Drm970 wrote: Suppose I had two centers of consciousness such that they could be in different times and I would experience myself as being in both of those times. Suppose one center of consciousness exists at a time predating my conception, the other exists now. It seems that relative to one frame of reference, I have not yet been conceived, and relative to the other frame of reference I have been. But then isn't it right to say that I know both that I have and have not been conceived? Why is it different for God?
DRM wrote: What I am saying is there is no conceivable(at least not to me, yet) relation between S having P at T1 and S having ~P at no temporal point whatsoever(timelessly). I think we could reasonably remove the time condition if we replace it with a timeless condition say, Y. So if S has P and ~P at Y, then S has contradictory properties. However, the question is, is it compatible for S to have P at T, and have ~P at Y?
DRM wrote: It seems to me there has to be a fact of the matter about whether two TEMPORAL events are occurring simultaneously. If it were a general fact of the matter, sans the temporal qualification, then I could see how God could not exist without absolute time, but I don't accept that
The difference is that God knows all of the frames of reference, even the eternal frames that contain a great deal of knowledge of the whole timeline (i.e., unless the Son is specifically not given access to all the Father knows, e.g., Mark 13:32). When God acts, it is based on the knowledge of what God knows to do based on being God. There is not a time in God's knowledge where He does not exist, or when He is ignorant of a certain fact. The entirety of all the frames of reference are God's total knowledge of the world at every point in every frame.
It is only because the frame at rest is theorized to be a preferred frame that the simultaneous relation is fully recovered. My point is that we don't have to recover it. We don't really lose anything in the process that quantum mechanics doesn't take away from us anyway (e.g., a conventional view of reality).
Luke wrote: Re: Swinburne's account. I don't see why God couldn't, in creating the universe, impose a metric on time (say, the metric of physical processes), and thereafter endure through this metric time. Prior to creation, you are correct, he would experience time in an entirely different way than he does now. The absence of a metric would undercut your objection that God would have had to endure through an infinite amount of time prior to his creating. Without a metric, there is just no fact of the matter of how much time he endured through. Time isn't divisible into units like seconds, hours, years, etc., on this view (prior to creation, of course), and so it is false that God existed for an infinite number of years before he created.
Luke wrote: Again, I reiterate my claim that your objection to a Newtonian conception of eternity is not theological at all, but a philosophical objection. The problem you raised could be stated without reference to any agents at all. How could an infinite number of seconds elapse prior to today? This is just Craig's second philosophical argument for a finite past. Now, this is an argument worth considering, but I thought the point of your objection was that there is something specifically theologically problematic about infinite past time.
Luke wrote: Your comments on the twin paradox seem to support what I was saying. According to each twin, the other's clock is running slow. But, when the astronaut returns, lo and behold one of them is younger than the other. If the astronaut leaves earth again, so that he's in a different reference frame, it's still true that his twin is younger than he is, even in his new frame. This is what I meant by length contraction and clock retardation being real rather than merely apparent.
Clocks don't slow down, rather clocks appear to slow down to observers in other frames of reference.
Luke wrote: I was looking through some of Craig's work on relativity and I came across a passage that might address part of your objection that neo-Lorentzianism is not preferable to Einsteinianism or Minkowskianism because on the latter, the Lorentz transformations are derivable from Einstein's postulates or Noether's theorem, whereas on the former they are ad hoc. The passage from Craig is as follows:
Note 19: Ives' theory is a very complicated one. It is based on two basic assumptions: a) the existence of the ether; b) the relativity principle (Poincare's, according to Ives). Assumption a) forces to consider the possibility that there are three light speeds (the same for all inertial observers, according to b)): one way out, one way back and two ways (out - back). Therefore, the settings of clocks at rest in an arbitrarily chosen inertial reference frame I cannot be performed by light signals: it is necessary to use a clock moving at a speed q from one clock to another. The speed q is given by d(Delta-t), where d is the distance covered by the clock and Delta-t the time interval read by the moving clock itself. (As a matter of fact, Ives does not denote the quantity q as a 'velocity', but as a 'rod - to - clock quotient': the term 'velocity' is reserved to 'rod - to - clock quotients' when rods and clocks are at rest with respect to the ether). From a) and b), Ives derives: i) the 'clock retardation' and 'length contraction'; ii) coordinates transformations much more complicated than Lorentz's. Ives' transformations are approximated by Lorentz's when q=~0, but never coincide with Lorentz's: q cannot be zero, because without a moving clock there cannot be any settings of clocks at rest in an arbitrarily chosen inertial frame and, therefore, measurements.(ibid, p.16)
Correction: God has an infinite number of thoughts without ever there not being a prior thought, right?
Luke wrote: Why assume that God has an infinite number of thoughts prior to creation? Or if he does, why assume that he has them sequentially? Why couldn't he have an infinite number of thought simultaneously and he doesn't think any new ones until he decides to exercise his causal power to create? If that's the case, then it would not follow that for every thought God had, there was a previous one before it.
Luke wrote: Maybe I'm just dense, but I still don't understand your theological objection to neo-Lorentzianism. Nothing in that view commits one to belief that the past is infinite. It just doesn't say anything at all on the matter. Now, I'm not endorsing Swinburne's view. I only raised it as a counter-example to the claim that neo-Lorentzianism requires an infinite past.
Luke wrote: Your clarification about the slowing of clocks is helpful. I would only differ in saying that on an Einsteinian view, there really is a fact of the matter about clocks slowing down. In frame A, clock x is really running slow. In frame B, clock y is really running slow. (And to head off a potential confusion, I'm not saying that this is a contradiction; it's weird, but that's all; clock slowing is reciprocal).
Luke wrote: Well, as I've said before, I don't know enough physics to evaluate some of these issues, like Ives's derivations. But even if Ives's work is still not as simple as Einstein's, wouldn't this still address the objection you raised that Lorentz's theory doesn't explain the Lorentz transformations, but they're rather just ad hoc additions to the theory?
Luke wrote: I have to say that I'm not impressed by your claim that Ives's work wasn't peer reviewed. How do you know this? What were the review policies for that publication? Philosophical publications are routinely peer reviewed. Many questions in the foundations of physics are frequently addressed in phil publications, like British Journal for Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Science. The reviewers there are well versed in the relevant physics.
Luke wrote: What I am claiming is that they often unknowingly follow in Einstein's trail because they aren't aware of the underlying philosophical issues that led to many of Einstein's views, phil issues that may or may not be empirically testable.
I am not giving an argument from authority, although I do think that philosophers are on dangerous grounds when they are dismissive of the prevailing opinions of physicists on matter of interpretations.