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Mike Burke

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Relative Timelessness
« on: February 11, 2015, 06:29:59 pm »
I wasn't quite sure where to post this, because the question concerns both God's eternity and His foreknowledge.

What Allen Padgett has written about relative timelessness makes some sense to me, and I'd like to better understand the implications of his theory.

Would it mean that the B theory of time is false, and that C.S. Lewis was wrong when he said God could timelessly see the choices we make without determining them (and that Augustine was wrong when he said God could stand above all of human history and see the whole thing in one glance)?

If God is omnitemporal, how could He have absolute foreknowledge?


Mark E Deardorff

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Re: Relative Timelessness
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 06:23:33 pm »
To explain this in my view only requires that God exists (bad choice of a word since it implies that, in God, Time is realized.) God exists whether or not a Universe exists at all. Since God is the Creator and cannot, therefore, be less than the extent (another poor choice as there are few words that adequately describe God's nature) of the universe. In other words God is greater than or equal to the extent of the universe (even if the Universe is infinite.)

One axiom (it may be a theorem in another man's calculus) is that God also exists outside of Time. In other words, Time exists only within the confines of the Universe. If God is, therefore, Omni-temporal (God exists at all times) and (we already believe that God is) Omnipresent, the Foreknowledge issue vanishes.

In addition, (at least a portion of) Determinism goes away.

The problem of Divine Foreknowledge is a result of Man's inability to think outside of the spatial dimensions (all three of them) thereby forcing God into a position where He (as are we) imprisoned in an inexorable current of Time. For us, the past and future either no longer or do not yet, exist. We are limited to one time, that which is now.

This problem is created by Man in an effort to understand the un-understandable.

Once God is seen as existing in more than three dimensions with Time (as a minimum) the fourth. He thus not only exists at all times (again, a result of our limitations: our brokenness) and can (again here follows a poor word choice) act (implies a temporality that, I believe, is not applicable to God) 'simultaneously.' Simply stated: God has no future or past, only existence. To us, limited as we are to the 'agonizing' pit of ultimate Earthly death, we see God's acts as upon a timeline.

I believe that we limit God simply because we are who we are. He is ineffable, a noetic experience.

)By the way, if you want to see what modern science (in this case, neuroscience) views  free will as wired into the brain. See The Neural Basis of Free Will: Criterial Causation by Peter Ulric Tse, (c) 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.)

It's difficult to stop writing about this. And, I know, there are others with more sensible and practical solutions to this problem. Some, I hope, will show me my errors. I have no other hope to come to an answer that is somehow satisfying. I sure wish I had a better brain.

Mark E Deardorff
Realized I knew more than God: 1969. :-0
Found out that I didn't: 1985. :-)