You are quoting from wikipedia: Absolute time and space In my opinion, this is not a good summary of Newton's views, because the quotation (which comes from the Scholium of Book I of his Principia Mathematica, immediately after the definitions) is part of a larger section where he goes on to show that absolute time is knowable by using the best clocks and mathematically correcting the time given by bad clocks. The section also introduces the composition of velocities which is one of the places where Newton's assumptions were wrong. In Newton's model of motion, the duration of relative time properly inferred between two events (Newton allowed correction for bad clocks) is always the same as duration of absolute time. Thus the absolute simultaneity based on absolute time is one that can be inferred and relied upon examining motion of a system (like the motion of clocks). However, Newton's model of motion was wrong, and his metaphysics of absolute time does not contribute to physics. They were guesses that might have been good enough 330 years ago, but not today. The motivation behind the repeated question doesn't seem to be based on anything in the current discussion. Talking about "the rate of time" is wrong thinking and the wrong way to understand time dilation, which is not a time-phenomenon but a trajectory-specific phenomenon of space-time. Of all the ways to get from (here and now) to (there and then) only one has the longest proper time measurement: the inertial trajectory. What Newton called relative time and relative space are related to what we call imaginary inertial Cartesian coordinate systems which are predicated on describing events and motion relative to a particular spatial origin and a particular state of motion called "at rest". Such a system is good for attaching numerical labels (coordinates) to places (here, there) and times (now, then) but these labels have no absolute meaning, and because the choice of which state of motion is called "at rest" is arbitrary, a different coordinate system may legally disagree than the events (here and now) and (there and now) happen at the same time. (Relativity of Simultaneity). In any such a coordinate system, given the same particular trajectory between events, we can apply a formula and calculate the proper time which would be measured by a clock sent on such a trajectory. Thus proper time is more physically real than coordinate time, even if it is trajectory-dependent. Shorter: proper time is more fundamental than coordinate time. And if we can calculate any proper time, we can show that the trajectory with the longest proper time is the one which is a straight line with constant velocity: an inertial trajectory. So independent of the choice of coordinates (independent of what Newton would call relative space) we may calculate the proper time of an inertial path that connects any two events, even if space is empty and nothing actually happens at those merely potential events. Therefore empty space has a geometry which respects the quantity between 4-dimensional points (potential events): c² (Δt)² − (Δx)² − (Δy)² − (Δz)² = c² (Δt')² − (Δx')² − (Δy')² − (Δz')² and so we glimpse space-time as something more fundamental than coordinates, or coordinate time. If one of the two points are fixed as (here and now) then the equation: c² (Δt)² − (Δx)² − (Δy)² − (Δz)² = c² (1 second)² describes a two-sheeted hyperbolic surface of all future event I may travel to inertially with a elapsed proper time of 1 second and a second sheet of all past events from which I could have travelled inertially to (here and now) with an elapsed proper time of 1 second. The asymptotic surface to these sheets are all events I could communicate by means of a signal traveling to or from me with speed c, which forms a double-cone of light-speed possibilities. This hyperbolic surface and light-cone is the same for all coordinate systems.