While I love George Carlin to death, I’m also not stupid and know that what comedians say isn’t always the truth or totally agreeable just because it’s funny.
One of his trademark comedy bits about how time is a construct of human imagination and doesn’t truly exist is a concept that I’m seeing pop up a lot more often, and I feel it time to denounce this.
Let me tell you why time isn’t a totally BS system:
First of all, it IS practical and useful. Yes, by measuring the amount of revolutions and rotations there are around the sun, we know our own mortality and live by a schedule rather than by complete freedom, but hey, guess what?
That’s totally fine.
It’s healthy to live by day and not by night, because you get more sun which is an important thing for your body and skin. It makes you live longer. Knowing our own mortality is what makes us live so damn long.
“But I work a crappy 9am-5pm job every day all because somebody wanted to know when they didn’t have to worry about their village getting attacked at night!”
-An Ignorant Person
No, you work a crappy 9am-5pm job because you either had no other options, or you listened to all the assholes all your life that told you that you shouldn’t do what you wanted and should go for a much safer route than a route that has anything to do with your own independent wants. The reason you work a crappy job is either failure of environment or failure of self, not time.
“But knowing my mortality means I know when I’m going to die, and that’s scary! Animals don’t know when to tell time, so they can just enjoy their lives forever!”
-A 12 Year-Old That Never Grew Up
Being afraid to die is called primal fear. It’s a thing that all animals have. Because we’re at the top of the food chain and have things like modern medicine, architecture, agriculture, and literally places you can just go and receive food with no hassle, we have much less primal fear. Every other animal in the world has to deal with being under the top of the food chain, and as such, is always in danger of being freakin’ eaten, and worse, most of the time while they’re still alive. Animals don’t get to enjoy life all the time, they have to be afraid all the time. Fear is built off of things you don’t understand or have no control over, and even as stupid as a lot of people credit to the human race, if there’s one thing for sure is that we understand a metric butt-ton more than any animal on the Earth, and as a whole quite literally have control over the existence of everything we know.
No one wants to die, but especially not young people. It’s much more common to be afraid to die the younger you are because older people have lived out their lives, and have had a lot of time to ACCEPT that they’re going to die, which is a very important thing in life. If you’re going to keep up with modern society and enjoy your life, you have to excise your fear of death. I’m not saying you should go jump off a cliff into a 20-foot pool filled with sharks, anthrax, and your taxes, just don’t let the fear of death control your life. THAT’S what people are allowing to control them, either being afraid to die, or not coming to terms with their mortality.
So, they either end up sitting inside in their safe little habitat from human experience anxious and afraid all their life, or they end up working a dead-end job that meets said dead-end before they can realize that they’ve wasted their youth and can’t enjoy life how they thought they wanted to.
Time isn’t a BS system, it’s a system that teaches you to accept death.
Say what you want about systems and statistics, but I know for a fact if there was no such thing as a projected time at which I was probably going to die, and statistics to back up what the longest life is, I would kick back like life went on forever and miss out on it.
When George Carlin did his famous bit about time, he was merely pointing out the hypocrisies of people, and of the system. But there is such a thing as a fallacy fallacy, meaning that just because there is an error in logic doesn’t make an argument or concept wrong. Just because I say “People wanting to be happy is self-interest.” may be a technically right, but that does not mean that all happiness is is people being selfish.
And to close off, time isn’t ‘fake’. The sun’s light takes 8 minutes to get here, so when we see the sun in the sky, it’s actually just an image of where the sun was 8 minutes ago. That means that there IS a natural system of time, because if there wasn’t, everything would happen instantly, but it doesn’t. In fact, there’s a limit to how fast things can happen, it’s called the speed of light.
So time isn’t some fantasy or fake religion, it’s a provable system by which things work, and is an important part of not just daily life, but of science. Putting a label on it doesn’t make it exist more, it just makes us more aware of something that truly and definitely exists.