If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« on: August 06, 2009, 05:36:04 pm »
This is based on an interesting point someone brought up on the comments section of my blog. I pointed out that the universe had a beginning, and that anything which had a beginning required a cause. However, since time is an element of the universe and not of God, who is timeless, how could God begin to create the universe? I did my best to give an answer, but I still feel like I could use some more information so that I can answer this question with more confidence if it comes up again.

   

   Related to the first question-- if time begins when the universe was created, then does the universe really require a Cause if no Cause could be before it?

1

Chris Lass

  • **
  • 12 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2009, 03:03:21 pm »
I don't know whether you have already studied the A and B theory of time (McTaggart). The main misunderstanding I see is that you put causal relation into a temporal framework - it is more an ontological causal relationship.

Just imagine a simultaneous cause and effect this shows that the cause wouldn't need to precede the effect in time.

Greetings!

2

Jason Dulle

  • **
  • 244 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2009, 12:43:52 am »
 

This is one of the reasons why Craig concludes that God is in time.  God became temporal at creation.  God's act of creation constituted the boundary of time.  As Craig writes, “God’s act of creating the world may be taken to be simultaneous with the world’s coming into being. The first event is the event of creation, the moment at which the temporal phase of God’s life begins.”

 
As for whether the universe requires a cause since there is no time before its beginning, the answer is yes.  There are two ways in which something may be causally prior to an event: temporally, logically.  For example, if there was a bowling ball resting on a pillow for eternity, what caused the indentation in the pillow?  Clearly it is caused by the ball, and yet there was never a point in time that the ball began to rest on the pillow.  It has been there from eternity past.  The ball is logically prior to the indention, though not temporally prior to it.  In the same way, God is logically prior to creation, though not temporally prior to it.


3

Chris Lass

  • **
  • 12 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2009, 05:57:05 pm »
I think the problem codysblackbox was originally trying to get at (even though I also didn't previously see) was this:
Your bowling ball (btw. this is an example from Kant) is static, but something that is static can never change. How could someone cause a change (uncreated - created) if he/she were static. I think actually there is an answer, but it depends on which theory of time you embrace!

If you believe that time is static, dynamic movements and changes are illusory. But that would destroy the contradiction that this objection seems to imply (because our subjective concept of changes were static too). If though you believe that time were dynamic you have to (I see no other alternative) embrace the idea that whatever caused time itself, was dynamic too. For something that is unmoved can't move anything! Therefore, if you don't believe that time is eternal, for which I think good reasons exist, you have to suppose that dynamic (movement and change) is possible outside of time.


4

Jason Dulle

  • **
  • 244 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2009, 10:27:43 pm »
That is a problem for a non-personal being such as a bowling ball, but not for a personal being.  A personal being could exist timelessly and unchanging, but then, as act of will, bring about a change in his state, and hence time.  Only a personal agent with volitional capacity makes this possible.

As for movement and change being possible outside time, this seems incoherent to me.  Change requires time.


5

Chris Lass

  • **
  • 12 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2009, 03:27:03 am »
What you are suggesting is that a static mind causes something dynamic? Don't you see at least some contradictions implied? (movement from unmoved cause)

Has your mind had its will statically from eternity? Didn't its mind change in the way that once it wanted something to change whereas after that it had accomplished that change it needn't to "will" for anything any longer?

6

Timothy Campen

  • ***
  • 3144 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 05:49:27 pm »

But if God is immutable and unchanging until he chooses to create, how does he ever get around to deciding to create in the first place? That decision must preceed the creation. Then what comes before that, and before that, and so on?  I find WLC's position on this untenable.

I raise a pint to WLC and all of you, even if I often disagree.  For I am convinced thoughtful people can disagree without being disagreeable.

7

Chris Lass

  • **
  • 12 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2009, 12:25:23 am »
Well I am sorry to see no answer from jasondulle. So I will answer myself.

The dilemma you state arises on both sides: If the universe began to exist this changed the state of affairs from: no universe to a universe. But if whatever brought this universe into being also created time in the same process, how could this dynamic change happen outside of time? Whether a God involved or not is not of interest for this problem!

That is why I have to come to the conclusion change must be either possible outside of time (otherwise it (time) could have never started) or change is in no conflict with time because its static and change and becoming and all the temporal flux is illusory.

8

zengardener

  • **
  • 173 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2009, 01:36:22 pm »
Time may be relativistic.

   spacetime

   

   
Stephen Hawking in particular has addressed a connection between time and the Big Bang. In A Brief History of Time and elsewhere, Hawking says that even if time did not begin with the Big Bang and there were another time frame before the Big Bang, no information from events then would be accessible to us, and nothing that happened then would have any effect upon the present time-frame.[34] Upon occasion, Hawking has stated that time actually began with the Big Bang, and that questions about what happened before the Big Bang are meaningless.[35][36][37] This less-nuanced, but commonly repeated formulation has received criticisms from philosophers such as Aristotelian philosopher Mortimer J. Adler.[38][39] Scientists have come to some agreement on descriptions of events that happened 10?35 seconds after the Big Bang, but generally agree that descriptions about what happened before one Planck time (5 × 10?44 seconds) after the Big Bang will likely remain pure speculation.

   

   Unless one is a quantum physicist, then one is speculating. Even the physicists are dealing with hypothesis that will be difficult to test, perhaps impossible.

   

   So, why make these assumptions? Because you want to know? Assumptions and speculation will not bring knowledge.

9

Chris Lass

  • **
  • 12 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2009, 03:02:44 am »
"Unless one is a quantum physicist, then one is speculating. Even the physicists are dealing with hypothesis that will be difficult to test, perhaps impossible."

Well fortunately we have philosophers - and I couldn't disagree any stronger. Sepculations and assumptions are the beginning of all knowledge!!!

10

Craig

  • ***
  • 3247 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2009, 05:08:55 am »
tcampen wrote:

But if God is immutable and unchanging until he chooses to create, how does he ever get around to deciding to create in the first place? That decision must preceed the creation. Then what comes before that, and before that, and so on?  I find WLC's position on this untenable.



Why dont you ask the traditionalists/classical theists that question ?

I would deny that God is immutable and unchanging. I believe God does change (his nature stays the same) and that God is not immutable. In fact these terms only came into existence around the time of the Hellenistic Greek philosophy. None of these terms are in the Bible. In fact, the Bible shows us a God who is very much changing. A God who is very personal and can relate to us..not some being that is very static and distant.

As a Neo- Molinist, I dont fear your question at all.
"You'll never stop at one. Ill take you all on!" - Optimus Prime

11

Islam Hamada

  • *
  • 4 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2009, 04:12:18 pm »
God has an eternal well and he created the universe by an eternal well.
God is out of time that is why he is unchanging and does not have a cause you must also remember that  causes and effects happen only in time .
Our universe is not the only creature which was cretaed by God and  I beleive that there was others creatures before the universe that were created by God too .
you must remember that you can not anlayze God's behaviours because he is out of time and our logic can not explain something which is timeless.For example can you explain to me this sentence :before the creation of time !.
before points to time ! is it a logical sentence ?no !
Our mind is limited and can not anlayze things which are out of time because  in timless we lose our logic.

wish you get the meaning of my post.
sorry for my weak english.



www.eltwhed.com
The greatest  Muslim wesbsite which bebunks Atheism's thoughts !

12

zengardener

  • **
  • 173 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2009, 12:43:45 am »
Hamada,

   

   Your English is fine. Try a smaller font.  It seems like you are yelling at us all.  

13

Islam Hamada

  • *
  • 4 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2009, 01:31:00 pm »

zengardener wrote: Hamada,

Your English is fine. Try a smaller font. It seems like you are yelling at us all.

thank you very much  my dear brother .

www.eltwhed.com
The greatest  Muslim wesbsite which bebunks Atheism's thoughts !

14

Joseph Evensen

  • **
  • 527 Posts
    • View Profile
If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2010, 10:38:11 am »
I don't see how anything could be accomplished without time.  I also dont see how time could be infinite.  Two equally incomprehensible options!