Please step through the logic.
- Assume that there is a time when time did not exist.
- But, the time when time did not exist is itself a time.
- Therefore, time exists at the time when time did not exist.
- (c) is a contradiction.
- Therefore, the only assumption (a) must be wrong.
- Conclusion, there could not be a time when time did not exist.
A finite thing, by definition, has bounds (beginning and ending). Take measurement as an example. The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles (40,075 km). You begin at one point and end at one point (albeit the same point).
I disagree. A finite thing can be either bounded or unbounded. A bounded finite thing has edges or end points, depending on the number of dimensions. The circumference of the earth is unbounded, there is no end point yet it is finite.
One thing to consider is that time actually exists, as a thing. E=MCÂ² relies upon this. C = the speed of light. First, light must exist. It does. Then, it must travel at a given rate. It does.
But rate requires time. Without time, rate is meaningless. Duration is an integral part of Einstein's equations; without duration, they fall apart.
I think that you misunderstand me. Time is very real and entirely essential to meaning. But time does not exist, as we have defined existence. Time defines existence. Nothing exists outside of time, by definition. Something is said to exist if and only if, there is a time that can be attributed to its existence. Please review our agreed upon definition of existence.
I am about to conduct an Appeal to Authority:
The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down.
Steven Hawking, The Beginning of Time
Now this is most likely not an erroneous nor fallacious Appeal to Authority; after all, Steven Hawking is, if not THE foremost mind in terms of science, one of the top ten. He's certainly more expert on the subject than you or I.
Time had a beginning. 'Nuff said.
We need to be careful to avoid the fallacy of equivocation. Professor Hawking did not define the word beginning in the same way that we have. He sees time as being finite. He sees that there is an endpoint to time, which is to say that there is a point in time beyond which there is no more time. This is different from the definition of beginning that we have agree to use. Now, if you wish to pursue your argument with a revised definition of to begin
, by all means, let's do so. In fact, it might be a good idea. Tying the concept of beginning to time might not be such a good idea. The beginning of a road, for example, may not refer to the time of its construction, but an end point of the road. Time does have a beginning, in the sense that an already constructed road has a beginning. But in this sense, a roundabout has no beginning.
If you are agreeable, I would suggest that we adopt the following terminology:
means that there is a point in time before which the thing in question did not exist and after which the thing did exist. This definition is identical to what we have been using for begun
means that there is along some defined dimension, an end point for the thing in question.
Just one more thing to clarify. It seems that you have implied that if a thing does not have a temporal beginning, that it must be infinite. This indeed would be the case if time were infinite. But since time is not infinite, then anything which has existed for all time is not infinite. It is a tautology that time has existed for all time, therefore if time is finite, anything which has existed for all time is also finite. Professor Hawkins as quoted above is using the word forever
in the sense of being infinite not in the sense of existing for all time. The two concepts are quite different and we might get into serious trouble if we confuse them.