Did the past really exist?

I know there is a “now”, a present, and I hope there will be a future. I know there is a present because I am living it as I type, but the past is just memories… Isn’t it?

Many people believe in an almighty creator, a supernatural entity that created life from nothing. If they are correct and the almighty creator exists, how can I be sure that I was not created today and that this morning was the first morning of my existence? Why would he make me start small, just a few cells? Why waste time in having me conceived in such a complicated way before making me grow big? The past is just memories, my childhood is just memories, how can I be certain I was not pre-programmed with those memories when I was “created”? After all, the past no longer exists, I just remember it.

When someone builds you a computer they can quite easily pre-programme information into the memory as it is built before you receive it. We could be just biological computers built by “the creator”, such a clever being must capable of anything, right?

(O.K. there is an argument that we are biological computers anyway, but that’s a different story.)

Maybe the makers of the film “The Matrix” were right and that we only exist in an artificial, programmed reality created by some all-seeing, all-knowing, higher, almighty being.The Matrix

Or perhaps Douglas Adams was correct in his book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and we are all part of an experiment being undertaken by mice (I quite like that idea). Although the people in his book did have a past, just not the one they had envisaged.Pan-Dimensional Mice

But overall, considering all the information before me, I think I did have a past because I simply cannot believe that any intelligent almighty creator would ever have been so stupid as to create such idiotic, arrogant, selfish, self-centred beings as the human race. They alone have evolved to make the world and life what it is today, and they will probably also be the architects of their own demise… and no sane creator could ever have thought up all the stupid, weird, tragic, hurtful, but sometimes amazing and wonderful, things that I store in my memory as my past so far.

So the past is not a pre-programmed memory, and tomorrow I will wake up (hopefully) when today will be the past. I will look back and remember the things that happened, the mistakes I made, the good times and the bad. I will be happy and nostalgic; I will be grateful that I have so far survived, while feeling sad for those that haven’t; I will enjoy the present, looking forward to the future when “now” is a distant memory, and I will ponder whether it all really happened.


Then I find that someone else has these thoughts too:

Is this the Real Life (Or is this just fantasy?)?


2 thoughts on “Did the past really exist?”

  1. I was thinking about this and thought I would respond.

    I was considering how an all powerful God would deal with the past. Many terrible things have happened in the past and it is not good enough that they aren’t happening now; in order to put things “right” it would be better if they had never happended at all. Such an all powerful figure would be able to make it that events that happended would not only be in the past (some comfort there) but also never had existed at all.

    So if there is no past now (in the present) then it is equally possible that there was no past “then” either (i.e. the previous present that was actually previously experienced, now, in the current present, never existed).

    And in a way, that would be quite pleasant. And is not contradicted by the way which actually experience our lives. Nor by physics either which according to my brief reading appears to allow for removing time from space time equations.

    Of course, ethically and for all practical purposes, we are obliged to act as if the objective world exists in a past, present and future. But it may be that behind the curtain, the wizard has arranged things in an even better way then we know or can concieve.

    Sounds all a bit gobbledy gook I know but I hope you get me drift.

    1. I sometimes think that “gobbledygook” is the language of modern society, it is certainly the language of many politicians and world leaders. But does language always have to make to make complete sense? Indeed does life have to make complete sense? Perhaps, like art and poetry, we should simply enjoy it for what it is? …… A subject for another blog perhaps?

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