Philosophical Implication of the Space-Time Continuum

DETERMINISM*

The notion that time has three tenses (the past, present and future) implies that human actions, human existence for this matter, are determined. By the word 'determined', I mean that every single human action is already contained in a tailor-made scheme of events in nature. Every possible event that can happen already has necessary future consequences. For if there exists a fixed receptor of future events (which is the present and the past), this could only be true and valid if there is also exists a fixed source of possible incoming events ( which is the future), of which these incoming events will be carried on and deposited into the past. And this seems to be precisely the case in ways that we observe the things in nature behave; that future events are experienced when they are handed down to the present, and finally stucked within the past. But the more complicated and contending issue for determined human actions is that these three tenses of time suggest that time is linear, that its path can be no other than the past, the present, and the future.

Human actions are said to be determined in this notion of time because there can be no other way or other options in which a certain specific act done in the present be an uprearranged future act. All present actions were not freely done or performed by human agents. For before a certain performed act is to be done, the future had already accomplished a set of possible things that could be done or performed in the present time. The future, as a source of possible present and past events, had already fitted necessary possible consequences of every possible act which is to be performed in the present time. For example, it would not have been possible for me to exist now if in the past my parents had sex 10 minutes later or earlier. To understand this more fully we must assume thinking of this act in its proper place and time – the past. In order to comprehend this further, we need to go back to the past, not on a time machine but by setting our minds (mind set) in it.

Going back to the past, I could have not possibly been me in the future (which is the present in my normal, linear time) if my patents sexually engaged 10 minutes delayed or earlier. For if in this time (the past), my parents delayed or made the event earlier, somebody else could have existed in the future and not me. For my definite existence in the future (present) was the result of this definite event that happened exactly where and when it should happen in the past. To change a small sequence of order of time containing definite past events under the set {Time1 (T1), Time (T2), and so on and so forth} would totally disrupt the definite linear path of events that had happened in the past up to the present, and extending up to the future time. There is no other way for me to exist in the future if this event (in the past) did not occur at its exact time and place. To put this in figure, refer to Table 1.

 
TABLE 1. My Definite Time-Events Sequence

1st linear (T1) path Future (past) → Present (the present in the future which in my time is now considered the past) → Past

2nd linear (T2) path Past → Present (my normal present time) → Future (my incoming future)
  (Me) (Me) (Me)  

Now, going back to my (our) normal present time, if it did so happen, however, that my parents had sex 10 minutes earlier or later in the past, the linear path of my time-events sequence will be disrupted but it would not be totally out of order or control, or that it would stop. This time-sequence events will just change to an already other pre-arranged or tailor-made set of necessary possible time-sequence events. Time1, Time2 or T1 and T2 from the past will no longer follow that definite linear path to arrive in the future (which is my normal present time) but another else's time-sequence event (i.e. F1, Fn, Q1-Qn, etc.). The slight change in the past will cause the present to change and the future to adopt to the change. The definite events that happened in the past, when it is disrupted, will cause indefinite events to happen on the future. It will alter the set of time-sequence events in the future. To show this, please refer to Table 2. 


 
TABLE 2. Another Else's Time-Sequence Events

Past (T1) → Present (T1) → Future/Past (T1/T2) → Present (T2) → Future (T2)
                                         | disruption  
                                                  | F1/F2 → Present (F2) → Future (F2)    (Not Me)
                                                               or | Q1/Q2 → Present (Q2) → Future (Q2)    (Not Me)
                                                                          and so on...  

  


As we can see, this time-sequence events or order presupposed that the future contains countless necessary possible events ready to be outdone in the present course of time by the aid of an agent (a man, animal, nature, etc.). In return, and in contrast, the present and the past contains just but one or single possible act to be performed, actualized or be done – the present being a medium to get the acts into the realm of the past, and the past, a fixed receptor of a definite future events handed down to the present in a single linear manner. The future carries with it numerous tailor-made acts but with just one necessary possible act to be handed down and actualized to the present and into the past. The relation with the case of human agents, man preferably, has many options to choose from in the future but he can only do one thing at a time. That is, man can only choose to act or do a certain definite act at a time.

POINTLESSNESS

But my point is that even if it so happened that changes occur in the future or past time, the arrow of the direction of time will still be fixed on a single definite linear manner. And that the countless various possibilities of events that could possibly occur, carrying with them their own fixed and definite linear time-events sequence (a fixed past, and present coming from a definite future.)

The bottomline: whatever we do, the fact that time is definite, linear, fixed and is already containing tailor-made consequences, and sequences or events, implies that our actions (or what we do) are already determined. Ergo, human existence is determined. Just like the fundamental laws of nature, actions existing within a definite space-time dimension are mechanistic – with order, and carry no value at all. For why should it have point? Why should the things we do carry with it value or a point when we can know that they are very much embedded in a tailor-made and determined pattern or sequence of various necessary possible fixed events existing within a continuing space-time dimension? And just as nature and its fundamental laws are nothing but mere systems, all of human actions and human existence, for this matter, can be no more than a pointless set of determined events. To quote the Princeton Astrophysicist Jim Peebles, “I am willing to believe that we are flotsam and jetsam.” And as Steven Weinberg wrote in his book, The First Three Minutes (A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe):

the more the universe seems comprehensible,

the more it seems pointless.


*by Allan Agnol Pasamonte
Published in the journal of the UP Kabataang Pilosopo Tasyo (KAPITAS) in the summer of 1997, pp.6-8.

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