Monday, December 31, 2012

The End of Time

Now we're at the end of our own calendar for the year, having somehow survived the supposed end of the Mayan calendar a week and a half ago. So much for another apocalyptic prediction. For his part, Aristotle reasons that "time will not fail" and that time's true limit is the boundary between past and future, the 'now' (Phys. IV.13.222b8, a10).

In our postlapsarian state, it's hard to live in the 'now' as much as we should—the atemporal 'mind' detaching itself excessively from the temporal 'body'. Apocalyptic predictions get us to focus on a single moment. This is a limitation: both a strength and a weakness. Focusing on a particular moment is a valuable exercise (as Boswell quotes Johnson, "Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."), but it also distracts us from the real end of time: the present.

Speaking of calendars, here's an article that asserts that Christ Really Was Born Exactly 2013 Years Ago! The Chronology of Josephus Was Wrong. An interesting claim, and I'd like to know more about the scholarship behind the matter. (As well as why it's "Exactly 2013 Years" and not 2012 years plus one week.)

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