# Generally we suppose that if there is any time lapse between event A and a subsequent event B, A cannot be the cause of B. But what if time were continuous, such that between any times t1 and t2, we might specify a distinct time t3? In that case, there would always be some time lapse between any two events: would that make causation as described impossible? Does conceiving of time as quantized solve the problem?

But we don't "generally" suppose that earlier events can't cause later events! Jack's earlier smoking caused his cancer, the earthquake ten minutes ago caused the tsunami now rolling across the ocean, my flick of the switch caused the light to come on a fraction of a second later, and so it goes. If anything, the "general" view is that causes precede their effects. It is not for nothing that, for example, David Hume's first attempt at a definition of a cause is as "an object, followed by another, and where all objects similar to the first are followed by objects similar to the second".

# Everything that happens, why does is it happen at the moment that it does and not the moment before or the moment after?

Why does there have to be a reason? Maybe some events occur when they do just by chance. There seems to be nothing incoherent about that idea. Indeed, that's how we think that the world actually works. For example, the law governing the radioactive decay of an unstable atomic nucleus seems to be merely chancy. An atom of polonium-214 has a fifty/fifty chance of decaying in the next 3 minutes or thereabouts. But nothing determines when it actually decays. There is, according to our best scientific theory of the matter, no answer to the question of why the decay happens at the moment that it does rather than a little while before or a little while after. Why should there be?

# Time stretches back to infinity, therefore it cannot have reached NOW {let 2009 = NOW}. Manifestly, however, it has reached NOW. How can this be?

As a warm-up exercise, consider the following two infinite ordered sets of numbers. Firstly, take the negative and positive integers in their 'natural' ordering ... -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ... trailing off unendingly to the left and to the right. Second, take all the negative numbers, in increasing size, followed by zero and all the positive numbers: -1, -2, -3, -4, ... o, 1, 2, 3, ... Now, in both orderings, any positive number is preceded by an infinity of numbers (including all the negative numbers). But there is a very important difference between the two cases -- they have, as mathematicians say, different 'order types'. One big difference is this: there is no first member of the first ordering (i.e. for any given element of the ordered series, there's an earlier one); but there is a first member of the second ordering (namely, -1). To bring out another difference, suppose in each ordering we take one of the negative numbers, and we ask: can we...

# How can time really exist? If you think about it, threre is an immeasurably short time which is the present which is ever changing. It is commonly accepted that that which cannot be measured cannot physically exsist. I think that we understand the present the way we do because of the past, and predict the future due to the past and present. But, there is effectively no actual past or future. The present doesn't even exist because the point in which it exists is so brief that by the time we perceive its existence, it is part of the past, which is impossible. So, how can time really exist?

There are a number of issues raised here. Let's do a bit of separating out. Take the sentence "Verdi died over a hundred years ago." That's true. It isn't made true by something happening now . The event whose occurrence makes that sentence true is something that happened in the past, in the 1901. (And this isn't a case like the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus, a mythical event. Verdi was a real person. His death is an event that actually took place.) I wonder just what is being said, then, by "there is effectively no actual past". Is it being claimed that really was no such actual event as Verdi's death after all (just as there was no actual event of the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus)? The past is a blank and all history is a myth? That's absurd. Or is it being claimed that Verdi's death isn't now actual, i.e. isn't now happening. But that is trivial -- no one disputes that! So it is not immediately clear what sensible but interesting view can be expressed by "there is...