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I am an objectivist, and I have a very good friend that is an existentialist, irrational. We we're arguing the fine points of metaphysics and epistemology, and then we came to "A is A." My friend quickly pointed out that nothing is concrete, using Einstein's Theory of Relativity. I obviously tried to counter with the fact that things are not two things at once, etc, etc. Well, I got this out of him. Particles and such can never be in the same spot at once ergo they are in different lights and appearance to different perspectives so on and so forth. Now I ask you: how do I argue with Einstein? Does anyone have any good essays that refute his theories? I will say this...when every person in a school is told that Einstein's theory is right, no one refutes it. They don't even know what it truly means, but they accept it. Oh how I loathe the American education system! But yes, you try arguing with the "greatest" intellectual of our time and listening to everyone say that I cannot refute Einstein simply because I am not as "smart" as he was.

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Even if Einstein's Theory of Relativity did seem to contradict a fundamental axiom, we could dismiss the part of the theory that contradicts the axiom out of hand. Why? Because a scientific theory is the end result of a huge process of inductive generalizations intended to describe the properties of the world around us (in this example, the precession of Mercury, or the bending of light around sufficiently massive objects)-- and in order for such a process to be valid, reason (the process of organizing knowledge using non-contradiction) must also be valid. But reason cannot succeed without accepting that entities have natures, or that A is A.

However, I'm pretty sure that Relativty doesn't have the kinds of implications that your friend says it does, so there's no need to try to "refute" Einstein. I'll let someone who knows more about it say more on that point.

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You don't have to be as clever as Einstein, you just have to be more clever than your friend. So the first thing to do is not presume that you need to refute Einstein, since he has shown nothing that diminishes the truth "A is A". Einstein's theory holds that in physics, there is no absolute frame of reference, thus there is no "center" to the universe, and there is nothing about Objectivist metaphysics that requires position to be an absolute (indeed, the idea that position would be a relation is much more consistent with the Objectivist view, AFAICT). Now as for the claim that "Particles and such can never be in the same spot at once", this sounds like the Pauli Exclusion Principle which as I understand holds of fermions but not bosons and also is about quantum state and not just position. Given that, I don't see how he gets to the conclusion that some two particles are "in different lights and appearance to different perspectives". I don't know what the heck that even means: it occurs to me that maybe this argument is hybridized with the Heisenberg argument, which is a popular "we can never know the truth" argument, and he's thinking that we can never have "absolute knowledge". If that's so, then he's making the fundamental "primacy of consciousness" error of thinking that lack of knowledge of the difference between X and Y means that X and Y are not different, so nothing is real. Anyhow, I can't make any sense out of the "different perspectives" claim.

Back to the "more clever than him" suggestion, it sounds like he's latched onto a few buzz-concepts from New Age Physics, but he probably doesn't know what the Fermi-Dirac statistics are (I don't really, except that that's how you derive the Pauli Exclusion principle). My motto is, if you're gonna start flinging physics arguments, you better be prepared to defend it in rigorous detail, so make him give you the proof that there is a problem due to relativity.

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David, are you suggesting he say something like, "I doubt those are the implications of Einstein's theory, but if you show me a mathematical proof I am willing to consider it"?

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David, are you suggesting he say something like, "I doubt those are the implications of Einstein's theory, but if you show me a mathematical proof I am willing to consider it"?
No, rather I'm suggesting just upping the ante a bit (or a lot), and relating the argument to fact. Let's just take the statement "Particles and such can never be in the same spot at once ergo they are in different lights and appearance to different perspectives". The second part of this is gibberish and can be dealt with as such; the only sense I can make of the first part is as a reference to the Pauli Exclusion principle, which says something different. So then the response to the first part of the assertion could be something simple like "What is your evidence that particles and such can never be in the same spot at once?", and in particular, drive the discussion towards the question "what is the observational evidence that proves this claim". I would bet that he cannot give that proof (I know that I can't). I would never dream of invoking the PEP as proof of some grand philosophical conclusion like "nothing is real". By proof, I am not speaking of a mathematical deduction that shows a formal relationship between ideas, I'm talking about the ideas and the evidence for them.

If we restate the claim as "No two identical fermions can have the same quantum state simultaneously and therefore it is possible to compare anything, so we cannot know anything", then I think (hope) it's obvious that this is a plain old invalid argument -- the antecedent and conclusion have no logical relationship to each other.

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That doesn't sound right. In a debate, it's okay to do stuff like that. In a philisophical discussion, out-maneuvering someone is not a victory because that would mean you were wrong and had to lie to be right. Something about that doesn't scream objectivism. Perhaps I misunderstood. However, when I argue, I have to either be able to refute the claim totally or agree with it totally. There is no in between.

"There are two sides to each issue: one side is wrong and one side is right, but the middle is always evil." ~A.R.

Im a quote bank fyi.

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Im a quote bank fyi.

You might want to check the quote which you currently have in your signature, attributed to AR. ("When I die, I hope I got [sic] to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is.") In addition to the misspelling, I doubt very much that Miss Rand ever wrote or said that.

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Kind sir,

Am I to infer from this post that, in the course of your entire life, you have never made a typo? Perhaps hit a wrong and/or extra key? No, I did not believe you had meant to say so, of course. As to the quote, you may google it if you should like. I am sorry to say that I found it on a quotations webpage that could have been wrong, as men are limited by the resources they use. However, it was more than one source that I got it from so I think she may have at least said it once to give so many people any idea that she had said it in the first place. I would also suggest that, in the future, you should not make your posts so inflammatory. A friendly question or suggestion would have done.

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I am an objectivist, and I have a very good friend that is an existentialist, irrational. We we're arguing the fine points of metaphysics and epistemology, and then we came to "A is A." My friend quickly pointed out that nothing is concrete....
I wonder how firmly your friend believes that nothing is concrete and that A can be both A and Non-A at the same time. To test his committment, you should suggest a little experiment. Get a baseball bat and tell him you're going to swing it at his head. If the bat turns into a wet noodle between the time you start your swing and the time it splits his head open, he wins the argument. If not, he loses both the argument and consciousness. A is A. Believe it. :thumbsup:

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Wonderful suggestion! In his mind, I suppose if he perceives it to be something else, it should, right? That would most certainly follow irrationality, if you actually think about it. But of course not one irrational does think of such implications.

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Perhaps hit a wrong and/or extra key? No, I did not believe you had meant to say so, of course. As to the quote, you may google it if you should like. I am sorry to say that I found it on a quotations webpage that could have been wrong, as men are limited by the resources they use.

Actually, the quote is from "Atlas Shrugged." The speaker is a teenage Francisco d'Anconia, on an exchange with Jim Taggart. The full quote is: "When I die, I hope to go to Heaven -wherever the hell that is- and I want to be able to afford the price of admission."

Jim retorts "Virtue is the price of admission."

Francisco then elucidates: "That's what I mean, James. So I want to be prepared to claim the greatest virtue of all - that I was a man who made money."

Naturally page numbers vary by edition. In mine, the paperback of the 35th anniversary edition, it's on page 94. In any case, it's in part one, chapter V: The Climax Of The d'Anconias.

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Thank you, D'kian. I stand semi-corrected.

You're welcome.

I'm unsure whether quotations from fictional characters should be attributed to the character or the author. On the one hand, tha author did write it. On the other, the quotation has to be consistent wth the character, but not necessarily with the author's philosophy.

Oh, well, I'm off topic enough as it is.

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I'm unsure whether quotations from fictional characters should be attributed to the character or the author. On the one hand, tha author did write it. On the other, the quotation has to be consistent wth the character, but not necessarily with the author's philosophy.

Technically, you are supposed to cite both. However, I generally tend to leave the quote as cited by the author, but I will now add that it is said by Francisco and finish off the quote since it has caused so much confusion. Perhaps now we can get back to the topic at hand :P

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Perhaps now we can get back to the topic at hand :P
Right. Well, one thing I want to clarify is that you not lie. But you should say, in any philosophical discussion, that it is only proper to use facts in support of a position, and not resort to malarkey. I'm presuming that neither of you have, say, three years of college physics beneath your belts. The implication that your friend seems to be making is that there is some incompatibility between Objectivism and the real world, and I am denying that there is any such incompatibility. I am furthermore suggesting that he has over- and mis-interpreted the results of modern physics to find an incompatibility that doesn't exist. Not necessarily deliberately, mind you, but simply by taking small pieces and interpolating.

Rather than have you argue that Einstein is wrong, I am urging you to check your premises -- what did Einstein actually say, on what basis did he say it, and how do either those facts or his conclusion refute Objectivism. He should have enough respect for physics to recognise that it isn't trivial, than it can't be reduced to a few aphorisms, and that the firm established conclusions are established firms on the basis of something -- observations. There are vast numbers of scientific journals dedicated to publishing these results, and in those millions of pages there are both controversies and uncontroversial statements. Is he technically competent to identify which are which? Can he even write down "Einstein's theory" formally, and prove that that really is "Einstein's theory"?

When you discuss a claim philosophically, you have to do two things. First, you have to check whether the premises in the argument are valid -- is it the case that no two thing can be in the same place at once. Second, you have to check the logical structure of the argument, to see whether A and B do indeed imply C. From what I can see, the premises are false and the logical structure of the argument is flawed, so the conclusion is unsupported, and therefore your friend should withdraw his claim.

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Thank you. I am quite sure, at this point, that he has over-interpreted the theory and extended its bounds. However, there are some points that cannot be refuted, rather worked around. A concrete is something that can be measured, so I think I can safely say that particle distance, etc can be measured. I will have to speak with him again.

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Einstein's theory of relativity asserts that time and space are relative to the position and speed of the observer in question.  Time moves more slowly when you're travelling at a thousand MpH than it does when you're sitting still.  (among other things)

But time and space are relative to your SPEED, not relative between people.  The time I experience, travelling at 60 MpH for 60 minutes, is exactly the same that you would experience under similar circumstances. 

(not to mention that the passage of time itself is relative to you.  If you were standing still as you watched through the window of a passing starship, which was travelling near the speed of light, the passengers would look like they were frozen in time.  If you were sitting inside the starship, you wouldn't feel any different than you do now. . . Unless you looked out the window)

Long story short, relativity in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM contradicts the law of identity.  Time and space are still time and space; relativity just says that there are more variables involved.  (Relativity also says that it's impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, which is common knowledge and just so happens to be an immutable absolute)

 

Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, blatantly contradict the law of identity.  It's also incompatible with relativity (when you calculate something that involves both disciplines the answer is always zero, regardless of the question) and- interesting thing about Einstein- he was an intensely vocal opponent of QM.

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There are lots of scientists who disagree with Einstein.  He was just the most popular one.  David Harriman talks about Einstein's theories of relativity in a few of his lectures and he gives alternatives to Einstein.  For my own part, I read one of Einsteins books years ago and was very confused as I could not contradict his "thought experiments".  It was only later on I realized that his thought experiments were completely disconnected from the actual experimental evidence.  In his book he constantly referred to a situation where a person in a floating glass box is flying past you.  They have a lamp in the middle of the box.  Since the speed of light is the same in all reference frames, when the person turns on the light they measure the light beams to hit the wall at the same time in the direction of travel and in the opposite direction.  However you watching this moving box from the side see that the light beam which is in the direction of travel has to catch up to the wall of the box so it hits it a short time later than the light beam going in the opposite direction.  Both of the events happen simultaneously even though they contradict one another.  That is why Lorentz length contraction and so forth is invoked.

 

When you look at the Michelson-Morly experiment, they only measure the two-way speed of light, not the one way speed of light that Einstein implies in his "popular book".  In other words the measurement of light's speed could only be done if light went to the wall of the box and came back to the center, in which case the effect of one beam hitting before the other is canceled out.  So the results for the person inside and outside the box are the same and length contraction is not needed.  No one knew if measuring the one way speed of light would show that the speed of light is constant in all reference frames (at least at that time, I don't know if it's happened since then).  I think Einstein purposely designed his thought experiment in this misleading way because Michelson-Morley experiment is consistent with another theroy of light called emission theory, which was a competing theory at the time, in which light packets move essentially like bullets.  I have read that emission theory has been disproved but i know nothing about the accuracy of that statement as I only read modern physics as a hobby.  In any case there are still many physicists out there who disagree with Einstein on relativity and have other theories, yet it is often regarded as unassailable truth.

Edited by bioengine

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You're welcome.

I'm unsure whether quotations from fictional characters should be attributed to the character or the author. On the one hand, tha author did write it. On the other, the quotation has to be consistent wth the character, but not necessarily with the author's philosophy.

Oh, well, I'm off topic enough as it is.

 

"Don't bother me, don't bother me, don't bother me,"

~Ayn Rand 

 

:fool:

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 In any case there are still many physicists out there who disagree with Einstein on relativity and have other theories, yet it is often regarded as unassailable truth.

This is true.  And it isn't unassailable, automatic truth; Einstein may very well have been wrong.  Actually we know he almost-positively was, because of certain details about Relativity which don't match reality unless you invoke Dark Matter- which smacks of a square peg to patch up a blatant problem.

 

But the main thing is this: photons always travel at the speed of light relative to you, no matter what.

A car going 60 MpH down the highway would pass stationary scenery at that speed; it would pass a car in the opposite direction (if the other car is moving at 60 MpH, as well) at 120 MpH, relative to either car.  Not so for photons.

If you stand in the sunlight, the sun's rays are approaching you at the speed of light.  If you fly towards the sun, still approaching you at the speed of light; if you fly away at the speed of light it'll still catch up to you. . . At the speed of light.

 

The theory of Relativity explains this very neatly.  There could be other explanations, but how would you solve that apparent-paradox while keeping time and space absolute measurements?

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The theory of Relativity explains this very neatly.  There could be other explanations, but how would you solve that apparent-paradox while keeping time and space absolute measurements?

 

 

Well, speaking just in reference to the Michelson-Morley experiment, it was not proven that the speed of light is the same in all reference frames as I think was predicted by Maxwell.  I believe, at the time of all this, there were those physicists who wanted to revise electromagnetism and those physicists who wanted to revise mechanics because of the contradictory nature of what was showing up in the equations.  The ones who wanted to revise mechanics obviously won and now we have length contraction and time dilation.  As I was hinting at, the emission theory is consistent with Michelson-Morley, light behaves mechanically like a bullet, so the one way speed of light (light traveling from me to the wall) is not constant in every reference frame, however, by definition the two way speed of light (as in light going to the wall and coming back to me) is always constant (because any effect of added motion in one direction is subtracted on the way back).  As far as what i read on Wikipedia, the one-way speed of light hasn't ever been measured and maybe cannot be.  I have also read on wikipedia that emission theory has been disproved but I really have not read up on this stuff in a while so currently I really have no opinion on the resolution of the problem (or the value of what I read on Wikipedia).  I just stand by the philosophical objections to Einstein's subjective view of reality.

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I just stand by the philosophical objections to Einstein's subjective view of reality.

Understandably so.  Relativity would seem to give rise to relativism, which is wrong, hence there must be something wrong with Relativity.  (I'm dubious of Quantum Mechanics for the same reason, in the same way.  I've found an interpretation of the data called the De Broglie-Bohm theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohm_interpretation which is fully consistent with observations and rejects any amount of randomness in the fabric of the universe, in full, at its root.  I still have to investigate why it's an unpopular theory)

 

But is the theory of Relativity consistent with subjectivism?

 

Here's a thought-experiment for you.

Let's say there are two men, named Bob and Steve, on an intergalactic Cruise Liner which is flying at half of lightspeed, relative to the fabric of space and time.  (this standard of measurement being the absolute, inviolate one, since you cannot ever reach lightspeed relative to the universe, itself)

Now Bob and Steve are archrivals and they've decided to end their bickering, once and for all, with a duel.  They each take a laser-pistol, take five paces, turn and fire.

Now, as they're firing, a police vessel which is travelling at half of lightspeed passes them in the opposite direction.  The policeman glances through the window and catches a glimpse of the duel; what would he see?

Because light always travels at lightspeed relative to you and the two starships are actually travelling AT lightspeed, relative to EACH OTHER, then (if we also assume that Steve and Bob are standing in the right places) he would see Bob grimacing in agony and clutching an inactive pistol as Steve's laserbeam zips through him at double lightspeed.

 

This principle has been empirically verified and is very much the way reality works.  But as to the philosophical impact- what conclusions may we draw from this?

 

Most people who aren't familiar with Relativity would assume that they had just witnessed Bob's murder.

A subjectivist would reply that such is the police officer's reality, but that he has no authority to arrest Steve as that reality may not be true of anyone else.

Albert Einstein would say that the police officer should pull out some equations, calculate out the definite and quantifiable way in which his speed had distorted his perception, and logically realize that Bob and Steve actually killed each other simultaneously.  (In reality, indisputably; though the objective truth in any experience may not always be obviously apparent, once you understand how spacetime warps and why, you can find it in any situation)

 

I don't think Relativity is compatible with Subjectivism in any way, shape or form.  It only says that you can't always see the truth, automatically; you have to do some math first.

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Understandably so.  Relativity would seem to give rise to relativism, which is wrong, hence there must be something wrong with Relativity.  (I'm dubious of Quantum Mechanics for the same reason, in the same way.  I've found an interpretation of the data called the De Broglie-Bohm theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohm_interpretation which is fully consistent with observations and rejects any amount of randomness in the fabric of the universe, in full, at its root.  I still have to investigate why it's an unpopular theory)

 

But is the theory of Relativity consistent with subjectivism?

 

Here's a thought-experiment for you.

Let's say there are two men, named Bob and Steve, on an intergalactic Cruise Liner which is flying at half of lightspeed, relative to the fabric of space and time.  (this standard of measurement being the absolute, inviolate one, since you cannot ever reach lightspeed relative to the universe, itself)

Now Bob and Steve are archrivals and they've decided to end their bickering, once and for all, with a duel.  They each take a laser-pistol, take five paces, turn and fire.

Now, as they're firing, a police vessel which is travelling at half of lightspeed passes them in the opposite direction.  The policeman glances through the window and catches a glimpse of the duel; what would he see?

Because light always travels at lightspeed relative to you and the two starships are actually travelling AT lightspeed, relative to EACH OTHER, then (if we also assume that Steve and Bob are standing in the right places) he would see Bob grimacing in agony and clutching an inactive pistol as Steve's laserbeam zips through him at double lightspeed.

 

This principle has been empirically verified and is very much the way reality works.  But as to the philosophical impact- what conclusions may we draw from this?

 

Most people who aren't familiar with Relativity would assume that they had just witnessed Bob's murder.

A subjectivist would reply that such is the police officer's reality, but that he has no authority to arrest Steve as that reality may not be true of anyone else.

Albert Einstein would say that the police officer should pull out some equations, calculate out the definite and quantifiable way in which his speed had distorted his perception, and logically realize that Bob and Steve actually killed each other simultaneously.  (In reality, indisputably; though the objective truth in any experience may not always be obviously apparent, once you understand how spacetime warps and why, you can find it in any situation)

 

I don't think Relativity is compatible with Subjectivism in any way, shape or form.  It only says that you can't always see the truth, automatically; you have to do some math first.

 

Hmm.. Well first of all according to relativity the officer can only ever see the laser beam moving at the speed of light, never twice the speed of light.  So as he went flying by he would see each laser beam going the speed of light despite relative motion between everybody which is why length contraction and time dilation are necessary to explain the scenario.  Length contraction and time dilation make it so that the speed of light is a constant in each reference frame from which it is measured (according to special relativity).  That is my understanding.  I think the subjectivity comes in because the police officer can actually assume that he is standing still and that the ship is moving towards him at the speed of light.  There is no force telling him otherwise.  That is why this scenario isn't physically sound because the police officer can never actually tell whether or not he is moving relative to "fabric of space".  So the people on the ship can also assume they are standing still while the police officer comes towards them at the speed of light.  No one can measure who is moving or not only the relative speed of approach between them.  So who is contracting and dilating their time--depends on who you ask I guess.  In the end for  a scenario like this, you have to specify which person accelerated and felt the force of acceleration to decide who is moving (IF that information is available--BECAUSE both started out stationary relative to each other).  If the two groups started out moving relative to each other (for instance because they were on different planets who's tangent lines coincided when they took off toward one another) you will never tell which person is really moving or standing still yet both of them still must contract if they are to measure the speed of light the same in their respective reference frames.  I hope this makes sense, I find it easy to confuse myself when thinking about modern physics.

 

Another illustration is Einstein's scientist who was born in a spinning room.  Einstein believes that the truth consists of describing what is happening in the spinning room such as objects flying to the wall, ergo gravity is in the direction of the wall.  This is why it's subjectivism because truth depends on reference frame rather than the law of identity holding.  Anyone else would say bust through the wall and see what's really going on.

 

These are just a few thoughts but I also am not sure that Einstein believed in a material "fabric" of space, I think he thought space was more like an empty container or "pure geometrical points".  I have heard his view of space compared to Plato's but, again, I haven't read up on this in a while, I might be mistaking him for someone else. 

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Hmm.. Well first of all according to relativity the officer can only ever see the laser beam moving at the speed of light, never twice the speed of light.

Yes; I apologize for any ambiguity.  I meant that he sees it travelling at lightspeed and, since he's already moving at lightspeed relative to the other ship, he infers that it must be moving at 2x lightspeed.  (epistemological sloppiness on my part)

 

I think the subjectivity comes in because the police officer can actually assume that he is standing still and that the ship is moving towards him at the speed of light.  There is no force telling him otherwise.  That is why this scenario isn't physically sound because the police officer can never actually tell whether or not he is moving relative to "fabric of space".

This is true; either starship could be said to be standing still.  But can you tell whether or not you're moving relative to spacetime?

 

The faster you accelerate through space, the slower time passes for you.  If you were to ever actually travel at lightspeed, you would be frozen in time (and if you could sit somewhere in deep space, perfectly still, time would pass at lightspeed for you).  There's nothing subjective about that; any observer from any frame of reference would measure that the same way.

The officer knows how much energy it took to accelerate to his current speed, he knows about his own time contraction, as well as any number of other details; most physicists don't stop to point it out but I think he could tell quite easily how he's moving relative to spacetime.

 

I hope this makes sense, I find it easy to confuse myself when thinking about modern physics.

And it makes perfect sense.  :thumbsup:

 

These are just a few thoughts but I also am not sure that Einstein believed in a material "fabric" of space, I think he thought space was more like an empty container or "pure geometrical points".  I have heard his view of space compared to Plato's but, again, I haven't read up on this in a while, I might be mistaking him for someone else. 

That's the only part I would really dispute, in whole.  But I think I see what's causing the confusion.

 

Are you familiar with General relativity?  Because, in Einstein's theory of Special Relativity, he explained the speed of light and space/time contraction, et cetera.  In General Relativity, he later expanded on this to include the force of gravity.

 

General Relativity asserts that gravity is the literal warping of spacetime caused by the presence of matter.  This implies that spacetime must be an actual thing to be stretched and bent; otherwise it would be a meaningless statement.

If you look into general relativity and what it means for special relativity (which had no absolute reference frame; no absolute truth) I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  If spacetime is a physical entity then there is an absolute and indisputable measure against which to know absolute truth.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold

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This is true; either starship could be said to be standing still.  But can you tell whether or not you're moving relative to spacetime?

 

The faster you accelerate through space, the slower time passes for you.  If you were to ever actually travel at lightspeed, you would be frozen in time (and if you could sit somewhere in deep space, perfectly still, time would pass at lightspeed for you).  There's nothing subjective about that; any observer from any frame of reference would measure that the same way.

The officer knows how much energy it took to accelerate to his current speed, he knows about his own time contraction, as well as any number of other details; most physicists don't stop to point it out but I think he could tell quite easily how he's moving relative to spacetime.

 

I don't think you can tell whether or not you are moving relative to space.  I think Einstein addressed this in one of the books I read.  You cannot actually measure length contraction.  Any ruler which is brought about to measure the contraction of something else will also be contracted and therefore the effect is cancelled out and cannot be measured.  The same sort of thing applies for the movement of a clock, if the hand of  a clock has slowed down, your bodily movements and ability to read the clock have likewise slowed down to a similar degree making you oblivious to any such effect.  This is all when you are moving at a constant speed without accelerations, like in your scenario of the ship and police officer.  Also Einstein didn't believe in a physical explanation such as the altering of the shape of atoms with movement causing contraction or having to do with the nature of movement through an EM field.

 

 

 

 

Are you familiar with General relativity?  Because, in Einstein's theory of Special Relativity, he explained the speed of light and space/time contraction, et cetera.  In General Relativity, he later expanded on this to include the force of gravity.

 

General Relativity asserts that gravity is the literal warping of spacetime caused by the presence of matter.  This implies that spacetime must be an actual thing to be stretched and bent; otherwise it would be a meaningless statement.

If you look into general relativity and what it means for special relativity (which had no absolute reference frame; no absolute truth) I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  If spacetime is a physical entity then there is an absolute and indisputable measure against which to know absolute truth.

 

Yes, I'm familiar with it.  General relativity asserts that accelerations are due to "warped" space.  He claimed that  a creature living in a free floating box in outer space will experience "gravity" if the box is suddenly accelerated by a string attached to the outside.  Some "force" compels him to the bottom of the box where the reaction force allows him to stand up.  He thought that was analogous to what we experience on the Earth as gravity.  I don't believe in this answer.  I'll try to address his view on space later as I'll have to look some things up.

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