Cletus Nze

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2011, 03:31:03 pm »
codysblackbox wrote: 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?


Space-Time is just the Possibility Field that emerged from and surrounds The Being of God! The Spatial component contains ALL possibilities that arise simultaneously and have no hierachical causal relationship! The Temporal component contains ALL possibilities that arise sequentially and do have a hierachical causal relationship linking them.

In particular, I'd like to mention that Time is NOT something that changes by itself! It is the process of change brought about by Activity! In other words, Time does not pass - we move through it! So the changine of Time began when God began it with His Activity! And did not occur prior to this! And also would stop if God stopped His Activity!

Bearing all that in mind, we see that the problems conceived here are illusory and dissolve like a snowman in the sun when things are viewed in the correct way!
Pursue Truth - with rigour and vigour!

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tuffbot324

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2012, 01:59:30 am »
mwalimu wrote:
Quote from: codysblackbox
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?


Space-Time is just the Possibility Field that emerged from and surrounds The Being of God! The Spatial component contains ALL possibilities that arise simultaneously and have no hierachical causal relationship! The Temporal component contains ALL possibilities that arise sequentially and do have a hierachical causal relationship linking them.

In particular, I'd like to mention that Time is NOT something that changes by itself! It is the process of change brought about by Activity! In other words, Time does not pass - we move through it! So the changine of Time began when God began it with His Activity! And did not occur prior to this! And also would stop if God stopped His Activity!

Bearing all that in mind, we see that the problems conceived here are illusory and dissolve like a snowman in the sun when things are viewed in the correct way!


I don't believe that fixes the problem. Any change or event must take place in time, yes? How did God's activity happen without time?

I think by definition of time, that change cannot happen outside it.

I agree with the original poster that this is certainly a problem. Has Craig addressed this problem anywhere?

It's a paradox that I believe is unanswerable.


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MorleyMcMorson

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 08:46:07 am »
I think this problem rests on a confusion of senses of necessity.  If change occurs, then time exists.  If time exists, then change occurs.  But one isn't really logically posterior to the other: change just is time, and time just is change.  They are simply two ways of looking at the same thing.

Moreover, Craig's view doesn't say that God acted without time.  Craig's view is that God's initial activity is all temporal.  In fact, his initial activity is the very basis of time since his initial activity = the first changes = the first time.
"We have no past, we won't reach back..."
-Ardent A-theorist Cyndi Lauper in her song "All Through the Night", singing about the impossibility of time travel on her presentist metaphysic.

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tuffbot324

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2012, 12:49:22 am »
MorleyMcMorson wrote: I think this problem rests on a confusion of senses of necessity.  If change occurs, then time exists.  If time exists, then change occurs.  But one isn't really logically posterior to the other: change just is time, and time just is change.  They are simply two ways of looking at the same thing.

Moreover, Craig's view doesn't say that God acted without time.  Craig's view is that God's initial activity is all temporal.  In fact, his initial activity is the very basis of time since his initial activity = the first changes = the first time.


I tent to agree that time is change, and change is time.

If God is a being that makes decisions, the decision itself to create the universe before it was created, was an act in itself. Decision making (aka thinking) is an act. If God is a being, and a being makes decisions, and God is an infinite being, then was God thinking for eternity? But according to Craig, I don't think this idea of infinity and infinite regress is possible.

Perhaps God had no choice but to create the universe, which in that case, it would seem God is not all powerful and/or does not have free will.



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MorleyMcMorson

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2012, 06:15:10 pm »
tuffbot324 wrote:
Quote from: MorleyMcMorson
I think this problem rests on a confusion of senses of necessity.  If change occurs, then time exists.  If time exists, then change occurs.  But one isn't really logically posterior to the other: change just is time, and time just is change.  They are simply two ways of looking at the same thing.

Moreover, Craig's view doesn't say that God acted without time.  Craig's view is that God's initial activity is all temporal.  In fact, his initial activity is the very basis of time since his initial activity = the first changes = the first time.


I tent to agree that time is change, and change is time.

If God is a being that makes decisions, the decision itself to create the universe before it was created, was an act in itself. Decision making (aka thinking) is an act. If God is a being, and a being makes decisions, and God is an infinite being, then was God thinking for eternity? But according to Craig, I don't think this idea of infinity and infinite regress is possible.

Perhaps God had no choice but to create the universe, which in that case, it would seem God is not all powerful and/or does not have free will.



God eternally has knowledge, and is eternally conscious.  As for thinking, I think thinking is basically covered by being eternally conscious.  His first "change of thought," let's say, is simultaneous with Creation.  Thus, God can eternally be "thinking" in the sense of having eternal knowledge and consciousness, but we can still avoid an actually infinite past.
"We have no past, we won't reach back..."
-Ardent A-theorist Cyndi Lauper in her song "All Through the Night", singing about the impossibility of time travel on her presentist metaphysic.

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012, 07:06:33 pm »
but with time there is always the question, when was God's first "change of thought" and could it have possibly happened sooner?  
   
 as far as I am concerned, if something happens "before" time, it must all be simultanious with the "first" moment.

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MorleyMcMorson

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2012, 09:47:01 pm »
jbiemans wrote: but with time there is always the question, when was God's first "change of thought" and could it have possibly happened sooner?  
   
 as far as I am concerned, if something happens "before" time, it must all be simultanious with the "first" moment.

That question always has the same answer----No.  God's first action is the first action, period, as God is the only eternal being.  Since his first change is the first change in any possible world, it is the first event and the thus at the beginning of time.  You can't get earlier than that, obviously.

I've already dealt with your second concern elsewhere.
"We have no past, we won't reach back..."
-Ardent A-theorist Cyndi Lauper in her song "All Through the Night", singing about the impossibility of time travel on her presentist metaphysic.

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Veritologist

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If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2012, 10:11:38 pm »
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.


I'm not sure what you mean by 'that decision must precede the creation.' Do you mean that decision must be temporally prior to the act of creation? I see no good reason to deny that i
t is possible for a state of affairs to be causally prior, but not  temporally prior, to another state of affairs. God's decision to create  the universe is temporally simultaneous with the actual act of  creation, so asking 'what happened before' God's decision makes no  sense. There simply is no time prior to the act of creation. It's like asking what's north of the north pole.
 
  Alternatively, it might be that you mean God's decision must be causally prior to the act of creation. I don't see any problem here. Why do you think God's decision must be preceded by another decision? The first state of affairs of the universe could be God's existence (perhaps with the intention or disposition to create the universe). The second state of affairs would be God deciding to create the universe. The third state of affairs would be God creating the universe. There is no temporal progression from S1 to S3.

A third interpretation of your objection could be that God's decision must be preceded by something that causes that decision. This objection implicitly denies causal libertarianism and the possibility of agents initiating causal chains.


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Eugeny

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Re: If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2012, 06:38:58 am »
I've read privious messages and I want to point out several ideas:

1. If God is timeless then you can not use verbs to decribe him, because verbs describe processes in time.

2. Change of states is time, time is change of states. If only one state exists then there is no time and the world is static. If at least two states exist (for instance state A and state B) and there is a way from one state to another then time exists (and at least two moments of time exist - A and B), because this way IS CALLED time.

3. Cause of the event MUST BE temporally prior to the event.
"Prior" is time dependant word, so "Causally prior" is equal to "temporally prior". Imagine world of 50 atoms. Imagine state A = "all the atoms are static", and state B = "all the atoms are moving". You also can describe here 50 events - "atom number 1 begin to move", "atom number 2 begin to move" and so on.  But you can not say that event "atom number 1 begin to move" is the cause of event "atom number 2 begin to move", and you can not say that event  "atom number 2 begin to move" is the cause of event "atom number 1 begin to move"because in fact there is only 1 event "all the atoms begin to move". So if two events "God decided to create universe" and "universe began to exist" are temporaly simultaneous, then you can not say that "God decided to create universe" is the cause of event "universe began to exist" and you can not say that event "universe began to exist" is the cause of event "God decided to create universe".

4. If God did nothing before he created universe then he was dead. It is atheistic understanding of death (from point of view of dead person). If you are dead then you don't think, don't want, don't wish, you don't percept the time, you are timeless. 

P.S. Sorry for my english.

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John Dee

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Re: If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2013, 07:53:08 am »
Isn’t the problem here with how everyone is thinking about time, probably WLC included.

Time has a direct correlation with the flow of energy from usable to dispersed states i.e. entropy. In this sense time is not a thing in itself it is instead the movement of the physical 3 dimensional things from one entropic state to another. It is therefore impossible for a spiritual God to make himself subject to time unless He also becomes incarnate to the movement of the physical from one entropic state to another. Although we measure this movement against a regular entopic movement such as a clock or a spinning planet we also know that this movement of time is not linear. The higher your entropic state (i.e. close to the speed of light or a high gravitation field), the slower the movement and one might see a parallel here to the drop off in voltage of a battery; a slow drop at high levels and then a steady regular gradient at a particular point afterwards.

So we are correct to say that time starts at the beginning of the universe because that’s when “physical change” starts, but this does not mean that change or movement is not possible “before” this in other realms such as the spiritual, it is just that we do not have the language to consider “before” it. As per Mctaggarts unreality of time, we ourselves cannot get out of the flow of time, and it is amazing how easily everybody falls back into using words or assumptions which imply the time of physical change when trying to consider the eternal spirit God’s actions and qualities. Fancy coming to the conclusion that God is dead because he can't change through time!

In fact it is this problem which has handicapped a proper understanding of freewill in relation to God’s foreknowledge. By knowing things (including certain futures) through observation from outside of time, the logic of foreknowledge is broken. The fact that God knows something before hand does not of necessity then imply that it was therefore also predetermined.

John Dee

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John Dee

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Re: If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2013, 10:44:45 am »
As an addition to the last point I suppose I assume that pre space and time, our approximation to the understanding of logical processes – which in our realm also imply time – is sort of stacked perpendicularly to time.

So from our perspective in time, every “time” God thinks or “progresses” or “becomes” in eternity – for example “when” he decides to “start” “creating” – it is as if that “was then” “always” the case in eternity. Every time God has a “new” “idea” – from our perspective – it is as if he always had that idea, and this would remain logical. We can have no handle at all on God’s becoming because we are in the flow of time. And this is also of course why Dawkins argument about endless regression is rubbish because regression in any sense that we can comprehend the question we are asking is time based. I am astonished that such an intelligent man does not clearly engage with this point of “time” in his delusional book.

Our experience is one of things coming into being – but in eternity exactly the opposite might be the case and the question is there how is it possible that things could be created which are capable of being undone.

[The extensive speech marks are including to indicate time based concepts within the language to show how wedded to it we are in our descriptions.]

John Dee
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 10:50:43 am by John Dee »

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John M

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Re: If God is before time, how can He not be static?
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2013, 07:38:32 am »
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.

Many theists (like Dr. Craig himself) would deny your antecedent - God is not immutable. In his timeless state he is "changeless" (without any change) but not immutable. He has personal volition (free will) and thus can choose to change - by choosing to create a world that is temporal, God immediately and simultaneous with that creative act becomes temporal himself.

And it's not as though God had a stream of consciousness, thinking one thought after another, prior to this creative act. That could be considered anthropomorphic - just because that's the way we think in our temporal existence, doesn't mean that's how God would "think" in a timeless state (in fact, by the very definition of timeless, there can't have been one thought after another since that would require time).

Here's some of Dr. Craig's writings if people want to know some things he has said regarding this:

From http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creation-and-time:
Quote
4) What timelessness entails is that one doesn’t do anything different, that is, that one does not change. Timelessness implies an unchanging state of being. Now some activities don’t require change and time. For example, knowing something doesn’t require change or time. God can know all truths in that timeless state without any change. Similarly, one can have unchanging intentions. So long as one’s intentions don’t change they can be timelessly held. That’s why I said that God can exist without the universe with a timeless intention to create a world with a beginning. One can love someone else without change. Here we have insight into the nature of the love relationship between the three persons of the Trinity in that timeless state without creation. There exists a perfect, changeless state of mutual of knowledge, will, and love between the persons of the Trinity without the creation. (The wonder of creation is that God would bother to create a world of creatures and invite them to freely enter the joy of that fellowship as adopted children!)

Some other things (there's a lot more, these are just three I found while searching):

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/timelessness-and-creation

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-contradiction-in-the-kalam-cosmological-argument

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/god-time-and-creation