Time Does not Exist (It Has no Substance)

Everything that has a beginning has motion.

When our bodies grow matter and develop, we call this age. When our bodies atrophy and begin to shut down, we too call this age. We define our own age on the basis of the earth’s rotation and orbit around the sun. One orbit of the earth around the sun, one year we gain.

 

Time measures movement. It describes one rotation of the earth on its axis with the sun as a fixed point and defines that movement as 24 hours. Time points to the earth rotating around the sun over 365 single rotations with respect to the sun and calls that one year. While the earth makes its rotating orbit around the sun, its tilt creates temperature shifts across the world, which we call seasons.

When our bodies grow matter and develop, we call this age. When our bodies atrophy and begin to shut down, we too call this age. We define our own age on the basis of the earth’s rotation and orbit around the sun. One orbit of the earth around the sun, one year we gain.

Everything that has a beginning has motion. God created the earth, and so it began to spin and orbit a star we call the sun. The stars and celestial beings exist for the very sake of measuring motion: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years’” (Gen 1:14).

Time has no substance, or matter of its own. Like a measuring tape expands across a board and defines the board’s length by inches and feet, so do days and years measure the distance the earth moves.

We define inches and feet and metres and yards to describe lengths. We define minutes and hours and days and years and centuries and millennia to describe movements.

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Our belief in the ontological reality of time prevents us from thinking clearly about a number of matters. First, we impute existence to a measurement. But change is the thing that time measures. Time is, therefore, relative to motion. Motion is the thing that time describes.

But if everything has motion, then everything lives in time. Yet if something has no motion nor begins to move, then that something exists outside of time since time measures motion. And herein lies the second murky way we think about time: when we say God is timeless, we imagine that he sits above an orb in which time exists.

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