Chapter

The Elimination of Absolute Time by the Special Theory of Relativity

William Lane Craig

in God and Time

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195129656
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849130 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195129656.003.0007
The Elimination of Absolute Time by the Special Theory of Relativity

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Most physicists and philosophers of science would probably agree with Wolfgang Rindler that with the development of relativity theory Einstein took the step “that would completely destroy the classical concept of time.” Many would contend that along with a privileged universal time and absolute simultaneity, temporal becoming and an objective “now” must also go by the board. This chapter argues that such judgments are mistaken and are predicated upon a deficient understanding of the metaphysical, and particularly theistic, foundations of the classical concept of time, as well as upon a defective epistemological approach to these problems. In order to rediscover those foundations, we must recur to the fountainhead of the classical concept of time: Isaac Newton's great Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.

Keywords: Isaac Newton; relativity theory; simultaneity; time

Chapter.  12979 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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