I can remember an incident over 50 years ago that had a profound effect on many aspects of my life as if it were happening now. I can replay it in my mind as if it were a video. Is the replay happening now, or 50 years ago? Since the major protagonist is now deceased, what is her status in the memory? The store which was the setting is now a library, what is the status of the main foyer containing the roped off piano? There are others. One when I was in fact 7 that I can be and have been many times in that moment.
If only the moment exists, why can't you put yourself in any part of the moment at will, so that you can be in the part of the moment when you're 7, and when you're 77, just as you wish?
Yet you were asking about a personal now, not an abstract now. In my personal now the alive, vibrant, virtuoso is in that foyer at the piano any time I choose to recall the incident. It is not happening in the past although in another sense it is clear that the eclectic time frame is the '50s.
I can remember an incident over 50 years ago that had a profound effect on many aspects of my life as if it were happening now.It's called memory. Surely to cripes it demonstrates, rather than debunks, the notion that time exists?
I can replay it in my mind as if it were a video.Except that the video will be more accurate, and remain a record even when all the participants in the scene have died.
Is the replay happening now, or 50 years ago?The replay is happening at the time you recall the memory / rewatch the video.
Since the major protagonist is now deceased, what is her status in the memory?She's dead. She's remembered. Photos (and videos?) of her continue to exist, showing her at different times / ages of her life. Same with the piano and the foyer.
A photo or even a video is merely a mnemonic to stimulate a live memory if not of a live event, a memory of a story told. My great grandmother died when I was a child, but she had an important influence on her society. I can read her books and sing her songs, but they are just ink on paper. It is the stories told by those who knew her that make her live in my now.
I am not sure I can draw a bright line at where now ends and history begins. In a real sense what is in my mind now is all there is for me. I am not solipsistic to think that what is in the now of others is unreal. All have their own reality that is now for them. I agree with John Dobbs "The world began on the day that I was born. On the day I die the world will end." It is not the only world there is. I am aware that I have affected others and my society and I am content that those effects will survive my demise. But for me "now" will end.
Yet if now, the memory tracks in my brain aka the world began on the day that I was born, now is all that is there. Duration is measured by interaction with the now of others.
If there is a God, per Iwanta, with a longer and richer now, its relevance to my now is unclear. Either I am a puppet, which offends me. Or I am a contributor to that now. Either way my contribution ends in the foreseeable future and the existence of God will be moot.
I have no argument with the idea that there is a world external to the self. Indeed much of what I do is aimed at affecting that world. Its past is a useful resource and affects much of what I do. There is a future as well, that those that follow me (and those that don't) will deal with.
Yet if now, the memory tracks in my brain aka the world began on the day that I was born, now is all that is there.
Subjectively that has to be true, but it's only one way of looking at it. One of my assumptions is that a world exists external to the self, and the external world has a past, some of which I can recall and some of which I've learnt about; and as we presently understand it, it will have a future of hundreds of billions of years, unless and until at some stage after the decay of the last proton the Big Rip robs it of identity.
In fact most of my now is dealing with that external world, trying to insure that it will be a better place for those that follow and even those that don't follow. I can see evidence that it will be but at some point it will no longer matter. Which is as it should be. I see people who have grown far beyond my capabilities. It is their now that matters.