In my YouTube video explaining why I don't believe in afterlife, I used, among others, the following argument I came up by myself:

Et si homines habent animam quae tempus potest sentire, quomodo id est ut, cum homo evigilat ex coma ("somnium" in quo cerebrum agit nihil), is nescit quantum tempus ibat? Sane, aliqui homines qui sine conscientia erant, dicunt se videre aliquid (lucem in crypta vel cuniculo...). Sed plurimi homines qui sine conscientia erant, memorantur nullas res ex eo tempore. Quomodo id possibile est, si homines habeant animas? Si homines habeant animas, homines qui sine conscientia sunt, sentiant longas (quia tempus ibat) silentes tenebras (quia partes cerebri, quae vident et audiunt, non operantur), annon?

Basically, I think the fact that humans who have been unconscious for a long time have no idea how much time has passed disproves the idea that the brain is merely an antenna for the soul (and that if the antenna is hurt, the signal is messed with, causing problems), since you would assume that the soul would still be functioning and creating memories without its antenna, if it did exist.

Andreas Alcor wrote a response to my video. In response to that argument, he said:

Postremo ponis homines post komam aliquam nihil meminisse, animos autem tempus percipere, haec inter se non cohaerere. Hoc rursus obscure rogatum cum cotidie somniemus alias somnia recordati alias obliti, eadem somnia quae una nocte siue horam siue uel menses durare possunt! Quid igitur referat si quis non noctem sed septimanam dormiat? Quin somnia semper meminimus? Tamen cotidie somniamus et hoc scientia nostra iam pridem probatum est. Tamen ne scientia nostra quidem respondet quin semper meminerimus.
Insuper nec uigilantes tempus capimus. Graeci enim haec uocabula internoscunt, χρονος atque καιρος, illud tempus fugax, hoc extraordinarium; illud nocet, hoc momenta aestimat; illud horologia, hoc nos recordamur. Ne multa, eodem modo natalem octauum recordamur atque quae urbs sit caput Italiae.

I must admit that I don't understand his response. If I correctly understand him, he thinks that I am committing an equivocation fallacy, that by "time" I once mean "χρονος" and once "καιρος". I have tried looking up those Greek words, but I still don't understand that. The only thing I found is that "καιρος" means "weather" in Modern Greek, but that is irrelevant. So, what was the difference between those two words in Ancient Greek?

  • Better than looking up the dictionary is to read the answer: the author provides here the distinction between the two terms. The second (also refers as illud) I get is more about "abstract" time; time as a unit of measurement etc. (dont understand nocet in this context) whereas the first (also refered as hoc) is rather eventful;; That last paragraph seems to be addition to his main argument. His main argument, as I understand, is that the comma-argument proves nothing as it happens also in sleep that we dream yet do not remember. So lets have comma as a long dream we don't recall.
    – d_e
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 20:48
  • His second paragraph, if I get, he shares the observation that even when we are awake we don't perceive time! what we really have is the concrete eventful memory of events while we are awake, as opposed to "abstract" time measurement. We don't perceive time any more that we perceive that Roma is the capital of Italia:
    – d_e
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 21:08
  • @d_e So, do you think his argument essentially boils down to "Maybe everybody whose brain wasn't working for some time had a near-death experience, but the vast majority of people just don't remember it."? If so, that's definitely a weird assertion and an ad-hoc hypothesis. Of course, you can defend almost any empirical claim with ad-hoc hypotheses, even Flat Earth or, in this case, the brain being merely an antenna for the soul. Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 6:34

2 Answers 2


καιρος has a more specific meaning, often 'the right time' or 'season'.

https://logeion.uchicago.edu/%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9%CF%81%CF%8C%CF%82 This is more thorough

  • So, can you make some sense of the Andreas Alcor's argument? Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 17:50

There are three words for time in Classical & Koine Greek:

  • ⲕⲁⲓⲣⲟⲥ: the opportune time (e.g. when the harvest is ripe, it is the opportune time to get it in)
  • ⲭⲣⲟⲛⲟⲥ: The passing of time. This is the one we are most used to today as the "tick-tock" of the clock
  • ⲕⲁⲓⲛⲟⲥ: New and improved time (e.g. Jeremiah 31 and Matt. 26 in reference to the old and new covenants)
  • 1
    καινός just means 'new', it's not inherently a time word.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 7:43
  • ...except when it's used in a time word context (as in the works cited)
    – Epimanes
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 9:49
  • 1
    You might as well add μακρός and βραχύς, then, since those are also used in that context.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 11:47
  • correction: when I said "as in the works cited", I mean the works I cited (Jer. 31 & Matt. 26). I wasn't clear in my comment.
    – Epimanes
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 12:14
  • ⲉⲕ ⲧⲟⲩ ⲥⲓⲛⲁ ⲧⲁ ⲭⲉⲓⲣⲱ... Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 14:08

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