# Can time be nothing and I mean that literally? [closed]

Bear with me. I was thinking of how to represent the empty space between particles in a dimensional sense. Empty space has no point of reference so it can not be represented 3D. But apply time to it and you can kind of time empty space because it only remains empty for certain amounts of times. So is our perception of time merely particles occupying nothing for a set amount of time therefore making empty space time physically represented? Best way to visualize is to think of empty space as a liquid and particles displacing that liquid.

• If time is nothing, or is space, we have a hard time with entropy. Entropy does not naturally increase across space, and the effects of entropy do not appear to be 'nothing' because we have memory. I think the closest you can get to time being nothing is that it simply is entropy, as described here philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/38871/9166
– user9166
Nov 7 '16 at 6:03
• Literally as in "metaphorically" and "figuratively" or literally as in "actually"? ;) ...Consider spacetime (pace Minkowski) Nov 7 '16 at 6:11
• can time literally be nothing?. Of course not, since by the word "time" we designate something and, in particular, not nothing. Nov 7 '16 at 7:12
• @M.leFou Can unicorns literally be nothing? Well, I think they can. If they were something we would not be able to say all unicorns are white and all unicorns are black are equally true. Vocabulary has uses, not implications.
– user9166
Nov 7 '16 at 14:41
• My goal with this question was for people to stop using assumptions to stabilize a false sense of existence. Maybe I am in the wrong place.
– Nate
Nov 7 '16 at 19:34

There seem to be a series of very serious non-sequiturs here.

First of all, we easily represent empty space in three dimensions. Despite the lack of contents, or points of reference, we can visualize it easily, and we understand its geometry implicitly.

To the extent that we can imagine anything timelessly, we can imagine empty space timelessly more easily than we can imagine actual matter or energy, which is made up of 'waving' entities, timelessly. We have no idea what light or particles would actually look like if they were stopped. But we know we could never see it -- light travel is not instantaneous. So it may be that empty space is the only thing we can imagine properly without time involved.

Even if it any of that were ironed out, I am not sure how that leads to the conclusion. One of our basic intuitions of time may very well be best captured in the impossible image of seeing particles suspended in something (like a very thick fluid) and not moving. Since this is, in fact, an illusion of the impossible, it may itself be nothing.

But your path to there does not fit with common intuitions of space or time. And our pure intuitions of space have their own drawbacks, too, and we adapt them rather than discarding them.

• Are you basing this on anything? Kant, for example, said, "...it is impossible ever to draw from experience a proof of the existence of empty space or of empty time. For in the first place, an entire absence of reality in a sensuous intuition cannot of course be an object of perception;" If empty space cannot be an object of perception, it's doubtful that it could be an object of imagination.
– user3017
Nov 7 '16 at 9:51
• @PédeLeão I said represent, as did the OP, not prove the existence of. We do geometry. Please criticise me on the basis of what I actually say.
– user9166
Nov 7 '16 at 14:37
• @PédeLeão Unicorns are an object of imagination that cannot be an object of perception. To a large degree so is the whole of mathematics. We can perceive approximations to things like unicorns and straight lines and make up imagination out of them. But it helps if there is an underlying predeliction to converge on a common image, which I (and Kant with the notion of the synthetic a priori-ness of math) think is the case in the notions of straight lines, and empty space.
– user9166
Nov 7 '16 at 14:52
• Live in a world where you have the ability to accept what isn't but consequently no longer accept what is to be a whole truth it becomes difficult to articulate obscure topics. You can make reality and perception what ever you want through the use of interpretation.
– Nate
Nov 7 '16 at 15:49
• @Nate OK, that then becomes the only possible answer. Sure, you can interpret time as nothing. If no logic needs to support it, then you didn't really ask a question. You made a statement, and we should close your 'question'.
– user9166
Nov 7 '16 at 17:46