We have a cultural bias based on the arrow of time that strongly implies a lack of free will, and a high probability of a pre-existing future.

I'm interested in finding prior thinking based on the idea that time begins in the present and is understood only as it exists in the past.

closed as off-topic by Not_Here, virmaior, Swami Vishwananda, Jordan S, Nick R Oct 24 '17 at 0:55

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • "a pre-existing future, especially on a quantum level" "a quantum, orderly, perfectly predictable process" I don't think you understand what quantum mechanics says about nature, or what a probability amplitude is for that matter. The entire point of the measurement problem is that quantum mechanics is not "a perfectly predictable process". If you have some sort of perfectly predictable version of QM, your Nobel prize is ready and waiting. – Not_Here Oct 5 '17 at 17:32
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    Hi, welcome to Philosophy SE. Please visit our Help Center to see what questions we answer and how to ask. Sorry, but we are not a discussion site for new theories, promoting personal positions and soliciting discussions is off-topic here. Questions are supposed to be answerable and the answers based on existing literature on philosophy. Perhaps you could look through SEP entry on time and rephrase your question by stating more precisely what you are looking for in existing philosophical positions. – Conifold Oct 5 '17 at 17:59
  • At one extreme -- Dennet, in the 'multiple drafts model' of mental processing sketched in 'Consciousness, Explained' all qualia are only memories, and space and time are qualia. – jobermark Oct 5 '17 at 18:03
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    To say that this is a discussion site, and in the same sentence, insist that soliciting discussions is "off-topic" is a difficult answer for me to understand. – user28975 Oct 8 '17 at 18:27
  • I have edited my question to eliminate my own theories. I would still welcome any actual answers, most importantly, answers leading me to philosophers who have worked with the idea that time begins in the present and then becomes fixed in the past, where we observe and measure it as an arrow. – user28975 Oct 8 '17 at 18:30

I do not know of any philosophers who argue that time has a beginning but a slight adjustment to your idea would lead you to Kant and the Perennial philosophy for which time is not metaphysically-real.

This is a different idea but has many of the same consequences. What you seem to be suggesting is that the time is only ever 'Now' and the past and future are only ever theoretical, and this allows your speculation to work. I think you're probably right about this but pretty much on your own among philosophers. To me the Upanishadic or Buddhist explanation of time seems a lot more plausible and it has widespread support and an extensive literature.

It may also be relevant that the consistent-histories interpretation of QM allows for history to be re-written in every moment, but I'm not enough of a physicist to explain this.


This sounds very similar to Bertrand Russell's "Five-Minute Hypothesis", or the Omphalos_hypothesis i.e. that there is no way of proving that the universe did not spring into existence 5 minutes ago, with all of history created at the same time.

This hypothesis basically states that your proposal could be true, and that there is in fact no way of disproving it; because a universe that was created 'now' would be indistinguishable from one that 'got here the long way around'