Great White Shark
Join Date: Apr 2013
Language: Galactic Basic, machine language
This really depends on the model used.
In physics, we currently believe that time is one of the 4 dimensions in the structure of our space, and there the past exists as much as the present and the future. We just glide through time, one moment at a time, but the moments we have passed already do not disappear, they just get further and further away from us.
From the solipsist perspective, only the present exists, as that s the only moment we can observe at present. Such position is also very helpful psychologically: once you realize that the past and the future exist only in your brain and not in the actual realty, and hence are imaginary, you become much freer from worry and rumination, as you understand that they happen over imaginary cinstructs and, hence, are irrelevant.
It is worth noting, however, that our brain lags behind the reality due to the time delay caused by signals reaching the brain. Strictly speaking, what we observe is not the present, but, rather, a very close past. Think about streaming a video with a 1 m lag; then, if the video is clicked at 8:00, you will only start watching it at 8:01, and every scene will be shown 1 minute after the same scene comes up on the source device. The brain “lag” is much smaller, but it is not zero, so, strictly speaking, we’re always living in the past. And if it doesn’t exist, then we essentially are living in an illusion.