Bill McEnaney

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Infinitely many events in heaven?
« on: January 18, 2013, 09:34:40 am »
Everyone,

I'm new and happy to be with you.

Since Dr. Craig doubts that there can be sets with infinitely many members in them, what would he tell me when I asked whether there could be infinitely many events in heaven?  If everlasting life never ends, why couldn't I, say, smile infinitely many times in it?  Do I need to believe that there's an a priori limit on how many things I could do there?

By the way, I disagree with Dr. Craig about time and eternity because I'm a Thomist who believes in divine timelessness.

Bill

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redtilt1

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 09:17:15 am »
I think this is a good point. If you at WLC Talbot shcool of theolopgy dcotrine statement, you see:
"All those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and their Lord, and who confess Him as such before their fellow men, become children of God and receive eternal life."

"All those who persistently reject Jesus Christ in the present life shall be raised from the dead and throughout eternity exist in the state of conscious, unutterable, endless torment of anguish."

But in a recent podcast WLC said that none of gods attributes have either an actual or potenntially infinite in them. But his knoweldge of these evetns would appear to be otherwise.


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Biep

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 02:43:02 am »
(Assuming for the moment that heaven has time comparable to our time, which isn't self-evident.)

At any moment, while in heaven, you will have smiled a finite number of times.  The number of your smiles is unbounded, but never actually infinite.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 04:33:21 am by Biep »
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I tend to post and run, but always hope to return eventually.  Don't hold your breath, though.

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redtilt1

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 05:00:24 am »
I think you need to listen to the podcast, I think it was the last one or one before that, he specifically stated god had no attributes that were either actually infinite or potentially infinite.

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Aaron Massey

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 07:45:10 am »
I think you need to listen to the podcast, I think it was the last one or one before that, he specifically stated god had no attributes that were either actually infinite or potentially infinite.

To be honest it was a pretty poor answer he gave i thought.
He was asked what it meant when we say god is infinite.
To me it sounded like he avoided the question by claiming we mean it descirbes gods attributes like omnisnisicent etc..

But if we use the strict defintion we have it means "not Finite" never ending, which we associate most closely with time i suppose when it comes to god. 
yet WLC has problems with infinite when attributed to the universe or things in it.
Suddenly infinity isnt absurd when god is involved.
I like WLC, but this is a hard pill to swallow the old "infinity is absurd" "god is infinite" "god is not absurd".
Proverbs 8:30 "then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man."

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John M

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 08:24:00 am »
I think you need to listen to the podcast, I think it was the last one or one before that, he specifically stated god had no attributes that were either actually infinite or potentially infinite.

As WLC likes to say, when we speak of "infinite" attributes of God, we are speaking on qualitative terms, not quantitative terms. To say God has "infinite love" is not to say there is some unit of love and God has an infinite number of units of love. Or omnipotence, it isn't like "power is watts, or joules per second, and God has infinite number of watts" - it's just that qualitatively God is all powerful - he can do all things not logically incoherent or absurd.

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But if we use the strict defintion we have it means "not Finite" never ending

"not finite" meaning "never ending" is refering to potential infinity - and to this WLC (and most everyone else :) ) has no problem with this concept as it relates to reality. In this sense (a potential infinity), I think there are an "infinite" number of smiles in heaven. If there is time in heaven (whatever heaven is), and if it is everlasting, there is a potential infinity of smiles. But there isn't an actual infinite number of them (tomorrow there will be more!). And in this I think WLC would agree.

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yet WLC has problems with infinite when attributed to the universe or things in it.
Suddenly infinity isnt absurd when god is involved.

No, I think this is incorrect. I have heard WLC specifically say the problems with actual infinity apply to God just as it does to God's creation (in other words, even God can't "have" an "actually infinite" number of things). Its a metaphysical absurdity for an actually infinite number of things to exist - and he applies this to God as well as the physical universe.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 10:32:26 pm by mazzgolf »

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redtilt1

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 05:28:45 am »
Wow , did you not listen to WLC podcast? he denied actual and potential infinites.

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John Dee

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 06:19:43 am »
Isn’t the thing about infinity that it doesn’t stop, so it can never coalesce into a fixed set, or in other words it is intrinsically impossible to get to infinity, which means it must also be impossible for God as well. Everlasting life goes on for ever and yet never reaches infinity. Infinity minus one is not one away from infinity, it is still an infinity away from infinity. Potentially infinite is as meaningless as actually infinite.

Or in other words you can go on smiling for ever and yet you will find that you have never smiled an infinite number of times. The fact that there is not an infinite number of events is not a restriction in heaven or everlasting life, it is a matter of the concept of infinity.

Discussion in relation to this should avoid mixing it up with physical time as well, for God is spirit, and is only incarnate to our time in Christ. Physical time is not infinite or even everlasting as it stands, the 2nd law is quite clear on this. Physical time can only become ever lasting In Christ.

To describe God as infinite is therefore just sloppy, infinite in relation to what? An unqualified infinite would mean that he encompasses everything including you and me and is therefore pantheistic. It’s like asserting that God is an unqualified omniscient and omnipotent and then tripping over the question can he create a rock that is too heavy for himself to pick up!

John Dee

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John M

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Re: Infinitely many events in heaven?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 03:22:59 pm »
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But if we use the strict defintion we have it means "not Finite" never ending

That is "potential infinity" - symbolized in mathematics with "the sideways 8" - ∞ (sometimes called "lemniscate"). This is different from "actual infinity" - symbolized with an aleph.

So, it is not enough to just use the word "infinite" - you need to be specific when talking in technical terms. Something "never ending" is not necessarily actually infinite.

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Or in other words you can go on smiling for ever and yet you will find that you have never smiled an infinite number of times.

That's the correct answer. You will never get to an "infinite" (ACTUALLY infinite to be precise) number of smiles in heaven because, as heaven is eternal in the future, you'll never get to an actual infinity.

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did you not listen to WLC podcast? he denied actual and potential infinites.
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I think you need to listen to the podcast, I think it was the last one or one before that, he specifically stated god had no attributes that were either actually infinite or potentially infinite.

I would need to know the exact quote and context - because I'm pretty sure WLC would never deny the concept of potential infinites. What do you mean "denied" potential infinities? If God just counts numbers from now to eternity, there's your potential infinity - and I can't see WLC denying this (I've never heard him claim this concept was incoherent or impossible). WLC merely denies that actual infinity is ontologically possible. I think you have misunderstood him. If you can provide the link and timestamp in the audio or reference the quotes we can better analyze what he said.

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By the way, I disagree with Dr. Craig about time and eternity because I'm a Thomist who believes in divine timelessness.

Dr. Craig actually believes in divine timelessness - but he qualifies that as God being in a timeless state only causally prior to creation. He's quasi-Thomist ;)