Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Presentism and multiverses

  1. It is possible to have an island universe whose timeline has no temporal connection to our timeline.

  2. If presentism is true, it is not possible to have something that has no temporal connection to our timeline.

  3. So, presentism is not true.


Anonymous said...

This seems similar to an argument that presentism cannot be true because it is inconsistent with the theory of relativity, since the theory of relativity denies in many cases that there is an absolute fact of the matter of whether two events are at the same time or different times.

Both arguments seem correct. Presentism is false.

Sean Killackey said...

Could this count as a temporal connection:

Suppose that God tells me that there is, in another universe, an orphan named Sean. I like his name (and it's spelled correctly too), so I pray that he get adopted. In response to this prayer, God tells some married couple in this other universe (they're all human beings, by the way) to adopt the child. He wouldn't have done so had I not prayed. Or is my action only logically prior to their action?

Alexander R Pruss said...

That's what I'm inclined to say: it's only a logical (or explanatory) priority. It's just like the case where you pray that you had done well on yesterday's exam.

Sean Killackey said...

I figured it need only entail that.

Now, angels aren't temporally disconnected from our universe, right? And they're in time. At least, that seems to be how the Bible presents them. (So, from our perspective they're not time travelers, who from their perspective spend five minutes in 1000 BC, move ahead to 200 AD, and spend time in the 2000s, all within, what seems to them, a day.)

Does that mean that our spatio-temporal realm is embedded in a larger temporal one?

If so, if could Gabriel in addition to visiting Daniel, Mary (and pranking Muhammad evidently), visit people in orphan Sean's universe?

I think the only way he could is if it wasn't temporally unconnected with the temporal realm he's in - though, perhaps you can explain what you mean by temporally unconnected. Or, less likely, if it was temporally unconnected to his, every moment of it would appear as the present to him, and he could just pop in at whatever times he wanted (which from his perspective would take an hour or so). However, in the latter case, is orphan Sean's universe really disconnected from the angel's?

Now, I think that the angel could visit this other universe, and not as in the latter way. So orphan Sean's universe isn't disconnected to ours.

Of course, maybe God still could create a universe that (these) angels couldn't visit (with orphan Shaughan, say), even if he doesn't do so. I have no clue - for one thing, do angels exist in something analogous to our universe? (I think they must exist in the same 'time-scape' as we do, but is there something else too?) If not, what condition or property (or something) could separate angles that could visit orphan Sean's universe and those that can't? (I assume that angels that couldn't visit the orphan Shaughan's universe are temporally disconnected from the angels that couldn - otherwise, it seems they too could visit it.)

Or, my last idea: when you say that Mary was assumed into heaven, as Jesus is there also. I take it that this means outside of our universe. Now, suppose that a Fall happens in orphan Shaughan's universe - which we'll assume is temporally disconnected from ours. And so someone like Mary exists, and the Son of God becomes man in that universe again. Geesus, they call him, say.

When they go to heaven, could they meet Jesus and Mary? Where would you say the righteous dead's souls from that universe go? Could they be 'with' the souls of people from our universe? 'When' could they find each other?

Hope some of this made some sense.

Sean Killackey said...

When I said 'the angel could visit orphan Sean's universe's but not in the latter way' that means that, if he told me, 'I need to help that orphan,' leaves and spends ten minutes in that universe, it would take him ten minutes to get back here. And, if he needed to go back there an hour after he returned, he would appear an hour later in that universe.

I don't think that popping in and out makes sense - if he's temporally disconnected, how/when could he find that universe?

Unknown said...

Sorry, but for the more elementary reader here could you please unpack premise #2? Correct me if i am wrong, but i am defining presentism as the view that entirely past or entirely future events do not exist. Only the present exists. So if this is the correct definition and if presentism were true, how would it follow that it is impossible to have something that has no temporal connection to our timeline? Shouldnt it be the opposite, that it is impossible to have something that is connected to any timeline? Sorry for the simple question. VERY amateur philosopher here.

Alexander R Pruss said...

Well, anything that is NOW is connected to our timeline, since it occurs NOW, and NOW is a time in our timeline. And according to presentism, only things that are NOW exist. So everything is connected to our timeline.