The famous Argentine writer Jorges Louis Borges wrote a fascinating essay in 1944 entitled "A New Refutation of Time" (note the irony in the title). He wrote a revised version in 1946 using the same title and published both in his collection Labyrinths as a single piece, again using the title "A New Refutation of Time." Now, one would think that a succession of three pieces all supposedly refuting the nature of time would in fact prove the nature of time, but Borges seems to be deadly serious about the non-existence of his subject.

Borges writes: "Every instant is autonomous. Not vengeance nor pardon nor jails nor even oblivion can modify the invulnerable past. No less vain to my mind are hope and fear, for they always refer to future events, that is, to events which will not happen to us, who are the diminutive present. They tell me that the present, the 'specious present' of the psychologists, lasts between several seconds and the smallest fraction of a second, which is also how long the history of the universe lasts. Or better, there is no such thing as 'the life of a man,' nor even 'one night in his life.' Each moment we live exists, not the imaginary sum of those moments. The universe, the sum total of all events, is no less ideal than the sum of all the horses--one, many, none?--Shakespeare dreamed between 1592 and 1594."

He goes on to quote Kant, Berkeley, Schopenhauer, and Sextus Empiricus in laying out arguments against a time continuum. He writes: "The latter denies the past, which already was, and the future, which has not yet been, and argues that the present is divisible or indivisible. It is not indivisible, because in that case it would have no beginning that would connect it to the past nor end that would connect it to the future, nor even a middle, because a thing that has no beginning and end cannot have a middle; neither is it divisible, because in that case it would consist of a part that was and another part that is not. Ergo the present does not exist, and since the past and the future do not exist either, time does not exist.

Pretty clear what the man believes, even so he has his doubts: "And yet, and yet ... To deny temporal succession, to deny the self, to deny the astronomical universe, appear to be acts of desperation and are secret consolations. Our destiny ... is not terrifying because it is unreal; it is terrifying because it is irreversible and iron-bound. Time is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river that sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that mangles me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges."

What are we to make of that? Only that it's all a muddled mess, I guess. It appears that time doesn't exist, but adhering to that belief puts one in the impossible position of living, since "to live" itself implies the existence of time.