I assume that anyone interested in reading this thread is already familiar with Einstein's explanation of "the relativity of simultaneity."
He discusses two observers and how their perception of simultaneity will differ with motion. One observer is standing on the embankment next to the railroad tracks and the other is a passenger on a moving train who is sitting at the exact midpoint of the train.
At the very moment when the two observers are eye to eye, and both are exactly equidistant from the front and rear of the train, bolts of lightning strike both ends of the train.
Einstein properly deduces that the resulting flashes of light will NOT reach the eyes of both observers at the same time.
1. The embankment observer will see the two flashes simultaneously because he is motionless with respect to them.
2. The train passenger, however, will perceive the light emanating from the bolt which struck the front of the train first, because he is moving toward it, and will perceive the light from the bolt which struck the rear of the train at a later time, because he is moving away from it.
Fair enough, and there is nothing unusual about this. The same type of difference in perception could result if neither observer was moving with respect to the source of the light. If, for example, the two observers were 10 miles apart from each other, one due east of the other, and they were stationary relative to each other, they would not see a flash coming from the east (or the west, for that matter) simultaneously either. The westernmost observer would see a flash of light generated by turning on a flashlight coming from the west before the easternmost observer did, for example. They would not both see the flash "simultaneously." Would that mean the flashlight was turned on at different times?
Of course not. It was turned on only once, and whatever "time" that happened would always be identical to itself regardless of when some observer "down the road" ends up seeing it. If we "suddenly" see the explosion of a supernova in the sky, no scientist would conclude that the explosion happened "now" just because we first perceive it "now." They would rightfully deduce that the explosion occurred centuries, or even eons ago, depending on it's distance from earth.
Why would any scientist riding on a train fail to make the same type of "correction" to his raw and immediate sense perceptions? He bought a ticket, settled into his seat, felt himself gradually and continuously accelerate until he levelled off at a constant, uniform speed. He KNOWS that, as between himself and the earth, he is the one moving, not the earth. The fireman who is constantly shovelling coal into a furnace to generate the steam required keep the train moving at a uniform speed is NOT causing the entire earth to move while the train stands still, and he knows it. So do his passengers. One would have to accept the violation of all known laws of conservation of mass/energy/momentum, the notion that F=MA, etc., to ever think otherwise.
Since any reasonable passenger on a train knows he is moving, then he would also know, if he accepts the premises of SR (and of other theories of relative motion), that HIS watch has slowed down because, as between him and the stationary observer on earth, HE is the one moving, and it is the moving watch which slows down.
Einstein goes on to say that the train passenger is just as "entitled" to consider himself at rest as is the observer on the embankment.
1. Given the circumstances, no, he is NOT equally entitled to make such a claim.
2. Even assuming he was "equally entitled" to believe he was "at rest," that is not what SR allows. SR mandates that he MUST remain ignorant of his own motion and MUST insist that he is "at rest. He can NEVER concede that he is, or even "might be," the one moving. He is not "equally entitled" to arbitrarity choose either frame (train or earth's surface) because they are purportedly "equally valid." If he did that, the whole theory of SR would fall apart. A conflict between observers is required for everything to "work out" within the system of SR. Two observers who are moving relative to each other can NEVER agree on which one of them is actually moving relative to the other.
Einstein explains the whole "relativity of simultaneity" concept by positing (and hence knowing) that the train passenger is the one moving. But, in order for his theory to work out, he must insist that the train passenger deny what Einstein knows to be true, i.e., that the passenger is moving. He mandates that the train passenger remain ignorant of, and hence mistaken about, his own motion.
Valid theories of physical science are simply not founded upon enforced error, nor are they based on what an "observer" subjectively perceives. They are based on what is purportedly happens in the objective "real world," not in the subjective mind of some mistaken chump.
Only a solipsist like Berkeley can believe that all "reality" is subjective and that there is no objective state of affairs. For Berkeley,"to be is to be perceived." Put another way, only mental perceptions exist, and there is no "real world" out there. For the solipsist, a tree "exists" if he is looking at it (imagining it is more like it), and it ceases to exist the second he looks away from it.
No reasonable person subscribes to solipsism. Einstein himself, in his mature years, ridiculed the notion of "essi est percipi" as propounded by Berkeley..
Put another way, any fool knows that things do not occur only if and when an observer perceives them. Things in the objective world happen when they happen, whether any observers knows it or not. Reality does not ride upon the mistaken perceptions/interpretations of some random observer.
That's obvious, isn't it?
Relative simultaneity is simply a bogus concept founded upon utter subjectivity. Theories of relative motion which posit absolute simultaneity are free of all the "paradoxes" caused by SR's subjective treatment of "reality;" comport with common sense; and make accurate predictions in every case that SR does, and also in many cases where the application of SR does not make accurate predictions. Why does anyone even subscribe to SR, I wonder?
Edited by Moronium, 14 April 2018 - 08:16 PM.