Friday, August 03, 2007

Is is the was of what is to be

My brother noted this morning that the shortest interaval of your life is "the present". Everything except this exact moment is either the past or the future. That is undeniably true. But it struck me that we can't even measure "the present". How long is "right now" ? What would you measure ? Does this mean, that because we can't measure it, that the present itself does not exist ? At least as a time intereval. Someone is always telling me that "there's no time like the present".Now I know that that is because there is no time in the present.

But there is one measurment of the present. The instant that you die. That can be specificly timed. Of course, once you are dead you can't really be part of the present, that's why they refer to dead people as "the late so and so". So it may be that no living being can measure the present. Ever.

Now I'm sure that a staunch right to lifer would argue that the moment of conception can be timed and is therefore a "present". I guess that is true.You don't need to be consious to be "in the present", or even sober.In fact, it is often to your advantage not to be either. But, a staunch pro-choicer would argue that your life does not begin at conception. So we have the same factions on the abortion debate taking their logically opposite sides in the "present" debate, if there is a debate, it may be that I am the only one confused. I know what you are thinking. Even the pro-choicer would acknowledge a "present" at the moment of viability. But when is that ? Even if we knew, medical advances seem to move viability further and further toward conception.Does that mean that "the present" moves with it ? No insturment will ever be able to measure the exact instant of viability (I put sentences like that in this blog so that people will be able to laugh at my ignorance in 100 years). In the distant past, life was determined at the quickening of the womb. I guess you could measure that, if you were awake for it. But can a womb quicken without you feeling it ?If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound ? Is there any "all you can eat chinese buffet that serves quaality food ? Some things are unanswerable. At least for the present.

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