "the past", and the parts after are "the future".
Because I can comprehend a phrase like "3 weeks from now", I believe time must work some other way. I am proposing that it is static, and does not pass.
Einstein's relativity has done away with the notion that we can experience the present moment in time.
Our being conscious of an exact moment, and that exact moment actually existing are two different matters, aren't they? You may not experience an exact moment (whatever that may mean), but that does not mean that that moment did not exist. It did. And, of course, there are moments before and after that moment too.
When we say "now" or "at this moment", it is obviously understood that we aren't attempting to have absolute mathematical precision (like the above poster mentioned). I still don't see how this is relevant.
It's incredibly relevant. If we are going to speak of something called "the present", then we should be able to agree upon certain events, measurements, or observations that define this moment in time.
As two observers can not agree on events being in synch, or even on how long an event lasts, due to relativity,
Sure, it does exist as an abstract notion within the mind of each person. But such is the case also for unicorns, God, and Satan.
The point is that, according to physics, there is no "exact moment" that we can call the present. So, if you're claiming that "that moment did exist", I will ask for your proof, and you will not be able to come up with any.