Eternity and time in science: what role do theories of relativity play in the formation of a coherent model of eternity

Masters Thesis


Lawson, F. 2013. Eternity and time in science: what role do theories of relativity play in the formation of a coherent model of eternity. Masters Thesis Heythrop College, University of London Philosophy
AuthorsLawson, F.
TypeMasters Thesis
Abstract

Historically models of eternity have been grounded in divine attributes rather than the intrinsic structure of space-time. I examine the topology of Minkowski spacetime in comparison to the Euclidean space of Newtonian Mechanics, before highlighting five common approaches to eternity. Both atemporal and temporal models of eternity are examined to establish what they tell us about the nature of eternity outside the divine attributes, before being evaluated for their coherence with the Special Theory of Relativity.

I argue that the most coherent models of eternity in light of the Special Theory of Relativity are those that appeal to metaphysical rather than physical time as it remains unaffected by the conventionality and relativity of simultaneity. I conclude that the special Theory of Relativity has a valid role to play in establishing the coherence of eternity. However, due to the discontinuity of concepts of time between the Special Theory of Relativity, the General theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, it cannot single-handedly be used to establish which models of eternity cohere with scientific models of time, but must be use alongside the General theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

Year2013
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Dec 2018
AcceptedOct 2013
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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