yes i can appreciate that too. The curious thing is that beliefs in the now, and beliefs that the now does not exist, both yield useful but contradictory understanding of reality.
The really curious thing is that it is thought that the phrases, "belief in the now" and, "belief that the now does not exist" are thought to make sense. Sounds like Obama, "the fierce urgency of now". But we sort of know what he meant. Something like, "pull up your socks, and get going, for heaven's sake!". Only, of course, not so poetic.
The NOW in that context is a term used to define a specific period of time. In our times, here and now are concepts not definitions of our experiences of a now. That now, is a view of now, from a distant perspective, like a snap shot.
Bewildering. "Now" is an indexical term. Like, "tomorrow'. It always has the same meaning, but it referent shifts when it is used. Although, of course, it depend on the context how long the referent is. "Now" in some contexts may refer to 1,000 years. In others, to a split second. But it always, as I said, means the same thing. Of course, when "language goes on holiday" who knows what someone who is speaking "philosophese" means by it (or any other term)?
Let me offer this here now, ha, only to say the now is so fleeting it doesn't exist.
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated..." Abraham Lincoln. "Now" there refers to about two years, and that is not "fleeting". Now is "fleeting" and "does not exist" only when language is on holiday.
....... there isn't any is there? Nor could there ever concievably be could there?
Suppose the present or 'now' were a delusion of consciousness. I can't see how science could ever prove this either way.
If 'now' is an experiential delusion (like say the universality of the rate of flow of time, which lets face it is very close to the concept of 'now'), then how could we concievably prove it? Any experiment would have to present data to us that showed the 'now' is delusional .... but would fail at the very moment of presentation! Space-time relativity can present data that enables us to believe that the rate of flow of 'now' is not universal. But what data could concievably show us that the 'now' does not exist at all?
On the other hand we could say that the relativity of the rate of flow of different 'now's as shown by einstein is proof of the existence of the 'now'. But that fails because if 'now' is a delusion then relativity simply correlates the delusion across different frames of reference. ie relativity works just as well without the concept of 'now' but as a mapping across different space-time frames within the universe. The subjective experience is absent from the equations. After all it notably puts forward for some major physicists the concept of the (space-time) block universe. It is odd that the 'now' is neither necessary nor a contradiction in relativity theory. The closest it gets in coming down one way or the other is with regard to the concept of simultaneity in that in relativity such a thing is generally impossible across different frames of reference. Since the 'now' is concieved of as a kind of frontier of simultaneous time then there appears a contradiction in the concept. But that is not a rejection of the concept of a frontier of time, its a rejection that such events would appear simultaneous generally. Its a rejection of a simplistic notion of the 'now' just as it rejects the simplistic notion of the rate of flow of time.
What about QM? Well one of the requirements of science is that its laws are universal in time. Prof Susskind for example clearly states that the QM equations are reversable in time (and incidentally that no information is lost). This is necessary for it to be scientific. In other words the collapse of the wave equation is not a 'now' dependent phenomenon. It happens and is not proposed to have been caused by the 'now'. It may happen in 'now' but it also may happen without 'now'. There is no link here to the proof of the existence or non existence of the 'now'. The equations work whether in delusion ....... or in touch with reality. Either way.
Even with the copenhagen interpretation where the act of measurement is posited as the cause of the collapse of the wave function, the 'now' is not necessary. One could concievably see in experimental history that a measurement caused a wave function collapse .... but that document would only confirm that the 'now' is not necessary!
And isn't this at the crux of the matter? Science is built upon the history (however short) of experimental data. Thus the 'now' is neither necessary, nor a pariah. It is scientifically irrelevant.
....... and yet we all believe in it. It is commonly the most potent aspect of our lives.
This topic doesn't make sense to me because 'now' or time is just a measurement. It is like asking does an inch or a meter exist?
A now doesn't need to exist. It is just a tool for man to determine a period of time.
If you really want to prove that now really happened you can observe it with your naked eyes and ask your partner "did that just happen?". "dude, I saw it too".
Of course now exists.